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Life was given me as a favour; I may consequently give it back, when it is no longer so.

[La vie m’a été donnée comme une faveur ; je puis donc la rendre lorsqu’elle ne l’est plus.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Persian Letters [Lettres Persanes], Letter 76, Usbek to Ibben (1721) [tr. Ozell (1760 ed.), No. 77]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Life was given to me as a favour; I may then return it, when it is no more so.
[tr. Floyd (1762)]

Life was given me as a blessing; when it ceases to be so I can give it up.
[tr. Davidson (1891)]

Life was bestowed upon me as a favor; I may then give it back when it is a favor no longer.
[tr. Betts (1897)]

Life has been given to me as a favor, which I can return when it is that no longer.
[tr. Healy (1964)]

Life was given to me as a kind of favor; when it ceases to be that, I can put an end to it.
[tr. MacKenzie (2014)]

 
Added on 29-Apr-24 | Last updated 29-Apr-24
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More quotes by Montesquieu, Baron de

Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.

[Quod bonum Dei quidem donum est; sed propterea id largitur etiam malis, ne magnum bonum uideatur bonis.]

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Christian church father, philosopher, saint [b. Aurelius Augustinus]
City of God [De Civitate Dei], Book 15, ch. 22 (15.22) (AD 412-416) [tr. Dods (1871)]
    (Source)

Referencing Genesis 6:1-4, and of the "sons of God" who fell in love with the physical beauty of the women of the earthly city.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Bodily beauty [...] is indeed a gift of God, but given to the evil also, lest the good should imagine it of any such great worth.
[tr. Healey (1610)]

Their beauty, in itself, was a gift of God, but it is the kind of gift which God gives even to the wicked so that good men may realize how slight a good it is.
[tr. Walsh/Monahan (1952)]

This beauty is indeed a good given by God, but he bestows it also on the wicked lest the good should regard it as a great good.
[tr. Levine (Loeb) (1966)]

Such beauty is certainly a good, a gift of God; but he bestows it on the evil as well as on the good for this reason, for fear that the good may consider it an important good.
[tr. Bettenson (1972)]

Such beauty is certainly a good, a gift from God; but He grants it to the evil also, lest it should come to seem too great a good to the good.
[tr. Dyson (1998)]

This good of beauty is indeed God's gift, but it is bestowed also on the wicked, so that it may not appear as a great blessing to those who are good.
[tr. Babcock (2012)]

 
Added on 8-Jan-24 | Last updated 8-Jan-24
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More quotes by Augustine of Hippo

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave — let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Blog entry (2012-12-31), “My New Year’s Wish”
    (Source)
 
Added on 29-Dec-23 | Last updated 18-Apr-24
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I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Blog entry (2008-12-31), “Another Year”
    (Source)
 
Added on 28-Dec-23 | Last updated 18-Apr-24
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People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don’t deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things. I don’t recall that I ever give the good Lord all that much cause to smile on me. But he did.

Cormac McCarthy (1933-2023) American novelist, playwright, screenwriter
No Country for Old Men, ch. 4 (2005)
    (Source)
 
Added on 27-Dec-23 | Last updated 27-Dec-23
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More quotes by McCarthy, Cormac

The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
In whatso we share with another’s need;
Not what we give, but what we share, —
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three, —
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
“The Vision of Sir Launfal,” Part 2, st. 8 (1848)
    (Source)

Christ / the Holy Grail speaking to Sir Launfal. See Matthew 25:31-46.
 
Added on 8-Dec-23 | Last updated 8-Dec-23
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More quotes by Lowell, James Russell

Why then do I spend so many words on the subject of pleasure? Why, because, far from being a charge against old age, that it does not much feel the want of any pleasures, it is its highest praise. But, you will say, it is deprived of the pleasures of the table, the heaped up board, the rapid passing of the wine-cup. Well, then, it is also free from headache, disordered digestion, broken sleep. But if we must grant pleasure something, since we do not find it easy to resist its charms, — for Plato, with happy inspiration, calls pleasure “vice’s bait,” because of course men are caught by it as fish by a hook, — yet, although old age has to abstain from extravagant banquets, it is still capable of enjoying modest festivities.
 
[Quorsum igitur tam multa de voluptate? Quia non modo vituperatio nulla, sed etiam summa laus senectutis est, quod ea voluptates nullas magno opere desiderat. Caret epulis exstructisque mensis et frequentibus poculis. Caret ergo etiam vinulentia et cruditate et insomniis. Sed si aliquid dandum est voluptati, quoniam eius blanditiis non facile obsistimus, divine enim Plato “escam malorum” appellat voluptatem quod ea videlicet homines capiantur ut pisces, quamquam immoderatis epulis caret senectus, modicis tamen conviviis delectari potest.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Senectute [Cato Maior; On Old Age], ch. 13 / sec. 44 (13.44) (44 BC) [tr. Shuckburgh (1895)]
    (Source)

The reference to Plato is to Timaeus, 69D: "κακοῦ δέλεαρ".

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Therfor thene ye may aske and demaunde why I haue said so many thynges of flesshely delyte and of lecherye, wherfor I answere you that the blame and the shame is not onely ynoughe. But namely it is the grete lawde and praysyng of olde age that it desyreth but lytle flesshely delectacyons. Olde age chargith nevir of dyetes nor of dyvers deynty metys nor of tables richely and dyversly arrayde nor of many dyners drynkys. Olde age wille not be fulle of wyn often for doubte of sekenes. Olde age wille not suffre the akyng of the bely as is the colyk or of the stone or costyfnes whiche comyth of takyng so muche mete and so often that it abideth rawe within the stomake. Olde age desyrith not wakyng in the tyme that nature hath ordeyned to slepe. Albeit an aged man is gretly disposed to wake ayenst his will forsoth the philosopher Platon whiche spake dyversly in a mater that delectacyon at∣tempted by euill disposed men that leyen the baite & the snare to delite aged men in repleccion of lustis & metys not helefull to them & bycause that men be taken & decevued by the baite sett in the hoke or angle as the bird is taken in the snare how be it that olde age wolde have no metys ne his etyngys excessiuely. Algatys they may delite in deynte metys and in smale feedyngys and temperate dyete.
[tr. Worcester/Worcester/Scrope (1481)]

But to what purpose do we speak so much of pleasure? Verily, to the intent that hereby it may be seen and proved, how that it cannot only not be objected to old age for any vituperation and dispraise, but rather for a singular praise and commendation; because old-age doth not esteem nor care for these pleasures. But some other will say: It lacketh sumptuous fare, costly dishes, delicate viands, and drinks of all sorts. Hereto I answer tihat, therefore, it lacketh also drunkenness, crudity, or indigestion, fantastical dreams, and ridiculous apparitions. But if we must any whit yield to to pleasure because we cannot easily resist the blandishments and allurements thereof (for the divine philosopher Plato calleth pleasure the bait of all mischief, because men therewith are caught and snared even as fishes are with the hook), I say, that although old age be not endangered nor given to superfluous and immoderate banqueting, and at unseasonable hours, yet in temperate and moderate feasting it may be solaced and comfortably recreated.
[tr. Newton (1569)]

