Quotations about   prudence

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Everything one has a right to do is not best to be done.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Memorandum on Colonial Taxation
    (Source)
Added on 23-Nov-20 | Last updated 23-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

Some Saian mountaineer
Struts today with my shield.
I threw it down by a bush and ran
When the fighting got hot.
Life seemed somehow more precious.
It was a beautiful shield.
I know where I can buy another
Exactly like it, just as round.

Archilochus (c. 680-645 BC) Greek lyric poet and mercenary [Ἀρχίλοχος, Archilochos, Arkhilokhus]
Fragment 79 [tr. Davenport (1964)]
    (Source)

Fragment from Plutarch, "Laws and Customs of the Lacedaemonians". Alt. trans.:
  • "Let who will boast their courage in the field, / I find but little safety from my shield. / Nature's, not honour's, law we must obey: / This made me cast my useless shield away, / And, by a prudent flight and cunning, save / A life, which valour could not, from the grave. / A better buckler I can soon regain; / But who can get another life again?" [tr. Pulleyn (18th C)]
  • "A Saian boasts about the shield which beside a bush / though good armour I unwillingly left behind. / I saved myself, so what do I care about the shield? / To hell with it! I'll get one soon just as good." ["To my shield" (D6, 5W)]
  • "I don't give a damn if some Thracian ape struts / Proud of that first-rate shield the bushes got. / Leaving it was hell, but in a tricky spot / I kept my hide intact. Good shields can be bought." [tr. Silverman]
  • "Some barbarian is waving my shield, since I was obliged to leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind under a bush. But I got away, so what does it matter? Life seemed somehow more precious. Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good." [tr. Lattimore (1955)]
Identified elsewhere as Fragment 6.
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Archilochus

Chance generally favors the prudent.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 147 (1838) [tr. Atwell]

Variant: "Chance generally favors the prudent man."
Added on 13-May-16 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
Interview in The Daily Nexus (5 Apr 2000)

Reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt.
Added on 4-May-15 | Last updated 4-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Adams, Douglas

Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.

Wilson Mizner (1876-1933) American screenwriter and wit
In Alva Johnston, The Legendary Mizners, ch. 4 (1953)

Also quoted in Evan Esar, The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (1949).
Added on 23-Apr-15 | Last updated 23-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mizner, Wilson

Never kick a man when he’s down — he may get up.

Louis A. Safian (contemp.) American theatrical producer, writer
The Book of Updated Proverbs, ch. 1 (1967)
Added on 16-Apr-15 | Last updated 16-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Safian, Louis A.

COUNTESS: Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
All’s Well that Ends Well, Act 1, sc. 1, l. 73 (1602)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Apr-15 | Last updated 1-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

FOOL: Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
King Lear, Act 1, sc. 4, l. 131 (1605)
Added on 26-Mar-15 | Last updated 26-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

Saints can be pure but statesmen must be responsible. As trustees for others, they must defend interests and compromise principles. In politics, practical and prudential judgment must have priority over moral verdicts.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) American historian, author, social critic
“The Necessary Amorality of Foreign Affairs,” Harper’s (Aug 1971)
Added on 16-Jul-14 | Last updated 16-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Schlesinger, Arthur

Respectfulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes timidity; boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.

Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese philosopher [Ku'ng Ch'iu / King Qiu, Ku'ng Fu-tzu / Kong Fuzi]
The Analects [Lun Yü], 8.2 (6th C. BC) [ed. Lao-Tse, tr. Legge (1930)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "Without ritual, courtesy is tiresome; without ritual, prudence is timid; without ritual, bravery is quarrelsome; without ritual, frankness is hurtful." [tr. Leys (1997)]
  • "Unless a man acts according to the spirit of the rites, in being respectful, he will tire himself out; in being cautious, he will become timid; in being brave, he will become unruly; in being forthright, he will become derisive." [tr. Chin (2014)]
  • "Respectfulness without the rituals becomes laboriousness; discretion without the rituals becomes apprehensiveness; courage without the rituals becomes rebelliousness; straightforwardness without the rituals becomes impetuosity." [tr. Huang (1997)]
  • "Courtesy uncontrolled by the laws of good taste becomes labored effort, caution uncontrolled becomes timidity, boldness uncontrolled becomes recklessness, and frankness uncontrolled become effrontery." [tr. Soothill (1910)]
Added on 13-Mar-12 | Last updated 22-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Confucius

Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 557
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Publilius Syrus