Plutarch Quotes

A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues.

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own.

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

Character is long-standing habit.

Character is simply habit long continued.

Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause.

Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage.

Do not speak of your happiness to one less fortunate than yourself.

Fate leads him who follows it, and drags him who resist.

For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human.

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

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

If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.

In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.

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

It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything.

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such a one as is unworthy of him; for the one is only belief – the other contempt.

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

Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them.

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.

Neither blame or praise yourself.

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

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.

Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.

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

The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil.

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.

To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.

To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away.

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

When the strong box contains no more both friends and flatterers shun the door.