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If he is poor who is full of Desires, nothing can equal the Poverty of the Ambitious and the Covetous.
 
[S’il est vrai que l’on soit pauvre par toutes les choses que l’on désire, l’ambitieux et l’avare languissent dans une extrême pauvreté.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 6 “Of Gifts of Fortune [Des Biens de Fortune],” § 49 (6.49) (1688) [Browne ed. (1752)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

If he is only poor who desires much, and is always in want; the Ambitious and the Covetous languish in extreme Poverty.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

If a Man is poor, by all the things which he longs for, the Ambitious and Covetous languish in extreme Poverty.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

If a man be poor who wishes to have everything, then an ambitious and a miserly man languish in extreme poverty.
[tr. Van Laun (1885)]

If it is true that poverty consists in desiring a great many things, the ambitious man and the miser suffer from extreme poverty.
[tr. Stewart (1970)]

 
Added on 27-May-24 | Last updated 14-May-24
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If it be true that a man is rich who wants nothing, a wise man is a very rich man.
 
[S’il est vrai que l’on soit riche de tout ce dont on n’a pas besoin, un homme fort riche, c’est un homme qui est sage.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 6 “Of Gifts of Fortune [Des Biens de Fortune],” § 49 (6.49) (1688) [tr. Van Laun (1885)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

If he is only rich who wants nothing, a very wise Man is a very rich Man.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

If a Man is rich, by all which he does not want, a wise Man is a very rich Man.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

If he is rich who wants nothing, a very wise Man is a very rich Man.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

If it is true that wealth consists in having few wants, the wise man is a very wealthy man.
[tr. Stewart (1970)]

 
Added on 20-May-24 | Last updated 14-May-24
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We know that the poor are distressed by their many wants, and that nobody relieves them; but if the rich feel resentment, it is at lacking any single thing, or meeting with resistance from a single person.

[On sait que les pauvres sont chagrins de ce que tout leur manque, et que personne ne les soulage; mais s’il est vrai que les riches soient colères, c’est de ce que la moindre chose puisse leur manquer, ou que quelqu’un veuille leur résister.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 6 “Of Gifts of Fortune [Des Biens de Fortune],” § 48 (6.48) (1688) [tr. Stewart (1970)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The Poor are troubled that they want all things, and no body comforts them. The Rich are angry that they can want the least thing, or that any one would resist them.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

The Poor are troubled that they want every thing, and no body comforts them. The Rich are angry that they should want the least thing, or that any one should oppose them.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

The Grief of the Poor is, that they want all Things, and no body comforts them. The Rich are angry if they want the least Thing, is any one contradict or oppose them.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

It is well known that the poor are sad because they want everything and nobody comforts them; but if it be true that the rich are irascible, it is because they may want the smallest thing, or that some one might oppose them.
[tr. Van Laun (1885)]

 
Added on 14-May-24 | Last updated 14-May-24
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A shrewd man has to arrange his interests in order of importance and deal with them one by one; but often our greed upsets this order and makes us run after so many things at once that through over-anxiety to have the trivial we miss the most important.

[Un habile homme doit régler le rang de ses intérêts et les conduire chacun dans son ordre. Notre avidité le trouble souvent en nous faisant courir à tant de choses à la fois que, pour désirer trop les moins importantes, on manque les plus considérables.]

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammatist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims], ¶66 (1665-1678) [tr. Tancock (1959)]
    (Source)

Present in the first, 1665 edition in a slightly longer form:

Un habile homme doit savoir régler le rang de ses intérêts et les conduire chacun dans son ordre. Notre avidité le trouble souvent en nous faisant courir à tant de choses à la fois que, pour désirer trop les moins importantes, nous ne les faisons pas assez servir à obtenir les plus considérables.

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

In this the prudent man is distinguishable from the imprudent, that he regulates his interests, and directs them to the prosecution of his designs each in their order. Our earnestness does many times raise a disturbance in them, by hurrying us after a hundred things at once. Thence it proceeds, that out of an excessive desire of the less important, we do not what is requisite for the attainment of the most considerable.
[tr. Davies (1669), ¶165]

A wise Man should order his Designs, and set all his Interests in their proper places. This Order is often disturbed by a foolish greediness, which, while it puts us upon pursuing several things at once, makes us eager for matters of less consideration; and while we grasp at trifles, we let go things of greater Value.
[tr. Stanhope (1694), ¶67]

An able man will arrange his interests, and conduct each in its proper order. Our greediness often hurts us, by making us prosecute so many things at once; by too earnestly desiring the less considerable, we lose the more important.
[pub. Donaldson (1783), ¶205; ed. Lepoittevin-Lacroix (1797), ¶65]

An able man will arrange his respective interests;, and conduct each in its proper order. Ambition is often injurious, by tempting us to prosecute too much at once. By earnestly desiring the less considerable, we lose the more important.
[ed. Carville (1835), ¶473]

A clever man should regulate his interests, and place them in proper order. Our avidity often deranges them by inducing us to undertake too many things at once; and by grasping at minor objects, we lose our hold of more important ones.
[ed. Gowens (1851), ¶67]

A clever man ought to so regulate his interests that each will fall in due order. Our greediness so often troubles us, making us run after so many things at the same time, that while we too eagerly look after the least we miss the greatest.
[tr. Bund/Friswell (1871)]

A wise man co-ordinates his interests, and develops them according to their merits. Cupidity defeats its own ends by following so many at once that in our greed for trifles we lose sight of important matters.
[tr. Heard (1917)]

A clever man will know how to range his interests, and will pursue each according to its merits. Our greed, however, will often confuse our method; for we run after so many things at once that we frequently miss what is of importance in pursuit of what is negligible.
[tr. FitzGibbon (1957)]

Clever men should arrange their desires in the proper order and seek each in turn. In our eagerness we often attempt too many things at once, and by striving too much after the small ones we lose the big.
[tr. Kronenberger (1959)]

A wise man ought to arrange his interests in their true order of importance. Our greed often disturbs this order by making us pursue so many things at once that, for too much desiring the least important, we miss those that are most so.
[tr. Whichello (2016)]

 
Added on 19-Apr-24 | Last updated 19-Apr-24
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More quotes by La Rochefoucauld, Francois

The mania afflicting most French people is the desire to be witty, and the mania afflicting those who want to be witty is the desire to write books.
However, this is a very bad idea.
 
[La fureur de la plupart des François, c’est d’avoir de l’esprit ; et la fureur de ceux qui veulent avoir de l’esprit, c’est de faire des livres.
Cependant il n’y a rien de si mal imaginé.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Persian Letters [Lettres Persanes], Letter 66, Rica to *** (1721) [tr. MacKenzie (2014), No. 64]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The Predominant Passion or rather Fury of most of the French is, to be thought Wits; and the Predominant passion of those who would be thought Wits, is to write Books.
And yet there is nothing so ill-contrived.
[tr. Ozell (1736 ed.), No. 64]

The passion of most of the French is to be taken for wits, and the passion of thole who would be thought wits, is to write books. And yet there is nothing so badly imagined.
[tr. Floyd (1762)]

The passion of nearly every Frenchman, is to pass for a wit; and the passion of those who wish to be thought wits, is to write books.
There never was such an erroneous idea.
[tr. Davidson (1891)]

The passion of most Frenchmen is to be thought wits ; and the passion of those who wish to be thought wits is to write books.
It is impossible to imagine a more unfortunate mania.
[tr. Betts (1897)]

The passion of most of the French is to be thought witty, and the passion of those who wish to be considered wits is to write books.
A worse misconception cannot be imagined.
[tr. Healy (1964)]

Most Frenchmen are desperately eager to be thought witty and, of those who seek to be witty, most are desperately eager to write a book.
No plan, however, could be less well conceived.
[tr. Mauldon (2008), No. 64]

 
Added on 19-Mar-24 | Last updated 19-Mar-24
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Wedlock, as old Men note, hath likened been,
Unto a publick Crowd or common Rout;
Where those that are without would fain get in,
And those that are within would fain get out.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1734 ed.)
    (Source)

See also Montaigne, Burton, Antrim.
 
Added on 11-Mar-24 | Last updated 11-Mar-24
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To what extremes, O cursèd lust for gold
will you not drive man’s appetite?
 
[Per che non reggi tu, o sacra fame
de l’oro, l’appetito de’ mortali?]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 2 “Purgatorio,” Canto 22, l. 40ff (22.40-41) [Statius] (1314) [tr. Musa (1981)]
    (Source)

Statius is quoting Virgil (whose shade stands in front of him) from The Aeneid, Book 3, ll. 56-57:

Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Auri sacra fames?

Unlike the phrase in that pagan book, which is purely about the corrupting power of greed and gold-lust, Dante's Italian and some translators make reference to a "holy hunger," a virtue/rule of proper attitude toward money and spending, criticized here for it not restraining humans from the sins of being either spendthrifts or misers -- a nod to Aristotle making sin about extremes and virtue about moderation. See Ciardi, Durling, Kirkpatrick, Princeton, and Sayers for more discussion.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Why, thou cursed thirst
Of gold! dost not with juster measure guide
The appetite of mortals?
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Why should'st thou not restrain accursèd thirst
Of gold, the appetite of mortals lost?
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

To what impellest thou not, O cursed hunger
Of gold, the appetite of mortal men?
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Why restrainest thou not, O holy hunger of gold, the desire of mortals?
[tr. Butler (1885)]

To what lengths, O thou cursed thirst of gold,
Dost thou not rule the mortal appetite?
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

O cursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou not impel the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Wherefore dost thou not regulate the lust of mortals, O hallowed hunger of gold?
[tr. Okey (1901)]

To what, O cursed hunger for gold, dost thou not drive the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

O hallowed hunger of gold, why dost thou not
The appetite of mortal men control?
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

With what constraint constran'st thou not the lust
Of mortals, thou devoted greed of gold!
[tr. Sayers (1955)]

To what do you not drive man's appetite,
O cursèd gold-lust!
[tr. Ciardi (1961)]

Why do you not control the appetite
Of mortals, O you accurst hunger for gold?
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

Why cannot you, o holy hunger
for gold, restrain the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Mandelbaum (1982)]

O sacred hunger for gold, why do you not rule human appetite?
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Why do you, O holy hunger for gold, not
govern the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Durling (2003)]

You, awestruck hungering for gold! Why not
impose a rule on mortal appetite?
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

To what end, O cursèd hunger for gold,
do you not govern the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

Accursed craving for money, what is there, in
This world, you don't lead human beings to?
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

 
Added on 23-Feb-24 | Last updated 23-Feb-24
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The fable of Tantalus has generally been regarded as symbolizing avarice. It’s at least equally applicable to ambition, love of fame, indeed to almost every passion.
 
[La fable de Tantale n’a presque jamais servi d’emblème qu’à l’avarice. Mais elle est, pour le moins, autant celui de l’ambition, de l’amour de la gloire, de presque toutes les passions.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 1, ¶ 70 (1795) [tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 58]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The fable of Tantalus is hardly ever applied except to the passion of avarice; but it is at least as applicable to ambition, to the love of glory, and to nearly all the other passions.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

The fable of Tantalus has been used almost exclusively as an emblem of avarice, but it is at least as applicable to ambition, the love of fame, and virtually all the passions.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

The fable of Tantalus has almost never served as a precept except in the case of avarice. But it is, at all events, a precept attaching no wit less to ambition, to love of glory, to almost all passions.
[tr. Pearson (1973)]

The fable of Tantalus has nearly only ever served as an emblem of avarice. However, it is at least as much a symbol of ambition, of the love of glory, and of nearly every passion.
[tr. Siniscalchi (1994)]

 
Added on 5-Feb-24 | Last updated 5-Feb-24
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Everyone has a confused notion of good,
On which he sets his mind, and which he desires;
And therefore everyone tries to attain it.

