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OCR'd text of "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" by Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658), the 1892 translation by Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (1930 MacMillan Golden Treasury Series edition)

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[Different English translations of some maxims in Baltasar Gracian's (1601-1658) The Art of Worldly Wisdom]

It is assumed that as this book was published in 1930, and the translater Joseph Jacobs died in 1916 (and the original author Gracian in 1658), that it is out of copyright, even using the death +70 year rule, or a published year +70 year rule. (Lachlan Cranswick - 17th April 2004)

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Golden Treasury Series

The Art of Worldy Wisdom

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[quote from GOETHE, Ein Kophtisches Lied - in Gothic text]

When you are an anvil, Hold you still,
When you are a hammer, strike your fill.
G. HERBERT, Jacula Prudenturn.




Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of History, Madrid


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First edition 1892.
Reprinted 1904, 1913, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1930
Printed in Great Britain
By R&R Clark, Limited, Edinburgh.



Dear Mrs. Lewis,

This little book were not wortly of being associated with your name, did it not opr an ideal of by at once refned and practical, cultured yet wisely energetic. Gracian points to noble aims, and proposes, on the whole, no ignoble means of attaining to them. The Spanish jesuit sees clear, but be looks upward.

There is, however, one side of by to which he is entirely blind, as was perhaps natural in an ecclesiastic writing before the Age of Salons. He nowwhere makes mention in his pages of the gracious infuence of Woman as Inspire and Consoler in the Battle of Life. Permit me to repair this omission by placing your name in the forefront of this English version of his maxims. To those honoured with your friendship this will by itself suffice to recall all the ennobling associations connected with your sex.

Believe me, dear Mrs. Lewis,
Yours most sincerely,
KILBURN, 26th October 1892.

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Mr attention was first drawn to the Oricuk Manual by Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff's admirable article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877. I soon after obtained a copy of Schopenhauer's excellent version, and during a journey in Spain I procured with some difficulty a villainously printed edition of Gracian's works (Barcelona, 1734, "Por Joseph Giralt "), which contains the Oraculo Manual towards the end of the first volume (pp. 431-494).

I have translated from this last, referring in the many doubtful places of its text to the first Madrid edition of 1653, the earliest in the British Museum. I have thoroughout had Schopenhauer's version by my side, and have

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found it, as Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff says, " a most finished piece of work," though I have pointed out in the Notes a few cases where he has failed, in my opinion, to give Gracian's meaning completely or correctly. I have little doubt that I am a fellow-sinner in this regard : I know no prose style that offers such difHculty to a translator as Gracian's laconic and artificial epigrams. It is not without reason that he has been called the Intraducible. The two earlier English versions miss his points time after time, and I found it useless to refer to them. On the other hand, I have ventured to adopt some of Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff's often very happy renderings in the extracts contained in his Fortnightly article.

I have endeavoured to reproduce Gracian's Laconism and Cultismo in my version, and have even tried to retain his many paronomasias and jingles of similar sound. I may have here and there introduced others of my own to redress the balance for cases where I found it impossible to produce the same effect in English. In such cases I generally give the original in the Notes. Wherever possible I have replaced Spanish proverbs and proverbial phrases by English ones, and have throughout tried to preserve the characteristic rhythm and brevity of the Proverb. In short, if I may venture to say so, I have approached my task rather in the spirit of Fitzgerald than of Bohn. The gem on the title, representing a votive offering to Hermes, the god of Worldly Wisdom, is from a fine paste in the British Museum of the best period of Greek glyptic art. I have to thank Mr. Cecil Smith of that Institution for kind advice in the selection.

Let me conclude these prefatory words with a piece of advice as oracular as my original: When reading this little book for the first time, read only fifty maxims and then stop for the day.


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It est si concis si rompu et ei estrangement coupe qu'il semble qu'il ait pris l'obscurite a tasche : aussi le Lecteur a besoin d'en deuiner le sens & souvent quand il I'a compris it trouve qu'il s'est estudie a faire une enigme d'une chose fort commune.
F. VAN AERSSENS, Voyage d'Espagne, 1667, P. 294.

Il a beaucoup d'elevation, de subtilite, de force et meme de bon sens : mais on ne sait le plus souvent ce qu'il veut dire, et il ne le sait pas peut-etre lui-meme. Quelques-uns de ses Ouvrages ne semblent etre fait, que pour n'etre point entendus.
Bouhour's Entretiens d'Ariste et d'Eugene, 1671, p. 203.

Luisa de Padilla, a Lady of great Learning, and Countess of Aranda, was in like manner angry with the famous Gratian upon his publishing his Treatise of the Discreto, wherein she fancied that he had laid open those Maxims to common Readers, which ought only to be reserved for the knowledge of the Great. These Objections are thought by many of so much weight that they often defend

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the above - mention'd Authors by affirming they have affected such an Obscurity in their Style and Manner of Writing, that tho' every one may read their Works there will be but very few who can comprehend their Meaning.
The Spectator, No. 379 (1712).

En cherchant toujours l'energie et le sublime it devient outre et se perd dans les mots. Gracian est aux bons moralistes ce que Don Quichotte est aux vrais heros. Ils ont I'un et l'autre un faux air de grandeur qui en impose aux sots et qui fait rire les sages.

Que de elogios no se deben al autor del Criticon ! En medio de las antitesis, paronomasias y toda la metralla culta es una de las obras mis recomendables de nuestra literatura por la felicidad de la invencion, la inagotable riqueza de imaginacion y de sales, por la viveza de sus pinturas y por la gracia, soltura y naturalidad del estilo.
DON MANUEL SILVELA, Biblioteca selecta de literatura espanola (1819).

Si hublese Gracian procedido con mis sobriedad en el uso de estos juegos y conceptos qual es el escritor de su tiempo de tantos dotes y caudal nativo para ser el mas fecondo y elegante, sabiendp, conto lo manifesto, en donde estaban las delicadezas y los donaires, esto es, lo amargo, lo dulce, lo picante, lo salado de la lengua castellana ?
DON ANTONIO CAPMANY, Teatro de la elocuencia espanola, tomo v.

The Ordculo Manual has been more used than any other of the author's works. It is intended to be a collection of maxims of general utility, but it exhibits good and bad precepts, sound judgments, and refined sophisms, all confounded together. In this work Gracian has not forgotten to inculcate his practical principles of Jesuitism to be all things to all men (" hacerse a todos "), nor to recommend his favourite maxim, "to be common in nothing" "en nada vulgar "), which, in order to be valid, would require a totally different interpretation from that which he has given it.

