Quotations about:

Note not all quotations have been tagged, so Search may find additional quotes on this topic.

At long last, citizens, Lucius Catilina, blazing with insolence, breathing forth blasts of every audacious rascality, outrageously plotting to overthrow his country, menacing yourselves and our city with fire and sword, has been expelled from Rome by our action, or allowed to leave, or bidden farewell as he took his departure. Gone, retired, run away, broken out, express it how you will.

[Tandem aliquando, Quirites, L. Catilinam, furentem audacia, scelus anhelantem, pestem patriae nefarie molientem, vobis atque huic urbi ferro flammaque minitantem ex urbe vel eiecimus vel emisimus vel ipsum egredientem verbis prosecuti sumus. Abiit, excessit, evasit, erupit.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Orationes in Catilinam [Catilinarian Orations], No. 2, § 1, cl. 1 (2.1.1) (63-11-09 BC) [tr. Grant (1960)]

Informing the Senate that Catiline and many of his co-conspirators had fled Rome the day before.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

At last with much ado, have we either expelled, or let out, or else waited upon L. Catiline of himself, going out of Town, foaming with rage, breathing Treason, unnaturally plotting the destruction of his Countrey, and menacing you and this City with Fire and Sword. He is gone, he is got his way, he is escaped, he is broke loose.
[tr. Wase (1671)]

At length, my fellow-citizens, Lucius Catiline, that nefarious traitor, burning with frantic fury, breathing vengeance and destruction; that public enemy, who meditated the ruin of his country, and threatened this city with sword and fire; that monster of iniquity has sounded his retreat. He is gone; he is fled; he has escaped; he has disappeared.
[tr. Sydney (1795)]

At length, O Romans, we have dismissed from the city, or driven out, or, when he was departing of his own accord, we have pursued with words, Lucius Catiline, mad with audacity, breathing wickedness, impiously planning mischief to his country, threatening fire and sword to you and to this city. He is gone, he has departed, he has disappeared, he has rushed out.
[tr. Yonge (1856)]

At length, at last, oh Romans! we have either cast out of the city Lucius Catiline, raging with audacity, panting after crime, impiously attempting the destruction of our native land, threatening you and this city with sword and with flame, or we have sent him forth, or we have followed with words him when going out. He has gone away, he has departed, he has escaped, he has burst forth.
[tr. Mongan (1879)]

At length, Romans, either we have cast out of the city, L. Catiline, raging with audacity, panting after crime, attempting nefariously the pest (destruction) of the country, threatening sword and flame to you and to this city, or we have sent (him) out, or we have followed with words himself going out. He has departed, he has gone out, he has escaped, he has burst out.
[tr. Underwood (1885)]

At length, finally, Romans, L. Catiline, raging with insolence, breathing out crime, attempting impiously the ruin of the country, threatening sword and flame to you and to this city, either we have cast out of the city, or we have sent (him) out, or with words we have followed him going himself. He has departed, he has gone forth, he has escaped, he has burst out.
[tr. Dewey (1916)]

He is gone, he has fled, he has eluded our vigilance, he has broken through our guards.

Added on 21-Mar-24 | Last updated 21-Mar-24
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

I flee you, Dindymus, when chased; I chase you when you flee.
It’s not your wanting me I want; it’s your not wanting me.
[Insequeris, fugio; fugis, insequor; haec mihi mens est:
Velle tuum nolo, Dindyme, nolle volo.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 5, epigram 83 (5.83) (AD 90) [tr. McLean (2014)]

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

I fly, you follow; fly when I pursue:
What I love, hate; what hated, loved by you.
[tr. Wright (1663)]

You pursue, I fly; you fly, I pursue; such is my Humour. What you wish, Dindymus, I do not wish; what you do not wish, I do.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

You pursue me, I fly; you fly, I follow. Such is your mind; your willingness I reject, Dindymus, your coyness I prize.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Follow, and I shall flee,
Fly, I shall follow thee;
Such is the bent
Of love’s perversity;
Denial draweth me,
But not assent.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "The Old Story"]

You follow, I flee; you flee, I follow.
That's the way it goes.
I hate your yesses, Dindymus,
I much prefer your noes.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

I run, you chase; you chase, I run.
I love what's cold: what's hot I shun.
[tr. Whigham (1987)]

