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Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practises it will have neighbors.

[德不孤、必有鄰。]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 4, verse 25 (4.25) (6th C. BC – AD 3rd C.) [tr. Legge (1861)]
    (Source)

Differing commentary on the text can be found; it may mean that virtue attracts others to its side, or it may be a comment on virtue needing to be practiced in a social setting.

(Source (Chinese)). Alternate translations:

Virtue dwells not alone: she must have neighbors.
[tr. Jennings (1895)]

Moral worth is never left alone; society is sure to grow round him.
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]

Virtue never dwells alone; it always has neighbors.
[tr. Soothill (1910)]

Virtue attracts friends.
[tr. Soothill (1910), Alternate]

Candidness is not fatherless, it is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Pound (1933)]

Moral force (tê) never dwells in solitude; it will always bring neighbors.
[tr. Waley (1938)]

Virtue never stands alone. It is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Lau (1979)]

Virtue is not solitary. It is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Dawson (1993)]

Virtue is not solitary; it always has neighbors.
[tr. Leys (1997)]

A virtuous person is not alone, certainly has his companions.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998)]

Excellent persons (de) do not dwell alone; they are sure to have neighbors.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]

Virtue is not solitary; it must have neighbors.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998)]

Integrity's never alone. It always has neighbors.
[tr. Hinton (1998)]

Virtue is never solitary; it always has neighbors.
[tr. Slingerland (2003)]

Virtue is not alone. It invariably has neighbors.
[tr. Watson (2007)]

Virtue does not stand alone. It is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Annping Chin (2014)]

A virtuous person is never lonely because there is always a comrade nearby.
[tr. Li (2020)]

 
Added on 29-Aug-22 | Last updated 29-Aug-22
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Democracies have no business running secret prisons. That’s what our enemies do. If we are in a battle for the hearts and minds of people around the world, as the administration says we are, I won’t feel very secure if the people around the world believe we are no different than our enemies. […] As Americans, we do believe our system offers a better way. But the only way to convince others of that is if we live by our values. Real security begins with remembering who we are. We gain nothing by adopting the methods of our enemies.

Bob Schieffer
Bob Schieffer (b. 1937) American broadcast journalist
“Free Speech,” CBS Evening News (14 Sep 2006)
    (Source)
 
Added on 23-Aug-22 | Last updated 23-Aug-22
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I agree with you likewise in your wishes to keep religion and government independent of each Other. Were it possible for St. Paul to rise from his grave at the present juncture, he would say to the Clergy who are now so active in settling the political Affairs of the World. “Cease from your political labors your kingdom is not of this World. Read my Epistles. In no part of them will you perceive me aiming to depose a pagan Emperor, or to place a Christian upon a throne. Christianity disdains to receive Support from human Governments. From this, it derives its preeminence over all the religions that ever have, or ever Shall exist in the World. Human Governments may receive Support from Christianity but it must be only from the love of justice, and peace which it is calculated to produce in the minds of men. By promoting these, and all the Other Christian Virtues by your precepts, and example, you will much sooner overthrow errors of all kind, and establish our pure and holy religion in the World, than by aiming to produce by your preaching, or pamphlets any change in the political state of mankind.”

Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) American physician, writer, educator, humanitarian
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (6 Oct 1800)
    (Source)
 
Added on 10-May-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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“Write shorter epigrams,” is your advice.
Yet you write nothing, Velox. How concise!

[Scribere me quereris, Velox, epigrammata longa.
Ipse nihil scribis: tu breviora facis.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, epigram 110 (1.110) [tr. McLean (2014)]
    (Source)

"To Velox." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Velox complains my epigrams are long,
When he writes none: he sings a shorter song.
[tr. Fletcher (c. 1650)]

You say my epigrams, Velox, too long are:
You nothing write; sure yours are shorter far.
[tr. Wright (1663)]

Of my long epigrams, you, Swift, complain;
And nothing write: I laud your shorter strain.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 12, ep. 16, "To Velox, or Swift"]

