800 Câu châm ngôn của Benjamin Franklin

Các Câu Châm Ngôn hay và nổi tiếng bằng tiếng anh

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

800 câu châm ngôn của Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin là một trong những người cha già khai sáng đất nước Hoa Kỳ, một đại danh nhân không chỉ người Mỹ mà cả thế giới đều kính trọng. Trong những năm đầu lập nghiệp bằng nghề in, ông đã tự viết, sưu tầm và cho in các câu danh ngôn thực tế, dễ nhớ. Sau đây là bộ sưu tập tất cả các câu danh ngôn được cho là đã được Benjamin Franklin in trên lịch để bán. Lời văn một số câu đôi khi khó hiểu vì đã được viết cách đây gần 300 năm. Tuy nhiên, đọc xong 800 Câu châm ngôn của Benjamin Franklin, các bạn có thể chắt lọc ra ít nhiều  những câu nói hay, làm thành những bài học riêng cho mình từ trí tuệ sâu sắc của người xưa.

A

  • A clear conscience fears no accusation.
  • A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
  • A cure for poetry, seven wealthy towns contend for Homer, dead, thro’ which the living Homer begged his bread.
  • A divided family can no more stand than a divided Commonwealth.
  • A father’s a treasure; a brother’s a comfort.
  • A flatterer[ never seems absurd: the flattered always take his word.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed.
  • A full belly is the mother of all evil.
  • A good example is the best sermon.
  • A good lawyer makes a bad neighbour.
  • A good man is seldom uneasy, an ill one never easy.
  • A good man passes by an offence, and a noble spirit scorns revenge.
  • A good wife and health, is a man’s best wealth.
  • A great many employ the first of their years to make their last miserable.
  • A large train makes a light purse.
  • A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
  • A lie stands on one leg, truth on two.
  • A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two different things.
  • A light purse is a heavy curse.
  • A little house well filled, a little field well tilled, and a little      wife well willed, are great riches.
  • A little well-gotten will do us more good, than lordships and sceptres by rapines and blood.
  • A man had better be poisoned in his blood than in his principles.
  • A man is never so ridiculous by those qualities that are his own as by those that he affects to have.
  • A man may be a good adviser, though an ill solicitor.
  • A man of knowledge, like a rich soil, feeds if not a world of corn, a world of weeds.
  • A man without ceremony has need of great merit in its place.
  • A man without secrecy is an open letter for everyone to read.
  • A mob’s a monster; heads enough, but no brains.
  • A modern wit is one of David’s fools.
  • A new truth is a truth, an old error is an error, though clodpate2 won’t allow either.
  • A penny saved is two pence clear, a pin a day is a groat3 a year.
  • A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.
  • A quarrelsome man has no good neighbours.
  • A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder, but rest and guilt live far asunder.
  • A ship under sail and a big-bellied woman are the handsomest two things that can be seen common.
  • A slip of the foot you may soon recover: but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.
  • A soft tongue may strike hard.
  • A talkative fellow willing to learn of Isocrates4, was asked by Isocrates double his usual price; because, said he, I must both teach you how to speak and to hold your tongue.
  • A traveller should have a hog’s nose, a deer’s legs, and an ass’s back.
  • A true friend is the best possession.
  • A true great man will neither trample on a worm, nor sneak to an emperor.
  • A vindictive temper is not only uneasy to others, but to them that have it.
  • A wicked hero will turn his back to an innocent coward.
  • A wolf eats sheep but now and then, ten thousands are devoured by men.
  • Accuse not fortune when you are in the fault.
  • Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.
  • After crosses and losses, men grow humbler and wiser.
  • After fish, milk do not wish.
  • Again, he that sells upon credit asks a price for what he sells, equivalent to the principal and interest of his money, for the time he is likely to be kept out of it.
  • Against diseases, the strongest fence is the defensive virtue abstinence.
  • Ah simple man! When a boy, two precious jewels were given to you: time and good advice; one you have lost, and the other you have thrown away.
  • All blood is alike ancient.
  • All fools are not knaves, but all knaves are fools.
  • All mankind are beholden to him that is kind to the good.
  • All men of estates are only trustees to the poor and distressed, and will be so rewarded when they are to give an account.
  • All things are cheap to the saving, dear to the wasteful.
  • All things are easy to industry, all things difficult to sloth.
  • Always make your jest so that it ends not in earnest.
  • Always take part with and defend the unfortunate.
  • An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow.
  • An empty bag cannot stand upright.
  • An infallible remedy for toothache: wash the root of an aching tooth in elder vinegar and let it dry half an hour in the sun; after which it will never ache more.
  • An innocent ploughman is more worthy than a vicious prince.
  • An old man in a house is a good sign.
  • An old young man will be a young old man.
  • An open foe may prove a curse, but a pretended friend is worse.
  • An ounce of wit that is bought is worth a pound that is taught.
  • And he that pays ready money might let that money out to use: so that he that possesses anything he has bought, pays interest for the use of it.
  • Anger and folly walk cheek-by-jowl; repentance treads on both their heels.
  • Anger may look into the breast of a wise man, but only rest in the bosom of fools.
  • Approve not of him who commends all you say.
  • Are you angry that others disappoint you? Remember, you cannot depend upon yourself.
  • As charms are nonsense, nonsense is a charm.
  • As often as we do good, we sacrifice.
  • As pride increases, fortune declines.
  • As sore places meet most rubs, proud folks meet most affronts.
  • As to his wife, John minds St. Paul; he’s one that has a wife, and is as if he has none.
  • As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence.
  • At a great pennyworth, pause a while.
  • At the working man’s house, hunger looks in but dares not enter.
  • At twenty years of age the will reigns, at thirty the wit, and at forty the judgment.
  • Avarice and happiness never saw each other; how then should they become acquainted.
  • Avoid dishonest gain: no price can recompense the pangs of vice.

