Quotes from book
The Art of Worldly Wisdom

The Art of Worldly Wisdom
Baltasar GraciánOriginal title Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia (Spanish)

The Art of Worldly Wisdom is a book written in 1647 by Baltasar Gracián y Morales, better known as Baltasar Gracian. It is a collection of 300 maxims, each with a commentary, on various topics giving advice and guidance on how to live fully, advance socially, and be a better person, that became popular throughout Europe.


Baltasar Gracián photo

„Knowing how to keep a friend is more important than gaining a new one.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Saberlos conservar es más que el hazerlos amigos.
Maxim 158 (p. 90)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Those who want to look like hard workers give the impression that they aren't up to their jobs.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Todos los que hazen del hazendado en el empleo dan indicio de que no lo merecían.
Maxim 106 (p. 59)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Better to be cheated by the price than by the merchandise.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Más vale ser engañado en el precio que en la mercadería.
Maxim 157 (p. 89)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Que el aviso haga antes viso de recuerdo de lo que olvidava que de luz de lo que no alcançó.
Maxim 7 (p. 4)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Because the ignorant do not know themselves, they never know for what they are lacking. Some would be sages if they did not believe they were so already.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Como los ignorantes no se conocen, tampoco buscan lo que les falta. Serían sabios algunos si no creyessen que lo son.
Maxim 176 (p. 100)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„To overvalue something is a form of lying.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

El encarecer es ramo de mentir.
Maxim 41 (p. 24)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„If you cannot make knowledge your servant, make it your friend.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Pero el que no pudiere alcançar a tener la sabiduría en servidumbre, lógrela en familiaridad.
Maxim 15 (p. 9)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Freedom is more precious than the gift that makes us lose it.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Más preciosa es la libertad que la dádiva, porque se pierde.
Maxim 286
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Don't live by generalities, unless it be to act virtuously, and don't ask desire to follow precise laws, for you will have to drink tomorrow from the water you scorn today.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

No vaya por generalidades en el vivir, si ya no fuere en favor de la virtud, ni intime leyes precisas al querer, que avrá de bever mañana del agua que desprecia hoi.
Maxim 288 (p. 162)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

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

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

La virtud es cosa de veras, todo lo demás de burlas. La capacidad y grandeza se ha de medir por la virtud, no por la fortuna. Ella sola se basta a sí misma. Vivo el hombre, le haze amable; y muerto, memorable.
Maxim 300 (p. 168)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

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Baltasar Gracián photo

„Imagination travels faster than sight. Deceit comes in through the ears, but usually leaves through the eyes.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Adelántase más la imaginación que la vista, y el engaño, que entra de ordinario por el oído, viene a salir por los ojos.
Maxim 282 (p. 159)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Some people belong entirely to others … They have not a day, not an hour to call their own, so completely do they give themselves to others. This is true even in matters of understanding. Some people know everything for others and nothing for themselves.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Otros todos son ajenos, que la necedad siempre va por demasías, y aquí infeliz: no tienen día, ni aun hora suya, con tal exceso de ajenos, que alguno fue llamado “el de todos”.
Aun en el entendimiento, que para todos saben y para sí ignoran.
Maxim 252
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„The one rule for pleasing: whet the appetite, keep people hungry.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Única regla de agradar: coger el apetito picado con el hambre con que quedó.
Maxim 299 (p. 168)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Many owe their greatness to their enemies. Flattery is fiercer than hatred, for hatred corrects the faults flattery had disguised.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Fabricáronles a muchos su grandeza sus malévolos. Más fiera es la lisonja que el odio, pues remedia éste eficazmente las tachas que aquélla disimula.
Maxim 84 (p. 47)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Trust the friends of today as though they will be the enemies of tomorrow.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Confiar de los amigos hoy como enemigos mañana.
Maxim 217 (p. 123)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„The right kind of leisure is better than the wrong kind of work.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Más vale el buen ocio que el negocio.
Maxim 247
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Complaints will always discredit you.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Maxim 129 (p. 72)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
Context: Complaints will always discredit you. Rather than compassion and consolation, they provoke passion and insolence, and encourage those who hear our complaints to behave like those we complain about. Once divulged to others, the offenses done to us seem to make others pardonable. Some complain of past offenses and give rise to future ones.

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Honorable beginnings should serve to awaken curiosity, not to heighten people's expectations. We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations, and something turns out better than we thought it would.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Maxim 19 (p. 12)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
Context: Honorable beginnings should serve to awaken curiosity, not to heighten people's expectations. We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations, and something turns out better than we thought it would. This rule does not hold true for bad things: when an evil has been exaggerated, its reality makes people applaud. What was feared as ruinous comes to seem tolerable.

Baltasar Gracián photo

„Readiness is the mother of luck.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

La presteza es madre de la dicha.
Maxim 53 (p. 30)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Baltasar Gracián photo

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

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Cásanse algunos con la primera información, de suerte que las demás son concubinas, y como se adelanta siempre la mentira, no queda lugar después para la verdad.
Maxim 227 (p. 128)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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