[Ciascun confusamente un bene apprende
nel qual si queti l’animo, e disira;
per che di giugner lui ciascun contende.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 2 “Purgatorio,” Canto 17, l. 127ff (17.127-129) [Virgil] (1314) [tr. Sisson (1981)]
    (Source)

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

All follow good; but with uncertain aim.
At once it kindles, and it soothes their flame.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 32]

All indistinctly apprehend a bliss
On which the soul may rest, the hearts of all
Yearn after it, and to that wished bourn
All therefore strive to tend.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

A good each one confusedly apprehends
The mind to quiet -- satisfy desire;
Hence to attain 't will every one conspire.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

Each one confusedly a good conceives
Wherein the mind may rest, and longeth for it;
Therefore to overtake it each one strives.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Each one confusedly apprehends a good wherein his mind may rest, and desires it ; wherefore each one strives to reach Him.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Some good doth each confusedly apprehend.
In which to rest his spirit's longing fain,
Therefore to reach to it doth each contend.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Every one confusedly apprehends a good in which the mind may be at rest, and which it desires; wherefore every one strives to attain it.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Each one apprehends vaguely a good wherein the mind may find rest, and desires it; wherefore each one strives to attain thereto.
[tr. Okey (1901)]

Everyone confusedly apprehends a good in which the mind may be at rest and desires it, so that each strives to reach it.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Each one confusedly doth apprehend
A longed-for good, wherein the mind may find rest;
And therefore each one strives to attain that end.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Everyone vaguely pictures in his mind
A good the heart may rest on, and is driven
By his desire to seek it and to find.
[tr. Sayers (1955)]

All men, though in a vague way, apprehend
a good their souls may rest in, and desire it;
each, therefore, strives to reach his chosen end.
[tr. Ciardi (1961)]

Each one apprehends vaguely a good wherein the mind may find rest, and this it desires' wherefore each one strives to attain thereto.
[tr. Singleton (1973)]

All of you, vaguely, apprehend and crave
a good with which your heart may be at rest;
and so, each of you strives to reach that goal.
[tr. Musa (1981)]

Each apprehends confusedly a Good
in which the mind may rest, and longs for It;
and, thus, all strive to reach that Good.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1982)]

Each confusedly apprehends a Good in which his spirit may be quieted, and desires it, and therefore each strives to reach it.
[tr. Durling (2003)]

Everyone vaguely apprehends a good, where the mind finds rest: and desires it: so everyone labours to attain it.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

We all, confusedly, conceive a good,
desiring that our hearts may rest in that.
And each will strive to make their way to it.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

Everyone can vaguely apprehend some good
in which the mind may find its peace.
With desire, each one strives to reach it.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

They muddle about, knowing there is goodness
In which their minds can rest, and they wish to have it,
All of them struggling to find what's so desired.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

 
Added on 12-Jan-24 | Last updated 12-Jan-24
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

Some think they see their own hope to advance
tied to their neighbor’s fall, and thus they long
to see him cast down from his eminence;
Some fear their power, preferment, honor, fame
will suffer by another’s rise, and thus,
irked by his good, desire his ruin and shame;
And some at the least injury catch fire
and are consumed by thoughts of vengeance; thus,
their neighbor’s harm becomes their chief desire.
 
[E’ chi, per esser suo vicin soppresso,
spera eccellenza, e sol per questo brama
ch’el sia di sua grandezza in basso messo;
è chi podere, grazia, onore e fama
teme di perder perch’altri sormonti,
onde s’attrista sì che ’l contrario ama;
ed è chi per ingiuria par ch’aonti,
sì che si fa de la vendetta ghiotto,
e tal convien che ’l male altrui impronti.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 2 “Purgatorio,” Canto 17, l. 115ff (17.115-123) (1314) [tr. Ciardi (1961)]
    (Source)

Virgil explains to Dante how "bad" love -- love for self, love of another's harm -- can manifest as Pride, Envy, or Wrath toward others, the sins addressed in the first three tiers of Purgatory.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Those first the taints, that to their Neighbours' fall
Trust for distinction on this Earthly Ball,
In talents, wealth, or fame, and feed their pride
By the sad sight of others' hopes depress'd,
And o'er their ruin lift a lofty crest,
With Venom from the fount of Good supply'd.

The next that feel this sullen Stygian flame,
Are those, that fear to lose their wealth or fame,
Or any gift, by bounteous Heav'n assign'd;
And long possess'd of Fortune's turning wheel,
In its ascent another name reveal,
That threats to leave them, and their hopes behind.

Another evil thus becomes their good,
And feeds their black desires with Demon food. --
The third are they, who, with the sense of wrong,
Burn inward, or with fell, vindictive Wrath
Pursue their brethren to the Cave of Death,
By love of Pelf, or fiend-like Frenzy stung.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 28-30]

There is who hopes (his neighbour’s worth deprest,)
Preeminence himself, and coverts hence
For his own greatness that another fall.
There is who so much fears the loss of power,
Fame, favour, glory (should his fellow mount
Above him), and so sickens at the thought,
He loves their opposite: and there is he,
Whom wrong or insult seems to gall and shame
That he doth thirst for vengeance, and such needs
Must doat on other’s evil.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

There is, in order neighbour to suppress,
Who would excel, himself, his sole desire
Grandeur, that sees another in the mire:
There is who power, grace, and honour, fame,
Still fears to lose, because the rest surpass,
Grows sad, and loves the counteracting cause:
There is who, for injurious affront,
Revenge desires, thirsts for another's pain,
And hence to ill of others must attain.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

There are, who, by abasement of their neighbour,
Hope to excel, and therefore only long
That from his greatness he may be cast down;
There are, who power, grace, honour, and renown
Fear they may lose because another rises,
Thence are so sad that the reverse they love;
And there are those whom injury seems to chafe,
So that it makes them greedy for revenge,
And such must needs shape out another's harm.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

There is who, through his neighbour being kept down, hopes for excellence, and only for this reason yearns that he may be from his greatness brought low. There is who fears to lose power, grace, honour, and fame, in case another mounts up, wherefore he grows so sad that he loves the contrary. And there is who through injury appears so to take shame that he becomes gluttonous of vengeance; and such an one it behoves that he put forward another's ill.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

There is, who through his neighbour's ruin, so
Hopeth pre-eminence, who hence doth call
That he from grandeur may be cast down low.
There is, who fears to lose power, grace, and all
Honour and fame, because that others rise.
Which grieves him so that he desires their fall.
There is, who seems so hurt by injuries,
That he on vengeance greedily doth brood;
And such a one another's ill must prize.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

There is he who hopes to excel through the abasement of his neighbor, and only longs that from his greatness he may be brought low. There is he who fears loss of power, favor, honor, fame, because another rises; whereat he is so saddened that he loves the opposite. And there is he who seems so outraged by injury that it makes him gluttonous of vengeance, and such a one must needs coin evil for others.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

There is he who through his neighbour's abasement hopes to excel, and solely for this desires that he be cast down from his greatness;
there is he who fears to lose power, favour, honour and fame because another is exalted, wherefore he groweth sad so that he loves the contrary;
and there is he who seems to be so shamed through being wronged, that he becomes greedy of vengeance, and such must needs seek another's hurt.
[tr. Okey (1901)]

There is he that hopes to excel by the abasement of his neighbour and for that sole reason longs that from his greatness he may be brought low; there is he that fears to lose power, favour, honour, and fame because another surpasses, by which he is so aggrieved that he loves the contrary; and there is he that feels himself so disgraced by insult that he becomes greedy of vengeance, and such a one must needs contrive another's harm.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

There is, who through his neighbour's overthrow
Hopes to excel, and only for that cause
Longs that he may from greatness be brought low.
There is, who fears power, favour, fame to lose
Because another mounts; wherefore his lot
So irks, he loves the opposite to choose.
And there is, who through injury grows so hot
From shame, with greed of vengeance he is burned,
And so must needs another's ill promote.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Some hope their neighbour’s ruin may divert
His glory to themselves, and this sole hope
Prompts them to drag his greatness in the dirt;
Some, in their fear to lose fame, favour, scope,
And honour, should another rise to power,
Wishing the worst, sit glumly there and mope;
And some there are whose wrongs have turned them sour,
So that they thirst for vengeance, and this passion
Fits them to plot some mischief any hour.
[tr. Sayers (1955)]

There is he that hopes to excel by the abasement of his neighbor, and solely for this desires that he be cast down from greatness.
There is he that fears to lose power, favor, honor, and fame, because another is exalted, by which he is so saddened that he loves the contrary.
And there is he who seems so outraged by injury that he becomes greedy of vengeance, and such a one must needs contrive another's hurt.
[tr. Singleton (1973)]

There is the man who sees his own success
connect to his neighbor's downfall; thus,
he longs to see him fall from eminence.
Next, he who fears to lose honor and fame,
power and favor, if his neighbor rise:
vexed by this good, he wishes for the words.
Finally, he who, wronged, flares up in rage:
with his great passion for revenge, he thinks
only of how to harm his fellow man.
[tr. Musa (1981)]

There is the man who, through the suppression of his neighbour,
Hopes to excel, and for that reason only
Desires to see him cast down from his greatness:
There is the man who fears to lose power, favour,
Honour and glory because of another’s success,
And so grieves for it that he loves the opposite:
And there is the man who takes umbrage at injury
So that he becomes greedy for revenge
And such a man must seek to harm another.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

There’s he who, through abasement of another,
hopes for supremacy; he only longs
to see his neighbor’s excellence cast down.
Then there is one who, when he is outdone,
fears his own loss of fame, power, honor, favor;
his sadness loves misfortune for his neighbor.
And there is he who, over injury
received, resentful, for revenge grows greedy
and, angrily, seeks out another’s harm.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1982)]

There are those who hope for supremacy through their neighbor’s being kept down, and only on this account desire that his greatness be brought low;
there are those who fear to lose power, favor, honor, or fame because another mounts higher, and thus are so aggrieved that they love the contrary;
and there are those who seem so outraged by injury that they become greedy for revenge, and thus they must ready harm for others.
[tr. Durling (2003)]

There are those who hope to excel through their neighbour’s downfall, and because of this alone want them toppled from their greatness. This is Pride.
There are those who fear to lose, power, influence, fame or honour because another is preferred, at which they are so saddened they desire the contrary. This is Envy.
And there are those who seem so ashamed because of injury, that they become eager for revenge, and so are forced to wish another’s harm. This is Wrath.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Some hope, by keeping all their neighbours down, that they'll excel. They yearn for that alone -- to see them brought from high to low estate.
Then, some will fear that, if another mounts, they'll lose all honour, fame and grace and power, so, grieving at success, love what it’s not.
And some, it seems, when hurt, bear such a grudge that they crave only to exact revenge -- which means they seek to speed another’s harm.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

There is the one, hoping to excel by bringing down
his neighbor, who, for that sole reason, longs
that from his greatness his neighbor be brought low.
There is the one who fears the loss of power, favor,
honor, fame -- should he be bettered by another.
This so aggrieves him that he wants to see him fall.
And there is the one who thinks himself offended
and hungers after vengeance,
and he must then contrive another's harm.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

First, there's the man who aspires to excellence
By pressing down his neighbor: only this yearning
Makes him strive to pull his neighbor to the ground.
Then there's the man with power, favor, and honor,
And so afraid of losing these when someone
Climbs above him, that he hates what once he loved.
And there's the man who, outraged at being insulted,
Lusts for the chance of taking revenge, and rushes
Into wicked plans for hurting others.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

 
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

Happy the man, of mortals happiest he,
Whose quiet mind from vain desires is free;
Whom neither hopes deceive, nor fears torment,
But lives at peace, within himself content;
In thought, or act, accountable to none
But to himself, and to the gods alone.

George Granville
George Granville (1666-1735) English politician, poet, playwright [1st Baron Lansdowne]
“Epistle to Mrs. Higgons,” l. 79ff (1690)
    (Source)
 
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More quotes by Granville, George

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

We come now to the third ground for abusing old age, and that is, that it is devoid of sensual pleasures. O glorious boon of age, if it does indeed free us from youth’s most vicious fault! Now listen, most noble young men, to what that remarkably great and distinguished man, Archytas of Tarentum, said in an ancient speech repeated to me when I was a young man serving with Quintus Maximus at Tarentum: “No more deadly curse,” said he, “has been given by nature to man than carnal pleasure, through eagerness for which the passions are driven recklessly and uncontrollably to its gratification. From it come treason and the overthrow of states; and from it spring secret and corrupt conferences with public foes. In short, there is no criminal purpose and no evil deed which the lust for pleasure will not drive men to undertake. Indeed, rape, adultery, and every like offence are set in motion by the enticements of pleasure and by nothing else; and since nature — or some god, perhaps — has given to man nothing more excellent than his intellect, therefore this divine gift has no deadlier foe than pleasure; for where lust holds despotic sway self-control has no place, and in pleasure’s realm there is not a single spot where virtue can put her foot.”

