Prudent Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 84 quotes )
The more he saw, the more he doubted. He watched men narrowly, and saw how, beneath the surface, courage was often rashness; and prudence, cowardice; generosity, a clever piece of calculation; justice, a wrong; delicacy, pusillanimity; honesty, a modus vivendi; and by some strange dispensation of fate, he must see that those who at heart were really honest, scrupulous, just, generous, prudent or brave were held cheaply by their fellow-men. ‘What a cold-blooded jest!’ said he to himself. ‘It was not devised by a God.’ From that time forth he renounced a better world, and never uncovered himself when a Name was pronounced, and for him the carven saints in the churches became works of art
I hate wise men because they are lazy, cowardly, and prudent. To the philosophers' equanimity, which makes them indifferent to both pleasure and pain, I prefer devouring passions. The sage knows neither the tragedy of passion, nor the fear of death, nor risk and enthusiasm, nor barbaric, grotesque, or sublime heroism. He talks in proverbs and gives advice. He does not live, feel, desire, wait for anything. He levels down all the incongruities of life and then suffers the consequences. So much more complex is the man who suffers from limitless anxiety. The wise man's life is empty and sterile, for it is free from contradiction and despair. An existence full of irreconcilable contradictions is so much richer and creative. The wise man's resignation springs from inner void, not inner fire. I would rather die of fire than of void.
I am not sure whether I can make you understand it. It was something more than a prudent desire to avoid creatures alien in kind, very powerful, and very intelligent. The truth was that all I heard about them served to connect two things which one's mind tends to keep separate, and that connecting gave one sort of a shock. We tend to think about non-human intelligences in two distinct categories which we label "scientific" and "supernatural" respectively. We think, in one mood, of Mr. Wells' Martians (very unlike the real Malacandrians, by the bye), or his Selenites. In quite a different mood we let our minds loose on the possibility of angels, ghosts, fairies, and the like. But the very moment we are compelled to recognise a creature in either class as real, the distinction begins to get blurred: and when it is a creature like an eldil the distinction vanishes altogether. These things were not animals-to that extent one had to classify them with the second group; but they had some kind of material vehicle whose presence could (in principle) be scientifically verified. To that extent they belonged to the first group. The distinction between natural and supernatural, in fact, broke down; and when it had done so, one realised how great a comfort it had been-how it had eased the burden of intolerable strangeness which this universe imposes on us by dividing it into two halves and encouraging the mind never to think of both in the same context.
I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature. I discovered that I am not disciplined out of virtue but as a reaction to my negligence, that I appear generous in order to conceal my meanness, that I pass myself off as prudent because I am evil-minded, that I am conciliatory in order not to succumb to my repressed rage, that I am punctual only to hide how little I care about other people’s time. I learned, in short, that love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.
Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be... a prudent insurance policy.
Honestly, Edward." I felt a thrill go through me as I said his name, and I hated it. "I can't keep up with you. I thought you didn't want to be my friend.""I said it would be better if we weren't friends, not that I didn't want to be.""Oh, thanks, now that's all cleared up." Heavy sarcasm. I realized I had stopped walking again. We were under the shelter of the cafeteria roof now, so I could more easily look at his face. Which certainly didn't help my clarity of thought."It would be more . . . prudent for you not to be my friend," he explained. "But I'm tired of trying to stay away from you, Bella."His eyes were gloriously intense as he uttered that last sentence, his voice smoldering. I couldn't remember how to breathe.
For this is how things are: the diminution and leveling of European man constitutes our greatest danger, for the sight of him makes us weary.—We can see nothing today that wants to grow greater, we suspect that things will continue to go down, down, to become thinner, more good-natured, more prudent, more comfortable, more mediocre, more indifferent, more Chinese, more Christian—there is no doubt that man is getting 'better' all the time.
The fact is that camels are far more intelligent than dolphins. They are so much brighter that they soon realised that the most prudent thing any intelligent animal can do, if it would prefer its descendants not to spend a lot of time on a slab with electrodes clamped to their brains or sticking mines on the bottom of ships or being patronized rigid by zoologists, is to make bloody certain humans don't find out about it. So they long ago plumped for a lifestyle that, in return for a certain amount of porterage and being prodded with sticks, allowed them adequate food and grooming and the chance to spit in a human's eye and get away with it.