B

  • Bargaining has neither friends nor relations.
  • Be always ashamed to catch yourself idle.
  • Be as careful of what you say as of what you do.
  • Be neither silly nor cunning, but wise.
  • Be not niggardly of what costs you nothing: as courtesy, counsel, and counte­nance.
  • Be not sick too late, nor well too soon.
  • Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
  • Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, and sloth; or the gout will seize you and plague you both.
  • Bear great things that you may not repine5 at small.
  • Bear what is inevitable without murmuring.
  • Beauty and folly are old companions.
  • Beauty without virtue is like poison concealed in a gold box.
  • Begin to be good in time, it cannot be too soon.
  • Believe not all are evil that are evil spoken of.
  • Ben beats his pate6, and fancies wit will come; but he may knock, there’s nobody at home.
  • Benevolence is commendable in all persons.
  • Best is the tongue that feels the rein; he that talks much, must talk in vain; we from the wordy torrent fly: who listens to the chattering pye7?
  • Better be alone, than in bad company.
  • Better break your word, than do evil by keeping it.
  • Better go to bed supper-less than rise in debt.
  • Better is a little with content than much with contention.
  • Better prevent a quarrel beforehand, than revenge it afterwards.
  • Better slip with foot than tongue.
  • Beware of a fine tongue if it is accustomed to flattery.
  • Beware of him that is slow to anger: he is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.
  • Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
  • Beware, beware! He’ll cheat without scruple, who can without fear.
  • Blame-all and praise-all are two blockheads.
  • Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
  • Blessed is he who learns caution from the perils of others.
  • Boasting may gain applause from fools, but it makes a wise man blush.
  • Buy what you have no need of; and ever long you shall sell your necessaries.
  • By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable.
  • By Mrs. Bridget Saunders, my duchess, in answer to the December verses of last year: he that for sake of drink neglects his trade, and spends each night in taverns till it’s late, and rises when the sun is four hours high, and never regards his starving family, God in His mercy may do much to save him. But, woe to the poor wife whose lot it is to have him.
  • By taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over he is superior.

C

  • Caesar did not merit the triumphal car more than he that conquers himself.
  • Can grave and formal pass for wise, when men the solemn owl despise?
  • Causeless suspicion often occasions the suspected to do evil, though they always did well before.
  • Cease to be vicious and you will cease to be afraid.
  • Certainly these agree: the priest, the lawyer, and death all three: death takes both the weak and the strong, the lawyer takes from both right and wrong, and the priest from living and dead has his fee.
  • Changing countries or beds cures neither a bad manager nor a fever.
  • Charity is friendship in common, and friendship is charity enclosed.
  • Christianity commands us to pass by injuries; policy, to let them pass by us.
  • Cold and cunning come from the north: but cunning sans wisdom is nothing worth.
  • Compassion and benevolence are godlike virtues.
  • Conscience is a terror to evil doers, but a comforter to good men.
  • Consider then, when you are tempted to buy any unnecessary household stuff, or any superfluous thing, whether you will be willing to pay interest, and interest upon interest for it as long as you live; and more if it grows worse by using.
  • Content and health are the poor man’s wealth.
  • Content and riches seldom meet together; riches take you, contentment I should rather have.
  • Count the world not only an inn, but a hospital; a place not only to live but also to die in.
  • Courage and clemency should never be separated.
  • Courage is the champion of justice, and never ought to be exerted but in a righteous cause.
  • Courage would fight, but discretion won’t let him.
  • Craft must be at charge for clothes, but truth can go naked.
  • Creditors have better memories than debtors.
  • Custom is the plague of wise men, and the idol of fools.

