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William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Part II

The Wise Man

52. The Wise Man Governs himself by the Reason of his Case, and because what he does is Best: Best, in a Moral and Prudent, not a Sinister Sense.

53. He proposes just Ends, and employs the fairest and probablest Means and Methods to attain them.

54. Though you cannot always penetrate his Design, or his Reasons for it, yet you shall ever see his Actions of a Piece, and his Performances like a Workman: They will bear the Touch of Wisdom and Honor, as often as they are tryed.

55. He scorns to serve himself by Indirect Means, or be an Interloper in Government, since just Enterprises never want any Just Ways to succeed them.

56. To do Evil, that Good may come of it, is for Bunglers in Politicks, as well as Morals.

57. Like those Surgeons, that will cut off an Arm they can’t cure, to hide their Ignorance and save their Credit.

58. The Wise Man is Cautious, but not cunning; Judicious, but not Crafty; making Virtue the Measure of using his Excellent Understanding in the Conduct of his Life.

59. The Wise Man is equal, ready, but not officious; has in every Thing an Eye to Sure Footing: He offends no Body, nor easily is offended, and always willing to Compound for Wrongs, if not forgive them.

60. He is never Captious, nor Critical; hates Banter and Jests: He may be Pleasant, but not Light; he never deals but in Substantial Ware, and leaves the rest for the Toy Pates (or Shops) of the World; which are so far from being his Business, that they are not so much as his Diversion.

61. He is always for some solid Good, Civil or Moral; as, to make his Country more Virtuous, Preserve her Peace and Liberty, Imploy her Poor, Improve Land, Advance Trade, Suppress Vice, Incourage Industry, and all Mechanick Knowledge; and that they should be the Care of the Government, and the Blessing and Praise of the People.

62. To conclude: He is Just, and fears God, hates Covetousness, and eschews Evil, and loves his Neighbor as himself.