Quotations about:
    fall


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Better slip with foot than tongue.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1734 ed.)
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Added on 7-Feb-24 | Last updated 7-Feb-24
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The corruption of the best things gives rise to the worst.

David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, economist, historian, empiricist
The Natural History of Religion, ch. 10 “With Regard to Courage or Abasement” (1757)
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Hume actually calls this "the vulgar observation," an English translation of the well-known Latin phrase corruptio optimi pessima.
 
Added on 29-Jan-21 | Last updated 29-Jan-21
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He used to say that states fail when they cannot distinguish fools from serious men.

[τότ’ ἔφη τὰς πόλεις ἀπόλλυσθαι, ὅταν μὴ δύνωνται τοὺς φαύλους ἀπὸ τῶν σπουδαίων διακρίνειν.]

Antisthenes (c. 445 - c. 365 BC) Greek Cynic philosopher
Fragment 103, in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, sec. 11 [tr. @sentantiq]
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Alt. trans.:
  • "He used to say too, 'That cities were ruined when they were unable to distinguish worthless citizens from virtuous ones.'" [tr. Yonge (1853)]
  • "He said that cities are doomed when they cannot distinguish good men from bad." [tr. Mensch (2018), Book 6, sec. 5]
 
Added on 22-Jun-20 | Last updated 22-Jun-20
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The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ch. 3 (1979)
 
Added on 15-Aug-16 | Last updated 15-Aug-16
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When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in. … Who will our invaders be? From whence will they come?

Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) American author
Letter to Tevis Clyde Smith (Jul 1923)
 
Added on 24-May-16 | Last updated 24-May-16
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There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

Erin Hanson (b. 1996) Australian poet
“There is freedom waiting for you”
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Added on 4-May-16 | Last updated 4-May-16
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Success has ruined many a man.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard’s Almanack (Dec 1752)
 
Added on 19-Dec-14 | Last updated 19-Dec-14
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When the limit of suffering is overpassed, the most imperturbable virtue is disconcerted.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, “Saint Denis” (15.1) [tr. Wilbour (1862)]
 
Added on 16-Dec-14 | Last updated 16-Dec-14
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It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.

P. D. James (1920-2014) British mystery writer [Phyllis Dorothy James White]
“Rhesus Positive,” A Taste for Death (1986)
 
Added on 8-Oct-14 | Last updated 8-Oct-14
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Autumn truly is what summer pretends to be: the best of all seasons. It is as glorious as summer is tedious; as subtle as summer is obvious; as refreshing as summer is wearying. Autumn seems like paradise.

Gregg Easterbrook (b. 1953) American writer, editor
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Oct-14 | Last updated 1-Oct-14
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They do say that when a man starts down hill everybody is ready to help him with a kick, and I suppose it is so.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Letter, San Francisco Alta California (15 Mar 1867)
 
Added on 26-Jul-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen,
his shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven’s field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
The Lord of the Rings, Vol. 1: The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, ch. 11 “A Knife in the Dark” [Sam] (1954)
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Sam says he was taught it by Bilbo, who claimed to have written it. Aragorn corrects him, saying it is part of a lay called "The Fall of Gil-galad," though Bilbo appears to have translated it from the Elvish.
 
Added on 10-May-11 | Last updated 13-Oct-22
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He’d been an angel once. He hadn’t meant to Fall. He’d just hung around with the wrong people.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens, 2. “Eleven Years Ago” (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
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Added on 2-Mar-09 | Last updated 22-Dec-23
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Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

The Bible (The Old Testament) (14th - 2nd C BC) Judeo-Christian sacred scripture [Tanakh, Hebrew Bible], incl. the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)
Proverbs 16:18 [KJV (1611)]
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Source of the common elided version, "Pride goeth before a fall."

Alternate translations:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
[JB (1966), NJB (1985)]

Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.
[GNT (1976)]

Pride comes before disaster,
and arrogance before a fall.
[CEB (2011)]

Pride goes before destruction
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
[NRSV (2021 ed.)]

Pride goes before ruin,
Arrogance, before failure.
[RJPS (2023 ed.)]

 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Jan-24
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