Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.
The worst men often give the best advice.
We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
Wise men make more opportunities than they find.
It is true that that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition; namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.
So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye, and are best pleased, when things go backward.
Men's thoughts, are much according to their inclination; their discourse and speeches, according to their learning and infused opinions; but their deeds, are after as they have been accustomed.
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.