Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Publius Syrus
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Publius Syrus. (42 B.C.)
 
 
1
    As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.
          Maxim 1.
2
    To do two things at once is to do neither.
          Maxim 7.
3
    We are interested in others when they are interested in us. 1
          Maxim 16.
4
    Every one excels in something in which another fails.
          Maxim 17.
5
    The anger of lovers renews the strength of love. 2
          Maxim 24.
6
    A god could hardly love and be wise. 3
          Maxim 25.
7
    The loss which is unknown is no loss at all. 4
          Maxim 38.
8
    He sleeps well who knows not that he sleeps ill.
          Maxim 77.
9
    A good reputation is more valuable than money. 5
          Maxim 108.
10
    It is well to moor your bark with two anchors.
          Maxim 119.
  
  
  
11
    Learn to see in another’s calamity the ills which you should avoid. 6
          Maxim 120.
12
    An agreeable companion on a journey is as good as a carriage.
          Maxim 143.
13
    Society in shipwreck is a comfort to all. 7
          Maxim 144.
14
    Many receive advice, few profit by it.
          Maxim 149.
15
    Patience is a remedy for every sorrow. 8
          Maxim 170.
16
    While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.
          Maxim 185.
17
    Whatever you can lose, you should reckon of no account.
          Maxim 191.
18
    Even a single hair casts its shadow.
          Maxim 228.
19
    It is sometimes expedient to forget who we are.
          Maxim 233.
20
    We may with advantage at times forget what we know.
          Maxim 234.
21
    You should hammer your iron when it is glowing hot. 9
          Maxim 262.
22
    What is left when honour is lost?
          Maxim 265.
23
    A fair exterior is a silent recommendation.
          Maxim 267.
24
    Fortune is not satisfied with inflicting one calamity.
          Maxim 274.
25
    When Fortune is on our side, popular favour bears her company.
          Maxim 275.
26
    When Fortune flatters, she does it to betray.
          Maxim 277.
27
    Fortune is like glass,—the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.
          Maxim 280.
28
    It is more easy to get a favour from fortune than to keep it.
          Maxim 282.
29
    His own character is the arbiter of every one’s fortune. 10
          Maxim 283.
30
    There are some remedies worse than the disease. 11
          Maxim 301.
31
    Powerful indeed is the empire of habit. 12
          Maxim 305.
32
    Amid a multitude of projects, no plan is devised. 13
          Maxim 319.
33
    It is easy for men to talk one thing and think another.
          Maxim 322.
34
    When two do the same thing, it is not the same thing after all.
          Maxim 338.
35
    A cock has great influence on his own dunghill. 14
          Maxim 357.
36
    Any one can hold the helm when the sea is calm. 15
          Maxim 358.
37
    No tears are shed when an enemy dies.
          Maxim 376.
38
    The bow too tensely strung is easily broken.
          Maxim 388.
39
    Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy.
          Maxim 401.
40
    No pleasure endures unseasoned by variety. 16
          Maxim 406.
41
    The judge is condemned when the criminal is acquitted. 17
          Maxim 407.
42
    Practice is the best of all instructors. 18
          Maxim 439.
43
    He who is bent on doing evil can never want occasion.
          Maxim 459.
44
    One man’s wickedness may easily become all men’s curse.
          Maxim 463.
45
    Never find your delight in another’s misfortune.
          Maxim 467.
46
    It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.
          Maxim 469.
47
    It is better to have a little than nothing.
          Maxim 484.
48
    It is an unhappy lot which finds no enemies.
          Maxim 499.
49
    The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself. 19
          Maxim 511.
50
    A rolling stone gathers no moss. 20
          Maxim 524.
51
    Never promise more than you can perform.
          Maxim 528.
52
    A wise man never refuses anything to necessity. 21
          Maxim 540.
53
    No one should be judge in his own cause. 22
          Maxim 545.
54
    Necessity knows no law except to conquer. 23
          Maxim 553.
55
    Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently. 24
          Maxim 557.
56
    We desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have.
          Maxim 559.
57
    It is only the ignorant who despise education.
          Maxim 571.
58
    Do not turn back when you are just at the goal. 25
          Maxim 580.
59
    It is not every question that deserves an answer.
          Maxim 581.
60
    No man is happy who does not think himself so. 26
          Maxim 584.
61
    Never thrust your own sickle into another’s corn. 27
          Maxim 593.
62
    You cannot put the same shoe on every foot.
          Maxim 596.
63
    He bids fair to grow wise who has discovered that he is not so.
          Maxim 598.
64
    A guilty conscience never feels secure. 28
          Maxim 617.
65
    Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last. 29
          Maxim 633.
66
    Familiarity breeds contempt. 30
          Maxim 640.
67
    Money alone sets all the world in motion.
          Maxim 656.
68
    He who has plenty of pepper will pepper his cabbage.
          Maxim 673.
69
    You should go to a pear-tree for pears, not to an elm. 31
          Maxim 674.
70
    It is a very hard undertaking to seek to please everybody.
          Maxim 675.
71
    We should provide in peace what we need in war. 32
          Maxim 709.
72
    Look for a tough wedge for a tough log.
          Maxim 723.
73
    How happy the life unembarrassed by the cares of business!
          Maxim 725.
74
    They who plough the sea do not carry the winds in their hands. 33
          Maxim 759.
75
    He gets through too late who goes too fast.
          Maxim 767.
76
    In every enterprise consider where you would come out. 34
          Maxim 777.
77
    It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.
          Maxim 780.
78
    The highest condition takes rise in the lowest.
          Maxim 781.
79
    It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.
          Maxim 785.
80
    No one knows what he can do till he tries.
          Maxim 786.
81
    The next day is never so good as the day before.
          Maxim 815.
82
    He is truly wise who gains wisdom from another’s mishap.
          Maxim 825.
83
    Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.
          Maxim 827.
84
    It matters not how long you live, but how well.
          Maxim 829.
85
    It is vain to look for a defence against lightning. 35
          Maxim 835.
86
    No good man ever grew rich all at once. 36
          Maxim 837.
87
    Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it. 37
          Maxim 847.
88
    It is better to learn late than never. 38
          Maxim 864.
89
    Better be ignorant of a matter than half know it. 39
          Maxim 865.
90
    Better use medicines at the outset than at the last moment.
          Maxim 866.
91
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.
          Maxim 872.
92
    Whom Fortune wishes to destroy she first makes mad. 40
          Maxim 911.
93
    Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.
          Maxim 914.
94
    He knows not when to be silent who knows not when to speak.
          Maxim 930.
95
    You need not hang up the ivy-branch over the wine that will sell. 41
          Maxim 968.
96
    It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery. 42
          Maxim 995.
97
    Unless degree is preserved, the first place is safe for no one. 43
          Maxim 1042.
98
    Confession of our faults is the next thing to innocency.
          Maxim 1060.
99
    I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. 44
          Maxim 1070.
100
    Keep the golden mean 45 between saying too much and too little.
          Maxim 1072.
101
    Speech is a mirror of the soul: as a man speaks, so is he.
          Maxim 1073.
 