The person, however, who settled the character of cultismo and in some respects gave it an air of philosoph ical pretension, was Baltazar Gracian, a Jesuit of Aragon, who lived between 1601 and 1658, exactly the period when the cultivated style took possession of Spanish prose and rose to its greatest consideration.
G. TICKNOR, History of Spain, Lit. iii. 222.

Dabei ist es das Einzigeseiner Art und nie ein anderes uber denselben Gegenstand geschrieben worden; denn nur ein Individuum aus der feinsten aller Nationen, der spanischen, konnte es versuchen. . . . Dasselbe lehrt die Kunst derer Allesich befliessigen und ist daher fur Jedermann. Besonders aber ist es geeignet das Handbuch aller derer zu werden, die in der grossen Welt leben, ganz vorzuglich aber junger Leute, die ihr Gluck darin zu machen bemuht sind und denen es mit Einem Mal und zum Voraus die Belebrung giebt die sie sonst erst durch lange Erfahrung erhalten.
A. SCHOPENHAUER, Litterarische Notiz vor seiner Uebesetzung (1831, published 1861).

Avec beaucoup d'esprit, d'instruction & de facilite il n'a rien produit qui puisse aujourd'hui soutenir l'examen de la critique la plus impartiale.
PUJRUSQUE, Histoire consparie des litteratures espagnole et francaise, 1843, i. p. 559.

Gracian aurait pu etre un excellent ecrivain s'il n'avait pas voulu devenir un ecrivain extraordinaire. Doue d'une

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vaste erudition, d'un esprk fin, d'un talent profond d'observation, il etait ne pour eclairer son siecle; mais la vanite de devenir novateur corrompit son gout, en le portant a introduire dans la prose ce langage precieux, ces expressions alambiquecs que Gongora avait introduit dans les vers.
A. DE BACKER, Biblioteque des ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jesus, 1869, s.v. Gracian.

Asi como las miximas de Antonio Perez fueron muy populares entre cortesanos o doctos o ilustrados, asi espanoles como extranjeros, por aquella delicadeza especial de estilo, las del Padre Baltasar Gracian alcanzaron la misma estima por ese atildamiento en el decir: atildarniento que tenia en si un inexplicable atractivo, y que aunque algo participaba del general culteranismo de la literatura espahola en aquel siglo, encerraba clerto buen gusto deslumbrador y lisonjero para et lector que se profundisimos conceptos preciaba con la fuerza de su ingenio aquellos.
DON ADOLFO DE ASTRO, Obras escogidas de Filosofa, 1873, p. cviii.

Taking the book as a guide, especially for those who intend to enter public life, I have never chanced to meet with anything which seemed to me even distantly to approach it . . . It would possibly be rather difficult to disprove the thesis that the Spanish nation has produced the best maxims of practical wisdom, the best proverb, the best epitaph, and the best motto in the world. If I had to sustain it, I would point with reference to the first heae to the Oraculo Manual.
Sir M. E. GRANT DUFF On "Balthasar Gracian" In Fortnightly Review, March 1877.

Some have found light in the sayings of Balthasar Gracian, a Spaniard who flourished at the end of the seventeenth century. . . . I do not myself find Gracian much of a companion, though some of his aphorisms give a neat turn to a commonplace.
J. Morley on " Aphorisms," Studies, 1891. P. 86.

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I. Of Balthasar Gracian and his Works

WE may Certainly Say of Gracian what Heine by an amiable fiction said of himself : he was one of the first men of his century. For he was born 8th January 1601 N.S.(The ordinary authorities vary between 1594 and 1604* I follow Latassa y Ortin, Biblioteca nueva de los escritores dragoneses, Pamplona, 1799, iii. 267 seq., practically the only original source for Gracian's life and works.) at Belmonte, a suburb of Calatayud,in the kingdom of Aragon. Calatayud, properly Kalat Ayoub, "Job's Town," is nearly on the site of the ancient Bilbilis, Martial's birthplace. As its name indicates, it was one of the Moorish settle- ments, and nearly one of the most northern. By Gracian's time it had again been Christian and Spanish for many generations, and Gracian himself was of noble birth. For a Spaniard of

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noble birth only two careers were open, arms and the Church. In the seventeenth century arms had yielded to the cassock, and Balthasar and his three brothers all took orders. Felipe, his eldest, joined the order of St. Francis; the next brother, Pedro, became a Trinitarian during his short life; and the third, Raymundo, became a Carmelite.(Gracian mentions his brothers in his Agudema) Balthasar himself tells us (Agudeza, c. xxy.) that he was brought up in the house of his uncle, the licentiate Antonio Gracian, at Toledo,.from which we may gather that both his father and his mother, a Morales, died in his early youth. He joined the Company of Jesus in 1619, when in its most flourishing state, after the organising genius of Acquaviva had given solid form to the bold counterstroke of Loyola to the Protestant Revolution. The Ratio Stuaiorum was just coming into full force, and Gracian was one of the earliest men in Europe to be educated on the system which has dominated the secondary education of Europe almost down to our own days. This point is of some importance, we shall see, in considering Gracian's chief work.

Once enrolled among the ranks of the Jesuits, the individual disappears, the Jesuit alone remains. There is scarcely anything to record of Gracian's life except that he was a Jesuit, and engaged in teaching what passes with the Order for philosophy and sacred literature, and became ultimately Rector of the Jesuit College at Tarragona. His great friend was Don Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa, a dilettante of the period, who lived at Huesca, and collected coins, medals, and other archaeological bric-a-brac. Gracian appears to have shared his tastes, for Lastanosa mentions him in his description, of his own cabinet. A long correspondence with him was once extant and seen by Latassa, who gives the dates and places where the letters were written. From these it would seem that Gracian moved about considerably from Madrid to Zarogoza, and thence to Tarragona. From another source we learn that Philip III. Often had him to dinner to provide Attic salt to the royal table. He preached, and his sermons were popular. In short, a life of prudent prosperity came to an end when Balthasar Gracian, Rector of the Jesuit College at Tarragona, died there 6th December 1658, at the age of nearly fifty-eight years.