But to what end speak we so much of pleasure? because that you may see that no blame, but much praise is to be given to age, because it doth not lust after pleasure, which is so dangerous a thing. Age wanteth banquetting, gluttony, and quaffing; it is also without surfeting, drunkennesse, or dreaming; but yet if we may any wayes take some pleasure, because we do not easily resist her flatteries (for divine Plato calleth pleasure the bait of evils, because men are caught ther∣with as fishes with a hook) tho age despiseth immoderate banquets, yet may it be delighted with moderate meetings.
[tr. Austin (1648), ch. 12-13]

Then to our age (when not to pleasures bent)
This seems an honour, not disparagement.
We, not all pleasures like the Stoicks hate;
But love and seek those which are moderate.
(Though Divine Plato thus of pleasures thought,
They us, with hooks and baits, like fishes caught.)
[tr. Denham (1669)]

I have dwelt the longer on this Topick of bodily Pleasures, to shew, it is so far from being a Disparagement to our Age, to be deprived of these Enjoyments, that it is its greatest Praise and Commendation, that it even takes off our Inclinations from the violent Pursuit of them. Though we may not indulge our selves so freely in our Cups, though we do not relish the Pleasures of the most luxurious Provisions, will not our being freed from the fatal Consequences of Indigestion, and a disordered Imagination, make us ample amends? But if we must make some Allowances for Pleasure, and submit to its Blandishments (which Plato calls the Bait of humane Miseries, with which like Fishes we are tempted to the Hook). Though we are deprived of the Pleasure of immoderate Feasting, yet can we still relish the Charms of an agreeable and chearful Entertainment; which arises not from the Delicacy or Variety of Courses, but from the Conversation of the Company.
[tr. Hemming (1716)]

And why all this of Pleasure? Because not only to over-rule the Objection, but to shew that it is the greatest Encomium on Old Age, that he never ardently desires what we call Pleasure. Doth Age want Banquets, great Tables, and frequent Use of Wine? Confequently it is free from Drunkenness, Surfeits, and watchful Nights. But if we are any ways to give ourselves up to Pleasure, because we cannot altogether attend her Invitations, as Plato says, who calls it "a Bait for Evil, and that Men are taken with it as Fishes with a Hook," yet Old Age will abstain from Revelling, and take Delight only in moderate Entertainments.
[tr. J. D. (1744)]

Thus I judged it necessary to be the more full on this Head of Pleasure, and shew the Dangers of it, to the end you might clearly see, it is so far from being a Disadvantage to Old-Age, its Palling our Inclinations to Pleasure, that on the contrary it is rather a great and valuable Blessing. For if it is in a good Measure dead to the Enjoyments others find in Banqueting, sumptuous Feasts and Carousings, it is freed at the same time from all the troublesome Effects of these; as Fumes, Crudities, uneasy Sleep, or the want of it; with divers other such like Disorders. Yet as Nature has so ordered it, that Pleasure should have a very strong Hold of us, and the Inclination to it appears deeply founded in our very Composition, (and 'tis with too much Justice that the divine Plato calls it the Bait of Evil, by which Men are caught as Fish with a Hook) therefore, though Age is not taken, nor can well bear, with those splendid sumptuous Feastings and Revels, yet we are not so insensible to the Pleasures of Life, but that we can indulge ourselves, and take a real Delight in sober and temperate Entertainments with our Friends.
[tr. Logan (1744)]

I have dwelt the longer upon this article, in order to convince you, that the little relish which old age leaves us for enjoyments of the sensual kind, is so far from being a just imputation on this period of life, that on the contrary it very considerably raises its value. If age render us incapable of taking an equal share in the flowing cups, and luxuriant dishes of splendid tables, it secures us too from their unhappy consequences -- from painful indigestions, restless nights, and disordered reason. Accordingly, the divine Plato justly represents pleasure as the bait by which vice ensnares and captivates her deluded votaries. But if this enticement cannot always be resisted, if the palate must sometimes be indulged, I do not scruple to say that an old man, although his years will guard him from excess, is by no means excluded from enjoying, in a moderate degree, the convivial gratifications.
[tr. Melmoth (1773)]

With what view then do I say so much about pleasure? Because not only is it no ground of censure, but even the highest praise of old age, that it desires no pleasures very much. But is old age without feasts, and loaded tables, and frequent cups? Therefore it is without drunkenness, and indigestion and troubled sleep. But if something must be given to pleasure, since we do not easily withstand its blandishments, (for divinely Plato calls pleasure the bait of evils, because evidently men are taken by it as fishes by a hook,) though old age is debarred immoderate feasts, yet, it may be gratified with temperate socialities.
[Cornish Bros. ed. (1847)]

To what end then have I said so many things about pleasure? Because it is so far from being any disparagement, that it is even the highest praise to old age, that it has no great desire for any pleasures. It lacks banquets, and piled up boards, and fast-coming goblets; it is therefore also free from drunkenness and indigestion and sleeplessness. But if something must be conceded to pleasure (since we do not easily withstand its allurements, for Plato beautifully calls pleasure the bait of evils, inasmuch as, by it, in fact, men are caught as fishes with a hook), although old age has nothing to do with extravagant banquets, yet in reasonable entertainments it can experience pleasure.
[tr. Edmonds (1874)]

But to what purpose am I saying so much about pleasure? Because it is not only no reproach to old age, but even its highest merit, that it does not severely feel the loss of bodily pleasures. But, you may say, it must dispense with sumptuous feasts, and loaded tables, and oft-drained cups. True, but it equally dispenses with sottishness, and indigestion, and troubled dreams. But if any license is to be given to pleasure, seeing that we do not easily resist its allurements, -- insomuch that Plato calls pleasure the bait of evil, because, forsooth, men are caught by it as fishes by the hook, -- old age, while it dispenses with excessive feasting, yet can find delight in moderate conviviality.
[tr. Peabody (1884)]

But why so much of pleasure? Why, you see,
Not only is it no disgrace to age,
But ev'n its greatest merit that it longs
No more for pleasure, cares no more for feasts
With loaded tables and o'er-flowing wine.
It misses too the headache, and the night
Of sickness and of sleeplessness that comes.
If something we must grant to pleasure's claim:
(It is not easy to resist its charm:
The godlike Plato thinks it is a bait
To catch the foolish, just as fish are caught:)
Though we cannot indulge in gorgeous feasts,
A modest dinner we can still enjoy.
[tr. Allison (1916)]

Why then, do I dwell at such length on pleasure? Because the fact that old age feels little longing for sensual pleasures not only is no cause for reproach, but rather is ground for the highest praise. Old age lacks the heavy banquet, the loaded table, and the oft-filled cup; therefore it also lacks drunkenness, indigestion, and loss of sleep. But if some concession must be made to pleasure, since her allurements are difficult to resist, and she is, as Plato happily says, “the bait of sin,” -- evidently because men are caught therewith like fish -- then I admit that old age, though it lacks immoderate banquets, may find delight in temperate repasts.
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

Why then do I have so much to say about pleasures of this kind? Because the weakening of temptation to indulge in them, far from supplying a pretext to reproach old age, is a reason for offering it the most cordial complements. Age has no banquets, no tables piled high, no cups filled again and again. So it avoids drunkenness, and indigestion, and sleepless nights! However, the allurements of pleasure are admittedly hard to resist; they are "the bait of sin," as Plato brilliantly calls them, which catch men like fish. If, then, we have to make them some concession, there is no reason why old age, though spared extravagant feasting, should not gratify itself with entertainments of a more modest nature.
[tr. Grant (1960, 1971 ed.)]