You complain, Velox, that the epigrams which I write are long. You yourself write nothing; your attempts are shorter.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

You complain, Velox, that I write long epigrams, you yourself write nothing. Yours are shorter.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

"Such lengthy epigrams," you say, "affright one."
True, yours are shorter, for you never write one.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

You say I write lines longer than I ought?
It's true your lines are shorter -- they are nought.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

You say my epigrams are too long.
Yours are shorter.
You write nothing.
[tr. Kennelly (2008), "Nothing"]

Swifty, you moan that I write long epigrams. You aren't writing anything yourself; is that you making shorter ones?
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

My epigrams are word, you've complained;
But you write nothing. Yours are more restrained.
[tr. O'Connell]

“Much too long” you say, Velox, censorious,
Of my epigrams -- that’s quite uproarious.
You write none. Your brevity is glorious.
[tr. Schmidgall (2001)]

You call my epigrams verbose and lacking in concision
while you yourself write nothing. Wise decision.
[tr. Clark, "Short Enough?"]

 
Added on 11-Mar-22 | Last updated 11-Mar-22
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Hear now the treachery of the Greeks and from one learn the wickedness of all.

[Accipe nunc Danaum insidias, et crimine ab uno
Disce omnes.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 65ff (2.65-66) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fairclough (1916)]
    (Source)

Regarding Sinon, who posed as a Greek refugee and persuaded the Trojans that the Trojan Horse was harmless. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Now hear how well the Greeks their wiles disguis'd;
Behold a nation in a man compris'd.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Now learn the treachery of the Greeks, and from one crime take a specimen of the whole nation.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854), "Literally, 'from one of their tricks learn what they all are.'"]

Now listen while my tongue declares
The tale you ask of Danaan snares,
And gather from a single charge
Their catalogue of crimes at large.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

          Now
Hear what the treachery of the Grecians was,
And from one crime learn all.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 89ff]

Know now the treachery of the Grecians, and from a single crime learn all.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Lo now, behold the Danaan guile, and from one wrong they wrought
Learn ye what all are like to be.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Mark now the Danaans' cunning; from one wrong
Learn all.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 10, ll. 82-83]

Hear now what Greek deception is, and learn
from one dark wickedness the whole.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Listen, and learn Greek trickiness; learn all
Their crimes from one.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Now hear how the Greeks tricked us; learn from one case of their wickedness
What every Greek is like.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Now listen to the treachery of the Danaans
and learn from one the wickedness of all.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 92-93]

          Be instructed now
In Greek deceptive arts: one barefaced deed
Can tell you of them all.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l.91ff]

Listen now to this story of Greek treachery, and from this one indictment, learn the ways of a whole people.
[tr. West (1990)]

          Hear now
The treachery of the Greeks, and from one offense
Learn all their evil.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Now, hear the treachery of the Greeks and learn
from a single crime the nature of the beast.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Now hear how the Greeks baited their trap, and from one act of treachery, understand them all!
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 9-Mar-22 | Last updated 9-Mar-22
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In the course of my travels I remarked that all those whose opinions are decidedly repugnant to ours are not in that account barbarians and savages, but on the contrary that many of these nations make an equally good, if not better, use of their reason than we do. I took into account also the very different character which a person brought up from infancy in France or Germany exhibits, from that which, with the same mind originally, this individual would have possessed had he lived always among the Chinese or with savages, and the circumstance that in dress itself the fashion which pleased us ten years ago, and which may again, perhaps, be received into favor before ten years have gone, appears to us at this moment extravagant and ridiculous. I was thus led to infer that the ground of our opinions is far more custom and example than any certain knowledge.

[Et depuis, en voyageant, ayant reconnu que tous ceux qui ont des sentiments fort contraires aux nôtres ne sont pas pour cela barbares ni sauvages, mais que plusieurs usent autant ou plus que nous de raison; et ayant considéré combien un même homme, avec son même esprit, étant nourri dès son enfance entre des Français ou des Allemands, devient différent de ce qu’il seroit s’il avoit toujours vécu entre des Chinois ou des cannibales, et comment, jusques aux modes de nos habits, la même chose qui nous a plu il y a dix ans, et qui nous plaira peut-être encore avant dix ans, nous semble maintenant extravagante et ridicule; en sorte que c’est bien plus la coutume et l’exemple qui nous persuade, qu’aucune connaissance certaine.]