Note 1.
We always like those who admire us.—Francis, Duc de La Rochefoucauld: Maxim 294. [back]
Note 2.
See Edwards, Quotation 1. [back]
Note 3.
It is impossible to love and be wise.—Francis Bacon: Of Love (quoted). [back]
Note 4.
See Shakespeare, Othello, Quotation 53. [back]
Note 5.
A good name is better than riches.—Cervantes: Don Quixote, part ii. book ii. chap. xxxiii. [back]
Note 6.
The best plan is, as the common proverb has it, to profit by the folly of others.—Pliny the Elder: Natural History, book xviii. sect. 31. [back]
Note 7.
See Maxim 995. [back]
Note 8.
See Plautus, Quotation 10. [back]
Note 9.
See Heywood, Quotation 12. [back]
Note 10.
See Bacon, Quotation 27. [back]
Note 11.
See Bacon, Quotation 16.

Marius said, “I see the cure is not worth the pain.”—Plutarch: Life of Caius Marius. [back]
Note 12.
Habit is second nature.—Montaigne: Essays, book iii. chap. x. [back]
Note 13.
He that hath many irons in the fire, some of them will cool.—Hazlitt: English Proverbs. [back]
Note 14.
See Heywood, Quotation 60. [back]
Note 15.
The sea being smooth,
How many shallow bauble boats dare sail
Upon her patient breast.
William Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, act i. sc. 3. [back]
Note 16.
See Cowper, Quotation 63. [back]
Note 17.
Judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur,—the motto adopted for the “Edinburgh Review.” [back]
Note 18.
Practice makes perfect.—Proverb. [back]
Note 19.
See Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Quotation 22. [back]
Note 20.
See Heywood, Quotation 61. [back]
Note 21.
Yet do I hold that mortal foolish who strives against the stress of necessity.—Euripides: Hercules Furens, line 281. [back]
Note 22.
It is not permitted to the most equitable of men to be a judge in his own cause.—Blaise Pascal: Thoughts, chap. iv. 1. [back]
Note 23.
See Milton, Quotation 106. [back]
Note 24.
See Chaucer, Quotation 24. [back]
Note 25.
When men are arrived at the goal, they should not turn back.—Plutarch: Of the Training of Children. [back]
Note 26.
No man can enjoy happiness without thinking that he enjoys it.—Samuel Johnson: The Rambler, p. 150. [back]
Note 27.
Did thrust as now in others’ corn his sickle.—Du Bartas: Divine Weekes and Workes, part ii. Second Weeke.

Not presuming to put my sickle in another man’s corn.—Nicholas Yonge: Musica Transalpini. Epistle Dedicatory. 1588. [back]
Note 28.
See Shakespeare, Hamlet, Quotation 109. [back]
Note 29.
Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last.—Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: Meditations, ii. 5. [back]
Note 30.
See Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Quotation 7. [back]
Note 31.
You may as well expect pears from an elm.—Cervantes: Don Quixote, part ii. book ii. chap. xl. [back]
Note 32.
See Washington, Quotation 2. [back]
Note 33.
The pilot cannot mitigate the billows or calm the winds.—Plutarch: Of the Tranquillity of the Mind. [back]
Note 34.
In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.—Epictetus: That everything is to be undertaken with circumspection, chap. xv. [back]
Note 35.
Syrus was not a contemporary of Franklin. [back]
Note 36.
No just man ever became rich all at once.—Menander: Fragment. [back]
Note 37.
See Butler, Quotation 46. [back]
Note 38.
See Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Quotation 58. [back]
Note 39.
See Bacon, Quotation 18. [back]
Note 40.
See Dryden, Quotation 25. [back]
Note 41.
See Shakespeare, As You Like It, Quotation 75. [back]
Note 42.
See Maxim 144. [back]
Note 43.
See Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Quotation 2. [back]
Note 44.
Simonides said “that he never repented that he held his tongue, but often that he had spoken.”—Plutarch: Rules for the Preservation of Health. [back]
Note 45.
See Cowper, Quotation 112. [back]
 

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