Sir Walter Raleigh

(1552 - 1618 / Devon / England)

Sir Walter Raleigh Quotes

  • ''War begets quiet, quiet idleness, idleness disorder, disorder ruin; likewise ruin order, order virtue, virtue glory, and good fortune.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 1 (1751). "A Collection of Political Observations," ch. 25, The Cabinet Council.
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  • ''Whoso desireth to know what will be hereafter, let him think of what is past, for the world hath ever been in a circular revolution; whatsoever is now, was heretofore; and things past or present, are no other than such as shall be again: Redit orbis in orbem.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 1 (1751). "A Collection of Political Observations," ch. 25, The Cabinet Council.
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  • ''All histories do shew, and wise politicians do hold it necessary that, for the well-governing of every Commonweal, it behoveth man to presuppose that all men are evil, and will declare themselves so to be when occasion is offered.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 1. "A Collection of Political Observations," ch. 25, The Cabinet Council (1751).
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  • ''He that doth not as other men do, but endeavoureth that which ought to be done, shall thereby rather incur peril than preservation; for whoso laboureth to be sincerely perfect and good shall necessarily perish, living among men that are generally evil.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 1 (1751). "A Collection of Political Observations," ch. 25, The Cabinet Council.
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  • ''Whoso taketh in hand to frame any state or government ought to presuppose that all men are evil, and at occasions will show themselves so to be.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 1 (1751). "Maxims of State," ch. 26, The Cabinet Council.
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  • ''Be advised what thou dost discourse of, and what thou maintainest whether touching religion, state, or vanity; for if thou err in the first, thou shalt be accounted profane; if in the second, dangerous; if in the third, indiscreet and foolish.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 2 (1751), also Advice to a Son (1962). "Private Quarrels to be Avoided," ch. 4, Instructions to His Son and to Posterity (1632).
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  • ''Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. Quoted in History of the Worthies of England, "Devonshire," Thomas Fuller (1662). Line scratched with a diamond ring on a window-pane, to which Queen Elizabeth replied, using the same method, "If thy heart fail thee, climb not at all."
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  • ''There is nothing exempt from the peril of mutation; the earth, heavens, and whole world is thereunto subject.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. The Cabinet Council, ch. 24, "Of Civil War," The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 1 (1751).
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  • ''Whosoever, in writing a modern history, shall follow truth too near the heels, it may haply strike out his teeth.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. The History of the World, preface (1614). Raleigh's History was banned by James I soon after its publication, precisely because, it was alleged, Raleigh followed too closely the "heels of truth"Maccording to biographer Robert Lacey in Sir Walter Raleigh, ch. 41 (1973), Raleigh "took every opportunity he could in his book to pour scorn on famous sodomites, and James took the point."
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  • ''But it is hard to know them from friends, they are so obsequious and full of protestations; for a wolf resembles a dog, so doth a flatterer a friend.''
    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), British author, soldier, explorer. repr. In The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh, vol. 2 (1751), also in Advice to a Son (1962). "Wisest Men Have Been Abused by Flatterers," ch. 3, Instructions to His Son and to Posterity (1632).
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Best Poem of Sir Walter Raleigh

Farewell To The Court

Like truthless dreams, so are my joys expir'd,
And past return are all my dandled days;
My love misled, and fancy quite retir'd--
Of all which pass'd the sorrow only stays.

My lost delights, now clean from sight of land,
Have left me all alone in unknown ways;
My mind to woe, my life in fortune's hand--
Of all which pass'd the sorrow only stays.

As in a country strange, without companion,
I only wail the wrong of death's delays,
Whose sweet spring spent, whose summer well-nigh done--
Of all which pass'd only the sorrow stays.

Whom ...

Read the full of Farewell To The Court

His Pilgrimage

GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
   My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
   My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage;
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

Blood must be my body's balmer;
   No other balm will there be given:

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