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You can tell the character of every man when you see how he gives and receives praise.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Letters to Lucilius [Epistulae morales ad Lucilium], Letter 52 “On choosing our teachers,” Sec. 12
Added on 17-Oct-17 | Last updated 17-Oct-17
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Why fight off fame now beating at your door?
What other writers dare to promise more?
You must make immortality start now,
Not make it wait to give your corpse a bow.

[Ante fores stantem dubitas admittere Famam
Teque piget curae praemia ferre tuae?
Post te victurae per te quoque vivere chartae
Incipiant: cineri gloria sera venit.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, epigram 25, ll. 5-8 (1.25) [tr. Wills (2007)]

"To Faustinus." (Source (Latin)). Some early writers number this as ep. 26, as noted. Alternate translations:

Dost doubt t'admit Fame standing at thy gate?
Thy labour's just reward to bear, dost hate?
That which will after, in thy time let live:
Too late men praise unto our ashes give.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

Fame at your portal waits; the door why barr'd?
Why loth to take your labour's just reward?
Let works live with you, which will long survive;
For honours after death too late arrive.
[tr. Hay (1755), 1.26]

Admit fair fame, who dances at thy door;
And dain to reap thyself thy toil's reward.
The strains that shall survive thee, give to soar;
Nor to thine ashes leave the late record.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 2.34]

Do you hesitate to let in Fame when standing for admittance before your threshold, and does it grieve you to reap the rewards of your own diligence? May your poems, which will survive you, begin to live by your means. The glory which is shed upon ashes arrives full late.
[tr. Amos (1858), 1.26 "Posthumous Works"]

Do you hesitate to admit Fame, who is standing before your door; and does it displease you to receive the reward of your labour? Let the writings, destined to live after you, begin to live through your means. Glory comes too late, when paid only to our ashes.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

If after thee thy verses are to live,
Let them begin whilst thou'rt alive. Too late
The glory that illumines but they tomb.
[ed. Harbottle (1897)]

Do you hesitate to admit Fame that stands before your doors, and shrink from winning the reward of your care? Let writings that will live after you by your adi also begin to live now; to the ashes of the dead glory comes too late.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Nay, doth it irk you that reward is nigh?
Why bar out fame who standeth at the gate?
Give birth to what must live, before you die,
For honour paid to ashes comes too late.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

Fame stands before your threshold, let her in;
Are you ashamed your meed of praise to win?
Your books will long outlive you in their fame;
Come then, begin, for ashes have no name.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), #14]

Tell me why you hesitate;
Fame is standing at your door.
Take the prize she long has offered,
Long has held for you in store!
Let works that will survive you after
You have trod the path so dread
Live now, while you still are living.
Fame comes too late to the dead.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

Fame is at the door,
and you keep her waiting.
You can't bring yourself to accept
the reward of your worry?
Let those pages begin to live -- show your face.
They will live on after you're gone in any case.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

Do you hesitate to let Fame in when she stands at your door? Are you reluctant to take the reward for your pains? Your pages will live after you; let them also begin to live through you. Glory comes late to the grave.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Amos (above) provides a number of examples where the last line has inspired other writers. Byron wrote, in the same vein, in "Martial, Lib. I, Epig. I" (c. 1821):

He unto whom thou art so partial,
O reader! is the well-known Martial,
The Epigrammatist: while living
Give him the fame thou wouldst be giving;
So shall he hear, and feel, and know it --
Post-obits rarely reach a poet.

Added on 23-Aug-17 | Last updated 3-Mar-23
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What good is having laurels if you can’t rest on them?

Tom Lehrer (b. 1928) American mathematician, satirist, songwriter
People (11 Jan 1982)

Lehrer has used the phrase and variants many times over the years.
Added on 2-Jun-16 | Last updated 2-Jun-16
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When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn’t for you. It’s for the Presidency.

Harry S Truman (1884-1972) US President (1945-1953)
In Merle Miller, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, ch. 15 (1973)
Added on 31-May-16 | Last updated 31-May-16
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It is not titles that honor men, but men honor the titles.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) Italian politician, philosopher, political scientist
The Discourses on Livy, Book 3, ch. 38 (1517) [tr. Detmold (1882)]
Added on 4-Apr-14 | Last updated 27-Jan-20
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