Why am I dwelling at such length on pleasure? Because it is not only no condemnation of old age, but rather its highest recommendation, that it feels no overwhelming desire for pleasure. The old do not share in banquets, in tables piled high with food, and in endless toasts; as a consequence, they do not share in drunkenness, in indigestion, and in sleeplessness. But if we must make some concession to pleasure, since we do not easily resist its blandishments (in a moment of inspiration Plato called pleasure “the bait of evil” -- obviously because men are caught by it like fish) -- even though the old do not share in unrestrained high life, still they can derive pleasure from moderate conviviality.
[tr. Copley (1967)]

Why do I go on so much about pleasure? As old men, we should not so much resent our age as praise it in the most glowing terms, because now we cannot feel any more interest in sensual temptations. As old men, we no longer attend formal banquets at tables loaded down with delicious food and wine; but on the other hand we no longer suffer from hangovers and indigestion and insomnia. But even so it may be hard to resist temptation completely. Plato cleverly referred to pleasure as “sin-bait,” because men are caught by it like fishes. There is, then, in our old age, nothing wrong with spending a convivial evening with friends, although we will not indulge ourselves to excess.
[tr. Cobbold (2012)]

So why am I going on and on about pleasure? Because I want to impress upon you how the fact that old age is less subject to the passions for pleasure is not an indictment of this stage of life, but actually one of its greatest advantages. If it lacks allnight parties, or tables heaped hy with rich food and powerful dirnk, it also lacks drunkenness, indigestion, insomnia, and "the morning after." It is not that old age lacks pleasures, it is that they change. And they are healthier. Gone are the overindulgent feasts and in their place we take pleasure in delightful dinner parties.
[tr. Gerberding (2014)]

So why do I tarry on pleasure’s enticement?
The fact that old age has no longing for it
Not only can’t be taken as a demerit,
But on the contrary is the best of credits.
Freedom from decked tables, from banquets
And also from frequent potations
Means freedom from drunkenness,
From insomnia and indigestions.
But we’re bound to make some concessions
To better resist pleasure’s alluring snares
Which Plato calls the bait of transgressions,
By which like fish men are caught unawares.
Although old age sumptuous banquets must shun
In light repasts it finds indeed some fun.
[tr. Bozzi (2015)]

 
Added on 17-Nov-23 | Last updated 17-Nov-23
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Child, your first birthday presents will come from nature’s wild —
Small presents: earth will shower you with romping ivy, foxgloves,
Bouquets of gipsy lilies and sweetly-smiling acanthus.

[At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu
errantis hederas passim cum baccare tellus
20mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Eclogues [Eclogae, Bucolics, Pastorals], No. 4 “Pollio,” l. 18ff (4.18-20) (42-38 BC) [tr. Day Lewis (1963)]
    (Source)

Celebrating the birth of Saloninus, a boy born in the consulship of his father and Virgil's patron C. Asinius Pollio. Or, possibly, writing of Marcellus, son of Augustus. Or maybe just a lot of veiled references to Augustus himself. Or, say some, divine prophecy of the future Jesus Christ. Lots of theories; some summaries here and here.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Which shall to thee (sweet childe) undrest, bring forth,
Berries, wilde Ivie, and shall pay first fruits
Of mixt Acanthus, with Egyptian roots.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

Unbidden Earth shall wreathing Ivy bring,⁠
And fragrant Herbs (the promises of Spring)
As her first Off'rings to her Infant King.
[tr. Dryden (1709), l. 22ff]

Gladly to thee its natal gifts the field,
Till'd by no human hand, bright Boy, shall yield;
The baccar's stem with curling ivy twine.
And colocasia and acanthus join.
[tr. Wrangham (1830)]

Meanwhile the earth, O boy, as her first offerings, shall pour thee forth every where, without culture, creeping ivy with lady's glove, and Egyptian beans with smiling acanthus intermixed.
[tr. Davidson (1854)]

On thee, child, everywhere shall earth, untilled,
Show'r, her first baby-offerings, vagrant stems
Of ivy, foxglove, and gay briar, and bean.
[tr. Calverley (c. 1871)]

Yes, for you, sweet boy, shall the earth untilled pour forth far and wide a child's simple gifts, the creeping ivy twined with foxglove, and Egyptian beans blended with the bright smile of acanthus.
[tr. Wilkins (1873)]

To deck thy cradle earth spontaneous pours
The spikenard's perfume and the wealth of flowers,
Green ivy creeps around with graceful thread,
And bright acanthus smiles upon the bed.
[tr. King (1882), l. 282ff]

Now, fairest boy, will the new-teeming earth
No culture wait, but pour to make thee mirth,
As toys of off'ring she can soonest bear,
Wild nard and errant ivy everywhere,
And with th' Egyptian lily twined in play,
Laughing acanthus.
[tr. Palmer (1883)]

For thee, O boy,
first shall the earth, untilled, pour freely forth
her childish gifts, the gadding ivy-spray
with foxglove and Egyptian bean-flower mixed,
and laughing-eyed acanthus.
[tr. Greenough (1895)]

Meanwhile the earth, O boy, as her first offerings, shall pour forth for you everywhere, without culture, creeping ivy with lady’s glove, and Egyptian beans with smiling acanthus intermixed.
[tr. Bryce (1897)]

But on thee, O boy, untilled shall Earth first pour childish gifts, wandering ivy-tendrils and foxglove, and colocasia mingled with the laughing acanthus.
[tr. Mackail (1899)]

To him shall bring
Uncultured earth her first small offerings,
Creeping wild ivy, arums, foxgloves too,
Smiling acanthus with bright polished leaf.
[tr. Mackail/Cardew, verse (1908)]

For tributes at thy birth, O blessed babe.
The untilled earth with wandering ivies wild
Shall mingle spikenard, and from bounteous breast
Pour forth her lilies and Egyptian balm.
[tr. Williams (1915)]

But for you, child, the earth untilled will pour forth its first pretty gifts, gadding ivy with foxglove everywhere, and the Egyptian bean blended with the laughing briar; unbidden it will pour forth for you a cradle of smiling flowers.
[tr. Fairclough (Loeb) (1916)]

Free-roaming ivy, foxgloves in every dell, and smiling acanthus mingled with Egyptian lilies — these, little one, are the first modest gifts that earth, unprompted by the hoe, will lavish on you.
[tr. Rieu (1949)]

But these, dear boy, are the first pretty gifts in plenty
Our Earth from effortless fields shall bring you: ivy
With foxglove wandering hither and thither, commingled
With lotus and laughing-eyed acanthus.
[tr. Johnson (1960)]

Dear child, there will be new little gifts for you,
Springtime valerian, and trailing ivy,
Egyptian beans, and smiling acanthus, all
poured out profusely from the untilled earth.
[tr. Ferry (1999)]

And for you, boy, the uncultivated earth will pour out
her first little gifts, straggling ivy and cyclamen everywhere
and the bean flower with the smiling acanthus.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

And for you, little boy, the uncultivated earth will scatter its first small gifts, wandering ivy and cyclamens everywhere, beans mixed with laughing acanthus.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

 
Added on 25-Oct-23 | Last updated 3-Jan-24
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More quotes by Virgil

Blest is the man who cheats the stormy sea
And safely moors beside the sheltering quay;
So, blest is he who triumphs over trial.
One man, by various means, in wealth or strength
Outdoes his neighbour; hope in a thousand hearts
Colours a thousand different dreams; at length
Some find a dear fulfilment, some denial.
But this I say,
That he who best
Enjoys each passing day
Is truly blest.