Of Gracian's works there is perhaps more to say even while leaving for separate consideration that one which is here presented to the English reader and forms his chief claim to

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attention. Spanish literature was passing into its period of swagger, a period that came to all literatures of modern Europe after the training in classics had given afresh the sense of style. The characteristic of this period in a literature is suitably enough the appearance of "conceits" or elaborate and far-fetched Egures of speech. The process began with Antonia Guevara, author of El Libro Aureo, from which, according to some, the English form of the disease known as Euphuism was derived. But it received a futher impetus from the success of the stilo culto of Gongora in poetry. ( On Gongora and his relation to Cultismo see Ticknor, Hist. Span. Lit. iii. 18 seq; also Appendix G, "On the origin of Cultismo." Ticknor is, however, somewhat prejuced against any form of Cultismo.) Gongorism drove " conceit " to its farthest point : artifi ciality of diction could go no farther in verse: it was only left for Gracian to apply it to prose.

He did this for the first time in 1630 in his first work, El Heroe. This was published, like most of his other works, by his lifelong friend Lastanosa, and under the name of Lorenzo Gracian, a supposititious brother of Gracian's, who, so far as can be ascertained, never existed. The whole of El Herce exists, in shortened form, in the Oriculo Manual. ( See Notes to Maxims : xxvi (26), xxxviii (38), xl (40), xlii (42), xliv (44), lvi (56), lxiii (63), lxv (65), lxvii (67), xciv (94), xcviii (98), cvi (106), cxxvii (127)) The form, however, is so shortened that it would be difficult to recognise the original frimores, as they are called, of El Heroe. Yet it is precisely in the curtnessof the sentences that the peculiarity of the stilo culto consists. Generally elaborate metaphor and far-fetched allusions go with long and involved sentences of the periodic type. But with Gracian the aim is as much towards shortness as towards elaboration. The embroidery is rich but the jacket is short, as he himself might have said. As for the subject-matter, the extracts in the Oraculo will suffice to give some notion of the lofty ideal or character presented in El Heroe, the ideal indeed associated in the popular mind with the term hidalgo.

A later book, El Discreto, first published in 1647, gives the counterpoise to El Heroe by drawing an ideal of the prudent courtier as contrasted with the proud and spotless hidalgo. This too is fully represented in the book before us, but the curtailment is still more marked

(2. [unreferenced in text] See Notes to Maxims : ii (2), xx (20), xxii (22), xxv (25), xlix (49), li (51), liii (53), lv (55), lvi (56), lix (59), lxix (69), lxxi (71), lxxvi (76), lxxxvii (87), cxxii (122), cxxvii (127), cclxxvii (277), ccxcv (295).

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than in the case of El Heroe. There is evi- dence that Gracian wrote a similar pair of contrasts, ternied respectively El Galants and El Varon Atento, which were not pub- lished but were incorporated in the Oriculo Manual by Lastanosa. The consequences of this utilisation of contrasts will concern us later.

Reverting to Gracian's works somewhat more in their order, his iloge of Ferdinand, the Magus of Columbus' epoch, need not much detain us. It is stilted and conventional and does not betray much historical insight. Gracian's Agudeza y Arte de Ingenio is of more importance and interest as the formal exposition of the critical principles of Cultismo. It is concerned more with verse than prose and represents the Poetics of Gongorism. A curious collection of flowers of rhetoric in Spanish verse could be made from it. Of still more restricted interest is the Comulgador or sacred meditations for holy communion. I do not profess to be a judge of this class of literature, if literature it can be called, but the fact that the book was deemed worthy of an English translation as lately as I876 seems to show that it still answers the devotional needs of Catholics. It has a personal interest for Gracian, as it was the only book of his that appeared under his own name.

There remains only to be considered, besides the Oriculo Manual, Gracian's El Criticon, a work of considerable value and at least historic interest which appeared in the three parts dealing with Youth, Maturity, and Old Age respectively during the years 1650-53. This is a kind of philosophic romance or allegory depicting the education of the human soul. A Spaniard named Critilo is wrecked on St. Helena, and there finds a sort of Man Friday, (It is not impossible that the English translation of The Critick by Rycaut, 1681, may have suggested the Friday incidents of Robinson Crusoe, which was intended to be a more didactic book than it looks) whom he calls Andrenio. Andrenio, after learning to communicate with Critilo, gives him a highly elaborate autobiography of his soul from the age of three days or so. They then travel to Spain, where they meet Truth, Valour, Falsehood, and other allegorical females and males, who are labelled by Critilo for Andrenio's benefit in the approved and frigid style of the allegorical teacher. Incidentally, however, the ideals and aspirations of the Spaniard of the seventeenth century are brought out, and from this point of view the book derives

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the parallel with the Pilgrim's Progress which Ticknor had made for it. (Ticknor also suggests that the Criticon was derived from the Euphormion of Barclay, the author of Argenis.) It is certainly one of the most characteristic products of Spanish literature, both for style and subject-matter.

Nearly all these works of Gracian were translated into most of the cultured languages of Europe, English not excepted. (See the details in the Bibliographical Appendix to this Introduction.) Part of this ecumenical fame was doubtless due to the fact that Gracian was a Jesuit, and brethren of his Order translated the works of one of whom the Order was justly proud. But this explanation cannot altogether account for the wide spread of Gracian's works, and there remains a deposit of genuine ability and literary skill involved in most of the works I have briefly referred to-- ability and skill of an entirely obsolete kind nowadays, but holding a rank of their own in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when didacticism was all the rage. It is noteworthy that the Testimonia I have collected for the most part pass over the Oracula, the only work at which a modern would care to cast a second glance, and go into raptures over El Criticon and its fellows, or the reverse of raptures on Gracian's style, which after all was the most striking thing about his works.

That style reaches its greatest perfection in the Oriculo Manual, to which we might at once turn but for a preliminary inquiry which it seems worth while to make. It is a book of maxims as distinguished from a book of aphor- isms, and it is worth while for several i-easons inquiring into maxims in general and maxim literature in particular before dealing with what is probably the most remarkable specimen of its class.

Before, however, doing this we may close this section of our introductory remarks by " putting in," as the lawyers say, the Latin inscription given by Latassa frorn the foot of the portrait of Gracian, which once stood in the Jesuit College at Calatayud, a portrait of which, alas ! no trace can now be found. The lines sum up in sufficiently forcible Latin all that need be known of Balthasar Gracian and his works.


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II Of Maxims

Many men have sought to give their views about man and about life in a pithy way; a few have tried to advise men in short sentenced what to do in the various emergencies of life. The former have written aphorisms, the latter maxims. Where the aphorism states a fact of human nature, a maxim advises a certain course of action. The aphorism is written in the indicative, the maxim in an imperative mood.(Not to be misleading, I may mention that Gracian's are generally in the infinitive.) "Life is interesting if not happy," is an aphorism, of Professor Seely's, I believe. "Ascend a step to choose a friend, descend a step to choose a wife," is a maxim of Rabbi Meir, one of the Doctors of the Talmud.