[Sequitur tertia vituperatio senectutis, quod eam carere dicunt voluptatibus. O praeclarum munus aetatis, si quidem id aufert a nobis, quod est in adulescentia vitiosissimum! Accipite enim, optimi adulescentes, veterem orationem Archytae Tarentini, magni in primis et praeclari viri, quae mihi tradita est cum essem adulescens Tarenti cum Q. Maximo. Nullam capitaliorem pestem quam voluptatem corporis hominibus dicebat a natura datam, cuius voluptatis avidae libidines temere et effrenate ad potiendum incitarentur. Hinc patriae proditiones, hinc rerum publicarum eversiones, hinc cum hostibus clandestina colloquia nasci; nullum denique scelus, nullum malum facinus esse, ad quod suscipiendum non libido voluptatis impelleret; stupra vero et adulteria et omne tale flagitium nullis excitari aliis illecebris nisi voluptatis; cumque homini sive natura sive quis deus nihil mente praestabilius dedisset, huic divino muneri ac dono nihil tam esse inimicum quam voluptatem. Nec enim lubidine dominante temperantiae locum esse, neque omnino in voluptatis regno virtutem posse consistere.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Senectute [Cato Maior; On Old Age], ch. 12 / sec. 39ff (12.39-41) (44 BC) [tr. Falconer (1923)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Nowe folowith the iij vituperacion & defaute by the which yong men seyne that olde age is noiouse myschaunte & wretchid by cause it hath almost no flesshely delectacyons or sensualitees as for to gete with childeren and yssue to encrece and multiplie the world. To whom I answere forwith that it is right a noble gyfte rewarde & the right grete worship of olde age that it be sequestred depryved and dischargid of the delectacyons of sensualitee of the body or flesshely lustis for ys it be so that olde age be pryved and sequestred of such delectacyons It had takin awey from us olde men that thyng whiche is right vicious & right foule in the age of adolescence & yongthe.
And neverthelesshe my right good and lovyng yong men Scipion and Lelius an auncyent senatour purposid an oracion that a philosopher callid Archites made whiche was takyn of Haniballe duc of Cartage when he werrid in Ytaile. He was recoverde by Quintus Fabius the noble senatour when he recoverd Tarente, takyn by the said Haniballe. Archites was pryncypally a grete man connyngly lernyd in sciences and in vertues and was right famous and noble. This oracion purposid which Archites made was yeven to me when I adolescent and yong of age was at Tarente with the seid Fabius, and by this oracyon seid Archites that nature which ordeyned to men complexions gave nevir no pestelence peyne nor turment more damageable to yong men than is flesshely delectacyon. The coveitous playsirs of delectacyon moven tyce and steeren men over boldely and withoute bridell of reason or shame or any restraynt to execute and make an ende of their foule lustys. For thought delectacy∣ons ben made and conspired treasons divisions and dissencyons of countrees & the destruccions of their comon profite, and the secretes of parlementys disclosed to our ennemyes and adversarye partye there is noon untrou∣the there is noon evyll werke but pleasyre of delectacyon which shall constrayne men to encline therto, by cause that they enioyen owt of mesure of spousehode brekyng & that so fervently the cause of defoulyng of maydens virgins the anontry of weddyd women & all such corrupte untrew werkys, whiche ben nevir mevid nor undirtakyn but by the insolence & wantownes & wenlacys of flesshely delectacyon. Archites also saide that as nature by power of which god hath yeven to men noth̄yng bettir than is the soule by the which they have undirstondyng & mynde, also to that soule which is an office & a gift dyvine nothyng is so grete ennemye nor so contrary as ben flesshely delectacyons, for sith delectacyon & flesshely pleasir have dominacyon in the regyon of man. That is to witt in the courage of his body, the vertue of attemperance may not be lodgid therin & wthin the regyon of man which is yeven to delectacyon may not abyde any wisedome nor vertue.
[tr. Worcester/Worcester/Scrope (1481)]

Now followeth the third dispraise and fault which is laid in old age, because (say they) it is without pleasure, and must forego voluptuous appetites. O noble and excellent gift, wherewith old age is so blessed, if it take from us that thing, which is in youth most vicious and detestable. But you (noble and virtuous gentlemen, Scipio and Laelius) hear what Archytas, the famous philosopher of Tarentum, was wont to say, whose oration touching on the same matter was lent and delivered to me, when I was a young man and served under Quintus Maximus at the siege of Tarentum. He said that no plague was given by nature so great and pernicious unto men, as the bestial pleasures and voluptuousness of the body: which which pleasures the dissolute and libidinous lusts of men do so much affect and desire, that with all licentious profanation and outrage, their minds be incited and stirred to pursue the same, thinking all things lawful for their unbridled appetites, so that they may enjoy their beastly desires and still wallow in the filthy puddle of their hellish sensuality. Hence (said he_ as from a fountain do spring out all kinds of mischief, as treason, betraying of countries, the ruin and subversion of commonwealths, secret conventicles, and privy conferences with the enemies; finally (he said), there was none so great a villainy, nor any so flagitious and horrible an enormity, which the inordinate desire of pleasure would not egg and prick forward men's froward wills to enterprise: furthermore, that whoredom, adultery, and all such like heinous facts of carnal concupiscency were by none other lures or enticements provoked but by pleasure. And whereas either nature or God hath given unto man nothing of so noble excellency as the mind or reasonable soul, there is nothing so great an enemy until this inestimable and divine gift as pleasure.
For where pleasure beareth away and ruleth the roast, there is no mansion or dwelling-place left for temperance and sobriety, and, to be short, virtue cannot remain where pleasure reigneth.
[tr. Newton (1569)]

There followeth the third Objection to age; they say that it wanteth pleasures. Oh excellent gift of age, if it take away that which makes our youth vitious; therefore hear now, O yee excellent young men, the old oration of Architas the Tarentine, a singular and worthy man, which was delivered me when I was a young man with Q. Maximus at Tarentum. He said that there was no deadlier plague given by nature to men, then the pleasure of the body, the greedy lusts whereof are rash and unbrideledly, stirred up to get and gain. From hence are derived treasons, from hence arise the overthrowes of Commonwealths, and the privy conspiracies and whisperings with the enemies. That to conclude, there was no wickednesse, nor no evill deed, to the undertaking of which, the lust of pleasure did not incite a man; and that whoredome, adultery, and all such evill was stirred up by no other bait then pleasure. And forasmuch as nature, or some God, hath given nothing more excellent to a man, then his minde; to this divine gift, there is no greater enemy then pleasure. For lust bearing rule, there is no place for temperance, neither in the Kingdome of pleasure can virtue consist.
[tr. Austin (1648)]

Now must I draw my forces 'gainst that Host
Of Pleasures, which i'th' Sea of age are lost.
Oh, thou most high transcendent gift of age!
Youth from its folly thus to disengage.
And now receive from me that most divine
Oration of that noble Tarentine,
Which at Tarentum I long since did hear;
When I attended the great Fabius there.
Yee Gods, was it man's Nature? or his Fate?
Betray'd him with sweet pleasures poyson'd bait?
Which he, with all designs of art, or power,
Doth with unbridled appetite devour;
And as all poysons seek the noblest part,
Pleasure possesses first the head and heart;
Intoxicating both, by them, she finds,
And burns the Sacred Temples of our Minds.
Furies, which Reasons divine chains had bound,
(That being broken) all the World confound.
Lust, Murder, Treason, Avarice, and Hell
It self broke loose; in Reason's Pallace dwell,
Truth, Honour, Justice, Temperance, are fled,
All her attendants into darkness led.
But why all this discourse? when pleasure's rage
Hath conquer'd reason, we must treat with age.
Age undermines, and will in time surprize
Her strongest Forts, and cut off all supplies.
And joyn'd in league with strong necessity,
Pleasure must flie, or else by famine die.v [tr. Denham (1669)]

The third Accusation against Old Age is, that it deprives us of the Enjoyments of Pleasure. O glorious Priviledge of Age, if through thy means we can get rid of the most pernicious Bane, to which our You is liable! Give me leave to repeat to you, what a great Orator has said upon this Subject.
"Nature has not implanted in Man any more execrable Curse, than that of bodily Pleasures; to the gratification of which we are hurried on, wich such unbounded and licentious Appetites. For to what else is oweing the Subversion of so many States and Kingdoms? What Villainy too daring, what Undertaking too hazardous, which the Desire of satisfying our unbounded Lusts will not instigate us to attempt? To what are Rapes, Adulteries, or such like abominable Enormities owing, but to the gratification of our Appetites? And since the Faculties of Reason, and Judgment, are the most excellent Qualities, which Nature, or Providence, has conferred upon us; it is certain that nothing can be more destructive, more pernicious to this divine Gift, than the Indulging bodily Pleasures? For it is impossible to observe an Degrees of Temperance, while we are under the Dominion of our unruly Passions, nor can Virtue consiste with the pursuit of such Enjoyments."
[tr. Hemming (1716)]

We come now to the Third Objection, which is, That Old Age is deprived of Pleasure. O excellent State! if it deprives us of what is most vitious in You! For, hear ye well-disposed young Men, the old Remark of Architas the Tarentine, a most ingenious Man, which was given to me when I was a young Fellow at Tarentum, with Q. Maximus. He said, "That Nature had not given Mankind a greater Plague than the Pleasure of the body, whose eager Desires for the Enjoyment of it, are altogether loose and unbridled: That from hence arise Conspiracies against our Country, Subversions of the Commonwealth, and treasonable Conferences with the Enemy. In short, that there was no Wickedness nor Capital Crime, but this Lust after Pleasure would put a man upon undertaking; that Whoredom, Adultery, and all such Vices, were excited by no other Allurements than those of Pleasure. That as Nature, or some God, had given to Man nothing more valuable than his Mind, so to that Gift was joined nothing so much its Enemy as Pleasure; for when Lust is predominant, there is no Room for Temperance; nor can Virtue possibly consist in Pleasure's Throne."
[tr. J. D. (1744)]

The third Charge against Old-Age was, That it is (they say) insensible to Pleasure, and the Enjoyments arising from the Gratifications of the Senses. And a most blessed and heavenly Effect it truly is, if it eases of what in Youth was the sorest and cruellest Plague of Life. Pray listen, my good Friends, to an old Discourse of Archytas the Tarentine, a great and excellent Man in his Time, which I learned when I was but young myself, at Tarentum, under Fabius Maximus, at the Time he recovered that Place. The greatest Curse, the heaviest Plague, said he, derived on Man from Nature, is bodily Pleasure, when the Passions are indulged, and strong inordinate Desires are raised and set in Motion for obtaining it. For this have Men betray'd their Country; for this have States and Governments been plunged in Ruin; for this have treacherous Correspondences been held with publick Enemies: In short, there is no Mischief so horrid, no Villany so execrable, that this will not prompt to perpetrate. And as Adultery, and all the Crimes of that Tribe, are the natural Effects of it; so of course are all the fatal Consequences that ensue on them. 'Tis owned, that the most noble and excellent Gift of Heaven to Man, is his Reason: And 'tis as sure, that of all the Enemies Reason has to engage with, Pleasure is the most capital, and the most pernicious: For where its great Incentive, Lust, prevails, Temperance can have no Place; nor under the Dominion of Pleasure, can Virtue possibly subsist.
[tr. Logan (1750)]

Let us now proceed to examine the third article of complaint against old age, as "bereaving us," it seems, "of the sensual gratifications." Happy effect indeed, if it deliver us from those snares which allure youth into some of the worst vices to which that age is addicted. Suffer me upon this occasion, my excellent young friends, to acquaint vou with the substance of a discourse which was held many years since by that illustrious philosopher Archytas, of Tarentum, as it was related to me when I was a young man in the army of Quintus Maximus, at the siege of that city. "Nature," said this illustrious sage, "has not conferred on mankind a more dangerous present than those pleasures which attend the sensual indulgences; as the passions they excite are too apt to run away with reason, in a lawless and unbridled pursuit of their respective enjoyments. It is in order to gratify inclinations of this ensnaring kind that men are tempted to hold clandestine correspondence with the enemies of the state, to subvert governments, and turn traitors to their country. In short, there is no sort of crimes that afiect the public welfare to which an inordinate love of the sensual pleasures may not directly lead. And as to vices of a more private tendency -- rapes, adulteries and every other flagitious violation of the moral duties -- are they not perpetrated solely from this single motive? Reason, on the other hand," continued Archytas," is the noblest gift which God, or nature, has bestowed on the sons of men. Now nothing is so great an enemy to that divine endowment, as the pleasures of sense. For neither temperance, nor any other of the more exalted virtues, can find a place in that breast which is under the dominion of the voluptuous passions."
[tr. Melmoth (1773)]