[εὐδαίμων μὲν ὃς ἐκ θαλάσσας
ἔφυγε χεῖμα, λιμένα δ᾽ ἔκιχεν:
εὐδαίμων δ᾽ ὃς ὕπερθε μόχθων
ἐγένεθ᾽: ἑτέρᾳ δ᾽ ἕτερος ἕτερον
ὄλβῳ καὶ δυνάμει παρῆλθεν.
μυρίαι δ᾽ ἔτι μυρίοις
εἰσὶν ἐλπίδες: αἳ μὲν
τελευτῶσιν ἐν ὄλβῳ
βροτοῖς, αἳ δ᾽ ἀπέβησαν:
τὸ δὲ κατ᾽ ἦμαρ ὅτῳ βίοτος
εὐδαίμων, μακαρίζω.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Bacchæ [Βάκχαι], l. 902ff (Stasimon 3, Epode) [Chorus/Χορός] (405 BC) [tr. Vellacott (1973)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Blest is the man who 'scapes the stormy wave.
And in the harbour finds repose:
He too is blest, 'midst dangers brave,
Who soars above the malice of his foes:
And now these, now those possess
Superior talents or success;
Distinct their aims; but hope each bosom fires.
There are, a rich encrease who find,
The vows of some are scatter'd in the wind:
But in my judgement blest are they
Who taste, tho' only for the day.
The joys their soul desires.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Happy is he who has fled a storm on the sea, and reached harbor. Happy too is he who has overcome his hardships. One surpass another in different ways, in wealth or power. There are innumerable hopes to innumerable men, and some result in wealth to mortals, while others fail. But I call him blessed whose life is happy day today.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]

Who hath 'scaped the turbulent sea,
And reached the haven, happy he!
Happy he whose toils are o'er
In the race of wealth and power!
This one her, and that one there,
Passes by, and everywhere
Still expectant thousands over
Thousands hopes are seen to hover,
Some to mortals end in bliss;
Some have already fled away:
Happiness alone is his
That happy is to-day.
[tr. Milman (1865)]

Happy he, who from the storm,
Has the breaker escaped, and the harbour has reached;
Happy he who after toil
Is the victor, for many the ways in which man
Wins him power, and wins him wealth.
Thousand-fold ever to thousands of men,
Hope follows upon hope,
With some it grows unceasingly,
With some it wastes to nothingness.
But he whose life is ever fresh,
Lives in unbroken happiness.
[tr. Rogers (1872), l. 865ff.]

Happy is he who hath escaped the wave from out the sea, and reached the haven; and happy he who hath triumphed o’er his troubles; though one surpasses another in wealth and power; yet there be myriad hopes for all the myriad minds; some end in happiness for man, and others come to naught; but him, whose life from day to day is blest, I deem a happy man.
[tr. Coleridge (1891)]

Blest who from ravening seas
Hath 'scaped to haven-peace,
Blest who hath triumphed in endeavour's toil and throe.
This man to higher height
Attains, of wealth, of might,
Than that; yet myriad hopes in myriad hearts still glow:
To fair fruition brought
Are some, some come to nought:
Happy is he whose bliss from day to day doth grow.
[tr. Way (1898)]

Happy he, on the weary sea
Who hath fled the tempest and won the haven.
Happy whoso hath risen, free,
Above his striving. For strangely graven
Is the orb of life, that one and another
In gold and power may outpass his brother.
And men in their millions float and flow
And seethe with a million hopes as leaven;
And they win their Will, or they miss their Will,
And the hopes are dead or are pined for still;
But whoe'er can know,
As the long days go,
That To Live is happy, hath found his Heaven!
[tr. Murray (1902)]

-- Blessèd is he who escapes the storm at sea,
who comes home to his harbor.
-- Blessèd is he who emerges from under affliction.
-- In various ways one man outraces another in the race for wealth and power.
-- Ten thousand men possess ten thousand hopes.
-- A few bear fruit in happiness; the others go awry.
-- But he who garners day by day the good of life, he is happiest. Blessèd is he.
[tr. Arrowsmith (1960)]

Happy the man who from the sea
escapes the storm and finds harbor;
happy he who has surmounted
toils; and in different ways one surpasses another
in prosperity and power.
Besides this, for countless men there are countless
hopes -- some of them
reach to the end in prosperity
for mortals, and others depart;
but him whose life day by day
is happy do I count blessed.
[tr. Kirk (1970)]

Happy he from the sea escaping
out of the storm, arriving at anchorage;
happy he fleeing labour's straining;
in many manners may men surpass other men
in prosperity and in power.
Thousand-fold upon thousand-fold
hopes come crowding upon us,
and some finally prosper
for mortals, some are vanish'd:
who day by day has a livelihood of happiness, he is blessed
[tr. Neuburg (1988)]

Happy the man who withstands
life's assaults.
Somehow, in some way, some man surpasses some other
in position and fortune.
For millions of men there are millions of hopes.
For some, these ripen into happiness,
for others into nothing.
Count lucky the man who is happy on this one day.
[tr. Cacoyannis (1982)]

That man is blessed who fled the storm
At sea and reached the bay.
And he is blessed who rose above
His toil. In various ways
One man outstrips in wealth and power
Another: countless men
Have countless hopes: some end in joy,
But others drift way.
The man who day to day has luck
In life -- that man I bless.
[tr. Blessington (1993)]

Happy the man who escapes
the storm at sea and reaches harbor.
Happy, too, is he who overcomes
his toils. And in different ways one man
surpasses another in prosperity and power.
Besides, countless are the hopes
of countless men, Some of those hopes
end in prosperity for mortals, others vanish.
But I count him blessed whose life,
from day to day, is happy.
[tr. Esposito (1998)]

Happy the man who has come away
safe on the beach from a storm at sea,
happy the man who has risen above
trouble and toil. Many are the ways
one man may surpass another
in wealth or power,
and beyond each hope there beckons another
hope without number.
Hope may lead a man to wealth,
hope may pass away;
but I admire a man when he
is happy in an ordinary life.
[tr. Woodruff (1999)]

Happy is he who escapes
A storm at sea and finds safe harbor.
Happy is he who has risen above
Great toils. In different ways,
Some persons outdo others
In their wealth and power.
And hopes are as many as those who hope --
Some will end in rich reward, others in nothing.
But those whose lives are happy
Day by day -- those
I call the blesséd.
[tr. Gibbons/Segal (2000)]

