Click picture to ZOOM


see: "SNOW"
see: "NATURE" for other related links
see: "TIME" for other related links

The English winter — ending in July,
To recommence in August.
--Lord Byron [George Gordon Byron] (1788—1824)
English Romantic poet and satirist.
_Don Juan_ [1819-24]

In the midst of winter, I finally learned that
there was in me an invincible summer.
--Albert Camus (1913—1960)
French novelist, dramatist, and essayist who won
the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature.
_L'Ιtι_ (The Summer) [1954], "Return to Tipasa"

Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh,
Through the white and drifted snow.
--Lydia Marie Child (1802—1880)
American abolitionist and suffragist.
_Flowers for Children_ [1844-46], st. I "Thanksgiving Day"

The hard soil and four months of snow make the
inhabitant of the northern temperate zones wiser
and abler than the fellow who enjoys the fixed
smile of the tropics.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Essays_, First Series [1841], "Prudence"

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
--Robert Frost (1874—1963)
American poet.
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" l. 1 [1923]

Every mile is two in winter.
--George Herbert (1593—1633)
English religious poet.
_Jacula Prudentum_ (Outlandish Proverbs), #949 [1640]

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member —
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, —
--Thomas Hood (1799—1845)
English poet and humorist.
"No!" [1844]

On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence.
--John Keats (1795—1821)
English poet.
"On the Grasshopper and Cricket" [30 December 1816]

The most serious charge which can be brought
against New England is not Puritanism but
--Joseph Wood Krutch (1893—1970)
American critic and naturalist.
_The Twelve Seasons_ [1949]

There seems to be so much more
winter than we need this year.
--Kathleen Norris (1880—1966)
American author.
_Bread into Roses_ [1936]


"Ancient Music" [1917]
by Ezra Pound (1885—1972)
American expatriate poet and critic
(Parody of the 13th century "Cuckoo Song" - see SUMMER.)

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn yiu, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddam, DAMM.


A tedious season they await
Who hear November at the gate.
--Alexander Pushkin (1799—1837)
Russian poet.
"Eugene Onegin" [1833]

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_King Richard III_, I. i [1591]

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
--Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792—1822)
English poet.
_Ode to the West Wind_, l. 70 [1819]

Vermont has nine months of winter and three
months of damned poor sledding.
--Vermont saying

To shorten the winter, borrow
some money due in the spring.
--W.J. Vogel,
in Paul Dickson, comp. _The Official Explanations_ [1980].

We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No clouds above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
--John Greenleaf Whittier (1807—1892)
American poet.
"Snow-Bound" [1866]



see: "KNOWLEDGE" for related links

Amnesty, that noble word, the genuine dictate of wisdom.
--Aeschines (c. 390—314? B.C.)
Athenian orator.
"Oration against Ctesiphon" [330 B.C.]

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.
--Aeschylus (525—456 B.C.)
Greek tragic dramatist.
Quoted in Edmund Henry Barker _Classical Recreations:
Interspersed with Much Biblical Criticism_ [1812].

In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining
that thou has attained it thou art a fool.
--Simeon ben Azza
Jewish scholar of the second century.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Treasury of Thought_ [15th ed. 1894].

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.
--Aristotle (384—322 B.C.)
Greek philosopher.
_Nicomachean Ethics_, bk. V [c. 350 B.C.]


It is impossible to love and to be wise.
--Francis Bacon (1561—1626)
English philosopher and essayist.
_Essays_ [1625], "Of Love"

Histories make men wise.
--Francis Bacon (1561—1626)
English philosopher and essayist.
"Of Studies" in _The Works af Francis Bacon_, v. 1, p. 168 [1825].


I'm not young enough to know everything.
--Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860—1937)
Scottish writer and dramatist.
_The Admirable Crichton_, act 1, [performed 1902, published 1914].


FROM THE NY TIMES MAGAZINE [9 March 1997] p. 65:

Here's a story. A man went to a rabbi and asked,
"Rabbi, you're a wise man, how is it that you're wise?"

And the rabbi replied, "Study and hard work."

Then the man asked, "What made you study and work hard?"

