VII. Governance

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)


Moderation in all things[1].

Measure is treasure[2].

Virtue is found in the middle.

Safety lies in the middle course.


It is good to be neither too high nor too low[3].

Mirth without measure is madness.

There is measure is all things[4].

You can have too much of a good thing[5].


A little impatience will spoil great plans[6].

Patience is the knot which secures the seam of victory[7].

Patience is a flower that grows not in every one’s garden.

With patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown[8].


Patience is the remedy of the world.

Patience is a remedy for every grief.

Patience is the plaster for all sores.

Patience is a virtue.


An oak is not felled at one stroke.

No man is his craft’s master the first day.

We must learn to walk before we can run.

All things are difficult before they are easy.


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Better a sparrow in the hand than a pigeon on the roof.

A thousand cranes in the air are not worth one sparrow in the fist[9].

A bird in the soup is better than an eagle’s nest in the desert[10].


Regard wealth as something to be properly used,

Rather than as something to boast about[11].

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.

The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus[12].

[1] The saying can be traced back to Hesiod (8th century BC).

[2] The saying probably derives from the ‘golden mean’ recommended by Horace (Odes, 1st century BC).

[3] Chinese proverb.

[4] The saying can be traced back to Horace’s Satires (1st century BC).

[5] A saying attributed to G.K. Chesterton.

[6] Chinese proverb.

[7] Chinese proverb.

[8] Chinese proverb.

[9] Arabic proverb.

[10] Chinese proverb.

[11] Attributed to Pericles.

[12] Attributed to Alexander Graham Bell.

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