René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician
Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 2 (1637) [tr. Veitch (1901)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

And having since observ’d in my travails, That all those whose opinions are contrary to ours, are not therefore barbarous or savage, but that many use as much or more reason then we; and having consider’d how much one Man with his own understanding, bred up from his childhood among the French or the Dutch, becomes different from what he would be, had he alwayes liv’d amongst the Chineses, or the Cannibals: And how even in the fashion of our Clothes, the same thing which pleas’d ten years since, and which perhaps wil please ten years hence, seems now to us ridiculous and extravagant. So that it’s much more Custome and Example which perswades us, then any assured knowledg.
[tr. Newcombe ed. (1649)]

I further recognized in the course of my travels that all those whose sentiments are very contrary to ours are yet not necessarily barbarians or savages, but may be possessed of reason in as great or even a greater degree than ourselves. I also considered how very different the self-same man, identical in mind and spirit, may have become, according as he is brought up from childhood amongst the French or Germans, or has passed his whole life amongst Chinese or cannibals. I likewise noticed how even in the fashions of one's clothing the same thing that pleased us ten years ago, and which will perhaps please us once again before ten years are passed, seems at the present time extravagant and ridiculous. I thus concluded that it is much more custom and example that persuade us than any certain knowledge.
[tr. Haldane & Ross (1911)]

Since then I have recognized through my travels that those with views quite contrary to ours are not on that account barbarians or savages, but that many of them make use of reason as much or more than we do. I thought, too, how the same man, with the same mind, if brought up from infancy among the French or Germans, develops otherwise than he would if he had always lived among the Chinese or cannibals; and how, even in our fashions of dress, the very thing that pleased us ten years ago, and will perhaps please us again ten years hence, now strikes us as extravagant and ridiculous. Thus it is custom and example that persuade us, rather than any certain knowledge.
[tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)]

 
Added on 11-Jan-22 | Last updated 4-Jun-22
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All things are tolerable which others have borne and are bearing.

[Sed significat tolerabilia esse, quae et tulerint et ferant ceteri.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 3, ch. 23 (3.23) / sec. 57 (45 BC) [tr. Yonge (1853)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

  • "Those things are in themselves tolerable, which others have born, and do bear." [tr. Wase (1643)]
  • "All things are tolerable which others have borne and can bear." [tr. Main (1824)]
  • "What others have endured and endure must be tolerable." [tr. Otis (1839)]
  • "Things are tolerable which others have borne and are bearing." [tr. Peabody (1886)]
  • "The circumstances at hand are indeed tolerable, since others have tolerated them and continue to do so." [tr. Graver (2002)]
 
Added on 13-Sep-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

Joe Biden (b. 1942) American politician, US President (2021- ) [Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.]
Inaugural Address (20 Jan 2021)
    (Source)

Regarding American foreign relations.
 
Added on 17-Mar-21 | Last updated 17-Mar-21
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Each party abuses the other; the profane and the infidel believe both sides, and enjoy the fray; the reputation of religion in general suffers, and its enemies are ready to say, not what was said in the primitive times, Behold how these Christians love one another, — but, Mark how these Christians HATE one another! Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people about their victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to Jane Mecom (23 Feb 1769)
    (Source)

On the vociferous denominational debate in America over whether a new bishop should be sent from the Church of England to the Colonies.
 
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The essence of success is that it is never necessary to think of a new idea oneself. It is far better to wait until somebody else does it, and then to copy him in every detail, except his mistakes.

Aubrey Menen (1912-1989) English writer
The Abode of Love, Part 3, “The Random Wooings” (1956)
    (Source)
 
Added on 29-Jul-20 | Last updated 29-Jul-20
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What the world wants iz good examples, not so mutch advice; advice may be wrong, but examples prove themselves.

