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Some Fruits of Solitude
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Some Fruits of Solitude

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  147 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The World is certainly a great and stately Volume of natural Things; and may be not improperly styled the Hieroglyphicks of a better: But, alas how very few Leaves of it do we seriously turn over This ought to be the Subject of the Education of our Youth, who, at Twenty, when they should be fit for Business, know little or nothing of it.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1682)
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Jul 26, 2012 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you read your enchiridion today? Do you even know what an enchiridion is? I didn't either until I looked it up at An enchiridion is a handbook or manual and that's exactly how William Penn referred to his little book of proverbs, wisddom, and principles for better living, commonly known as Some Fruits of Solitude. Attic Books (an imprint of New Leaf Publishing Group) recently published a beautiful edition of Some Fruits of Solitude, which preserves the character, style, and ...more
Oct 02, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful little enchiridion is full of maxims and reflections on living a virtuous life. It reminds me of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius and the Analects of Confucius. Should be mandatory reading for everyone. My favorite were:

"Opportunities should never be lost, because they can hardly be regained."

"Refuse not to be inform'd: For that shews Pride or Stupidity."

"Neither despise, nor oppose, what thou dost not understand."

"Force may subdue, but Love gains: And he that forgives first, wi
Apr 03, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Have you ever wondered what our world would have turned out to be like without the influence of The Holy Bible? Without the spread of The Word to the whole world? How The Holy Bible set standards and was used in our Moral Code and to create Laws. Think of the World without the westernization, europeanization, or occidentalization (however you want to call it) to distant countries like South America and Asia? How the west brought Rule of Law and influence. Who is to say that the Vikings were wron ...more
Mar 12, 2014 Weathervane rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
To do this book justice, examine every aphorism, would be a long and laborious task, one I won't even attempt. Needless to say, there were some sayings with which I agreed whole-heartedly, and more than a few I found rather silly for one reason or another -- most often, perhaps, because religion was invoked where an appeal to reason would've been both more appropriate, and convincing.

Further, a few advisories seemed to conflict, as when he first states that to be tempted is no sin, but only to s
May 06, 2012 Wanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all books in general but there is something special about a really good old book. That being the case, I was delighted to discover this reprint of William Penn’s Fruits of Solitude. I like the size of the book and the old tattered look of the cover, along with the torn edge pages, really add a nice touch of antique feeling to this new reprint of an old classic. I also especially like that the book was not updated in any way but all the old style spelling and format left in its original st ...more
Jimmy Reagan
Jul 15, 2012 Jimmy Reagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here’s a treasure trove of wisdom from yesteryear. Written be William Penn and given as “Proverbs, Wisdom, and Principles For Better Living.” Yes, that is the William Penn of Pennsylvania fame. It’s not a book about solitude, but the wisdom he came up within periods of solitude. Perhaps we need more solitude if we could have as much insight as he did.

The book is set up in categories like pride, luxury, frugality or bounty, right marriage, and many more. Yes, as you would expect, a category on fr
Jun 26, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If thou hast done an Injury to another, rather own it than defend it. One way thou gainest Forgiveness, the other, thou doubl'st the Wrong and Reckoning." - from Reparation

"Wit is an happy and striking way of expressing a Thought." - from Wit

Generally, this is not the type of book that you would sit down and read from beginning to end. Yet, I found myself wanting to continue to read these thoughts. Often I would read something out loud to either my husband or daughter. Because the writing style
Haley Wilde
I understand that, given the time period and level of devotion present, William Penn must've thought it necessary to include many musings on faith and the nature of his god.

This is by no means a bad book. I found quite a lot to enjoy in it and I suppose by Penn's standards I'm about half and half on the 'good person' scale. If you're sensitive to religious musings in a negative way, I couldn't suggest it, but if you're looking for a deep book with lots of cool thoughts, this'll do the job just
Nola Redd
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. In essence, it is a collection of thoughts and points made by William Penn on a number of subjects, ranging from justice, law, and government to religion, deportment, and charity. He stresses the need to focus on the inward rather than the outward. Often he builds up to a point off points, even as each thought stands well alone. I didn't agree with him in all aspects - for instance, he encourages not aiming high but being content with well enough - but ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
Man, right to the point. I like it.

"23. He will lose none of his Authority; no, not bate an Ace of it: He is humorous to his Wife, he beats his Children, is angry with his Servants, strict with his Neighbors, revenges all Affronts to Extremity; but, alas, forgets all the while that he is the Man; and is more in Arrear to God, that is so very patient with him, than they are to him with whom he is so strict and impatient."

True words. It's "preachy" by intent, and useful knowledge. It'll also feel
Mar 04, 2012 Damien rated it really liked it
Shelves: harvard-classics
William Penn's book rather amazes me in that the things he speaks of matter today. From charity, popularity, patience and so many more topics he speaks on what it basically means to be human. It is still jarring in that this book was written in 1682 by the man who founded the city of Pennsylvania and he speaks about subjects we are seeing everyday right now and all over the internet and tv.

You have to be patient with this book, it is a more advanced read and I took my time as I wanted to unders
Jul 13, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
I love books of proverbs and wisdom, this being no exception. I hadn't realized Mr. Penn had penned (no pun intended) such works--an enviably industrious man. Good reading for all. Be sure to read his own words, not a modernized version; I don't understand the need (it's not Middle English or something) and it's worth the slight extra effort.
Apr 18, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it
Written in a style similar to Proverbs, Penn gives very wise commentary on education, character and many things. I found it surprisingly readable. There were a few sections that clearly seemed to deal with issues of his time that were difficult to get the gist of, but this is worth reading & re-reading.
Oct 28, 2008 Shelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A list of axioms. They were all very wise and very well-thought out. He was a true philosopher and I admire him for putting into words for others the precious principles he learned throughout his life. Well-reasoned. For me the greatest lesson learned was that of his views of life and death; that one who has faith in the end will necessarily enjoy the means. Deep thoughts.
Bob Miller
Jul 14, 2016 Bob Miller rated it liked it
Lots of short sayings, mostly interesting. Each makes you think and consider the idea. Sample: "And if Men would once consider one another reasonably, they would either reconcile their Differences, or more Amicably maintain them."
Aug 23, 2014 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Written with wisdom from the bible and from a place of prayer and reflection. A beautiful book to read slowly and savor.
Curtis Thetford
Jul 02, 2013 Curtis Thetford rated it really liked it
A little dry, but much of it is thought provoking. I've come to the conclusion that you can't go wrong reading the writings of Quakers.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and a prominent Quaker.

On November 28, 1984 William Penn and his second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn became Honorary Citizens of the United States, upon an Act of
More about William Penn...

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“Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.” 62 likes
“Let the people think they govern and they will be governed” 10 likes
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