Gracian 1601 - 1658 (57)

Always leave something to wish for; otherwise you will be miserable from your very happiness.


The Art of
Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian, (8 January 1601 – 6 December 1658), was a Spanish Jesuit, writer and philosopher. He was born near Aragon, son of a doctor. He was brought up by an uncle who was a priest. Under his influence he studied at a Jesuit school and from 1623 theology in Zaragoza. He was ordained in 1627 and took his final vows in 1635.

He acquired fame as a preacher, although some of his oratorical displays, such as reading a letter sent from Hell from the pulpit, were frowned upon by his superiors. He was named Rector of the Jesuit College of Tarragona and wrote works proposing models for courtly conduct such as (The Hero), (The Politician), (The Discreet One). During the Spanish war, he was chaplain of the army that liberated Lleida in 1646.

In 1651, he published the first part of the Criticón (Faultfinder) without the permission of his superiors, whom he disobeyed repeatedly. He was imprisoned because of his writing and was released in 1658 but in bad health. He died few months later.