Blessed is he that out of the sea
escapes the storm and wins the harbor;
blessed he who triumphs over
trouble: one man surpasses another
in respect to wealth or power.
Furthermore, in countless hearts
there live countless hopes, some
ending in good fortune,
though some vanish away.
But the man whose life today is happy,
him I count blessed.
[tr. Kovacs (2002)]

Joy of the storm endured,
And the harbour safely reached.
Joy of hardship overcome.
Joy of striving for wealth and power.
Joy of hope. Joy of dreams,
Fulfilled or unfulfilled.
And most blessed they who takes their joy
In the simple detail of the day by day --
[tr. Teevan (2002)]

Happy is the man who has escaped the storms of life’s angry seas and found a harbour; and happy is the man who have endured those storms.
Men are infinite in number and their hopes have no end and some of these hopes bring joy to some and nothing to others.
I say blessed is the man whose life has been happy -- so far.
These are useful pieces of advice. True wisdom.
[tr. Theodoridis (2005)]

Blessed is the one who's fled the
Storm at sea and come to harbour;
And happy is he who rises above
Hardships; for one may sur-
Pass another in wealth or in power,
But these are a lot hopes to a lot of
Different people; and many end in
Happiness while others fail mis’rably
But the one who's happy day-to-day,
Is the one who's truly blessed.
[tr. Valerie (2005)]

Whoever has escaped a storm at sea
is a happy man in harbour,
whoever overcomes great hardship
is likewise another happy man.
Various men outdo each other
in wealth, in power,
in all sorts of ways.
The hopes of countless men
are infinite in number.
Some make men rich;
some come to nothing,
So I consider that man blessed
who lives a happy life
existing day by day.
[tr. Johnston (2008), l. 1106ff]

Lucky is the man who escapes a storm at sea
and finds his way home to safe harbour --
the man delivered from hardship.
We all compete for wealth and power,
and for every thousand hearts a thousand hopes.
Some wither, some bear fruit.
But the one who lives from day to day,
finding good where he can:
he is happy --
he is a lucky man.
[tr. Robertson (2014)]

Fortunate is the one who flees
The swell of the sea and returns to harbor.
Fortunate is the one who survives through troubles.
One is greater than another in different things,
He surpasses in fortune and power --
But in numberless hearts still
Are numberless hopes: some result
In good fortune, but other mortal dreams
Just disappear.
Whoever has a happy life to-day,
I consider fortunate.
[tr. @sentantiq (2018)]

Happy is the one who escapes a sea-storm
and comes home to the harbor.
And happy is the one who stands against their hardships.
Happy are they who endure.
One man may exceed another, in his own way.
In wealth.
In power.
Countless hopes for yet-more-countless people.
Sometimes hope wins out, gives us riches --
And sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes we fail.
But the one who can live in spite of this,
who is happy day to day.
That one is blessed.
[tr. Pauly (2019)]

Blessed is the one who finds a harbour safe from the winter sea. Blessed is the one who travels beyond affliction. Blessed is the one who wins great joy. Numberless more have their dreams. Some hopes are fulfilled, some vanish. Whoever lives happily from day to day I bless.
[tr. Behr/Foster (2019)]

Fortunate [eudaimōn] is he who has fled a storm on the sea and reached harbor. Eudaimōn too is he who has overcome his toils. Different people surpass others in various ways, be it in wealth [olbos] or in power. Mortals have innumerable hopes, and some come to telos in prosperity [olbos], while others fail. I deem him blessed whose life is eudaimōn day by day.
[tr. Buckley/Sens/Nagy (2020)]

 
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What prayer should we call wise?
What gift of Heaven should man
Count a more noble prize,
A prayer more prudent, than
To stretch a conquering arm
Over the fallen crest
Of those who wished us harm?
And what is noble every heart loves best.

[τί τὸ σοφόν; ἢ τί τὸ κάλλιον
παρὰ θεῶν γέρας ἐν βροτοῖς
ἢ χεῖρ᾽ ὑπὲρ κορυφᾶς
880τῶν ἐχθρῶν κρείσσω κατέχειν;
ὅ τι καλὸν φίλον ἀεί.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Bacchæ [Βάκχαι], l. 877ff, Stasimon 3 (Ode 4), Refrain [Chorus/Χορός] (405 BC) [tr. Vellacott (1973)]
    (Source)

While the passage seems to praise the putting down of one's enemies as the greatest gift of the gods, some modern scholars suggest the final line raises doubts or disagrees with that conclusion.

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

What greater privilege 'midst the fell debate
Can sage or chieftain from the Gods request
Than that of ever fast'ning on the crest
Of the miscreant whom we hate?
Pleasure with unsullied fame
Ever must alliance claim.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

What is wisdom? Or what greater honor do the gods give to mortals than to hold one's hand in strength over the head of enemies? What is good is always dear.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]

What is wisest? what is fairest,
Of god's boons to man the rarest?
With the conscious conquering hand
Above the foeman's head to stand.
What is fairest still is dearest.
[tr. Milman (1865)]

What wiser and what nobler gift
Can the good gods bestow on man,
Than when his hands they strengthen, till
He conquers o’er his foeman’s head:
That which is noble, ever is dear.
[tr. Rogers (1872)]

What is true wisdom, or what fairer boon has heaven placed in mortals’ reach, than to gain the mastery o’er a fallen foe? What is fair is dear for aye.
[tr. Coleridge (1891)]

What wisdom's crown, what guerdon, shines more glorious
That Gods can give the sons of men, than this --
O'er crests of foes to stretch the hand victorious?
Honour is precious evermore, I wis.
[tr. Way (1898)]

What else is Wisdom? What of man's endeavour
Or God's high grace, so lovely and so great?
To stand from fear set free, to breathe and wait;
To hold a hand uplifted over Hate;
And shall not Loveliness be loved for ever?
[tr. Murray (1902)]

What is wisdom? What gift of the gods
is held in honor like this:
to hold your hand victorious
over the heads of those you hate?
Honor is precious forever.
[tr. Arrowsmith (1960)]

What is wisdom? Or what fairer
gift from the gods in men's eyes
than to hold the hand of power
over the head of one's enemies?
And "what is fair is always followed."
[tr. Kirk (1970)]

What is wisdom, ah! what fairer thing
to mortal men can the gods bestow
than holding high overhead
a firmer first over the foe?
The fair is dear, and forever.
[tr. Neuburg (1988)]

What is wisdom? Which
of all the God-given gifts
is more beneficial to man
than the power to hold
an enemy powerless at bay?
That which is good is welcome forever.
[tr. Cacoyannis (1982)]

What is wisdom? Or what lovelier gift
From the gods, in moral eyes
Than to hold a stronger hand
Over enemy heads:
Honor is dear -- always.
[tr. Blessington (1993)]

What good is mere cleverness?
Or rather, what god-given gifts
bring more honor to mortals
than to hold the hand of mastery
over the head of the enemy?
Whatever is honorable is dear always.
[tr. Esposito (1998)]

What is wise? What is the finest gift
that gods can give to mortals?
A hand on the heads
of their enemies, pushing down?
[No.] What is fine is loved always.
[tr. Woodruff (1999)]

