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I now return the Sermon you were so kind as to enclose me, having perused it with attention. The reprinting it by me, as you have proposed, would very readily be ascribed to hypocritical affectation, by those who, when they cannot blame our acts, have recourse to the expedient of imputing them to bad motives. This is a resource which can never fail them, because there is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Edward Dowse (19 Apr 1803)
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Added on 11-Apr-22 | Last updated 10-Jul-22
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I will accept that sometimes a villain has to die, but I’ll be damned if I’ll take free drinks for doing it.

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess [Barry Heterodyne] (2012) [with Kaja Foglio]
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Added on 28-Mar-22 | Last updated 28-Mar-22
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Treat your enemies with courtesy, and you’ll see how valuable it really is. It costs little but pays a nice dividend.

[Tiénese por deuda entre enemigos para que se vea su valor. Cuesta poco y vale mucho.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 118 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]
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(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Between opponents, courtesy is especially due as a proof of valour. It costs little and helps much.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

 
Added on 24-Jan-22 | Last updated 24-Jan-22
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I can entertain the proposition that life is a metaphor for boxing — for one of those bouts that go on and on, round following round, jabs, missed punches, clinches, nothing determined, again the bell and again and you and your opponent so evenly matched it’s impossible not to see your opponent is you.

Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1938) American author
“On Boxing,” On Boxing (1987)
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Added on 23-Nov-20 | Last updated 23-Nov-20
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The most important tactic in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without an embarrassing loss of face.

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
Pieces of Eight (1982)
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Frequently misquoted: "The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face."
 
Added on 10-Oct-19 | Last updated 10-Oct-19
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Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Stride Toward Freedom, “Three Ways of Meeting Oppression” (1958)
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Added on 2-Sep-17 | Last updated 2-Sep-17
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No man can humiliate me or disturb me. I won’t let him.

Bernard Baruch (1870-1965) American businessman and statesman
(Attributed)


Quoted in Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948). When asked by Carnegie if he was troubled by his enemies' attacks.
 
Added on 7-Mar-16 | Last updated 7-Mar-16
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I would permit no man, no matter what his colour might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) American educator, writer
Up from Slavery, ch. 11 (1901)
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This has been paraphrased in various ways, and is the source of Martin Luther King, Jr's quote he attributed to Washington: "Let no man pull you so low as to make you hate him" (e.g., Stride Toward Freedom, ch. 6 (1958)). King used this or variants of this paraphrase frequently in his speeches, though it was only in his early activism that he referenced Washington by name.
 
Added on 8-Dec-15 | Last updated 20-Jan-22
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Money can’t buy you friends, but you get a better class of enemy.

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan (1918-2002) Anglo-Irish comedian, writer, actor
(Attributed)
 
Added on 30-Jul-15 | Last updated 30-Jul-15
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Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
The True Believer, Part 3, sec. 65, (1951)
 
Added on 25-Aug-11 | Last updated 19-Apr-18
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Any manifest error on the part of an enemy should make us suspect some stratagem.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) Italian politician, philosopher, political scientist
The Discourses on Livy, Book 3, ch. 48 (1517) [tr. Detmold (1882)]
 
Added on 22-Apr-11 | Last updated 27-Jan-20
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The real existence of an enemy upon whom one can foist off everything evil is an enormous relief to one’s conscience. You can then at least say, without hesitation, who the devil is; you are quite certain that the cause of your misfortune is outside, and not your own attitude.

Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist
“General Aspects of Dream Psychology” (1916) [tr. R. Hull (1960)]
 
Added on 10-Dec-09 | Last updated 19-Jan-16
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He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Anglo-Irish statesman, orator, philosopher
Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
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Added on 18-Nov-09 | Last updated 14-Jul-20
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We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?

Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) French writer, filmmaker, artist
Comment (1955)


On his election to Académie Française. Alt. trans.: "Of course I believe in luck. How else does one explain the successes of one's enemies?"
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Sep-16
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Americans have a lazy habit of defining themselves in terms of what they are against rather than what they believe in.

A. Whitney Brown (b. 1952) American comic actor, writer
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Sep-16
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The thing about monsters is, you want to kill them until you meet them, and when you meet them they don’t seem monstrous, and killing them begins to seem unkind.

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Crimson Joy (1988)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Apr-17
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You don’t promote the cause of peace by talking only to people with whom you agree.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
News conference (20 Jan 1957)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Feb-16
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