Now it is indeed curious how few maxims have ever been written. Wisdom has been extolled on the house-tops, but her practical advice seems to have been kept secret. Taking our own literature, there are extremely few books of practical maxims, and not a single one of any great merit. Sir Walter Raleigh's Cabinet Council, Penn's Maxims, and Chesterfield's Letters almost exhaust the list, and the last generally contains much more than mere maxims. Nor are they scattered with any profusion through books teeming with knowledge of life, the galaxy of English novels. During recent years extracts of their "beauties " have been published in some profusion--Wit ana Wisdom of Beaconsfeld; Wise, Witty, ana' Tender Sayings of George ERot; Extracts from Thackeray, and the rest-but the crop of practical maxims to be found among themis extremely scanty. Aphorisms there are in plenty, especially in George Eliot, but he that is doubtful what course to pursue in any weighty crisis would wofully waste his time if he sought for advice from the novelists.

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Nor are the moralists more instructive in this regard. Bacon's Essay leave with one the impression of fulness of practical wisdom. Yet, closely examined, there is very little residue of practical advice left in his pregnant sayings. Even the source of most of this kind of writing, the Biblical book of Proverbs, fails to answer the particular kind of test I am at present applying. However shrewd some of thern are, startling us with the consciousness how little human nature has changed, it is knowledge of human nature that they mainly supply. When we ask for instruction how to apply that knowledge we only get variations of the theme " Fear the Lord." Two thousand years of experience have indeed shown that the Fear or Love of the Lord forms a very good foundation fbr practical wisdom. But it has to be supplemented by some such corollary as "Keep your powder dry" before it becomes of direct service in the conduct of life.

It is indeed because of the unpractical nature of practical maxims that they have been so much neglected. You must act in the concrete, you can only maximise in general terms. Then, again, maxims can only appeal to the mind, to the intellect : the motive force of action is the will, the temperament. As Disraeli put it : " The conduct of men depends on the temperament, not upon a bunch of musty maxims " (Henrietta Temple). It is only very distantly that a maxim can stir the vague desire that spurs an imitative will. True, at times we read of men whose whole life has been coloured by a single saying. But these have generally been more appeals to the imagination, like Newman's " Securus judicat orbis terrarum," or the " Heu ! fuge crudeles terras, fuge litus avarum," which had so decisive an efort on Savonarola's life. It is rare indeed that a man's whole life is tinged by a single practical maxim like Sir Daniel Gooch, who was influenced by his father's advice, " Stick to one thing."

Perhaps one of the reasons that have led literary persons to neglect the Maxim as a literary form has been their own ignorance of Action and, still more, their exaggerated notions of its difficulties and complexities. Affairs are not conducted by aphorisms : war is waged by a different kind of Maxims from those we are considering. Yet after all there must be some general principles on which actions should be conducted, and one would think they could be determined. Probably

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the successful men of action are not sufficiently self-observant to know exactly on what their success depends, and, if they did, they would in most cases try to " keep it in the family," like their wealth or their trade secrets.

And perhaps pfter all they are right who declare that action has little to do with intellect, and much with character. To say the truth, one is not impressed with the intellectual powers of the millionaires one meets. The shadiest of journalists could often explain their own doings with more point than they. Yet there are surely intellectual qualifications required for affairs : the Suez Canal must have required as great an amount of research, emendation, sense of order, and organisation as, say, the Corpus Inscrytionum Latinarum. But there is rio such punishment for slovenly scholarship in action as there is in letters. The Suez Canal can be dug only once : Lucretius or Latin inscriptions can be edited over and over again. Altogether we need not be surprised if the men of action cannot put the principles of action into pointed sentences or maxims.

And if men of action cannot, it is not surprising that men of letters do not. For they cannot have the interest in action and its rewards which is required for worldly success, or else they would not be able to concentrate their thoughts on things which they consider of higher import. To a man of letters the world is the devil, or ought to be if he is to have the touch of idealism which gives colour and weight to his words. Holy then is he to devote his attention to worldly wisdom and the maxims that are to teach it ? It is characteristic in this connection that the weightiest writer of maxims in our language is Bacon, who attempted to combine a career of affairs and of thought, and spoilt both by so doing.

It is perhaps due to the subtle and all-embracing influence of Christianity on modern civilisation that this divorce between idealism and the world has come about. The strenuous opposition to the world among earnest Christians has led to their practical withdrawal from it. Just as the celibacy of the clergy meant that the next generation was to be deprived of the hereditary influence of some of the purest spirits of the time, so the opposition of Christianity to the world has brought it about that the world has been un-Christian. Only one serious attempt has been made to bridge the chasm. The idee mire of Jesuitism was

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to make the world Christian by Christians becoming worldly. It was doubtless due to the reaction against the over-spiritualisation of Christianity pressed by the Protestant Reformation, but its practical result has been to make the Jesuit a worldly Christian. The control of the higher education of Europe by the Jesuits has tended, on the other hand, to make society more Christian. If then we were to look for an adequate presentation of worldly wisdom touched with sufficient ideal- ism to make it worthy of a man of letters, we should look for it from a Jesuit, or from one trained among the Jesuits.

After all this elaborate explanation why so few maxims have been composed it may seem contradictory to give as a further and final reason because so many exist- -under another form. For what are the majority of proverbs but maxims under another name, or rather maxims without the name of their author ? We say of proverbs, indeed, that they arise among the people, but it is one definite individual among the people that gives them the piquant form that makes them proverbial. It was, we may be sure, a definite English gaffer who first said, " Penny wise, pound foolish." If we knew his name, we should call it a maxim; as his name is unknown it ranks as a proverb. In this connection the Talmudic proverbs and maxims are of great interest. Owing to the worthy Rabbinic principle, " Say a thing in the name of the man who said it," we can in almost all cases trace Talmudic proverbs to their authors; or, in other words, Talmudic proverbs remain maxims. There is only one analogous case in English; a few of Benjamin Franklin's maxims, e.g. "Three removes are as good as a fire," (Most persons have heard the cynical continuation of a modern : " Three fires are as good as a failure and three failures are as good as a fortune.") have become proverbs.

