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Comparing some maxims within the different English translations of Baltasar Gracian's (1601-1658) The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647) and the original Spanish and the 1685 French translation

(Currently: Anonymous (1685), Mr Savage (1702); Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (1877); Joseph Jacobs (1892); Martin Fischer (1934); Dr. C. Charles Burlingame (1938); Dr. C. Charles Burlingame (1945); Otto Eisenschiml (1947); L.B. Walton (1953); Thomas G. Corvan (1964); Lawrence C. Lockley (1966); Christopher Maurer (1991); J. Leonard Kaye (1992); Juan de Aragon (2004) ; Professor Frank Pajares (2005))

Lachlan's Homepage is at http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au

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[Some English Translations of the Maxims of Baltasar Gracian] | [Baltazar Gracian Links] | [Lachlan's Notes on the Gracian Translations]


Benchmark English Translations of Baltasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom"

English translations of Baltasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" generally considered to be the "benchmark" translations are that of Joseph Jacobs (1892); Martin Fischer (1934) and Christopher Maurer (1991). These translations are generally still found on book store shelves. However, it is a pity the excellent 1953 translation of L.B. Walton (of the University of Edinburgh) did not get a wider distribution. The Lawrence C. Lockley 1967 translation is a good scholarly effort. All found translations are included below so people can peruse for themselves, especially comparing the word selection and overall theme of the Maxims (some Maxims may not be accurately matched due to some translations bearing no apparant match to the others). The translation I consider the best would be the Joseph Jacobs (1892), but this could be due to it being the first translation I read. Though a recently obtained L.B. Walton 1953 scholarly translation is also very excellent (with a first class introduction). Be wary that some anonymous editors have dumbed down the original Jacobs text in some recent third party reprints without indicated this has occured (both in the text and the notes explaining the caveates and limitations of the translation); and to a lesser extent in some third party reprints of the Fischer 1934 text.

Pretty much all the translations have a charm that makes them worth perusing; though it would be recommended to use the Joseph Jacobs (1892) or L.B. Walton (1953) as the control standard for comparison. While the earlier Anonymous (1685) and Mr Savage (1702) would be roughly contemporary with the original Spanish text, there are statements by later translaters that the 1702 translation was translated from the 1685 French translation by De La Houssaie, not the original Spanish text. ("L'Homme De Cour", Par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, 1685). Though L.B. Walton states that Mr Savage (1702) "had, some happy inspirations". The 1685 Anonymous translation is similar to the 1702, but does have quite distinct differences and does not have the translated commentry of Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie.

People may like to read Professor Frank Pajares's page on Why provide a new translation of Baltasar Gracián's Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia and the start of his translation


A suggestion for people interested in other European language translations may be to check the Bibliographic Appendix to Martin Fischer's 1934 translation, and that in the L.B. Walton 1953 translation. Even though written in the 1930's and 1950's respectively, it may serve as a guide, especially for the German and French version.

Until May 2006, there was a single Chinese language translation. But it is a translation of the Maurer 1991 English translation. Feedback received from one person who read it, and compared it to the Maurer text, gave a very negative review as to the quality and consistency of the translation. However, there is a newer May 2006 bilingual English-Chinese translation, based on using several of the English texts, by Hadrian Huang in Shanghai, ISBN is 7-5617-4621-0 (http://www.hdsdbook.com.cn/). It provides the English 1892 translation by Joseph Jacobs with the new Chinese translation. Screen dumps of the book cover and acknowledgements is below:

Front cover of 2006 Chinese Translation of Baltasar Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom . . Inside cover and acknowledgements of 2006 Chinese Translation of Baltasar Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Via Rastislav Telgarsky: a Polish translation is "Brewiarz Dyplomatyczny"; in English: Diplomatic Breviary (or, a "Reading for Diplomats") and in Slovak: Baltasar Gracian, Prirucne Orakulum Mudrosti, NESTOR, Bratislava 1998. (From Spanish original Oraculo manual y arte de prudencia, Catedra, Madrid, translated by PhDr. Martina Slezakova)


Full English (and French and Spanish) translations, and/or translator's notes of "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" by Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) on the web


Spanish (1647)


French (1685)

  • JPG images of L'Homme de Cour de Baltazar Gracian (French translation of the Art of Worldly Wisdom) Traduit & commente. Par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, ci-devant Secretaire de l'Ambassade de France a Venise. Troisieme Edition, revue and corigee. A Paris. Chez la Veuve-Martin, and Jean Boudot, rue Saint Jaques, au Soliel d'or. M. DC. LXXXV (1685) Avec Priviledge du Roi (This is the translation that most of the early European translations used (instead of the original Spanish). It is claimed by some more modern translators (e.g., Joseph Jacobs, L.B. Walton) that the 1702 English translation of Mr Savage used this French version, not the original Spanish version, as the basis for the English translation.)


English (1685 - 2005)


Comparing some maxims within the different English translations of Baltasar Gracian, and the original Spanish and 1685 French translation


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No IX/9 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Desmentir los achaques de su nación:

Participa el agua las calidades buenas o malas de las venas por donde passa, y el hombre las del clima donde nace. Deven más unos que otros a sus patrias, que cupo allí más favorable el Cenid. No ai nación que se escape de algún original defecto: aun las más cultas, que luego censuran los confinantes, o para cautela, o para consuelo. Vitoriosa destreza corregir, o por lo menos desmentir estos nacionales desdoros: consíguese el plausible crédito de único entre los suyos, que lo que menos se esperava se estimó más. Ai también achaques de la prosapia, del estado, del empleo y de la edad, que si coinciden todos en un sugeto y con la atención no se previenen, hazen un monstro intolerable.


Maxim/Aphorism No IX/9 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 8-9) - L'Homme de Cour de Baltazar Gracian, 1685 (French translation of the Art of Worldly Wisdom)

(Traduit & commente. Par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, ci-devant Secretaire de l'Ambassade de France a Venise. Troisieme Edition, revue and corigee. A Paris. Chez la Veuve-Martin, and Jean Boudot, rue Saint Jaques, au Soliel d'or. M. DC. LXXXV (1685) Avec Priviledge du Roi)

Démentir les défauts de sa nation:

L'eau prend les bonnes ou mauvaises qualitez des mines, par où elle passe, & l'homme celles du climat, où il naît. Les uns doivent plus que les autres à leur Patrie, pour y avoir rencontré une plus favorable étoile. Il n'y a point de nation, si polie qu'elle soit, qui n'ait quolque défaut original, que censurent ses voisins, soit par précaution, ou par émulation. C'est une victoire d'habile-homme, de coriger, ou du moins de faire mentir là censure de ces défauts. o'on aquert par la le renom glorieux d'être unique, & céte éxemtion du défaut commun est d'autant plus estimée, que personne ne s'y atend. Il y a aussi des défauts de famille, de profession, d'emploi, & d'age, qui venant à se trouver tous dans un même sujet, en font un monstre insuportable, si l'on ne les prévient de bonne-heure.


Maxim/Aphorism No IX/9 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 7) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To falsisie the Defects in one's Nation:

Water imbibes the good or bad qualities of the Minerals through which it passes, and Man those of the Climates where he is born. Some are more obliged than others to their Country, in that they have met with a more favourable constallation in it. There is no Nation, how Polite foever, but hath some original failing, which their Neighbours, either out of caution or emulation, censure. It is the victory of an able Man to correct, or at least to nely the censure of there failings. Thereby one acquires glorious renown of being singular, and that exemption from a common Fault is the more esteemed, that no body expects it. There are also Family-defects, defects in Profession, Employment and Age, which concurring altogether in one and the same subject, render it an unsupportable Monster, if they be not timely prevented.


Maxim/Aphorism No IX/9 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 11) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To conceal the Defects in one's Nation:

Water imbibes the good or bad Qualities of the Minerals thro' which it passes, as a Man does those of the Climate under which he is born. Some are more obliged than others to their Country, in that they have met with a more favourable Constallation in it. There is no Nation, how polite soever, but hath some original Failing, which its Neighbours, either out of Caution or Emulation, censure. It is the Glory of the able Man to correct, or at least to battle the Censure of these Failings. Thereby one acquires great Renown, and that Exemption from a common Fault is the more esteemed, in that no body expected it. There are also Family-Infirmities, Defects in Professions, Employments, and Age; which meeting altogether in one, and the same subject, render it an insupportable Monster, if they be not timely prevented.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

9. Avoid the faults of your nation. - Water shares in the good or bad qualities of the veins through which it passes, and a man in those of the clime in which he is born. . . . There are family faults and faults of position, faults of office and faults of age. If they all meet in one person, and are not opposed by attention, they make an intolerable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

9. Avoid the faults of your nation. Water shares the good or bad qualities of the strata through which it flows and man those of the climate in which he is born. Some owe more than others to their native land, because there is a more favorable sky in the zenith. There is not a nation among even the most civilized that has not some fault peculiar to itself which other nations blame by way of boast or as a warning. 'Tis a triumph of cleverness to correct in oneself such national failings, or even to hide them : you get great credit for being unique among your fellows, and as it is less expected of you it is esteemed the more. There are also family failings as well as faults of position, of office, or of age. If these all meet in one person and are not carefully guarded against, they make an intolerable monster.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

9. Avoid the faults of your nation. Water shares the good or bad qualities of the channels through which it flows and people share those of the climate in which they are born. Some owe more than others to their native land, because there is a more favorable sky in the zenith. There is not a nation among even the most civilized that has not some fault peculiar to itself that other nations blame by way of boast or as a warning. It is a triumph of cleverness to correct in oneself such failings, or even to hide them. You get great credit for being unique among your fellows because what is less expected is esteemed all the more. There are also family failings as well as faults of position, of office, or of age. If these all meet in one person and are not carefully guarded against, they make an intolerable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

Belie in yourself the weaknesses of your country. Water partakes of the qualities, good or bad, of the seams through which it flows; the man of the clime into which he is born. Some owe more to their country than other because a happier zenith lay above them. There is not nation, even of the most cultured, without some inborn defect which its neighbors will not at once strike upon, either for their caution, or their comfort. A commendable skill to eradicate such national weaknesses in yourself, or at least, to hide them: thus are you made unique among your kind, for what is least expected is most esteemed. There are weaknesses also of race, of rank, of profession, and of age, which if gathered together in one individual, and not curbed, yield an intolerable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 5, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Man inherits some of the good and some of the bad qualities of his forefathers, like water which carried with it varying traces of the soil through which it has passed on its way to the surface.

But, unlike the water which cannot purify itself, man can free himself of his inherited handicaps. He will thus not only benefit himself, but his brothers as well, especially if the vices ascribed to them are based on fixed prejudices and exist largely in the imagination of malicious revilers.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 55, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Conceal your national failings. Water shared the good or bad qualities of the channels through which it flows, and a man the characteristics of the country in which he is born. Some owe more than others to their fatherland, for the stars have been more favourable inclined towards them there [than they would have been in another part of the world]. There is no nation, however civilized, that is free from some native failing which its neighbours are quick to censure, either from guile, or for their own amusement. It is a triumph of skill to correct or, at least, to conceal these national shortcomings; to do so will win you the praiseworthy reputation of being unique among your fellows: for what was least expected is the more highly esteemed. There are, also, defects of lineage, status, office, and age, which, if they are all united in one person and are not carefully forestalled, make an insufferable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[Can't match this up]


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Live down the faults of your race. Water shares the good and the bad qualities of the strata through which it passes, and man, those of the culture into which he is born. Some owe more than others to their fatherlands, for in some places the sky seems more propitious for accomplishment. Not even the most civilized races escape faults. It is a triumph of cleverness to correct, or at least, to conceal, these racial failings. You can achieve credit by this tactic, the more because it is not expected of you. There are also faults of the generation, of the country, of the occupation, and of the era. If these all meet in one person, he will, unless he guards well against them, grow to be a veritable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

Avoid the defects of your country. Water shares the good and bad qualities of the beds through which it runs; people share those of the region where they are born. Some owe more than others to their mother country, or city, for they were born under favourable skies. No country, not even the most refined, has ever escaped some innate defect or other, and these weaknesses are seized on by neighboring countries as defense or consolation. It is a triumph to correct, or at least dissimulate, such national faults. By doing so, you will be revered as unique among your people; for what is least expected is most valued. Other defects are caused by one's lineage, condition, occupation and by the times. If all these defects come together in one person, and no care is taken to foresee and correct them, they produce an intolerable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[Can't match this up]


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

You are not your country

Water must take on the forms, good and bad, of the vessels which contain it. Man assumes the conditions into which he is born. There are those born under a lucky star that receive much benefit from their native country; but no nation, even the most advanced, is without some element which is chosen by its neighbors as the reason for a strike against it either in self defense or for their own gain. It is desirable to erase national weakness from your person, or at least to cover them up. This will hold you apart, since that which is not expected is held in high esteem. The same holds true for attributes of your race, rank, profession, or age, which if you do not contain them can turn into a dreadful monstrosity. Reject, therefore, the aspect of your group or nationality which work against you.


Maxim/Aphorism No 9 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Oráculo Manual i Arte de Prudencia" translated by Professor Frank Pajares; 2005, (published on the web)

Avoiding your nation's defects.

Water shares the good or bad qualities of the earth through which it passes, and man of the climate into which he is born. Some owe more than others to their nation, they were born under clearer skies. Not even the most cultured of nations can avoid an innate defect, which other nations quickly criticize, either for caution or for consolation. It is a triumph of skill to correct, or at least to overlook, these national faults: you will be thought unique among your countrymen, for what is least is expected is most valued. There are defects also due to ancestry, to condition, to occupation, and to age, which if they come together in one person and with attention are not prevented, create an intolerable monster.


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism NoXIII/13 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Obrar de intención, ya segunda, y ya primera

Milicia es la vida del hombre contra la malicia del hombre, pelea la sagazidad con estratagemas de intención. Nunca obra lo que indica, apunta, sí, para deslumbrar; amaga al aire con destreza y executa en la impensada realidad, atenta siempre a desmentir. Echa una intención para assegurarse de la émula atención, y rebuelve luego contra ella venciendo por lo impensado. Pero la penetrante inteligencia la previene con atenciones, la azecha con reflexas, entiende siempre lo contrario de lo que quiere que entienda, y conoce luego qualquier intentar de falso; dexa passar toda primera intención, y está en espera a la segunda y aun a la tercera. Augméntase la simulación al ver alcançado su artificio, y pretende engañar con la misma verdad: muda de juego por mudar de treta, y haze artificio del no artificio, fundando su astucia en la mayor candidez. Acude la observación intendiendo su perspicacia, y descubre las tinieblas revestidas de la luz; desçifra la intención, más solapada quanto más sencilla. Desta suerte combaten la calidez de Pitón contra la candidez de los penetrantes rayos de Apolo.


Maxim/Aphorism No XIII/13 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 8-9) - L'Homme de Cour de Baltazar Gracian, 1685 (French translation of the Art of Worldly Wisdom)

(Traduit & commente. Par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, ci-devant Secretaire de l'Ambassade de France a Venise. Troisieme Edition, revue and corigee. A Paris. Chez la Veuve-Martin, and Jean Boudot, rue Saint Jaques, au Soliel d'or. M. DC. LXXXV (1685) Avec Priviledge du Roi)

Procéder quelquefois finement, quelque-fois rondement

Le Vie-Humaine est un combat contre le malice de l'homme même. L'homme adroit y emploie pour armes les stratagemes de l'intention. Il ne fait jamais ce qu'il montre avoir envie de faire, il mire un but, meis c'est pour tromper les yeux, qui le regardent. Il jete une parole en l'air, & puis il fait une chose, à quoi personne ne pensoit. S'il dit un mot, c'est pour amuser ;'atention de ses rivaux; & des Qu'élle est ocupee à ce qu'ils pensent, il éxécute aussi-tôt ce qu'ils ne pensoient pas. Celui donc, qui veut se garder d'étre trompé, prévient la ruse de son compagnon par de bonnes réfléxions. Il entend toujours le contraire de ce qu'on veut, qu'il enterde, &, par là, il découvre incontinent la feinte. Il laisse passer le premier coup, pour atendre de pié-ferme le second, ou le troi-fieme. Et puis, quant son artifice est connu, il resine sa dissimulation, en se sevent de la vérité même, pour tromper. Il change de jeu & de baterie, pour changer de ruse. Sone artifice est de n'en avoir plus, & toute sa finesse est de passer de la dessimulation précédente a la candeur. Celui, qui l'observe, & qui à de la pénétration, connoissant l'adresse de son rival, se tient sur fes gardes, & découvre les tenébres revétuës de la lumiére. Il déchifre un procédé d'autant plus caché, que tout y est sincére. Et c'est ainsi que la finesse de Piton combat contre la candeur d'Apollon.


Maxim/Aphorism No XIII/13 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 10-11) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To proceed sometimes cunningly, sometimes candidly.

Man's life is a conflict with the malice of man himself. An expert man for weapons uses the strategems of intention. He never does what he seems to have a mind to doe. He takes aim, but that is to deceive the Eyes that look upon him. He blurts out a word in the air, and then does a thing that no body dreamt of. If he comes out with a saying, it is to amuse the attention of his Rivals, and whilst that is taken up in considering what he drives at, he presently acts what never came into their thoughts. He then, that takes heed not to be imposed upon, prevents the cunning of his Companion by good reflexions. He always understands the contrary of what one would have him to understand, and thereby he immediates discovers the falsisie. He lets the first pass goe, and expects the second or third with a good guard. And when afterwards his Artifice is known, he refines his dissimulation, making use of truth it self to deceive by. To change his cunning, he changes his ground and battery. His Artifice is to have no more Art, and all is subtilty is to pass from Dissimulation to Candour. He, who observes it with a piercing Eye, knowing the Arts of his Rival, stands upon his guard, and discovers darkness under a veil of light. He unriddles a procedure, the more mysterious, that every thing in it is sincere. And thus the wiles of Pytho engage the candour of Apollo.


Maxim/Aphorism No XIII/13 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 11) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To proceed sometimes cunningly, sometimes candidly.

Man's life is a perpetual Conflict with Man himself. An expert Person uses for Weapons the strategems of Intention: He never does what he seems to have a mind to do. He takes aim, 'tis true, but that only to deceive the Eyes of those that look upon him. He blurts out a word, and afterwards does what no body dreamt of. If he comes out with a Saying, it whilst they are taken up in considering what he drives at, he presently Acts, what never came into their Thoughts. He then, what takes heed not to be imposed upon, prevents the cunning of his Companion, by good Reflections. He always understands the contrary, of what one would have him, and thereby immediately discovers the stratagem. He parrys with first Pass, and expects the second, or third, in a good guard. And when afterwards his Artifice comes to be known, he refines his dissimulation, making use of Truth her self to deceive by. To change his cunning, he changes his ground and Battery. His Artifice is to have no more Art, and all his subtility is to pass from Dissimulation to Candour. He, who observes with a piercing Eye, knows the Arts of his Rival, stands upon his guard, and discovers darkness thro a veil of light. He unriddles a procedure, which is the more mysterious, in that every thing in it is sincere. And thus the wiles of Python combats the candour of Apollo.


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

[this maxim was not translated]


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

13: Act sometimes on second thoughts, sometimes on first impulse.

Man's life is a warfare against the malice of men. Sagacity fights with strategic changes of intention : it never doing what it threatens, it aims only at escaping notice. It aims in the air with dexterity and strikes home in an unexpected direction, always seeking to conceal its game. It lets a purpose appear in order to attract the opponent's attention, but then turns round and conquers by the unexpected. But a penetrating intelligence anticipates this by watchfulness and lurks in ambush. It always understands the opposite of what the opponent wishes it to understand, and recognizes every feint of guile. It lets the first impulse pass by and waits for the second, or even the third. Sagacity now rises to higher flights on seeing its artifice foreseen: It tries to deceive by truth itself, changes its game in order to change its deceit, cheats by not cheating, and founds deception on the greatest candour. But the opposing intelligence is on guard with increased watchfulness and discovers the darkness concealed by the light and deciphers every move, the more subtle because more simple. In this way the guile of the Python combats the far darting rays of Apollo.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

Act sometimes on second thoughts, sometimes on first impulse.

Life is a warfare against the malice of others. Sagacity fights with strategic changes of intention - never doing what it threatens, aiming only to escape notice. It aims in the air with dexterity and strikes home in an unexpected direction, always seeking to conceal its game. It lets a purpose appear in order to attract the opponent's attention, but then turns round and conquers by the unexpected. But a penetrating intelligence anticipates this by watchfulness and lurks in ambush. It always understands the opposite of what the opponent wishes it to understand, and recognizes every feint of guile. It lets the first impulse pass by and waits for the second, or even the third. Sagacity now rises to higher flights on seeing its artifice foreseen: It tries to deceive by truth itself, changing its game in order to change its deceit, cheats by not cheating, and bases its deception on the greatest candor. But the opposing intelligence is on guard with increased watchfulness and discovers the darkness concealed by the light and deciphers every move, the more subtle because more simple. In this way the guile of the Python combats the far darting rays of Apollo.


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

13: "Accomplish your ends, sometimes indirectly, and sometimes directly. Life if a struggle of man against man's malice, in which sagacit comes to grips with the strategy of design. It never does the indicated, yea, it takes aim to deceive, the fanfare is in the light but the execution is in the dark, the purpose being always to belie. Intention is revealed to divert the attention of the adversary, when it is changed to gain the end by what was unexpected. But insight has perspicacity, is wary, and waits behind its armor: sensing always the opposite of what is was to sense, and recognizing at once the real purpose of the trick; it allows every first hint to pass, lies in wait for a second, and even a third. The simulation of truth now mounts higher by glossing the deception and tries through truth itself to falsify: it changes the play in order to change the trick, and makes the real appear the phantom: founding the greatest fraud upon the greatest candor. But wariness is on watch seeing clearly what is intended, and covering the blackness that was clothed in light: recognizing that design most arful which looked most artless. In such fashion is the wiliness of Python matched against the whiteness of Apollo's penetrating rays."


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 7, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"Life is a battle of skill and wits, like a game of sports. The successful player confuses his opponent by unexpected moves, and changes them frequently, so as to turn confusion into perplexity.
A noted diplomat once was visited by the representative of a neighboring country.
"Sir," said the visitor, "if it were not against polite behaviour, I would say that the last time we met, you deceived me. You told me you were going out of town."
"But I did go," was the reply.
"That, sir," declared the other diplomat, "is how you deceived me.""