The third charge against old age comes next, namely, that they say that it is without pleasures. O glorious privilege of old age, if indeed it takes away from us that which in youth is most faulty! For listen, excellent young men, to an ancient discourse of Archytas of Tarentum, a singularly great and renowned man, which was delivered to me when I was a young man with Quintus Maximus: He said, that no deadlier plague than the pleasure of the body was given to men by Nature; of which pleasure the passions being excessively fond, impelled men to enjoy them rashly and precipitously. That hence rose betrayals of country, hence subversions of states, hence clandestine correspondence with enemies. In a word, that there is no atrocity, no wicked deed, to the undertaking of which the lust of pleasure did not incite; and that seductions and adulteries, and every such crime, are called into existence by no other allurements but pleasure; and whereas, whether Nature or some deity had given nothing to man more excellent than the understanding, nothing was more hostile to this divine gift and endowment than pleasure. For neither, when lust bore sway, was there room for temperance, nor could virtue hold any place at all in the reign of pleasure.
[Cornish Bros. ed. (1847)]

Then follows the third topic of blame against old age, that they say it has no pleasures. Oh, noble privilege of age! if indeed it takes from us that which is in youth the greatest defect. For listen, most excellent young men, to the ancient speech of Archytas of Tarentum, a man eminently great and illustrious, which was reported to me when I, a young man, was at Tarentum with Quintus Maximus. He said that no more deadly plague than the pleasure of the body was inflicted on men by nature; for the passions, greedy of that pleasure, were in a rash and unbridled manner incited to possess it; that hence arose treasons against one's country, hence the ruining of states, hence clandestine conferences with enemies: in short, that there was no crime, no wicked act, to the undertaking of which the lust of pleasure did not impel; but that fornications and adulteries and every such crime, were provoked by no other allurements than those of pleasure. And whereas either nature or some god had given to man nothing more excellent than his mind; that to this divine function and gift, nothing was so hostile as pleasure: since where lust bore sway, there was no room for self-restraint; and in the realm of pleasure, virtue could by no possibility exist.
[tr. Edmonds (1874)]

I come now to the third charge against old age, that, as it is alleged, it lacks the pleasures of sense. O admirable service of old age, if indeed it takes from us what in youth is more harmful than all things else! For I would have you hear, young men, an ancient discourse of Archytas of Tarentum, a man of great distinction and celebrity, as it was repeated to me when in my youth I was at Tarentum with Quintus Maximus. "Man has received from nature," said he, "no more fatal scourge than bodily pleasure, by which the passions in their eagerness for gratification are made reckless and are released from all restraint. Hence spring treasons against one's country; hence, overthrows of states; hence, clandestine plottings with enemies. In fine, there is no form of guilt, no atrocity of evil, to the accomplishment of which men are not driven by lust for pleasure. Debaucheries, adulteries, and all enormities of that kind have no other inducing cause than the allurements of pleasure. Still more, while neither Nature nor any god has bestowed upon man aught more noble than mind, nothing is so hostile as pleasure to this divine endowment and gift. Nor while lust bears sway can self-restraint find place, nor under the reign of pleasure can virtue have any foothold whatever."
[tr. Peabody (1884)]

The third charge against old age is that it LACKS SENSUAL PLEASURES. What a splendid service does old age render, if it takes from us the greatest blot of youth! Listen, my dear young friends, to a speech of Archytas of Tarentum, among the greatest and most illustrious of men, which was put into my hands when as a young man I was at Tarentum with Q. Maximus. "No more deadly curse than sensual pleasure has been inflicted on mankind by nature, to gratify which our wanton appetites are roused beyond all prudence or restraint. Fornications and adulteries, and every abomination of that kind, are brought about by the enticements of pleasure and by them alone. Intellect is the best gift of nature or God: to this divine gift and endowment there is nothing so inimical as pleasure. For when appetite is our master, there is no place for self-control; nor where pleasure reigns supreme can virtue hold its ground."
[tr. Shuckburgh (1895)]

Thirdly, it is alleged against old age,
It has no sensual pleasures to enjoy.
Divinest gift of age, to take away sensual pleasures.
What is the greatest blot on youthful years!
Hear, my dear friends, a speech Archytas made
(Who was a very old and famous man),
And told me at Tarentum, where I was
With Quintus Maximus, when quite a youth:
'No greater curse than sensuality
Has Nature given to man: its foul desires
To feed, lust grows unbridled and unwise;
Hence countries are betrayed, states overthrown,
Secret arrangements with our foes are made.
There is no crime, no ill deed to which lust
Cannot entice : abominable vice
Of every kind is due to this alone.
Nature herself, or some kind deity
Has given to man no greater gift than mind:
But to this gift, this faculty divine,
No greater enemy can be than lust.
When that bears sway, all moderation's gone,
And 'neath its rule virtue cannot survive.
[tr. Allison (1916)]

Next we come to the third allegation against old age. This was its deficiency in sensual pleasures. But if age really frees us from youth's most dangerous failing, then we are receiving a most blessed gift.
Let me tell you, my dear friends, what was said years ago by that outstandingly distinguished thinker, Archytas of Tarentum, the city at which I heard of his words when I was a young soldier serving under Fabius. "The most fatal curse given by nature to mankind," said Archytas, "is sensual greed: this incites men to gratify their lusts heedlessly and uncontrollably, thus bringing about national betrayals, revolutions, and secret negotiations with the enemy. Lust will drive men to every sin and crime under the sun. Mere lust, without any additiona impulse, is the cause of rape, adultery, and every other sexual outrage. Nature, or a god, has given human beings a mind as their outstanding possession, and this divine gift and endowment has no worse foe than sensuality. For in the realm of the physical passions there can be no room for self-control; where self-indulgence reigns, decent behavior is excluded.
[tr. Grant (1960, 1971 ed.)]

I turn now to the third charge against old age -- one commonly leveled with vehemence: men say that it is cut off from pleasures. What a glorious blessing the years confer if they take away from us the greatest weakness that afflicts our younger days! Let me repeat to you, my dear young friends, what Archytas of Tarentum said many, many years ago. (He was one of the truly great -- a distinguished man -- and his discourse was reported to me when as a young man I visited Tarentum in the company of Quintus Maximus.) Archytas declared that nature had afflicted man with no plague more deadly than physical pleasure, since the hope of pleasure roused men’s desires to fever-pitch and spurred them on, like wild, unbridled beasts, to attainment.
Pleasure, he said, was the ultimate source of treason, of riot and rebellion, of clandestine negotiations with an enemy; to sum it up, there was no crime, no foul perversion, which men were not led to commit by the desire for pleasure. As for crimes of passion, adultery, and the like, he declared that pleasure and its blandishments were the sole cause of them "Here is man," said he. "Nature, or if you will, God, has given him nothing more precious and distinctive than his mind, yet nothing is so hostile to this blessing -- this godlike power -- as pleasure."
Further, he asserted that when the appetites had the upper hand there was no room left for self-discipline -- in fact, to put it generally, virtue could find no foothold anywhere in the kingdom of pleasure.
[tr. Copley (1967)]

Now I come to the third reason why old age is so strenuously condemned: that when we are old we can’t enjoy sensual pleasures. On the contrary, what a gift it is that age takes away from us the most objectionable vices of the young! When I was a young man in the army, someone quoted to me from a speech -- and it is well worth listening to it today -- that was delivered long ago by a distinguished philosopher, Archytas of Tarentum. “Nature,” he said, “has never visited on man a more virulent pestilence than sex. There is nothing we will not do, however rash and ill-considered, in order to satisfy our desires. Sex has impelled men to treason, to revolution, to collusion with the enemy. Under the influence of sex, there is no criminal enterprise they will not undertake, no sin they will not commit. Infidelity, of course, and then any kind of depraved perversion you can think of -- all are driven by the search for sexual pleasure. Nature -- or perhaps some god -- has given us nothing more valuable than the power to reason; but there is nothing more inimical to reason than sex. Lust will always overcome self-control; there is no moral value that can stand up to the attacks of unbridled desire.”
[tr. Cobbold (2012)]

THEY SAY OLD AGE DEPRIVES US OF ALMOST ALL OF THE PLEASURES. Oh, this is a wonderful gift of old age, if it does indeed relieve us of most of the reasons youth gets itself into trouble. Remember, you young folks, the famous warning from Dr. Johnson, the especially great and famous eighteenth century savant. I came to admire him when I was a young man at Oxford. He said that the body is all vice. The body's avid desire for the pleasures makes it seek them rashly and without control until it finds gratification. Oh the trouble! These things often create traitors of their countries: they ruin governments and cause secret dealings with enemies. The desire for bodily pleasure drives people to commit debauchery, adultery, and crimes of all sorts. Since nature's (or God's) greatest gift to mankind is our reason, nothing is so harmful to God's gift than the desire for pleasure because it makes us act so irrationally. By golly, when we are in hot pursuit of pleasure, there is no place for modration or good sense. If the pleasure is too great and lasts too long, it will blot out any trace of rational thinking.
[tr. Gerberding (2014)]

Again old age is given a third censure.
It is devoid, they say, of sensual pleasure,
But that’s also a wonderful gift without price
Taking from us youth’s most wicked vice!
Listen, my good lads, to the time-honoured advice
Of Archytas from Tarentum, great and blessed,
Who in my young days his thoughts expressed,
While I was in Tarentum with Q. Maximus:
No evildoing can be worse than the voluptuous
Pleasure of the senses was his complaint
Which makes men blind and act with no restraint.
From it descend treason, revolution and
Pacts with the enemies of the Fatherland.
All evil actions and crimes combined
Have an urge for lust not far behind,
And then adultery and lewdness
Are set on fire by voluptuousness.
There must have been some god who gave mankind,
Or maybe it wasn’t a god but nature,
The divine privilege of the mind
Which is the enemy of pleasure.
Indeed under the rule of passion
Temperance has no place at all,
And virtue can be kept in thrall
By sensuality’s enticing coils.
[tr. Bozzi (2015)]

We come now to the third objection to growing older -- that the pleasures of the flesh fade away. But if this is true, I say it is indeed a glorious gift that age frees us from youth's most destructive failing. Now listen, my most noble young friends, to the ancient words of that excellent and most distinguished young man, Archytas of Tarentum, repeated to me when I was serving as a young soldier in that very city with Quintus Maximus. He said the most fatal curse given to men by nature is sexual desire. From it spring passions of uncontrollable and reckless lust seeking gratification. From it come secret plotting with enemies, betrayals of one's country, and teh voer throw of governments. Indeed, there is no evil act, no unscrupulous deed that a man driven by lust will not perform. Uncontrolled sensuality will drive men to rape, adultery, and every other sexual outrage. And since nature -- or perhaps some god -- has given men no finer gift than human intelligence, this divine endowment has no greater foe than naked sensuality. Where lust rules, there is no place for self-control. And in the kingdom of self-indulgence, there is no room for decent behavior.
[tr. Freeman (2016)]

The third typical criticism of old age follows this, and that is that people complain that it lacks [sexual] pleasures. Oh! Glorious wealth of age, if it takes that from us, the most criminal part of youth! Take this from me, most noble young men, this is the ancient speech of Archytas of Tarentum, which was repeated to me when I was a young man working for Quintus Maximus there: “Nature has given man no deadlier a curse than sexual desire.”
[tr. @sentantiq (2019)]

 
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

What had men thought? What had men believed? How did they come by those thoughts and beliefs? How had men learned to govern themselves? Were the processes the same everywhere?

Did man build cities because of an inner drive, like that of a beaver to build dams? How much of what we do is free will, and how much is programmed in our genes? Why is each people so narrow that it believes that it, and it alone, has all the answers? In religion, is there but one road to salvation? Or are there many, all equally good, all going in the same general direction?

I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read.

I have known hunger of the belly kind many times over, but I have known a worse hunger: the need to know and to learn.

Louis L'Amour (1908-1988) American writer
Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir, ch. 11 (1989)
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More quotes by L'Amour, Louis

Gustave Dore - Inferno 4.42 - The virtuous pagans (1890)
Gustave Dore – Inferno 4.42 – The virtuous pagans (1890)

Down there, to judge only by what I heard,
there were no wails but just the sounds of sighs
rising and trembling through the timeless air,
The sounds of sighs of untormented grief
burdening these groups, diverse and teeming,
made of men and women and of infants.
Then the good master said, “You do not ask
what sort of souls are these you see around you.
Now you should know before we go on farther,
they have not sinned. But their great worth alone
was not enough, for they did not know Baptism
which is the gateway to the faith you follow,
and if they came before the birth of Christ
They did not worship God the way one should;
I myself am a member of this group.
For this defect, and for no other guilt,
we here are lost. In this alone we suffer:
cut off from hope, we live on in desire.”