The abundance of proverbs is extraordinary. There is a whole bibliography devoted to the literature of proverbs (Duplessis, Bibliograplie Padmiologique, Paris, 1847), and this needs nowadays a supplement as large again as the original (partly supplied by the bibliographical Appendix of Haller, Altspaniscle Sprichworter, 1883). Indeed in the multitude of proverbs consists the greatest proof of their uselessness as guides to action, for by this means we get proverbs at cross purposes. Thus take the one I have just referred to, " Penny wise, pound foolish," which has a variant in the proverb, " Do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar."

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A man who was hesitating as to the amount or expense he would incur in any undertaking would be prompted by these sayings to be layish. But then how about the proverb, " Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves " ? Between the two proverbs he would come to the ground, and if he has the vous to decide between them, he does not need the proverbs at all.

Hence it is perhaps that the nation that is richest in proverbs is the one that has proved itself among European peoples the least wise in action. To the Spaniards has been well applied the witticism about Charles II. : " They never said a foolish thing and never did a wise one." Certainly if proverbs be a proof of wisdom the Spaniards have given proofs in abundance. Don Quixote is full of them and the Spanish collections are extraordinarly rich. Now the nation that can produce good proverbs should be able to produce good maxims; hence we should expect the best book of maxims to emanate from a Spaniard.

One characteristic of both these forms of practical wisdom is their artificiality. One has to think twice before the point of a proverb or a maxim is perfectly clear. " The early bird catches the worm" seems at first sight as meaningless a proposition as " There are milestones on the Dover Road." Hence it is when a literature is passing through its artificial stage that maxims would naturally appear. So that it was clearly preordained that when the book of maxims should appear it would be by a Jesuit, so as to be worldly yet not too worldly; by a Spaniard, so that it should have the proverbial ring; and during the prevalence of cultismo, so that it should have the quaintness to attract attention.

III Of the "Oraculo Manual"

Having thus proved a priori that the ideal book of maxims was destined to be the Oriculo Manual of Balthasar Gracian, let us proceed to prove our proof, as schoolboys do with their sums. That it is the best book of maxims is a foregone conclusion, because there is none other. Schopenhauer, who translated the book, observes that there is nothing like it in German, and thereis certainly none approaching it in English, and if France or Italy can pro- duce its superior, it is strange that its fame has remained so confined to its native country.

Not that there are not books teaching the art of self-advancement in almost all languages. The success of Dr. Smiles's volume on Self-Help is a

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sufficient instance of this.(1) Curiously enough, Dr. Smiles's book has had its greatest success in Italy, where it has given rise to quite a letteratura selfelpista, as the Italians themselves call it. Or rather not curiously, for if you wish to End the most unromantic set of ideals nowadays you must go search among the Romance nations.

Gracian does not, however, compete with Dr. Smiles. He does not deal with Brodweisheit; he assumes that the vulgar question of bread and butter has been settled in favour of his reader. He may be worldly, but he is thinking of the great world. He writes for men with a position and how to make the most of it. Nor is the aim he puts before such persons an entirely selfish one. "The sole advantage of power is that you can do more good " is the only rational defence of ambition, and Gracian employs it (Max. cclxxxvi/286).

Indeed the tone of the book is exceptionally high. It is impossible to accuse a man of any meanness who is the author of such maxims as-

"One cannot praise a man too much who speaks well of them who speak ill of him"(clxii/162).

1. One of our public men, I have been told, is known among his friends by the sobriquet of "Self-help by smiles."
"Friends are a second existence " (cxi/111).

" When to change the conversation? When they talk scandal " (ccl/250).

"In great crises there is no better companion than a bold heart " (clxvii/167).

" The secret of long life : lead a good life " (xc/90).

" Be able to boast that if gallantry, generosity, and fidelity were lost in the world men would be able to find them again in your own breast " (clxv/165).

" A man of honour should never forget what he is because he sees what others are " (cclxxx/280).

And there are whole sections dealing with such topics as Rectitude (xxix/29), Sympathy with great Minds (xliv/44), a genial Disposition (lxxix/79), and the like.

Not that he is without the more subtle devices of the worldly wise. One could not wish to have anything more cynical or stinging than the following :-

" Find out each man's thumbscrew " (xxvi/26).

"A shrewd man knows that others when they seek him do not seek him, but their advantage in him and by him " (cclii/252).

" The truth, but not the whole truth " (clxxxi/181).

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" Keep to yourself the final touches of your art " (ccxii/212).

" Do not take payment in politeness " (cxci/191).

" Have a touch of the trader " (ccxxxii/232).

" Think with the few and speak with the many " (xliii/43).

" Never have a companion who casts you in the shade " (clii/152).

" Never become paradoxical in order to avoid the trite " (cxliii/143). (Mr. Oscar Wilde's attention may be respectfully called to this maxim.)

"Do not show your wounded finger " (cxlv/145).

The characteristic of the book is this combination or rather contrast of high tone and shrewdness. Gracian is both wisely worldly and worldly wise. After all, there does not seem to be any inherent impossibility in the combination. There does not seem any radical necessity why a good man should be a fool. One always has a certam grudge against Thackeray for making his Colonel Newcome so silly at times, though perhaps the irony, the pathos, the tragedy of the book required it. As a matter of fact the holiest of men have been some of the shrewdest, for their friends at least, if not for themselves.

The explanation of the combination in Gracian is simple enough. He was a Jesuit, and the Jesuits have just that combination of high tone and worldly wisdom as their raison d'etre. And in the case of the Ordculo the mixture was easily effected by Gracian or his friend Lastanosa. For Gracian had written at least two series of works in which this contrast was represented by separate books. Two of these describing the qualities of the Hero and the Prudent Man (El Heroe and El Discreto) were published and are represented in the Oraculo. (See supra, p. xxi. and notes.) Two others dealing with the Gallant and the Cautious Man (El Galante and El Varon Atento) are referred to by Lastanosa in the preface to El Discreto, and are also doubtless represented in the book before us. One may guess that the section on Highmindedness (cxxviii/128) or on Nobility of Feeling (cxxxi/131) comes from El Galante, while " Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone " (cxxxiii/133) smacks of El Varon Atento. At times we get the two tones curiously intermingled : " Choose an heroic ideal " (lxxv/75) seems at first sight a noble sentiment, but Gracian goes on to qualify it by adding, " but rather to emulate than to imitate."