And the Rabbi replied, "A lot of experience."

"And how'd you get a lot of experience?"

And the rabbi answered, "I had good judgment."

And the man then asked, "What gave you good judgment?"

And the Rabbi said, "A lot of bad experiences."

--Daniel Bell, 77, Sociologist



Whoso findeth me [wisdom] findeth life.
"Proverbs" 8:35

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
"Romans" 1:22 KJV

For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that
increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
"Ecclesiastes" 1:18


Arrogance is the obstruction of wisdom.
--Bion the Borysthenite (325?—255? B.C.)
Greek popular philosopher.
Quoted in _Proverbs; Or, the Manual of Wisdom_ [2nd ed., 1804].

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
--William Blake (1757—1827)
English poet.
_The Marriage of Heaven and Hell_ [1790-93], "Proverbs of Hell"


The Ten Cannots [1916]

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative
and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could
and should do for themselves.

--Rev. William John Henry Boetcker (1873—1962)
German-born American minister and author.


I have observed that in comedies the best actor
plays the droll, while some scrub rogue is made
the fine gentleman or hero. Thus it is in the farce
of life. Wise men spend their time in mirth; it is
only fools who are serious.
--Henry Saint John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (1678—1751)
English politician and philosopher.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Treasury of Thought_, p. 75 [15th ed. 1894].

Proverbs are potted wisdom.
--Charles Buxton (1823—1871)
English author.
_Notes of Thought_ [2nd ed., 1883]

Wise men learn more from fools,
than fools from the wise.
--Marcus Porcius Cato [byname Cato The Censor, or Cato The Elder] (234—149 B.C.)
Roman statesman, orator, and the first Latin prose writer of importance.
Attributed in _ Plutarch's Lives_ (John Langhorne & William Langhorne edition) [1770].

Short sentences drawn from a long experience.
--Miguel de Cervantes (1547—1616)
Spanish novelist.
Attributed in "Atlantic Monthly" [February 1863].

Be wiser than other people, if you
can; but do not tell them so.
--Lord Chesterfield [Philip Dormer Stanhope] (1694—1773)
British writer and politician.
Letter to his son [19 November 1745].

In those days he was wiser than he is now;
he used frequently to take my advice.
--Winston Churchill (1874—1965)
British Conservative statesman and Prime Minister [1940-45, 1951-55].
Attributed in Laurence J. Peter _Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time_ [1977].

The wise are instructed by reason, ordinary minds by
experience; the stupid by necessity; and brutes, by
--Marcus Tullius Cicero (106—43 B.C.)
Roman orator and statesman.
Quoted in Charles Simmons _A Laconic Manual and Brief Remarker_, p. 273 [1852].


The dwarf sees farther than the giant, when
he has the giant's shoulders to mount on.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772—1834)
English poet, critic, and philosopher.
_The Friend_, vol. 2 "On The Principles of Political Knowledge" [1828]

Common sense in an uncommon degree
is what the world calls wisdom.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772—1834)
English poet, critic, and philosopher.
"Notes on Hacket"


To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.
--J. Churton Collins (1884—1908)
British author, critic, and scholar.
Attributed in Logan Pearsall Smith _A Treasury of English Aphorisms_ [1928].


A man who knows the world will not only make the most of
every thing he does know, but of many things that he does
not know; and will gain more credit by his adroit mode of
hiding his ignorance, than the pedant by his awkward
attempt to exhibit his erudition.
--C.C. Colton (1780—1832)
English clergyman and writer.
_Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words_, CXLVII [1823 ed.]

Be very slow to believe that you are wiser than all others;
it is a fatal but common error. Where one has been saved
by a true estimation of another's weakness, thousands
have been destroyed by a false appreciation of their
own strength.
--C.C. Colton (1780—1832)
English clergyman and writer.
_Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words_, CXCI [1823 ed.]


Defer not till to-morrow to be wise,
To-morrow's sun to thee may never rise.
--William Congreve (1670—1729)
English dramatist.
Letter to Cobham.

Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
--William Cowper (1731—1800)
English poet and hymnodist.
_The Task_ [1785] bk. 6 "Winter Walk at Noon", l. 96

The fool wonders, the wise man asks.
--Benjamin Disraeli (1804—1881)
British Tory statesman, novelist, and Prime Minister [1868, 1874-80].
_Ixion in Heaven_, IV, i [1834]

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience
of ages, may be preserved by quotation.
--Isaac D'Israeli (1766—1848)
English author and the father of Benjamin Disraeli.
_Curiosities of Literature_ (1791-1834), "Quotation"

What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes? Take fifty of our
current proverbial sayings — they are so trite, so threadbare, that we
can hardly bring our lips to utter them. None the less they embody
the concentrated experience of the race, and the man who orders
his life according to their teaching cannot go far wrong. How easy
that seems! Has any one ever done so? Never. Has any man ever
attained to inner harmony by pondering the experiences of others?
Not since the world began! He must pass through the fire.
--Norman Douglas (1868—1952)
Austrian-born British novelist and essayist.
_South Wind_ [1917], ch.13

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely
once they exhausted all other alternatives.
--Abba Eban [Aubrey Solomon] (1915—2002)
Foreign minister of Israel [1966-74].
Speech in London [16 December 1970].

He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his
mistakes, will never be wiser on the morrow than he
is today.
--Tryon Edwards (1809—1894)
American theologian.
Attributed in _Oregon Teachers' Monthly_ [February 1916].


The hard soil and four months of snow make the
inhabitant of the northern temperate zones wiser
and abler than the fellow who enjoys the fixed
smile of the tropics.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Essays_, First Series [1841], "Prudence"

To finish the moment, to find the journey's end
in every step of the road, to live the greatest
number of good hours, is wisdom.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Essays: Second Series_ [1844], "Experience"

The years teach much which the days never knew.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Society and Solitude_ [1870], "Works and Days"


He is a wise man who does not grieve for the
things which he has not, but rejoices for those
which he has.
--Epictetus (55—135)
Greek philosopher.
_Fragment_ #129, tr. George Long [1890]

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough
not to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
--William Faulkner (1897—1962)
American novelist.
_Sartoris_ [1929], pt I, ch. 2


Tim was so learned, that he could name a Horse
in nine Languages. So ignorant that he bought
a Cow to ride on.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790)
American politician, inventor, and scientist.
_Poor Richard's Almanack_ [1750]

Where Sense is wanting, every thing is wanting.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790)
American politician, inventor, and scientist.
_Poor Richard's Almanack_ [1754]

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.
Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790)
American politician, inventor, and scientist.
_Poor Richard's Almanack_ [July 1755]

& note:

Not a tenth Part of this Wisdom was my own [...]
but rather the Gleanings I had made of the Sense
of all Ages and Nations.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790)
American politician, inventor, and scientist.
(On the sayings and maxims, in his _Poor Richard's Almanack_,
"The Way to Wealth" [7 July 1757]. Between 1733 and 1758,
Franklin published 1044 sayings in his _Almanacks_. He drew
them mostly from several popular collections of sayings published
in England during the previous 100 years. While modifying and
polishing many, he himself, according to Wolgang Mieder (editor
of _Dictionary of American Proverbs_, 1991), coined no more
than 20 of the sayings. - Q)


A wise man may look ridiculous in the company of fools.
--Thomas Fuller (1654—1734)
English writer and physician.
Comp., _Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs_ [1732]

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too
proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-ful
to seek other than itself.
--Kahlil Gibran (1883—1931)
Lebanese poet.
_Sand and Foam_ [1926]

A collection of anecdotes and maxims is the greatest of treasures for
the man of the world, for he knows how to intersperse conversation
with the former in fit places, and to recollect the latter on proper
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749—1832)
German poet, novelist, and playwright.
_Maxims and Reflections_, vol. III [1819]


A wise man gets more use from his
enemies than a fool from his friends.
--Baltasar Graciαn (1601—1658)
Spanish Jesuit philosopher.
_The Art of Worldly Wisdom_ [1647]

Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone.
--Baltasar Graciαn (1601—1658)
Spanish Jesuit philosopher.
_The Art of Worldly Wisdom_ [1647]


Bromidic though it may sound, some questions *don't*
have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn.
--Katharine Graham (1917—2001)
American publisher.
Quoted by Jane Howard in "Ms." magazine [October 1974].