[Quivi, secondo che per ascoltare,
non avea pianto mai che di sospiri
che l’aura etterna facevan tremare;
ciò avvenia di duol sanza martìri,
ch’avean le turbe, ch’eran molte e grandi,
d’infanti e di femmine e di viri.
Lo buon maestro a me: “Tu non dimandi
che spiriti son questi che tu vedi?
Or vo’ che sappi, innanzi che più andi,
ch’ei non peccaro; e s’elli hanno mercedi,
non basta, perché non ebber battesmo,
ch’è porta de la fede che tu credi;
e s’e’ furon dinanzi al cristianesmo,
non adorar debitamente a Dio:
e di questi cotai son io medesmo.
Per tai difetti, non per altro rio,
semo perduti, e sol di tanto offesi
che sanza speme vivemo in disio”.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 4, l. 25ff (4.25-42) (1309) [tr. Musa (1971)]
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In the First Circle of Hell, Dante encounters the "virtuous pagans," without sin but who cannot go to heaven because they were not baptized (such as children), or because they were born before Christ and therefore could not be saved by faith. They are not physically punished, but languish in an otherwise-pleasant Limbo, longing to be united with God. (Dante did not invent Limbo, but popularized it.)

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Loud Lamentations were not heard from thence,
But heavy Sighs which trembled through the air:
From th' anguish these of Mind, not Body, came
Of many Infants, Women, and of Men.
You do not ask me, my kind Master said,
What are these Spirits in this place you see;
This you should know before we farther pass.
These have not sinn'd; and 'though they had reward
Deserved for their meritorious acts,
'Twould not avail, since they were ne'er baptiz'd;
For this in your Belief's the Gate of Faith.
They who have lived before Christ appear'd
Have not with proper Prayers ador'd their God.
And I myself, alas! am one of those.
For these defects, and not for any crime,
We're lost; and, without other punishment,
We live desiring, yet depriv'd of hope.
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 35ff]

Now thro' the void and viewless shadows drear,
Short sighs, thick-coming, led the list'ning ear,
Trembling in murmurs low along the gale:
No pang is here, no tort'ring hour is known,
Their irrecoverable loss alone
Matrons, and fires, and tender babes bewail.
"And can the mournful train that here abide
Unnotic'd pass thee by?" the Poet cry'd,
"These were of the race renown'd of ancient time:
Unknown a Saviour, unador'd a God,
Their blind presumptuous course in reason's road
They still pursu'd, unconscious of a crime.
No bleeding ransom of their sins they knew
Nor from the fount regeneration drew
The sacred symbol of eternal joy!
In ceaseless languors now forlorn they dwell,
Not heirs of Heav'n, nor denizens of Hell,
And of their sad society am I!"
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 5-7]

Here, as mine ear could note, no plaint was heard
Except of sighs, that made th’ eternal air
Tremble, not caus’d by tortures, but from grief
Felt by those multitudes, many and vast,
Of men, women, and infants. Then to me
The gentle guide: “Inquir’st thou not what spirits
Are these, which thou beholdest? Ere thou pass
Farther, I would thou know, that these of sin
Were blameless; and if aught they merited,
It profits not, since baptism was not theirs,
The portal to thy faith. If they before
The Gospel liv’d, they serv’d not God aright;
And among such am I. For these defects,
And for no other evil, we are lost;
Only so far afflicted, that we live
Desiring without hope.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Here never aught of louder plaint or moan
Disturbed the listener's hearing; but the air
Trembled eternally with sighs alone.
The cause, a grief where torment hath no share,
Endured of crowded hostings not a few,
Men, women, infants, all assembled there.
And thus the good preceptor -- "Canst thou view
So vast a throng, nor ask of whom the spirits?
I will thou learn, ere we our path pursue.
These were not sinners; yet, whatever their merits.
Suffice not them, wanting baptismal rite.
That each partaker of thy faith inherits.
And if they rose before the Christian light.
Duly they honoured not their Maker's name;
But what these are, am I: our fates unite.
For such default, and not for deeper blame,
Heaven have we lost; yet this our only smart.
Our hope is not, our longing still the same."
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

Here was no plaint, that could be heard, except of sighs, which caused the eternal air to tremble;
And this arose from the sadness, without torment, of the crowds that were many and great, both of children, and women and men.
The good Master said to me: "Thou askest not what spirits are these thou seest? I wish thee to know, before thou goest further,
that they sinned not; and though they have merit, it suffices not: for they had not Baptism, which is the portal of the faith that thou believest;
and seeing they were before Christianity, they worshipped not God aright; and of these am I myself.
For such defects, and for no other fault, are we lost; and only in so far afflicted, that without hope we live in desire."
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Here was no sound, to any listener's ear,
Of loud complaint, but frequent sighs of care,
Which made to tremble the eternal air.
It happened thus, from grief of torments void,
Possessing crowds beyond our sight and ken
Of infants, and of women, and of men.
The good master said, "You do not ask me
What are these spirits which you now descry --
Wouldst thou discover, ere we yet draw nigh?
These have not sinn'd, though merit they should have --
'Tis not enough, for baptism they have none,
A portion of the faith you also own:
They lived ere Christianity began;
The God of heaven adored not as they ought.
And of these here, I'm also in the fault
For these defects; for other evil none
Are lost, -- afflicted only thus so far:
Live in desire, but want hope's brightening star."
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

There as I listen'd I could hear no sound
Of plaint or moan, but rather that of sighs
Which tremulous did stir th' eternal air;
This came not from the martyrdom of pain
But from the dole of those, many and great,
Of children, and of women, and of men.
My kindly master said -- "Thou askest not
Who be these spirits which thou seest now?
Yet here we further go, be to thee known
They sinned not; yet no merit claim'd by them
Availeth aught, because they never knew
The Grace Baptismal, portal of they creed:
And if they liv'd before the day of Grace
They could not in right spirit worship God:
And of that number I myself am one.
For this default and for no other guilt
We are lost souls; afflicted only thus,
That ever hopeless we must still desire."
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

There, in so far as I had power to hear, ⁠
⁠Were lamentations none, but only sighs,
⁠That tremulous made the everlasting air.
And this arose from sorrow without torment,
⁠Which the crowds had, that many were and great,
⁠Of infants and of women and of men. ⁠
To me the Master good: "Thou dost not ask
⁠What spirits these, which thou beholdest, are?
⁠Now will I have thee know, ere thou go farther,
That they sinned not; and if they merit had,
'T is not enough, because they had not baptism, ⁠
⁠Which is the portal of the Faith thou holdest;
And if they were before Christianity,
⁠⁠In the right manner they adored not God;
⁠⁠And among such as these am I myself.
For such defects, and not for other guilt,
⁠⁠Lost are we, and are only so far punished,
⁠⁠That without hope we live on in desire."
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Here, so far as listening went, lamentation was not, save of sighs which made the everlasting mist tremble. And this befel of woe without torments which the crowds had, that were many and great, both of infants and of women and of men. The good Master to me: 'Thou demandest not what spirits these are whom thou seest ? Now will I that thou know ere thou go further, that they did not sin; and if they have deserts, it suffices not; because they had not baptism, which is a part of the faith which thou believest. And if they were before Christianity, they adored not God duly; and of this sort am I myself. For such defects, not for other crime, we are lost; and we are harmed only in so far as we live without hope in longing.'
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Here, in as far as hearing is aware,
⁠Was no loud weeping, but a sound of sighs.
⁠Which ever trembled in the eternal air,
And these from sorrow without torments rise,
⁠Sorrow that holds the crowds both many and great,
⁠Men, women, children, of all age and size.
Turned my good master to me: "Dost thou wait
⁠To ask what souls are these thou seest here?
⁠I will that thou shouldst know at once their state.
These have not sinned, and if their acts were fair,
⁠'Twas not sufficient, since they baptism lacked,
⁠The gateway of the Faith which thou dost share.
And if they lived ere Christ's law was a fact.
⁠They did not in fit fashion God adore;
⁠And I myself amongst these last am wreckt.
For such deficiencies, and nothing more,
⁠Our penalty is fixed, the lost among,
⁠To yearn for ever on this hopeless shore.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Here, so far as could be heard, there was no plaint but that of sighs which made the eternal air to tremble: this came of the woe without torments felt by the crowds, which were many and great, of infants and of women and of men. The good Master to me, “Thou dost not ask what spirits are these that thou seest. Now I would have thee know, before thou goest farther, that they sinned not; and if they have merits it sufficeth not, because they had not baptism, which is part of the faith that thou believest; and if they were before Christianity, they did not duly worship God: and of such as these am I myself. Through such defects, and not through other guilt, are we lost, and only so far harmed that without hope we live in desire.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Here, so far as I could tell by listening, there was no wailing, but sighs only, making the air to tremble without ceasing; and this arose from the misery, albeit uncaused by torture, which the crowds felt, and they were many and great; babes and women and men. My gentle Master said to me: "Thou dost not ask what shades are these thou seest. I now would have thee know, or ever thou goest farther, that they have not sinned; and though they have good works to their account, it sufficeth not, for they knew not baptism, which is the gateway of the faith the which thou dost believe. And as they were before Christ's coming, they failed to worship God aright ; and of their number am I myself. For shortcomings such as these, and for no other fault, are we lost: and this our only punishment, that without hope we live in yearning.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

Therein, so far as listening was of service,
⁠There was no lamentation, save of sighing,
⁠That made the eternal weight of air to quiver.
This came to pass from sorrow without torments.
⁠That the crowds had, which were both great and many.
⁠Of little children, and of men, and women.
To me the master kind: "Dost thou not ask me
⁠What spirits these are here, whom thou beholdest?
⁠Now I would have thee know, ere thou go further,
That they sinned not: and yet that they have merits
⁠Sufficeth not, because they had not baptism.
⁠Which is a portion of the faith thou holdest:
And, if they were before the Christian advent,
⁠They did not render unto God due worship.
⁠And I of such as these myself am also.
For such defects, and not for other forfeit,
⁠Are we among the lost, and only troubled
⁠At this, that without hope we live in longing.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

Here, so far as I could tell by listening, was no lamentation more than sighs which kept the air forever trembling; these came from grief without torments that was borne by the crowds, which were vast, of men and women and little children. The good Master said to me: "Does thou not ask what spirits are these thou seest? I would have the know, then, before thou goest farther, that they did not sin; but though they have merits it is not enough, for they had not baptism, which is the gateway of the faith thou holdest; and if they were here before Christianity they did not worship God aright, and of these I am one. For such defects, and not for any guilt, we are lost, and only so far afflicted that without hope we live in desire."
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Here was no sound that the ear could catch of rue,
⁠Save only of sighs, that still as they complain
⁠Make the eternal air tremble anew.
And this rose form the sorrow, unracked by pain,
⁠That was in the great multitude below
⁠Of children and of women and of men.
The good Master to me: "Wouldst thou not know
⁠'What spirits are these thou seest and hearest grieve?
⁠I'd have thee learn before thou farther go,
These sinned not: but the merit that they achieve
⁠Helps not, since baptism was not theirs, the gate
⁠Of that faith, which was given thee to believe.
And if ere Christ they came, untimely in date,
⁠They worshipped not with right experience;
⁠And I myself am numbered in their state.
For such defect, and for no other offence,
⁠We are lost, and only in so far amerced
⁠That without hope we languish in suspense."
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

We heard no loud complaint, no crying there,
⁠No sound of grief except the sound of sighing
⁠Quivering for ever through the eternal air;
Grief, not for torment, but for loss undying,
⁠By women, men, and children sighed for so,
⁠Sorrowers thick-thronged, their sorrows multiplying.
Then my good guide: "Thou dost not ask me who
⁠These spirits are,” said he, “whom thou perceivest?
⁠Ere going further, I would have thee know
They sinned not; yet their merit lacked its chiefest
⁠Fulfilment, lacking baptism, which is
⁠The gateway to the faith which thou believest;
Or, living before Christendom, their knees
⁠Paid not aright those tributes that belong
⁠To God; and I myself am one of these.
For such defects alone -- no other wrong --
⁠We are lost; yet only by this grief offended:
⁠That, without hope, we ever live, and long.
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

No tortured wailing rose to greet us here
⁠but sounds of sighing rose from every side,
⁠sending a tremor through the timeless air,
a grief breathed out of untormented sadness,
⁠the passive state of those who dwelled apart,
⁠men, women, children -- a dim and endless congress.
And the Master said to me: "You do not question
⁠what souls these are that suffer here before you?
⁠I wish you to know before you travel on
that these were sinless. And still their merits fail,
⁠for they lacked Baptism's grace, which is the door
⁠of the true faith you were born to. Their birth fell
before the age of the Christian mysteries,
⁠and so they did not worship God's Trinity
⁠in fullest duty. I am one of these.
For such defects are we lost, though spared the fire
⁠and suffering Hell in one affliction only:
⁠that without hope we live on in desire."
[tr. Ciardi (1954)]

