Careful Words

maxim (n.)

'T is an old maxim in the schools,

That flattery's the food of fools;

Yet now and then your men of wit

Will condescend to take a bit.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745): Cadenus and Vanessa.

Scoundrel maxim.

James Thomson (1700-1748): The Castle of Indolence. Canto i. Stanza 30.

Let this great maxim be my virtue's guide,—

In part she is to blame that has been tried:

He comes too near that comes to be denied.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1690-1762): The Lady's Resolve.