QUARLES, Francis Quotes
(1592-1644), English author
That action is not warrantable which either fears to ask the divine blessing on its performance, or having succeeded, does not come with thanksgiving to God for its success.
He that has no cross will have no crown.
Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept.—Abused patience turns to fury.
Let not thy table exceed the fourth part of thy revenue: let thy provision be solid, and not far fetched, fuller of substance than art: be wisely frugal in thy preparation, and freely cheerful in thy entertainment: if thy guests be right, it is enough; if not, it is too much: too much is a vanity; enough is a feast.
Be always displeased with what thou art if thou desire to attain to what thou art not, for where thou hast pleased thyself, there thou abidest.
The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.
When one associates with vice, it is but one step from companionship to slavery.
If virtue accompanies beauty it is the heart's paradise; if vice be associate with it, it is the soul's purgatory.—It is the wise man's bonfire, and the fool's furnace.
Close thine ear against him that opens his mouth against another.—If thou receive not his words, they fly back and wound him.—If thou receive them, they flee forward and wound thee.
Put off thy cares with thy clothes; so shall thy rest strengthen thy labor, and so thy labor sweeten thy rest.
The place of charity, like that of God, is everywhere. Proportion thy charity to the strength of thine estate, lest God proportion thine estate to the weakness of thy charity.—Let the lips of the poor be the trumpet of thy gift, lest in seeking applause, thou lose thy reward.—Nothing is more pleasing to God than an open hand, and a closed mouth.
In giving of thine alms inquire not so much into the person, as his necessity.—God looks not so much on the merits of him that requires, as to the manner of him that relieves.—If the man deserve not, thou hast given to humanity.
As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldiy loss without some gain.—If thou hast lost thy wealth, thou hast lost some trouble with it.—If thou art degraded from thy honor, thou art likewise freed from the stroke of envy.—If sickness hath blurred thy beauty, it hath delivered thee from pride.—Set the allowance against the loss and thou shaft find no loss great.— He loses little or nothing who reserves himself.
If thou wouldst be justified, acknowledge thine injustice.—He that confesses his sin, begins his journey toward salvation.—He that is sorry for it, mends his pace.—He that forsakes it, is at his journey's end.
If any speak ill of thee, flee home to thine own conscience, and examine thine heart; if thou be guilty, it is a just correction; if not guilty, it is a fair instruction. Make use of both—so shalt thou distil honey out of gall, and out of an open enemy make a secret friend.
In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself.—Another is but one witness against thee; thou art a thousand.—Another thou mayst avoid, thyself thou canst not.—Wickedness is its own punishment.
Let the fear of a danger be a spur to prevent it; he that fears not, gives advantage to the danger.
If thou expect death as a friend, prepare to entertain him; if as an enemy, prepare to overcome him.—Death has no advantage except when he comes as a stranger.
Death expecteth thee everywhere; be wise, therefore, and expect death everywhere.
He that takes time to resolve, gives leisure to deny, and warning to prepare.
If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying.—Walking exercises the body; praying exercises the soul; fasting cleanses both.
Be neither too early in the fashion, nor too long out of it, nor too precisely in it.—What custom hath civilized is become decent; till then, ridiculous.—Where the eye is the jury, thine apparel is the evidence.
Beware of drunkenness, lest all good men beware of thee.—Where drunkenness reigns, there reason is an exile, virtue a stranger, and God an enemy; blasphemy is wit, oaths are rhetoric, and secrets are proclamations.
Of all vices take heed of drunkenness. Other vices are but the fruits of disordered affections; this disorders, nay banishes reason.—Other vices but impair the soul; this demolishes her two chief acuities, the understanding and the will. Other vices make their own way; this makes way for all vices.—He that is a drunkard is qualified for all vice.
Temper your enjoyments with prudence, lest there be written on your heart that fearful word "satiety."
Before undertaking any design weigh the story of thy action with the danger of the attempt.—If the glory outweigh the danger it is cowardice to neglect it; if the danger exceed the glory, it is rashness to attempt it; if the balances stand poised, let thine own genius cast them.
Thou canst not rebuke in children what they see practised in thee.—Till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts.—Such as is thy behavior before thy children's faces, such is theirs behind thy back.
Pleasures bring effeminacy, and effeminacy foreruns ruin; such conquests, without blood or sweat, do sufficiently revenge themselves upon their intemperate conquerors.
Flatter not thyself in thy faith in God, if thou hast not charity for thy neighbor; I think not thou hast charity for thy neighbor, if thou wantest faith in God.—Where they are not both together, they are both wanting; they are both dead if once divided.
Faith evermore looks upward and describes objects remote; but reason can discover things only near—sees nothing that's above her.
Ignorance as to unrevealed mysteries is the mother of a saving faith; and understanding in revealed truths is the mother of a sacred knowledge.—Understand not therefore that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.—Understanding is the wages of a lively faith, and faith is the reward of an humble ignorance.
Fear nothing but what thine industry may prevent, and be confident of nothing but what fortune cannot defeat.—It is no less folly to fear what cannot be avoided than to be secure when there is a possibility of preventing.