The modernness of the tone is the thing

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that will strike most readers apart from these contrasts. Here and there one may be struck by an archaic note. " Never compete " would scarcely be the advice of a worldly teacher nowadays. But on the whole there is a tone of modern good society about the maxims which one would scarcely find in contemporary English works like Peacham's, or even in contemporary French authors like Charron. The reason is that modern society is permeated by influences which Gracian himself represented. The higher education of Europe for the last two and a half centuries has been in the hands of Jesuits or in schools formed on the Ratio Studiorum. And Society in the stricter sense traces from the Hotel Rambouillet, where one-half the influence was Spanish. Gracian thus directly represents the tone of the two Societies which have set the tone of our society of to-day, and it is no wonder therefore if he is modern.

Even in his style there is something of a modern epigrammatic ring. At times there is the euphuistic quaintness, e.g. " One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the centre of opportunity." But as a rule the terseness and point of the maxim approximate to the modern epigram. " El escusarse antes de ocasion es culparse "might be both the source and the model of Lui s'excuse s'accuse. The terseness is indeed excessive and carried to Tacitean extremes. " A poco saber camino real," " Ultima felicidad el filosofar," " Harto presto, si bien." Gracian jerks out four or five words where a popular preacher would preach a sermon. Yet I cannot agree with the writers who call him obscure. He is one of the writers that make you think before you grasp his meaning, but the meaning is there, and put plainly enough, only tersely and very often indirectly, after the manner of proverbs. There is indeed no doubt that he and his predecessors were influenced by the form of the Spanish proverb in drawing up aphorisms and maxims. I say predecessors, for aphorismic literature at any rate was no novelty in Spain. Among the long list of books on aphorisms possessed by the late Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, and still at Keir, there are fully a dozen Spanish ones who precede Gracian (Hernando Diaz, Lopez de Corelas, and Melchior de Santa Cruz are the most important, though the latter is more full of anecdotage). Among them is a book of Aforismos by Antonio Perez, whose Relaciones has been the chief means of blackening Philip II.'s

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character.(1) The former are undoubtedly of the same style as Gracian, and probably influenced him, though, as they are aphorisms and not maxims, I have not been able to quote parallels in the Notes. Thus " Una obra vale millares de gragias " (Perez, Afor. i. 198) has the same proverbial ring. It is curious to see Lytton's "The pen is mightier than the sword " anticipated by Perez' " La pluma corta mas que espadas afiladas " (ibid. 199), or Voltaire's " peech was given us to conceal our thoughts " in Perez' "Las palabras, vestido de los con- geptos " (ii. 130). This last example has all Gracian's terseness, while Perez' "Amigos deste Siglo, rostros humanos, coragones de fieras "2 (ii. 71) has both terseness and cynicism. Certainly the only other work in Spanish or any other literature preceding Gracian on anything like the same lines is this book of Aforismos by Antonio Perez.

It is somewhat of a question, to my mind, how far Gracian was the author of the final form of the maxims as we have them in the Oriculo. Those taken from El Heroe and

1. On Perez see Mr. Froude's paper in his Spanish Story of the Armada. Perez was over in England and was of the Sidney set.
2. " Friends nowadays, human faces, hearts of brutes."

ElDiscreto differ from their originals with great advantage. They are terser, more to the point and less euphuistic. Now the Address to the Reader has all these qualities, and we may assume was written by its signatory, Don Vincencio de Lastanosa. It is just possible that we owe to him the extreme terseness and point of the majority of the maxims of the Oraculo Manual. It must not, however, be assumed that they are all as pointed and epigrammatic as those I have quoted. Gracian seems advisedly to have imbedded his jewels in a duller setting. At times he vies with the leaders of the great sect of the Platitudinarians, and he can be as banal as he is brilliant. Even as it is, his very brilliancy wearies, and after fifty maxims or so one longs for a more fruity wisdom, a more digressive discussion of life like those learned, wise, and witty essays of Mr. Stevenson, which may some day take higher rank as literature than even his novels.

Perhaps, after all, the weariness to which I refer may be due to the cautious tone of the book. To suceced one must be prudent;(1) that is the great moral of the book, and if so, does it seem worth while to succeed? If life is to be

1. The second title of the book is Arte de Prudencia, which I have adopted as the main title of my version.

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denuded of the aleatory element, is it worth living? Well, Gracian meets you when in that temper too. It is indeed remarkable how frequently he refers to luck ; how you are to trust your luck, weigh your luck, follow your luck, know your unlucky days and so forth. Is all this a confession that after all life is too complex a game for any rules to be of much use? Granted, but there is one thing certain about life, and that is put by Goethe in the lines which I, following Schopenhauer,(1) have placed at the head of my translation. One must be either hainmer or anvil in this world, and too great an excess of idealism only means that the unideal people shall rule the world. To guard against both extremes we have the paradoxical advice I have heard attributed to Mr. Ruskin, " Fit yourself for the best society, and then - - never enter it."

Whether any ideal person will learn to rule the world by studying Gracian's or any one else's maxims is somewhat more doubtful, for reasons I have given above in discussing proverbs. The man who can act on maxims can act without them, and so does not need them. And there is the same amount of contradiction

1. Gracian was his favourite author; "Mein Oracian " he called him on one occasion (Memorabilien, p. 505).

in maxims as in proverbs. Thus, to quote an example from the book before us, from Max. cxxxii/132 it would seem best to keep back an intended gift : "long expected is highest prized "; whereas from Max. ccxxxvi/236 we learn that " the promptness of the gift obliges the more strongly." Which maxim are we to act upon? That depends on circumstances, and the judgment that can decide on the circumstances can do without the maxims. I cannot therefore promise success in the world to whomsoever may read this book; otherwise I should perhaps not have published it.

But whether Gracian's maxims are true or useful scarcely affects their value. To the student of literature as such, the flimsiest sentiment or the merest paradox aptly put is worth the sublimest truth ill expressed. And there can be little doubt that Gracian puts his points well and vigorously. I cannot hope to have reproduced adequately all the vigour and force of his style, the subtlety of his distinctions, or the shrewdness of his mother-wit. But enough, I hope, has emerged during the process of translation to convince the reader that Gracian's Oraculo Manual has much wisdom in small compass and well put.

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Bibliographical Appendix

THE best bibliographical account of Gracian's works is that of Backer, Bibliothigue des icrisains de la Compagnie de fisus, 1869, sub woce. I have shortened the descriptions of theiranslations, etc., of the other works of Gracian, adding a few items from the British Museum Catalogue and other sources. The Ordculo Manual I have treated separately and more fully.


