Quotations about   association

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A good cause has to be careful of the company it keeps.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“World of Books: The Greek Way,” Sunday Times of London (23 Aug 1942)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
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You are free only when you care for nobody in the world. But if you stop caring, life isn’t worth living.

Martha Albrand (1914-1981) German-American author. [b. Heidi Huberta Freybe Loewengard; also wrote as Katrin Holland, Christine Lambert]
Nightmare in Copenhagen (1954)
Added on 24-Nov-20 | Last updated 24-Nov-20
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Continuous association with base men increases a disposition to crime.

[Φαύλων ὁμιλίη συνεχὴς ἕξιν κακίης συναύξει.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 184 (Diels) [tr. Freeman (1948)]
    (Source)

Cited in Diels as "184. (194 N.)"; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium II, 31, 90.

Alternate translations:

  • "Frequent association with the wicked increases a disposition to vice." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
  • "Associating with scoundrels frequently increases the possession of wickedness." [tr. @sententiq (2020), Fr. 234]
  • "By associating with scoundrels, you will turn out a scoundrel"
  • "Continuous association with the wicked increases bad character."
Added on 26-Jun-20 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
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Fate chooses our relatives, we choose our friends.

Jacques Delille (1738-1813) French poet, translator
“Malheur et Pitié,” Canto 1 (1803)
Added on 3-Oct-16 | Last updated 3-Oct-16
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An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to John Taylor (1 Jun 1798)
Added on 20-Jun-14 | Last updated 20-Jun-14
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United we stand, divided we fall.

Aesop (620?-560? BC) Legendary Greek storyteller
“The Four Oxen and the Lion”
Added on 26-Mar-14 | Last updated 26-Mar-14
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The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Sylva Sylvarum, Century 10 (1627)

Alt trans.: "It is true that that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition; namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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Zigong asked how to practice humanity. The Master said: “A craftsman who wishes to do good work must first sharpen his tools. In whatever country you settle, offer your services to the most virtuous ministers, and befriend those gentlemen who cultivate humanity.”

Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese philosopher [Ku'ng Ch'iu / King Qiu, Ku'ng Fu-tzu / Kong Fuzi]
The Analects [Lun Yü], 15.10 (6th C. BC) [ed. Lao-Tse; tr. Leys (1997)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • 'Tsze-kung asked about the practice of virtue. The Master said, "The mechanic, who wishes to do his work well, must first sharpen his tools. When you are living in any state, take service with the most worthy among its great officers, and make friends of the most virtuous among its scholars."' [tr. Legge (1861), 15.9]
  • 'Zigong asked about the practice of humaneness. The Master said, "Artisans who wish to excel at their craft must sharpen their tools. When you live in any given state, you should serve the worthiest among the counselors and befriend the most human among the educated professionals."'[tr. Annping Chin (1983)]
  • Part of this is often quoted, without citation: "The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools." The quote can be found in English as early as the late 19th Century.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 22-Nov-20
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