D

  • Days of pleasure too often bring on evenings of repentance.
  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
  • Death takes no bribes.
  • Defer not charities till death; he that does so is rather liberal of another man’s

wealth than his own.

  • Defer not your well-doing; be not like St. George, who is always on horseback,

and never rides on.

  • Delay is disagreeable, but may prove the parent of wisdom.
  • Deliberate long on what you can do but once.
  • Deny self for self’s sake.
  • Denying a fault doubles it.
  • Despair ruins some, presumption many.
  • Diamonds have flaws, and roses have their thorns.
  • Die to sin daily, that you may not die for it eternally.
  • Diligence is the mother of good luck.
  • Dine with little, sup with less; do better still, sleep supper-less.
  • Do good to your friend to keep him, to your enemy to gain him.
  • Do not do that which you would not have known.
  • Do nothing today that may bring repentance tomorrow.
  • Do well, and fear neither man nor devil.
  • Do what you ought, and not what you please.
  • Doing justice to worthy qualities is a credit to our judgement.
  • Don’t go to the doctor with every distemper, to the lawyer with every quarrel, or to the pot for every thirst.
  • Don’t misinform your doctor or your lawyer.
  • Don’t overload gratitude; if you do, she’ll kick.
  • Don’t think to hunt two hares with one dog.
  • Don’t throw stones at your neighbours if your own windows are glass.
  • Don’t value a man for the quality he is of, but for the qualities he possesses.
  • Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
  • Drink water, put the money in your pocket, and leave the dry belly ache in the punchbowl.
  • Drive your business; let not your business drive you.

 

E

  • Each year one vicious habit rooted out in time might make the worst man good throughout.
  • Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  • Eat few suppers, and you’ll need few medicines.
  • Eat to please yourself, but dress to please others.
  • Ever you remark another’s sin, bid your own conscience look within.
  • Employ your time well, if you mean to gain leisure.
  • Emulation is a great incitement to industry.
  • Enjoy the present hour, be mindful of the past; neither fear nor wish the approaches of the last.
  • Envy too often begets hatred and revenge.
  • Every little makes a mickle8.
  • Every man has assurance enough to boast of his honesty, few of their under-standing.
  • Every medal has its reverse; few conveniences without inconvenience.
  • Evil company makes the good bad, and the bad worse.
  • Evil dispositions need no tutors.
  • Evil habits are better conquered today than tomorrow.
  • Experience and instruction are the parents of true wisdom.
  • Experience is the best adviser, but it is better to learn from others’ experience than our own.
  • Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.
  • Extension spoils the bow, relaxation the mind.
  • External beauty will often captivate, but infernal merit secures the conquest.
  • Eyes and priests bear no jests.

F

  • Familiar conversation ought to be the school of learning and good breeding; there is a time when nothing, a time when something, but no time when all things are to be spoken.
  • Famine, plague, war, and an unnumbered throng of guilt-avenging ills, to man belong; are there not enough plagues, wars, and famines that rise to lash our crimes, but must our wives be wise?
  • Fear God, and your enemies will fear you.
  • Fear not death; for the sooner we die, the longer shall we be immortal.
  • Fear to do ill, and you need fear nought else.
  • Fine linen, girls and gold so bright, choose not to take by candlelight.
  • Fine sense and elevated sense are not as useful as common sense.
  • Firm faith is the best divinity, a good life the best philosophy, a clear conscience the best law, honesty the best policy, and temperance the best physic.
  • Fish and visitors stink in three days.
  • Fly pleasures, and they will follow you.
  • Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.
  • Fools multiply folly.
  • For £6 a year, you may have the use of £100 if you are a man of known prudence and honesty.
  • For one poor man there are a hundred indigent.
  • Force rests upon reason’s back.
  • Forget others’ faults, and remember your own.
  • Fortitude is the medium between fear and boldness.
  • Fortitude without wisdom is but rashness; wisdom without justice is but crafti­ness.
  • Fortunate is the man who learns caution from the perils of others.
  • Fortune is like a bubble which often breaks while it is shining; fortune flatters only to deceive.
  • Forewarned, forearmed; unless in the case of cuckolds9, who are often fore-armed before warned.
  • Friendship is best tried by adversity.
  • Frugality is a fortune, and industry a good estate.
  • Full of courtesy, full of craft.