1. El Heroe de Lorengo Gracian Infanzon. Dedicado at Rey N.S. En Huesca por Juan Nogubs, 1637, 8vo. [Published by Don Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa. According to Latassa the first edition was published in Madrid, 1630. Other editions in Madrid, 1639; Barcelona, 1640; Amsterdam, 1659 (por Juan Blaeu); also in the Biblioteca de autores espanoles, 1873, t. lxv.
French translation (1) by Gervais, medecin du roy, Paris, 1645 reprinted Amsterdam, 1659 ; (2) by P. de Courbeville, Paris, 1725.
English translation (1) by Sir J. Skefington, Lond. 1652; (2) from Courbeville's by a "gentleman of Oxford," Lond. 1726.]

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2. El politico Don Ferdinando el catolico de Lorenzo Gracian. Al excelentisimo Senor Duque de Nochera. En Zaragoza, 1640, 120,
[Published by Lastanosa. Reprinted Zaragoza, 1641, 160 ; Huesca, 1646, 120 ; Amsterdam, 1659.
French translation (1) by M. de S. (Silhouette, Chancellor of the Due d'Orleans), Paris, 1720; reprinted 1730, and Amsterdam, 1731; (2) by P. de Courbeville, 1732, 120,
German translation by D. G. von Lohenstein.]

3. Agudeza y Acte de Ingenio en que se explican todos los modos y diferencias de conceptos. Madrid, 1642, 8vo.
[Also published by Lastanosa. Other editions at Huesca, 1646 and 1648 (the latter with Salinas' translation of Martial).
Italian translation by a Genoese who passed it off as his own (Journ. des Savants, 1696, p. 333.]

4. El Discreto. Dedicado al serenisimo Senor Don Baltasar Carlos de Austria. En Huesca por Juan Nogues, 1645, 8vo.
[Published by Lastanosa. Republished Barcelona, 1647, 180; Brussels, 1665, 120; Amsterdam, 1665, 120; also in Biblioteca de autores espanoles, 1873, t. lxv.
French translation by De Courbeville; 2nd ed. Rotterdam, 1729.
English, "The Compleat Gentleman," by T. Salkeld; 2nd ed. London, 1730 ; 3rd, Dublin, 1760.
German, Der Vollkommene Mensch. Augsburg, 1729, 8vo, from the French.
Italian, L' Uomo Universale. Venice, 1725, from the French.
Polish by Brzostowski. Wilna, 1762, from the French.]

5. El Criticon. Primera Parte en la Primavera de la Nincz y en el Estio de la Juventad. En Madrid, 1650, 8vo
- Segunds Parte Juyziosa y cortesana Filosofia en el Otono de la Varopil Edad. En Huesca, 1653, 8vo
- Tercera Parte en el Invierno de la Vejez, En Huesca, 1658, 8vo.
[Reprinted Madrid, 1658, 8vo.
English, Pt. I., by P. Rycaut. Lond. 1681.
French translation by Maunony. Paris, 1696-1708, 120. Reprinted at La Hague, 1708, 1723, 1734; Rouen, 1709 ; Geneva, 1725.
Italian, by G. P. Cattaneo. Venice, 1685, 1698, 1709, 1720, 1745.
Dutch, by M. Smallegange. 'S Gravenhage, 1691, 120.
German, by C. Gottschling. Frankfurt, 1710; Halle, 1721.]

6. Oraculo Manual. See infra B.

7. El Comulgador : varias meditaciones para . . . la sacrada communion. Madrid, 1655, 120,
[Reprinted Zaragoza, 1655, 160; Amberes, 1725, 4to; Valencia, 1736, 120; Madrid, 1757, 8vo, 1788, 160, 1826, 8vo; Paris, 1840, 240, 1851, 180, 1854, 180, 1857, 180, 1860, 180,
English translation by M. Monteiro, 1876, 8vo.
French, by Amelot de la Houssaie. Paris, 1693, 120,
Italian, by Castro and Inviziati.
German, anon. Frankfort, 1734, 8vo; reprinted Vienna, 1738; and Nuremberg, 1751, with Appendix by W. Reithmeier, 1847.
Latin, anon. Munster, 1750-52, 120.

8. Obras de Lorenzo Gracian. Amberes, 1652, 4to.
[Reprinted Madrid, 1664, 4to ; Barcelona, 1667.

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4to; Amberes, 1669, 4to; Madrid, 1674, 4to; Barcelona, 1700, 4to (with four idylls Solvas de anc Amberes, 1702, 4to, 1723, 4to; Madrid, 1720, 4to; Bar- celona, 1734, 4to, 1748, 4to, 1757, 4to; Madrid 1773, 4to - all in two vols.

Latassa also mentions various poems and letters which are scattered about, some in MS. For El Varon Atento and El Galante see supra p. xxii.

B. Osicuto MANUAL.

Early Spanish Bibliography is in a very bad state. One difficulty is that each of the smaller kingdoms of Spain seems to have had the right to reprint books published in any other division. We find this difficulty with the Editio Princeps of the Ordculo Manual. Latassa states that it was first published in Huesca, Aragon, in 1647, " Por Juan Nogues " (like most of Gracian's works). No copy of this edition is known to exist in any of the great libraries of Spain or other parts of Europe, and the earliest known is that contained in the British Museum with the following title :-

Oracv10 / Manval y Arte / de Prvdencia / Sacada de los a / forismos que de discurren en / las obras de Lorenco / Gracian. / Publicala D. Vi / cencio Juan de Lastanosa. / Y la dedica / al Excelentiasimo / Senor D. Luis Mendez J de Haro. Con licencia. En Madrid per Maria de Oinones ano de 1653. / [160 pp. in 240]

But in the Censor's licence to this there is a distinct reference to a previous edition with which it is said to correspond [" coresponde con el antes impresso . . . que otras vezes ha sido impresse "]. This confirms Latassa s date of 1647 for the ED. PR. But this makes it difficult to understand Lastanosa's reference to the twelve books of Gracian's, of which the Oraculo was the quintessence.

Four only had been published by that time, and the two unpublished would make up only half a dozen. We must therefore leave the date of the ED. PR. & Variable between 1647 and 1653, to be fixed by the future Spanish Lowndes or Hazlitt.

