Quotes by William Penn

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There can be no friendship where there is no freedom. Friendship loves a free air, and will not be fenced up in straight and narrow enclosures.

Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.
I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
In marriage do thou be wise; prefer the person before money; virtue before beauty; the mind before the body.
We are apt to love praise, but not deserve it. But if we would deserve it, we must love virtue more than that.
Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers.
No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.
Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee.
Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.
Men must be governed by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants.
Let the people think they govern and they will be governed.
No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.
Much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world.
The tallest trees are most in the power of the winds, and ambitious men of the blasts of fortune.
To be innocent is to be not guilty; but to be virtuous is to overcome our evil inclinations.
Hasty resolutions are of the nature of vows, and to be equally avoided.
Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavour to warp and spoil it to their turn.
They have a Right to censure, that have a Heart to help: The rest is Cruelty, not Justice.
Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.
Passion is the mob of the man, that commits a riot upon his reason.
Some are so very studious of learning what was done by the ancients that they know not how to live with the moderns.
He that does good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end.
The public must and will be served.
Knowledge is the treasure, but judgment is the treasurer of the one who is wise.
Kings in this should imitate God, their mercy should be above their works.
Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.
All excess is ill, but drunkenness is of the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind, and unmans men. It reveals secrets, is quarrelsome, lascivious, impudent, dangerous and bad.
To hazard much to get much has more of avarice than wisdom.
Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.
He who is taught to live upon little owes more to his father's wisdom than he who has a great deal left him does to his father's care.
If thou wouldn't conquer thy weakness thou must not gratify it.
He that lives to forever, never fears dying.
It would be far better to be of no church than to be bitter of any.
Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope.
They have a right to censure that have a heart to help.
Always rise from the table with an appetite, and you will never sit down without one.
For we put the power in the people.
A private Life is to be preferrd; the Honour and Gain of publick Posts, bearing no proportion with the Comfort of it.
A good End cannot sanctifie evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.
All excess is ill; but drunkenness is of the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind, and unmans men. It reveals secrets, is quarrelsome, lascivious, impudent, dangerous, and mad. In fine, he that is drunk is not a man: because he is so long void of reason, that distinguishes a man from a beast.
[Temperance.] To this a spare diet contributes much. Eat therefore to live, and do not live to eat. That is like a man, but this below a beast.
Frequent visits, presents, intimate correspondence, and intermarriages within allowed bounds, are means of keeping up the concern and affection that nature requires from relations.
If thou hast done an injury to another, rather own it than defend it. One way thou gainest forgiveness; the other thou doublest the wrong and reckoning.
Rarely promise; but if lawful, constantly perform.

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