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Baltasar Gracian quotes page 1

Born a doctor's son and attending Jesuit school from 1621 to 1623 set this man on a path all on his own. Baltasar Gracian attended theological studies in Zaragoza, Spain, and was ordained in 1627. His friendship with a man named Lastonosa helped sharpen his intellect and he quickly became known as a very knowledgeable preacher with the ability to touch many lives. Baltasar's style was not always appreciated by his superiors. As an example - he was reading a letter sent from Hell at the pulpit. His intellectual prowess did not go unnoticed as he was asked to assume the position of Rector of the Jesuit college of Tarragona. A portion of Baltasar Gracian's life was spent in the army as a chaplain during the Spanish war with Catalonia and France. In 1946 Baltasar was serving as chaplain during the liberation of Lleida. In 1651 Baltasar wrote and published his masterpiece Criticon, once again to the displeasure of his superiors. Choosing to ignore the disapproval of his superiors again, Baltasar published the second part of Criticon in 1657. This act of defiance resulted in being sanctioned and exiled to Graus in the beginning of 1658 during which time Gracian sought to join another religious order. This attempt failed but as fate would have it the sanctions were soon lifted and Gracian was able to fill some minor positions at the college of Tarzana. Soon after this time Baltasar Gracian would become ill and eventually die in 1658 near Zaragoza in the Kingdom of Aragon. During his lifetime Gracian graced the world with some great writing that still enlightens to this day. One of the best known would be the Art of Worldly Wisdom.

Friends are a second existence.
Baltasar Gracian

A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity.
Baltasar Gracian

Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one.
Baltasar Gracian

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
Baltasar Gracian

Always act as if others were watching.
Baltasar Gracian

He who finds fortune on his side should go briskly ahead, for she is wont to favor the bold.
Baltasar Gracian

Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.
Baltasar Gracian

It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.
Baltasar Gracian

Don't show off every day, or you'll stop surprising people. There must always be some novelty
left over. The person who displays a little more of it each day keeps up expectations, and no
one ever discovers the limits of his talent.
Baltasar Gracian

Never compete with someone who has nothing to lose.
Baltasar Gracian

Knowledge without courage is sterile.
Baltasar Gracian

Know how to ask. There is nothing more difficult for some people, nor for others, easier.
Baltasar Gracian

Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.
Baltasar Gracian

Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.
Baltasar Gracian

Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone.
Baltasar Gracian

What should move us to action is human dignity: The inalienable dignity of the oppressed, but
also the dignity of each of us. We lose dignity if we tolerate the intolerable.
Baltasar Gracian

He that has satisfied his thirst turns his back on the well.
Baltasar Gracian

Hope is a great falsifier. Let good judgment keep her in check.
Baltasar Gracian

True knowledge lies in knowing how to live.
Baltasar Gracian

Always leave something to wish for; otherwise you will be miserable from your very happiness.
Baltasar Gracian

Always have your mouth full of sugar to sweeten your words, so that even your ill-wishers
enjoy them.
Baltasar Gracian

One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of
opportunity.
Baltasar Gracian

Readiness is the mother of luck.
Baltasar Gracian

It is a great deed to leave nothing for tomorrow.
Baltasar Gracian

Work is the price which is paid for reputation.
Baltasar Gracian

Avoid outshining the master. All superiority is odious, but the superiority of a subject over his
prince is not only stupid, it is fatal. This is a lesson that the stars in the sky teach us - they
may be related to the sun, and just as brilliant, but they never appear in her company.
Baltasar Gracian

Do not be held a cheat, even though it is impossible to live today without being one. Let your
greatest cunning lie in covering up what looks like cunning.
Baltasar Gracian

Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.
Baltasar Gracian

Virtue alone is for real; all else is sham. Talent and greatness depend on virtue, not on fortune.
Only virtue is sufficient unto herself. She makes us love the living and remember the dead.
Baltasar Gracian

Do not persist in folly. Some make it a duty of failure and having started down the wrong
road, think it is a badge of character to continue.
Baltasar Gracian

He who laughs at everything is as big a fool as he who weeps at everything.
Baltasar Gracian

Never share your secrets with those greater than you.
Baltasar Gracian

It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.
Baltasar Gracian

Advice is sometimes transmitted more successfully through a joke than grave teaching.
Baltasar Gracian

The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause.
Baltasar Gracian

Some marry the first information they receive, and turn what comes later into their
concubine. Since deceit is always first to arrive, there is no room left for truth.
Baltasar Gracian

There is none who cannot teach somebody something, and there is none so excellent but he
is excelled.
Baltasar Gracian

Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.
Baltasar Gracian

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