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Puddin and Milk” (1874)
    (Source)
 
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For your reputation, for your religion, for your safety, for every advantage you have, do not acquit this man — no, exact vengeance upon him to make him an example to everyone, to our citizens and to the rest of the world.

[οὔτε γὰρ πρὸς δόξαν οὔτε πρὸς εὐσέβειαν οὔτε πρὸς ἀσφάλειαν οὔτε πρὸς ἄλλ᾿ οὐδὲν ὑμῖν συμφέρει τοῦτον ἀφεῖναι, ἀλλὰ τιμωρησαμένους παράδειγμα ποιῆσαι πᾶσι, καὶ τοῖς πολίταις καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις Ἕλλησιν.]

Demosthenes (384-322 BC) Greek orator and statesman
Oration 19, “On the False Embassy,” sec. 343 (Conclusion)
    (Source)

Also known as "On the False Legation". Alt. trans.: "For the sake of your honor, of your religion, of your security, of everything you value, you must not acquit this man. Visit him with exemplary punishment, and let his fate be a warning not to our own citizens alone but to every man who lives in the Hellenic world." [tr. Vince, Vince (1926)]
 
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A man’s action is only a picture-book of his creed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Poetry and Imagination,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
    (Source)
 
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Be careful how you live your life, it is the only Gospel many people will ever read.

Hélder Câmara (1909-1999) Brazilian Catholic Archbishop, social and political activist
(Attributed)

Quoted in 1985 in Basta, the national news letter of the Chicago Religious Task Force on Central America.

Alt. trans.: "Watch how you live. Your lives may be the only gospel your brothers and sisters will ever read."
 
Added on 28-Aug-17 | Last updated 28-Aug-17
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A wise man weaves a philosophy out of each acceptance life forces upon him.

Elizabeth Bibesco (1897-1945) Romanian-English writer
Haven (1951)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-May-17 | Last updated 25-May-17
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Children will imitate their fathers in their vices, seldom in their repentance.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) British Baptist preacher, author [Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon]
Spurgeon’s Sermons, 3rd Series, Sermon 21, “Manasseh” (1883)
    (Source)
 
Added on 22-Nov-16 | Last updated 22-Nov-16
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No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure, and good, without the world being the better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.

Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American clergyman, hymnist
Sermons, Vol. 1
    (Source)
 
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Men think they may justly do that for which they have a precedent.

[Quod exemplo fit, id etiam jure fieri putant.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Epistulae ad Familiares [Letters to Friends], Book 4, Letter 3 (4.3)
 
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Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Anglo-Irish statesman, orator, philosopher
Letters on a Regicide Peace, Vol. 5, Letter 1 (1796)
 
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If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father’s vices: thou canst not rebuke that in them, that they behold practiced in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts: such as thy behaviour is before thy children’s faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents’ backs.

quarles-behind-their-parents-backs-wist_info-quote

Francis Quarles (1592-1644) English poet
Enchyridion, Century 3, cap. 18
    (Source)
 
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Indeed a wise and good man will turn examples of all sorts, to his own advantage. The good he will make his patterns, and strive to equal or excel them. The bad he will by all means avoid.

Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German monk, author
The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, ch. 25 [tr. Stanhope]
 
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DANILOV: We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight. Yes, we need to make examples. But examples to follow. What we need are heroes.

Jean-Jacques Annaud (b. 1943) French film director, screenwriter, producer
Enemy at the Gates (2001) [with Alain Godard]
 
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Men trust their ears less than their eyes.

Herodotus (c.484-c.420 BC) Greek historian
The Histories, Book 1, ch. 8
 
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What the world wants iz good examples, not so mutch advice; advice may be wrong, but examples prove themselves.

[What the world wants is good examples, not so much advice; advice may be wrong, but examples prove themselves.]

