- Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise — even in their own field.
- Isaac Asimov, The Roving Mind (1983), chapter 25.
- Get wisdom, because it is better than gold: and purchase prudence, for it is more precious than silver.
- The Bible, The Book of Proverbs 16:16.
- But these are foolish things to all the wise,
And I love wisdom more than she loves me;
My tendency is to philosophise
On most things, from a tyrant to a tree;
But still the spouseless virgin Knowledge flies,
What are we? and whence come we? what shall be
Our ultimate existence? What's our present?
Are questions answerless, and yet incessant.
- If you look incessantly for variety, sooner or later you will discover that you need more wisdom.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 51.
- It is certainly a good thing always to forgive with generosity, but it is no doubt just never to forget the wrongs received: they belong to the route that leads to inner maturity.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2013, p. 21.
- O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are! 34 For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his adviser?” 35 Or, “who has first given to him, so that it must be repaid to him?” 36 Because from him and by him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
- Romans 11:33, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
- It seems the part of wisdom.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book IV, line 336.
- Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI, line 96.
- To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.
- Man thinks
Brutes have no wisdom, since they know not his:
Can we divine their world?
- George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book II.
- Wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at last a sure one.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chapter XXI.
- Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient, and simple, and childlike.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part I, III, line 11.
- The sons of this system of things are wiser in a practical way toward their own generation than the sons of the light are.
- Luke 16ː8b; New World Translation.
- Though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems.
- But to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom.
- Socrates * * *
Whom, well inspir'd, the oracle pronounc'd
Wisest of men.
- Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise?
'Tis but to know how little can be known,
To see all other's faults, and feel our own.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle IV, line 260.
- Afin que ne semblons es Atheniens, qui ne consultoient jamais sinon après le cas faict.
- So that we may not be like the Athenians, who never consulted except after the event done.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Chapter XXIV.
- To realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World (1914), p. 167.
- For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
- Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill// Is daily spun; but there exists no loom// To weave it into fabric
- w:Edna St. Vincent Millay, Upon this age, that never speaks its mind" (1938) "Huntsman, what quarry?"
- I am interested in a phase that I think we are entering. I call it "teleological evolution," evolution with a purpose. The idea of evolution by design, designing the future, anticipating the future. I think of the need for more wisdom in the world, to deal with the knowledge that we have. At one time we had wisdom, but little knowledge. Now we have a great deal of knowledge, but do we have enough wisdom to deal with that knowledge?
- Full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
- Wisdom and fortune combating together,
If that the former dare but what it can,
No chance may shake it.
- Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.
- To that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety.
- Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
- Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding. Do not forget, and do not turn aside from the sayings of my mouth. Do not leave it, and it will keep you. Love it, and it will safeguard you. Wisdom is the prime thing. Acquire wisdom; and with all that you acquire, acquire understanding. Highly esteem it, and it will exalt you. It will glorify you because you embrace it. To your head it will give a wreath of charm; a crown of beauty it will bestow upon you.
- Nor is he the wisest man who never proved himself a fool.
- Alfred Tennyson, Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), Stanza 124.
- Wisdom is oftimes nearer when we stoop
Than when we soar.
- William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book III, line 232.
- On every thorn, delightful wisdom grows,
In every rill a sweet instruction flows.
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire I, line 249.
- Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 390.
- Wisdom, though richer than Peruvian mines,
And sweeter than the sweet ambrosial hive,
What is she, but the means of happiness?
That unobtain'd, than folly more a fool.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 496.
- The man of wisdom is the man of years.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 775.
- But wisdom, awful wisdom! which inspects,
Discerns, compares, weighs, separates, infers,
Seizes the right, and holds it to the last.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 1,253.
- Teach me my days to number, and apply
My trembling heart to wisdom.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 1,312.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 878-82.
- To speak as the common people do, to think as wise men do.
- Roger Ascham, Dedication to All the Gentlemen and Yeomen of England.
- A wise man is out of the reach of fortune.
- Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici. Quoted as "That insolent paradox".
- The wisdom of our ancestors.
- Edmund Burke, Observations an a Late Publicatian on the Present State of the Nation, Volume I, p. 516. Also in the Discussion on the Traitorous Correspondence Bill. (1793). Cicero, De Legibus, II. 2. 3. Lord Eldon—On Sir Samuel Romilly's Bill. 1815. Sydney Smith, Plymley's Letters. Letter V. Bacon said to be first user of the phrase. Ascribed also to Sir William Grant, in Jennings' Anecdotal History of Parliament.