What is wise? What fit from the gods
Do mortals judge more beautiful
Than to hold our outstretched
Strong hand over an enemy's head?
What is beautiful is what is always loved.
[tr. Gibbons/Segal (2000)]

What good is cleverness? Is there any god-given privilege
nobler than the sight of men
than to hold one's hand in triumph
over the heads of foes?
What is noble is always loved.
[tr. Kovacs (2002)]

What is true wisdom?
What is beauty?
What could be better
Than in your hand to hold
Your enemy's fate?
Beauty is always truth;
And truth beauty.
[tr. Teevan (2002)]

What better, what wiser gift a god could give to men than to hold their hand high above their head as a sign of victory over their enemy?
I always admire the good.
[tr. Theodoridis (2005)]

What is it to be wise? And what gift of the
Immortals is more gracious in humans?
Is it holding your hand over
Your enemies’ head?
What's right is always welcome.
[tr. Valerie (2005)]

What is wisdom? What is finer than the rights
men get from gods -- to hold their powerful hands
over the heads of their enemies?
Ah yes, what's good is always loved.
[tr. Johnston (2008), l. 1079ff]

What is wisdom?
The greatest gift of the gods is honour:
to reach your hand in triumph up
over the heads of the enemy.
Honour is everything.
[tr. Robertson (2014)]

What is wisdom? Here, now?
What is the highest blessing of gods to mortals?
It is to stretch out your hand
over the head of the one you hate,
the one that hates you,
and know your strength is greater.
Doesn’t that always feel good?
[tr. Pauly (2019)]

What wisdom should guide us? What gift of the gods do people prize more than a strong hand to hold over an enemy's head? Honor is always loved.
[tr. Behr/Foster (2019)]

What is wisdom [sophon]? Or what finer prize
do the gods give to mortals than to hold one’s hand
in victory over the head of one’s enemies?
Whatever is beautiful [kalon] is near and dear [philon] forever.
[tr. Buckley/Sens/Nagy (2020)]

 
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Laughter is carbonated holiness.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Plan B, ch. 5 “Holy of Holies 101” (2004)
    (Source)
 
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It was the time when sleep first comes to weary mortals,
creeping over us, the sweetest gift of gods.

[Tempus erat quo prima quies mortalibus aegris
incipit et dono divum gratissima serpit.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 268ff (2.268-269) (29-19 BC) [tr. Bartsch (2021)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

It was the time, first sleep the weary soule
Possest, and heavens best gift on mortalls stole.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]
'T was in the dead of night, when sleep repairs
Our bodies worn with toils, our minds with cares.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

It was the time when the first sleep invades languid mortals, and steals upon them, by the gift of the gods, most sweet.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

It was the hour when Heaven gives rest
To weary man, the first and best.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

It was the hour when first their sleep begins
For wretched mortals, and most gratefully
Creeps over them, by bounty of the gods.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 271ff]

It was the time when by the gift of God rest comes stealing first and sweetest on unhappy men.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

It was the time when that first peace of sick men hath begun,
By very gift of God o'er all in sweetest wise to creep.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

'Twas now the time, when on tired mortals crept
First slumber, sweetest that celestials pour.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 36, l. 316ff]

That hour it was when heaven's first gift of sleep
on weary hearts of men most sweetly steals.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

It was the hour when for weary mortals their first rest begins, and by grace of the gods steals over them most sweet.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

It was the time when the first sleep begins
For weary mortals, heaven’s most welcome gift.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

It was the hour when worn-out men begin to get
Some rest, and by god's grace genial sleep steals over them.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

It was the hour when for troubled mortals
rest -- sweetest gift of gods that glides to men --
has just begun.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 371ff]

That time of night it was when the first sleep,
Gift of the gods, begins for ill mankind,
Arriving gradually, delicious rest.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 360ff]

It was the time when rest, the most grateful gift of the gods, was first beginning to creep over suffering mortals.
[tr. West (1990)]

It was the hour when first sleep begins for weary mortals,
and steals over them as the sweetest gift of the gods.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

At that late hour, when sleep begins to drift
Upon fretful humanity as grace from the gods ....
[tr. Lombardo (2005), l. 319ff]

This was the hour when rest, that gift of the gods
most heaven-sent, first comes to beleaguered mortals,
creeping over us now.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 339ff]

 
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May the gods —
And surely there are powers that care for goodness,
Surely somewhere justice counts — may they
And your own consciousness of acting well
Reward you as they should!

[Di tibi, si qua pios respectant numina, si quid
Usquam iustitiae est et mens sibi conscia recti,
Praemia digna ferant.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 603ff (1.603-605) [Aeneas to Dido] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 820ff]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

The Gods (if there be any Providence,
Or Justice, will the pious recompence)
Sure must reward thee.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

The gods, if gods to goodness are inclin'd;
If acts of mercy touch their heav'nly mind,
And, more than all the gods, your gen'rous heart.
Conscious of worth, requite its own desert!
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

The gods (if any powers divine regard the pious, if justice any where exists, and a mind conscious of its own virtue) shall yield thee a just recompense.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

May Heaven, if virtue claim its thought,
If justice yet avail for aught,
Heaven, and the sense of conscious right,
With worthier meed your acts requite!
[tr. Conington (1866)]

If anywhere
The gods regard the good; if anywhere
Be justice, and a mind within itself
Conscious of rectitude, -- the gods shall give
Deserved reward to thee.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

The gods grant thee worthy reward, if their deity turn any regard on goodness, if aught avails justice and conscious purity of soul.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

But if somewhere a godhead is the righteous man to heed,
If justice is, or any soul to note the right it wrought,
May the Gods give thee due reward.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

The gods, if gods the good and just regard,
And thy own conscience, that approves the right,
Grant thee due guerdon and a fit reward.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 80, l. 712ff]

May gods on high (if influence divine
bless faithful lives, or recompense be found
in justice and thy self-approving mind)
give thee thy due reward.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

May the gods, if any divine powers have regard for the good, if justice has any weight anywhere -- may the gods and the consciousness of right bring thee worthy rewards!
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

If there is justice anywhere, if goodness
Means anything to any power, if gods
At all regard good people, may they give
The great rewards you merit.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

If angels there be who look after the good, if indeed just dealing
And minds informed with the right mean anything to heaven,
May God, reward you as you deserve!
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

May gods confer on you your due rewards,
if deities regard the good, if justice
and mind aware of right count anywhere.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 847ff]

May the gods bring you the reward you deserve, if there are any gods who have regard for goodness, if there is any justice in the world, if their minds have any sense of right.
[tr. West (1990)]

May the gods, and the mind itself conscious of right,
bring you a just reward, if the gods respect the virtuous,
if there is justice anywhere.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

May the gods --
If any powers above look down on the pious,
If there is any justice anywhere -- may the gods
And your good conscience reward you
As you deserve.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

But may the gods,
if there are Powers who still respect the good and true,
if justice still exists on the face of the earth,
may they and their own sense of right and wrong
bring you your just rewards.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 720ff]

May the gods -- if they honor pious men, if there's justice anywhere, and conscience -- reward you in kind.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
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Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind;
Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.

