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Old Age, tho’ despised, is coveted by all Men.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs (compiler), # 3795 (1732)
Added on 28-May-24 | Last updated 27-May-24
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Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.

maurice chevalier
Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) French singer, actor, entertainer

Attributed in James B. Simpson, Contemporary Quotations (1964 ed.) (though not showing up in later editions), citing New York Times (1960-10-09). I could not find the reference in the Times online archives, and Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989) treats it as "Unverified."

Quote Investigator finds evidence Chevalier used the line as of 1959, but finds evidence of anonymous / filler use of it or close variants as early as 1952. He tracks multiple references, including attributions to Chevalier.
Added on 15-Mar-24 | Last updated 15-Mar-24
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You can’t beat an Administration by attacking it. You have to show some plan of improving on it.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
Column (1924-11-16), “Weekly Article”
Added on 15-Jun-23 | Last updated 21-Jun-24
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But if my forces
are not enough, I am hardly the one to relent,
I’ll plead for the help I need, wherever it may be —
If I cannot sway the heavens, I’ll wake the powers of hell!

[Quod si mea numina non sunt
magna satis, dubitem haud equidem implorare quod usquam est:
flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 7, l. 310ff (7.310-312) [Juno] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fagles (2006)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

But if my own power not sufficient be,
Undaunted, aydes I'le seek where ere they dwell;
Will heaven not grant my sute, I'le raise up hell.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

If native pow'r prevail not, shall I doubt
To seek for needful succor from without?
If Jove and Heav'n my just desires deny,
Hell shall the pow'r of Heav'n and Jove supply.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

But if my own divinity is not powerful enough, surely I need not hesitate to implore whatever deity any where subsists: if I cannot move the powers above, I will solicit those of hell.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

If strength like mine be yet too weak,
I care not whose the aid I seek:
What choice 'twixt under and above?
If Heaven be firm, the shades shall move.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

But if not enough my power,
I shall not pause to ask what aid I may.
And if I cannot bend the gods above,
Then Acheron I'll move.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 388ff]

If my deity is not great enough, I will not assuredly falter to seek succour where it may be; if the powers of heaven are inflexible, I will stir up Acheron.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

But if of no avail
My godhead be, I will not spare to pray what is of might,
Since Heaven I move not, needs must I let loose the Nether Night.
[tr. Morris (1900), l. 310ff]

If too weak
Myself, some other godhead will I try,
And Hell shall hear, if Heaven its aid deny.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 42, l. 372ff]

If so weak
my own prerogative of godhead be,
let me seek strength in war, come whence it will!
If Heaven I may not move, on Hell I call.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

But if my powers be not strong enough, surely I need not be slow to seek succour wherever it may be; if Heaven I can not bend, then Hell I will arouse!
[tr. Fairclough (1918)]

So, if my power
Falls short of greatness, I must try another’s,
Seek aid where I can find it. If I cannot
Bend Heaven, I can raise Hell.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Well, if my powers are not great enough,
I shall not hesitate -- that's sure -- to ask help wherever
Help may be found. If the gods above are no use to me, then I'll
Move all hell.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

If my power
is not enough, I shall not hesitate
to plead for more, from anywhere; if I
cannot bend High Ones, then I shall move hell.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 410ff]

Well, if my powers fall short,
I need not falter over asking help
Wherever help may lie. If I can sway
No heavenly hearts I'll rouse the world below.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 423ff]

But if my own resources as a goddess are not enough, I am not the one to hesitate. I shall appeal to whatever powers there are. If I cannot prevail upon the gods above, I shall move hell.
[tr. West (1990)]

But if my divine strength is not
enough, I won’t hesitate to seek help wherever it might be:
if I cannot sway the gods, I’ll stir the Acheron.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

But if my powers
Are not great enough, why should I hesitate
To seek help from any source whatever?
If I cannot sway Heaven, I will awaken Hell!
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

If I cannot bend the gods, I will move Acheron.
[tr. @sentantiq (2012)]

If my powers aren't enough, why not stoop to begging anyone? If I can't move the gods above, then I'll move Acheron.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

If I cannot bend Heaven, I shall move Hell.

Added on 11-Jan-23 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Idler, # 57 “The Character of Sophron” (19 May 1759)

One of Sophron's (Wisdom's) maxims.
Added on 9-Nov-22 | Last updated 9-Nov-22
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I think of all the choices I never knew. And those I let be made for me — to please, from fear, for love. Where did they disappear to, those choices that I never made? They are all part of who I am. They are the legacy I leave behind, they are the finished portrait of myself I cannot change.

Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann (b. 1938) Norwegian actress and film director
Choices, Part 3 “Ghosts” (1984)
Added on 7-Jul-22 | Last updated 8-Jul-22
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It is useful to know something of the manners of different nations, that we may be enabled to form a more correct judgment regarding our own, and be prevented from thinking that everything contrary to our customs is ridiculous and irrational, — a conclusion usually come to by those whose experience has been limited to their own country.

[Il est bon de savoir quelque chose des moeurs de divers peuples, afin de juger des nôtres plus sainement, et que nous ne pensions pas que tout ce qui est contre nos modes soit ridicule et contre raison, ainsi qu’ont coutume de faire ceux qui n’ont rien vu.]

René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician
Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 1 (1637) [tr. Veitch (1850)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

It's good to know something of the manners of severall Nations, that we may not think that all things against our Mode are ridiculous or unreasonable, as those are wont to do, who have seen Nothing.
[Newcombe ed. (1649)]

It is good to know something of the customs of different peoples in order to judge more sanely of our own, and not to think that everything of a fashion not ours is absurd and contrary to reason, as do those who have seen nothing.
[tr. Haldane & Ross (1911)]

It is good to know something of the customs of various peoples, so that we may judge our own more soundly and not think that everything contrary to our own ways is ridiculous and irrational, as those who have seen nothing of the world ordinarily do.
[tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)]

It is well to know something of the manner of various peoples, in order more sanely to judge our own, and that we do not think that everything against our modes is ridiculous, and against reason, as those who have seen nothing are accustomed to think.

Added on 21-Feb-22 | Last updated 21-Feb-22
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ISMENE: What? You will kill your own son’s bride?
CREON: Why not? There are other fields for him to plough.

[Ἰσμήνη: ἀλλὰ κτενεῖς νυμφεῖα τοῦ σαυτοῦ τέκνου;
Κρέων: ἀρώσιμοι γὰρ χἀτέρων εἰσὶν γύαι.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 568ff (441 BC) [tr. Jebb (1891)]

Alt. trans.:

ISMENE: What! wilt though slay thine own son's bridal hopes!
KREON: The glebes of other women may be ploughed.
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

ISMENE: What, wilt thou slay thy own son's plighted bride?
CREON: Aye, let him raise him seed from other fields.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

ISMENE: But your own son’s bride!
CREON: There are places enough for him to push his plow.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), c. l. 455]

ISMENE: But she is Haemon's bride -- and can you kill her?
CREON: Is she the only woman he can bed with?
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

ISMENE: But will you really kill the bride of your son?
CREON: There's other ground for him to plow, you know.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

ISMENE: Will you kill your son’s bride-to-be?
CREON: There is much more fertile land in the world for my son, Haemon.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

ISMENE: But will you kill your own son's promised bride?
CREON: Oh, there are other furrows for his plough.
[tr. Wyckoff]

ISMENE: You would kill the bride of your own son?
CREON: There are other fields just as fertile.
[tr. Thomas]

ISMENE: But in that case you will kill your own son’s nuptial rites?
CREON: Yes, the fields of others are fit for the plow.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]
Added on 3-Dec-20 | Last updated 9-May-21
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Now and then it occurs to one to reflect upon what slender threads of accident depend the most important circumstances of his life; to look back and shudder, realizing how close to the edge of nothingness his being has come.

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) American writer, journalist, activist, politician
100%: the Story of a Patriot, Sec. 1 (1920)
Added on 17-Sep-20 | Last updated 17-Sep-20
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Destiny is for people who are too lazy to create alternate timelines.

(Other Authors and Sources)
Richard Stevens III, Diesel Sweeties (5 Oct 2011)
Added on 4-Jan-17 | Last updated 4-Jan-17
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War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.

[Der Krieg nicht bloss ein politischer Akt, sondern ein wahres politisches Instrument ist, eine Fortsetzung des politischen Verkhers, ein Durchführen desselben mit andern Mitteln.]

Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) Prussian soldier, historian, military theorist
On War [Vom Kriege], Book 1, ch. 1 “What is War? [Was ist der Krieg?],” § 24 (1.1.24) (1832) [tr. Jolles (1943)]

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.
[tr. Graham (1874)]

War is not merely an act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, carried on with other means.
[tr. Howard & Paret (1976)]

There is often confusion between this full sentence and the shorter section heading, which is also quoted:

War is a mere continuation of policy by other means.
[tr. Graham (1874) and Jolles (1943)]

War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.
[tr. Howard & Paret (1976)]

Der Krieg ist eine blosse Fortsetzung der Politik mit andern Mitteln.
[German source]

Added on 19-Mar-08 | Last updated 24-Jan-23
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