 

G

 

  • Gentle replies to scurrilous language are the most severe revenge.
  • Gentleness is the best way to make a man loved and respected by O.
  • Gifts burst rocks.
  • Give me yesterday’s bread, this day’s flesh, and last year’s cider.
  • God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.
  • God helps them that help themselves.
  • Good nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance, which is more amiable than beauty.
  • Good nature is, of all virtues and qualities of the mind, the greatest, being the character of the deity.
  • Good sense is a thing all need, few have, and none think they want.
  • Good thoughts should always be encouraged to prevent bad actions.
  • Good wives and good plantations are made by good husbands.
  • Grace you your house, and let not that grace you.
  • Graft10 good fruit all, or graft not at O.
  • Gratitude is a duty none can be excused from, because it is always at our own disposal.
  • Gratitude preserves old friendship and procures new.
  • Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really and truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all.
  • Great souls with generous pity melt; which coward tyrants never felt.
  • Great spenders are bad lenders.
  • Great talkers should be croppedll, for they’ve no need of ears.
  • Greedy dispositions often lose what they possess.
  • Grief for a dead wife and a troublesome guest continues to the threshold, and there is at rest; but I mean such wives as are none of the best.

H

 

  • Half-hospitality opens his doors and shuts up his countenance.
  • Happy that nation, fortunate that age, whose history is not diverting.
  • Happy is the wooing, that’s not long a doing.
  • Have you virtue? Acquire also the graces and beauties of virtue.
  • Have nothing to do with men in a passion; for men are not like iron, to bewrought upon when hot.
  • Have you something to do tomorrow? Do it today.
  • He does not possess wealth, it possesses him.
  • He is no clown that drives the plough, but he that does clownish things.
  • He makes a foe, who makes a jest.
  • He that buys by the penny maintains not only himself, but other people.
  • He that buys upon credit pays interest for what he buys.
  • He that by the plough would thrive, himself must either hold or drive.
  • He that can compose himself, is wiser than he that composes books.
  • He that can have patience, can have what he will.
  • He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.
  • He that can travel well afoot, keeps a good horse.
  • He that cannot bear with other people’s passions, cannot govern his own.
  • He that cannot obey, cannot command.
  • He that confesses his sins, and mends not, is a praying hypocrite.
  • He that does anything in a violent passion is like one that puts to sea in themidst of a storm.
  • He that drinks his cider alone, let him catch his horse alone.
  • He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
  • He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.
  • He that goes far to marry, will either deceive or be deceived.
  • He that has neither fools, whores nor beggars among his kindred, is the son of a thunder-gust.
  • He that has not got a wife, is not yet a complete man.
  • He that has a trade, has an estate.
  • He that idly loses 5 shillings’ worth of time, loses 5 shillings; and might as prudently throw 5 shillings in the river.
  • He that is proud, breakfasts on vanity, dines on folly, and sups on contempt.
  • He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.
  • He that lives upon hope dies farting.
  • He that lives well is learned enough.
  • He that loses 5 shillings not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which by the time that a young man becomes old, amounts to a comfortable bag of money.
  • He that mocks the lame is either a fool or a madman.
  • He that pays for work before it’s done, has but a pennyworth for two pence.
  • He that pays ready money, escapes (paying interest).
  • He that pursues two hares at once does not catch one and lets the other go.
  • He that resolves to mend hereafter resolves not to mend now.
  • He that rises late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.
  • He that scatters thorns, let him not go barefoot.
  • He that sells upon trust loses many friends, and always wants money.
  • He that sows thorns should not go barefoot.
  • He that speaks much is mistaken much.
  • He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above £6 a year, which is the price of using £ 100.
  • He that steals the old man’s supper does him no wrong.
  • He that takes a wife, takes care.
  • He that waits upon fortune is never sure of a dinner.
  • He that whines for glass without g, take away 1 and that’s he.
  • He that won’t be counselled, can’t be helped.
  • He that would have a short lent, let him borrow money to be repaid at Easter.
  • He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows, nor judge all he sees.
  • He who buys needs to have a hundred eyes, but one’s enough for him that sells the stuff.
  • He who multiplies riches multiplies cares.
  • Hear no ill of a friend, nor speak any of an enemy.
  • Hear reason, or she’ll make you feel her.
  • Here comes courage! That seized the lion absent, and ran away from the present mouse.
  • Here comes glib-tongue – who can out-flatter a dedication, and lie like ten epitaphs.
  • Here comes the orator – with his flood of words, and his drop of reason.
  • He’s a fool that cannot conceal his wisdom.
  • Historians relate not so much what is done, as what they would have believed.
  • Honour your father and mother: live so as to be an honour to them though they are dead.
  • Honours change manners.
  • Hope and a red rag are baits for men and mackerel.
  • Hot things, sharp things, sweet things, cold things: all rot the teeth, and make them look like old things.
  • How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them!
  • How many observe Christ’s birth-day! How few, his precepts! Oh! It is easier to keep holidays than commandments.
  • Humility makes great men twice honourable.

