Worldly wisdom from a long-ago Jesuit, #2

What to tell people and when to tell them. Keep cards close to the vest:

iii Keep Matters for a Time in Suspense.

Admiration at their novelty heightens the value of your achievements, It is both useless and insipid to play with the cards on the table. If you do not declare yourself immediately, you arouse expectation, especially when the importance of your position makes you the object of general attention.

Mix a little mystery with everything, and the very mystery arouses veneration. And when you explain, be not too explicit, just as you do not expose your inmost thoughts in ordinary intercourse. Cautious silence is the holy of holies of worldly wisdom.

A resolution declared is never highly thought of; it only leaves room for criticism. And if it happens to fail, you are doubly unfortunate. Besides you imitate the Divine way when you cause men to wonder and watch

He published several best-sellers without permission, this one in 1647, and paid for that sin.

Source: The Art of Worldly Wisdom: The Art of Worldly Wisdom: 1-49

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