You see, I am a very prosaic, unromantic, sensible sort of fellow myself; and I have always had my heart set on finding the most sensible, prudent, level-headed wife in the world. But, on the other hand, it is very important to me that she possess one very particular flaw: she must have no sense whatsoever where I myself am concerned. She would only have to take one look at me and - no matter what her steadiness of mind - she would lose it in the space of seconds... Just lately, I have sometimes thought I may have found what I have always wanted. But just lately I have also noticed she has developed a most irritating habit of looking at the ground whenever we are together. Do you think she could try to overcome it? Well, Charlotte, are you going to look at me now?
All the same, I should like it all plain and clear," said he obstinately, putting on his business manner (usually reserved for people who tried to borrow money off him), and doing his best to appear wise and prudent and professional and live up to Gandalf's recommendation. "Also I should like to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required and remuneration, and so forth"--by which he meant: "What am I going to get out of it ? and am I going to come back alive?
Above all human existence requires stability, the permanence of things. The result is an ambivalence with respect to all great and violent expenditure of strength; such an expenditure, whether in nature or in man, represents the strongest possible threat. The feelings of admiration and of ecstasy induced by them thus mean that we are concerned to admire them from afar. The sun corresponds to that prudent concern. It is all radiance gigantic loss of heat and light, flame, explosion; but remote from men, who can enjoy in safety and quiet the fruits of this cataclysm. To earth belongs the solidity which sustains houses of stone and the steps of men (at least on its surface, for buried within the depths of the earth is the incandescence of lava).
In honesty you have to admit to a wise man that prayer is not for the wise, not for the prudent, not for the sophisticated. Instead it is for those who recognize that in face of their deepest needs, all their wisdom is quite helpless. It is for those who are willing to persist in doing something that is both childish and crucial.
Never exaggerate. It is a matter of great importance to forego superlatives, in part to avoid offending the truth, and in part to avoid cheapening your judgment. Exaggeration wastes distinction and testifies to the paucity of your understanding and taste. Praise excites anticipation and stimulates desire. Afterwards when value does not measure up to price, disappointment turns against the fraud and takes revenge by cheapening both the appraised and the appraise. For this reason let the prudent go slowly, and err in understatement rather than overstatement. The extraordinary of every kind is always rare, wherefore temper your estimate.
In the face of brutality I was prudent. Before injustice I held my peace. I sacrificed the things in hand for the good of they hypothetical whole. I believed in the tongue instead of the fist. As an armor against oppression I taught patience and faith in the human soul I know now how wrong I was. I have been a traitor to myself and to my people. All that is not. Now is the time to act and to act quickly. Fight cunning with cunning and might with might
Pleasure, after all, is a safer guide than either right or duty. For hard as it is to know what gives us pleasure, right and duty are often still harder to distinguish and, if we go wrong with them, will lead us into just as sorry a plight as a mistaken opinion concerning pleasure. When men burn their fingers through following after pleasure they find out their mistake and get to see where they have gone wrong more easily than when they have burnt them through following after a fancied duty, or a fancied idea concerning right virtue. The devil, in fact, when he dresses himself in angel's clothes, can only be detected by experts of exceptional skill, and so often does he adopt this disguise that it is hardly safe to be seen talking to an angel at all, and prudent people will follow after pleasure as a more homely but more respectable and on the whole much more trustworthy guide.
Royse Bergon: "I've seen your integrity in action. It...widened my world. I'd been raised by my father, who is a prudent, cautious man, always looking for men's hidden, selfish motivations. No one can cheat him. But I've seen him cheat himself. If you understand what I mean."Caz: "Yes."R.B.: "It was very foolish of you to attack that vile Roknari galley-man."Caz: "Yes."R.B.: "And yet, I think, given the same circumstances you would do it again."Caz: "Knowing what I know now...it would be harder. But I would hope... I would pray, Royse, that the gods would still lend me such foolishness in my need."R.B: "What is this astonishing foolishness, that shines brighter than all my father's gold? Can you teach me to be such a fool, too, Caz?"Caz: "Oh," "I'm sure of it.