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“Nor do apothegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use, as being the edge-tools of speech—which cut and penetrate the knots of business and affairs.”

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source: Advancement in Learning, ed. by Joseph Devey (New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1902), 114.

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medium: Philosophy

“I will point out to what extent and in which ways adages should be used. In the first place, it is worth remembering that we should observe the same rule in making use of our adages as Aristotle elegantly recommended in his work on rhetoric with regard to the choice of epithets: that is to say, we should treat them not as food but as condiments, not to sufficiency but for delight. Then we must not insert them just where like; there are some places where it would be ridiculous to put jewels, and it is equally absurd to apply an adage in the wrong place.”

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source: “How Far the Use of Adages is Advisable,” introduction, in Collected Works, translated by Margaret Mann Phillips (University of Toronto Press, 1982), 19.

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medium: Essay

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