The Oraculo was reprinted at Amsterdam a659, and henceforth it appeared in all the editions of the Obras. It is curious that it has never been reprinted separately in modern times in Spain, and can only be obtained in Biblioteca de autores espaaoles, tomo lxy. It has, however, been a book more honoured abroad than in its own country, as the following list of Translations, taken mainly from Grisebach and the British Museum Catalogue, will show :-


I. Oracolo manuale, e Arte di Prudenza / Cavata dagl' Aforismi, che si discorrono nell' Opre di Lorenzo Gratiano / Mandalo in Luce D. Vincenzo Giovanni de Lastanosa. Diretto alla Nobilti Venetiana e dedicato all' Illustr. & Eccellentiss. Sig. Leonardo Pesaro . . . In Venetia MDCLXXXIX.
[Republished Venice, 1708, 1718, 1790.]

2. Huomo di Corte nuovamente tradotto dall' Abbate Franceso Tosques. Roma, 1698.
[From the French. Republished Venice, 1730; Naples, 1740, 1761.]


1. L'homme de cour de Baltasar Gracian. Tradult & commente par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, cidevant Secretaire de l'Ambassade de France 's Venise. Paris, 1684.
[Reprinted La Hague, 1692; Lyons, 1693 ; Rotterdam, 1716, 1728; also editions in Paris, 1691, 1702, 1732, 1765, 1808.]

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2. Maximes de Baltazar Gracien, tradultes de l'Espagnol [par J. de Courbeville]. Paris, 1730.

III. English.

1. The / Courtier's / Oracle; / or the / Art of Prudence / . . Written originally in Spanish / And now done into English. London, 1694.
[From the French of Amelot de la Houssaie.]

2. The Art of Prudence ; or a Companion for a Man of Sense. Made English . . and illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's notes, by Mr. Savage. London, 1702.
[Two more editions, 1705, 1714. The book was simply a revision of the earlier translation.]


1. Balthas. Graciani, Hispani, Aulicus sive de prudentia civili et maxime aulica liber singularis olim hispanice conscriptus, postea et Gallice, Italice, Germanice editus, nunc ex Ameloti versione Latine redditus . . Franc. Glarianus Meldenus, Constantiensis, recensuit, layine vertit . . . et notis illustravit. Accessit Joh. Gottl. Heineccii J.C. praefatio. Francofurti ad Viadrum MDCCXXXI.
[A reprint at Vienna, 1750.]

2. Hominis Aulici notum Graciani oraculum prtidentiae, depromptum in sententiarum politicarum centurias III . . . Latinorum lingua loquens per interpretem P. A. Ulrich. 1734.

[plus bibliography for Hungarian, Polish and German]

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[plus bibliography for German and Dutch]

Leading Maxims

i Everything is at its Acme (Todo estd ya en su punto) . . . . . . . 1

ii Character and Intellect (Genio y ingenio) . 1

iii Keep Matters for a Time in Suspense (Llevar sus cosas con suspencion) . . . . 2

iv Knowledge and Courage (El saber y el valor). 2

v Create a Feeling of Dependence (Hazer depender) 3

vi A Man at his Highest Point (Hombre en su punto) 3

vil Avoid Victories over Superiors (Escusar vitorias del patron) . . . . . . 4

viii To be without Passions (Hombre inapasionable) . . . . . . . 5

ix Avoid the Faults of your Nation (Desmentir los achaques de su nacion) . . . . 5

x Fortune and Fame (Fortuna y Fama) . . 6

xi Cultivate those who can teach you (Tratar con guien se pueda aprender) . . . 6

xii Nature and Art (Naturalesa y Arte) . . 7

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xiii Act sometimes on Second Thoughts,sometimes on First Impulse (Obrar deintencion, yasegunda y ya primera) . . . . . . 7

xiv The Thing Itself and the Way it is done (La realidad ye el modo) , . . . . 8

xv Keep Ministering Spirits (Tener ingenios auxillares) . . . . . 9

xvi Knowledge and Good Intentions (Saber con recta intencion) . . . . . 10

xvii Vary the Mode of Action (Variar de tenor en el obrar) . . . . . . 10

xviii Application and Ability (Aplicacion y Minema) 11

xix Arouse no Exaggerated Expectations on entering (No entrar con sobrada expectacion) 11

xx A Man of the Age (Hombre en su siglo) . . 12

xxi The Art of being Lucky (Arte para ser dickoso) 13

xxii A Man of Knowledge to the Point (Hombre de plausibles noticias) . . . . 13

xxiii Be Spotless (No tener alguri desdoro) . . 14

xxiv Keep the Imagination under Control (Templar la imaginacion) . . . . . 14

xxy Know how to take a Hint (Buen entendedon) . 15

xxvi Find out each Man's Thumbscrew (Hallarle su torcedor 4 cade uno) , . . . 15

xxvii Prize Intensity more than Extent (Pagarse rnas de Intenciones gue de Extenciones) . . 16

xxviii Common in Nothing (En nada mulgar) . ' . 16

xxix A Man of Rectitude (Hombre de entcrema) . 17

xxx Have naught to do with Occupations of Illrepute (No haser profesion de empleos desautorizados) . . . . . . 18

xxxi Select the Lucky and avoid the Unlucky (Conocer los af rtunados para la cleccion y los desdichados para la fuga) . . . . 18

xxxii Have the Reputation of being Gracious (Estar en opinion de ddr gusto) . . . , 19

xxxili Know how to Withdraw (Saber abstraer) . 19

xxxiv Know your strongest Point (Conocer su realce Rey) . . . . . . . 20

xxxy Think over Things, most over the most Important (Hazer concepto y mas de lo que importa phas) , , . . . . 20

xxxvi In Acting or Refraining, weigh your Luck (Tener tanteada su Fortuna, para el proceder, para desempenarse) . . . . . 21

xxxvii Keep a Store of Sarcasms, arid know how to use them (Conocer y saber usar de las carrillas)...... 22

xxxviii Leave your Luck while Winning (Saberse dexar ganando con la fortuna) . . . 23

xxxix Recognise when Things are ripe, and then enjoy them (Conocer las hosas en su punto, en su sazon y saberlas lograr) . . . . 23

xl The Goodwill of People (Gracia de las gentes) 24

xli Never Exaggerate (Nunca exagerar) . 24

xlii Born to command (Del natural Imperio) . 25

xliii Think with the Few and speak with the Many (Sentir con los menos y hablar can los mas) 25

xliv Sympathy with great Minds (Simpatia con los grandes war ones) . . . . . 26

xly Use, but do not abuse, Cunning (Usar, no abusar de las reflexas) . . . . 27

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[Different English translations of some maxims in Baltasar Gracian's (1601-1658) The Art of Worldly Wisdom]

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