The Entrepreneurial Engineer

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The art of worldly wisdom

I've been dipping into Art of Worldly Wisdom, a collection of aphorisms published in 1647 by Jesuit scholar and philosopher Baltasar Gracian. Here's number 83 (Fischer translation):

Allow yourself some pardonable defect, for a certain weakness at times may be the greatest evidence of strength. Envy carries its ostracisms, just as civil, as they are criminal: it accuse the most holy of sin, because without sin, and because totally perfect condemns totally. Envy makes of itself an Argus to discover the flaws of the flawless, for its own comfort. Detraction like lightning, only strikes the greatest heights. At such times, therefore, let Homer sleep, and let him affect some lack of spirit, or of virtue, but not of prudence, in order to appease envy, that it burst not of its own poison: wave a cloak before the bull of jealousy, to rescue immortality.

Get the Barnes and Noble version here or there are online versions available as well (see here)


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