Helen Steiner Rice
Helen Steiner Rice (1900-1981) American poet, businesswoman
(Attributed)
 
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A cloudy day, or a little sunshine, have as great an influence on the constitutions as the most real blessings or misfortunes.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Spectator #162 (5 Sep 1711)
    (Source)
 
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And in return may the gods grant you your heart’s desire; may they give you a husband and a home, and the harmony that is so much to be desired, since there is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends, as they themselves know better than anyone.

[Σοὶ δὲ θεοὶ τόσα δοῖεν, ὅσα φρεσὶ σῇσι μενοινᾷς,
ἄνδρα τε καὶ οἶκον, καὶ ὁμοφροσύνην ὀπάσειαν
ἐσθλήν· οὐ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ γε κρεῖσσον καὶ ἄρειον,
ἢ ὅθ’ ὁμοφρονέοντε νοήμασιν οἶκον ἔχητον
ἀνὴρ ἠδὲ γυνή· πόλλ’ ἄλγεα δυσμενέεσσι,
χάρματα δ’ εὐμενέτῃσι· μάλιστα δέ τ’ ἔκλυον αὐτοί.]

Homer - nothing nobler more admirable two people see eye to eye keep house man and wife confounding enemies delighting friends - wist.info quote

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 6, l. 180ff (6.180) [Odysseus to Nausicaa] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Rieu (1946)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. The passage uses variations on the Greek term ὁμοφροσύνην (homophrosynê, likemindedness). Alternate translations:

God give you, in requital, all th’ amends
Your heart can wish, a husband, family,
And good agreement. Nought beneath the sky
More sweet, more worthy is, than firm consent
Of man and wife in household government.
It joys their wishers-well, their enemies wounds,
But to themselves the special good redounds.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

And may Jove you with all you wish for bless,
A husband and a house, and concord good;
For man and wife to live in unity
Is the great’st blessing can be understood:
It joys your friend, and grieves your enemy.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 172ff]

So may the gods, who heaven and earth control,
Crown the chaste wishes of thy virtuous soul,
On thy soft hours their choicest blessings shed;
Blest with a husband be thy bridal bed;
Blest be thy husband with a blooming race,
And lasting union crown your blissful days.
The gods, when they supremely bless, bestow
Firm union on their favourites below;
Then envy grieves, with inly-pining hate;
The good exult, and heaven is in our state.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

And may the Gods thy largest wishes grant,
House, husband, concord! for of all the gifts
Of heav’n, more precious none I deem, than peace
’Twixt wedded pair, and union undissolved;
Envy torments their enemies, but joy
Fills ev’ry virtuous breast, and most their own.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 226ff]

And unto thee the heavenly gods make flow
Whate'er of happiness thy mind forecast,
Husband and home and spirit-union fast!
Since nought is lovelier on the earth than this,
When in the house one-minded to the last
Dwell man and wife -- a pain to foes, I wis,
And joy ot friends -- but most themselves know their own bliss.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 24]

But, to thyself may the immortal gods
The largest wishes of thy heart fulfil!
A consort, home, and perfect peace therein
May they bestow! For nought in nobleness,
Nought in all virtue can the good surpass
Of perfect concord in the married pair
Whose blended counsels rightly rule their home:
Their foes with pain behold it! but, to all
Who wish them well, it is a joyful sight!
Joy, which themselves, 'bove all, can well discern!" [tr. Musgrave (1869), ll. 277ff]

To thee the gods give all thy heart's desire!
A husband and home and loving hearts beside --
That best of gifts: for nought is better and braver
Than this, when man and wife unanimous
Hold their own home -- a sorrow they to foes --
A joy to friends -- and chiefest to themselves!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

And may the gods grant thee all thy heart’s desire: a husband and a home, and a mind at one with his may they give -- a good gift, for there is nothing mightier and nobler than when man and wife are of one heart and mind in a house, a grief to their foes, and to their friends great joy, but their own hearts know it best.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

And so may the high Gods give thee whatso thine heart holds dear,
A husband and a homestead, and concord whole and sound.
For nothing sure more goodly or better may be found
Than man and woman holding one house with one goodwill.
Thuis many a grief are they giving to those that wish them ill,
But great joy to their well-willers; and they wot it best of all.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

And may the gods grant all that in your thoughts you long for: husband and home and true accord may they bestow; for a better and higher gift than this there cannot be, when with accordant aims man and wife have a home. Great grief is it to foes and joy to friends; but they themselves best know its meaning.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

May heaven grant you in all things your heart's desire -- husband, house, and a happy, peaceful home; for there is nothing better in this world than that man and wife should be of one mind in a house. It discomfits their enemies, makes the hearts of their friends glad, and they themselves know more about it than any one.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

And for thyself, may the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires; a husband and a home may they grant thee, and oneness of heart -- a goodly gift. For nothing is greater or better than this, when man and wife dwell in a home in one accord, a great grief to their foes and a joy to their friends; but they know it best themselves.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

And to you may the Gods requite all your heart's desire; husband, house, and especially ingenious accord within that house: for there is nothing so good and lovely as when man and wife in their home dwell together in unity of mind and disposition. A great vexation it is to their enemies and a feast of gladness to their friends: surest of all do they, within themselves, feel all the good it means.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

And may the gods accomplish your desire:
a home, a husband, and harmonious
converse with him -- the best thing in the world
being a strong house held in serenity
where man and wife agree. Woe to their enemies,
joy to their friends! But all this they know best.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

And then may the gods give you everything that your heart longs for;
may they grant you a husband and a house and sweet agreement
in all things, for nothing is better than this, more steadfast
than when two people, a man and his wife, keep a harmonious
household; a thing that brings much distress to the people who hate them
and pleasure to their well-wishers, and for them the best reputation.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

And may the gods grant you what your heart wants most,
a husband and a home, and may there be
accord between you both: there is no gift
more solid and precious than such trust:
a man and woman who conduct their house
with minds in deep accord, to enemies
bring grief, but to their friends bring gladness, and --
above all -- gaine a good name for themselves.
[tr. Mendelbaum (1990)]

And may the good gods give you all your heart desires:
husband, and house, and lasting harmony too.
No finer, greater gift in the world than that ...
when man and woman possess their home, two minds,
two hearts that work as one. Despair to their enemies,
joy to all their friends. Their own best claim to glory.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

And for yourself, may the gods grant you
Your heart's desire, a husband and a home,
And the blessing of a harmonious life.
For nothing is greater or finer than this,
When a man and woman live together
With one heart and mind, bringing joy
To their friends and grief to their foes.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 183ff]

Then may the gods grant you what you in your spirit are wishing; may they endow you with blessings, a husband and house, and a noble concord of mind: for than this there is no gift better or greater, when both husband and wife in concord of mind and of counsel peacefully dwell in a house -- to their enemies greatest affliction, joy to benevolent friends, but especially known to their own hearts.
[tr. Merrill (2002)]

And may the gods grant you your heart's desire; may they give you a husband and a home, and the blessing of harmony so much to be desired, since there is nothing better or finer than when two people of one heart and mind keep house as man and wife, a grief to their enemies and a joy to their friends, and their reputation spreads far and wide.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

Then may the gods grant you all that you desire in your heart, and may they bestow on you a husband, a house, and a good harmony of minds; there is nothing better or more powerful than this, when a man and his wife keep house in sympathy of mind -- a great grief to their enemies, but a joy to those who wish them well; and they themselves are highly esteemed.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

