The Art of Worldly Wisdom


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Posted by wisdom book on February 23, 2010 at 13:29:00:

The Art of Worldly Wisdom


i Everything is at its Acme;
Especially the art of making one's way in the world. There is more required nowadays to make a single wise man than formerly to make Seven Sages, and more is needed nowadays to deal with a single person than was required with a whole people in former times.
ii Character and Intellect:
the two poles of our capacity; one without the other is but halfway to happiness. Intellect sufficient not, character is also needed. On the other hand, it is the fool's misfortune, to fail in obtaining the position, the employment, the neighborhood, and the circle of friends that suit him.

iii Keep Matters for a Time in Suspense.
Admiration at their novelty heightens the value of your achievements; it is both useless and insipid to play with the cards on the table. If you do not declare yourself immediately, you arouse expectation, especially when the importance of your position makes you the object of general attention. Mix a little mystery with everything, and the very mystery arouses veneration. And when you explain, be not too explicit, just as you do not expose your inmost thoughts in ordinary intercourse. Cautious silence is the holy of holies of worldly wisdom. A resolution declared is never highly thought of; it only leaves room for criticism. And if it happens to fail, you are doubly unfortunate. Besides you imitate the Divine way when you cause men to wonder and watch.


iv Knowledge and Courage
are the elements of Greatness. They give immortality, because they are immortal. Each is as much as he knows, and the wise can do anything. A man without knowledge, a world without light. Wisdom and strength, eyes and hands. Knowledge without courage is sterile.




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