Where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
--Thomas Gray (1716—1771)
English poet.
"Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" l. 19 [1747]

Not to know certain things is a great part of wisdom.
--Hugo Grotius (1583—1645)
Dutch philosopher. playwright, and poet.
Quoted in Bernard Lambert Meulenbroek _The
Poetry of Hugo Grotius_ , vol. 1, pt. 2 [1970].

The road to wisdom? Well, it's plain
And simple to express:
And err
And err again
But less
And less
And less.
--Piet Hein (1905—1996)
Danish poet and mathematician.
"The Road to Wisdom?"


Goodness alone is *never* enough. A hard, cold wisdom
is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness
without wisdom always accomplishes evil.
--Robert A(nson) Heinlein (1907—1988)
American science-fiction writer.
_Stranger In A Strange Land_ [1961]

Age does not bring wisdom. Often it
merely changes simple stupidity into
arrogant conceit.
--Robert Heinlein (1907—1988)
American science-fiction writer.
_Time Enough For Love_ [1973]


He that is not handsome at twenty, nor strong
at thirty, nor rich at forty, nor wise at fifty, will
never be handsome, strong, rich, or wise.
--George Herbert (1593—1633)
English religious poet.
_Jacula Prudentum_ (Outlandish Proverbs) [1640], #349

Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.
--Hermann Hesse (1877—1962)
German novelist, poet, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.
_Siddhartha_ [1922], Ch. 2


It is the province of knowledge to speak, and
it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809—1894)
American physician, poet, and essayist.
_The Poet at the Breakfast-Table_ [1872]

What gems of painting or statuary are in the world of art,
or what flowers are in the world of nature, are gems of
thought to the cultivated and the thinking.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809—1894)
American physician, poet, and essayist.
Quoted in Julia B. Hoitt _Excellent Quotations For Home and School_, p. iv [1890].


Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.
--Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus] (65—8 BC)
Roman poet.
Lib. i. Ep. ii. 39 (Cowley trans.)
Quoted in _Rambler_, no. 108 [30 March 1751].

Some are wise, and some are otherwise.
--James Howell (1593—1666)
British writer.
_Paroimiographia: Proverbs, or Old Sayed Sawes and Adages_ [1659]

Every man is a dam fool for at least ten minutes a
day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.
--Elbert Hubbard (1859—1915)
American editor, publisher, and author who died in the sinking of the "Lusitania".
"The Philistine" magazine, published [1895-1915], this entry from vol. 29 [1909].

Caution is the eldest child of wisdom.
--Victor Hugo (1802—1885)
French poet, dramatist, and novelist.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Edge-Tools of Speech_, p. 59 [1886].

It takes a clever man to turn cynic and a
wise man to be clever enough not to.
--Fannie Hurst (1889—1968)
American novelist and dramatist.
_ A President Is Born_ [1928]


Proverbs are always platitudes until you have
personally experienced the truth of them.
--Aldous Huxley (1894—1963)
English novelist (grandson of T.H. Huxley.)
_Jesting Pilate_, ch. 4 [1926]

Ours is a world in which knowledge
accumulates and wisdom decays.
--Aldous Huxley (1894—1963)
English novelist (Grandson of T.H. Huxley.).
"Censorship and Spoken Literature" in _Tomorrow and
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Other Essays_ [1956].


May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.
--Irish toast

No man is ever old enough to know better.
--attributed to Holbrook Jackson (1874—1948)
British journalist, writer, and publisher.

The art of being wise is the art
of knowing what to overlook.
--William James (1842—1910)
American philosopher.
_The Principles of Psychology_ [1890]

The wise know too well their weakness to
assume infallibility; and he who knows most,
knows best how little he knows.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743—1826)
American statesman and president [1801-09].
In a legal brief [31 July 1810].

The most pathetic person in the world is
someone who has sight but has no vision.
--Helen Keller (1880—1968)
American author and educator who was blind and deaf.
Attributed in Carolyn Warner (ed.) _The Last
Word: A Treasury of Women's Quotes_ [1992].