- Wisdom and goodness are twin-born, one heart
Must hold both sisters, never seen apart.
- William Cowper, Expostulation, line 634.
- Some people are more nice than wise.
- William Cowper, Mutual Forbearance.
- But they whom truth and wisdom lead
Can gather honey from a weed.
- William Cowper, Pine-Apple and Bee, line 35.
- Who are a little wise the best fools be.
- John Donne, The Triple Fool.
- In much wisdom is much grief.
- Ecclesiastes. I. 18.
- The words of the wise are as goads.
- Ecclesiastes, XII. 11.
- Nequicquam sapere sapientem, qui ipse sibi prodesse non quiret.
- No one could be so wise as Thurlow looked.
- Charles James Fox. See Campbell's Lives of the Lord Chancellors, Volume V, p. 661; also 551. Said also of Webster.
- Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise.
- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard (1735).
- Die Weisheit ist nur in der Wahrheit.
- Wisdom is only found in truth.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sprüche in Prosa, III.
- The heart is wiser than the intellect.
- Josiah Gilbert Holland, Kathrina, Part II, Stanza 9.
- Chiefs who no more in bloody fights engage,
But, wise through time, and narrative with age,
In summer-days like grasshoppers rejoice,
A bloodless race, that send a feeble voice.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book III, line 199. Pope's translation.
- For never, never, wicked man was wise.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book II, line 320. Pope's translation.
- In youth and beauty wisdom is but rare!
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book VII, line 379. Pope's translation.
- How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XIII, line 375. Pope's translation.
- Utiliumque sagax rerum et divina futuri.
- Sagacious in making useful discoveries.
- Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), 218.
- Sapere aude.
- Dare to be wise.
- Horace, Epistles, I. 2. 40.
- Quis nam igitur liber? Sapiens qui sibi imperiosus.
- Who then is free? The wise man who can govern himself.
- Horace, Satires, II. 7. 83.
- He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
- Job. V. 13.
- Wisdom shall die with you.
- Job, XII. 2.
- The price of wisdom is above rubies.
- Job, XXVIII. 18.
- Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
- Job, XXXII. 7.
- Great men are not always wise.
- Job, XXXII. 9.
- Away, thou strange justifier of thyself, to be wiser than thou wert, by the event.
- Ben Jonson, Silent Woman, Act II, scene 2. "Wise after the event." Quoted by Sir George Staunton in speech replying to Sir James Graham's resolution condemning the Melbourne ministry, House of Commons, April 7, 1840. Homer—Iliad, XVII. 32. Hesiod—Works and Days. V. 79 and 202. Sophocles—Antigone. V. 1270; and 1350. Fabius—Liv, XXII. 39. Erasmus—Epitome Chiliadum Adagiorum. (Ed. 1528), p. 55; 295.
- Victrix fortunæ sapientia.
- Wisdom is the conqueror of fortune.
- Juvenal, Satires, XIII. 20.
- Il est plus aisé d'être sage pour les autres, que pour soi-même.
- It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes.
- Quisquis plus justo non sapit, ille sapit.
- Whoever is not too wise is wise.
- Martial, Epigrammata, XIV. 10. 2.
- * Be wise;
Soar not too high to fall; but stoop to rise.
- Philip Massinger, Duke of Milan, Act I, scene 2, line 45.
- Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
- Matthew. X. 16.
- Wisdom is justified of her children.
- Matthew, XI. 19; Luke, VII. 35.
- A little too wise they say do ne'er live long.
- Thomas Middleton, The Phœnix (1603-04), Act I, scene 1.
- Il est bon de frotter et limer notre cervelle centre celle d'autrui.
- It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I, Chapter XXIV.
- The most manifest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness: her state is like that of things in the regions above the moon, always clear and serene.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I, Chapter XXV.
- Le sage vit tant qu'il doibt, non pas tent qu'il peut.
- A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book II, Chapter III.
- Qui aura esté une fois bien fol ne sera nulle aultre fois bien sage.
- He who has once been very foolish will at no other time be very wise.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book III, Chapter VI.
- Seven wise men on an old black settle,
Seven wise men of the Mermaid Inn,
Ringing blades of the one right metal,
What is the best that a blade can win?
- Alfred Noyes, Tales of The Mermaid Tavern, II.
