Baltasar Gracian Quotes

Hear, see, and be silent.

Knowing how to keep a friend is more important than gaining a new one.

No’ and ‘Yes’ are words quickly said, but they need a great amount of thought before you utter them.

The truth is generally seen, rarely heard.

The wise does at once what the fool does at last.

Every fool stands convinced; and everyone convinced is a fool. The faultier a person’s judgement the firmer their convictions.

The greatest service you can render someone else is helping him help himself.

One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of opportunity.

Always act as if you were seen.

Don’t lie, but don’t tell the whole truth.


Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.

Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.

Don’t express your ideas too clearly. Most people think little of what they understand, and venerate what they do not.

It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.

Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.

Do not commit yourself to anybody or anything, for that is to be a slave, a slave to every man Above all, keep yourself free of commitments and obligations – they are the device of another to get you into his power

Self knowledge is the beginning of self improvement.

Folly consists not in committing Folly, but in being incapable of concealing it. All men make mistakes, but the wise conceal the blunders they have made, while fools make them public. Reputation depends more on what is hidden than on what is seen. If you can’t be good, be careful.

Life is a warfare against the malice of others.

Keep the extent of your abilities unknown.The wise man does not allow his knowledge and abilities to be sounded to the bottom, if he desires to be honored at all. He allows you to know them but not to comprehend them. No one must know the extent of his abilities, lest he be disappointed. No one ever has an opportunity of fathoming him entirely. For guesses and doubts about the extent of his talents arouse more veneration than accurate knowledge of them, be they ever so great.

To find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.

Put a grain of boldness into everything you do.

Self-reflection is the school of wisdom.

Do not be inaccessible. None is so perfect that he does not need at times the advice of others. He is an incorrigible ass who will never listen to any one. Even the most surpassing intellect should find a place for friendly counsel. Sovereignty itself must learn to lean. There are some that are incorrigible simply because they are inaccessible: They fall to ruin because none dares to extricate them. The highest should have the door open for friendship; it may prove the gate of help. A friend must be free to advise, and even to upbraid, without feeling embarrassed.

When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.