Here there was no plaint, that could be heard, except of sighs, which caused the eternal air to tremble; and this arose from the sadness, without torments, of the crowds that were many and great, both of children and of women and men. The good master said to me, “Do you not ask what spirits are these that you see ? Now, before you go farther, I will have you know that they did not sin; but if they have merit, that does not suffice, for they did not have baptism, which is the portal of the faith you hold; and if they were before Christianity, they did not worship God aright, and I myself am one of these. Because of these shortcomings, and for no other fault, we are lost, and only so far afflicted that without hope we live in longing.”
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

Here, for as much as hearing could discover,
⁠there was no outcry louder than the sighs
⁠that caused the everlasting air to tremble.
The sighs arose from sorrow without torments,
⁠out of the crowds -- the many multitudes --
⁠of infants and of women and of men.
The kindly master said: “Do you not ask
⁠who are these spirits whom you see before you?
⁠I'd have you know, before you go ahead,
they did not sin; and yet, though they have merits,
⁠that’s not enough, because they lacked baptism,
⁠the portal of the faith that you embrace.
And if they lived before Christianity,
⁠they did not worship God in fitting ways;
⁠and of such spirits I myself am one.
For these defects, and for no other evil,
⁠we now are lost and punished just with this:
⁠we have no hope and yet we live in longing.”
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

There, in so far as listening could tell me,
⁠The only lamentations were the sighs,
⁠Yet they made the eternal air tremble.
They came from the sadness, without any torment,
⁠Felt by the crowds -- there were many of them, and huge --
⁠Of infants and of men and of men.
The master said: "Are you not going to ask
⁠What sprits these are which you see in this place?
⁠I think you should know before you go on;
They have committed no sin, and if they have merits,
⁠That is not enough, because they are not baptized,
⁠Which all must be, to enter the faith which is yours.
And if they lived before the Christian era,
⁠They did not adore God as he should be adored:
⁠And I am one of those in that position.
For these deficiencies, and no other fault,
⁠We are lost; there is no other penalty
⁠Than to live here without hope, but with desire."
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

⁠Here we encountered
No laments that we could hear -- except for sighs
That trembled the timeless air: they emanated
From the shadowy sadnesses, not agonies,
Of multitudes of children and women and men.
He said, "And don't you ask, what spirits are these?
Before you go on, I tell you: they did not sin:
If they have merit, it can't suffice without
Baptism, portal to the faith you maintain.
Some lived before the Christian faith, so that
They did not worship God aright -- and I
Am one of these. Through this, no other fault,
We are lost, afflicted only this one way:
That having no hope, we live in longing."
[tr. Pinsky (1994), l. 19ff]

⁠Here, as far as could be heard, there was no weeping except of sighs which caused the eternal air to tremble;
⁠these resulted from grief without torture, felt by the crowds, which were many and large, of infants and of women and of men.
⁠My good master to me: “You do not ask what spirits are these you see? Now I wish you to know, before you walk further,
⁠that they did not sin; and if they have merits, it is not enough, because they did not receive baptism, which is the gateway to the faith that you believe.
⁠And if they lived before Christianity, they did not adore God as was needful: and of this kind am I myself.
⁠Because of such defects, not for any other wickedness, we are lost, and only so far harmed that without hope we live in desire.”
[tr. Durling (1996)]

Here there was no sound to be heard, except the sighing, that made the eternal air tremble, and it came from the sorrow of the vast and varied crowds of children, of women, and of men, free of torment. The good Master said to me: ‘You do not demand to know who these spirits are that you see. I want you to learn, before you go further, that they had no sin, yet, though they have worth, it is not sufficient, because they were not baptised, and baptism is the gateway to the faith that you believe in. Since they lived before Christianity, they did not worship God correctly, and I myself am one of them. For this defect, and for no other fault, we are lost, and we are only tormented, in that without hope we live in desire.’
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Here, there was no pandemonium of tortured groans;
only interminable sighs, which trembled the air
with a murderous hum; and this arose
from all the sadnesses, albeit painless,
of the multitude of men and women,
and children of every size.
Then he to me: "Why don't you ask me who these spirits are?
Before you go much further
on, I'd like it to be understood that they are
innocent of sin; however,
lacking Baptism, they could not claim
its saving grace, and thus are doomed forever;
living, as they did, before Christ came
they did not pay the Lord his due respect;
and I myself am classed as one of them.
For these faults, not for any other defect,
are we lost; our only pain
is hopeless, unfulfilled desire. These are the facts.
[tr. Carson (2002)]

Here, there was no pandemonium of tortured groans; only interminable sighs, which trembled the air with a murmurous hum; and this arose from all the sadnesses, albeit painless, of the multitude of men and women, and children of every size. Then he to me: "Why don't you ask me who these spirits are? Before you go much further on, I'd like it to be understood that they are innocent of sin; however, lacking Baptism, they could not claim its saving grace, and thus are doomed forever; living, as they did, before Christ came, they did not pay the Lord his due respect; and I myself am classed as one of them. For these faults, not for any other defect, are we lost; our only pain is hopeless, unfulfilled desire. These are the facts.
[tr. Carson (2002)]

Here in the dark (where only hearing told)
⁠there were no tears, no weeping, only sighs
⁠that caused a trembling in the eternal air --
sighs drawn from sorrowing, although no pain.
⁠This weighs on all of them, those multitudes
⁠of speechless children, women and full-grown men.
'You do not ask,' my teacher in his goodness said,
⁠'who all these spirits are that you see here?
⁠Do not, I mean, go further till you know:
these never sinned. And some attained to merit.
⁠But merit falls far short. None was baptized.
⁠None passed the gate, in your belief, to faith.
They lived before the Christian age began.
⁠They paid no reverence, as was due to God.
⁠And in this number I myself am one.
For such deficiencies, no other crime,
⁠we all are lost yet only suffer harm
⁠through living in desire, but hopelessly.'
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

Here, as far as I could tell by listening,
⁠was no lamentation other than the sighs
⁠that kept the air forever trembling.
These came from grief without torment
⁠borne by vast crowds
⁠of men, and women, and little children.
My master began: 'You do not ask about
⁠the souls you see? I want you to know,
⁠before you venture farther,
they did not sin. Though they have merit,
⁠that is not enough, for they were unbaptized,
⁠denied the gateway to the faith that you profess.
And if they lived before the Christians lived,
⁠they did not worship God aright.
⁠And among these I am one.
For such defects, and for no other fault,
⁠we are lost, and afflicted but in this,
⁠that without hope we live in longing.'
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

And here there was no weeping; the only signs
⁠Of sorrow I heard were sighs that caused a gentle
⁠Trembling, stirring eternal air, yet rising
Not from tortured pain or punishment
⁠But only because there were so many, men
⁠And women and children. My Master asked this question
Of me: "Don't you mean to inquire, again,
⁠Who and what are the spirits you see in here?
⁠I want you to know, before you take another step,
These are not sinners; no matter what they deserve ⁠It can't be enough, for none have been baptized -- ⁠The gateway to Heaven in your faith's clearest terms. All those born before the coming of Christ
⁠Cannot be Christians, worshipping god as He
⁠Requires, and one of many such men am I.
These imperfections, and nothing more, no crimes,
⁠Bar us from Paradise, not punished, not hurt.
⁠We have no hope, we live for our great desire.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

⁠To the extent
That I could hear at all, all cries were sighs.
The air without end shook to the lament
Not just of men and women: with surprise
I saw young children too. Why were they sent?
I thought, and once again my Master saw
Into my mind, and said: “You do not ask
Who these ones are, why here, and by what law?
I'll tell you, before we resume our task,
Of pain without a sin. But though they be
Ever so virtuous, no unbaptized
Souls are exempted from this penalty,
And if they lived before His Son, they prized
God insufficiently. And I was one
Of those. For such defects, and for no crime
More grave, we're lost: for something left undone
We're doomed to live without hope for all time.”
[tr. James (2013), l. 31ff]

 
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

More undertakings fail for want of spirit than for want of sense. Confidence gives a fool the advantage over a wise man.

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English writer
“On Manner,” The Round Table (1817)
    (Source)
 
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More quotes by Hazlitt, William

But what was it that delighted me save to love and to be loved? Still I did not keep the moderate way of the love of mind to mind — the bright path of friendship. Instead, the mists of passion steamed up out of the puddly concupiscence of the flesh, and the hot imagination of puberty, and they so obscured and overcast my heart that I was unable to distinguish pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled confusedly within me, and dragged my unstable youth down over the cliffs of unchaste desires and plunged me into a gulf of infamy.

[Et quid erat quod me delectabat, nisi amare et amari? Sed non tenebatur modus ab animo usque ad animum quatenus est luminosus limes amicitiae, sed exhalabantur nebulae de limosa concupiscentia carnis et scatebra pubertatis, et obnubilabant atque obfuscabant cor meum, ut non discerneretur serenitas dilectionis a caligine libidinis. Utrumque in confuso aestuabat et rapiebat inbecillam aetatem per abrupta cupiditatum atque mersabat gurgite flagitiorum.]

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Christian church father, philosopher, saint [b. Aurelius Augustinus]
Confessions, Book 2, ch. 2 / ¶ 2 (2.2.2) (c. AD 398) [tr. Outler (1955)]
    (Source)

Agonizing over how horny he was at age 16.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

And what was it that I delighted in, but to love, and be loved? but I kept not the measure of love, of mind to mind, friendship's bright boundary: but out of the muddy concupiscence of the flesh, and the bubblings of youth, mists fumed up which beclouded and overcast my heart, that I could not discern the clear brightness of love from the fog of lustfulness. Both did confusedly boil in me, and hurried my unstayed youth over the precipice of unholy desires, and sunk me in a gulf of flagitiousnesses.
[tr. Pusey (1838)]

But what was it that I delighted in save to love and to be beloved? But I held it not in moderation, mind to mind, the bright path of friendship, but out of the dark concupiscence of the flesh, and the effervescence of youth exhalations came forth which obscured and overcast my heart, so that I was unable to discern pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled confusedly within me, and dragged away my unstable youth into the rough places of unchaste desires, and plunged me into a gulf of infamy.
[tr. Pilkington (1876)]

And what was it that delighted me, but to love and to be loved? But the intercourse of mind with mind was not restricted within the clear bounds of honest love; but dense vapours arose from the miry lusts of the flesh, and the bubblings of youth, and clouded and darkened my heart; so that the clearness of true love could not be discerned from the thick mist of sensuality. Both boiled together confusedly within me, and carried away my weak young life over the precipices of passion, and merged me in a whirlpool of disgrace.
[tr. Hutchings (1890)]

Now what was it that gave me pleasure, save to love and to be loved? But I could not keep within the kingdom of light, where friendship binds soul to soul. From the quagmire of concupiscence, from the well of puberty, exhaled a mist which clouded and befogged my heart, so that I could not distinguish between the clear shining of affection and the darkness of lust. Both stormed confusedly within me, whirling my thoughtless youth over the precipices of desire, drowning it in the eddying pool of shame.
[tr. Bigg (1897)]

My one delight was to love and to be loved. But in this I did not keep the measure of mind to mind, which is the luminous line of friendship; but from the muddy concupiscence of the flesh and the hot imagination of puberty mists steamed up to becloud and darken my heart so that I could not distinguish the white light of love from the fog of lust. Both love and lust boiled within me, and swept my youthful immaturity over the precipice of evil desires to leave me half drowned in a whirlpool of abominable sins.
[tr. Sheed (1943)]

What was there to bring me delight except to love and be loved? But that due measure between soul and soul, wherein lie the bright boundaries of friendship, was not kept. Clouds arose from the slimy desires of the flesh and from youth’s seething spring. They clouded over and darkened my soul, so that I could not distinguish the calm light of chaste love from the fog of lust. Both kinds of affection burned confusedly within me and swept my feeble youth over the crags of desire and plunged me into a whirlpool of shameful deeds.
[tr. Ryan (1960)]

I cared for nothing but to love and be loved. But my love went beyond the affection of one mind for another, beyond the arc of the bright beam of friendship. Bodily desire, like a morass, and adolescent sex welling up within me exuded mists which clouded over and obscured my heart, so that I could not distinguish the clear light of true love from the murk of lust. Love and lust together seethed within me. In my tender youth they swept me away over the precipice of my body’s appetites and plunged me in the whirlpool of sin.
[tr. Pine-Coffin (1961)]

And what was it that delighted me? Only this -- to love and be loved. But I could not keep that true measure of love, from one mind to another mind, which marks the bright and glad area of friendship. Instead I was among the foggy exhalations which proceed from the muddy cravings of the flesh and bubblings of first manhood. These so clouded over my heart and darkened it that I was unable to distinguish between the clear calm of love and the swirling mists of lust. I was storm-tossed by a confused mixture of the two and, in my weak, unstable age, swept over the precipices of desire and thrust into the whirlpools of vice.
[tr. Warner (1963)]

And what was it that gave me joy but to love and to be loved, love that was not held by that restraint which lies between mind and mind, where runs the boundary of friendship? From the miry, bubbling fleshly lust of youth, fogs arose which overclouded and darkened my heart, so that the difference between a tranquil affection and the blackness of lust was blurred. They boiled together in confusion, and snatched my weak years down the screes of impure desires to plunge me in a whirlpool of manifold wickedness.
[tr. Blaiklock (1983)]

What was it that delighted me? Only loving and being loved. But there was no proper restraint, as in the union of mind with mind, where a bright boundary regulates friendship. From teh mud of my fleshly desires, and my erupting puberty, belched out murky clouds that obscured and darkened my heart, until I could not distinguish the clam light of love from the fog of lust. The two swirled about together and dragged me, young and weak as I was, over the cliffs of my desires, and engulfed me in a whirlpool of sins.
[tr. Boulding (1997)]

 
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More quotes by Augustine of Hippo

History proves there is no better advertisement for a book than to condemn it for obscenity. Forbidden fruits have unique flavors, and the bounds of suppression create new limits of desire.

Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948) English journalist, editor, author
The Fear of Books, Part 2, ch. 1 (1932)
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More quotes by Jackson, Holbrook

Do the gods light this fire in our hearts
or does each man’s mad desire become his god?

[Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 9, l. 184ff (9.184-185) [Nisus] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fagles (2006)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Doth God our mind inspire, Or makes each man a god of's own desire? [tr. Ogilby (1649)]
Or do the gods inspire
This warmth, or make we gods of our desire?
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Do the gods, Euryalus, infuse this ardour into our minds? or is each one's earnest inclination his god?
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

"Can it be Heaven" said Nisus then
"That lends such warmth to hearts of men,
Or passion surging past control
That plays the god to each one's soul?"
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Is it the gods who give
This ardor to our minds, Euryalus?
And must our strong desires be deemed divine?
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 230ff]

Lend the gods this fervour to the soul, Euryalus? or does fatal passion become a proper god to each?
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Doth very God so set the heart on fire,
Euryalus, or doth each man make God of his desire?
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Is it that the Gods inspire,
Euryalus, this fever of the breast?
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 24, l. 208ff]

Is it gods above that breathe
this fever in my soul, Euryalus?
or is the tyrant passion of each breast
the god it serves?
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Do the gods, Euryalus, put this fire in our hearts, or does his own wild longing become to each man a god?
[tr. Fairclough (1918)]

Euryalus, what is it?
Do the gods put this ardor in our hearts
Or does each man’s desire become his god?
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Is it God that makes one burn to do brave things,
Or does each of us make a god of his own fierce passion to do them?
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

Euryalus, is it
the gods who put this fire in our minds,
or is it that each man's relentless longing
becomes a god to him?
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 243ff]

This urge to action, do the gods instill it,
Or is each man's desire a god to him,
Euryalus?
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 252ff]

Is it the gods who put this ardour into our minds, or does every man's irresistible desire become his god?
[tr. West (1990)]

Euryalus, do the gods set this fire in our hearts,
or does each man’s fatal desire become godlike to him?
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Do the gods
Put this fire in our hearts, Euryalus,
Or do our passions become our gods?
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Do gods enflame our hearts, Euryalus,
or do our fierce desires become our gods?
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
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More quotes by Virgil

The three horrors of modern life — talk without meaning, desire without love, work without satisfaction.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 5 (1963)
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More quotes by McLaughlin, Mignon

There are certain people who so ardently and so passionately desire a thing, that from dread of losing it they leave nothing undone to make them lose it.

[Il y a de certaines gens qui veulent si ardemment et si déterminément une certaine chose, que de peur de la manquer, ils n’oublient rien de ce qu’il faut faire pour la manquer.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 4 “Of the Heart [Du Coeur],” § 61 (4.61) (1688) [tr. Van Laun (1885)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

There are those People, who so ardently and passionately desire a thing, that for fear they shall lose it, they leave nothing undone that may surely make 'em lose it.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

There are certain People, who so ardently and passionately desire a thing, that out of fear of losing it, they leave nothing undone to make 'em lose it.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

Some so ardently and passionately desire a thing, that out of fear of losing it, they run into Measures which infallibly makes them lose it.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

There are some people who are so ardently and resolutely bent on gaining a certain thing that, for fear of losing it, they do everything that is likely to lose it for them.
[tr. Stewart (1970)]

 
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More quotes by Shaw, George Bernard

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature,” Essays, No. 13 (1625)
    (Source)

Often trimmed down to "In charity there is no excess."
 
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More quotes by Bacon, Francis

The Intellect engages us in the pursuit of Truth. The Passions impel us to Action.

[Cogitatio in vero exquirendo maxime versatur, appetitus impellit ad agendum.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 35 (1.35) / sec. 132 (44 BC) [Barnes (1814)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

Reflection is chiefly employed in the investigation of truth, appetite impels to action.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

Reflection chiefly applies itself in the search of truth. Appetite prompts us to action.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Thought is occupied chiefly in seeking the truth; impulse urges to action.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

Thought is employed in the discovery of truth, appetite impels to action.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

Thought is occupied chiefly with the discovery of truth; impulse prompts to action.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

Thought is mostly expended in seeking out the truth, passion urges men to action.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
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Wretchedness is caused by emotional disturbances, and the happy life by calmness, and disturbance takes two forms — anxiety and fear in expecting evils, ecstatic joy and lustful thoughts in misunderstanding good things, all of which are at variance with with wisdom and reason. Accordingly, if a man possesses self-control and consistency, and is without fear, distress, excitability, or lust, is he not happy? But this is the nature of the wise man always, so he is happy always.

[Atque cum perturbationes animi miseriam, sedationes autem vitam efficiant beatam, duplexque ratio perturbationis sit, quod aegritudo et metus in malis opinatis, in bonorum autem errore laetitia gestiens libidoque versetur, quae omnia cum consilio et ratione pugnent, his tu tam gravibus concitationibus tamque ipsis inter se dissentientibus atque distractis quem vacuum solutum liberum videris, hunc dubitabis beatum dicere? atqui sapiens semper ita adfectus est; semper igitur sapiens beatus est.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 5, ch. 15 (5.15) / sec. 43 (45 BC) [tr. Davie (2017)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Now since the Disturbances of the Soul render the Life miserable, but the composure of them happy; and there is a double rank of Passions; in that, Discontent and Fear are terminated on Evils conceiv'd; but excessive Mirth and Lust arise from the misapprehension of good things, since all are inconsistent with Advice and Reason, if you shall see any one clear, emancipated, free from these emotions so vehement, so discordant one with the other, and so distracting, can you make any question of calling him Happy? But the Wise man is always so dispos'd, therefore the Wise man is always Happy.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

But as the perturbations of the mind make life miserable, and tranquility renders it happy: and as these perturbations are of two sorts; grief and fear, proceeding from imagined evils, immoderate joy and lust, from the mistake of what is good; and all these are in opposition to reason and counsel; when you see a man at ease, quite free and disengaged from such troublesome commotions, which are so much at variance with one another, can you hesitate to pronounce such a one a happy man? Now the wise man is always in such a disposition: therefore the wise man is always happy.
[tr. Main (1824)]

But when the perturbations render life unhappy, while their repose makes it happy -- and since the mode of perturbation is twofold -- sorrow and fear having birth from reputed evils -- the delirium of joy and desire, from the delusion of good, -- when all these are repugnant to counsel and reason, and you see a man void, exempt, free from these excitements, so vehement, so discordant, so distracted by mutual conflicts, -- will you hesitate to pronounce him happy? But the wise man is always thus, and therefore always happy.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

But as the perturbations of the mind make life miserable, and tranquillity renders it happy; and as these perturbations are of two sorts, grief and fear, proceeding from imagined evils, and as immoderate joy and lust arise from a mistake about what is good, and as all these feelings are in opposition to reason and counsel; when you see a man at ease, quite free and disengaged from such troublesome commotions, which are so much at variance with one another can you hesitate to pronounce such an one a happy man? Now the wise man is always in such a disposition, therefore the wise man is always happy.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Now since perturbations of mind create misery, while quietness of mind makes life happy, and since there are two kinds of perturbations, grief and fear having their scope in imagined evils, inordinate joy and desire in mistaken notions of the good, all being repugnant to wise counsel and reason, will you hesitate to call him happy whom you see relieved, released, free from these excitements so oppressive, and so at variance and divided among themselves? Indeed one thus disposed is always happy. Therefore the wise man is always happy.
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

 
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That person, then, whose mind is quiet through consistency and self-control, who finds contentment in himself, and neither breaks down in adversity nor crumbles in fright, nor burns with any thirsty need nor dissolves into wild and futile excitement, that person is the wise one we are seeking, and that person is happy.

[Ergo hic, quisquis est, qui moderatione et constantia quietus animo est sibique ipse placatus, ut nec tabescat molestiis nec frangatur timore nec sitienter quid expetens ardeat desiderio nec alacritate futtili gestiens deliquescat, is est sapiens quem quaerimus, is est beatus.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 4, ch. 17 (4.17) / sec. 37 (45 BC) [tr. Graver (2002)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

He therefore, call him by what name you will, who through Moderation and Constancy, hath quiet of mind, and is at Peace with himself; so as neither to fret out of Discontent, nor to be confounded with Fear, who neither is inflam'd with an impatient longing after any thing, nor ravish'd out of himself into the Fools Paradice of an empty Mirth; this is the wise man, after whom we are in quest; this the Happy man.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

Whoever then, through moderation and consistency, is at rest in his mind, and in calm possession of himself, so as neither to pine with care, nor be dejected with fear, neither to be inflamed with desire, nor dissolved by extravagant joy, such a one is the very wise man we enquire after, the happy man.
[tr. Main (1824)]

Therefore the man, whoever he is, who has quiet of mind, through moderation and constancy, and thus at peace with himself, is neither corroded with cares, nor crippled by fear; and, thirsting for nothing impatiently, is exempt from the fires of desire, and, dizzied by the fumes of no futile felicity, reels with no riotous joy: this is the wise man we seek: this man is happy.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

Whoever, then, through moderation and constancy, is at rest in his mind, and in calm possession of himself, so as neither to pine with care, nor be dejected with fear, nor to be inflamed with desire, coveting something greedily, nor relaxed by extravagant mirth, -- such a man is that identical wise man whom we are inquiring for, he is the happy man.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Whoever then has his mind kept in repose by moderation and firmness, and is at peace with himself so that he is neither wasted by troubles nor broken down by fear, nor burns with longing in his thirsty quest of some object of desire, nor flows out in the demonstration of empty joy, is the wise man whom we seek; he is the happy man.
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

 
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Desire’s most seductive promise is not pleasure but change, not that you might possess your object but that you might become the one who belongs with it.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
“Vectors: 56 Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays,” Michigan Quarterly Review, # 2 (Spring 1999)
    (Source)
 
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Why, it is the prohibition that makes anything precious. There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Note (1896-02), Mark Twain’s Notebook, ch. 24 “Ceylon and India” (1935) [ed. Albert Bigelow Paine]
    (Source)

Speaking of Adam and the original Forbidden Fruit. Written while in Bombay, India.
 
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What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 5 (1963)
    (Source)
 
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Wise is he who instead of grieving over what he lacks delights in what he has.

[Εὐγνώμων ὁ μὴ λυπεόμενος ἐφ’ οἷσιν οὐκ ἔχει, ἀλλὰ χαίρων ἐφ’ οἷσιν ἔχει.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 231 (Diels) [tr. @sententiq (2016)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Diels citation "231 (61 N.)"; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium III, 17, 25. Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter. Alternate translations:

  • "A sensible man takes pleasure in what he has instead of pining for what he has not." [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
  • "The right-minded man is he who is not grieved by what he has not, but enjoys what he has." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "A man of sound judgement is not grieved by what he does not possess but rejoices in what he does possess." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
  • "A sensible man does not grieve for what he has not, but enjoys what he has." [Source]
 
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Virtuous love consists in decorous desire for the beautiful.