You're hot to trot? Well then I'm not.
You've cooled? I'm ardent on the spot.
What's going on? Don't sulk, my pet:
I like you best as hard to get.
[tr. Matthews (1992)]

You pursue, I fly; you fly, I pursue. This is the way I am. Your wishing, Dindymus, I wish not; your wishing not I wish.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

You chase, I flee; you flee, I chase; it’s how I am:
what you wish I don’t, Dindymus, what you don’t I wish.
[tr. Kline (2006), "Contrary"]

I fly when you pursue me,
But when you shy, I woo thee.
Explain it to me, can't you,
Why I must ever want to want you.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Added on 29-Dec-23 | Last updated 29-Dec-23
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Martial

O human beings, you’re born to fly straight up,
Why does a little gust of wind bring you down?
[O gente umana, per volar sù nata,
perché a poco vento così cadi?]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 2 “Purgatorio,” Canto 12, l. 95ff (12.95-96) (1314) [tr. Bang (2019)]

Some translators have this as a comment by Dante on how few takers there are to the Angel of Humility's invitation to ascend higher; others, including most modern translators, make it part of the Angel's speech.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Ye Souls for Heav'n design'd! ye Sons of Day!
Why should a random breeze o'erset your fail
When heav'n-ward bound?
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 18]

O ye race of men
Though born to soar, why suffer ye a wind
So slight to baffle ye?
[tr. Cary (1814)]

O human race! whose birthright is to soar,
How little wind will make your course give o'er!
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

O human creatures, born to soar aloft,
Why fall ye thus before a little wind?
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

O race of men, born to fly upward, why at a little wind fall ye so down?
[tr. Butler (1885)]

O human race, though born above to soar,
Why at the slightest breath dost thou thus fall ?
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

O human race, born to fly upward, why before a little wind dost thou so fall?
[tr. Norton (1892)]

O human folk, born to fly upward, why at a breath of wind thus fall ye down?
[tr. Okey (1901)]

O race of men, born to fly upward, why do you fall back so for a little wind?
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

O human spirits, upward born to spring,
Why fall ye down at a brief blast of air?
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

O human race, born to take flight and soar,
Why fall ye, for one breath of wind, to earth?
[tr. Sayers (1955)]

O sons of man, born to ascend on high,
how can so slight a wind-puff make you fall?
[tr. Ciardi (1961)]

O race of men, born to fly upward,
why do you fall so at a breath of wind?
[tr. Singleton (1973)]

O race of men, born to fly heavenward,
how can a breath of wind make you fall back?
[tr. Musa (1981)]

O human race, born to fly upwards,
Why do you fall at such a little breeze?
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

O humankind, born for the upward flight,
why are you driven back by wind so slight?
[tr. Mandelbaum (1982)]

O human race, born to fly upward, why do you fall at so little wind?
[tr. Durling (2003)]

O human race, born to soar, why do you fall so, at a breath of wind?
[tr. Kline (2002)]

O human nature! You are born to fly!
Why fail and fall at, merely, puffs of wind?
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

O race of man, born to fly on high,
why does a puff of wind cause you to fall?
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

O human race, born to fly on high,
How can the slightest breeze blow dust in your eyes?
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

Added on 22-Dec-23 | Last updated 22-Dec-23
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Dante Alighieri

New lives, what do they mean in the end? A fresh set of little troubles, more solid perhaps than the old. People who talk of new lives believe there will be no new troubles.

Phyllis Bottome
Phyllis Bottome (1884-1963) British novelist and short story writer [mar. Phyllis Forbes Dennis]
Old Wine, ch. 18 (1925)
Added on 19-Aug-22 | Last updated 19-Aug-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Bottome, Phyliis

I doubt if there is anybody in this hall who really ever sought sobriety. I think we were trying to get away from drunkenness. I don’t think we should despise the negative. I have a feeling that if I ever find myself in Heaven, it will be from backing away from Hell.

Edward Dowling
Edward Dowling (1898-1960) American Jesuit priest ["Father Ed"]
Address to the Alcoholics Anonymous Twentieth Anniversary Convention, St. Louis, Missouri (Jul 1955)

Reprinted in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (1957). Dowling was spiritual advisor to Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA.