I

 

  • I have never seen the philosopher’s stone that turns lead into gold, but I have known the pursuit of it turn a man’s gold into lead.
  • I never saw an oft-transplanted tree, nor yet an oft-removed family, that throve so well as those that settled be.
  • I saw few die of hunger, of eating 100,000.
  • Idleness is the greatest prodigality.
  • If any man flatters me, I’ll flatter him again as though he were my best friend.
  • If evils come not, then our fears are vain; and if they do, fear but augments the pain.
  • If pride leads the van, beggary brings up the rear.
  • If you do ill, the joy fades, not the pains; if you do well, the pain does fade, the joy remains.
  • If you have wit and learning, add to it wisdom and modesty.
  • If you injure conscience, it will have its revenge on you.
  • If you would like to live long, live well; for folly and wickedness shorten life.
  • If what most men admire, they would despise, it would look as if mankind were growing wise.
  • If wind blows on you through a hole, make your will and take care of your soul.
  • If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.
  • If you do not have sense enough to speak, have wit enough to hold your tongue.
  • If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.
  • If you have a lazy servant, send him on errands before dinner.
  • If you have time, don’t wait for time.
  • If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.
  • If you ride a horse, sit close and tight; if you ride a man, sit easy and light.
  • If you seem to approve of another man’s wit, he will allow you to have some
  • If you think twice before you speak once, you will speak twice the better for it.
  • If you want a neat wife, choose her on a Saturday12.
  • If you wish to know a man, lay his words and actions together.
  • If you wish to live long, live well; for two things shorten life: folly and wickedness.
  • If you would be revenged of your enemy, govern yourself.
  • If you would have guests merry with your cheer, be so yourself, or so at least appear.
  • If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.
  • If you would keep your secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
  • If you should be beloved, make yourself amiable.
  • If you should be wealthy, think of saving more than of getting: the Indies have not made Spain rich because her outgoings equal her incomes.
  • If you should have a servant that you like, serve yourself.
  • If you should have your shoes last, put no nails in them.
  • If you should lose a troublesome visitor, lend him money.
  • Ill company is like a dog that dirties those most that he loves best.
  • Ill customs and bad advice are seldom forgotten.
  • In a discreet man’s mouth, a public thing is private.
  • In marriage, prefer the person before wealth, virtue before beauty, and the mind before the body; then you will have a wife, a friend, and a companion, all in one.
  • In other men we faults can spy, and blame the mote13 that dims their eye, each little speck and blemish find; to our own stronger errors blind.
  • In prosperous fortunes be modest and wise; the greatest may fall, and the lowest may rise: but insolent people that fall in disgrace are wretched and nobody pities their case.
  • In success be moderate.
  • Industry need not wish.
  • Industry pays debts, but despair increases them.
  • Industry, perseverance, and frugality make fortune yield.
  • Interest – which blinds some people, enlightens others.
  • Is there any thing men take more pains about than to render themselves un‑happy?
  • It is a common remark that love and pride stock bedlam; so beware of each.
  • It is better to pay and have little left than to keep much and be always in debt.
  • It is better to take many injuries than to give one.
  • It is not as painful to an honest man to want money as to owe it.
  • It is wise not to seek a secret, and honest not to reveal it.
  • It is common for men to give six pretended reasons instead of one real one.
  • It is the easiest thing in the world for a man to deceive himself.

J

  • Jack sowed little, and little he will reap.

K

  • Kate would have Thomas, no one blame her can; Tom won’t have Kate, and who can blame the man?
  • Keen razors and sharp speeches have cutting effects.
  • Keep flax14 from fire; youth from gamingls
  • Keep good company, and you shall be one of the number.
  • Keep you from the opportunity, and God will keep you from the sin.
  • Keep your shop, and your shop will keep you.
  • Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
  • Keep your heart close, and your countenance open.
  • Kings are an honour to those who are dead.
  • Know what your duty is and do it.
  • Knowledge is a treasure, but judgment must be the treasurer.
  • Knowledge will not be acquired without attention and application.
  • Knowledge without practice in religion is like a sun without light.