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 59, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Behave sometimes disingenuously, hometimes with candour. Man's life is a manoeuvre against the malice of men; crafty schemes are the weapons of the shrewd. [Cunning] never behaves as appearances would suggest: it takes its aim, indeed, in order to provoke confusion: it skilfully contrives to keep its threats indefinite and carries them out in an unforeseen way, intent always upon dissimulation. It affords a glimpse of its purpose in order to ensure the attention of a rival, and then does the very opposite, triumphing by means of the unexpected. But keen intelligence shrewdly foresees this [and] lies in thoughtful ambush; it always comes to a conclusion contrary to the one it is intended to reach and at once recognizes any attempt at deception: it ignores every first and obvious aim and waits for the second, and even the third. Dissimulation is intensified when its trick has been detected and then endeavours to deceive by means of truth itself: it alters its play by some new feint, and turns simplicity into guile, basing its astuteness upon [a show of] extreme candour. Observation comes along and, its perspicacity seeing through the trick, unmasks the wolf in sheep's clothing; it detects the purpose [and sees it] as the craftier the more straight-forward it appears. In this way, the cunning of the Python combats the candour of the searching beams of Apollo.


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 82, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

Watch with continued caution, those persons of pretense who act by indirection instead of direction. They cannot be trusted. Their approach is one of initial humility in standing behind you, with an ultimate intent of haughtiness in standing in front of you. They are specialists in double-dealing and deceit.

Take care that the overly obsequious associates of today do not become your obstinate opponents of tomorrow. It would then be a case of monumentally misplaced trust.

The wise keep their attention and awareness always alert.

Many overlook, but the prudent do not pass over the obvious question of the reasons "why" of another man's conduct. Why the indirect road, when the direct is available? What personal gain is at stake, at your expense?

In dealing with potential deceivers, it is well to utilize your own combative cunning to pretend one thing, yet intend another. If you levy on your lieutenants authority to act in your behalf, remember the cardinal rule of Caesar - make them understand, that you understand-that the Rubicon is reached at the first taint of treachery.


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Act as often on second impulse as you do on first. Man's life is a constant warfare against the malice of men. True sagacity fights with the strategy of a concealed purpose. It never performs that which is indicated. It aims, yes, but only to deceive: it feints with dexterity, and strikes with unexpected reality. It reveals a purpose to distrat an antogaonist's attention, and then turns to conquer by the unexpected. The penetrating intelligence of the prudent man forsees these tactics on the part of his antagonist, and lurks in ambush. He understands always his opponent is likely to act contrary to appearances, thus, recognizing every intention of deceit, watches for the second, or even the third thrust. Wisdom pretends to be deceived by such an artifice. And even when the antagonist makes an artifice of no artifice, basing his strategy on complete candor, wisdom increases its alertness and discovers the shadow in the light, deciphering the intention - an intention the more cunning because the more simple. Thus fortune apposes the astuteness of Pittacus against the directness of the penetrating rays of Apollo.


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

13: "Act on the intentions of others: their ulterior and superior motives. Man's life on earth is a militia against malicia, or malice. Cunning arms itself with strategies of intention. It never does what it indicates. It takes aim deceptively, feints nonchalantly in the air, and delivers its blow, acting upon unforeseen reality with attentive dissimulation. To win the attention and confidence of others, it hints at its intention. But immediately it turns against that intention and conquers through surprise. The penetrating intelligence heads off cunning with close observation, ambushes it with caution, understands the opposite of what cunning wanted it to understand, and immediately false intentions. Intelligence allows the first intention to pass by, and awaits the second one, and even the third. Simulation grows even greater seeing that its guile has been penetrated, and tries to deceive by telling the truth. Changing strategies, it beguiles us with its apparent lack of guile. It bases its cunning on the greatest candor. But observation comes forward, sees through all this, and discovers the shadows that are cloaked in light. It deciphers intention, which is most hidden when most simple. Thus does the cunning of Python struggle against the candor of the penetrating rays of Apollo."


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Outwitted is outdone

"Watch him who conducts business in an indirect manner. The obvious is never present as he attempts to put you off guard so that he may steal from you. Such a man conceals his intent only to attain it. His intent lurks in the background in order to emerge casually when the moment is propitious: it becomes a shot that reaches its mark through its very carelessness. You are warned not to be asleep when the other's intent is so awake! Note with caution the craftiness, and recognize the pretexts that are advanced for this purpose. Consider the circumstances and know what you are conceding: take account of source and qualify what you are granting. And in this mode allow him to understand that you understand. For he who is outwitted is outdone."


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Achieve your goals along a serpentine course.

Objectives should be gone after at times directly and at other times indirectly. Life is a battle of man against his own animosity. In this struggle, clear thiking meets strategy and contrivance. What seems to be obvious does not come to pass, as deception is used. Plans are made by light, but the operations takes place in the dark in order to mislead. The enemy should be allowed to see intention, but this intention should then be changed in order to surprise him. Use insight to see all sides, and be alert behind your defenses, seeing the obvious as well as its opposite, and being cognizant of possible trickery. Insight allows us to let the first revelation pass, while waiting for the next, or the next. When deception masquerades as truth and tries to turn back on itself in an effort to make what is true seem the untrue, the greatest of frauds is committed. By watching carefully using sharp wariness, we can see clearly the true intent, and recognize the strategic use of design and trickery. All is not as it seems!


Maxim/Aphorism No 13 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Oráculo Manual i Arte de Prudencia" translated by Professor Frank Pajares; 2005, (published on the web)

Reacting to intentions, sometimes second, and sometimes first.

Man's life is a militia against man's malice, and cunning succeeds through strategic changes of intention. Cunning never does what it shows, it takes aim, yes, but to deceive; gestures openly and skillfully, but strikes in an unexpected direction, always ready to conceal its true intention. Shows one intention to ensure attention, then turns against that intention, winning with the unexpected. But a penetrating and attentive intellect anticipates cunning, ambushes it with caution, understand always the opposite of what cunning expected it to understand, and recognizes quickly all efforts to deceive; it lets pass all first intentions, and lies in wait for the second and even the third. Cunning grows in deceit at seeing itself discovered, and tries to deceive with truth itself: changes its game by changing its trick, guiles by not guiling, founding deception in the greatest candor. Observation sees through deceit and discovers the darkness cloaked in the light; deciphers the intention, more devious when more simple. In this manner the cunning of Python combats against the candor of the penetrating rays of Apollo.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No XX/20 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Hombre en su siglo

Los sugetos eminentemente raros dependen de los tiempos. No todos tuvieron el que merecían, y muchos, aunque le tuvieron, no acertaron a lograrle. Fueron dignos algunos de mejor siglo, que no todo lo bueno triunfa siempre; tienen las cosas su vez, hasta las eminencias son al uso. Pero lleva una ventaja lo sabio, que es eterno; y si este no es su siglo, muchos otros lo serán.


Maxim/Aphorism XX/20 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 19-20) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Every Man in his Time.

People of extraordinary and eminent merit depend on the Times. All have not had the Age they deserved, and many have met with that, have not nevertheless had the happiness to make the best use of it. Others have been worthy of a better Age; which is an argument, that every thing that is good, does not always triumph. Things of this world have their seasons, and that which is most eminent is obnoxious to the freakishness of custom. But it is always the comfort of a Wise Man, that he is eternal. For if his own age be ungrateful to him, those that come after doe him justice


Maxim/Aphorism No XX/20 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 20) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Every Man in his Time.

Men of extraordinary Merit ever depend on the Times. All have not liv'd in the Age they deserv'd, and many have met with that, have not nevertheless had the happiness to make the best use of it. Others have been worthy of a better Age; which is an Argument, that every thing that is good, does not always triumph. Things of this World have their Seasons. And that which is most eminent is render'd obnoxious by the wantonness of a depraved Custom. But it is always the Comfort of a Wise Man, that his Actions will make him for ever known. For if his own Age be ungrateful to him, those that come after will assuredly do him justice.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

20. Be a man of your century. - Extraordinary men are dependent upon their time. Not all have found the century of which they were worthy, and many have found it indeed, but have not been able to profit by it. Some were worthy of a better century, for it is not always that every good thing triumphs. Things have their periods, and even the highest qualities are subject to fashion. The wise man has, nevertheless, this advantage, that he is immortal. If this is not his century, at least a great many others will be.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

A man of the Age.

The rarest individuals depend on their age. It is not everyone that finds the age he deserves, and even when he finds it he does not always know how to utilise it. Some men have been worthy of a better century, for every species of good does not always triumph. Things have their period; even excellencies are subject to fashion. The sage has one advantage: he is immortal. If this is not his century many others will be."

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

A man of the times.

The rarest individuals depend on their times. It is not everyone that finds the times he deserves, and even when he finds it he does not always know how to utilize it. Some people have been worthy of a better century, for every species of good does not always triumph. Things have their period - even excellent qualities are subject to fashion. Wisdom has one advantage: she is immortal. If this is not her century many others will be."


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

A man of your century.

Great men are a part of their times. Not all were born into a period worthy of them, and many so born failed to benefit by it: some merited a better century, for all that is good does not always triumph: fashions have their periods and even the greatest virtues, their styles: but the philosopher has one advantage, he is ageless; and should this not prove his century, many to follow, will."


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

People of extraordinary and eminent merit depend on the Times. All have not had the Age they deserved, and many who have met with that, have not had the happiness to make the best of it. Others have been worthy of a better Age; which is an argument, that everything that is good, does not always triumph. Things of this World have their seasons, and that which is most eminent, is obnoxious to the freakishness of Custom. But it is always the comfort of a Wise Man, that he is Eternal. For if his own age be ungrateful to him, those that come after do him Justice.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 10, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"To achieve distinction you must live in an era when your talents are in demand. Had there been no British tyranny, Washington would not have become the Father of his Country. Had Voltaire lived three hundred years earlier, he would have been burned at the stake.
Everything has its time and setting. The glittering wit of the banquet table is out of place at the prayer meeting; tender words spoken in a moonlit night lose their allurement in the light of day.
To be born under a lucky star means to be born into an age or placed into a position which calls for the qualities in which you excel."


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 65, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

A man and his times. Men of the very highest distinction are dependent upon their times. Not all of them have lived in the age which they deserved; and many, even though they did so, failed to take advantage of it. Some men have been worthy of a better age, for all good does not invariably triumph: [the] things [of this world] have their day, even the eminent have their vogue; but wisdom has one advantage, that of being eternal, and if this is not her age, many others will be.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 35, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

The outstanding men of any age, are generally the unique product of a unique time. Great men, like Caesar, are often tailored for an historic situation, just as the situation is fashioned for them.

So few of us can find or can recognize our niche in life.

Essentially, we are all captives of our native character and capabilities, and many of us are ill-suited to our own cen- tury. The very best and worst of things, are all subjects of time, and each has his rank in the passing parade of human history.

Uniquely, it is the philosopher and artist who are the favored few of history-for they are eternal because their subject is eternal.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

A man must fit the age he live in. Even the most eminent depend of their times. Not all have had what they deserved, and many of those who did have not known how to use their benefits. These have been worthies who deserved to live in better times for them, for the good does not necessarily triumph over all. Just as things have their times, so do even the greatest of men. But the wise man, whose wisdom is eternal, has this advantage: if this is not his proper century, another will be!


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

20: "A person born in the right age. People of truly rare eminence depend on the times. Not all of them had the times they deserved, and many who did were unable to take advantage of them. Some were worthy of better times, for not all goodness triumphs always. Things have their seasons, and even certain kinds of eminence go in and out of style. But wisdom has an advantage, she is eternal. If this is not her century, many others will be."


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[No translation could be match up]


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Be a man of your time.

Great men are products of the times they live in. Not everyone is born in the correct age, and many are born into an inappropriate period of time and were unable to reach their potential. There are some who would well have been born in a better century, for all that is good does not always triumph in a bad environment. Each fashion has its hour, and all good things have their times and places. The philosopher has a particular advantage, for he is ageless. If this is not his century, then the many centuries to follow may be.


Maxim/Aphorism No 20 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Oráculo Manual i Arte de Prudencia" translated by Professor Frank Pajares; 2005, (published on the web)

Man in his century.

People of rare eminence depend on their times. Not all had the one they deserved, and many, though they had it, failed to take advantage of it. Worthy were some of a better century, for not all that is good triumphs always; things have their time, even eminence bows to timeliness. But wisdom has one advantage, that it is eternal; and if this is not its century, many others will be.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No XXIX/29 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Hombre de entereza.

Siempre de parte de la razón, con tal tesón de su propósito, que ni la passión vulgar, ni la violencia tirana le obliguen jamás a pisar la raya de la razón. Pero ¿quién será este Fenis de la equidad?, que tiene pocos finos la entereza. Celébranla muchos, mas no por su casa; síguenla otros hasta el peligro; en él los falsos la niegan, los políticos la dissimulan. No repara ella en encontrarse con la amistad, con el poder, y aun con la propria conveniencia, y aquí es el aprieto del desconocerla. Abstrahen los astutos con metafísica plausible por no agraviar, o la razón superior, o la de estado; pero el constante varón juzga por especie de traición el dissimulo; préciase más de la tenacidad que de la sagacidad; hállase donde la verdad se halla; y si dexa los sugetos, no es por variedad suya, sino dellos en dexarla primero.


Maxim/Aphorism XXIX/29 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 25-26) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

The upright Man.

One ought always to be on the side of Reason, and that so constantly, that neither vulgar passion, nor any tyrannical violence may be able to make him abandon the party. But where is that Phoenix of equity to be found? Sure, she has not many Adherents. There are many who publish her praises, but will not admit her into their Houses. Others follow her as far as Danger will permit; but when they come near that, some like false Friends, deny her; and the rest, like Politicians, pretend they know her not. She, on the contrary, scruples not to fall out with Friends, with Powers, nay, and with her own interest; and ther lies the danger of mistaking her. The cunning stand neuter; and by a plausible and metaphysical subtility, endeavour to reconcile their Consciences with reasos of state. But an upright Man looks upon that way of trimming as a kind of Treason, thinking it more honour to be constant, than to be a Statesman. He is always where truth is: and if he sometimes leaves people, it is not that he is fickle, but because they have first forsaken reason.


Maxim/Aphorism No XXIX/29 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 27) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

The upright Man.

One ought always to side with Reason, and that so constantly, that neither vulgar Passion, nor any tyrannical Violence, may be able to make one abandon it. But where is this Phoenix to be found? Sure she has not many Adherents. There are many who publish her Praises, but few will admit her into their Houses. Others follow her, as far as Danger, but when they come near that, some, like false Friends, deny her, and the rest, like Politicians, pretend they know her not. She, on the contrary, scruples not to fall out with Friends, with Powers, nay, and with her own interest; and ther lies the danger of mistaking her. The Cunning stand neuter; and by a plausible and metaphysical Subtility, endeavour to reconcile their Consciences with Reasons of state. But an upright Man looks upon that way of Trimming, as a kind of Treason, thinking it more honour to be constant, than to be a Statesman. He is always where Truth is; and if he sometimes leaves People, it is not that he is fluctuating, but because they have first forsaken their best Guide, which is Reason.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

29. Be an upright man. - Such an one stands always on the side of reason, with so much fixity of purpose that neither the passion of the masses nor the violence of tyrants forces him ever to cross the line of reason. Yet who is this Phoenix of rectitude, for uprightness has few adepts ? Many praise it, but not for their own house.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

A Man of Rectitude clings to righteousness with such tenacity of purpose that neither the passions of the mob nor the violence of the tyrant can ever cause him to transgress the bounds of right. But who shall be such a Phoenix of equity? What a scanty following has rectitude! Many praise it indeed, but - for others. Others follow it until danger threatens; then the false deny it and the political conceal it. For it cares not if it fights with friendship, power, or even self-interest : then comes the danger of desertion. Astute people make plausible distinctions so as not to stand in the way of their superiors or of reason of state. But the straightforward and constant regard deception as a kind of treason and set more store in tenacity than on sagacity. Such are always to be found on the side of truth, and if they desert a party, they do not change from fickleness but because the others have first deserted truth.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

Be a person of integrity. Cling to righteousness with such tenacity of purpose that neither the passions of the mob nor the violence of the tyrant can ever cause you to transgress the bounds of right. But who can be such a phoenix of equity? What a scanty following rectitude has! Many praise it indeed, but few devote themselves. Others follow it until danger threatens; then the false deny it and the political conceal it. For righteousness cares not if it conflicts with friendship, power, or even self-interest; then comes the danger of desertion. Astute people make plausible distinctions so as not to stand in the way of their superiors or of reason of state. But straightforward and constant people regard deception as a kind of treason and set more store in tenacity than on sagacity. Such people are always to be found on the side of truth, and if they desert a group they do not change due to fickleness but because the others have first deserted truth.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

29: A just man. He stands of the side of the right with such conviction, that neither the passion of a mob, nor the violence of a despot can make him overstep the bounds of reason. But who will be this Phoenix of impartiality? For justice knows few so completely dedicated to her. Many praise her, but not for themselves: other follow her until danger threatens: and then the false deny her, and the political betray her: for she pays no heed in her dealing to friendship, to power, or even to personal profit, and herein lies the danger of her disavowel: with plausible metaphysics the sly now forskae her, for they would not offend either their higher reason, or the state: but a man true to himself deems such dissimulation a species of treason, esteeming staunchness above cleverness, finding himself wherever the truth is found, and if he changes his loyalties, it is not because of fickleness in him, but because they first changed on him.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 16, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"To stand on the side of truth and justice is noble, but if you do, be ready to stand alone. Others will desert you when danger threatens or when their self-interest outweighs their idealism. They may clothe their defection in grandiloquent words and regale you with palusible excuses; but the real reason for their defection is that selfishness is more profitable and even more populare than high-mindedness.

Aristides was Athens' most righteous man, but eventually he was banished, because the rabble became tired of hearing him called the Just."


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 71, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

The upright man [is] always on the side of reason; with such tenacity of purpose that neither the passions of the mob nor the violence of the tyrant can force him to transgress its bounds. But who is this paragon of equity? For integrity has few intimates. While many praise her, they do not, however, admit her to their homes; others follow her even into danger; there, the false deny her and politicians affect not to know her. For she does not care whether she is at loggerheads with friendship, power, even self-interest, and here comes the rub of disowning her. The astute then indulge in plausible metaphysical abstractions, so as not to give offence to their superiors, or out of regard for public opinion. The honest man, however, regards dissimulation as a kind of treason; he sets more store by tenacity than shrewdness; he is to be found where truth is to be found and if he should desert people, it is not out of fickleness on his part but rather upon theirs, for having first abandoned truth.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 8, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

"Be counted amongst those who uphold the principles of justice. There are few that stand on the side of the right once passionate pressures of people and money are exerted. Ah, Justice! Many praise her. Many follow her. But, the crucial question is, for how long and how far? As always, when the Rubicon is reached, the fleeting friends of Justice fail to cross. It is then that its false friends play a game of mental metaphysics, to seemingly justify their position. It is only the constant companions of Justice, who hav- ing stood fast on Godly principles, will win!-because they are on the side of that which is right."


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Men of integrity always expouse the part of reason wtih such firmness of proposition that neither vulgar passion nor tyrannical violence will ever oblige them to put a foot outside the limits of reason. But who can be this Phoenix for equity, who has limitless integrity? Many honor probity but will not themselves embrace it. Others pursue it to the point of danger, at which the false deny it and the politicians use it to deceive. This degree of righteous is objective, and will over-ride friendship, power, and even self-interest. At this point it is open to attack. Here the cunning introduct plausible arguments to avoid offending, or contradicting "superior doctrine," or the position of the Government. But the man of substance appraises dissimulation as a kind of treason, supported by tenacity rather than sagacity. He is found where the truth is found, and if he changes his mind, it is through the dictates of his own reasoning.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

29: "Be righteous and firm. Side with reason and do this so steadily that neither the vulgar passion nor tyrannical violence will make you stray from it. But where to find such a Pheonix of equity? Few are devoted to righteousness. Many celebrate her, but few visit her. Some follow her until things get dangerous. In danger, the false disown her and politicians cunningly disguise her. Clever people spin suble sophistries and speak of their laudable "higher motives" or "reasons of security," but the truly faithful person considers deceit a sort of treason, is prouder to be steadfast than clever, and is always found on the side of truth. If he differs with others, it isn't because of any fickleness of his own, but because other have abandoned the truth."


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Be upstainding:

He who places himself with firm conviction on the side of justice can never be overcome by violent protest of by a screaming mob. His reason holds him strongly to his stance. Guard your integrity fiercely. Very few are willing to dedicate themselves wholly to the case of true justice, while many pretend to. Politicians may cry out in favour of it, but in the end betray it. An authentically honest man however, will not change his loyalty in a fickle manner, nor commit treasonous acts. Rather he will align himself with truth wherever it resides.


Maxim/Aphorism No 29 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Oráculo Manual i Arte de Prudencia" translated by Professor Frank Pajares; 2005, (published on the web)

Person of integrity.

Always on the side of reason, with such strength of purpose that neither common passion nor tyrannical violence will ever compel him to cross the line of reason. But who shall be this Phoenix of justice?, for integrity has few faithful suitors. Many praise her, but not in their own house; others follow her even into danger; in it the false deny her, politicians disguise her. She does not worry about combating friendship, power, or even her own self-interest, and herein lies the problem of denying her. The astute make plausible metaphysical distinctions so as not to offend, either superior reason, or that of the state; but the constant man judges this pretense a type of treason; integrity takes greater pride in tenacity than in cleverness; finds herself where truth is found; and if she leaves individuals, it is not of her own doing, but theirs in leaving her first.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No LXXXIV/84 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Saber usar de los enemigos.

Todas las cosas se han de saber tomar, no por el corte, que ofendan, sino por la empuñadura, que defiendan; mucho más la emulación. Al varón sabio más le aprovechan sus enemigos que al necio sus amigos. Suele allanar una malevolencia montañas de dificultad, que desconfiara de emprenderlas el favor. Fabricáronles a muchos su grandeza sus malévolos. Más fiera es la lisonja que el odio, pues remedia éste eficazmente las tachas que aquélla disimula. Haze el cuerdo espejo de la ojeriza, más fiel que el de la afición, y previene a la detracción los defectos, o los enmienda, que es grande el recato quando se vive en frontera de una emulación, de una malevolencia.


Maxim/Aphorism No LXXXIV/84 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 81-82) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To know how to draw advantage from Enemies

All things are to be taken, not by the Blade, which may hurt, but by the handle, which is the way for defence. And upon better reason envy. The wise Man draws more advantage from his Enemies, than the fool does from his Friends. The envious are as a spur to the wise man to make him surmount a thousand difficulties: whereas Flatters many times divert him. Many owe their fortune to their enviers. Flattery is more cruel than hatred, as in as much as it palliate the faults, which the other makes us to remedy. The wise man makes the Hatred of his Enviers his looking-glass, wherein he sees himself far better than in that of kindness. That looking-glass helps him to correct his faults which he corrects, and thereby prevents back-biting. For men keep upon a strict close guard, where they have rivals, or Enemies for Neighbours.