Variants of the final line are also attributed (though they only quoted it) to Mariette Hartley, Carrie Fisher, and Courtney Love.

More discussion about the history of quotation: If I Ever Find Myself in Heaven, It Will Be From Backing Away From Hell – Quote Investigator.
Added on 17-Jun-22 | Last updated 17-Jun-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Dowling, Edward

All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber (1894-1961) American cartoonist and writer
“The Shore and the Sea,”, Moral, Further Fables for Our Time (1956)
Added on 15-Oct-21 | Last updated 15-Oct-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Thurber, James

No shame in running,
fleeing disaster, even in pitch darkness.
Better to flee from death than feel its grip.

[Οὐ γάρ τις νέμεσις φυγέειν κακόν, οὐδ’ ἀνὰ νύκτα.
βέλτερον ὃς φεύγων προφύγῃ κακὸν ἠὲ ἁλώῃ.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 14, l. 80ff (14.80) [Agamemnon] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), l. 96ff]

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Better from evils, well foreseen, to run
Than perish in the danger we may shun.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

For there is no disgrace in flying from evil, not even during the night. It is better for a flying man to escape from evil, than to be taken.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

For there is no shame in fleeing from ruin, yea, even in the night. Better doth he fare who flees from trouble, than he that is overtaken.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

There is nothing wrong in flying ruin even by night. It is better for a man that he should fly and be saved than be caught and killed.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

There is no shame in running, even by night, from disaster.
The man does better who runs from disaster than he who is caught by it.
[tr. Lattimore (1951)]

There's no disgrace in getting away from ruin, not by a night retirement. Better a man should leave the worst behind him than be caught.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]
Added on 14-Jan-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings ….

John Gillespie Magee Jr. (1922-1941) Anglo-American pilot and poet
“High Flight” (1941)
Added on 15-Sep-20 | Last updated 15-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Magee, John Gillespie

Wings are freedom only when they are wide open in flight. On one’s back they are a heavy weight.

[Крылья — свобода, только когда раскрыты в полёте, за спиной они — тяжесть.]

Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) Russian poet
Notebook 1 (1921)

Literally "Wings -- freedom, only when opened in flight, behind their backs -- heavy."
Added on 24-Feb-20 | Last updated 24-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Tsvetaeva, Marina

Some Saian mountaineer
Struts today with my shield.
I threw it down by a bush and ran
When the fighting got hot.
Life seemed somehow more precious.
It was a beautiful shield.
I know where I can buy another
Exactly like it, just as round.

Archilochus (c. 680-645 BC) Greek lyric poet and mercenary [Ἀρχίλοχος, Archilochos, Arkhilokhus]
Fragment 79 [tr. Davenport (1964)]

Fragment from Plutarch, "Laws and Customs of the Lacedaemonians". Alt. trans.:
  • "Let who will boast their courage in the field, / I find but little safety from my shield. / Nature's, not honour's, law we must obey: / This made me cast my useless shield away, / And, by a prudent flight and cunning, save / A life, which valour could not, from the grave. / A better buckler I can soon regain; / But who can get another life again?" [tr. Pulleyn (18th C)]
  • "A Saian boasts about the shield which beside a bush / though good armour I unwillingly left behind. / I saved myself, so what do I care about the shield? / To hell with it! I'll get one soon just as good." ["To my shield" (D6, 5W)]
  • "I don't give a damn if some Thracian ape struts / Proud of that first-rate shield the bushes got. / Leaving it was hell, but in a tricky spot / I kept my hide intact. Good shields can be bought." [tr. Silverman]
  • "Some barbarian is waving my shield, since I was obliged to leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind under a bush. But I got away, so what does it matter? Life seemed somehow more precious. Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good." [tr. Lattimore (1955)]
Identified elsewhere as Fragment 6.
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Archilochus

HENRY: Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company,
That fears his fellowship to die with us.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry V, Act 4, sc. 3, l. 37ff (4.3.37-42) (1599)
Added on 7-May-18 | Last updated 29-Jan-24
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

It isn’t often that Aunt Dahlia lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Right Ho, Jeeves (1934)
Added on 27-Jul-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Wodehouse, P. G.

Some have been thought brave, because they were afraid to run away.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #4214 (1732)

See also this.
Added on 25-Mar-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)