The Proverbs of Hell, revised and updated for the 21st century 

  1. In childhood, run. In youth, laugh. In mid-age, accumulate. In old age, weep.
  2. If the living could see Hades, they would not call it death.
  3. Excess with open hand is charity; excess with open eyes is greed.
  4. Prudence dies a virgin.
  5. Desire is need, and the meeting of needs is the most holy act.
  6. The dead bee is the price of the fruit.
  7. If you desire power, don’t enslave, endow!
  8. Where the fool sees only the beauty of the tree, the wise man sees the beauty and the profit.
  9. Eternity is the catamite of time.
  10.  All sins are unforgivable; all sins, at a distance, may be forgotten.
  11.  Regret is the security blanket of a less industrious time.
  12.  In daylight, whisper. In dreams, scream.
  13.  That worth eating alights on the tongue.
  14.  Dead men speak; the missing are quiet.
  15.  Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
  16.  Man has never yet found the limit of his genius or the depth of his goodness.
  17.  Wise is the man who fears God; brave is the man who lives in spite of it.
  18.  Temperance is the anagram of excess.
  19.  Generosity is the hologram of avarice.
  20.  Folly is the course catalogue of righteousness.
  21.  Law builds the jail. Religion fills it.
  22.  Scarcity makes wealth, but wealth births scarcity.
  23.  Walking the plane of the earth with open eyes, man will encounter four true avatars of God:
    The goat;
    The bomb;
    The simian;
    The breast.
  24. The penis is mightier than the sword.
  25. Too much joy poisons laughter; too much laughter poisons sorrow.
  26. All things—the lineage of man, the floor of the sea, the houses of the dead, the history of language—can be mapped, but the compass rose of understanding is held by only a few.
  27.  Write what you wish to know.
  28. The slaughterhouse is the temple of progress.
  29. The emperor of all maladies is the revenge of the swine.
  30. Forgetfulness is the gift of wine.
  31. Solace is the sum of care.
  32. Poetry is the jackass of letters.
  33. In an age without secrets, enemies will be called friends, and friends will be treated as enemies.
  34. The rich man hates the poor for what he says; the poor man loves the rich for what he does.
  35. Fools are God’s gift to the wise, that they may use them according to their need.
  36. The architecture of tomorrow is sketched in dreams.
  37. To speak is to bless.
  38. To remain silent is to curse.
  39. In the Library of Babel, plenitude may rightly be called poverty.
  40. The sadness of the gull cannot be fathomed by the sunbather.
  41. The image is holier than the word.
  42. Words are the images of thought.
  43. To all things, a season.
  44. God answers the prayers of the persistent.
  45. He who dies for principle, dies not.
  46. The debt collector knows the debtor better than any.
  47. In gentleness, only a few excel, but in wrath, the gleam of godlikeness shines in all.
  48. The plague-fly that bows a nation is hatched in a teaspoon of water.
  49. Excess is the surest road to moderation.
  50. The troll has no authority, yet in his grotto, he is lord of all.
  51. Have speech like lightning, intellect like quarries, mien like swift waters, patience like foxfire.
  52. The thief and the warrior will never overmaster one another, being kinsmen at heart.
  53. Choose your idols carefully, for they will not be scorned.
  54. Thank the giver without asking, ‘How?’ or ‘Why?’
  55. Modern man sleeps on a bed of dead Cro-Magnons: Praise them daily.
  56. Delight is purity.
  57. The airship is the culmination of genius.
  58. Priests proscribe what they cannot possess.
  59. Each sprig of aster is the work of eons.
  60. Love is the longest road to dominion.
  61. What is virtue in wine is vice in water.
  62. Words are equal to deeds only in the minds of fools.
  63. Today’s sorrow, tomorrow’s joy.
  64. The model prisoner loves his prison.
  65. God’s temple is between the legs.
  66. Truth is good, wisdom fine—plausible deniability is best.
  67. Pain is currency.
  68. All that submit to the scythe deserve it.
  69. One dollar for a bomb, two for a hospital.
  70. Beyond the rim of the world, nadir and zenith are terms without meaning.

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