[Δίκαιος ἔρως ἀνυβρίστως ἐφίεσθαι τῶν καλῶν]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 73 (Diels) [tr. Freeman (1948)]
    (Source)

Diels citation "73. (87 N.) DEMOKRATES. 38."; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium III, 5, 23. Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter. Alternate translations:

  • "Rightful love is longing without violence for the noble." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
  • "Just lust is longing for noble things without arrogance." [tr. @sententiq (2018)]
 
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Violent desire for one thing blinds the soul to all others.

[αἱ περί τι σφοδραὶ ὀρέξεις τυφλοῦσιν εἰς τἆλλα τὴν ψυχήν.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 72 (Diels) [tr. Freeman (1948)]
    (Source)

Diels citation "72. (58 N.) DEMOKRATES. 37." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter. Alternate translations:

  • "Extreme desires about one thing blind the soul to others." [tr. @sententiq (2018)]
  • "Violent desire for one thing blinds the soul to everything else." [Source]
 
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It is the mark of a child not an adult to desire without measure.

[Παιδός, οὐκ ἀνδρὸς τὸ ἀμέτρως ἐπιθυμεῖν.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 70 (Diels) [tr. @sententiq (2018), fr. 69]
    (Source)

Diels citation "70. (62N.) Demokrates. 35." Alternate translations:

  • "Immoderate desire is the mark of a child, not a man." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "It is a characteristic of a child, not a man, to desire without measure." [tr. Chitwood (2004)]
 
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One of the most troublesome things in life is that what you do or do not want has very little to do with what does or does not happen.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
 
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You can tell the man who rings true from the man who rings false, not by his deeds alone, but also by his desires.

[Δόκιμος ἀνὴρ καὶ ἀδόκιμος οὐκ ἐξ ὧν πράσσει μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ ὧν βούλεται.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 68 (Diels) [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
    (Source)

Diels citation "68. (40 N.) DEMOKRATES. 33." Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "A man is approved or rejected not only by what he doth, but by what he wills." [Hammond (1845)]
  • "The worthy and the unworthy man are to be known not only by their actions, but also their wishes." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "One of esteem and one without it do not only act for different reasons but they desire for different reasons too." [tr. @sententiq (2018), fr. 67]
  • "Accomplished or unaccomplished we shall call a man not only from what he does but from what he desires, too." [Source]
  • "The worthy and unworthy are known not only by their deeds, but also by their desires." [Source]
 
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And the winner will be desire,
Shining in the eyes of a bride,
An invitation to bed,
A power to sweep across the bounds of what is Right.
For we are only toys in your hands,
Divine, unbeatable Aphrodite.

[νικᾷ δ᾽ ἐναργὴς βλεφάρων ἵμερος εὐλέκτρου
νύμφας, τῶν μεγάλων πάρεδρος ἐν ἀρχαῖς
θεσμῶν. ἄμαχος γὰρ ἐμπαίζει θεὸς, Ἀφροδίτα.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 795ff [Chorus, Antistrophe] (441 BC) [tr. Woodruff (2001)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Triumphantly prevails
The heart-compelling eye of winsome bride,
Compeer of mighty Law
Thronèd, commanding.
Madly thou mockest men, dread Aphrodite.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

But victory belongs to radiant Desire swelling from the eyes of the sweet-bedded bride. Desire sits enthroned in power beside the mighty laws. For in all this divine Aphrodite plays her irresistible game.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

Victorious is the love-kindling light from the eyes of the fair bride; it is a power enthroned in sway beside the eternal laws; for there the goddess Aphrodite is working her unconquerable will.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

And none has conquered but Love!
A girl’s glance working the will of heaven:
Pleasure to her alone who mock us,
Merciless Aphrodite.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), l. 653ff]

For the light that burns in the eyes of a bride of desire
Is a fire that consumes.
At the side of the great gods
Aphrodite immortal
Works her will upon all.
[tr. Watling (1947), l. 687ff]

Desire looks clear from the eyes of a lovely bride:
power as strong as the founded world.
For there is the goddess at play whom no man can fight.
[tr. Wyckoff (1954)]

The kindling light of Love in the soft
Eye of a bride conquers, for Love sits on his
throne, one of the great Powers;
Nought else can prevail against
Invincible Aphrodite.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

Love alone the victor --
warm glance of the bride triumphant, burning with desire!
Throned in power, side-by-side with the mighty laws!
Irresistible Aphrodite, never conquered --
Love, you mock us for your sport.
[tr. Fagles (1982), l. 890ff]

Desire radiant from the eyelids
of a well-bedded bride prevails,
companion in rule with the gods’ great
ordinances. She against whom none may battle,
the goddess Aphrodite, plays her games.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett (2002)]

You, Love!
Through the lashes of a lusty bride, Passion, you win the day, scorning the great laws which hold sway over the whole world.
Because Aphrodite is invincible!
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

The bride’s desire seen glittering in her eyes --
that conquers everything, its power
enthroned beside eternal laws, for there
the goddess Aphrodite works her will,
whose ways are irresistible.
[tr. Johnston (2005), l. 905ff]

 
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Virtue consists, not in avoiding wrong-doing, but in having no wish thereto.

[Ἀγαθὸν οὐ τὸ μὴ ἀδικεῖν, ἀλλὰ τὸ μηδὲ ἐθέλειν.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 62 (Diels) [tr. Freeman (1948)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Diels cites this as "62. ( 38 N.) DEMOKRATES. 27" ; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium III, 9, 29. Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "To be good is not only not to do an injury, but not so much as to desire to do one." [tr. Clarke (1750), Democrates, "Ethica."]
  • "Good means not [merely] not to do wrong, but rather not to desire to do wrong.: [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
  • "To be good is not to refrain from wrongdoing but not even to want to commit it." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
  • "It is not good to not commit injustice, but rather to not desire to." [tr. @sententiq (2018), frag. 61]
  • "Virtue consists not in avoiding wrongdoing, but in having no desire for it." [Source]
 
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There is the heat of Love,
the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper,
irresistible — magic to make the sanest man go mad.

[Ἔνθ’ ἔνι μὲν φιλότης, ἐν δ’ ἵμερος, ἐν δ’ ὀαριστὺς
πάρφασις, ἥ τ’ ἔκλεψε νόον πύκα περ φρονεόντων.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 14, l. 216ff (14.216) (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), l. 259ff]
    (Source)

Referring to Venus' girdle (cestus). Original Greek. Alternate translations:

In whose sphere
Were all enticements to delight, all loves, all longings were,
Kind conference, fair speech, whose pow’r the wisest doth inflame.
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 181ff]

In this was every art, and every charm,
To win the wisest, and the coldest warm:
Fond love, the gentle vow, the gay desire,
The kind deceit, the still reviving fire,
Persuasive speech, and more persuasive sighs,
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

It was an ambush of sweet snares, replete
With love, desire, soft intercourse of hearts,
And music of resistless whisper’d sounds
That from the wisest steal their best resolves
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 256ff]

In it were love, and desire, converse, seductive speech, which steals away the mind even of the very prudent.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

There Love, there young Desire,
There fond Discourse, and there Persuasion dwelt,
Which oft enthralls the mind of wisest men.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

Therein are love, and desire, and loving converse, that steals the wits even of the wise.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

Love, desire, and that sweet flattery which steals the judgement even of the most prudent.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Therein is love, therein desire, therein dalliance -- beguilement that steals the wits even of the wise.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

Allurement of the eyes, hunger of longing, and the touch of lips that steals all wisdom from the coolest men.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

There upon it is affection, upon it desire and seductive dalliance with robs even a sensible person of wisdom.
[tr. Merrill (2007)]

 
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I’m filled with a desire for clarity and meaning within a world and condition that offers neither.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
The Myth of Sisyphus” (1942)
 
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THERE ARE BETTER THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN ALCOHOL, ALBERT.
“Oh, yes, sir. But alcohol sort of compensates for not getting them.”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Death’s Domain (1999)
    (Source)

Death speaking with his manservant, Albert.
 
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It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.

[ἄπειρος γὰρ ἡ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας φύσις, ἧς πρὸς τὴν ἀναπλήρωσιν οἱ πολλοὶ]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 2, ch. 7, sec. 19 / 1267b.4 [tr. Jowett (1885)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans.:

  • "For it is the nature of our desires to be boundless, and many live only to gratify them." [tr. Ellis (1912)]

  • "For appetite is in its nature unlimited, and the majority of mankind live for the satisfaction of appetite." [tr. Rackham (1924)]

  • "For the nature of desire is without limit, and it is with a view to satisfying this that the many live. [tr. Lord (1984)]
 
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Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.

Clementine Paddleford (1898-1967) American food writer
A Flower for My Mother (1958)
    (Source)

Quoting her mother.
 
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Human psychology has a near-universal tendency to let belief be colored by desire.

Richard Dawkins (b. 1941) English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, author
The God Delusion (2006)
 
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Natural inclinations are present in things from God, who moves all things. So it is impossible for the natural inclinations of a species to be toward evil in itself. But there is in all perfect animals a natural inclination toward carnal union. Therefore it is impossible for carnal union to be evil in itself.

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Italian friar, philosopher, theologian
Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 3, ch. 126, argument 3 [tr. Dominican (1923)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Natural inclinations are put into things by God, who is the prime mover of all. Therefore it is impossible for the natural inclination of any species to be directed to an object in itself evil. But in all full-grown animals there is a natural inclination to sexual union, which union therefore cannot be in itself evil."
 
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For some men, the stronger their desire, the more difficult it is for them to act. They are hampered by mistrust of themselves, daunted by the fear of giving offence; besides, deep feelings of affection are like respectable women; they are afraid of being found out and they go through life with downcast eyes.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) French writer, novelist
Sentimental Education, Part 2, ch. 3 (1869)
    (Source)

Elsewhere as Book 2, ch. 16.
 
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Human beings are more alike than unalike. There’s no real mystique. Every human being, every Jew, Christian, back-slider, Muslim, Shintoist, Zen Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, every human being wants a nice place to live, a good place for the children to go to school, healthy children, somebody to love, the courage, the unmitigated gall, to accept love in return, some place to relax on Saturday or Sunday night, and some place to experience their God.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“The Art of Fiction,” Paris Review, #116, Interview with George Plimpton (1990)
    (Source)

A similar passage, from a speech at Ohio Dominican College (9 Dec 1993): "Humans are wonderfully different and marvelously alike. Human being are more alike than unalike. Whether in Paris, Texas, or Paris, France, we all want to have good jobs where we are needed and respected and paid just a little more than we deserve. We want healthy children, safe streets, to be loved and have the unmitigated gall to accept love. If we are religious, we want a place to perpetuate God. If not, we want a good lecture every once in a while. And everyone wants someplace to party on Saturday nights."
 
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Men speak the truth of one another when each reveres the truth in his own mind and in the other’s mind; but how shall my friend revere the truth in my mind when I myself am careless about it, when I believe things because I want to believe them, and because they are comforting and pleasant?

William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879) English mathematician and philosopher
“The Ethics of Belief,” Contemporary Review (Jan 1877)
    (Source)
 
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
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Every man is in some sort a failure to himself. No one ever reaches the heights to which he aspires.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“Table-Talk”
    (Source)
 
Added on 9-Jun-19 | Last updated 16-Apr-21
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I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“Starlings in Winter”
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-Apr-19 | Last updated 16-Apr-19
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Other people’s appetites easily appear excessive when one doesn’t share them.

André Gide (1869-1951) French author, Nobel laureate
The Counterfeiters, “Edouard’s Journal: Oscar Molinier” (1925)
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Added on 2-Oct-18 | Last updated 2-Oct-18
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Yet there is still this difference between man and all other animals — he is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.

Henry George (1839-1897) American economist
Progress and Poverty, Book 2, ch. 3 (1879)
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Added on 7-May-18 | Last updated 7-May-18
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ENOBARBUS: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety; other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 2, sc. 2, l. 276ff (2.2.276-279) (1607)
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Added on 10-Nov-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-24
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Though the terrain of frustration may be vast — from a stubbed toe to an untimely death — at the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 3 “Consolation For Frustration” (2000)
 
Added on 2-Nov-17 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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A just man is not one who does no ill,
But he, who with the power, has not the will.

Philemon (c. 362 BC – c. 262 BC) Athenian poet and playwright
Sententiæ, II

Attributed in John Booth, Epigrams, Ancient and Modern (1863). .
 
Added on 12-Sep-17 | Last updated 12-Sep-17
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Ah, Love! could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits — and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!

Omar Khayyám (1048-1123) Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer [عمر خیام]
Rubáiyát, 99 [tr. FitzGerald]
 
Added on 14-Aug-17 | Last updated 14-Aug-17
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