Hath any wronged thee?—Be bravely revenged.—Slight it, and the work is begun: forgive, and it is finished.—He is below himself that is not above an injury.
That friendship will not continue to the end which is begun for an end.
If thou desire to raise thy fortunes by the casts of fortune, be wise betimes, lest thou repent too late.—What thou winnest, is prodigally spent.—What thou losest, is prodigally lost.—It is an evil trade that prodigality drives, and a bad voyage where the pilot is blind.
He that gives all, though but little gives much; because God looks not to the quantity of the gift, but to the quality of the givers.
In all thine actions think that God sees thee, and in all his actions labor to see him.—That will make thee fear him, and this will move thee to love him.—The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, and the knowledge of God is the perfection of love.
Let the greatest part of the news thou nearest be the least part of what thou believest; lest the greatest part of what thou believest be the least part of what is true. Where lies are easily admitted, the father of lies will not easily be kept out.
There be three sorts of government, monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical, and they are to fall three different ways into ruin: the first, by tyranny; the second, by ambition; the last, by tumults.—A commonwealth, grounded on any one of these, is not of long continuance; but wisely mingled, each guards the other and makes government exact.
If thou desire the love of God and man, be humble, for the proud heart, as it loves none but itself, is beloved of none but itself.—Humility enforces where neither virtue, nor strength, nor reason can prevail.
Rather do what is nothing to the purpose than be idle, that the devil may find thee doing.—The bird that sits is easily shot when the fliers escape the fowler.—Idleness is the Dead Sea that swallows all the virtues, and is the self-made sepulcher of a living man.
Infamy is where it is received.—If thou art a mud wall, it will stick; if marble, it will rebound.—If thou storm, it is thine; if thou contemn it, it is his.
He that is a drunkard is qualified for all vice.
If thou desire rest unto thy soul, be just.—He that doth no injury, fears not to suffer injury; the unjust mind is always in labor; it either practises the evil it hath projected, or projects to avoid the evil it hath deserved.
Wrinkle not thy face with too much laughter, lest thou become ridiculous; neither wanton thy heart with too much mirth, lest thou become vain; the suburbs of folly is vain mirth, and profuseness of laughter is the city of fools.
Use law and physic only in cases of necessity; they that use them otherwise, abuse themselves into weak bodies and light purses: they are good remedies, bad recreations, but ruinous habits.
Proportion thy charity to the strength of thine estate, lest God in anger proportion thine estate to the weakness of thy charity.
Be always less willing to speak than to hear; what thou hearest, thou receivest; what thou speakest thou givest.—It is more glorious to give, but more profitable to receive.
If thou neglectest thy love to thy neighbor, in vain thou professest thy love to God; for by thy love to God, the love to thy neighbor is begotten, and by the love to thy neighbor, thy love to God is nourished.
He repents on thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.
If you desire to be magnanimous, undertake nothing rashly, and fear nothing thou undertakest.—Fear nothing but infamy; dare anything but injury; the measure of magnanimity is to be neither rash nor timorous.
Let the words of a virgin, though in a good cause, and to as good purpose, be neither violent, many, nor first, nor last.—It is less shame for her to be lost in a blushing silence, than to be found in a bold eloquence.
Meditation is the life of the soul; action is the soul of meditation; honor is the reward of action: so meditate, that thou mayest do; so do, that thou mayest purchase honor; for which purchase, give God the glory.
Mercy turns her back to the unmerciful.
Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune.
Let the ground of all religious actions be obedience; examine not why it is commanded, but observe it because it is commanded. True obedience neither procrastinates nor questions.
In all thy actions, think God sees thee; and in all his actions labor to see him.
All passions are good or bad, according to their objects: where the object is absolutely good, there the greatest passion is too little; where absolutely evil, there the least passion is too much; where indifferent, there a little is enough.
Make philosophy thy journey, theology thy journey's end: philosophy is a pleasant way, but dangerous to him that either tires or retires; in this journey it is safe neither to loiter nor to rest, till thou hast attained thy journey's end; he that sits down a philosopher rises up an atheist.
If thou be strong enough to encounter with the times, keep thy station; if not, shift a foot to gain advantage of the times. He that acts a beggar to prevent a thief is never the poorer; it is a great part of wisdom sometimes to seem a fool.
Be as far from desiring the popular love as fearful to deserve the popular hate; ruin dwells in both; the one will hug thee to death; the other will crush thee to destruction: to escape the first, be not ambitious; avoid the second, be not seditious.
Be not too great a niggard in the commendations of him that professes thy own quality; if he deserve thy praise, thou hast discovered thy judgment; if not, thy modesty; honor either returns or reflects to the giver.
Praise no man too liberally before his face, nor censure him too lavishly behind his back: the one savors of flattery; the other of malice; and both are reprehensible; the true way to advance another's virtue is to follow it; and the pest means to cry down another's vice is to decline it.
Heaven is never deaf but when man's heart is dumb.
Pride is the ape of charity, in show not much unlike, but somewhat fuller of action. They are two parallels, never but asunder; charity feeds the poor, so does pride; charity builds an hospital, so does pride. In this they differ: charity gives her glory to God; pride takes her glory from man.
