Robert Christy, comp. Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages. 1887.


A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years’ study of books.Chinese.

A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.Chinese.

A wise man, a strong man.German.

A wise man gets learning from those who have none themselves.

A wise man hath more ballast than sail.

A wise man is a great wonder.

A wise man is never less alone than when he is alone.

A wise man is rich enough.German.

A wise man keeps on good terms with his wife, his conscience and his stomach.

A wise man knows his own.

A wise man may be kind without cost.

A wise man should have money in his head but not in his heart.Swift.

A wise man should never give his wife too much rein.Latin.

A wise man’s loss is his secret.

A wise man turns chance into a good fortune.

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

A wise man will make tools of what comes to hand.

A wise man without work is a bee without honey.German.

A wise man would be a soldier in time of peace and a parson in time of war.Fielding.

All countries are a wise man’s home.

Be wisely worldly, but not worldly wise.Francis Quarles.

Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer.Young.

Be wise with speed,
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.Young.

Better be mad with all the world than wise alone.French.

Better be wise than rich.Spanish.

Do not revile wise men.Hindu.

Every one is wise after the event.German, Spanish.

Every one is wise for his own profit.Portuguese.

Gold vessels still as gold we prize,
And wise men in adversity are wise.Tamil.

He commands enough that obeyeth a wise man.

He is a wise man who speaks little.

He is not wise who is not wise for himself.

He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.Dr. Johnson.

He is so wise that he goes upon the ice three days before it freezes.Dutch.

He is the wise man who is the honest man.

He is the wisest man who does not think himself so.French.

He is wise that hath wit enough for his own affairs.

He is wise that is ware in time.

He is wise that when he is well can had him sae.

He is wise that can mak’ a freend o’ a fae.

He is wise to no purpose who is not wise for himself.Latin.

He is wise who learns at another’s cost.Italian.

He is wise who suits himself to the occasion.Latin.

He is wise who talks but little.Latin.

He’s wise that leads passion by the bridle.

He must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one.Diogenes.

He seemeth wise with whom all things thrive.

He would be wise who knew all things beforehand.Dutch.

He’s a wise man that wears poverty decently.

He’s a wise man that leads passion by the bridle.

He’s a wise man who when he’s well off can keep so.

He’s wise that knows when he’s well enough.

He who conceits himself wise has an ass near at hand.Spanish.

How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise.Homer.

Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means?Tillotson.

It becomes no wise man to expose himself to danger on account of the faults or follies of others.Statilius.

It becomes a wise man to try negotiation before arms.Terence.

It is better to be lucky than wise.

It is not always good to be wise.German.

More nice than wise.

Most things have two handles, and wise men take hold of the best.

No man so wise but may easily err, if he will take no other counsel but his own.Ben Jonson.

No man is the only wise man.Plautus.

No man was ever wise by chance.Seneca.

No man is born wise.

No one is so wise that he cannot become wiser.German.

No one is wise at all times.Pliny the Elder.

No one is wise enough to advise himself.German.

No one is wise in his own affairs.Dutch.

Some are wise, and some are otherwise.

The wise distrust the unknown.La Fontaine.

The wise does not say all that he thinks, but thinks all that he says.German.

The wise for cure on exercise depend.Dryden.

The wise is only once betrayed.German.

The wise man does not hang his knowledge on a hook.Spanish.

The wise man does not trust his wife with a secret.German.

The wise man has long ears and a short tongue.German.

The wise man knows an ignorant one because he has been ignorant himself, but the ignorant cannot recognize the wise because he has never been wise.Persian.

The wise man makes more opportunities than he finds.

The wise man strikes twice against one and the same stone.Russian.

The wise man should be prepared for everything that does not lie within his control.Pythagoras.

The wise should possess their lives in hope.Euripides.

The wise spare both time and words.German.

The wise take the middle way.German.

The wise weighs his words on the goldsmith’s scales.German.

The wise with hope support the pains of life.Euripides.

The wisest are not always wise.French.

The wisest man cannot turn a good action into ridicule.Euripides.

There is no condition but sits well on a wise man.

There is no one so wise he does not slip sometimes.German.

’Tis not knowing much, but what is useful that makes the wise man.

To the wise a word may suffice.

We cannot all be wise.

When a wise man errs, he errs with a vengeance.

When wise men fall out then rogues come by what is not their own.Punch.

When wise men play the fool they do it with a vengeance.Italian.

Who is wise is more than rich.German.

Whoever is not too wise is wise.Martial.

Wise men always practise moderation in passion.Euripides.

Wise men are caught in wiles.

Wise men are instructed by reason, men of less understanding by reason, the most ignorant by necessity, and beasts by nature.Cicero.

Wise men care not for what they cannot have.

Wise men in the world are like timber trees in a hedge—here and there one.

Wise men, though all laws were abolished, would lead the same lives.Aristophanes.