So may the gods grant all your heart's desires, a home and husband, somebody like-minded. For nothing could be better than when two live in their minds in harmony, husband and wife. Their enemies are jealous, their friends delighted, and they have great honor.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

May the gods grant as much as you desire in your thoughts,
A husband and home, and may they give you fine likemindness,
For nothing is better and stronger than this
When two people who are likeminded in their thoughts share a home,
A man and a wife—this brings many pains for their enemies
And joys to their friends. And the gods listen to them especially.
[tr. @sentantiq (2018)]

And may the gods grant you all that your heart desires, husband, home, and like-mindedness -- a precious gift, for there's nothing greater or better, ever, than when two like-minded people are keeping house together, a man and his wife: much frustration for their ill-wishers, much joy for their friends, but they two know it the best.
[tr. Green (2018)]

As for you, may gods grant
everything your heart desires -- may they give
a husband, home, and mutual harmony,
a noble gift -- for there is nothing better
or a stronger bond than when man and wife
live in a home sharing each other’s thoughts.
That brings such pain upon their enemies
and such delight to those who wish them well.
They know that too, more so than anyone.
[tr. Johnston (2019)]

 
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More quotes by Homer

HENRY: God befriend us as our cause is just.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry IV, Part 1, Act 5, sc. 1, l. 121 (5.1.121) (1597)
    (Source)
 
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Then Bob proposed: “A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!” Which all the family re-echoed.

“God bless us every one!” said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) English writer and social critic
A Christmas Carol, Stave 3 “The Second of the Three Spirits” (1843)
 
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Every time it rains, it rains
Pennies from heaven.
Don’t you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven?

You’ll find your fortune falling
All over town
Be sure that your umbrella
Is upside down.

Johnny Burke (1908-1964) American lyricist [John Francis Burke]
“Pennies from Heaven” (1936)
    (Source)
 
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Christmas Day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both.

Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American clergyman, hymnist
Sermons, “Christmas Day” (1910)
    (Source)

Full quote: "It is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both by giving you abundantly the glory of the Incarnation, the peace of Christ's kingship, and the grace of Christ's salvation."
 
Added on 23-Dec-16 | Last updated 23-Dec-16
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Convinced that character is all and circumstances nothing, [the Puritan] sees in the poverty of those who fall by the way, not a misfortune to be pitied and relieved, but a moral failing to be condemned, and in riches, not an object of suspicion but the blessing which rewards the triumph of energy and will.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, ch. 4 (1926)
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Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Letter to Edmund Jennings (1782)
 
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To act with common sense according to the moment, is the best wisdom I know; and the best philosophy, to do one’s duties, take the world as it comes, submit respectfully to one’s lot; bless the Goodness that has given so much happiness with it, whatever it is; and despise affectation.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) English novelist, letter writer
Letter to Horace Mann (27 May 1776)
 
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Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.

Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) Polish-American rabbi, theologian, philosopher
“No Religion Is an Island,” Union Theological Seminary Quarterly Review (Jan 1966)
 
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Oh! be thou blest with all that Heaven can send,
Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a friend.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
“To Mrs. M.B. on Her Birth-Day”, l. 1
 
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Smile on this
My bold endeavour.

[Audacibus annue coeptis]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Georgics [Georgica], Book 1, l. 40ff (1.40) (29 BC) [tr. Rhoades (1881)]
    (Source)

Great Seal of the United States (reverse)Calling on (now declared divine) Augustus Caesar to bless his poetry. This line, and a similar one in Virgil's Aeneid (9.625), inspired the phrase "Annuit cœptis" ("He [God] has favored our undertakings") on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Aid my bold design.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

To my bold Endeavours add thy Force.
[tr. Dryden (1709), l. 60]

Aid my bold design.
[tr. Nevile (1767), l. 50]

Favour my adventurous enterprise.
[tr. Davidson (1854)]

Bid my gallant enterprise succeed.
[tr. Blackmore (1871)]

Favor my bold emprise.
[tr. Wilkins (1873)]

Our bold endeavor bless.
[tr. King (1882)]

Favor my adventurous enterprise.
[tr. Bryce (1897)]

Favour my bold endeavour.
[tr. Mackail (1899)]

Smile on this
My bold endeavour.
[tr. Greenough (1900)]

O smile upon this my bold emprise!
[tr. Way (1912)]

Give assent to my bold emprise.
[tr. Fairclough (Loeb) (1916)]

Be gracious to this my bold design.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1940)]

Condone this enterprise
Of bold experiment.
[tr. Bovie (1956)]

I hope for an easy passage in this bold venture.
[tr. Slavitt (1971)]

Assent to bold undertakings.
[tr. Miles (1980)]

Smile on my enterprise.
[tr. Wilkinson (1982)]

Agree to my bold beginning.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Assent to this work boldly begun.
[tr. Lembke (2004)]

Bless the boldness of this undertaking.
[tr. Fallon (2006)]

Approve my bold endeavour.
[tr. Johnson (2009)]

Grant me the right to enter upon this bold
Adventure of mine.
[tr. Ferry (2015)]

Look with favor upon a bold beginning.
[Bartlett's]

 
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God bless you, and send you health, which is the first and greatest of all blessings!

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #419 (12 Mar 1768)
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The old woman took the umbrella, gratefully, and smiled her thanks. “You’ve a good heart,” she told him. “Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go.” Then she shook her head. “But mostly, it’s not.”

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Neverwhere, Prologue (1996)
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The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

The Bible (The Old Testament) (14th - 2nd C BC) Judeo-Christian sacred scripture [Tanakh, Hebrew Bible], incl. the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)
Numbers 6:24-26 [NRSV (2021 ed.)]
    (Source)

The Lord speaking to Moses, on how Aaron and his sons should bless the people of Israel.

Alternate translations:

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
[KJV (1611)]

May Yahweh bless you and keep you.
May Yahweh let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May Yahweh uncover his face to you and bring you peace.
[JB (1966)]

May the Lord bless you and take care of you;
May the Lord be kind and gracious to you;
May the Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
[GNT (1976)]

May Yahweh bless you and keep you.
May Yahweh let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May Yahweh show you his face and bring you peace.
[NJB (1985)]

The Lord bless you and protect you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.
[CEB (2011)]

God bless you and protect you!
God deal kindly and graciously with you!
God bestow favor upon you and grant you peace!
[RJPS (2023 ed.)]

 
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More quotes by Bible, vol. 1, Old Testament

From noise of Scare-fires rest ye free,
From Murders Benedicite.
From all mischances, they may fright
Your pleasing slumbers in the night:
Mercie secure ye all, and keep
The Goblins from ye, while ye sleep.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) English poet
“The Bell-Man,” Hesperides, # 299 (1648)
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What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

The Bible (The New Testament) (AD 1st - 2nd C) Christian sacred scripture
James 2:14-18 (KJV)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith." (NRSV)
  • "My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it? Can that faith save you? Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don't give them the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead. But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.” My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions.” " (GNT)
 
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MENAS: We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 2, sc. 1, l. 7ff (2.1.7-10) (1607)
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