Quotations about   length

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There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama (24 Jan 1954)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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The longest liver and he who will die soonest lose just the same. For the present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived, if it is true that this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose a thing if he has it not.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations, Book 2, #14 [tr. Long (1862)]
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Alternate translations:

  • "That life which any the longest liver, or the shortest liver parts with, is for length and duration the very same, for that only which is present, is that, which either of them can lose, as being that only which they have; for that which he hath not, no man can truly be said to lose." [tr. Casaubon (1634), #12]
  • "When the longest and shortest lived persons come to die, their loss is equal: for as I observe, the present is their all, and they can suffer no farther." [tr. Collier (1701)]
  • "When the longest and shortest-lived persons come to die, their loss is equal; they can but lose the present as being the only thing they have; for that which he has not, no man can be truly said to lose." [tr. Zimmern (1887)]
  • "The longest-lived and the shortest-lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing." [tr. Morgan, in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1894)]
  • "The longest-lived and the soonest to die have an equal loss; for it is the present alone of which either will be deprived, since (as we saw) this is all he has and a man does not lose what he has not got." [tr. Farquharson (1944)]
  • "When the longest- and shortest-lived of us come to die, their loss is precisely equal. For the sole thing of which any man can be deprived is the present; since this is all he owns, and nobody can lose what is not his." [tr. Staniforth (1964)]
  • "The longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all that they give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose." [tr. Hays (2003)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Mar-21
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