Plutarch Quotations


A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues.

He is a fool who leaves things close at hand to follow what is out of reach.

I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.

It is indeed desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.

I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and possessions.

Know how to listen and you will profit even from those who talk badly.

Learn to be pleased with everything; with wealth, so far as it makes us beneficial to others; with poverty, for not having much to care for; and with obscurity, for being unenvied.

Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord.

Moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into men's private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large.

No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.

Nothing is cheap which is superfluous, for what one does not need, is dear at a penny.

Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed that one is adversity.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little.

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.

Someone praising a man for his foolhardy bravery, Cato, the elder, said, "There is a wide difference between true courage and a mere contempt of life."

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.

The wildest colts make the best horses.

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.