Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > John Selden
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
John Selden. (1584–1654)
 
 
1
    Equity is a roguish thing. For Law we have a measure, know what to trust to; Equity is according to the conscience of him that is Chancellor, and as that is larger or narrower, so is Equity. ’T is all one as if they should make the standard for the measure we call a “foot” a Chancellor’s foot; what an uncertain measure would this be! One Chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot. ’T is the same thing in the Chancellor’s conscience.
          Table Talk. Equity.
2
    Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet. 1
          Table Talk. Friends.
3
    Humility is a virtue all preach, none practise; and yet everybody is content to hear.
          Table Talk. Humility.
4
    ’T is not the drinking that is to be blamed, but the excess.
          Table Talk. Humility.
5
    Commonly we say a judgment falls upon a man for something in him we cannot abide.
          Table Talk. Judgments.
6
    Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because ’t is an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.
          Table Talk. Law.
7
    No man is the wiser for his learning.
          Table Talk. Learning.
8
    Wit and wisdom are born with a man.
          Table Talk. Learning.
9
    Few men make themselves masters of the things they write or speak.
          Table Talk. Learning.
10
    Take a straw and throw it up into the air,—you may see by that which way the wind is.
          Table Talk. Libels.
  
  
  
11
    Philosophy is nothing but discretion.
          Table Talk. Philosophy.
12
    Marriage is a desperate thing.
          Table Talk. Marriage.
13
    Thou little thinkest what a little foolery governs the world. 2
          Table Talk. Pope.
14
    They that govern the most make the least noise.
          Table Talk. Power.
15
    Syllables govern the world.
          Table Talk. Power.
16
    Never king dropped out of the clouds.
          Table Talk. Power.
17
    Never tell your resolution beforehand.
          Table Talk. Wisdom.
18
    Wise men say nothing in dangerous times.
          Table Talk. Wisdom.
 
Note 1.
See Bacon, Quotation 57. [back]
Note 2.
Behold, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed.—Oxenstiern (1583–1654). [back]
 

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