It is easier to be wise for others than for oneself.
--Franηois de La Rochefoucauld (1613—1680)
French classical author.
_Maxims_ [1665], #132, tr. Louis Kronenberger [1959]

Few things are needed to make a wise man happy;
nothing can make a fool content; that is why most
men are miserable.
--Franηois de La Rochefoucauld (1613—1680)
French classical author.
_Pensιes de La Rochefoucauld_ (ed. Claude Barbin) [1693]
"Third Supplement" Maxim LXXX


When the wise man learns the Way
He tries to live by it.
When the average man learns the Way
He lives by only part of it.
When the fool learns the Way
He laughs at it.
Yet if the fool did not laugh at it,
It would not be the Way.
Indeed; if you are seeking the Way
Listen for the laughter of fools.
--Lao-tzu (c. 6th cent. B.C.)
The first philosopher of Chinese Taoism and alleged author of
the _Tao-te Ching_ (Chinese: Classic of the Way of Power).

Fools learn nothing from wise men,
but wise men learn much from fools.
--Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741—1801)
Swiss writer, Protestant pastor, and founder of physiognomics.
Boston University School of Education
_American Education_ [September 1903 issue]
(This quote is also sometimes identified as a Dutch proverb.)

It's so simple to be wise. Just think
of something stupid to say and say
the opposite.
--Sam Levenson (1911—1980)
Attributed in William Safire & Leonard Safir
_Words of Wisdom: More Good Advice_ [1989].

It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the
music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
--Walter Lippmann (1889—1974)
American journalist.
_A Preface to Morals_ [1929]

Few of the many wise apothegms which have
been uttered from the time of the seven sages
of Greece to that of poor Richard, have
prevented a single foolish action.
--Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800—1859)
English politician and historian.
_Machiavelli_ [March 1827]

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.
You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
--Naguib Mahfouz (1911—2006)
Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Quoted in Michael J. Gelb _Thinking For a Change_ [1996].


From the earliest times, the old have rubbed it into the
young that they are wiser than they, and before the young
had discoverd what nonsense this was they were old too,
and it profited them to carry on the imposture.
--W. Somerset Maugham (1874—1965)
English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.
_Cakes and Ale_, ch. 11 [1930]

If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become
a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.
--W. Somerset Maugham (1874—1965)
English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.
_A Writer's Notebook_ [1949]


It is not white hair that engenders wisdom.
--Menander (343?—291 B.C.)
Greek dramatist.
Unidentified fragment 639

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar
doctrine that age brings wisdom.
--H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880—1956)
American journalist and literary critic.
_Prejudices: Third Series_ [1922], ch. 3


A wise man sees as much as he
ought, not as much as he can.
--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533—1592)
French moralist and essayist.
_Essais_ (Essays), bk. 2, ch. 8 [pub. 1580-88].

Wisdom hath her excesses, and no
less need of moderation than folly.
--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533—1592)
French moralist and essayist.
_Essais_ (Essays), bk. 3, ch. 5 [pub. 1580-88].

We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge,
but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533—1592)
French moralist and essayist.
Attributed in "Forbes" [1994].


I know not what I may appear to the world, but to
myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing
on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and
then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell
than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay
all undiscovered before me.
--Sir Isaac Newton (1642—1727)
English mathematician and physicist.
Quoted in David Brewster _Memoirs of the Life,
Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton_ [1855].


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr (1892—1971)
American theologian.
"The Serenity Prayer" [1936]
With slightly different wording, the first four lines above were
attributed to Niebuhr in the "New York Times" on 2 August 1942.


Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent
than the one that went before it and wiser than the
one that comes after it.
--George Orwell [Eric Blair] (1903—1950)
English novelist.
_The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George
Orwell_ ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus [1968].

