Worldly Wisdom

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EarthRender.png
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Proverbs from around the world:

Every fire is the same size when it starts. — Seneca, North America
Youth is intoxication without wine; old age, wine without intoxication. — Peru
We cannot love that which we do not know. — Guinea
Second thoughts are best. — Greek
Do not propose to a girl whose home you have not seen. — Yaunde
Silence never makes mistakes. — India
Adversity makes men, prosperity monsters. — France
The threshold is the tallest mountain. — Slovenia
Punishment is a cripple, but it arrives. — Spain
Not the mouse is the thief, but the hole in the wall. — Aramaic
Praise does a wise man good but a fool harm. — Italy
A man does not seek his luck; luck seeks its man. — Turkey
He is young enough who has health, and he is rich enough who has no debts. — Denmark
God gives the wine but not the bottle. — Germany
Money likes to be counted. — Russia
Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald. — China

Insights

la rochefoucauld

Maxims of La Rochefoucauld:

  • “Jealousy is in some sort rational and just; since it only aims at the Preservation of a Good which belongs, or which we think belongs, to us: Whereas Envy is a Frenzy that cannot bear the Good of others.”
  • “Good Sense should be the Test of all Rules, both ancient and modern; whatever is incompatible therewith is false.”
  • “Avarice is more opposite to Economy than Liberality.”
  • “We ought to be able to answer for our Fortune, to be able to answer for what we shall do.”
  • “The most violent Passions have their Intermissions; Vanity only gives us no Respite.”
  • “‘Tis more difficult to conceal the Sensations we have, than to feign those we have not.”
  • “We should have but little Pleasure were we never to flatter ourselves.”
  • “We love much better those, who endeavour to imitate us, than those who strive to equal us. For Imitation is a Sign of Esteem, but Competition of Envy.”
  • “Whatever Difference may appear in Men’s Fortunes, there is nevertheless a certain Compensation of Good and Ill that makes all equal.”

And “The common Foible of old People who have been handsome, is to forget that they are no longer so.”

Unquote

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hackert,_Der_Ponte_a_Mare_in_Pisa_(Toskana),_1799.jpg

“There’s nothing more boring on this earth than to have to read the description of an Italian journey, except maybe to have to write one — and the writer can only make it halfway bearable by speaking as little as possible of Italy itself.” — Heinrich Heine

Unquote

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” — Christopher Morley

Notes

Excerpts from the notebooks of English belletrist Geoffrey Madan (1895-1947):

Two impressions remaining, after a life of scientific research:

1. The inexhaustible oddity of nature.
2. The capacity of the human system for recovery.

— J.B.S. Haldane

“With people like you, love only means one thing.”
“No, it means twenty things: but it doesn’t mean nineteen.”

— Arnold Bennett’s Journal

“I simply ignored an axiom.” — Einstein, on Relativity

“Nowhere probably is there more true feeling, and nowhere worse taste, than in a churchyard.” — Benjamin Jowett

Happiness, only a by-product.

The fine flower of stupidity blossoms in the attempt to appear less stupid.

Boy, wanting to be a “retired business man.”

“Stand on the Right — and let others pass you.” — Directions on an Underground Escalator

“My sad conviction is that people can only agree about what they’re not really interested in.” — Bertrand Russell, New Statesman, 1 July 1939

The doctrine of omnipotence means that life is a sham fight with evil.

“All men wish to have truth on their side: but few to be on the side of truth.” — Archbishop Richard Whately

“Half-knowledge is very communicable; not so knowledge.” — Mary Coleridge

“Mastery often passes for egotism.” — Goethe