Free PDF, epub, site ebook. By Balthasar Gracian. A long-lost, year-old book of wisdom on how to live successfully yet responsibly in a society governed. This ePub / PDF version edited by Andrew Burke at October . form a well-bred academy of worldly wisdom of the best and. by Balthasar Gracian. Part life-coach, part Machiavelli, part Yoda, Balthasar Gracian [], a Jesuit priest, wrote this collection of pithy sayings four centuries ago. Gracian speaks to the twenty-first century as well as the seventeenth.

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Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF Thailand: The Worldly Kingdom · Read more Medical Wisdom and Doctoring: The Art of 21st Century Practice. Read more. Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia by Baltasar Gracián y Morales, , Macmillan edition, in English. The remarkable best-seller -- a long-lost, year-old book of wisdom on how to live successfully yet responsibly in a society governed by self-interest.

It reads a bit like Chuang Tzu or Mencius, at times. Other times it is sternly moralizing in a very European-Christian manner. Others it seems like Emily Post on manners and civility. Disgust is doubled on account of the thing blamed and of the person who praised it.

Truth is for the few, error is both common and vulgar.

The wise man is not known by what he says on the house-tops, for there he speaks not with his own voice but with that of common folly, however much his inmost thoughts may gainsay it. The prudent avoid being contradicted as much as contradicting: though they have their censure ready they are not ready to publish it.

Thought is free, force cannot and should not be used to it.

The wise man therefore retires into silence, and if he allows himself to come out of it, he does so in the shade and before few and fit persons. Mediocrity obtains more with application than superiority without it.

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Work is the price which is paid for reputation. What costs little is little worth. Even for the highest posts it is only in some cases application that is wanting, rarely the talent.

To prefer moderate success in great things than eminence in a humble post has the excuse of a generous mind, but not so to be content with humble mediocrity when you could shine among the highest. Thus nature and art are both needed, and application sets on them the seal. I have edited some of the commentary, to reduce the size of this post. A great man ought not to be little in his behaviour. He cannot make himself understood who does not himself easily understand.

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The excesses of popular applause never satisfy the sensible. Take no pleasure in the wonder of the mob, for ignorance never gets beyond wonder. While vulgar folly wonders, wisdom watches for the trick. If it is a great lesson in life to know how to deny, it is a still greater to know how to deny oneself as regards both affairs and persons… To be occupied in what does not concern you is worse than doing nothing. All fools come to grief from want of thought. They never see even the half of things, and as they do not observe their own loss or gain, still less do they apply any diligence to them.

Some make much of what imports little and little of much, always weighing in the wrong scale.

The art of worldly wisdom

Many never lose their common sense, because they have none to lose. He is a great man who never allows himself to be influenced by the impressions of others.

Self-reflection is the school of wisdom. Wisdom is shown in serious matters, and is more appreciated than mere wit. He that is always ready for jests is never ready for serious things… Jest has its little hour, seriousness should have all the rest.

Fools rush in through the door; for folly is always bold… prudence enters with more deliberation… Step cautiously where you suspect depth. Sagacity goes cautiously forward while precaution covers the ground. We live by information, not by sight…Let reflection assay falsity and exaggeration.

Man is born a barbarian, and only raises himself above the beast by culture. Culture therefore makes the man; the more a man, the higher… even knowledge is coarse If without elegance. He ought never to pry too minutely into things, least of all in unpleasant matters… To keep hovering around the object or your annoyance is a kind of mania.

A suspicion of failure in the mind of the doer is proof positive of it in that of the onlooker… Action is dangerous where prudence is in doubt… Wisdom does not trust to probabilities; it always marches in the mid-day light of reason.

You cannot take it, but must earn and receive it from others…Do not enforce respect, but try and create it. Self-satisfaction arises mostly from ignorance… Because a man cannot achieve the superlative perfections of others, he contents himself with any mediocre talent of his own.

Intercourse works well: manners and taste are shared: good sense and even talent grow insensibly… It is a great art to agree with others… by joining extremes the more effective middle way is found.

There are men of gloomy character who regard everything as faulty, not from any evil motive but because it is their nature to. They condemn all: these for what they have done, those for what they will do… They accuse with such exaggeration that they make out of motes beams wherewith to force out the eyes.

They are always taskmasters who could turn a paradise into a prison… cxii Gain Good-will. It's difficult for our contemporary minds to fully comprehend this basic fact. So, get off your computer, put down your electronic device, and read Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom the old fashioned way.

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This is but one of warnings, facts, and intuitive words that he, with wit and a great understanding of people, wrote down as a guidebook to success in life. I bought this book in , and have read and re-read it every month since. It is my north star, a truly insightful book that is timeless.

Almost years ago, and none of it is out of place in our time. They should hand this out in high schools along with the diploma. The language used is not contemporary, and it has been translated I am sure with the inflections of the translator. This was done in the 's, so it has the tone of the English that was spoken at the time. The only book you will ever need to put your best face forward, guard against people, and generally be prepared for anything that life can throw your way.

Balthasar Gracian 20 Questions Please submit a quiz here. About Balthasar Gracian. Of Balthasar Gracian and his Works. Of Maxims. Bibliographical Appendix. To the Reader.Of Gracian's works there is perhaps more to say even while leaving for separate consideration that one which is here presented to the English reader and forms his chief claim to attention.

Yet it is precisely in the curtness of the sentences that the peculiarity of the stilo culto consists.

You begin the fight already beaten and must soon take to flight in disgrace. A later book, El Discreto, first published in , gives the counterpoise to El Heroe by drawing an ideal of the prudent courtier as contrasted with the proud and spotless hidalgo. A collection of aphorisms on life and the way you should live, Balthasar Gracian's work has been used as a modern day guide to life much in the way that Sun Tzu's Art of War or Machiavelli's The Prince have.

Let good judgment bridle her, so that enjoyment will surpass desire.

But it received a further impetus from the success of the stilo culto of Gongora in poetry. A suspicion of failure in the mind of the doer is proof positive of it in that of the onlooker… Action is dangerous where prudence is in doubt… Wisdom does not trust to probabilities; it always marches in the mid-day light of reason.

This wisdom has been around for ages: never compete with someone who has nothing to lose. Sep 12, Pages.