Baltasar Gracian


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

2. To succeed one needs mind and spirit.

3. Create anticipation, uncertainty, and mystery about everything; purpose declared was never highly esteemed and commits itself to criticism in advance and if it fails the misfortune is doubled.

4. Without courage the mind is dead.

5. Create dependents and hold them expectant, keep hope alive but never satisfied

6. Strive to perfect yourself in every way

7. Some will imitate you in matters of luck or heart but none in intelligence, so don't out shine the master in intelligence, so let advice to them appear a jog to what they already knew, superiority has always been detested.

8. The greatest mastery is mastery over the self and its passions and the shortest way to a good reputation

9. Eradicate the weaknesses of your country race, rank, age, profession in yourself, what is least expected is most esteemed

10. The wish for fame is born of quality, but fame must be won

11. Live with those from whom you can learn, make teachers of your friends to join learning to the joy of converse. A man of understanding seeks but those exemplars of greatness.

12. Take refuge in art from nature, without cultivation every man is ? down

13. Accomplish your ends sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. Insight is wary, perspicacious, and hides behind its armor and is not deceived by trickery.

14. The how has much to do with things so one needs substance and good form (i.e. manners, deportment).

15. Surround yourself with men of understanding and be taught by all so that through his lips speak all the sages he drew upon for counsel.

16. Knowledge with good intent assure the happy issue of every undertaking. Good endowment with bad purpose yields a monster.

17. Change your style in order to divert attention but not always in same fashion, and be wary about what your rivals expect from you, and don't play into them.

18. Distinction and reputation require both industry and minerva.

19. Never can the actual attain the imagined, so don't enter where too much is anticipated, but the opposite in evil for what was feared as a monster comes to appear as normal.

20. The philosopher is ageless and should this not prove his century many to follow will.

21. To the wise not all is accident so through virtue and attentiveness, enterprise help luck along.

22. Have savoire faire of wit and wisdom, have common sense and an understanding of everything going on, more is often accomplished through a witty remark than the gravest argument.

23. Transform your flaws into adornments

24. The wisest of wills holds the imagination in check for she makes men contented or discontented

25. Be observant to avoid being deceived, hold your credulity in what you hear, on what you would not hear use the spur.

26. Find out the ruling passion of a man.

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2009