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Maxims of Fulke Greville,

from a book from webmaster Rob Kall's quotation book library,  printed in 1756, titled, Maxims, Characters and Reflections, Critical, Satyrical, and Moral, by F. Greville, Esq.  (Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke)1524-1628

I have not found more than a smattering of Greville's maxims anywhere, so, if you use any of these, please attribute them to this website.

A maxim is sometimes like the seed of a plant which the soil it is thrown into must expand into leaves, and flowers, and fruit; so that great part of it must sometimes be written as it were by the reader.

No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.

The best heads can but misjudge in causes belonging to the jurisdiction of the heart.

Some men talk sensibly and act foolishly, some talk foolishly and act sensibly; the first laugh at the last, the last cheat the first.

Vanity is the poison of agreeableness; yet as poison when artfully and properly apply'd, has a salutary effect in medicine, so has vanity in the commerce and society of the world.

We are never so ready to praise as when we are inclined to detract, and often has one man, nay one nation, been flattered by the commendations of a writer who really meant no more than to fix a stronger censure on another.

Pleasure is a game for which it will be in vain to try, it must start before you or you'll never find.

Nothing so difficult as tracing effects into causes, nothing so quick as the invention of causes for effects.

Some men are like certain stuffs, beautiful on one side, hideous on the other.

Penetration seems a kind of inspiration; it gives me an idea of prophecy.

Error is often nourished by good sense.

Human knowledge is the parent of doubt.

Pleasure is the business of the young, business is the pleasure of the old.

The sense to conduct sense is worth every other part of it; for great abilities are more frequently possessed, than properly appllied.

A lively and agreeable man of honour has not only the merit of those qualities in himself, but that also of awakening them in others.

A man must be a fool indeed, if I think him one at the time he is applauding me.

Wit gives confidence less than confidence gives wit.

Virtue please more as nature than as virtue; but let me add, that virtue is the first beauty of nature.

We confess our faults in the plural, and deny them in the singular.

Some men mistake talking about sense, for talking sense.

Even justice itself is sometimes offensive to the generous and delicate mind.

Some men are seldom out of humour because they are seldom in humour.

The general harmony of the physical world is maintained by a particular quality in each body, by which it attracts every thing to its own centre; it is exactly the same in the moral. (is he talking about NLD strange attractors?)

Many men would have more wisdom if they had less wit.

The senses feed sentiment, and sentiment the senses.

Man is said to be a rational creature, but should it not rather be said, that man is a creature capable of being rational, as we say a parrot is a creature capable of speech.

We are oftner deceived by being told some truth than no truth.

There are faults which as they become greater displease less.

Every man loves virtue better than vice; but then he loves himself better than either, and in his own way.

The best judges of pleasure, are the best judges of virtue.

Complaint against fortune is often a mask'd apology for indolence.

Some put me in mind of half-bred horses, which often grow worse in proportion as you feed and exercise them for improvement.

As love will often make a wise man act like a fool, so will interest often make a fool act like a wise man.

We often see characters in the world, which we should call ridiculously extravagant in a book.

Remedies for the mind, as well as the body, are often disgustful in proportion as they are salutary.

We sometimes think we have discovered a new truth that lay very deep, when perhaps we have only a lively sense of something, which others feel in a less degree.

As we generally overlook every weak thing a man of superior understanding says, so we do every strong one that a man of inferior understanding happens to say.

There is, amongst friends, a neglect that is flattering, and an attention that is mortifying.

If you have a great deal of taste for a particular subject, you may do very well with a person who has no taste at all, but there is no doing with one who has a little taste for it.

Generosity is catching...

Exercise is still more requisite to the health of the mind than of the body.

Many men study and practice the economy of their money, hardly any that of their pleasure, without which money is useless.

No two things can be so contradictory, so much at variance as truth and falsehood, and yet none are so mixed and united.

The great reason why false Virtues pas so well in the world is, that true ones are so seldom near to compare them to.

Some men have just sense enough to prove their want of it.

Friendship never ascends to love, love often descends to friendship.

Courage to think is infinitely more rare than courage to act, and yet the danger in the first case is generally imaginary, in the last real.

One great disadvantage to the cause of truth is its being so often in the hands of liars.

I hardly know so true a mark of a little mind, as th servile imitation of others; or alas! So common a thing.

Sense and good taste often suffer from the defects which folly and bad taste enjoy.

Some prejudices are to the mind, what the atmosphere is to the body; we cannot feel without the one, nor breathe without the other.

It is the understanding that talks, and the character that acts; nay, that persuades.

Men lay down positions that are indisputable, and not only their antagonists deviate from them, but they themselves, whenever it serves their purpose.

They who listen to themselves are not listened to by others.

Despair is the shocking case to the mind that mortification is to the flesh.

A little restraint will often put the man of sense and the fool upon the same footing.

It is in general much less necessary for you to fix well, than to fix.

Lovers generally find the most noble and amiable qualities in their mistresses, and will tell you that those qualities are the occasion of their passion, but in reality the passion is generally the occasion of those qualities.

One great satisfaction must be wanting to those who have been blessed with uninterrupted happiness, the consciousness of that happiness arising from reflection upon it.

Politeness is said to be the science of civility, yet persons are perhaps more frequently impolite from too much civility than from too little

Avarice is both knave and fool.

It is from the same principle that men are very sweet and very soud; consequently we often see the two extreams in  the same person.

The world is an excellent judge in general, but a very bad one in particular.

 

 

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