Maxim/Aphorism No LXXXIV/84 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 88) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To know how to draw Advantage from Enemies

All things are to be taken by the best Methods; not by the Blade, which may hurt, but by the Handle, which is the way to avoid cutting one's Fingers. After this manner, you may be familiar with Envy. The Wise Man draws more advantage from his Enemies, than the Fool does from his Friends. The Envious are as a Spur to the Wise Man, to make him surmount a thousand Difficulties: Whereas Flatters many times diver him. Many owe their Fortune to their Enviers. Flattery is more cruel than Hatred, in as much as it palliate the Faults, which the other makes us to remedy. The Wise Man makes the Hatred of his Enviers his Looking-Glass, wherein he sees himself, far better than in that of Good-will. That Looking-Glass helps him to correct his Faults, and consequently prevents Backbiting. For Men are apt to keep upon a strict Guard, where they have either Rivals, or Enemies for Neighbours.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

84: . . . To the wise man his enemies are more useful than his friends to the foolish one.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

Make use of your enemies.

You should learn to seize things not by the blade, which cuts, but by the handle, which saves you from harm : especially is this rule with the doings of your enemies. A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends. Their ill-will often levels mountains of difficulties which one would otherwise not face. Many have had their greatness made for them by their enemies. Flattery is more dangerous than hatred, because it covers the stains that the other causes to be wiped out. The wise will turn ill-will into a mirror more faithful than that of kindness, and remove or improve the faults referred to. Caution thrives well when rivalry and ill-will are next-door neighbors.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

Make use of your enemies.

You should learn to seize things not by the blade, which cuts, but by the handle, which saves you from harm - especially with the doings of your enemies. A wise person gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends. Their ill will often levels mountains of difficulties that one would otherwise not face. Many have had their greatness made for them by their enemies. Flattery is more dangerous than hatred, because it covers the stains that the other causes to be wiped out. The wise will turn ill will into a mirror more faithful than that of kindness, and remove or improve the faults referred to. Caution thrives well when rivalry and ill will are next-door neighbors.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

84: Know how to profit through your enemies. Learn how to grasp a thing, not by its blade which cuts, but by its hilt, which protects: especially in the battle of life. To a wise man, his enemies avail him more, than to a fool, his friends. Evil intent often levels a mountain of difficulty, which the best intent in the world could not hope to climb over. Many have been made through the greatness of their enemies. Far more to be feared is flattery, than hate, since this exposes the flaws which flattery would conceal. The man who knows makes a mirror of spite, more faithful than the mirror of affection, and envisages his shortcomings, to correct them, for prudence grows apace, when it must live against rivalry, or malevolence.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

LEARN HOW TO GRASP A THING . . .

Learn how to grasp a thing, not by its blade which cuts, but by its hilt, which protects: especially in the battle of life. To a wise man, his enemies avail him more, than to a fool, his friends. For more to be feared is flattery, than hate, since this effaces the flaws, which flattery would conceal. The man who knows makes a mirror of spite, more faithful than the mirror of affection, and foresees his shortcomings, or corrects them, for prudence grows apace, when it must live against rivalry, or malevolence.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 45, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Make use of your enemies. No matter how keen they are, you can make them serve you, if you deal with them properly, like a knife when you grasp it by the handle instead of the blade. Fear of their enemies keeps wild animals alert, and makes men build up their strength. Friends who gloss over your weaknesses render you a disservice; the true measure of your power is your enemies. Match your strength against theirs, and they will be helpful to you.

Lincoln met Douglas in the arena of public debate and on his rival's shoulders climbed to national recognition.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 111, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Know how to make use of your enemies. You should know how to take hold of everything, not by the blade, which wounds, but by the hilt, which protects; and this is more especially true of envy. Enemies are of more use to the wise man than friends are to the fool. Malice is wont to level mountains of difficulties, upon the scaling of which goodwill would hesitate to embark. Many owe their greatness to their malicious critics. Flattery is more deadly than hatred because it conceals those flaws for which hatred prompts us to find an efficacious remedy. The wise man turns spite into a mirror more faithful than that of affection, ancl he either forestalls the detraction aroused by his failings, or amends them; for extreme caution is required when one lives on the frontier of envy and malice.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page X, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[can't match up a maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Learn to make usre of enmity. Take things not by the blade, which wounds, but by the hilt, which protects. Do so particularly when dealing with rivals. A prudent man profits more from his enemies than a fool from his friends. Malevolence usually levels mountains of difficulties which would rebuff the seeker of a favor because there is no obstacle too high to keep malevolence away. Many have the greatness made for them by their enemies: adulation is more menacing that hatred, because it flatteringly conceals faults which hatred speedily reveals. The prudent man makes of spite a mirror more faithful than that of affection, and remedies the faults it shows him. Prudence prospers when it lives in front of rivalry and malevolence.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

84: "Know how to use your enemies. Grasp things not by the blade, which will harm you, but by the hilt, which will defend you. The same applies to emulation. The wise person finds enemies more useful than the fool does friends. Malevolence often levels the mountains of difficulty that favor made fearful. Many owe their greatness to their enemies. Flattery is fiercer than hatred, for hatred corrects the faults flattery had disguised. The prudent man makes a mirror out of the evil eye of others, and it is more truthful than that of affection, and helps him reduce his defects or emend them. One grows very cautious when living across the border from malevolent rivals."


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Do not go against the grain

There are countless roads that lead to a successful life, and most men choose their way led by the voice of their instincts. For the greedy and the imposter, it is the path of trickery; for the principled, it is the straight and narrow. Know, then, how to deal with situations; choose not to go against the grain, even though it may present itself to you that way. Everything has its cutting edge and its blunt edge. The best and most useful of tools, if seized by the blade, wounds; while the most destructive, if grasped by the hilt, protects. Much that has given pain, when taken another way, would have given pleasure, for there is pleasure or pain in everything, and wisdom lies in seeing them in different lights. Discern what is good and what is bad; some discover satisfaction in everything, and others discover only grief. This is the best defense against the reverses of fortune, a master rule of life that at all times is simply this: Look upon everything in its happiest light.


Maxim/Aphorism No 84 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Use your enemies

Grasp a sword by its protective handle, not by the sharp cutting edge! This is true as well in the battle of life. A wise person will profit more from his enemies than a fool will from his friends. The malice of the enemy can level mountains of difficulties which otherwise would not be scaled. Many men have achieved their own greatness by using that of their foes. More to be feared than the hatred of your rival is the flattery of those who would befriend you. The first exposes flaws, while the latter is meant to cover up. By fixing the faults your enemy has pointed out, you have made prudent use of the mirror he has held up to you. You can thrive in a neighborhood where rivalry lives.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CX/110 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

No aguardar a ser Sol que se pone.

Máxima es de cuerdos dexar las cosas antes que los dexen. Sepa uno hazer triunfo del mismo fenecer; que tal vez el mismo Sol, a buen lucir, suele retirarse a una nube porque no le vean caer, y dexa en suspensión de si se puso o no se puso. Hurte el cuerpo a los ocasos para no rebentar de desaires; no aguarde a que le buelvan las espaldas, que le sepultarán vivo para el sentimiento, y muerto para la estimación. Jubila con tiempo el advertido al corredor cavallo, y no aguarda a que, cayendo, levante la risa en medio la carrera. Rompa el espejo con tiempo y con astucia la belleza, y no con impaciencia después al ver su desengaño.


Maxim/Aphorism CX/110 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 103-104) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Not to wait till One be like the Setting Sun

It is a Maxim of Prudence, to leave things, before they leave us. It is the part of a wise man to ake a triumph of his own defeat, in imitation of the Sun, which though still glorious, is accustomed to retire into a Cloud, that he may not be seen to decline; and by that means leave it in doubt, whether he be set, or not. He ought to draw out of the way of accidents, that he may not pine away with fretting. Let him not stay till fortune turn her back upon him, lest she should bury him alive, in regard of the affliction that it would give him; and dead, in respect to his Reputation. A good Horseman gives his Horse sometimes the Reins, that he may keep him from rearing up, and himself from derision, if he should chance to fall in the middle of his carriere. A beauty ought to prevent her Glass by breaking it, before it come to shew her that her charms are fading. (See the Maxime 38)


Maxim/Aphorism No CX/110 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 111) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Not to wait till One be like the Setting Sun

It is a Maxim of Prudence, to leave Things, before they leave us. It is the part of the Wise Man, to know how to make a triumph of his Defeat, an imitation of the Sun, which tho' glorious, is accustom'd to retire into a Cloud, that he may not be seen to decline; and by that means leave it in doubt, whether he be Set, or not. A wise Man ought to withdraw himself from out of the way of Accidents, that he may not pine away with fretting. Let him not stay till Fortune turn her back upon him, lest she should bury him alive, in regard of the Affliction it would cause him; and dead, in respect to his Reputation. A good Horseman gives his Horse the Reins sometimes, that he may keep him from Rearing up, and himself from Derision, if he should chance to fall in the middle of his Carreer. A Beauty ought to break her Glass, before it come to shew her that her Charms are fading.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

110. Wait not till you are a sinking sun. - It is a maxim of the prudent to leave affairs before affairs leave thems . . . Let the beauty wisely break her glass in time, that she may not do so with impatience when she sees herself undeceived.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

Do not wait till you are a Sinking Sun.

'Tis a maxim of the wise to leave things before things leave them. One should be able to snatch a triumph at the end, just as the sun even at its brightest often retires behind a cloud so as not to be seen sinking, and to leave in doubt whether he has sunk or not. Wisely withdraw from the mere chance of mishap, lest you have to do so when it becomes reality. Do not wait until they turn you the cold shoulder and carry you to the grave, alive in feeling but dead in esteem. Wise trainers put racehorses out to grass before they arouse derision by falling on the course. A beauty should break her mirror early, lest she do so later with open eyes.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

Do not wait till you are a setting sun.

It is a maxim of the wise to leave things before things leave them. One should be able to snatch a triumph at the end, just as the sun even at its brightest often retires behind a cloud so as not to be seen sinking, and to leave in doubt whether he has sunk or not. Wisely withdraw from the mere chance of mishap, lest you have to do so when it becomes reality. Do not wait until they turn you the cold shoulder and carry you to the grave, alive in feeling but dead in esteem. Wise trainers put racehorses out to pasture before they arouse derision by falling on the course. A beauty should break her mirror early, lest she do so later with open eyes.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

110: Do not wait to be the sun, in her setting. A maxim of the wise, to leave before being left. Know how to make a triumph even of your exit; for at times the sun herself when most bright, will retire behind a cloud, that she may not be seen to sink, thus to leave us in doubt as to whether she has set, or has not set. Escape such accident, in order not to suffer slight, do not wait until men turn their backs upon you, that they bury you, still alive in your feelings, but dead in their estimation: the man of foresight puts his horse in the stable betimes, and does not wait to see it create laughter by falling in the middle of the race: the beauty wisely cracks her mirror when it is yet early not to do it with the impatience later when it has disillusioned her.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 58, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Make your exit with grace and dignity; it is the last impression which lingers, not the first. An aria which ends on a brilliant note, brings down the house. Know when to quit, and how to quit. Do not give encores, and do not go on until your audience grows weary. When a guest, say your adieus before the lights are being turned out.

Quit when you are at the apex of life, before you to downhill. Do not give one more last performance, and yet another. It is better to be remembered with a sigh than with a yawn.

A man once rushed up to Talleyrand in great excitement.

"Have you heard of the great event?" he cried. "Napoleon has died."

"That is no longer an event," Talleyrand replied. "It is merely news."


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 131, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Do not wait for the sunset of your reputation. It is a maxim of the wise to leave things before things leave them. One should know how to convert even an eclipse into a victory; for the sun itself, when shining brilliantly, sometimes retires behind a cloud so that it may not be seen to sink, and thus leaves us in doubt whether it has set or not. Avoid occasions of misadventure so that you may not be irritated by rebuffs; do not wait until you are given the cold shoulder, for if you do you will be carried to your grave, a living object of pity, but dead to esteem. A wise owner puts a racehorse out to grass in time and does not wait until it provokes derision by collapsing in the middle of a race; a shrewd beauty should take care to smash her mirror in good time, and not too late, out of impatience at seeing her illusions shattered.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 21, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

As the sun rises and sets, so do the circumstances of life have their development and their denouement. Accordingly, it should be everyone's canon of conduct, to depart in honor any business, before you are later required to desert it in defeat.

No fortune, fame or fashion bask in the noonday sun forever. Ultimately, one and all fade away. Take a lesson from the setting sun, which at the end of the day, while burning brightly,-slips behind a cloud-so as to not appear sinking.

When you sense that circumstances call for a change, withdraw as a winner, before being labeled as a loser. As always, shrewd horsemen eventually put their racers to pasture - prior to sustaining a runaway reversal on the turf.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Do not wait until you are a setting sun. It is a maxim of the prudent to leave things before things leave them! Know how to triumph at the very end, just as the sun, shining brightly, often retires behind a cloud just as he sets, so that people will not be sure whether he has actually set. Avoid the risk of misfortune before it befalls: do not wait till people turn their backs on your and bury you - alive to feeling but dead to esttem. The intelligent master turns the race horse out to pasture in time, so that the failing horse will not arouse derision. The wise beauty breaks her mirror early, through foresight, so taht she may not do so later, with the impatience of disullusionment.


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

110: "Don't wait to be a setting sun. It is a maxim of prudent people to abandon things before being abandoned by them. You should make even your end into a triumph. At time the sun itself retires behind a cloud so that no one will see if fall, and it leaves us wondering whether it has set or not. Avoid sunsets so as not to burst with misfortune. Don't wait for people to turn their shoulders on you: they will bury you alive to your regret, dead to renown. The prudent know when to retire a racehorse, and do not wait for him to collapse in the middle of the race, to the laughter of all. Let Beauty shatter the mirror cleverly, at the right time, and not too late when she cannot bear the truth."


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Exit Gracefully

"Know how to make a triumph of your exit. The graceful exit at the propitious moment is a victory in itself. At times the sun herself, at its brightest, will retire behind a cloud so that she may not be seen, leaving us to wonder and long for her return. Do not waint until men turn their backs upon you, until they bury you, still alive in your feelings but dead in their estimation. The man of foresight puts his inferior horse in the stable early, and does not wait to see it create shock by falling in the middle of the race. The beautiful woman wisely cracks her mirror when it is yet early in her life, so as not to smach it with impatience later when it has disillusioned her. A maxim for the wise: Leave before being left."


Maxim/Aphorism No 110 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not be as the setting sun.

It is better to leave than to be left behind. Make it a point to make your exit triumphant. The sun at times hides behind a cloud, so that there is some doubt as to whether it is still aloft. Do not make this mistake. Do not let the others bury you while you are still alive but dead in their sight! A horse trainer retires his steed before it begins to lose races, and a beauty breaks her mirror before it begins to disappoint her.


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CXX/120 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Vivir a lo plático.

Hasta el saber ha de ser al uso, y donde no se usa, es preciso saber hazer del ignorante. Múdanse a tiempos el discurrir y el gustar: no se ha de discurrir a lo viejo, y se ha de gustar a lo moderno. El gusto de las cabeças haze voto en cada orden de cosas. Ésse se ha de seguir por entonces, y adelantar a eminencia. Acomódese el cuerdo a lo presente, aunque le parezca mejor lo passado, assí en los arreos del alma como del cuerpo. Sólo en la bondad no vale esta regla de vivir, que siempre se ha de platicar la virtud. Desconócese ya, y parece cosa de otros tiempos el dezir verdad, el guardar palabra; y los varones buenos parecen hechos al buen tiempo, pero siempre amados; de suerte que, si algunos ai, no se usan ni se imitan. ¡O, grande infelicidad del siglo nuestro, que se tenga la virtud por estraña y la malicia por corriente! Viva el Discreto como puede, si no como querría. Tenga por mejor lo que le concedió la suerte que lo que le ha negado.


Maxim/Aphorism CXX/120 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 111-112) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To comply with the Times

Knowledge it self ought to be according to the mode, and it is no small piece of wit to counterfeit the ignorant, where there is no knowledge. The relish and Language change according to times. We must not speak in the the old Fashion; the relish must take with the New. The relish of good heads serves for a rule to others in every profession, and by consequent we are to conform to it, and endeavour to improve our selves. Let a prudent man accomodate himself to the present, whether as to body, or mind though the past may even seem better unto him. In manners only that rule is not observed, seeing vertue is at all times to be practised. It is not known now a-days, what it is to speak truth, to keep ones word. If any doe so, they pass for old-fashioned people. So that no body imitates them, though all love them. Unhappy age, wherein vertue passes for a stranger, and vice for a current mode! Let a wise man then live as he can, if he cannot as he would. Let him be content with what lot hath given him, as if it were better than what it hath denied him.


Maxim/Aphorism No CXX/120 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 120) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To comply with the Times

Even Knowledge it self ought to be according to the Mode, and it is no small piece of Wit to Counterfeit being Ignorant, where a Man knows nothing. Both our Judgements, and Language change from Time to Time. We must not speak after the old Fashion; our Relish must accomodate its self to the New. The Discernment of good Heads, serves for a Rule to others in every Profession, and by Consequence we are to conform to it, and to endeavour to improve our selves by it. Let a Prudent Man suit himself to the present Times, whether in relation to Body, or Mind althought the Past may even seem better to him. In Manners only this Rule is not to be observed, seeing Vertue is at all times to be practised. It is not known now-a-days, what it is to speak Truth, or the old Fashion Trick, to keep one's Word. If any do so, they pass for Old fashioned People. So that no body Imitates them, tho' all Love them. Unhappy Age, where in Vertue passes for a Stranger, and Vice for a Native! Let the Wise Man then Live as he can, if he cannot as he would. Let him be content with what Fortune hath lent him, as if it were better than what she hath denied him.


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

120. Live practically, and accommodate yourself to the times. - . . . The prudent man should live as he can, if he cannot live as he would. He should deem of more importance what fate has conceded to him than what it has denied


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

Live practically. Even knowledge has to be in style, and where it is not it is wise to affect ignorance. Thought and taste change with the times. Do not be old fashioned in your ways of thinking and let your taste be in the modern style. In everything the taste of the many carries the votes; for the time being one must follow it in hope of leading it to higher things. In the adornment of the body, as of the mind, adapt yourself to the present, even though the past appears better. But this rule does not apply to kindness, for goodness is for all time. It is neglected nowadays and seems out of date. Truth-speaking, keeping your word, and so too good people, seem to come from the good old times : yet they are liked for all that, but in such a way that even when they all exist they are not in fashion and are not imitated. What a misfortune for our age that it regards virtue as a stranger and vice as a matter of course! If you are wise, live as you can, if you cannot live as you would. Think more highly of what fate has given you than of what it has denied.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

Live practically. Even knowledge has to be in style, and where it is not it is wise to affect ignorance. Thought and taste change with the times. Do not be old fashioned in your ways of thinking and let your taste be modern. In everything the taste of the many carries the day; for the time being one must follow it in hope of leading it to higher things. In the adornment of the body, as of the mind, adapt yourself to the present, even though the past appears better. But this rule does not apply to kindness, for goodness is for all times. It is neglected nowadays and seems out of date. Truthfulness, keeping your word, and so too good people, seem to come from the good old days, yet they are liked for all that, but even so if any exist they are not in fashion and are not imitated. What a misfortune for our age that it regards virtue as a stranger and vice as a matter of course! If you are wise live as you can, if you cannot live as you would. Think more highly of what fate has given you than of what it has denied.


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

120: "Live according to the custom. Even wisdom must be in style, and where it is not, it is well to know how to feign ignorance, for thought and taste change with the times: do not be old-fashioned in thought, and modern in taste. The choice of the many carries the vote in every field. For the time being therefore, it must be bowed to, in order to bring it to higher level: the man of wisdom accommodates himself to the present, even though the past seems better, alike in dress of his spirit, as in the dress of his body. Only in the matter of being decent does this rule of life not apply, for virtue should be practiced eternally: yet today it is unknown, and to speak the truth and to keep one's world, seem the marks of another age: and good men appear the creations of a good time that is past; but they are forever loved: if by chance, some be still left, they are no longer in style, and no longer imitated. Oh, the misery of this our age, which holds virtue alien, and evil the order of the day! Let the man of conscience live as he can, not as he might wish. Let him hold as better what fortune has conceded him than what she has denied him."


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

LIVE ACCORDING TO CUSTOM . . .

Live according to custom. Even wisdom must be in style, and where it is not, it is well to know how to feign ignorance, for thought changes with the times and taste: do not be old-fashioned in thought, and modern in taste. The choice of the many has the vote in every field. The man of wisdom accommodates himself to the present, even though the past seems better, alike in the dress of his spirit, as in the dress of his body. Only in the matter of being decent does this rule of life not apply, for virtue should be practiced eternally: yet today to speak the truth and to keep one's word seem the marks of another age. Let the man of conscience live as he can, not as he might wish. Let him hold as better what fortune may have conceded him than what she has denied him


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 62, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"Live in harmony with your time. Tastes change, and it is wise to conform to them, even though you may not approve. Against the many, your lone vote is of no avail; but as part of the crowd you may be able to make your influence felt.
Each generation must solve its own problems. Elders cannot control the destiny of their children. It is better for them to try understanding youth than to oppose its novel ways.

Virtue alone is unaffected by changing times. To speak the truth and keep a promise was as modern in biblical times as it is today. Also it is rare."


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 137, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Live practically. Even knowledge must be in the fashion; and when it is not, you must know how to affect ignorance. Conversation and tastes change with the times. Do not be old-fashioned in your manner of speech, and let your tastes be up to date. Fashion, in every sphere, is determined by the vote of the elite. It must then be followed for the time and assist you [on the road] to eminence: even though the past may appear better to you, come to terms with the present in both your mental ancl physical make-up. This rule of life is alone inapplicable to virtue, for virtue must always be practised. The habit of telling the truth and keeping one's word is unknown to-day and seems to belong to a bygone age; and good men, though always loved, appear to belong rather to the good old days, so that if any now exist they are not in the fashion and nobocly follows their example. What a misfortune it is for our age that it should look upon virtue as peculiar and vice as normal! Let the sensible man live as best he can if he cannot live as he would wish. Regard what Fortune has bestowed upon you as being better than what she has denied you.


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 21, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

There is an art in adjusting to the absurdities of life. So much folly, so much imprudence, and so much vulgarity exist in this world, that there cannot be correction - only compromise - between the individual and the world about him.

Be prepared to pamper your pique when you deal with others. Frequently you will be hurt and humiliated in placing trust in those that are treacherous. When our love is lost, and our friends forsake us, all that is left is the courageousness of our character and our personal determination to drive ourselves forward.

The road of life is rough and full of ruts and capable of jolting our self-confidence.

To avoid bitter-sweet regrets, accept life for what it is - no better than an animal kingdom.


