Francisco de Quevedo

Spanish writer

Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas, (14 September 1580 – 8 September 1645) was a Spanish nobleman, politician and writer of the Baroque era.

Francisco de Quevedo


Quotes reported in Thomas Benfield Harbottle and Martin Hume, Dictionary of quotations (Spanish) (New York: Swan Sonnenschein, 1907)

Politica de Dios (1626)Edit

  • In dangers, the king who looks on orders with his eyes.
    • Part I, Ch. VI.
  • The king is a public person, the needs of the realm are his crown. Reigning is not an amusement but a task. A bad king is he who enjoys his State, a good one he who serves it.
    • Part I, Ch. XVI.
  • It is most unfortunate that the king should err at all: but if he must err, it is less shocking that he should do so on his own account, rather than by the advice of others.
    • Part I, Ch. XX.
  • Happy is he who is born to be a king, if, when he reigns, he shows he deserves to be one.
    • Part II, Ch. IV.
  • You must not trust ministers who are very proud of having clean hands [...]. Thieves there are who rob with their feet, with their mouths, with their ears, with their eyes.
    • Part II, Ch. VI.
  • There are some men who lie even when telling the truth, for they tell it with their lips whilst they lie in their hearts.
    • Part II, Ch. XV.

Sueños y discursos (1627)Edit

  • Since I teach how to kill I may well claim to be called Galen; and if my wounds were to ride on mule back they would pass for bad doctors.
    • El Sueno de las Calaveras
  • For every judge we sow, we gather six attorneys, two draftsmen, four notaries, five barristers, and five thousand negotiators, and the crop comes every day.
    • El Alguazil Alguacilado
  • From the mouth of a stone serpent there gushes a jet of water.
    • El Alguazil Alguacilado
  • Is there any devil equal to a flatterer, to an envious man, to a false friend, to an evil companion ? Well, the poor man is free from all these; for he is neither flattered, nor envied; he has no friend, good of bad, and no one keeps him company. The poor it is that live well and die better.
    • El Alguazil Alguacilado
  • When the devil preaches the world is coming to an end.
    • El Alguazil Alguacilado
  • All sinners have less turpitude than the hypocrite, for the former, though they sin against God, do not sin with God or in God, whilst the hypocrite sins against God and also with God, since he takes Him as an instrument of his sin.
    • El Mundo por de Dentro
  • He who loves not a beautiful woman with all his five senses esteems not nature in its greatest care and its highest achievement.
    • El Mundo por de Dentro
  • I hold him to be a fool who throughout his life is dying with fear that he must die; and to be a bad man he who lives so careless of it as if death did not exist [...]. The only wise man is he who lives through each day as if at any hour he may die.
    • El Mundo por de Dentro
  • The philosopher is not he who knows where the treasure is, but he who sets to work and recovers it.
    • El Mundo por de Dentro
  • In fact the world is all agreed and calls commodity honour; so that men need only proclaim that they are honourable with- out being so to mock at the world.
    • La Visita de los Chistes
  • In our days they count a man him who swears rather than him whose beard is grown.
    • La Visita de los Chistes
  • Many more people fall ill through bores than through pestilence; and chatterers and meddlers kill many more than doctors.
    • La Visita de los Chistes
  • The best sign of a man's goodness is neither to fear nor to owe anything, and the clearest sign of his badness is neither to fear nor to pay.
    • La Visita de los Chistes
  • Women only want a man to grant; for of course they always ask.
    • La Visita de los Chistes

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