Democracy passes into despotism.
Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal.
Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.
Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.
Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.
Wisdom alone is the science of other sciences.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.
We do not learn; and what we call learning is only a process of recollection.
We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.
We ought to fly away from earth to heaven as quickly as we can; and to fly away is to become like God, as far as this is possible; and to become like him is to become holy, just, and wise.
Wealth is well known to be a great comforter.
Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment.
When a Benefit is wrongly conferred, the author of the Benefit may often be said to injure.
When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.
Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.
To go to the world below, having a soul which is like a vessel full of injustice, is the last and worst of all the evils.
To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way.
To prefer evil to good is not in human nature; and when a man is compelled to choose one of two evils, no one will choose the greater when he might have the less.
To suffer the penalty of too much haste, which is too little speed.
Truth is the beginning of every good to the gods, and of every good to man.
Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.