L

  • Late children, early orphans.
  • Laws like cobwebs catch small flies, great ones break through before your eyes.
  • Lawyers, preachers, and tomtits’ 16 eggs – there are more of them hatched than come to perfection.
  • Lay up17 when you are young, and you will enjoy it when old.
  • Learn of the skilful: he that teaches himself has a fool for his master.
  • Learning is preferable to riches, virtue to both.
  • Lend money to an enemy, and you will gain him; to a friend and you will lose him.
  • Let a man do his best, and the world do its worst.
  • Let all men know you, but no man know you thoroughly: men freely ford18 that see the shallows.
  • Let no pleasure tempt you, no profit allure you, no ambition corrupt you, no example sway you, no persuasion move you, to do any thing which you know to be evil; so shall you always live jollily: for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.
  • Let our fathers and grandfathers be valued for their goodness, ourselves for our own.
  • Let the letter stay for the post, and not the post for the letter.
  • Let your child’s first lesson be obedience, and the second may be what you will.
  • Let your discontents be your secrets – if the world knows them, it will despise you and increase them.
  • Let your maidservant be faithful, strong, and homely.
  • Let your vices die before you; leave them before they leave you.
  • Let your zeal for truth be consistent with charity.
  • Liberality is the best way to gain affection among the poor and needy.
  • Lies stand upon one leg, but truth upon two.
  • Light gains, heavy purses.
  • Light-heeled mothers make leaden-heeled daughters.
  • Little wit serves to flatter with; for how easy do they work that go with the grain.
  • Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.
  • Love and lordship hate companions.
  • Love may be produced by choice, but you cannot get free from it easily.
  • Love not the world, nor the things of it.
  • Love your friend, but look to yourself.
  • Love, and be loved.
  • Love, cough, and a smoke, can’t well be hid.
  • Lovers, travellers, and poets will give money to be heard.
  • Lying rides upon debt’s back.

M

  • Mad kings and mad bulls are not to be held by treaties and packthread19
  • Maids of America, who gave you bad teeth? Hot soups and frozen apples.
  • Make haste slowly.
  • Man’s tongue is soft, and bone does lack; yet a stroke therewith may break a man’s back.
  • Many bad things are done only through custom.
  • Many complain of their memory; few of their judgment.
  • Many dishes, many diseases; many medicines, few cures.
  • Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
  • Many know not the value of water till the well is dry.
  • Marry above your match, and you will get a master.
  • Marry not for money only, but let love and money unite to make wedlock happy.
  • Marry your daughter and eat fresh fish betimes20.
  • Marry your son when you will, but your daughter when you can.
  • Mary’s mouth costs her nothing, for she never opens it but at others’ expense.
  • Men differ daily about things which are subject to sense; is it likely then they should agree about things invisible.
  • Men meet; mountains never.
  • Mercy to the evil proves cruelty to the innocent.
  • Merit may be hidden under a ragged coat.
  • Miseries are endless if we stand in fear of all possibilities.
  • Misfortunes none are exempt from.
  • Money and man a mutual friendship show: man makes false money, money makes man so.
  • Money and good manners make the gentleman.
  • Money is like dung: it does no good until it is spread; it is the use, and not the possession of it, that makes us happy.
  • Money is the miser’s God which he daily worships.
  • More perish through too much confidence than too much fear.

N

  • Necessity has no law; I know some attorneys of the name.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Necessity never made a good bargain.
  • Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
  • Neither a fortress nor a maidenhead21 will hold out long after they begin to parley22.
  • Neither praise nor dispraise, till seven Christmases be over.
  • Never do anything you are likely to repent of.
  • Never entreat a servant to dwell with you.
  • Never promise what you cannot perform.
  • No gains without pains.
  • No longer virtuous, no longer free: a maxim as true with regard to a private person as a commonwealth.
  • No man ever was glorious, who was not laborious.
  • No man is master of himself, so long as he is a slave to either passion or pleasure.
  • No man is truly wise or safe, that has not the fear of God before his eyes.
  • No man was ever cast down by fortune’s frowns, but he suffered himself to be deceived by her favours.
  • No resolution of repenting hereafter can be sincere.
  • No wood without bark.
  • No workman without tools, nor lawyer without fools, can live by their rules.
  • Nobility may be without merit, as well as merit without nobility.
  • None are deceived but they that confide.
  • None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in an error.
  • None know the unfortunate, and the fortunate do not know themselves.
  • None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.
  • Nothing brings more pain than too much pleasure; nothing more bondage than too much libertinism.
  • Nothing but money is sweeter than honey.
  • Nothing is as honourable as an old friendship.
  • Nothing is as popular as goodness.
  • Now that I’ve a sheep and a cow, everybody bids me good morrow.