Billings - good examples - wist_info quote

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
The Complete Works of Josh Billings, “PUDDIN AND MILK” (1842)
 
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How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

Shakespeare - how far that little candle - wist_info quote

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Merchant of Venice, Act 5, sc. 1, l. 99ff [Portia] (1597)
    (Source)

In some versions, "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

Sometimes attributed to Roald Dahl; Willy Wonka uses the line toward the end of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971).
 
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People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.

Goldsmith - no other model - wist_info quote

Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) Irish poet, playwright, novelist
“On Our Theaters,” The Bee, #11 (13 Oct 1759)
 
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The best foreign policy is to live our daily lives in honesty, decency, and integrity; at home, making our own land a more fitting habitation for free men; and abroad, joining with those of like mind and heart, to make of the world a place where all men can dwell in peace.

Eisenhower - honesty decency integrity - wist_info quote

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Inaugural Gabriel Silver lecture, Columbia University (23 Mar 1950)

Eisenhower was President of Columbia University at the time. The quote was widely used in an "I Believe" advertisement for Eisenhower during the 1956 election.

(Sources 1 and 2)
 
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His preaching much, but more his practice wrought;
(A living sermon of the truths he taught).

John Dryden (1631-1700) English poet, dramatist, critic
“The Character of a Good Parson,” l. 77, Fables (1700)
 
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Do as you would be done by, is the surest method that I know of pleasing. Observe carefully what pleases you in others, and probably the same thing in you will please others.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #129 (16 Oct 1747)
    (Source)

A common theme in Chesterfield's advice, e.g.:

Letter #144 (9 Mar 1748):
Observe carefully, then, what displeases or pleases you in others, and be persuaded, that, in general, the same things will please or displease them in you.

Letter #229 (9 Jul 1750):
Pleasure is necessarily reciprocal; no one feels, who does not at the same time give it. To be pleased, one must please. What pleases you in others, will in general please them in you.
 
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My hope of preserving peace for our country is not founded in the quaker principle of non resistance under every wrong, but in the belief that a just and friendly conduct on our part will procure justice and friendship from others, and that, in the existing contest, each of the combatants will find an interest in our friendship.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to the Earl of Buchan (10 Jul 1803)
    (Source)
 
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It seems to me that America’s objective today should be to try to make herself the best possible mirror of democracy that she can. The people of the world can see what happens here. They watch us to see what we are going to do and how well we can do it. We are giving them the only possible picture of democracy that we can: the picture as it works in actual practice. This is the only way other peoples can see for themselves how it works; and can determine for themselves whether this thing is good in itself, whether it is better than they have, better than what other political and economic systems offer them.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, ch. 43 “Milestones” (1961)
    (Source)
 
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I complained before a learned man that someone had accused me of corruption. He said, “Put him to shame by your good conduct.”

Sa'adi (1184-1283/1291?) Persian poet [a.k.a. Sa'di, Moslih Eddin Sa'adi, Mushrif-ud-Din Abdullah, Muslih-ud-Din Mushrif ibn Abdullah, Mosleh al-Din Saadi Shirazi, Shaikh Mosslehedin Saadi Shirazi]
The Maxims of Sa’di, 7 [tr. Nakosteen (1977)]
 
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To make another person hold his tongue, be you first silent.

[Alium silere quod voles, primus sile.]

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Phaedra [Hippolytus], l. 867 (c. AD 50)
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Sometimes given as "Alium silere quod valeas, primus sile." Alt. trans.: "Where thou wouldst have another silence keep, keep silence first thyself." [tr. F Miller (1907)]
 
Added on 19-Sep-14 | Last updated 19-Sep-14
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The real reason why the name of the boss doesn’t appear on a timecard is not because he’s a bigger man that anyone else, but because there shouldn’t be anyone around to take his time when he gets down and when he leaves.

George Horace Lorimer (1867-1937) American journalist, author, magazine editor
Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son (1901)
 
Added on 5-Aug-14 | Last updated 15-Oct-15
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Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.

Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) American epigrammatist, writer, publisher
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 1 (1862)
 
Added on 20-Dec-13 | Last updated 17-Jan-20
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The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.