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Live practically. Even wisdom has to be in vogue, and when it is not, it is politic to conform with the ignorant. Interests and tastes change with the times. It does not do to discuss out-moded topics, and to have tastes that do not conform to the vogue. The taste of the leaders sets the style in every group. You must follow it in order, later to help raise it to higher levels. The prudent man accommodates himself to the present, both with respect to the soul as well as the body - however preferable the past may seem to him. This rule of living holds true for everything but goodness, which is always desirable. Truth is snubbed as old-fashioned; and the unbroken word and the worthy man seem to be memories of the "good old days". Though they are respected for, they are not used or imitated. What a travesty on our century that virtue is thought out-moded, and vice regarded as stylish! The discreet man lives as he can, not as he would. Think more of what fate has given you, than on what it has denied you.


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

120: "Live practically. Even your knowledge should seem unusual and usable, and where knowledge is uncommon, feign ignorance. Ways of thinking change, and so does taste. Don't think like an ancient; taste like a modern. Count heads. That is what matters in all things. When you must, follow the common taste, and make your way toward eminence. The wise should adapt themselves to the present, even when the past seems more attractive, both in the clothes of the soul and in those of the body. This rule for living holds for everything but goodness, for one must always practice virtue. Many things have come to seem old-fashioned: speaking truth, keeping your word. Good people seem to belong to the good old days, though they are always beloved. If any exist, they are rare, and they are never imitated. What a sad age this is, when virtue is rare and malice is common. The prudent must live as best they can, though not as they would like to. May they prefer what luck granted them to what it withheld!"


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Fit Yourself to the Framework of Your World

"Live as best you can in the state of affairs that surrounds you. Wish for what is available, work at what is achievable. Yet do not always journey through life by the laws written to regulate you, even when such laws have the face of righteousness and goodness. Take small liberties and byways without bringing harm to yourself and to others. Do not indicate too precisely what alone will satisfy you, for tomorrow your words may have to be disregarded. Stay flexible and be alert as the days change and new oppotunities arise. There are some so unreasonable that they would have every circumstance of life fit itself into their own framework when it should be the other way around. The man of wisdom knows better: he lives as best as he can in the state of affairs that surrounds him."


Maxim/Aphorism No 120 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Live according to the custom of your times.

Where it is not customary to be knowledgeable, you must feign ignorance. Thought and tastes change with the times, so do not be old-fashioned in your thinking while exhibiting modern tastes! Bow to the opinions of the majority, since for the time being you must subscribe to them in order to eventually reach higher. The past may seem better in retrospect, but you must accommodate yourself to the present, both in fashion and in spirit. This rule does not apply to decent behavior however, for such is in good taste in any age. It may seem that today it is out of style to be honest and forthright and to keep one's word, but even now to do so is to be loved forever. What a shame that in modern times, virtue seems to have gone out of fashion, and evil is the order of the day. You would be wise to live as you can, according to your conscience, and not as you would wish to. Appreciate what you do have and think not about what you have been denied.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CXXXIII/133 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Antes loco con todos que cuerdo a solas: dizen políticos.

Que si todos lo son, con ninguno perderá; y si es sola la cordura, será tenida por locura: tanto importará seguir la corriente. Es el mayor saber a vezes no saber, o afectar no saber. Hase de vivir con otros, y los ignorantes son los más. Para vivir a solas: ha de tener o mucho de Dios o todo de bestia. Mas yo moderaría el aforismo, diziendo: antes cuerdo con los más que loco a solas. Algunos quieren ser singulares en las quimeras.


Maxim/Aphorism CXXXIII/133 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 127) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Rather to be a Fool with all Men, than Wise all alone.

For if all be such, there is nothing to be lost, cry Politicians: shereas if Wisdom be singular, it will pass for folly. Custom then is to be followed. Sometimes to know nothing, or at least to seem so, is the greatest Knowledge. We must of necessity live with others, and the ignorant are most numerous. To live alone, one ought hold much of the Nature of God, or to be altogether of that of Beasts. But to quanlify the Aphorism, I would say, Rather to be Wise with others, than a fool without Company. Some affect to be singular in Chimera's.


Maxim/Aphorism No CXXXIII/133 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 137) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Rather to be a Fool in Company than Wise alone.

For if all be such, none are so, cry Politicians: Whereas if Wisdom be singular, it will pass for Folly. Custom ther is to be followed. Sometimes to know Nothing, or at least to seem to know Nothing, will be the greatest Knowledge. We must of necessity live with others, and the Ignorant are ever the most numerous. To Live alone, one ought to have a great deal of the Nature of God, or to be altogether a Beast. But to quanlify this Maxim, I would say, Rather to be Wise with others, than a Fool without Company. Some affect to be singular in Chimera's.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

133. Better be mad with everybody else than prudent alone. - So say politicians. For if all are mad one is not behind anybody else, and if the prudent man is alone he will pass for mad, so important it is to follow the current. Sometimes the greatest wisdom lies in ignorance, or the affectation of it. We have got to live with others, and the ignorant are in the majority. To live alone one must be very like a god or quite like a beast, yet I would modify the aphorism, and say, better be prudent with the majority than mad by one's self. There are some people who seek for originality in chimeras and crotchets.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

133: Better Mad with the rest of the World than Wise alone. So say politicians. If all are so, one is no worse off than the rest, whereas solitary wisdom passes for folly. So important is it to sail with the stream. The greatest wisdom often consists of ignorance, or the pretense of it. One has to live with others, and others are mostly ignorant. "To live entirely alone one must be very like a god or quite like a wild beast," But I would turn the aphorism by saying: Better be wise with the many than a fool all alone. There be some too who seek to be original by chasing chimeras.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

133: Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone. So say politicians. If all are so, one is no worse off than the rest, whereas solitary wisdom passes for folly. So important is it to sail with the stream. The greatest wisdom often consists of ignorance, or the pretense of it. One has to live with others, and others are mostly ignorant. "To live entirely alone one must be very like a god or quite like a wild beast," But I would turn the aphorism by saying: Better be wise with the many than a fool all alone. There be some too who seek to be original by chasing chimeras.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

133: "Better to be mad with everyone than sane all alone: so say the politicians. If all are mad, you'll be equal to them. And if you alone are sane, you will be taken for mad. What matters is to follow the current. The best knowledge, sometimes, is not to know, or pretend not to. We must live with others, and the majority of ignorant. To live by yourself, you must be very godly or a complete savage. But I would modify this alphorism and say: Better sane with the many than mad all by yourself. Some people want to be singular in the pursuit of chimeras."


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

133: Better a fool with the crowd, than a sage by yourself ; the politicians say, that if all men are fools, no one of them can be counted such; wherefore the wise man who stands apart, must be a fool: it is important therefore to go with the current: the greatest knowledge at times, to know nothing, or to affect to know nothing; we have to live with others, and the stupid make up the majority; to live alone one must have within himself, either much of God, or much of the beast: I am strongly urged to turn this aphorism about, and say: better wise with the rest of the wise, than a fool by yourself: still some find distinction in making fools of themselves.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 70, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

It takes courage to have unorthodox opinions, and still greater courage to give them utterance. Politicians keep unfashionable opinions to themselves, so as not to atagonize fools, of whom, they say, there are many.

Fools abhor originality as Nature once was said to abhor a vacuum. A novel idea disturbs their equanimity, forcing their thoughts out of well-worn grooves. Fools forget that someone has to originate the story which they whisper to each other, and about which they laugh so uproarously, thus paying unconscious tribute to the one that conceived it.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 147, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Better mad with the mob than sane by yourself, say the poli- ticians. For if every one is mad, you will be no worse off than anybody else; and if sanity is unique, it will be regarded as folly. So important is it to swim with the stream: not to know, or to pretend not to know, is sometimes the highest form of knowledge. You are obliged to live with other people, and most of them are fools. "To live alone you must be either very much like God, or altogether like a beast"; but I would modify the aphorism and say: "Better sane with the other fellows than crazy on your own." Some people like to be notorious on account of their fads.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 69, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

He who travels along the road of life alone, will end alone. With the correct company, that journey could be far more comfortable; and in conclusion, far more consoling.

The house of success has many entrances. The wise pick the easiest. Choose well, and be the companion of one who possesses the earmarks of a rising star who has the talent for opening difficult doors.

Follow the best of the best and you will doubly develop. If you are in the learning stage, match your weaknesses to his strength- -it will act as a transfusion to your talents. Educating yourself, by emulating the great, is a lesson well learned.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Better man with all than sane alone, say the politicians. If all are mad, no one will be singled out, but if one has sound judgement, he will pass as insane! It is important to follow the vogue; and it is, sometimes, the greatest wisdom to pretend to folly. You have to live with others, and the ignorant are in the majority. To live alone, man must be part god, or entirely a beast. But I would amend the aphorism: Better be wise with the many than mad alone! Some would seek distinctiveness, if it were only through their eccentricities.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Even in Paradise it is Not Good to be Alone

For the most part, it is better to go with the crowd and be considered ordinary than to be endowed with a world of wisdom and be alone. For this reason, at times the greates knowledge is to know nothing, or to affect to know nothing. It has been said that even in paradise, it is not good to be alone, that too much aloneness saps the spirit. To live a balanced life, it is sensible to be admitted to the life-styles of the many. Observing the mistakes of others is an easier learning experience than benefiting from your own, though both are necessary. In this world we have little choice but to live with others, though the dull and crass make up the majority. To live alone one must have within himself either much of God, or much of the jungle beast.


Maxim/Aphorism No 133 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not isolate yourself

Though it may take courage to voice unorthodox thoughts that go against the tide of prevailing wisdom, you are better off keeping such opinions to yourself. Once you utter them they will tend to isolate you, and it is better to be considered ordinary than to be unusual and all alone. Pretend ignorance in order to be accepted by the group, since you need the fellowship of others, most of whom are themselves ignorant. Only a gods and wild beasts can manage to go it alone, so better to be wise among many than the lone fool.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CXLII/142 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Nunca por tema seguir el peor partido porque el contrario se adelantó y escogió el mejor.

Ya comiença vencido, y assí será preciso ceder desairado: Nunca se vengará bien con el mal. Fue astucia del contrario anticiparse a lo mejor, y necedad suya oponérsele tarde con lo peor. Son éstos porfiados de obra más empeñados que los de palabra, quanto va más riesgo del hazer al dezir. Vulgaridad de temáticos, no reparar en la verdad, por contradezir, ni en la utilidad, por litigar. El atento siempre está de parte de la razón, no de la passión, o anticipándose antes o mejorándose después; que si es necio el contrario, por el mismo caso mudará de rumbo, passándose a la contraria parte, con que empeorará de partido. Para echarle de lo mejor es único remedio abraçar lo proprio, que su necedad le hará dexarlo y su tema le será despeño.


Maxim/Aphorism CXLII/142 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 134) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Never to espouse a bad party in spight to an Adversary, who hath chosen the better.

He that does it, is half overcome, and at length will be constrained wholly to yield. This is never a good way to be revenged. If thine Adversary hath had the skill to take the better Side, heed not to commit the folly of opposing him, by espousing the worse. Obstinacy in action engages so much the more than in words, that there is far more risque in doing, than in saying. It is the custome of the head strong to regard neither truth in contradicting; nor profit in disputing. A wise man hath always reason on his side, and never falls into a passion. He either prevents or retreats. So that if his Rival be a Fool, his Folly makes him change his course, and go to the other extreme: whereby the condition of his Adversary becomes worse. The only means then to make him forsake the good party, is to strike in with it, seeing that will move him to embrace the bad.


Maxim/Aphorism No CXLII/142 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 145) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Never to Espouse a bad Party in spight to an Adversary, who hath chosen a Better.

He that does so, is already half overcome, and at length will be constrained wholly to yield. This can never be a good way to be revenged. If thine Adversary hath had the Skill to chuse the better Side, take thou heed not to commit the Folly of opposing him, by Espousing the Worse. Obstinacy in Action engages so much the more than in the Words, as there is far greater risque in Doing, than in Saying. It is the Custom of the Head-strong to regard neither Truth in Contradicting; nor Benefit in Disputing. A Wise Man hath always Reason on his Side, and never falls into a Passion. He either Conquers or Retreats: So that if his Rival be a Fool, his Folly makes him change his Course, and go to the other Extreme: Whereby the Condition of his Adversary becomes yet Worse. The only Means then to make him forsake the Right Way, is to strike in with it, seeing that will probably move him to embrace the Bad.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

142. Never out of obstinacy take the wrong side, because your opponent has got before you and taken the right one.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

142: Never from Obstinacy take the Wrong Side because your Opponent has anticipated you by taking the Right One. You begin the fight already beaten and must soon take to flight in disgrace. With bad weapons one can never win. It was astute in the opponent to seize the better side first: it would be folly to come lagging after with the worst. Such obstinacy, is more dangerous in actions than in words, for action encounters more risk than talk. 'Tis the common failing of the obstinate that they lose the true by contradicting it, and the useful by quarrelling with it. The sage never places himself on the side of passion, but espouses the cause of right, either discovering it first or improving it later. If the enemy is a fool, he will in such case turn round to follow the opposite and worse way. Thus the only way to drive him from the better course is to take it yourself, for his folly will cause him to desert it, and his obstinacy be punished for so doing.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

142: Never from obstinacy take the wrong side because your opponent has anticipated you by taking the right one. You begin the fight already beaten and must soon take to flight in disgrace. With bad weapons one can never win. It was astute in the opponent to seize the better side first, it would be folly to come lagging after with the worst. Such obstinacy, is more dangerous in actions than in words, for action encounters more risk than talk. It is the common failing of the obstinate that they lose the true by contradicting it, and the useful by quarrelling with it. The sage never places himself on the side of passion, but espouses the cause of right, either discovering it first or improving it later. If the enemy is a fool, he will in such case turn round to follow the opposite and worse way. Thus the only way to drive him from the better course is to take it yourself, for his folly will cause him to desert it, and his obstinacy be punished for so doing.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

142: Never out of stubbornness hold ot the wrong side, just because your adversary anticipated you, and chose the right, for then you are beaten from the start and will have to retire in disgrace; the right is never saved through the wrong; the opponent was clever to preempt the better side and you stupid to oppose hime by taking up the worse: stubbornness in action is more ensnarling than stubbornness in speech, for there is greater risk in doing than in talking: the vulgarity of these clowns, that they observe not the truth, because they lie; nor yet their own interest, because on the wrong side. A heedful man stands always on the side of reason, and never that of passion, either because he foresaw if from the first, or found it better afterwards; for if the adversary is a fool he may on his own account change face, adopt the opposite side and so weaken his position; but the only way to drive him from the better side, is to seize it yourself, for his stupidity will make him drop it, and his obstinancy free you from your own.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 74, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"If you adversary has the right on his side, do not oppose him out of sheer stubbornness, because if you do, you will lose.

If you find yourself in the wrong, try to bait your opponent into switching sides by espousing the same cause; if you fail, avoid fighting, for of two equally good men the one who has chosen the better side wins. This holds true in actions as well as in words.

Hannibal won the battle of Cannae by the simple ruse of choosing the side with the sun behind it."


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 155, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Never, out of obstinacy, champion the worse cause, because your opponent has forestalled you and chosen the better one. You begin the fight already beaten, and so will be obliged to sur- render, discomfited. You can never avenge good with evil: it was clever of your opponent to champion the better cause first, and stupid of you to be left to oppose him later as a supporter of the worse. The obstinate in deed have more to cope with than the obstinate in word, for there is more risk involved in action than in speech: it is a common failing of the stubborn to rniss the truth through contrariness, and their own advantage through contentiousness. The cautious man is always on the side of reason, never on that of emotion; either he gets his blow in first, or improves his position later; for, if the enemy is a fool, he will, on that account, change his front and go over to the other side, and so his cause will deteriorate. The only way to deprive your antagonist of the better cause is to support it yourself, for his stupidity will force him to abandon it, and his stubbornness will provide you with a way out of your difficulty.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[Can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Never, for mere contrariness, take the wrong side of an argument because your opponent has previously taken the right side. Be begins already the winner, and you will have to concede in shame. You can never revenge yourself well with the poorer side. It was astute of your opponent to anticipate you on the stronger side, and foolish of you, then to oppose hime with the weaker. You incur more danger from such obstinacy in acts than in words, because more risk goes with doing than with saying. The vulgarity of the stubborn will not overwhelm truth by contradiction, not usefulness by litigation. The prudent man always aligns himself wtih reason, rather than with emotion, either discovering the better side first, or improving on it later. If the opponent is a fool, he may be induced to change to the weaker side: the only way to drive him from the stronger side is to embrace it yourself; his folly will then drive him from it, and his capriciousness will confound him.


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

142: "Don't defend the wrong side out of stubbornness, just because your opponent happened to get there first and choose the best. You will go into battle already defeated, and go down in disgrace. Bad is no match for good. It was cunning of your opponent to anticipate the best, and it would be stupid of you to defend the worst. Those obstinate in deeds are in greater danger than those obstinate in words, for there is greater risk in doing than in saying. The vulgar ignorance of stubborn people makes them prefer contradiction to truth and conention to utility. Prudent people are on the side of reason, not passion, whether because they forewaw it from the first, or because they improved their position later. If your opponent is a fool, his follishness will make him change course, switch sides, and worsen his position. To expel him from the best, embrace it yourself. His foolishness will make him abandon it and his own obstinancy will cast him down."


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[Can't match up Maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 142 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not argue the wrong side.

If your opponent has decided to champion a right cause, do not argue simply for the sake of going up against him. He has the battle half won since he's on the side of right, and you can only disgrace yourself by taking up a wrong position. This is especially true when actions, and not just words, are involved, since taking the wrong action is a greater risk. Take the right side, just as your enemy has done, and this unexpected alliance might push him into taking up the wrong side against you, in which case you now have the upper ground and can surely win. The only way to take him down from his advantage is to argue from the right position and try to force him to desert it.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CLXV/165 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Hazer buena guerra.

Puédenle obligar al cuerdo a hazerla, pero no mala. Cada uno ha de obrar como quien es, no como le obligan. Es plausible la galantería en la emulación. Hase de pelear no sólo para vencer en el poder, sino en el modo. Vencer a lo ruin no es vitoria, sino rendimiento. Siempre fue superioridad la generosidad. El hombre de bien nunca se vale de armas vedadas, y sonlo las de la amistad acabada para el odio començado, que no se ha de valer de la confiança para la vengança; todo lo que huele a traición inficiona el buen nombre. En personages obligados se estraña más qualquier átomo de vajeza; han de distar mucho la nobleza de la vileza. Préciese de que si la galantería, la generosidad y la fidelidad se perdiessen en el mundo se avían de buscar en su pecho.


Maxim/Aphorism CLXV/165 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 153-154) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To wage War fairly.

A brave Man, indeed, be induced to make War, but not to make it otherwise than he ought. All men ought to act according to what they themselves are, and not to what others are. Gallantry is most profitable, where it is used towards an Enemy. We are not only to overcome by force, but also by the manner. To Conquer basely is not to overcome, but to be Conquereed rather. Generosity hath always had the Advantage. A worthy Man never makes use of forbidden Weapons. To employ the wrack of an old Friendship, in framing a new hatred, is to use such arms. For it is not lawful to take the advantage of a trust and confidence in revenge. Whatever looks like treachery infects the good name. The least atome of baseness is inconsistent with the generosity of great Souls. A brave man ought to make it his glory to be such, that if gallantry, generosity and fidelity, were lost in the world, they might be found in his heart.


Maxim/Aphorism No CLXV/165 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 167) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To wage War fairly.

A brave Man, indeed, be induced to make War, but not to make it otherwise than he ought. All Men ought to Act according to what they themselves are, and not to what others are. Gallantry is ever best, where it is used towards an Enemy. We are not only to overcome by Force, but also by our manner of Acting. To Conquer basely is not to overcome, but rather to be so. Generosity hath always had the Advantage. A worthy Man never makes use of forbidden Weapons. To employ the Wrack of an old Friendship, in framing a new Hatred, is to use such Arms; For it is not Lawful to take the Advantage of a Trust, and Confidence, in Revenge. Whatever looks like Treachery, lessens our good Name. The least particle of Baseness, is Inconsistent with the Generosity of a great Soul. A brave Man ought to make it his Glory to be such, to the end that if Gallantry, Generosity and Fidelity, were lost in the World, they might yet be found reposited in his Breast.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

165. Be an honourable opponent. - . . . Be able to boast that, if gallantry and generosity were lost out of the world, men might look for and find them in your breast.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

165: Wage War Honorably. You may be obliged to wage war but not to use poisoned arrows. Every one must needs act as he is, not as others would make him to be. Gallantry in the battle of life wins everyone's praise: one should fight so as to conquer, not alone by force but by the way it is used. A mean victory brings no glory, but rather disgrace. Honor always has the upper hand. An honorable person never uses forbidden weapons, such as using a friendship that's ended for the purposes of a hatred just begun: a confidence must never be used for a vengeance. The slightest taint of treason tarnishes the good name. In men of honor the smallest trace of meanness repels: the noble and the ignoble should be miles apart. Be able to boast that is gallantry, generosity, and fidelity were lost in the world men would be able to rediscover them in your own breast.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

165: Wage war honorably. You may be obliged to wage war but not to use poisoned arrows. Everyone must act as he is, not as others would make him to be. Gallantry in the battle of life wins everyone's praise; one should fight so as to conquer, not alone by force but by the way it is used. A mean victory brings no glory, but rather disgrace. Honor always has the upper hand. An honorable person never uses forbidden weapons, such as using a friendship that's ended for the purposes of a hatred just begun; a confidence must never be used for a vengeance. The slightest taint of treason tarnishes one's good name. In people of honor the smallest trace of meanness repels. The noble and the ignoble should be miles apart. Be able to boast that is gallantry, generosity, and fidelity were lost in the world people would be able to rediscover them in your own heart.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

165: Make a clean fight. The man of intelligence may be driven to fight, but not to fight foully; each must act for what he is, and not for what he is help: ot remain the gentlemen in a contest is to deserve all praise; fight to win, not only through superior strength, but throught superior manner: To win basely, is not glorious, but humiliating. Always be the better in generosity; the knight does not avail himself of forbidden ares, and such are those of a friendship ended, for an enmity started, since one may not so convert a confidence into vengeance; all that smells of treason, corrupts a good name. Men of honor are affronted by the least atom of baseness; for the noble must be kept far from the vile. Glory in the fact that if gallantry, generosity, and fidelity were to perish off this earth, they would still be discoverable in your breast.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 86, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"If you are forced to fight, fight honourably. Do not try to win by hitting below the belt, for even if your trickery remains hidden, you only gain a false reputation for skill and strength, and if challenged by better fighters, you face humiliation.

Treachery has always used weapons forbidden by the code of honest warfare; poisoned arrows in olden times, expanding bullets and the violation of neutral rights in more modern days.

The great heroes of history, from Hector of Troy to Robert E. Lee, were gallant, chivalrous fighters who scorned trickery, and their glory was not dimmed by the fact that they went down with a losing cause."


