A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others. For men's minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another's virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depressing another's fortune.
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public.
The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one; nor they will not utter the other.
It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.
It is yet a higher speech of his than the other, It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.
Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon.
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
The world's a bubble, and the life of man Less than a span.
The greatest vicissitude of things amongst men is the vicissitude of sects and religions.
To seek to extinguish anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time.
The winning of honor, is but the revealing of a man's virtue and worth, without disadvantage.
Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.
Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns things weighty and solid.
Costly followers are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he make his wings shorter.
If you would work any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him or those that have interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with cunning persons, we must ever consider their ends, to interpret their speeches; and it is good to say little to them, and that which they least look for. In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.