Wisdom Quotes

Be so true to thyself as thou be not false to others.

Francis Bacon

It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour.

Francis Bacon

We thought we were done with these things but we were wrong.
We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.

Stephen Vincent Benèt 1898-1943 ‘Litany for Dictatorships’ (1935)

The trouble with people is not that they don’t know but that they know so much that ain’t so.

‘Josh Billings’ Encyclopedia of Wit and Wisdom’ (1874)

Does the eagle know what is in the pit?
Or wilt thou go ask the mole:
Can wisdom be put in a silver rod?
Or love in a golden bowl?

‘The Book of Thel’ (1789) plate i ‘Thel’s Motto’

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ (1790-3) ‘Proverbs of Hell’

The conduct of a losing party never appears right: at least it never can possess the only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar judgements—success.

Edmund Burke 1729-97

Never, no never, did Nature say one thing and Wisdom say another.

Edmund Burke ‘Letters on a Regicide Peace’ Letter 3 (1797)

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom.

Edmund Burke 1729-97 ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’ (1790) p. 88

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Wisdom begins in wonder.


The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

George Santayana

Wisdom is what’s left after we’ve run out of personal opinions.

Cullen Hightower

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

H L Mencken

Force without wisdom falls of its own weight.


Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Immanuel Kant

Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.


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