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 175, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Wage war honourably. A good man may be obliged to wage war, but not to wage it dishonourably: every one must act according to his own nature, not as others would have him be. Gallantry towards a rival is praiseworthy: one must fight not merely to win by force but also by the way in which one employs it. To conquer by dishonourable means brings no glory but, rather, humiliation. Magnanimity always comes out on top: an honourable man never has recourse to forbidden weapons, and among these is the use of a quondam friendship to serve the pur- poses of a new-born hate; for one should not make use of inti- macy in order to wreak vengeance. Everything which smells of treason infects our good name. The slightest trace of a mean spirit is the more out of place in those holding responsible positions; the noble and the ignoble must be poles apart. Let it be your boast that if gallantry, magnanimity, and loyalty should perish from the earth, they could be sought out in your own heart.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[Can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Fight a good fight. The prudent man may be obliged to fight, but never to fight unfairly. Everyone must act in accordance with his nature, and not as others would have him act. Gallantry is always applauded; he who fights must not strive to win at any cost, but must count that cost. To conquer at the expense of another's ruin is not glory, but a required submission. Generosity is always superirority. The man of honor never fights with forbidden weapons; he never uses a friendship that has jsut eneded for an enmity just begun - for it is not worthy to use a confidence for vengence. Anything that smells of treason corrupts a good name. In men of principle, any atom of baseness repels; nobility must always keep its distance from meanness. Be able to boast that, if gallantry, generosity, and felicity were lost to the world, they might again be found within your own breast.


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

165: "Wage a clean war. The wise person can be driven to war, but not to a dishonorable one. Act like the person you are, not the way they make you act. To behave magnanimously towards your rivals is praiseworthy. You should fight not only to win power but also to show you are a superior fighter. To conquer without nobility is not victory but surrender. The good man does not use forbidden weapons, like the ones he acquires when he breaks up with a friend. Even when friendship ends in hatred, don't take advantage of the trust that was once place in you. Everything that smacks of treachery is poison to your reputation. Noble people shouldn't have even an atom of baseness. Nobility scorns villainy. You should be able to boast that if gallantry, generosity, and faith were lost in the world, they could be found again in your own breast."


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[Can't match up Maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 165 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Always fight honorably.

You may have to fight a war, but you are never obliged to give up your honor. Do not try to come out victorious by means of underhanded tricks or you may be disgraced in the effort, and not be able to repeat the feat in another fight on another day. Never take up illegal weaponry or use people in a dishonest manner to obtain what you desire. Treason is never worth what it would do to your reputation. Be the last surviving gallant man if need be.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CLXXII/167 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Saberse ayudar

No ai mejor compañía en los grandes aprietos que un buen coraçón; y quando flaqueare se ha de suplir de las partes que le están cerca. Házensele menores los afanes a quien se sabe valer. No se rinda a la fortuna, que se le acabará de hazer intolerable. Ayúdanse poco algunos en sus trabajos, y dóblanlos con no saberlos llevar. El que ya se conoce socorre con la consideración a su flaqueza, y el Discreto de todo sale con victoria, hasta de las Estrellas.


Maxim/Aphorism CLXXII/167 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 155) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To be able to help ones self

In troublesome encounters, there is no better company than a great heart: and if this comes to fail, it ought to be assisted by the parts that are about it. Crosses are not so great to those who can tell how to assist themselves. Yield not to Fortune. For she'll become insupportable to thee. Some help themselves so little in their troubles, that they increase them, because they know not how to bear them with courage. He that understands himself well, finds in reflection a relief to his weakness. A man of judgement comes off in all things advantageously, were it even to come down from the stars.


Maxim/Aphorism No CLXXII/167 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 169) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To be able to help one's self

In troublesome Encounters, there is no better Company than a great Heart: And if that happen to fail thee, it ought to be assisted by the Parts about it. Crosses are not so great, to them that can tell how to help themselves. Yield not to Fortune, lest she becomes insupportable to thee. Some help themselves so little in their Troubles, that they rather increase them, by reason they know not how to bear them with Courage. He that understands himself well, finds Reflection a Relief to his Weakness. A Man of Judgement comes off advantageously in all things, were it even from as high as the Stars.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

167. Know how to take your own part. - . . . In great dangers there is no better companion than a bold heart. . . . One must not surrender to evil fortune, for then it becomes intolerable. . . . The prudent man comes victoriously out of everything, and triumphs over even the stars.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

167: Know how to take your own Part. In great crises there is no better companion than a bold heart, and if it becomes weak it must be strengthened from the neighboring parts. Worries dies away before a man who asserts himself. One must not surrender to misfortune or else it would become intolerable. Many men do not help themselves in their troubles and double their weight by not knowing how to bear them. He that knows himself knows how to strengthen his weakness, and the wise man conquers everything, even the stars in their courses.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

167: Know how to rely on yourself. In great crises there is no better companion than a bold heart, and if it becomes weak it must be strengthened from the neighboring parts. Worries dies away for the person who asserts himself. One must not surrender to misfortune or else it would become intolerable. Many people do not help themselves in their troubles and double their weight by not knowing how to bear them. He that knows himself knows how to strengthen his weakness, and the wise person conquers everything, even the stars in their courses.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

167: Know how to help yourself. There is no better companion in the great struggles of life, than a stout heart; and when it flags it must be supported by the organs that stand about. Anxieties grow less in him who knows how to defend himself. Never surrender to fate, for then she ends by making herself interolerable. Some help themselves little with their burdens, in fact they double them because they do not know how to carry them. He who really knows himself, brings thought to the support of his frailties, wherefore the man of intelligence comes out victorious from under everthing, even the unlucky stars.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 72, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Be self-sufficient. Know your own business so well that you are never at the mercy of others.

Hired help may leave you; your friends may be absent when you need them most; the only one on whom you can depend when you are in trouble, is yourself.

Gain all the knowledge and skill necessary to conduct your affairs, and you can dispense with uncertain alliances. The strong are mighty because they can stand alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 177, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Know how to look after yourself In very tight corners there is no better company than a stout heart; and, shoulcl this weaken, the neighbouring organs must do its work for it. For the man who knows how to look after himself, worries diminish. Do not give in to Fortune, for, ifyou do, she will become unbearable in the encl. Some people do very little to help themselves in their troubles and multiply them because they are unable to endure them. The man who already knows himself gives suc- cour, by reflection, to his own weakness; and the prudent man emerges victorious over everything, even his stars.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Know how to help yourself. There is no better company, in an emergency, than a stout heart; if it weakens, it must be bolstered by your own spirit. Anxiety decreases for him who can help himself. Do not surrender to fortune, or it will become intolerable in its treatment. Some, helpless before their troubles, increase them two-fold by not knowing how to combat them. He who knows himself can strengthen his weaknesses; the wise man can conquer anything, even the stars in their courses.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

167: Be self-reliant. There is no better company, in tight situations, than a stout heart. When it is weak, use the organs closest of it. Worries are borne better by the self-reliant. Don't give in to fortune, or it will make itself even more unbearable. Some people help themselves little in their own travails, and double them by not knowing how to bear them. The person who knows himself overcomes his weakness with thoughtfulness, and the prudent manage to conquer all, even the stars.


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[Can't match up Maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 167 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Defend yourself

Make courage and fortitude are your most trusted companions as you face life's struggles. When you know how to stand up to adversity you will be less anxious in troubled times. Never surrender to your fate, for if you do any misfortune will become even less tolerable. One who does not help himself carry his burdens will find them heavier still. Bring your intelligence to play and support yourself even under the most trying circumstances. Shore up your weaknesses that you may be the victor, even when luck fails you.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CLXXII/172 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

No empeñarse con quien no tiene qué perder.

Es reñir con desigualdad. Entra el otro con desembaraço porque trae hasta la vergüença perdida; remató con todo, no tiene más que perder, y assí se arroja a toda impertinencia. Nunca se ha de exponer a tan cruel riesgo la inestimable reputación; costó muchos años de ganar, y viene a perderse en un punto de un puntillo: yela un desaire mucho lucido sudor. Al hombre de obligaciones házele reparar el tener mucho que perder. Mirando por su crédito, mira por el contrario, y como se empeña con atención, procede con tal detención, que da tiempo a la prudencia para retirarse con tiempo y poner en cobro el crédito. Ni con el vencimiento se llegará a ganar lo que se perdió ya con el exponerse a perder.


Maxim/Aphorism CLXXII/172 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 158-159) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Never to engage with him that hath Nothing to lose.

To do otherwise, is to fight at a disadvantage. For the other enters the lists unconcernedly. Seeing he hath lost all shame, he has no more to Lose, nor to husband; and so he runs hand over head into all extravagances. Reputation, which is an inestimable value, ought never to be exposed to so great risques. Having cost a great many years in purchasing, it comes to be lost in a moment. A small breeze of wind is enought to greeze a great deal of sweat. A Prudent Man is withheld by the consideration that he hath much to lose. When he thinks of his Reputation, he presently considers that danger of losing it. And by means of this reflection, he proceeds with so great reserve, that Prudence has time to retire in time, and to secure his Credit. One can never be able to recover by a Victory what he hath already lost in exposing himself to lose.


Maxim/Aphorism No CLXXII/172 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 173) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Never to Engage with him, that hath Nothing to Lose.

To do otherwise, where to Fight at Disadvantage; for such as Adversay always enters the Lifts unconcernedly. Since he hath lost all Shame, he has neither any more to Lose, or to Husband; and therefore run Hand over Hand into all Extravagances. Reputation, which is an inestimable Jewel, ought never to be exposed to so great Risques. Having cost a great many Years to acquire, it comes thus to be lost in a moment. A Prudent Man is withhelf by the Consideration that he hath much to lose. When he thinks of his Reputation, he presently considers that danger of forfeiting it. And by means of this Reflection, he proceeds with so great Caution, that he has time to retire, and to secure his Credit. One can never be able to recover by a Victory what one has already lost, by exposing one's self to a Hazard.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

172. Do not let into a contest with one who has nothing to lose.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

172: Never contend with a Man who has nothing to Lose. By doing so you enter into an unequal conflict. The other enters without anxiety; having lost everything, including shame, he has no further loss to fear. He therefore resorts to all kinds of insolence. One should never expose a valuable reputation to so terrible a risk, lest what has cost years to gain and may be lost in a moment, since a single slight may wipe out much sweat. A man of honor and responsibility has a reputation, because he has much to lose. He balances his own and the other's reputation: he only enters into the contest with the greatest caution, and then goes to work with such circumspection that he gives time to prudence to retire in time and bring his reputation under cover. For even by victory he cannot gain what he has lost by exposing himself to the chances of loss.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

172: Never contend with someone who has nothing to lose. By doing so you enter into an unequal conflict. The other enters without anxiety - having lost everything, including shame, he has no further loss to fear. He therefore resorts to all kinds of insolence. One should never expose a valuable reputation to so terrible a risk, least of all what has cost years to gain and may be lost in a moment - a single slight may wipe out much sweat. A person of honor and responsibility has a reputation, because he has much to lose. He balances his own and the other's reputation. He only enters into the contest with the greatest caution, and then goes to work with such circumspection that he gives prudence the opportunity to retire in time and bring his reputation under cover. For even by victory he cannot gain what he has lost by exposing himself to the chances of loss.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

172: Do not engage with him who has nothing to lose. It is to fight at a disadvantage, for the other enters without encumbrance, because unaccountred even of shame; and having auctioned off everything, he has nothing more to lose, and so may allow himself every insolence; never expose to such great hazard your treasure reputation: what cost you years to attain, can go to perdition and there be lost in one unlucky moment what has cost much precious sweat. It makes the man of honor pause and consider what he has a state, for while regarding his own good name, he looks at that of the other; and so becomes entangled only after great consideration, proceeding with such caution, that prudence is given time to recall, and put in safe-keeping at reputation: for not even victory can bring in as much as was risked when a good name was merely exposed to loss.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 88, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"Beware of driving such a hard bargain that your opponent has nothing to lose by breaking its terms. A hard bargain carries within it the germ of future mischief, more costly than if you had yielded a few points in the first place.

Do not fight a man who has nothing to lose for, unlike yourself, he enters the arena unencumbered. He need protect neither his repute nor his conscience, and therefore has you at a disadvantage.

The most dangerous competitor is one who, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, is being driven to desparation."


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 179, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose. To do so is to enter into an unequal conflict. The other fellow enters [the lists] unencumbered, because he has forfeited everything, even shame; he is completely finished, has no more to lose, and so rushes headlong into every kind of folly. You should never expose your priceless reputation to such a cruel risk. It cost you many years to earn it and it is lost in a second, impaled upon the point of a punctilio. Much honourable toil may be rendered useless by one false step. A man in a responsible position reflects that he has a lot to lose and looks to his reputation: he sums up the situation of his adversay and, as he enters the fight with caution, pursues it with such care that he gives prudence a chance to withdraw in time, and so safeguard his good name. Not even by [final] victory will one succeede in winning what one lost merely by laying oneself open to defeat.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 83, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

Never enter an engagement, where the cards are stacked against you. When the task ahead is of Himalayan propor- tions, even Caesars can fall. It is difficult to deny a chal- lenge, particularly when each of us believes, that we can succeed, where others failed. Such men are wishful thinkers, who mix reality with reverie. Reality can never match the imagination, and when dreams combine with desires, castles of sand can be built in mid-air. Such situations end in disillusionment and disparagement for all concerned. Desires color the truth. Only the wise, in evaluating the evidence, can guard against the false hopes of others, by insuring that the fruit is superior to the appetite. Test all problems with a preliminary probe, and where the issue is greater than the solution, prepare a gracious exit. In contrast, men of devilish designs often capitalize on that which appears hopeless.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Never content with one how has nothing to lose - it is to quarrel with inequality. Your opponent has no restraint on his actions, because he has fallen so low that he has lost even shame. He is finished with everything: having nothing more to ose, he will dare to any insolence. One should never expose an inestimable reputation to so dangerous a risk. The reputation has required many years to gain, and may be lost over a trivial matter - for a slight drop in temperature may freeze much sweat. The man of onor, because he has a good reputation, has much to lose. He considers his opponent, and enters a conflict cautiously. He proceeds so carefully that he gives prudence time to retire, if it is necessary to preserve his reputation. Not even by conquering can the man of good standing recover that which is already lost by exposing himself to the change of loss.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

172: Never compete with someone who has nothing to lose. The struggle will be unequal. one of the contestants enters wtih fray unencumbered, for he has already lost everything, even his shame. He has cast off everything, has noting further to lose, and throws himself headlong into all sorts of insolence. Never risk your precious reputation on such a person. It took many years to win it, and it can be lost in a moment, on something far from momentous. One breath of scandal freezes much honorable sweat. The righteous person knows how much is at stake. He knows what can damage his reputation, and, because he commits himself prudently, he proceeds slowly, so that prudence has ample time to retreat. Not even if he triumphs will be win back what he lost by exposing himself to risk of losing.


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[Can't match up Maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 172 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not negotiate with a party that has no thing to lose.

When your adversary enters the fray unencumbered by fear of loss, you are at a distinct disadvantage. In his condition not even shame will hold him back, so that he will expose himself to tremendous risk without hesitation. With much at stake, you will enter the contest cautiously, yet against a desperate adversary your good name, which may have taken years to attain, can be lost in one unlucky moment in such an uneven transaction.


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXX/220 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Quando no puede uno vestirse la piel del león, vístase la de la Vulpeja.

Saber ceder al tiempo es exceder. El que sale con su intento nunca pierde reputación. A falta de fuerça, destreça. Por un camino o por otro: o por el Real del valor, o por el atajo del artificio. Más cosas ha obrado la maña que la fuerça, y más vezes vencieron los Sabios a los valientes que al contrario. Quando no se puede alcançar la cosa, entra el desprecio.


Maxim/Aphorism CCXX/220 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 198) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To cover our selves with the Foxe's Skin, where we cannot doe it with the Lyon's.

To yield to the times, is to exceed. He that compasses his design, never loses his reputation. Art ought to supply strength. If we cannot proceed in the King's high-way of open force, one must take to the by-path of Artifice. Wiles are far more expeditious, than strength. The wise have oftener got the better of the brave, than the brave of the wise. When an enterprize fails, the door is open to Contempt.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXX/220 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 213) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To cover our Selves with the Fox's Skin, where we cannot do it with the Lion's.

To yield to the Times is commendable. He that compasses his Design, never loses his Reputation. Art ought to supply Strength. If one cannot proceed in the King's High-way of open Force, one must take to the By-raod of Artifice. Wiles are far more expeditious, than down right Strength. The Wise have oftener got the better of the Brave, than the Brave of the Wise. When an Enterprize comes to Miscarry, the Door is always open to Contempt.


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

[Maxim not translated]


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

220: If you cannot clothe Yourself in Lionskin use Foxpelt. To follow the times is to lead them. He that gets what he wants never loses his reputation. Cleverness when force will not do. One way or another, the king's highway of valour or the bypath of cunning. Skill has effected more than force, and astuteness has conquered courage more often than the other way. When you cannot get a thing then is the time to despise it.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

220: If you cannot clothe yourself in lion-skin use foxpelt. To follow the times is to lead them. He that gets what he wants never loses his reputation. Use cleverness when force will not do. Take one way or another, the king's highway of valor or bypath of cunning. Skill has effected more than force, and astuteness has conquered courage more often than the other way around. When you cannot get something, that is the time to despise it.


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

220: When unable to wear the lion's skin, clothe yourself in the fox's. To know how to yield to the times, is to be ahead of them: he who accomplishes his purpose, never endangers his reputation; where force fails, try art; over one road, or another, either the highway of courage, or the byway of cunning: more things have been gained by knack, than by knock, and the wise have won much oftener than the valorous, and not the other way about; when not possible to attain your end, register your contempt for it.


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 114, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"Learn to gain your goal either through strength or through cunning. When strength fails, resort to cunning; when cunning fails, use strength. Of the two, make cunning your favourite.

If you have both strength and cunning, use each to its best advantage. The boxer who becomes champion uses his brain to maneuver his opponent into a corner, and his arm to deliver the knockout blow."


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 217, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

When you cannot clothe yourself in a lion's skin, don that of a fox. To know how to yield to the times is to surpass them: the man who gets his own way never loses his reputation; when you lack power, use cunning; [get on] somehow or other, either by the highway of merit or by the byway of artifice. Craft has achieved more than power and the wise have overcome the brave more often than the brave the wise, When you cannot get the thing [you want], people come to despise you.


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 23, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

"We are all victims of public values, for we are what others things we are. Rightly or wrongly, the consequential issue is the result of our achievements - while the inconsequential issue is the method we adopt to secure those accomplishments.

Everything we start, will either end in shame or fame. Either shame in acknowledging our failure or fame in facing our victory. He who wins never needs an explanation for his triumph, for winners are always accepted and applauded.

It is everyone's target to succeed by ending all encounters well. Accordingly, it is the rule of the wise - to rollow the rule of neglecting the rules - in order to insure that all things end well."


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

When you cannot clothe yourself in the skin of a lion, dress in a fox skin. To conform to the ways of the day is to surpass them! He who realized his intention never loses his reputation; in the absence of force, use dexterity one way or another. Travel by the King's Highway of courage, or by the short-cut of dexterity. More things have been brought to pass by artiface than by force, and more often the wise have conquered the valiant than the contrary. But when you cannot obtain a thing, then despise it!


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

220: If you can't wear the skin of a lion, wear the skin of a fox. To follow the times is to lead them. If you get what you want, your reputation will not suffer. If you lack strength, use skill; take one road or the other, the royal road of courage or the shortcut of artifice. Know-how has accomplished more than strength, and the wise have conquered the courageious more often than vice versa. When you can't get what you want, you risk being despised.


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[Can't match up Maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 220 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

When you cannot wear the lion's skin wear the fox's.

Knowing when to yield is the battle half won. Where you cannot achieve your purpose through force, try artfulness. When abandoning the road of courage, you can take the byway of cunning. More is gained by talent than by violence and the wise more often succeed than the bold. In the end if you cannot achieve your end, pretend you never wanted it anyway. Sour grapes.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXXXVII/237 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Nunca partir secretos con mayores.

Pensará partir peras y partirá piedras. Perecieron muchos de confidentes. Son éstos como cuchar de pan, que corre el mismo riesgo después. No es favor del Príncipe, sino pecho, el comunicarlo. Quiebran muchos el espejo porque les acuerda la fealdad. No puede ver al que le pudo ver, ni es bien visto el que vio mal. A ninguno se ha de tener mui obligado, y al poderoso menos. Sea antes con beneficios hechos que con favores recebidos. Sobre todo, son peligrosas confianças de amistad. El que comunicó sus secretos a otro hízose esclavo dél, y en soberanos es violencia que no puede durar. Desean bolver a redimir la libertad perdida, y para esto atropellarán con todo, hasta la razón. Los secretos, pues, ni oírlos, ni dezirlos.


Maxim/Aphorism CCXXXVII/237 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 219-220) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Never to be privy to the secrets of Superiours.

You may think to share in the Plums, but but it is onely in the Stones. To have been confidents, hath been the undoing of many. It is with confidents, as with the crust of bread, that is used instead of a spoon, which runs the riskque of being swallowed with the broth. Confidence is not the favour, but the impost of the Prince. Many break their Looking-glass, because it shews them their ugliness. A Prince cannot abide to see the man, who may have seen him : and the witness of an ill act, is always ill lookt upon. One ought never to be too much obliged to any body, and far less to great men. Services rendred, stand better with them than favours received. But above all things, the confidences of Friendship are dangerous. He that hath enstrusted his secret to another, hath made himself his slave: and in Soveraigns, it is a violence that cannot last long. For they are impatient to redeem their lost liberty : and for succeeding in that, they'll overturn every thing, nay, and reason it self. Tis a Maxim for secrets, Neither to hear, them nor to tell them.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXXXVII/237 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 230) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Never to be privy to a Superiors Secret.