- Some men never spake a wise word, yet doe wisely; some on the other side doe never a wise deed, and yet speake wisely.
- Sir Thomas Overbury, Crumms fal'n from King James Talk. In Works.
- When swelling buds their od'rous foliage shed,
And gently harden into fruit, the wise
Spare not the little offsprings, if they grow
- John Philips, Cider, Book I.
- Feliciter sapit qui alieno periculo sapit.
- He gains wisdom in a happy way, who gains it by another's experience.
- Plautus, Mercator, IV. 7. 40.
- Nemo solus satis sapit.
- No man is wise enough by himself.
- Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, III. 3. 12.
- Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit.
- No one is wise at all times.
- Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis, VII. 41. 2.
- Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the street.
- Proverbs. I. 20.
- Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.
- Proverbs, IV. 7.
- Wisdom is better than rubies.
- Proverbs, VIII. 11.
- "Those who seek me diligently find me."
- The voice of Wisdom in Proverbs VIII. 17.
- Be wisely worldly, but not worldly wise.
- Francis Quarles, Emblems, Book II. Em. 2.
- Ce n'est pas être sage
D'être plus sage qu'il ne le faut.
- It is not wise to be wiser than is necessary.
- Quinault, Armide.
- The power is yours, but not the sight;
You see not upon what you tread;
You have the ages for your guide,
But not the wisdom to be led.
- Edwin Arlington Robinson, Cassandra.
- Wouldst thou wisely, and with pleasure,
Pass the days of life's short measure,
From the slow one counsel take,
But a tool of him ne'er make;
Ne'er as friend the swift one know,
Nor the constant one as foe.
- Friedrich Schiller, Proverbs of Confucius, E. A. Bowring's translation.
- The Italian seemes wise, and is wise; the Spaniard seemes wise, and is a foole; the French seemes a foole, and is wise; and the English seemes a foole and is a foole.
- Quoted as a common proverb by Thomas Scot, in The Highwaies of God and the King, p. 8. (1623).
- Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life—in a firmness of mind and mastery of appetite. It teaches us to do, as well as to talk; and to make our actions and words all of a color.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistles, XX.
- Nulli sapere casu obtigit.
- No man was ever wise by chance.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, LXXVI.
- Melius in malis sapimus, secunda rectum auferunt.
- We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCIV.
- A short saying oft contains much wisdom.
- Sophocles, Aletes, Frag. 99.
- Happy those
Who in the after-days shall live, when Time
Hath spoken, and the multitude of years
Taught wisdom to mankind!
- Robert Southey, Joan of Arc, Book I.
- The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.
- Charles Spurgeon, Gleanings among the Sheaves, The First Lesson.
- By Wisdom wealth is won;
But riches purchased wisdom yet for none.
- Bayard Taylor, The Wisdom of Ali.
- "The Prophet's words were true;
The mouth of Ali is the golden door
When his friends to Ali bore
These words, he smiled and said: "And should they ask
The same until my dying day, the task
Were easy; for the stream from Wisdom's well,
Which God supplies, is inexhaustible."
- Bayard Taylor, The Wisdom of Ali.
- Isthuc est sapere non quod ante pedes modo est
Videre sed etiam illa, quæ futura sunt
- True wisdom consists not in seeing what is immediately before our eyes, but in foreseeing what is to come.
- Terence, Adelphi, III. 3. 32.
- The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
- I Timothy, XVI. 8.
- Wisdom alone is true ambition's aim
Wisdom the source of virtue, and of fame,
Obtained with labour, for mankind employed,
And then, when most you share it, best enjoyed.
- William Whitehead, On Nobility.
- Wisdom sits alone,
Topmost in heaven:—she is its light—its God;
And in the heart of man she sits as high—
Though grovelling eyes forget her oftentimes,
Seeing but this world's idols. The pure mind
Sees her forever: and in youth we come
Fill'd with her sainted ravishment, and kneel,
Worshipping God through her sweet altar fires,
And then is knowledge "good."
- Nathaniel Parker Willis, The Scholar of Thibet. Ben Khorat, Part II, line 93.
- Wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.
- Wisdom of Solomon, IV. 8.
- And he is oft the wisest man
Who is not wise at all.
- William Wordsworth, The Oak and the Broom.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- The wise man is but a clever infant, spelling letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity.
- Thomas Carlyle, p. 617.
- The heart is wiser than the intellect.