O

  • 0 lazy-bones! Do you think God would have given you arms and legs if he had not designed for you to use them.
  • Obey the magistrate and the laws, but not servilely23.
  • Observe ceremonies, but not superstitiously.
  • Observe the means, the motive and the end; mending ourselves, or striving still to mend.
  • Of learned fools I have seen ten times ten; of unlearned wise men I have seen a hundred.
  • Old maids lead apes there, where the old bachelors are turned to apes.
  • One cannot spend time better than in learning to spend it well.
  • One good husband is worth two good wives; for the scarcer the things are, the more they are valued.
  • One man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than everybody else.
  • One mend-fault is worth two find-faults, but one find-fault is better than two make-faults.
  • Only good and wise men can be real friends.
  • Opinion is the chief thing which does good or harm in the world; it is our false opinion of things which ruins us.
  • Opportunity is the great bawd24.
  • Our happiness depends more on mental content than bodily enjoyments.
  • Our pleasures, for the most part, are short, false, and deceitful; and, like drunkenness, revenge the madness of one hour with the sad repentance of many.
  • Our soul sincere, our purpose fair and free, without vainglory or hypocrisy: thankful if well; if ill, we kiss the rod; resign with hope, and put our trust in God.

P

  • Pain wastes the body; pleasures the understanding.
  • Parents are commonly more careful to bestow on their children the art of speaking well, rather than of doing well;    but their manners ought to be their chief concern.
  • Passion is a sort of fever in the mind – which ever leaves us weaker than it found us.
  • Passion makes them fools which otherwise are not so, and shows them to be fools, which are so.
  • Passions are good servants but bad masters.
  • Patience so strongly resembles fortitude, that she is reputed to be either her daughter or sister.
  • Pay well and you will never want workmen.
  • Pay what you owe, and you’ll know what’s your own.
  • Penny wise, pound foolish.
  • Physic has not more remedies against the diseases of the body, than reason has preservatives against the passions of the mind.
  • Poverty wants some things, luxury many things, avarice all things.
  • Poverty, poetry, and new titles of honour make men ridiculous.
  • Prayers and provender hinder no journey.
  • Pretend not to govern others until you can govern yourself.
  • Pride and ill-nature will be hated in spite of all the wealth and greatness in the world.
  • Pride and the gout are seldom cured throughout.
  • Pride had rather go out of the way, than walk behind.
  • Pride should be by young men carefully avoided, by old men utterly despised, and by all men generally discountenanced.
  • Proclaim not all you know, all you owe, all you have, nor all you can do.
  • Promises may get you friends, but non-performance will turn them into ene­mies.
  • Prosperity is not without its troubles, nor adversity without its comforts.
  • Proud men never have friends; neither in prosperity, because they know nobody, or in adversity, because then nobody knows them.
  • Prudence governs the wise, but profit the major part of mankind.
  • Quarrels never could last long if on one side only lay the wrong.
  • Raillery26 must be fine and delicate, and such as rather serves to heighten conversation, than offend the persons who compose the assembly.

R

  • Rather go to bed supper-less, than run in debt for a breakfast.
  • Read much, but not many books.
  • Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.
  • Real friends are like ghosts and apparitions; what many persons talk of but few ever saw.
  • Receive before you write, but write before you pay.
  • Recreations moderately used are profitable to the body for health and to the mind for refreshment; but it is a note of a vain mind to be running after every vain pomp or show.
  • Rectitude of will is a greater ornament than brightness of understanding; and to be divinely good, more valuable than any other wisdom and knowledge.
  • Reputation is often got without merit, and lost without crime.
  • Rhetoric in serious discourses is like the flower in corn; pleasing to those who come only for amusement but prejudicial to him who would reap profit from it.
  • Riches are gotten with pain, kept with care, and lost with grief; the cares of riches lie heavier upon a good man, than the inconveniences of an honest poverty.
  • Riches may be admitted into our houses, but not into our hearts.
  • Rob not for burnt offerings.