You may think to share in the Plumbs, but you will have only that of Stones. Being Confidents, hath been the Ruin of many. It is with them, as with a Crust of Bread, that is used instead of a Spoon, which runs the Riskque of being swallowed with the Broth. Confidence is not a Favour, but the Impost of the Prince. Many have broken their Looking-Glasses, becuase they shew'd them their Ugliness. A Prince cannot abide to see the Man, who may have seen him, and the Witness of an ill Act, is always ill look'd upon. One ought never to be too much obliged to any body, and far less to great Men. Services done, stand better with them than Favours received. But above all things, the Confidences of Friendship are dangerous. He that hath enstrusted his Secret to another, hath made himself his Slave: And among Soveraigns, it is a violence that cannot last long; for they are impatient to redeem their Liberty: And for succeeding in that, they'll overturn every thing, nay, even Reason it self. Tis a Maxim for Secrets, Neither to hear, not to tell them.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

237. Never share the secrets of your superiors. - You may think that you are going to share pears with them, but you will only share pebbles. Many have perished because they were confidants. Such people are like spoons made of bread, and run the same risk afterwards that these do. It is no favour in a prince to communicate to you a secret; he does so to relieve the fulness of his heart. Many have broken the mirror because it has made them aware of their ugliness. We do not like to see a person who has had an opportunity to see through us, and he is not soon with pleasure who has seen evil in him that sees him.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

237. Never share the Secrets of your Superiors. You may think you will share pears, but you will only share parings. Many have been ruined by being confidants: they are like sops of bread used as forks, they run the same risk of being eaten up afterwards. It is no favour in a prince to share a secret: it is only a relief. Many break the mirror that reminds them of their ugliness. We do not like seeing those who have seen us as we are: nor is he seen In a favourable light who has seen us in an unfavourable one. None ought to be too much beholden to us, least of all one of the great, unless it be for benefits done him rather than for such favours received from him. Especially dangerous are secrets entrusted to friends. He that communicates his secret to another makes himself that other's slave. With a prince this is an intolerable position which cannot last. He will desire to recover his lost liberty, and to gain it will overturn everything, including right and reason. Accordingly neither tell secrets nor listen to them.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

237. Never share the secrets of your superiors. You may think you will share pears, but you will only share parings. Many have been ruined by being confidants: they are like sops of bread used like spoons, they run the same risk of being eaten up afterwards. It is no favor to a prince to share a secret - it is only a relief. Many break the mirror that reminds them of their ugliness. We do not like seeing those who have seen us as we are, nor is he seen in a favorable light who has seen us in an unfavorable one. No one ought to be too much beholden to us, least of all one of the great, unless it is for favors done for him rather than for favors received. Especially dangerous are secrets entrusted to friends. When you communicate a secret to someone you make yourself his slave. With a prince this is an intolerable position that cannot last; he will desire to recover his lost liberty, and to gain he will overturn everything, including right and reason. Accordingly, neither tell secrets nor listen to them.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

237: Never participate in the secrets of those above you: you think to share the fruit, and you share the stones: wherefore so many confidents die of want: they are bread sops, and run the risk of being eaten afterwards: the confidence of a prince is not a grant but a tax. Many have broken the mirror, that reminded them of their ugliness, and so we do not truly wish to see him who has seen us truly; not will we welcome him, to whom we are unwelcome. Hold a whip hand too heavily over no one, least of all over the man in power; letting this be for favors bestowed, rather than for favors received, for the confidences of friendship are dangerous above all other things on earth. He who tells his secrets to another, makes himself his slave, and this is a strain upon those who rule that canno last: they will with to regain their lost freedom, and to do so will trample upone everything, even justice; secrets, therefore, should never be heard, and never spoken.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 125, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Be careful to whom you tell your secrets, because by telling them you nput yourself in someone else's power.

Also, do not pry into the affairs of others, or invite their confidences. Knowing secrets is embarrassing, sometimes dangerous.

The Goths buried King Alaric in the darkness of the night, and then kill the men who had helped bury him.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 231, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Never share secrets with superiors. You will think you are sharing pears and will share [only] stones: many have come to grief through beirig confidants. These men are like a piece of bread used as a scoop, and run the same risk [of being devoured] later. It is no favour on the part of a ruler to disclose a secret, but rather a levy [which he imposes upon you]. Many people break their mirrors because these remind them of their ugliness: we do not like seeing those who have been able to see through us, nor do we look favourably upon one to whom we have shown ourselves in a bad light. You should not be greatly beholden to anybody, least of all to the powerful. With them it should be a case of benefits conferred rather than favours received; friendly confidences are, above all, dangerous. The person who has disclosed his secrets to another has made himself that man's slave; and, in the case of monarchs, it is an unnatural situation which cannot last. They wish to recover their lost freedom and, in order to do so, they will ride rough-shod over everything, even reason itself. So do not listen to secrets, and do not tell them.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 76, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

It is one thing to communicate with a king, but another to be in his confidence. The first relationship is impersonal and therefore a duty. The second is personal, and therefore dangerous.

It is not a privilege to share a secret with a king, for inevitably the friendship will be fatal. Every trust has its saturation point, and when the well flower over, the subordinate will drown, at the design of the king. All leaders, either in self-defense or self-punishment, turn on their confidents. He who knows too much, walks a precarious path.

A chipped confidence may fracture a friendship, but with a king you may forfeit your freedom.

Crucial confidences are for self-mediation and not for common conversation.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Never share secrets with your superiors. You will expect to share gains, but instead you will share loses. Many perish because of confidences: they are like sops of bread, and run the risk of being eaten later. It is not the condescension of the prince, but his shortcomings to tell secrets. Many have broken mirrors because they showed faithful images. One cannot tolerate the man who has seen him truly, and the one who has seen the bad is never welcome. No one likes to be obligated, and the powerful like it least. See that you are ahead on benefits given, rather than on favors received. Dangerous above all are the confidences of friendship. He who communicates his secrets to another thus enslaves himself to the other, and with people in authority, this relationship cannot last. They desire to redeem their lost liberty, and to this end they will trample on anyone - on right itself. Never hear nor tell others' secrets then.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

237: Never share your secrets with those greater than you. You may think you'll share pears, but you'll share only the parings. Many perished by being confidants. They were like the spoons made from bread crusts, and came to the same quide end. To hear a prince's secrets isn't a privilege but a burden. Many smash the mirror that reminds them of their ugliness. They can't stand to see those who saw them. You won't be seen well if you've seen something unfavorable. You should never hold anyone greatly in your debt, especially not the powerful. And hold them with favors you've done, not with those you've received. The confidences of friends are the most dangerous of all. The person who tells is secrets to another makes himself a slave, and this is a violence that the sovereign cannot bear. To recover their lost freedom they will trample on everything, even reason. Secrets? Neither bear them nor speak them.


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[needs to be done]


Maxim/Aphorism No 237 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not share secrets with those above you.

It may seem as if you are sharing in the fruit, but in the end you share only the pits. Many confidants have suffered after the fact, as they are consumed like the bread that soaks up the soup. A secret held over someone is like a whip and its knowledge a certain power. Secrets between friends are the most dangerous. When one tells his secrets to another he makes himself his slave and a relationship can rarely survive this stress. The slave will chafe and want his freedom restored, which ruins everything. Speak no secrets, hear no secrets.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXL/240 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Saber usar de la necedad.

El mayor sabio juega tal vez desta pieça, y ai tales ocasiones, que el mejor saber consiste en mostrar no saber. No se ha de ignorar, pero sí afectar que se ignora. Con los necios poco importa ser sabio, y con los locos cuerdo: hásele de hablar a cada uno en su lenguaje. No es necio el que afecta la necedad, sino el que la padece. La sencilla lo es, que no la doble, que hasta esto llega el artificio. Para ser bienquisto, el único medio, vestirse la piel del más simple de los brutos.


Maxim/Aphorism CCXL/240 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 222) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To know how to play the Ignorant

The ablest man sometimes acts this Part; and there are occasions, when the best knowledge is to pretend not to know. One must not be ignorant, but only pretend to be so. Is signifies little to be knowing with Fops, and Prudent with Fools. We are to speak to every man according to his Character. He is not the ignorant who pretends to be such, but he that is catch'd by such. Not he that counterfeits, but he that really is so. The onely way to be beloved, is to put on the skin of the silliest of Animals.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXL/240 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 233) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To know how to Play the Ignorant

The ablest Man sometimes Acts this Part; and there are Occasions, where the best Knowledge is to pretend not to Know. One must not be really Ignorant, but only pretend to be so. Is signifies littel to be Knowing among Coxcombs, and Prudent with Fools. We are to speak to every one suitable to his Character. He is not the Ignorant Person, who pretends to be so, but he that is catch'd by such: Not he that Counterfiets, but he that really is so. The only way to be beloved, is to put on the Skin of the simplest of Animals.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

[Maxim not translated]


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

240: Make use of Folly. The wisest play this card at times, and there are times when the greatest wisdom lies in seeming not to be wise. You need not be unwise, but merely affect unwisdom. To be wise with fools and foolish with the wise were of little use. Speak to each in his own language. He is no fool who affects folly, but he is who suffers from it. Ingenuous folly rather than the pretended is the true foolishness, since cleverness has arrived at such a pitch. To be well liked one must dress in the skin of the simplest of animals.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

240: Make use of folly. The wisest person plays this card at times. Sometimes the greatest wisdom lies in seeming not to be wise. You need not be unwise, but merely affect unwisdom. To be wise with fools and foolish with the wise is of little use; speak to each in his own language. He is no fool who affects folly, but he is who suffers from it. Ingenious folly, rather than simple affect, is the true foolishness, since cleverness is at such a high pitch. To be well liked one must dress in the skin of the simplest of animals.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

240: Know how to pretend ignorance. The wisest of men may at times play this part, for there are many occasions, when the better wisdom consists in showing that you have none; do not be ignorant, but deport yourself as though ignorant; of little importance to be intelligent with the ignoramuses, or to have a mind among the witless; wherefore be able to speak to every man in his own language; he is not the fool who affects foolishness, but he who is affected of it; he is the simpleton, who cannot double in the part, for to this extremity has trickery driven us; in order to be welcome, the only way is to come clothed in the skin of the simplest of the brutes.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 126, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"To look stupid and act stupid is sometimes the smartest thing to do. If you speak cleverly, a more clever speaker may outwit you; remain dumb, and your dumness will protect you like an armor without chinks.

The young doe, aware of its slowness, freezes into immobility at the approach of the hunter, and thereby escapes his notice. The old buck, trusing to his speed, bounces into the open and is killed by a still speedier bullet."


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 233, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Know how to play the daft laddie. The wisest man plays this card at times and there are occasions upon which the highest wisdom consists in appearing not to know; you must not be ignorant but actually pretend you are. It is not much good being wise among fools, and sane among lunatics. You must speak to every one in his own language: he who poses as one is not a fool but rather he who is the victim of folly. Simple folly is stupid, not so that of duplicity, for cunrfing reaches that pitch. The only way to be well liked is to clothe yourself' in the skin of the silliest of the animals.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 52, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

"It frequently pays to pretend ignorance. Actually it is a form of Socratic irony. There are times when play-acting the role of the unwise, is the wisest role of all.

This tactic does not consist of being smart with the silly and silly with the smart. It does call for affecting the role acceptable to your audience.

Talk tactfully, remembering that all listen with their own individual economic interests foremost in mind.

To be accepted without envy, when meeting others, feign the facade of a 'gran caballero'"


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Know the uses of folly. The greater sage plays, at times this tune, and there are occasions when the greatest wisdom consists in showing no wisdom. You do not have to be ignorant to play the part of the ignorant. Among fools it is worth little to be wise, and among the insane, insanity is worth little. You have to speak to each one in his own tongue. It is not so much he who seems so, but he who suffers from it who is the fool. He is simple indeed who cannot play a double role, for this is the essence of artifice. The one sure way to be welcome is to dress in the hide of the most simple of the dumb brutes.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

240: Make use of folly. Even the wisest person sometimes puts this piece into play, and there are occasions when the greatest knowledge lies in appearing to have none. You needn't be ignorant, only pretend to be so. Wisdom matters little to fools, and madmen care little for sanity. So speak to everyone in his own tongue. The fool isn't the person who pretends to be foolish, but the one who is, for there is not foolishness where there is artifice. To be admired by others, wear the hide of an ass.


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

[needs to be done]


Maxim/Aphorism No 240 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Pretend ignorance sometimes.

The truly savvy person realizes that there are occasions when looking ignorant is the true wisdom. It is not necessary to be unknowledgeable, but only to look as though you are. When surrounded by ignoramuses, your intelligence will do you little good. Better to lower yourself to their level and speak their language. A true fool isn't the one who pretends foolishness, and you do not make yourself a simpleton by playing the part. There are times when in order to fit in, you must don the skin of a brute.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXLIII/243 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

No ser todo columbino

Altérnense la calidez de la serpiente con la candidez de la paloma. No ai cosa más fácil que engañar a un hombre de bien. Cree mucho el que nunca miente y confía mucho el que nunca engaña. No siempre procede de necio el ser engañado, que tal vez de bueno. Dos géneros de personas previenen mucho los daños: los escarmentados, que es mui a su costa, y los astutos, que es mui a la agena. Muéstrese tan estremada la sagacidad para el rezelo como la astucia para el enredo, y no quiera uno ser tan hombre de bien, que ocasione al otro el serlo de mal. Sea uno mixto de paloma y de serpiente; no mostro, sino prodigio.


Maxim/Aphorism CCXLIII/243 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 224) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Not to be a Dove in all things.

Let the cunning of the Serpent, go hand in hand with the simplicity of the Dove. There is nothing easier than to deceive a good Man. He that never lies, easily believes; and he that never decieves, confides too much. To be deceived is not always a sign of brutishness: For goodness is sometimes the cause of it. There are two sorts of poeple that well know how to prevent a mischief, the one, because they have learnt what it is at their own cost; and the others, becuase they have learnt it at the expence of other. Prudence ought then to be as carefull to caution it self, as cunning is to cheat. Have a care not to be so good a man, that other may take accasion from it of being bad. Be a composition of the Dove and Serpent; not a Monster, but a Prodigy.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCXLIII/243 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 235) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Not to be a Dove in all things.

Let the cunning of the Serpent, go hand in hand with the simplicity of the Dove. There is nothing easier than to deceive a good Man. He that never lies, easily believes; and he that never decieves, confides too much. To be deceiv'd, is not always a sign of unwariness; for excessive Goodness is sometimes the cause of it. There are two sorts of Poeple that well know how to prevent a Mischief, the One, because they have learn'd that is at their own Cost; and the Other, by reason they have learn'd it at the expence of their Neighbours. Prudence ought then to be as careful to caution it self, as Cunning is to Cheat. Have a care not to be so good a Man, that other may take accasion from thence of being bad. Be a composition of the Dove and Serpent; not a Monster, but a Prodigy.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

243. . . . . Unite in yourself the dove and the serpent, not as a monster, but as a prodigy.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

243: Do not be too much of a Dove. Alternate the cunning of the serpent with the candour of the dove. Nothing is easier than to deceive an honest man. He believes in much who lies in naught; who does no deceit, has much confidence. To be deceived is not always due to stupidity, it may arise from sheer goodness. There are two sets of men who can guard themselves from injury: those who have experienced it at their own cost, and those who have observed it at the cost of others. Prudence should use as much suspicion as subtlety uses snares, and none need be so good as to enable others to do him ill. Combine in yourself the dove and the serpent, not as a monster but as a prodigy.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

243: Do not be too much of a dove. Alternate the cunning of the serpent with the candor of the dove. Nothing is easier than to deceive an honest man. He believes in much who lies about nothing; he who does no deception has much confidence. To be deceived is not always due to stupidity, it may arise from sheer goodness. There are two sets of people who can guard themselves from injury: those who have learned by experiencing it at their own cost and those who have observed it at the cost of others. Prudence should use as much suspicion as subtlety uses snares, and none need be so good as to enable others to do him ill. Combine in yourself the dove and the serpent, not as a monster but as a prodigy.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

243: Not always the innocent, but let the subtilty of the snake alternate with the simplicity of the dove. Nobody is easier to cheat than an honest man. He who never lies believes readily, and he who never cheats trusts readily. To be cheated does not always evidence stupidity, but often goodness: two kinds of men know well how to avoid hurt, the experienced, at their great cost; and the crafty, at the great cost of others. Here let intelligence show itself as able to disentangle, as craftiness is able to entangle, and let no one seek to be a man so honest, that he gives opportunity to the other to be dishonest; let him be a cross of the dove, with the snake, not a monster, but a marvel.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 127, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Be honest and decent, but recognize that others may be crooked and vicious. Do not be so honest as to deny the existence of dishonestyl, or so decent as to allow others to take advantage of you; for if you are, you may in the end be accused of having tempted the dishonest and been the cause of their downfall.

Do good to others, but learn enough about the craftiness of crooks to thwart their plans which are directed against you.

The sheep which lets itself be shorn of its wool is not a symbol of goodness, but of imbecility.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 235, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Do not be completely dovelike. Alternate the cunning of the serpent with the candour of the dove. There is nothing easier than to deceive an honourable man. The person who never tells lies is extremely credulous and the man who never deceives is very trusting. To be taken in is not always the result of stupidity but sometimes of virtue. There are two types of men who ward off injuries with ease: those who have suKered them, very much to their own cost, and those morally insensible people who have learned their lesson at very great cost to their fellows. The wise should show themselves as ready to suspect as are the cunning to ensnare, and no one should want to be so good a man as to cause another to be bad: one should be a mixture of dove and serpentinot a monster, but a prodigy.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Do not be entirely innocent. Alternate the wiliness of the serpent with candor of the dove. There is no one easier to decieve than the good man. He who never lies believes much, and he who never deceives has confidence in many. Being deceive, then, does not necessarily proceed from folly, but may proceed from virtue. Two kinds of people avoid trouble - those taught by experience, at their own great cost; and those who are astute, to the great cost of others! Sagacity arouses suspicion, just as astuteness drives people to the defense of falsehood. No one wants to be so good a man that he tempts others to be bad. To be, then, a mixture of the dove and serpent is not to be a food, but a man of very great wisdom.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

243: Don't be all dove. Let the guile of the serpent alternate with the innocence of the dove. No one is easier to fool than a good man; the person who never lies believes others easily, and the one who never deceives trusts others. Being fooled isn't always a sign of foolishness; sometimes it shows goodness. Two kinds of people are good at foreseeing danger: those who have learned at their own expense and the clever people who learn a great deal at the expense of others. You should be as cautious at foreseeing difficulties as you are shrewd at getting out of them. Don't be so good that you give others the chance to be bad. Be part serpent and part dove; not a monster, but a prodigy.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Page 47: There is no glory in cheating an honest man

In the hearts of others do not be held a cheat, even though it is difficult to live today without being deceptive at times. It is better to be prudent than crafty. It is better to be esteemed for your wisdom than feared for your treachery, for reputations fly on invisible wings and find their way to unexpected places. Let your greatest cunning lie in not being cunning. There is nothing easier than deceiving an honest man. He who never lies believes everything, and he who never deceives trusts everyone. Be known as a man who inspires trust, rather than one of hollow pretense who feigns truth.


Maxim/Aphorism No 243 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not be naive.

The simplicity of a dove is admirable, but there are times when the subtle cunning of a snake must also be employed. An honest man will readily trust and this makes him the easiest to cheat. One who never lies is usually gullible to the untruths of others. Therefore to be cheated often belies integrity, not stupidity. There are two kinds of people who defend themselves well against damage: the experienced (at great cost to themselves) and the crafty (at great cost to others). No man should try to be so impeccably honest that he opens the door to the dishonesty of others. Rather, borrow the virtues of the dove and the snake alike. Be not monstrous, but wise.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLVIII/258 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Buscar quien le ayude a llevar las infelicidades.

Nunca será solo, y menos en los riesgos, que sería cargarse con todo el odio. Piensan algunos alçarse con toda la superintendencia, y álçanse con toda la murmuración. Desta suerte tendrá quien le escuse o quien le ayude a llevar el mal. No se atreven tan fácilmente a dos, ni la fortuna, ni la vulgaridad, y aun por esso el Médico sagaz, ya que erró la cura, no yerra en buscar quien, a título de consulta, le ayude a llevar el ataúd: repártese el peso y el pesar, que la desdicha a solas se redobla para intolerable.


Maxim/Aphorism CCLVIII/258 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 235-236) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

To look out for one that may help to carry the burden of adversity

Be never alone, especially in dangers. Else thou wilt charge they self with all the hatred. Some think to raise themselves by taking upon them the whole of business, but they to themselves all the envy: whereas with a companion one secures himself against the evil, or at least bears but part of it. Neither Fortune, nor the whimsey of the people can play so easily upon two. The skilfull Physician, who hath not suceeded in the cure of his Patient, never fails fails to take in the assistance of another, who under the name of consultation, helps him to bear the Pall. Divide then the office and trouble of it: for it is intolerable to suffer alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLVIII/258 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 247) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

To look out for One that may help to carry the Burden of Adversity

Be never alone, especially in Dangers; for otherwise you will Burthen your self with all the Hatred. Some think to raise themselves by taking upon them the Superintendency of all Business, but however instead thereof they attract all the Envy; whereas on the contrary, with a Companion One secures one's self against the Evil, or at least bears part of it. Neither Fortune, nor the Caprices of the People, can play so easily upon two. The Skilful Physician, who hath not suceeded in the Cure of his Patient, never fails fails to call in the Assistance of another, who under the Name of Consultation, helps him to bear the Scandal of the Miscarriage. Divide then the Office, and the Trouble of it; for it is intolerable to suffer alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

Look out for some one who may assist you in bearing misfortune. - . . . It is for that reason that the sagacious physician, if he has failed in the cure, does not fail in looking out for some one who, under the name of a consultation, may help him to carry out the coffin.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

258: Find out some one to share your Troubles.

You will never be all alone, even in dangers, nor bear all the burden of hate. Some think by their high position to carry off the whole glory of success, and have to bear the whole humiliation of defeat. In this way they have none to excuse them, none to share the blame. Neither fate nor the mob are so bold against two. Hence the wise physician, if he has failed to cure, looks out for some one who, under the name of a consultation, may help him carry out the corpse. Share weight and woe, for misfortune falls with double force on him that stands alone.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

258: Find someone to share your troubles with.

You will never be all alone, even in dangers, nor bear all the burden of hate. Some think by their high position to carry off the whole glory of success, and find that have to bear the whole humiliation of defeat. In this way they have none to excuse them, no one to share the blame. Neither fate nor the mob are so bold against two. Hence the wise physician, if he has failed to cure, looks out for some one who, under the name of a consultation, may help him carry out the corpse. Share weight and woe, for misfortune falls with double force on him that stands alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

258: Discover someone to help shoulder your misfortunes. Then you will never be alone, and even in the hour of danger, not freighted with all the distress; some think to carry of all the applause, and end by carrying off all the hisses: in such circumstance have at hand a confidant to make excure for you, or to aid you in bearing the evil: neither fate, nor the crowd, so readily attacks two, which explains why the intelligent physician, having missed the cure, does not miss calling another, who under the name of consultant, helps him carry the coffen; divide with another your burdens, and your sorrows, for misfortune is doubly unbearable, to him who stands alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 138, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Divide your reponsibilities. let someone share your glory, so you may have someone to help you share your failures. The wise physician calls in a consultant to avoid censure; the high tribunal is conducted by more than one judge.

"I cannot be everywhere at once!" Napoleon exclaimed, when he heard that one of his generals had been defeated; which explained the debacle, but did not excuse or remedy it.