Knowledge is the treasure, but judgment the treasurer
of a wise man. He that has more knowledge than
judgment is made for another man's use more
than his own.
--William Penn (1644—1718)
Quaker leader and advocate of religious freedom who oversaw
the founding of the American Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as
a refuge for Quakers and other religious minorities of Europe.
_Some Fruits of Solitude_ [1693]

Wise men speak because they have something to say;
fools, because they would like to say something.
--Plato (427?—347 B.C.)
Greek philosopher.
Attributed in Tryon Edwards _A Dictionary of Thoughts_, p. 560 [1891].

He gains wisdom in a happy way, who
gains it by another's experience.
--Titus Maccius Plautus (254—184 B.C.)
Roman comic dramatist.
_Mercator_, IV, vii


A man should never be ashamed to own he
has been in the wrong, which is but saying,
in other words, that he is wiser today than
he was yesterday.
--Alexander Pope (1688—1744)
English poet.
_Thoughts on Various Subjects_ [1727]

What is it to be wise?
'Tis but to know how little can be known
To see all others' faults
And feel our own.
--Alexander Pope (1688—1744)
English poet.
_Essay on Man_ [1734]



From the errors of others a wise man corrects his own.
--Publilius Syrus (85—43 B.C.)
Latin writer of mimes who was originally a slave.
Attributed in D. E. MacDonnel _A Dictionary of
Select and Popular Quotations_, p. 75 [1850 ed.].

A wise man rules his passions, a fool obeys them.
--Publilius Syrus (85—43 B.C.)
Latin writer of mimes who was originally a slave.
In D. Lyman _The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus_ [1856].


The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish
defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.
--Marie-Jeanne Roland de la Platiθre [Madame Roland] (1754—1793)
French writer and political figure.
Attributed in J. De Finod (collected and translated)
_A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness_ [1881].

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
--Bertrand Russell (1872—1970)
British philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel laureate.
Paraphrased by Joseph Henry Woodger in
_Biological Principles: A Critical Study_ [1929].

[Definition of a proverb:]
One man's wit, and all men's wisdom.
--John Russell (1792—1878)
British statesman.
Quoted in _Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh_
(ed. Robert James Mackintosh [1835], entry for 6 October 1823.

It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to
judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself
rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom.
--Antoine de Saint-Exupιry (1900—1944)
French novelist.
_The Little Prince_ (Le Petit Prince), ch. 10 [1943]

Almost every wise saying has an opposite
one, no less wise, to balance it.
--George Santayana (1863—1952)
Spanish-born philosopher and critic.
_The Life of Reason_, vol V "Reason in Science" [1906]

You must not quote to me what
I once said. I am wiser now.
--attributed to Romy Schneider [Rosemarie Magdalene Albach] (1938—1982)
Austrian actress.

No man is the wiser for his learning;
wit and wisdom are born with a man.
--John Selden (1584—1654)
English historian.
_Table Talk_ [1689], "Learning"


Many men would have arrived at wisdom had they not
believed themselves to have arrived there already.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.— 65 A.D.)
Roman philosopher and poet.
"Of Peace of Mind" in _Minor Dialogues_ tr. Aubrey Stewart [1889].

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso
that I should keep it shut up and refrain
from declaring it, I should refuse. There's
no delight in owning anything unshared.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.—65 A.D.)
Roman philosopher and poet.
_Moral Letters to Lucilius_ tr. Richard M. Gummere [1918]

The Wise Man can receive neither Injury nor Insult.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.— 65 A.D.)
Roman philosopher and poet.
"On the Firmness of the Wise Man" in _Moral Essays_ tr. John W. Basore [1928].



Wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerily seek how to redress their harms.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_King Henry VI, Part 3_, IV, iv [1590-91]

Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_Romeo and Juliet_, II, iii [1595-96]

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise
man knows himself to be a fool.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_As You Like It_, V, i [1599]

Brevity is the soul of wit.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_Hamlet_ [1601], II, ii, l. 90

Speak of them as they are; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice; then you must speak
Of one that lov'd not wisely, but too well.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_Othello_, V, ii [1604-05]


Remember that in all miseries lamenting
becomes fools, and action, wise folk.
--Sir Philip Sidney (1554—1586)
English soldier, poet, and courtier.
Quoted in Jane Porter (ed.) _Aphorisms of Sir Philip Sidney_ [1807].