- Josiah Gilbert Holland, p. 616.
- What in me is dark, Illumine, what is low, raise and support.
- John Milton, p. 617.
- For knowledge to become wisdom, and for the soul to grow, the soul must be rooted in God: and it is through prayer that there comes to us that which is the strength of our strength, and the virtue of our virtue, the Holy Spirit.
- William Mountford, p. 616.
- The question is, whether, like the Divine Child in the Temple, we are turning knowledge into wisdom, and whether, understanding more of the mysteries of life, we are feeling more of its sacred law; and whether, having left behind the priests and the scribes and the doctors and the fathers, we are about our Father's business, and becoming wise to God.
- Frederick William Robertson, p. 617.
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)
- Drop, drop—in our sleep, upon the heart
sorrow falls, memory's pain,
and to us, though against our very will,
even in our own despite,
by the awful grace of God.
- Aeschylus, Agamemnon. The above lines are from Edith Hamilton, trans., Three Greek Plays, p. 170 (1937). Other translations of this passage from Aeschylus vary. Robert F. Kennedy, delivering an extemporaneous eulogy to Martin Luther King, Jr., the evening of April 4, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana, said, "Aeschylus wrote: 'In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.'" These words, lacking "own", have been used as one of the inscriptions at the Robert F. Kennedy gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery.
- [The argument of Alcidamas:] Everyone honours the wise. Thus the Parians have honoured Archilochus, in spite of his bitter tongue; the Chians Homer, though he was not their countryman; the Mytilenaeans Sappho, though she was a woman; the Lacedaemonians actually made Chilon a member of their senate, though they are the least literary of men; the inhabitants of Lampsacus gave public burial to Anaxagoras, though he was an alien, and honour him even to this day.
- Aristotle, Rhetoric, book 2, The Complete Works of Aristotle, rev. Oxford trans., ed. Jonathan Barnes, vol. 2, p. 2228–29 (1984).
- Ask counsel of both times—of the ancient time what is best, and of the latter time what is fittest.
- Francis Bacon, "Of Great Place", The Essays, or Counsels Civil & Moral of Francis Bacon, p. 48 (1905). Based on the 1625 edition but with modernized spelling.
- Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.
- Felix Frankfurter, Henslee v. Union Planters Bank, 335 U.S. 600 (1948) (dissenting).
- Standing in this presence, mindful of the solemnity of this occasion, feeling the emotions which no one may know until he senses the great weight of responsibility for himself, I must utter my belief in the divine inspiration of the founding fathers.
- Warren G. Harding, inaugural address, March 4, 1921. Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States from George Washington, 1789, to Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969, p. 207 (1969). House Doc. 91–142. Harding is credited with originating the phrase founding fathers. Senator Harding's remarks before the Sons and Daughters of the Revolution, Washington, D.C., February 22, 1918, included this sentence: "It is good to meet and drink at the fountains of wisdom inherited from the founding fathers of the Republic". Address on Washington's Birthday, p. 3 (1918). Senate Doc. 65–180. He also used the phrase in his speech on being officially notified of his nomination for the presidency, Marion, Ohio, July 22, 1920. According to "Of Deathless Remarks…", American Heritage, June 1970, p. 57, his 1918 remarks were "the first use of the phrase that the combined efforts of the experts at the Library of Congress have been able to find".
- The poet's aim is either to profit or to please, or to blend in one the delightful and the useful. Whatever the lesson you would convey, be brief, that your hearers may catch quickly what is said and faithfully retain it. Every superfluous word is spilled from the too-full memory.
- Horace, Ars Poetica, lines 333–37. Edward Henry Blakeney, Horace on the Art of Poetry, p. 54 (1928, reprinted 1970). Horace's message is often condensed to "Whatever advice you give, be brief". (Quidquid praecipies, esto brevis.)—line 335.
- That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.
- Attributed to John Stuart Mill. Adlai E. Stevenson, Call to Greatness, p. 102 (1954). Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
- Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.
- John Patrick, The Teahouse of the August Moon, act I, scene i, p. 6 (1957). These words are spoken by Sakini, an Okinawan, to the audience. They are repeated in act III, scene iii, and at the conclusion of the play.
- When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
- Attributed to Mark Twain in The Reader's Digest (September 1939), p. 22. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989). This has been widely reprinted and attributed to Twain, but has never been found in his works, though various Twain groups and the Twain Papers staff have searched for it.