If you strive for all the cheers, you must be prepared to receive all the hisses.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 247, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Find someone who will help to bear your misfortune. Never be alone, and least of all in dangerous situations, for that would be to bear the whole burden of hatred yourself. Some people want to take everything upon their shoulders and they get all the blame. So you should have someone to help you to avoid, or bear, troubles. Neither fortune nor the mob is so bold against two, and it is precisely for this reason that the clever doctor who has failed to cure [his patient] does not go wrong when he looks around for somebody who, under the guise of a consultation, will help him to carry out the coffen : share the weight and the woe, for misfortune endured alone is twofold wretchedness, and becomes unbearable.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Find someone to help you carry your troubles, so that you will never be alone, particularly in the face of danger, or against the displeasure of the many. Some thing that they should assume all responsibility and should all blame, and therefore, will have none to sympathize with them or share their troubles. But neither fortune nor the multitude will so boldly oppose two. Hence, the wise physician, when he has erred in the care, finds someone under the guise of a consultant, to help carry out the coffin. Share grief and woe, for misfortune becomes intolerable to the one who stands alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

258: Discover someone to help shoulder your misfortunes. Then you will never be alone, and even in the hour of danger, not freighted with all the distress; some think to carry of all the applause, and end by carrying off all the hisses: in such circumstance heave at hand a confidant to make excuse for you, or to aid you in bearing the evil: neither fate, nor the crown, so readily attacks two, which explains why the intelligent physician, having missed the cure, does not miss calling another, who under the name of consultant, helps him carry the coffen; divide with another your burdens, and your sorrows, for misfortune is doubly unbearable, to him who stands alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

258 - page 17: Life is less forbidding with someone at your side

There is gratification in sharing joyful events and an advantage in partnership. More important is to discover someone to help shoulder your misfortunes. The hour of danger, the shadow of distress, will seem less forbidding with someone at your side. Some wish to carry off all the applause, but end by carrying off all the sounds of disapproval instead. In such circumstances have a confidante or partner at hand to make excuses for you, or at least to aid you in bearing the humiliation, for neither fate nor the crowd readily attacks two! This explains why the intelligent physician, having missed the cure, does not miss calling another, who under the name of consultant helps him carry the coffin. Divide with another your burdens and your sorrows. For misfortune, always difficult, is doubly unbearable to him who stands alone.


Maxim/Aphorism No 258 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Find someone to share your misfortune

Don't try to go it alone when danger or distress are night. You may avoid having a confidant in order to take all the credit when it is due, but this will cause you to take on all the trouble yourself as well. When you are attacked by the crowd it is desirable to have some back-up, someone that can make excuses for you and help you bear up. Consider the physician who knows that a second opinion is vital to protect his name should be miss the cure. Divide your burdens with another to avoid double your pain and misfortune.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLXX/270 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

No condenar solo lo que a muchos agrada.

Algo ai bueno, pues satisfaze a tantos; y, aunque no se explica, se goza. La singularidad siempre es odiosa; y quando errónea, ridícula; antes desacreditará su mal concepto que el objecto; quedarse ha solo con su mal gusto. Si no sabe topar con lo bueno, dissimule su cortedad y no condene a vulto, que el mal gusto ordinariamente nace de la ignorancia. Lo que todos dizen, o es, o quiere ser.


Maxim/Aphorism CCLXX/270 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 243-244) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Not to condemn singly what pleaseth many,

For there must have been some good in it, when so many are content with it: and though it be not told what it is, yet it is known and enjoyed. Singularity is ever odious, and when ill-grounded, ridiculous. It disgraces rather the person than the object. So that one will be left alone with his whimsical palate. Let him that is not able to discern the good, conceal the weakness of his judgment, and not meddle in condemning at random. For a bad discerning springs from ignorance. What all men say, is, or would be so.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLXX/270 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 254) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Not to Condemn singly what has pleas'd Many,

For there must have been some Good in it, else it would not have contented so Many: And tho' what that is be not mention'd. yet it is nevertheless both known, and enjoyed. Singularity is ever odious, and when ill-grounded, Ridiculous. It Disgraces rather the Person than the Object: So that such as one will be left lone, with his Whimsical Judgment. Let him that is not able to discern the Good, conceal the weakness of his Apprehension, and not Engage in Condemning at Random; for a bad Discerning, springs from Ignorance. What all Men say, is, or should be well.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

[Maxim not translated]


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

270: Do not condemn alone that which pleases all. There must be something good in a thing that pleases so many; even if it cannot be explained it is certainly enjoyed. Singularity is always hated, and, when in the wrong, laughed at. You simply destroy respect for your taste rather than do harm to the object of your blame, and are left alone, you and your bad taste. If you cannot find the good in a thing, hide your incapacity and do not damn it straightway. As a general rule bad taste springs from want of knowledge. What all say, is so, or will be so.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

270: Do not condemn alone that which pleases all. There must be something good in a thing that pleases so many - even if it cannot be explained it is certainly enjoyed. Peculiarity is always hated and, when in the wrong, laughed at. You simply destroy respect for your taste rather than do harm to the object of your blame, and are left alone, you and your bad taste. If you cannot find the good in a thing, hide your incapacity and do not damn it right away. As a general rule bad taste springs from want of knowledge. What all say, is so, or will be so.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

270: Do not alone condemn what pleases the many. It must contain some good, to be so satisfying to the public, which even though it cannot be explained, must bring joy: the man who stands apart is always suspect, and when he is wrong, he becomes ridiculous; your action serves more to discredit your judgment, than the object, and so you are likely to be left alone in your bad taste; if you do not know how to strike upon the good, conceal your blindness; and do not condemn wholesale; for bad choice is ordinarily the child of ignorance: what all say, either is so, or is wished so.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 143, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

Be slow in condemning what everyone else applauds for, if you do, either you alone are right or you alone are wrong. Even if you are right, the odds are against you; for what pleases many is not to be scorned light-heartedly.

It took the English playwright Tom Taylor many years to find a producer for his comedy "Our American Cousin". Yet, it proved one of the biggest box-office successes of the nineteenth century, pulling at the heart-strings in a way the experts had not anticipated. Where-upon they revised their opinions and decided that it was a tolerably good play, after all.

As Hans Sachs remarked to the Mastersingers, it is well now and then to sumit art to the judgement of the masses.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 255, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

Do not be alone in your condemnation of something which pleases a great many people. There is something good in it because it satisfies so many, and even though there is no explanation as to why it should be so, it is a source of enjoyment. Peculiarity is always odious, and ridiculous when misguided. It will bring your own bad judgment rather than the object of your censure into disrepute; and you will be left alone with your bad taste. If you cannot find the good [in a thing], conceal your limitations, and do not condemn it wholesale: for bad taste usually arises out of ignorance. What everybody says either is so, or will be so.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Do not be alone in condemning that which pleases all. There must be some good in it, since it pleases many, and even if it is not explained, it can be enjoyed. Eccentricity is always odious, and when it is erroneous, it becomes ridiculous. Your poor opinion of the subject discredits you, and you are left alone with your bad taste. If you cannot recognize the good, conceal your stupidity, and do not damn it wholesale. Generally, poor taste is begotten by ignorance. What everyone says is either true, or the embodiment of what everyone wishes were true.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

270: Don't be the only one to condemn what is popular. There has to be something good about it, for it pleases so many, and - however inexplicably - is enjoyed. Eccentricity is always odious: when wrong, ridiculous. Scorn something that is popular and you'll be scorned yourself, and left alone with your bad taste. If you don't know how to find what's good, hide your dullness, and don't condemn things en masse; for bad taste is usually born from ignorance. What everyone seays either is or wants to be.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

270 - page 136: Do not condemn what the crowd applauds

Do not condemn alone that which pleases all. There must be something good in a thing that pleases so many - even if it cannot be explained it is certainly enjoyed. Peculiarity is always hated and, when in the wrong, laughed at. You simply destroy respect for your taste rather than do harm to the object of your blame, and are left alone, you and your bad taste. If you cannot find the good in a thing, hide your incapacity and do not damn it right away. As a general rule bad taste springs from want of knowledge. What all say, is so, or will be so.


Maxim/Aphorism No 270 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Do not be the sole critic of what pleases many.

Whatever is loved by the masses and satisfies many must contain some good, even if you cannot discern its favorable qualities. By setting yourself apart you become suspect, and if proven wrong you come out as ridiculous. As the lone condemner of what others adore you discredit your judgment and taste. Conceal your blindness to the excellence of their choice and do not criticize openly. Keep in mind that bad choices are made out of ignorance, and what all agree to either must be so, or is wished so.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLXX/271 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

El que supiere poco, téngase siempre a lo más seguro

En toda profesión; que aunque no le tengan por sutil, le tendrán por fundamental. El que sabe puede empeñarse y obrar de fantasía; pero saber poco y arriesgarse es voluntario precipicio. Téngase siempre a la mano derecha, que no puede faltar lo assentado. A poco saber, camino real; y a toda lei, tanto del saber como del ignorar, es más cuerda la seguridad que la singularidad.


Maxim/Aphorism CCLXX/271 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 244) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

Let him that knows but little is his profession, stick to what he knows best

For if he be not reckoned quaint, at least he'll be reckoned solid. He that knows, may engage himself at his pleasure: but to know little, and to run the risque, is a voluntary precipice. Hold always to the surer side. What is authorized cannot file. For a weak knowledge a beaten path :and besides, security is better than singularity, not only for those that are knowing, but also for the ignorant.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLXXI/271 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 255) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

Let him that Knows but Little is his Profession, stick to what he Knows Best:

For if he be not reckon'd Cunning in it, he'll at least be counted Solid. He that Knows may Engage himself at Pleasure: But to Know Little, and to run the Risque, even of that, is a voluntary Precipice. Keep always to the further Side. What has Authority to Support it, can never fail. For a weak Understanding a beaten Path: And besides, Security is better than Singularity, not only for those that are Knowing, but likewise for such as are not.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

[Maxim not translated]


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

271: In every Occupation if you know little stick to the safest. If you are not respected as subtle, you will be regarded as sure. On the other hand, a man well trained can plunge in and act as he pleases. To know little and yet seek danger is nothing else than to seek ruin. In such a case take stand on the right hand, for what is done cannot be undone. Let little knowledge keep to the king's highway, and in every case, knowing or unknowing, security is shrewder than singularity.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

271: In every occupation, if you know little stick to the safe path. If you are not respected as subtle, you will be regarded as sure. On the other hand, someone well trained can plunge in and act as he pleases. To know little and yet seek danger is no different than to seek ruin. Follow the right hand, for what has gone before can be followed after. Let those with little knowledge keep to the king's highway, and in every case, knowing or unknowing, security is shrewder than uniqueness.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

271: Let him who knows little, play safe, whatever his job, and even though he be not adjudged smart, he will be adjudged sound. He who knows much may take a chance, and let his imagination roam; but he who knows little, and takes chances, voluntarily tries suicide; hold always to the right, for what is established as right cannot be wrong; the king's highway is fixed for the simpleton, and this law for everybody, know he much, or know he little, there is better sense in safety, than in singularity.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 144, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

If you have limited abilities, take the safe side in everything. Follow established customs, instead of asserting your own opinion. Do not try to run the business in which you are a clerk, but do as you are told.

Until you know how to swim, use the strokes you have been taught; until you know how to play cards well, bid your hands according to the time-tested rules.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 255, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

In every profession, if a man knows very little he should stick to what he knows best, for if you may not be regarded as acute, you will be considered sound. An expert can enter into obligations and act as his fancy prompts him, but to know little and run risks is to bring about, voluntarily, your own downfall: always keep on the safe side, for what is securely established cannot fall you. A man who knows little should stick to the beaten track; and, according to the rules of both knowledge and ignorance, security is wiser than singularity.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page XX, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

[can't match up maxim]


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Let him who knows little confine himself to the most elementary aspect of whatever profession he follows. Thus, though he may not be regarded as subtle, he will be thought of as fundamental. He who knows much may work from estimates and may take risks; but he who knows little and still ventures voluntarily into risks endangers himself. Pass always toward the right, for yhou cannot be out of fashion if you follow the general practice. For the ignorant, the king's highway has been laid out, but htis law is for everyone, ignorant and wise alike; there is always more sense in security than in singularity.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

271: If you know little, stick to what is surest in each profession. They may not consider you ingenious, but they'll think you solid. Ther person who knows can take risks and indulge his fantasy, but if you take risks knowing nothing, you will fail voluntarily. Keep to the right; what is tried and tested cannot fail. For those who know little, the main highway. Whether you know or don't, sureness is safer than eccentricity.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Page 271: Let him who knows little, say little

In the work force, whatever his job, let him who knows little, say little, and in this manner stay on the safe side. Even though he is not adjudged smart, he will be adjudged sound. He who is professionally trained to make business judgements may let his imagination roam, but he who knows little and takes chances voluntarily tries suicide. Hold always to the proven, for what is established as right cannot be wrong. The road you travel is fixed, and therefore proven, and the right of way is law for everybody. There is safety in moving with the crowd.


Maxim/Aphorism No 271 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Play it safe if you know little.

Whatever your occupation, if you stay within the bounds of safety, you will be judged sound, if not smart. If your knowledge is limited, do not take chances. Let he who knows much let his imagination roam, and he who knows little keep to the established right. There is better sense in safety than in singularity.


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLXXX/280 by Baltasar Gracian - de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647

([Nota preliminar: Edición digital a partir de la edición de Huesca, Juan Nogués, 1647 y cotejada con la edición crítica de Emilio Blanco (Madrid, Cátedra, 1997).])

Hombre de lei.

Está acabado el buen proceder, andan desmentidas las obligaciones, ai pocas correspondencias buenas: al mejor servicio, el peor galardón, a uso ya de todo el mundo. Ai naciones enteras proclibes al maltrato: de unas se teme siempre la traición; de otras, la inconstancia; y de otras, el engaño. Sirva, pues, la mala correspondencia agena, no para la imitación, sino para la cautela. Es el riesgo de desquiciar la entereza a vista del ruin proceder. Pero el varón de lei nunca se olvida de quién es por lo que los otros son.


Maxim/Aphorism CCLXXX/280 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 256) - translated (1685) by Anonymous

(The Courtiers Manual Oracle: or, the Art of Prudence. Written Originally in Spanish by Balthazar Gracian. And now done in English. London: Printed for M. Flesher, for Abel Swalle, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the Sign of the Unicorn, at the West-End of St Pauls. 1685: (Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds of McGill University for lending me a PDF copy of this version))

The man of good stuff

Honesty and integrity are gone: obligations are forgotten. There are but few good Correspondences. The best Service has the worst reward. This is the guise of the World now a days. There are whole Nations enclined to evil. Of the one, the treachery is always to be feared; of others the inconsistency; and of some the cheating. Make use then of bad Correspondence of others, not as an example to be imitated; but as a warning to be upon thy guard. Integrity runs a risque of being warped at the sight a dishonest procedure; but a good man never forgets what he himself is, because of what others are.


Maxim/Aphorism No CCLXXX/280 by Baltasar Gracian (Page 265) - translated (1702) by Mr Savage

(The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate)

The Good Man

Honesty and Integrity are gone: Obligations are forgotten. There are but few good Correspondences. The best Service has the worst Reward. This is the Mode now a-days. There are whole Nations enclined to Evil. Of some, the Treachery is always to be feared; of others the Inconsistency; and of the Best, the Over-reaching. Make use then of bad Correspondence, not as an Example to follow; but as a Warning to be upon your Guard. Integrity runs the Risque of being warped, at the sight a dishonest Procedure; but a good Man never forgets what he is, let others be what they will.


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from the partial translation (1877) of Mr. (now Sir Mountstuart) Grant Duff (article on Balthasar Gracian in the Fortnightly Review of March 1877, VOL. XXI. N.S., page 228 - 342)

[Maxim not translated]


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1892) of Joseph Jacobs (1856-1916) (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian.)

280: Be Trustworthy. Honourable dealing is at an end: trusts are denied: few keep their word: the greater the service, the poorer the reward: that is the way with all the world nowadays. There are whole nations inclined to false dealing: with some treachery has always to be feared, with others breach of promise, with others deceit. Yet this bad behaviour of others should rather be a warning to us than an example. The fear is that the sight of such unworthy behaviour should override our integrity. But a man of honour should never forget what he is because he sees what others are.

----

[from the Shambhala pocket classic adapted from the translation of Joseph Jacobs, ISBN: 0-87773-921-8, 2000 Edition - anonymous editorial changes made to the text in bold. In the 1993 pocket edition the anonymous editor mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

280: Be trustworthy. Honorable dealing is at an end, trusts are denied, few keep their word, the greater the service the poorer the reward - that is the way of the world nowadays. There are whole nations inclined to false dealing; with some treachery has always to be feared, with others breach of promise, with others deceit. Yet this bad behavior of others should be a warning to us rather than an example. The fear is that the sight of such unworthy behavior will override our integrity. But a person of honor should never forget what he is because he sees what others are."


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1934) by Martin Fischer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian; Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois)

280: "A man of principle. Right dealing is finished: truth is held the liar; good friends are few; for the best of service, the worst of pay; and this is the style of the world today. Whole nations are committed to evil dealings; with on you fear insecurity; with another, inconsistancy, with a third, treason; wherefore, let this bad faith of others serve you, not as example, but as warning. The peril of the situation lies in the unhinging of your own integrity, at the sight of such baseness in conduct: but the man of principle never forgets what he is, because of what others are."


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Gracian: A Selection of Wise, Witty, Moral and Satyrical Maxims, Pluck'd from the writings of the Spanish Philosopher and Monk - Baltasar Gracian Y Morales (1601-1658)" - 1938 - Printed for the Entertainment of the Friends of Dr. C. Charles Burlingame : New York and Hartford M. CM. XXXVIII

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from "Again Gracian - A Selection of maxims dealing with interpersonal relationships" - December 1945 - Privately Printed for Dr. C. Charles Burlingame: Hartford: Boston: New York: M. CM. XLV

[not present in the translation]


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) - page 149, Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York

"Do not let your noble principles become eroded by bad examples. When a friend betrays you, the temptation is great to pay him back in his own coin; when whole nations engage in treason or murder, and promises are broken even in the highest places, you may wonder if you alone can resist the tides of moral disintergration
But if your principles are dear to you, take refuge on an island of your own making and stand firm there against the flood of iniquity which threatens to engulf you. In due time the waters will recede, and the banner of honor will once more wage triumphantly in the air."


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of L.B. Walton (1953) - page 255, The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracian, translated by L.B. Walton: London, J.M. Dent and Sons Ltd.

("Where a more of less literal rendering of the Spanish has been found possible, words which, although they do not have their counterpart in the Spanish text, are necessary in English to bring out the full sense of the original, appear in square brackets.")

The trustworthy man. Honourable dealing is no more: obligations are repudiated; there are few good relationships; the greater the service the more wretched the reward: that is the way of the whole world nowadays. There are entire nations given up to double dealing: from some, treachery is always to be feared, from others, unreliability, and from yet others, deceit. So let the bad behaviour of others serve not as a model but as a warning. The danger is that the sight of villainous conduct may undermine your own integrity. Nevertheless, a man of honour never forgets what he is because of what others are.


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) - page 55, Philosophical Library Inc, New York: Library of Congress Card Number: 64-14415

Be a man of substance and not a man of form. Those of conviction, have little use for those who stand for ceremony.

Not all men are what they profess to be. Many are deceitful, others are dandies, some are smart, others are stupid.

A man of form--having the facade of fakery - is like a house built of blocks of fine sand, and shaped with water - will eventually dry and collapse under the sun's bright scrutiny.

One deception, must be nourished by another deception and soon the whole deceit is one immense, impossible and incredible lie.

A deceitful man seldom develops to maturity without being detected--for he talks too much to be trusted, and promises too much to be possible.


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - translated (1966) by Lawrence C. Lockley ( The Science of Success and the Art of Prudence, University of Santa Clara Press, Copyright 1967)

Be a man of principle. Good conduct is at an end. Obligations go abrogated. There are few wholesome relationships. The better the service rendered, the worse the pay given. Thus it goes now with all the world. There are nations which seem to be committed to acts of bad faith; from some you always fear treachery; from others, inconsistency, and from still others, nothing but cheating. The bad example of others should serve you not as a model for imitation, but as a warning. Your risk is in revealing your own integrity when you see how general is the corruption. However, the true man of principle never forgets what he is because of what others are.


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - adapted from the translation (1991) of Christopher Maurer (The Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian, from DoubleDay, ISBN: 0-385-42131-1; 1992)

280: An honorable person. Good conduct has departed, debts of gratitude now go unpaid, and few people give others the treatment they deserve. In all the world, the greatest services are now the least rewarded. There are entire national inclined to treat others badly. From some, one fears treason; from others, inconsistency; from still others, deceit. Take notice of the bad behaviour of others, not to imitate it but to defend yourself from it. Your own integrity can be ruined by the ruinous behavior of others. But the honorable man does not forget who he is because of what others are.


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "Practical wisdom for perilous times : selected maxims of Baltasar Gracian" adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye; Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3

(Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.)

Page 35: The real danger of a world in chaos is the unhinging of your own integrity

"The world is in chaos. Honorable dealing is deteriorating, good friends are few, truth is held in disrepute, good service is underpaid, poor service is overpaid. Whole nations are committed to evil dealings: With one you fear insecurity, with another, inconsistency, with a third, betrayal. This being what it is, let the bad faith of others serve not as an example, but as warning. The real danger of the situation lies in the unhinging of your own integrity: accepting less than your best, being overly tolerant of stupidity, forgiving incompetence, fraternizing with the nonspiritual. The man of principle never forgets what he is, because he clearly sees what the others are"


Maxim/Aphorism No 280 by Baltasar Gracian - from the book, "The Manual of Prudence: 400 years of worldly wisdom" translated by Juan de Aragon - language consultant: Judy Bar-on; Astrolog Publishing House; 2004, ISBN: 965-494-194-5

Stand on principle.

The way the world is moving these days, it is hard to find a trustworthy friend and the best of service receives the smallest reward. Upstanding dealing cannot be found, and truth is made out to be lies. This is true all over the world, and there are whole nations committed to evil. There are those who threaten treachery, others inconsistency. Let people of bad faith serve as a warnmg to you and never an example, lest you be in danger of letting go of your own integrity in the face of such rampant baseness. A true person of principle never forgets what he is, no matter what others may be.


General Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) links

  • Read Baltasar Gracian in the original old spanish via Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes

  • Gracián, Baltasar
    • At http://www.bartleby.com/65/gr/Gracian.html

    • "1601 - 58, Spanish Jesuit philosopher and writer. A scholar, satirist, and epigrammatist, Gracián frequently ran afoul of Jesuit authority. El héroe (1637) and El político (1640) are treatises on the ideal qualities for political leaders. Agudeza y arte de ingenio [the wit and art of genius] (1643) is an analysis of poetry. Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia (1647) contains maxims and instructions for acquiring worldly wisdom. Gracián’s masterpiece is the allegorical and pessimistic novel El criticón (3 parts, 1651-57), which contrasts an idyllic primitive life with the evils of civilization. It brought him exile and disgrace"

  • Art of Worldly Wisdom: 300 Practical Proposals for Success by a 17th Century Jesuit Baltasar Gracian S.J. (17th C.) 304pages
    • At http://www.100thmonkey.com/holistic.html#art
    • "Gracian, born in 1601 in Belmonte in the Kingdom of Aragon, was a contemporary of Cervantes and Shakespeare. One of his works, El Criticon, was a philosophical allegory on which Daniel Defoe is said to have based his Robinson Crusoe. Seven volumes of his work were edited and published by his friend, Don Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa "without the permission of Gracian but not without his consent." This book consists of 300 brief chapters which Lastanosa excerpted from Gracian's complete works and which he published only a few years before Gracian's death (in 1658). Schopenhauer translated The Art of World Wisdom into German because, he said, it was invaluable and there was nothing like it in the Gerrman language. - from the publisher's Foreword (Templegate, 1996)"

  • Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658)
    • At http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gracian.htm
    • Selected works:

      • El Héroe, 1637 - The Hero / The Heroe
      • El político Don Fernando el Católico, 1640 (ed. by E. Correa Calderón)
      • Arte de ingfenio, 1642 (rev. ed. Agudeza y arte de ingenio, 1648) - The Mind's Wit and Art (trans. by Leonard H. Chambers)
      • El discreto, 1646 - The Complet Gentleman (trans. by T. Saldkeld)
      • Oráculo manual y arte de prudentia, 1647 - The Art of Worldy Wisdom (trans. by Joseph Jacobs) / The Oracle, a Manual of the Art of Discretion (trans. by L.B. Walton) / Practical Wisdom for Perilous Times (selection, ed. by J. Leonard Kaye)
      • El comulgatorio, 1655
      • El criticón, 1651-57 - The Critick (trans. by Paul Rycaut)
      • Tratados políticos, 1941 (ed. by Gabriel Julía Andreu)
      • Obras completas, 1944
      • Obras completas, 1960 (ed. by Arturo del Hoyo)
      • The Best of Gracía, 1964 (trans. by Thomas C. Corvan)
      • Obras completas, 1993 (2 vols., ed. by Emilio Blanco)

  • Chinese translation of the Christopher Maurer English translation of the Art of Worldy Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian
    • Information from Hadrian Huang of Chinese translation of Baltasar Gracian's Art of Worldy Wisdom obtained obtained from the main Shanghai Library. These are not translations from the original Spanish, but from English versions.

    • "The work was done by some postgraduates directed by a professor in Peking University. So, the translation styles are not consistent. And some paragraphs are too ambiguous or sophisticated to understand. Nevertheless, it's a lawful book, copyrighted by Christopher Maurer (1992), permitted by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

      The copyright is preserved.
      It's translated from English version.
      And there is no Chinese version which is translated directly from Spanish in Shanghai Library.
      Another Chinese version is a pirate copy of the former one.

      Here is the infomation about the Chinese version:"

    • ISBN:7-80645-208-7/B#8226;2
      Book of Wisdom
      Author:(Spain)Baltasar Gracian
      Translated by: Zheng-Kun Gu
      Hainan Publishing House, 1998)

  • Comment in the introduction to The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) : Translated (1991) by Christopher Maurer (Vanderbilt University, May 1991)

    • (Lachlan's Note: this omits mentioning the translation of Thomas G. Corvan (1964) and a post dated translation - J. Leonard Kaye (1992))

    • "This translation follows upon seven previous English versions [The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracian], only two of which I have been able to consult. The Oracle's translation - one for each day of the week - are as follows: Anonymous, 1685; John J. Savage, 1702; Joseph Jacobs, 1892; Martin Fischer, 1934; Otto Eisenschiml, 1947; L.B. Walton, 1953 [Leslie Bannister Walton]; and Lawrence C. Lockley, 1967. To the Jacobs translation I have occassionally gone for help: not with questions about the meaning, but looking for solutions for Gracian's puns. "You may think you'll share pears, but you'll share only the parings" was the clever way Jocobs rendered an untranslatable sentence (237) about peras (pears) and piedras (stones), and I have gladly picked up those peelings.

      Unlike that of Jacobs, this translation draws on the splendid critical edition of Migeul Romera-Navarro, based on the only extant copy of the first edition (Huesca, 1647). Romera-Navarro sensed that his annoations would guide future translators, and that providence is cause for deep gratitude. I am grateful also to Harriet Rubin of Doubleday/Currency, and editor of uncommon taste, who believed that Gracian's delightful Oracle belongs in the pockets and hearts of contemporary readers."

    • Also refer to Look inside the The Art of Worldly Wisdom at Amazon
    • Also refer to English translations of The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) found from COPAC

  • The Wisdom of Baltasar Gracian, A Practical Manual for Good and Perilous Times by J. Leonard Kaye : Book Review by William Edelen
    • At http://www.truthseeker.com/truth-seeker/1993archive/120_5/ts205e.html
    • "The real danger of a world in chaos is the unhinging of your own integrity."

      This profound and disturbing observation is only one of the jewels of thought from a book that only recently came into my life. The book is The Wisdom of Baltasar Gracian, A Practical Manual for Good and Perilous Times, adapted and edited by J. Leonard Kaye. Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) was a Spanish Jesuit philosopher and writer. A scholar and satirist, he frequently expressed himself in epigrams. Over 300 years ago, this worldly Jesuit priest, counselor to kings, the genius of his age, made a careful study of the powerful and elite who managed to prosper. Today, his words and thoughts still speak eloquently to the need for ethical behavior in our chaotic world. His writings were later confiscated and banned by the Church, but his wisdom survived.

    • Lachlan's Note: J. Leonard Kaye's book states that its "Alphorisms are adapted from A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom: Being a collection of the aphorisms which appear in the works of Baltasar Gracian, immediately translated for the understanding from a 1653 Spanish Text by Martin Fisher.

  • Oráculo Manual i Arte de Prudencia - English translation: Professor Frank Pajares

  • The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Gracian's Worldly Wisdom

  • The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Thomas G. Corvan translation
    • "The present collection of Graciana was culled and translated by Thomas Corvan, who is a distinguished attorney in New York."

  • Review: The Oracle by Baltasar Gracián - 1647 (Eng. 1953 translation by L.B.Walton)
    • At http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/espana/gracian.htm

    • The complete review's Review:

      Baltasar Gracián's Oráculo manual y Arte de prudencia, variously translated as The Art of Worldly Wisdom (by Joseph Jacobs) and The Oracle (by L.B.Walton) -- as well as as Hand-Orakel und Kunst der Weltklugheit by Gracián-fan Arthur Schopenhauer)--, is a collection of maxims and the like. Words to live by, basically: three hundred ideas, succinctly expressed, which Gracián expands upon, suggesting how life is best lived and what course most advantageously taken.

      We read L.B.Walton's translation -- a marvelous bilingual (!) Everyman's Library edition, which unfortunately has been allowed to fall out of print. Jacobs' translation is the one you're likely to find at your local bookstore; be warned that Walton believes that version can hardly be considered "anything more than a paraphrase in, at times, badly tortured English." The Everyman's edition has the Spanish text facing the English one, so the reader can compare (and even with the rustiest Spanish one is able to read more into the words than if one only had access to the English text). (Note, however, that Walton also has his quirks -- consider nr. 240 ("Saber usar de la nacedad"), translated as "Know how to play the daft laddie".)

      Gracián's collection isn't worldly wisdom of his own invention. As Walton explains in his introduction, the maxims are "original in their mode of expression rather than in their content". These are familiar, common-sensical suggestions and observations -- even including such platitudes as "live virtuously".

      The pleasure lies in the language and the presentation. The language is tough -- old Spanish, refracted through occasionally stilted English. Still, the bilingual edition allows one to get a good sense of how he expresses himself.

      The presentation is more interesting. As Walton suggests:

      A maxim of the Oráculo is rather like one of those Chinese boxes which were fashionable playthings in the Edwardian era. It appears to be a complete object in itself but on opening it another box is revealed, and on opening that, another, and so on until one reaches the core, a miniature so small that it can barely be handled.

      Each maxim begins ... well, as a maxim. "Conceal your purpose", for example. Then come the reasons, explanations, elucidations, conclusions. Not neatly, logically built up, but still supporting each idea.

      It's generally fairly sensible stuff, with some interesting twists. Wisdom is not all for Gracián; getting on with others is also important (and, over the longterm, likely more advantageous). Gracián doesn't offer airy preaching that no can live up to, but rather makes sensible suggestions as to how one might act to one's best advantage.

      Nuggets that struck us along the way include:

      Unhappy the talent devoted to evil ends ! Knowledge without wisdom is doubly folly. (from nr. 16)

      The ability to reason was once the art of all arts; it is no longer enough; you must be able to guess at things, and more especially in times of disillusionment. (from nr. 25)

      The most practical kind of wisdom consists of dissimulation. (from nr. 98)

      Things do not pass for what they are but for what they seem; few look within, and many are satisfied with appearances. (from nr. 99)

      [Be] a man without illusions, a wise Christian, a courtier-philosopher, but do not look like one: much less pose as one. (from nr. 100)

      The habit of telling the truth and keeping one's word is unknown to-day and seems to belong to a bygone age; and good men, though always loved, appear to belong rather to the good old days, so that if any now exist they are not in the fashion and nobody follows their example. What a misfortune it is for our age that it should look upon virtue as peculiar and vice as normal. (from nr. 120)

      Do not be eccentric, either out of affectation or through carelessness. (...) To be different from others merely serves to brand oneself with a special mark of folly which excites, in turn, derision in some people and annoyance in others. (from nr. 223)

      And there are many other nice ones, offering all sorts of good advice (nr. 155 -- "The art of getting into a rage" -- we found particularly helpful).

      We're not much for self-help manuals and the like, and ultimately that is what this is. Still, it's nicely presented and expressed, and it is amusing to see how little the world changes. ("What a misfortune it is for our age that it should look upon virtue as peculiar and vice as normal" is an often-heard sentiment in our times, but apparently a very old complaint).

      Certainly, we can think of any number of people (politicians, in particular) who could benefit from a good dose of this stuff. And it can't do much harm.

      Worth a look.

  • The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Otto Eisenschiml translation - About Otto Eisenschiml
    • "A nationally prominent chemist, Otto Eisenschiml is also well known as a student of Lincolniana. His three books, Why Was Lincoln Murdered?, In the Shadow of Lincoln's Death, and The Case of A.L.-------, Aged 56, established his reputation as the final authority on the causes and events leading to Lincoln's death. In 1943, his autobiography, Without Fame, was published and who years later his flair for detection led him to contribute to Chicago Murders, a symposium compiled by topflight mystery writers."

  • The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658) : Translated by Christopher Maurer

  • From J. Leonard Kaye's book on the Art of Worldly Wisdom (Pocket Books; 1992, ISBN: 0-671-79659-3) - From "Gracian's Recollections" written/created by J. Leonard Kaye

    • I determined to excel in personal behaviour
    • I determined to reveal little of myself
    • I determined to keep my head when fools lost theirs
    • I determined never to vary from my principles
    • I determined to accept responsibility for my actions
    • I determined to achieve excellence in my post
    • I determined to avoid excess of what is most pleasing
    • I determined to do nothing in passion
    • I determined to train my memory, never forget a name
    • I determined not to cheat others and not to be cheated
    • I determined that evil would never be my pleasure
    • I determined to avoid extreme stubbornness
    • I determined to let my cunning lie in not being cunning
    • I determined to be a friend to myself

    • "The procession to the gate of heaven is constantly in progress, and one by one we take our place in line . . . The Lord does not give a cross to those who cannot carry it."

    • I would do, and leave talk to others
    • I would deal solely with men of honor.
    • I would uphold moral excellence
    • I would debate with reason and observation
    • I would learn to be patient
    • I would gain goodwill by serving
    • I would learn to think clearly
    • I would seek the good in everything
    • I would carefully reconsider all decisions
    • I would follow the path of the wise in order to become wiser
    • I would add refinemenbt to every situation
    • I would let the conscience of goodness by my guide
    • I would follow the rules of the Great Master

    • Each situation calls for its own solution

    • I vowed to learn the art of debating
    • I vowed always to have a trusted friend
    • I vowed always to be open to suggestions
    • I vowed to observe clearly before I firmly acted
    • I vowed always to try and make a friend of a rival
    • I vowed to liten to my ememies in order to hear my faults
    • I vowed never to waste an important man's time
    • I vowed to make parting a well-ordered retreat
    • I vowed neither to love to hate without end

    • I learned that often the false is made to look appealing
    • I learned that witnesses today may be testifiers tomorrow
    • I learned that one must be careful in helping others
    • I learned that you do not proclaim another man's evil
    • I learned that mediocrity within yourself is unacceptable
    • I learned that the more one says the less he is heard
    • I learned that one does not argue with an arguer
    • I learned that anonymity can be valuable
    • I learned that there is safety in moving with the crowd
    • I learned that not all praise is meant well
    • I learned that secrets should neither be heard nor spoken
    • I learned that you do not divulge what you cannot reverse
    • I learned that all has its day

    • One should always know the way the wind is blowing
    • One should not let feelings overwhelm good judgement
    • One should know to leave before being left
    • One should not give time to a contradictory man
    • One should not too quickly bend to the spirit of the moment
    • One should know when to reveal and when to conceal
    • One should know when to walk the middle road
    • One should accumulate a collection of favors owed
    • One should always deal with men of honor
    • One should know when to arrive and when to exit

    • It is wise to know that a man will never be enriched by envy
    • It is wise not to seek the answer before the question has been fully heard and understood
    • It is wise to know that all that is natural is always more pleasing
    • It is wise to join the crowd, but know your place
    • It is wise to know the nature of the beast
    • It is wise to know when to yield a point
    • It is wise to be clothed in tasteful thinking
    • It is wise to befriend a man of spiritual substance
    • It is wise to control the random ravings of the mind
    • It is wise to do at once what a fool does last

    • There are men who, early in life, develop a side in their nature so dark that they are incapable of savoring the sunshine.

    • Perhaps it was a mistake for us to have gone so deeply into each other's minds.

    • The value of living in wholesomeness
    • The value of the power to do greater good
    • The value of a refreshed spirit
    • The value of constant alertness and sustained dignity
    • The value of knowing how to plead your case
    • The value of judging men by the questions they ask
    • The value of not being beholden for everything
    • The value of understanding flattery
    • The value of not seeking to be loved too much
    • The value of finding the footing to the mountaintop

  • from the 1947 translation of Otto Eisenschiml (1880-1963) "The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Three Hundred Precepts for Success Based on the Original Work of Baltasar Gracian" - Essential Books, Duell, Sloan and Pearce - New York
    • "Life is becoming more complex each day; the future cannot be forseen by the present; the present has not been forseen by the past. Our store of knowledge has increased so much that it is now more difficult to be a well-read person than it was formerly to become a world-renowned savant.
      It was with an introduction like this, that Baltasar Gracian, some three hundred years ago, bequeathed his Art of Worldly Wisdom to posterity."

    • page 16: Foxes rarely go hungry, yet no one has ever pictured the fox as a lucky animal.
    • page 46: Great men do not occupy their minds with small matters. . . . Do not buy stock in a company whose president counts the postage stamps on the outgoing mail.
    • Be brief! A short speech is forgive for its imperfections; a long one irritates no matter how good it is. . . . . A king of Sparta once gave audience to the emissary of a weak tribe, who talked at great length. "What answer shall I bring to my people?" the emissary finally asked. "Tell them," said the king, "that you talked a lot, and that I did not say a word."
    • page 62: To speak the truth and keep a promise was as modern in biblical times as it is today.
    • page 79: In a nudist colony the strip-tease dancer would find herself among the unemployed.
    • page 92: When someone offers you unsolicited advice, ask him to show you his credentials.
    • page 93: If you have no wings, do not try to fly
    • page 96: Henry VIII was called a gourmand by his people, but if he had not been king, they would have called him a glutton.
    • page 125: If lions could climb trees, the rest of the animals could not live.
    • page 140: After the male bird has made his conquest, he stops singing.


Lachlan's Notes

  • Comparing the other English translations of Baltasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" to the "benchmark" translations of Joseph Jacobs (1892); Christopher Maurer (1991); Martin Fischer (1934); some of the other modern translation can be so different that it can be very difficult to match them up; this can also be due to them being either reordered; possibly spiced together or possibly deleted. Another problem can be that they are translations of the Schopenhauer German edition, or retranslating the English edition (which in one case may have been based on the Schopenhauer German edition) into English again. Within time limitations, maxims have been matched up as best as possible but may not give the feel of being correct. Other translations seem to be no longer available in bookstores, while the three benchmark versions of Jacobs, Maurer and Fischer are still available on book store book shelves. Though the Lawrence C. Lockley 1967 translations seems most respectable; and the 1953 Walton translation is excellent; and the Otto Eisenschiml (1947) version does have some nice and pleasant eclectic touches (e.g., "Foxes rarely go hungry, yet no one has ever pictured the fox as a lucky animal"; "In a nudist colony the strip-tease dancer would find herself among the unemployed."). For people seeking to use the English translations as an indicator of what the original Spanish was like, the Eisenschiml (1947) version can illuminate the Jacobs (1892), Maurer (1991) and Fischer (1934) versions; though the much rarer 1702 London, England translation of Mr Savage is worthwhile for the Gracian fanatic; as is the 1685 Anonymous version of which I just obtained a copy in September 2008.

  • A defence of the 1702 Mr Savage translation: The above three benchmark scholarly translations are in the habit of impugning to lesser or greater extents, the earlier translations, including that of the 1702 translation by Mr Savage (The Art of Prudence: or, a Companion for a Man of Sense. Written originally in Spanish by that Celebrated Author Balthazar Gracian; now made English from the best Edition of the Original, and Illustrated with the Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie's Notes by Mr. Savage. London: Printed for Daniel Brown, without Temple Bar; J. Walthoe, in the Middle Temple Cloysters; and T. Benskin, at Lincolns-Inn Back-Gate, 1702). Joseph Jacobs states in the introduction to his 1892 translation that "The two earlier English versions miss his [Gracian's] points time after time, and I found it useless to refer to them.". Most translators state that these translations were translated from the 1685 French translation by De La Houssaie, not the original Spanish text. ("L'Homme De Cour", Par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, 1685). L.B. Walton states that Mr Savage (1702) "had, some happy inspirations", though most of these are most likely derived from the Anonymous (1685) version.

    Expecting the worst (some English translations of Gracian are quite woeful), the 1702 Savage translation was a pleasant and positive surprise. An example of this is the title of Maxim CXXVI/127, where he quotes a section from Gracian's "The Heroe" to elaborate on the concept of "The Secret Charm / El despejo", which does not come out in the three scholarly benchmark translations.

    • Anonymous (1685) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: The secret charm, or the unexpressible Somewhat; which the French call Le Je-ne-sai-quoi. And the Spaniards El despejo.
    • Savage (1702) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: The Secret Charm, or the Inexpressible Somewhat,; which the French call the Je-ne-sai-quoi; and the Spaniards El despejo
    • Jacobs(1892) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: Grace in Everything
    • Fischer(1934) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: A charm in everything
    • Eisenschiml(1947) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: Charm is an alluring, elusive something, and no dictionary can define it.
    • Walton (1953) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: Charm in everything
    • Lockley(1966) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: Poise should underlie everything
    • Maurer (1991) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: Ease and grace in everything (though Maurier points out the Caveates of this and refers to a French translation)
    • Juan de Aragon (2004) - Maxim CXXVI/127 titled: Be as charming as you can

    Another example of the possible clarity of the Savage translation in comparison to recent scholarly translations is that of Maxim CCVIII/208 (Savage(1702): Not to Die the Death of a Fool; Jacobs(1892): Do not die of the Fools' disease; Fischer(1934): Do not die of the Fools' sickness; (Maurer version on loan)); Lockley(1966) Do not die of the fool's disease. Of the last lines, the Savage translation seems to make the most plain English sense (followed perhaps by Walton). (But this could indicate a personal preference for an inaccurate emphasis in the translation).

    • Savage (1702) - Maxim CCVIII/208: But though many Die like Fools, yet very few Fools Die.
    • Jacobs(1892) - Maxim CCVIII/208: Yet though many die like fools, few die fools.
    • Fischer(1934) - Maxim CCVIII/208: A fool is one who dies of too much brain: from which it comes that some die of reason and others live for no reason; but with many dying because fools, few fools die.
    • Walton (1953) - Maxim CCVIII/208: Nevertheless, although many die of folly, few fools [ever] die.
    • Lockley(1966) - Maxim CCVIII/208: But with all this dying of foolishness, few fools die!
    • Maurer (1991) - Maxim CCVIII/208: Although many die of foolishness, few fools ever really die, for few fools ever begin to live.
    • Juan de Aragon (2004) - Maxim CCVIII/208: While fools cause the death of many, they themselves live on.

  • Be wary that there seem to have been some dumbing down of recent reprints of the Joseph Jacobs (1892) and Martin Fischer (1934) translations of "The Art of Worldly Wisdom". Comparing 1930 and 1991 printings of the Joseph Jacobs edition, words have been changed or blanded down (simple example: "Acme" to "peak of perfection" in Maxim 1). And other Victorian English style expressions to "modern new age(?)" American. Only the blandest of the Joseph Jacobs's comments explaining points in the Maxims were kept; and caveates on the limitations of the translations were deleted. This could give a reader a false impression that he is translating the text word for word, rather than trying to keep the spirit of the translation intact by replacing cryptic spanish phrases with common English ones (e.g., don't make much ado about nothing). [Jan 2006 upate: In a recently obtained Shambala 1993 pocket edition, there is an introduction from the anonymous editor, who mentions the Shambala edition was updated where necessary (due to dated syntax or grammar), by comparision with the Fischer (1934), Walton (1953) and Maurer (1992) versions.]

    Comparing a 1956 printing of the Martin Fischer translation to a 1993 edition, the translator's introduction is again lost though stated as an "Afterword", and some aspects that translator found to be inportant have been lost.

    It should be noted that the Chinese translation of Baltasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" uses as its source text the English translation of Christopher Maurer (1991). Feedback from a student in China who has read this version and compared it to the English maxims given here is that the "work was done by some postgraduates directed by a professor in Peking University. So, the translation styles are not consistent. And some paragraphs are too ambiguous or sophisticated to understand. Nevertheless, it's a lawful book, copyrighted by Christopher Maurer (1992), permitted by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

  • In the Bilbliographic Appendix of Martin Fischer's translation of Baltasar Gracian's (1601-1658) The Art of Worldly Wisdom - 2nd edition, 4th printing, 1954; he states that the Anonymous (1685) and John J. Savage (1702) English translations were based on the 1685 French translation by De La Houssaie. ("L'Homme De Cour", Par le Sieur Amelot de la Houssaie, 1685). And that most subsequent European versions were not derived from the original Spanish, but from De La Houssaie's version with "all his notes, additions, textual distortions, philosophic disquisitions and scholastic heaviness".


[Some English Translations of the Maxims of Baltasar Gracian] | [Baltazar Gracian Links] | [Lachlan's Notes on the Gracian Translations]

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