Clara Lucas Balfour (1808-1878) English novelist, lecturer, temperance campaigner
Sunbeams for All Seasons: Counsels, Cautions, and Precepts (1861 ed.)
 
Added on 29-May-13 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
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I love to see two truths at the same time. Every good comparison gives the mind this advantage.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
 
Added on 20-May-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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An orator’s life is more convincing than his eloquence.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 507 [tr. Lyman (1862)]
 
Added on 9-Jan-12 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Following the Equator, Preface (1897)
 
Added on 21-Oct-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Ask counsel of both times — of the ancienter time what is best, and of the latter time what is fittest.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Great Place,” Essays, No. 11 (1625)
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Added on 17-Sep-10 | Last updated 25-Mar-22
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Cato said the best way to keep good acts in memory was to refresh them with new.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Apothegms, #247 (1624)
 
Added on 24-Jun-10 | Last updated 16-May-16
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It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist
Mansfield Park, ch. 9 [Edmund Bertram] (1814)
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Added on 12-Apr-10 | Last updated 10-Nov-22
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A leader leads by example not by force.

Sun-Tzu (fl. 6th C. AD) Chinese general and philosopher [a.k.a. Sun Wu]
The Art of War, ch. 9
 
Added on 18-Mar-10 | Last updated 17-Jul-14
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Example is the best precept.

Aesop (620?-560? BC) Legendary Greek storyteller
Fables [Aesopica], “The Two Crabs” (6th C BC) [tr. Jacobs (1894)]
    (Source)

Alternate translation: "Example is better than precept." [tr. James (1848), "The Crab and Her Mother"]
Townsend (1887), "The Crab and Its Mother"]
 
Added on 19-Jan-10 | Last updated 25-Oct-21
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There are large parts of the Christian ethic which are universally admitted to be too good for this wicked world. We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one that we preach, but do not practice, and another that we practice, but seldom preach.

Russell - practice and preach - wist_info quote

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
“Eastern and Western Ideals of Happiness,” Sceptical Essays (1928)
 
Added on 6-Apr-09 | Last updated 23-Feb-16
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I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our god and our consciences, for which we were accountable to him, and not to the priests. I never told my own religion, nor scrutinised that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives: and by this test, my dear Madam, I have been satisfied yours must be an excellent one, to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Margaret Bayard Smith (6 Aug 1816)
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Added on 5-Dec-07 | Last updated 18-Jul-22
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I am here to represent humanity: it is by no means necessary that I should live, but it is by all means necessary that I should act rightly.

Incorporated into “Essential Principles of Religion,” Lecture, Congregational Society, Boston (16 Mar 1862).

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (May 1854)
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Added on 26-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Mar-20
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Children have more need of models than of critics.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 261 (1838) [tr. Attwell (1877)]

(also attrib. Carolyn Coats)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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When Tzŭ Kung asked about the practice of virtue the Master replied: “A workman who wants to do his work well must first sharpen his tools. In whatever State you dwell, take service with the worthiest of its ministers, and make friends of the most Virtuous of its scholars.”

[子貢問爲仁。子曰、工欲善其事、必先利其器、居是邦也、事其大夫之賢者、友其士之仁者。]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 15, verse 10 (15.10) (6th C. BC – AD 3rd C.) [tr. Soothill (1910), 15.9]
    (Source)

Originally numbered 15.9 by Legge, current translations identify it as 15.10. (Source (Chinese)). Alternate translations:

Tsze-kung asked about the practice of virtue. The Master said, "The mechanic, who wishes to do his work well, must first sharpen his tools. When you are living in any state, take service with the most worthy among its great officers, and make friends of the most virtuous among its scholars."
[tr. Legge (1861), 15.9]

T'sz-kung asked how to become philanthropic. The Master answered him thus: "A workman who wants to do his work well must first sharpen his tools. In whatever land you live, serve under some wise and good man among those in high office, and make friends with the more humane of its men of education."
[tr. Jennings (1895), 15.9]