So use prosperity, that adversity may not abuse thee: if in the one, security admits no fears, in the other, despair will afford no hopes; he that in prosperity can foretell a danger can in adversity foresee deliverance.
Read not books alone, but men, and amongst them chiefly thyself.—If thou find anything questionable there, use the commentary of a severe friend, rather than the gloss of a sweet-lipped flatterer; there is more profit in a distasteful truth than in deceitful sweetness.
The way to subject all things to thyself is to subject thyself to reason. Thou shalt govern many if reason govern thee.—Wouldst thou be the monarch of a little world?—command thyself.
Faith evermore looks upward and descries objects remote; but reason can discover things only near, and sees nothing that is above her.
Make thy recreation servant to thy business, lest thou become a slave to thy recreation.
Before thou reprehend another, take heed thou art not culpable in what thou goest about to reprehend. He that cleanses a blot with blotted fingers makes a greater blur.
Hath any wronged thee? Be bravely revenged.—Slight it, and the work is begun; forgive it, and it is finished.—He is below himself that is not above any injury.
Wouldst thou multiply thy riches?—diminish them wisely.—Or wouldst thou make thine estate entire?—divide it charitably.—Seeds that are scattered increase, but hoarded up they perish.
Scandal breeds hatred; hatred begets division; division makes faction, and faction brings ruin.
He that discovers himself till he hath made himself master of his desires, lays himself open to his own ruin, and makes himself a prisoner to his own tongue.
Prize not thyself by what thou hast, but by what thou art; he that values a jewel by its golden frame, or a book by its silver clasps, or a man by his vast estate, errs.
Wouldest thou not be thought a fool in another's conceit, be not wise in thy own: he that trusts to his own wisdom, proclaims his own folly: he is truly wise, and shall appear so, that hath folly enough to be thought not worldly wise, or wisdom enough to see his own folly.
If thou seest anything in thyself which may make thee proud, look a little further and thou shalt find enough to humble thee; if thou be wise, view the peacock's feathers with his feet, and weigh thy best parts with thy imperfections.
Be always displeased at what thou art, if thou desire to attain to what thou art not; for where thou hast pleased thyself there thou abidest.
The height of all philosophy is to know thyself; and the end of this knowledge is to know God. Know thyself, that thou mayest know God; and know God, that thou mayest love him and be like him. In the one thou art initiated into wisdom; and in the other perfected in it.
Silence is the highest wisdom of a fool as speech is the greatest trial of a wise man.—If thou wouldst be known as wise, let thy words show thee so; if thou doubt thy words, let thy silence feign thee so.—It is not a greater point of wisdom to discover knowledge than to hide ignorance.
If thou desire to be held wise, be so wise as to hold thy tongue.
If any speak ill of thee, flee home to thy own conscience, and examine thy heart: if thou be guilty, it is a just correction; if not guilty, it is a fair instruction: make use of both; so shalt thou distil honey out of gall, and out of an open enemy create a secret friend.
Put off thy cares with thy clothes; so shall thy rest strengthen thy labor; and and so shall thy labor sweeten thy rest.
If thy words be too luxuriant, confine them, lest they confine thee.—He that thinks he can never speak enough, may easily speak too much.—A full tongue and an empty brain are seldom parted.
When the flesh presents thee with delights, then present thyself with dangers; where the world possesses thee with vain hopes, there possess thyself with true fear; when the devil brings thee oil, bring thou vinegar. The way to be safe is never to be secure.
Make use of time if thou lovest eternity; yesterday cannot be recalled; tomorrow cannot be assured; only today is thine, which if thou procrastinate, thou losest; and which lost is lost forever. One today is worth two tomorrows.
Give not thy tongue too great liberty, lest it take thee prisoner. A word unspoken is, like the sword in the scabbard, thine. If vented, thy sword is in another's hand. If thou desire to be held wise, be so wise as to hold thy tongue.
A fool's heart is in his tongue; but a wise man's tongue is in his heart.
Trust in God does not supersede the employment of prudent means on our part. To expect God's protection while we do nothing is not to honor but to tempt providence.
The light of the understanding humility kindieth, and pride covereth.
The vain-glory of this world is a deceitful sweetness, a fruitless labor, a perpetual fear, a dangerous honor; her beginning is without Providence, and her end not without repentance.
If thou desire to be truly valiant, fear to do any injury; he that fears to do evil is always afraid to suffer evil; he that never fears is desperate; he that fears always is a coward: he is the true valiant man that dares nothing but what he may, and fears nothing but what he ought.
Every man's vanity ought to be his greatest shame, and every man's folly ought to be his greatest secret.
If thou desire to purchase honor with thy wealth, consider first how that wealth became thine; if thy labor got it, let thy wisdom keep it; if oppression found it, let repentance restore it; if thy parent left it, let thy virtues deserve it; so shall thy honor be safer, better, and cheaper.
Wisdom without innocency is knavery; innocence without wisdom is foolery; be therefore as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. The subtilty of the serpent instructs the innocency of the dove; the innocency of the dove corrects the subtilty of the serpent. What God hath joined together let not man separate.