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Write Injuries in Dust, Benefits in Marble.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard’s Almanack, “August” (1747)

As with so much else of Franklin's, this phrase is not without earlier forms, e.g.: Thomas More, History of King Richard III (1513):

For men use, if they have an evil turn, to write it in marble; and whosoever does us a good turn, we write it in dust.

Or see Shakespeare, Henry VIII 4.2.45-46 (1613):

Men's evil manners live in brass, their virtues
We write in water.

Variants include "but kindnesses in marble" or "but kindness in marble."

This also shows up as a French saying in various forms:

  • "Ecrivez les injures sur le sable, mais les bienfaits sur le marbre."
  • "Écrivez les injures sur le sable, gravez les bienfaits sur le marbre."
Added on 7-Feb-23 | Last updated 7-Feb-23
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He wishes that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.

Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane (1871-1900) American writer, poet
The Red Badge of Courage, ch. 9 (1895)
Added on 12-Aug-22 | Last updated 12-Aug-22
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I once met a man who had forgiven an injury. I hope some day to meet the man who has forgiven an insult.

Charles Buxton (1823-1871) English brewer, philanthropist, writer, politician
Notes of Thought, #458 (1873)
Added on 2-Mar-22 | Last updated 2-Mar-22
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Shrapnel wounds and mangled, bullet ridden bodies are not the only casualties of war. There are casualties of the mind. Every war produces a backwash, a residue of pain and grief.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Comment, Antioch College (c. 1965)

As quoted in Anne Serling, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling (2013).
Added on 31-Jan-22 | Last updated 31-Jan-22
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We injure ourselves more than our enemies, by indulging hatred towards them.

Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington (1789-1849) Irish novelist [Lady Blessington, b. Margaret Power]
Desultory Thoughts and Reflections (1839)
Added on 3-Jun-21 | Last updated 3-Jun-21
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There are two kinds of injustice — the one, on the part of those who inflict wrong, the other on the part of those who, when they can, do not shield from wrong those upon whom it is being inflicted. For he who, under the influence of anger or some other passion, wrongfully assaults another seems, as it were, to be laying violent hands upon a comrade; but he who does not prevent or oppose wrong, if he can, is just as guilty of wrong as if he deserted his parents or his friends or his country.

[Sed iniustitiae genera duo sunt, unum eorum, qui inferunt, alterum eorum, qui ab iis, quibus infertur, si possunt, non propulsant iniuriam. Nam qui iniuste impetum in quempiam facit aut ira aut aliqua perturbatione incitatus, is quasi manus afferre videtur socio; qui autem non defendit nec obsistit, si potest, iniuriae, tam est in vitio, quam si parentes aut amicos aut patriam deserat.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 7 (1.7) / sec. 23 (44 BC) [tr. Miller (1913)]

Original Latin. Alternate translations:

The vice that is opposite to justice is injustice, of which there are two sorts: the first consists in the actual doing an injury to another; the second, in tamely looking on while he is injured, and not helping and defending him though we are able: for he that injuriously falls on another, whether prompted by rage or other violent passion, does as it were leap at the throat of his companion; and he that refuses to help him when injured, and to ward off the wrong if it lies in his power, is as plainly guilty of baseness and and injustice as though he had deserted his father, his friends, or his native country.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

There are two kinds of injustice: Of the one, they are guilty who do an injury; of the other, they who, if they are able, do not defend those from injury to whom it is offered. For he who urged on by anger, or some violent passion, attempts to injure any man, lifts his hand against his brother' and he who interferes not to resist or repel the attempt, is as guilty as if he had deserted his parents, his friends, or his country.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

But there are two kinds of injustice; the first of those who offer an injury, the second of those who have in their power to avert an injury from those to whom it is offered, and yet do it not. For if a man, prompted either by anger or any sudden perturbation, unjustly assaults another man, such a one seems as it were to lay violent hands on one's ally; and the man who does not repel or withstand the injury, if he can, is as much to blame as if he deserted the cause of his parents, his friends, or his country.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Of injustice there are two kinds, -- one, that of those who inflict injury; the other, that of those who do not, if they can, repel injury from those on whom it is inflicted. Moreover, he who, moved by anger or by some disturbance of mind, makes an unjust assault on any person, is as one who lays violent hands on a casual companion; while he who does not, if he can, ward off or resist the injury offered to another, is as much in fault as if he were to desert his parents, or his friends, or his country.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

There are two kinds of injustice: the positive injustice of the aggressor, and the negative injustice of neglecting to defend those who are wronged. To attack a man unjustly under the influence of anger or some other passion is to lay hands upon a comrade; not to defend the oppressed and shield them from injustice, is as great a crime as to desert our parents, friends, or country.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

There are two classifications of injustice. One part includes those who act unjustly. The other part includes men who, even if they have the power to do so, fail to protect from abuse those people against whom other men commit violence. The man who unjustly does harm to someone else, either in anger or because some other passion arounds him, acts as if he were striking a companion. But the man who does not avert an act of violence, or offer resistance if he has the power, is just as much at fault as if he betrayed his parents, or friends, or his fatherland.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

Added on 22-Mar-21 | Last updated 8-Sep-22
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Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880) American clergyman
Living Words (1860)
Added on 25-Sep-20 | Last updated 25-Sep-20
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Anger is like the blade of a butcher knife — very difficult to hold on to for long without harming yourself.

Patti LaBelle (b. 1944) American singer, author, actress [stage name for Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards]
Patti’s Pearls: Lessons in Living (2001) [with Laura Randolph Lancaster]
Added on 7-Feb-20 | Last updated 7-Feb-20
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We have all heard enough to fill a book about Dr. Johnson’s incivilities. I wish they would compile another book consisting of Dr. Johnson’s apologies. There is no better test of a man’s ultimate chivalry and integrity than how he behaves when he is wrong; and Johnson behaved very well. He understood (what so many faultlessly polite people do not understand) that a stiff apology is a second insult. He understood that the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“The Real Dr. Johnson,” The Common Man (1950)
Added on 6-Mar-19 | Last updated 6-Mar-19
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Neglected, calumny soon expires; show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth.

Tacitus (c.56-c.120) Roman historian, orator, politician [Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus]
The Annals (AD 109)
Added on 20-Jun-16 | Last updated 20-Jun-16
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KING ARTHUR: Look, you stupid bastard, you’ve got no arms left!
BLACK KNIGHT: It’s just a flesh wound.

Monty Python (contemp.) British comedy troupe
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Added on 11-Jun-16 | Last updated 11-Jun-16
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Those whom they have injured they also hate.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Essays, “On Anger [De ira],” 2.33.1 [tr. Basore (1928)]
Added on 29-Dec-15 | Last updated 29-Dec-15
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Men are more prone to revenge Injuries, than to requite Kindnesses.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #3389 (1732)
Added on 16-Oct-13 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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There is nothing that people bear more impatiently, or forgive less, than contempt; and an injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.

Chesterfield - injury insult - wist_info quote

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #112 (9 Oct 1746)
Added on 15-Apr-09 | Last updated 18-Oct-22
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Death, like life, is an affair of being more frightened than hurt.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
Erewhon (1872)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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