The 17th-century churchman Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) had a gift for pithy maxims:
- Every horse thinks its own pack heaviest.
- There is more pleasure in loving than in being beloved.
- He that has a great nose, thinks everybody is speaking of it.
- It is more difficult to praise rightly than to blame.
- Eaten bread is forgotten.
- A wise man may look ridiculous in the company of fools.
- Bad excuses are worse than none.
- A book that is shut is but a block.
- Custom is the plague of wise men and the idol of fools.
- A man is not good or bad for one action.
- Unseasonable kindness gets no thanks.
- ‘Tis skill, not strength, that governs a ship.
- Abused patience turns to fury.
- All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Poor men’s reasons are not heard.
- The more wit the less courage.
- Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
And “Learning hath gained most by those books by which the printers have lost.” “Wit,” wrote Coleridge, “was the stuff and substance of Fuller’s intellect.”