What a scanty following has rectitude! Many praise it indeed, but — for others. Others follow it till danger threatens; then the false deny it, the politic conceal it.

[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.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 29 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)

Alternate translation: "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." [tr. Maurer (1992)]
Added on 13-Dec-21 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
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