A disciple of Confucius enquired how to live a moral life. Confucius answered, "A workman who wants to perfect his work first sharpens his tools. When you are living in a country, you should serve those nobles and ministers in that country who are men of moral worth, and you should cultivate the friendship of the gentlemen of that country who are men of moral worth."
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898), 15.9]

Tze-kung asked about this business of manhood. He said: The craftsman wanting to perfect his craft must first put an edge on his tools (take advantage of implements already there, the containers). Living in a country, take service with the big men who have solid merit, make friends with the humane scholar-officers.
[tr. Pound (1933), 15.9]

Tzu-kung asked how to become Good. The Master said, A craftsman, if he means to do good work, must first sharpen his tools. In whatever state you dwell:
Take service with such of its officers as are worthy,
Make friends with such of its knights as are Good.
[tr. Waley (1938), 15.9]

Tzu-kung asked about the practice of benevolence. The Master said, "A craftsman who wishes to practice his craft well must first sharpen his tools. You should, therefore, seek the patronage of the most distinguished Counsellors and make friend with the most benevolent Gentlemen in the state where you happen to be staying."
[tr. Lau (1979)]

Zigong asked about practising humaneness. The Master said: "If he wishes to make his work good, the craftsman must first sharpen his tools. If one is staying in a particular state, one serves the people of highest quality among its grandees and makes friends with the most humane among its public servants."
[tr. Dawson (1993)]

Zigong asked how to practice humanity. The Master said: "A craftsman who wishes to do good work must first sharpen his tools. In whatever country you settle, offer your services to the most virtuous ministers, and befriend those gentlemen who cultivate humanity."
[tr. Leys (1997)]

When Zi-gong asked how to cultivate humanity, the Master said: "If an artisan wishes to perfect his craft, he must first sharpen his tools. Living in this state, serve the worthy of its ministers and befriend the humane of its shi."
[tr. Huang (1997)]

Zigong asked how to practice the benevolence, Confucius said: "A worker wants to finish his job perfectly, must sharpen his tool first. One lives in this state, should service the sagacious persons in the senior officials, should make friends with the benevolent persons in the intellectuals.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998)]

Zigong inquired about authoritative conduct (ren). The Master replied, "Tradesmen wanting to be good at (shan) their trade must first sharpen their tools. While dwelling in this state, then, we should serve those ministers who are of the highest character (xian), and befriend those scholar-apprentices (shi) who are most authoritative in their conduct.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]

Dž-gùng asked about being ren. The Master said, If an artisan wants to do his job well, he must first sharpen his tools. When dwelling in some country, serve the worthy among its dignitaries; befriend the ren among its officers.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998)]

Adept Kung asked about the practice of Humanity, and the Master said: “If a craftsman wants to do good work, he must first sharpen his tools. If you want to settle in a country, you must cultivate its wise ministers and befriend its Humane officials.”
[tr. Hinton (1998)]

Zigong asked about becoming Good. The Master said, “Any craftsman who wishes to do his job well must first sharpen his tools. In the same way, when living in a given state, one must serve those ministers who are worthy and befriend those scholar-officials who are Good.”
[tr. Slingerland (2003)]

Zigong asked how to practice humaneness. The Master said, A craftsman who wants to do his job well must first sharpen his tools. Whatever country you are in, be of service to the high officials who are worthy and become friends with the men of station who are humane.
[tr. Watson (2007)]

Zigong asked about the practice of humaneness. The Master said, "Artisans who wish to excel at their craft must sharpen their tools. When you live in any given state, you should serve the worthiest among the counselors and befriend the most human among the educated professionals."
[tr. Chin (2014)]

Zi Gong asked about Ren virtue. Confucius said, "When a craftsman [technician] wants to do a good job, he must sharpen his tools beforehand. After you have arrived in that country, serve and align yourself with competent and virtuous officials working for the prime minister and befriend colleagues hwo have the Ren virtue.
[tr. Li (2020)]

A frequent English paraphrase, attributed to Confucius but without citation to a particular analect, can be found as early as 1831:

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Jan-23
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