S

  • Sacrifice not your conscience for money.
  • Sam’s religion is like a cheddar cheese; it is made of the milk of one and twenty parishes.
  • Save and have.
  • Search not a wound too deep, lest you make it worse.
  • Search others for their virtues, yourself for your vices.
  • Seek virtue and possess it; to providence, resign the rest.
  • Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.
  • She that paints her face, thinks of her tail.
  • Silks and satins put out the kitchen fire.
  • Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden but it is forbidden because it is hurtful; nor is a duty beneficial because it is commanded, but it is commanded because it is beneficial.
  • Since I cannot govern my own tongue, though within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongues of others?
  • Since you are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.
  • Since you are not certain of an hour, never throw away a minute.
  • Slander is like flies, it leaps over all a man’s whole parts to light upon his sores.
  • Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears: the used key is always bright.
  • Sloth and silence are a fool’s virtues.
  • Some are justly laughed at for keeping their money foolishly, others for spend­ing it idly: he is the greatest fool that lays it out in a purchase of repentance.
  • Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise.
  • Some enemies as well as friends are necessary; they make us more circumspect, diligent, wise, and good.
  • Some men grow mad by studying much to know, but who grows mad by studying good to grow?
  • Some would be thought to do great things, who are but tools and instruments; like the fool that fancied he played upon the organ when he only blew the bellows.
  • Sorrow is dry.
  • Spare when young, and spend when old.
  • Speak and speed: the closed mouth catches no flies.
  • Speak with contempt of none, from slave to king; the meanest bee has, and will use, a sting.
  • Squirrel-like, she covers her back with her tail.
  • Strange! That a man who has wit enough to write a satire should have folly
  •  
    Strange, that he who lives by shifts can seldom shift himself.
  • Strive to be the greatest man in your country, and you may be disappointed; strive to be the best, and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself‘z7.
  • Study more how to the than how to live.
  • Suspicion always paints in the darkest colours.
  • Suspicious minds never want rumours to supply their mistrust.

T

  • Take courage, mortal; death can’t banish you out of the universe.
  • Take heed of whom, what, and to whom you speak.
  • Take this remark from Richard poor and lame: whatever’s begun in anger ends in shame.
  • Tart words make no friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.
  • Teach your child to hold his tongue; he will learn fast enough to speak.
  • Tell a friend his faults, but do not blaze them.
  • Tell not your secrets to your servant, for he will then be your master.
  • Tell a miser he is rich and a woman she’s old – you will get no money of one, nor kindness of the other.
  • The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.
  • The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest.
  • The best way to humble a proud man is to take no notice of him.
  • The church, the state, and the poor are three daughters which we should maintain but not portion off.
  • The creditors are a superstitious sect; great observers of set days and times.
  • The cunning man steals a horse; the wise man lets him alone.
  • The devil sweetens poison with honey.
  • The excellency of hogs is fatness, of men virtue.
  • The eye of a master will do more work than his hand.
  • The family of fools is ancient.
  • The gaudy28 fops his picture just.
  • The generous mind least regards money, and yet most feels the want of it.
  • The good or ill hap29 of a good or ill life is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife.
  • The good paymaster is lord of another man’s purse.
  • The good spinner has a large shift.
  • The greatest monarch on the proudest throne is obliged to sit upon his own use.
  • The king’s cheese is half wasted in parings: but no matter, it is made of the people’s milk.
  • The less wisdom a man has, the less he knows that he wants it.
  • The magistrate should obey the laws; the people should obey the magistrate.
  • The masterpiece of man is to live to the purpose.
  • The misers’ cheese is the most wholesome.
  • The most exquisite folly is made of wisdom spun too fine.
  • The nearest way to come to glory is to do that for conscience which we do for glory.
  • The noblest question in the world is what good may I do in it?
  • The painful preacher, like a candle bright, consumes himself in giving others light.
  • The poor have little, beggars none, the rich too much; enough not one.
  • The poor man must walk to get meat for his stomach, the rich man to get a stomach to his meat.
  • The rotten apple spoils his companion.
  • The same man cannot be both friend and flatterer.
  • The sleeping fox catches no poultry.
  • The sting of a reproach is the truth of it.
  • The sun never repents of the good he does, nor does he ever demand a recom­pense.
  • The things which hurt, instruct.
  • The thrifty maxim of the wary Dutch is to save all the money they can touch.
  • The tongue is ever turning to the aching tooth.
  • The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money.
  • The vanity of human life is like a river, constantly passing away and yet constantly coming on.
  • The virtue of prosperity is gratitude and temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude and resignation.
  • The wise one listens to half the word.
  • The world is full of fools and faint hearts; yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes and wisdom enough to manage the affairs of his neighbour.
  • The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.
  • There are a thousand fops made by art, for one fool that is made by nature.
  • There are lazy minds as well as lazy bodies.