The wiser you get on the inside, the uglier you get on
the outside. The world's great gurus have beautiful
things to say but they generally look like shit.
--Grace Slick (b. 1939)
American rock singer, lead singer of "Jefferson Airplane" and "Jefferson Starship."
_Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir_ [1998]

[...] Accordingly I went to one [man] who had the reputation of
wisdom, and observed to him — his name I need not mention;
he was a politician whom I selected for examination — and the
result was as follows: When I began to talk with him, I could
not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was
thought wise by many, and wiser still by himself; and I went
and tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but
was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated
me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present
and heard me. So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away:
Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything
really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is — for he
knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor
think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have
slightly the advantage of him. Then I went to another, who had
still higher philosophical pretensions, and my conclusion was
exactly the same. I made another enemy of him, and of many
others besides him.
--Socrates (470?—399 B.C.)
Greek philosopher.
In Plato (427?—347 B.C.), _Apology_

Wisdom is a curse when wisdom does
nothing for the man who has it.
--Sophocles (496?—406 B.C.)
Greek dramatist.
_Oedipus the King_ [c. 429 B.C.]

But the desire of knowledge, like the thirst of
riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it.
--Laurence Sterne (1713—1768)
English novelist.
_Tristram Shandy_, bk. II, ch. 3 [1760]

When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange—my youth.
--Sara Teasdale (1884—1933)
American poet.
Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1918.
"Wisdom" in Harper's (mag), vol. 134 [1917].

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
--Edward Thorndike (1874—1949)
American educator and psychologist.
Quoted in "Forbes" [1950].

He who thinks himself wise,
O heavens! is a great fool.
--Voltaire (Franηois Marie Arouet) (1694—1778)
French writer and philosopher.
_Le Droit du Seigneur_, IV, i [5 acts, performed 1762, published 1763]

Three things it is best to avoid: a strange dog,
a flood, and a man who thinks he is wise.
--Welsh Proverb

It takes a wise man to recognize a wise man.
--Xenophanes (c. 560—478 B.C.),
Greek philosopher and poet.
In Diogenes Laertius _Lives of Eminent Philosophers_, bk. IX.

Be wise with speed;
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
--Edward Young (1683—1765)
English poet.
"Love of Fame" Satire II, l. 281. [1727]


A wise husband will buy his wife such fine china
she won't trust him to wash the dishes.
In "The Railroad Telegrapher" [1944].


The strong young man at the construction site
was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a
feat of strength. He made a special case of
making fun of one of the older workmen. After
several minutes, the older worker had had

"Why don't you put your money where your
mouth is," he said. "I will bet a week's wages
that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow
over to that outbuilding that you won't be
able to wheel back."

"You're on, old man," the braggart replied.
"Let's see what you got."

The old man reached out and grabbed the
wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding
to the young man, he said, "All right. Get in."


adage [AD-ij], noun:
An old saying, which has obtained credit
by long use; a proverb.
Synonyms: aphorism, proverb, saw, saying

apothegm (noun) ['ζ-pκ-them]
A terse saying that sums up a philosophical insight or conclusion;
a maxim, an aphorism. A short, witty, and instructive saying.
Synonyms: adage, aphorism, maxim, proverb, saw.

gnomic [NOH-mik], adjective:
Uttering, containing, or characterized by maxims; wise and pithy.

judicious (adj.) [ju-'di-shκs]
Wise in a particular instance, showing sound judgement.
"Judiciously" is the adjective and "judiciousness," the
noun. The near synonym, "prudent," implies judicious

palladian [puh-LEY-dee-uhn], adjective:
Pertaining to wisdom, knowledge, or study.

perspicacity (noun) [pκr-spκ-'kζ-si-ti]
The ability to see things clearly and make
sound judgements based on that vision.

prudent (adjective) ['prood-nt]
Wise, sagacious, exercising sound judgment.

sagacious (adj.) [sκ-'gey-shκs]
Having keen mental powers, shrewd,
sound in judgment, extremely wise.

sapient (adj.) ['sey-pi-yκnt]
Possessed of notable wisdom; sagacious
to the point of prescience.

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