Quotations about   plot

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Come, weave us a scheme so I can pay them back!
Stand beside me, Athena, fire me with daring, fierce
as the day we ripped Troy’s glittering crown of towers down.
Stand by me — furious now as then, my bright-eyed one —
and I would fight three hundred men, great goddess,
with you to brace me, comrade-in-arms in battle!

[ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μῆτιν ὕφηνον, ὅπως ἀποτίσομαι αὐτούς:
πὰρ δέ μοι αὐτὴ στῆθι, μένος πολυθαρσὲς ἐνεῖσα,
οἷον ὅτε Τροίης λύομεν λιπαρὰ κρήδεμνα.
αἴ κέ μοι ὣς μεμαυῖα παρασταίης, γλαυκῶπι,
καί κε τριηκοσίοισιν ἐγὼν ἄνδρεσσι μαχοίμην
σὺν σοί, πότνα θεά, ὅτε μοι πρόφρασσ᾽ ἐπαρήγοις]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 13, l. 386ff [Odysseus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fagles (1996)]
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(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Advise then means to the reveng’d events
We both resolve on. Be thyself so kind
To stand close to me, and but such a mind
Breathe in my bosom, as when th’ Ilion tow’rs
We tore in cinders. O if equal pow’rs
Thou wouldst enflame amidst my nerves as then,
I could encounter with three hundred men,
Thy only self, great Goddess, had to friend,
In those brave ardors thou wert wont t’ extend!
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

But now, O Pallas, find out some device,
How of the suitors best I may be rid,
And by me stand, inspiring courage stout,
As when we pull’d Troy’s head-gear off her head.
For then to master them I should not doubt,
Three hundred though they were.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 347ff]

Vouchsafe the means of vengeance to debate,
And plan with all thy arts the scene of fate.
Then, then be present, and my soul inspire,
As when we wrapp'd Troy's heaven-built walls in fire.
Though leagued against me hundred heroes stand.
Hundreds shall fall, if Pallas aid my hand.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

Come then -- Devise the means; teach me, thyself,
The way to vengeance, and my soul inspire
With daring fortitude, as when we loos’d
Her radiant frontlet from the brows of Troy.
Would’st thou with equal zeal, O Pallas! aid
Thy servant here, I would encounter thrice
An hundred enemies, let me but perceive
Thy dread divinity my prompt ally.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 466]

Come, weave me counsel neither void nor vain,
That red vengeance reap till not a man remain!
But stand thou near, and such bold strength inspire
As when we loosed the shining tiars of Troy.
If thou stand near me to inbreathe like fire,
Then with three hundred could I fight with joy!
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 49-50]

Come! weave some plan for my revenge upon them!
Stand by me fast, and inspire with daring courage,
As when from Troy we loosed her glittering tire.
If thou, Eyebright! thus breathing fire stand by me,
I fain would fight 'gainst e'en three hundred men --
With thee, dread goddess, close at hand to aid me!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Now let thy mind
The plot contrive which on that hateful crew
May all my vengeance wreak -- and then do thou
Thyself beside me stand, and in my soul
Such dauntless valor rouse as in me wrought
When we the crested pride of Ilion's tow'rs
Cast down in overthrow. If, in that hour,
O, azure-eyed! thou would'st but at my side
Thy presence grant, I, with three hundred men,
By thy prompt succor champion'd to the fight,
Would thou stood'st by, in conflict would engage.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 614ff]

Come then, weave some counsel whereby I may requite them; and thyself stand by me, and put great boldness of spirit within me, even as in the day when we loosed the shining coronal of Troy. If but thou wouldest stand by me with such eagerness, thou grey-eyed goddess, I would war even with three hundred men, with thee my lady and goddess, if thou of thy grace didst succour me the while.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

But I prithee weave and devise it how of these avenged I may be;
And stand by me thyself and set in me that heart for the battle-joy
As wherewith we loosed aforetime the shining coif of Troy.
If thou stand beside me, O Grey-eyed, as battle-glad as then,
Forsooth would I hold the battle 'gainst thrice an hundred men,
With thee, O worshipped Goddess, so kind to bear me aid.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Come then, and frame a plot for me to win revenge. And do you stand beside me, inspiring hardy courage, even so as when we tore the shining crown from Troy. If you would stand as stoutly by me, clear-eyed one, then I would face three hundred men, mat4ed with you, dread goddess, with you for my strong aid.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Advise me how I shall best avenge myself. Stand by my side and put your courage into my heart as on the day when we loosed Troy's fair diadem from her brow. Help me now as you did then, and I will fight three hundred men, if you, goddess, will be with me.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

But come, weave some plan by which I may requite them; and stand thyself by my side, and endue me with dauntless courage, even as when we loosed the bright diadem of Troy. Wouldest thou but stand by my side, thou flashing-eyed one, as eager as thou wast then, I would fight even against three hundred men, with thee, mighty goddess, if with a ready heart thou wouldest give me aid.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Wherefore extend your bounty and disclose how I may avenge myself upon these suitors. Stand by me, Mistress, fanning my valorous rage as on the day we despoiled shining Troy of its pride of towers. With your countenance, august One, I would fight three hundred men together: only buoy me up with your judicious aid, O wise-eyed Goddess.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

I beseech you to think of some way by which I could pay these miscreants out. And take your stand at my side, filling me with the spirit that dares all, as you did on the day when we pulled down Troy’s shining diadem of towers. Ah, Lady of the bright eyes, if only you would aid me with such vehemence as you did then, I could fight against three hundred, with you beside me, sovran goddess, and with your whole-hearted help to count on!
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Weave me a way to pay them back! And you, too,
take your place with me, breathe valor in me
the way you did that night when we Akhaians
unbound the bright veil from the brow of Troy!
O grey-eyed one, fire my heart and brace me!
I'll take on fighting men three hundred strong
if you fight at my back, immortal lady!
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

Come then, weave the design, the way I shall take my vengeance
upon them; stand beside me, inspire me with strength and courage,
as when together we brought down Troy's shining coronal.
For if in your fury, O gray-eyed goddess, you stood beside me,
I would fight, lady and goddess, with your help against three hundred v men if you, freely and in full heart, would help me.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Come, goddess, weave some plan
that lets me punish them. Stand at my side;
give me the gift of courage, as you did
when we tore loose Troy's gleaming diadem.
Were you, just as impetuous as then,
to stand beside me, gray-eyed goddess, I
could face even three hundred enemies:
I need your ready heart; I need your help.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]

Weave a plan so I can pay them back!
And stand by me yourself, give me the spirit I had
When we ripped down Troy's shining towers!
With you at my side, you reyes glinting
And your mind focused on battle -- I would take on
Three hundred men if your power were with me.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 401ff]

But come, devise some ingenious scheme to punish these miscreants. And take your stand at my side, filling me with the spirit that dares all, as you did on the day when we pulled down Troy's shining diadem of towers. Ah, Lady of the Bright Eyes, if only you would waid me with such eagerness as you did then, I could fight against three hundred, with you beside me, gracious goddess, with your whole-hearted support to count on.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

So come now, weave me a scheme of revenge upon these men, and yourself stand by my side, fill me with strength and daring, as when we undid the bright diadem of Troy! Were you, grey-eyed goddess, beside me, hot to fight, I'd take on, with you, three hundred warriors, O my sovereign goddess, given your free and ready support.
[tr. Green (2018)]

Come, weave a plan so I can pay them back.
Stand in person by my side, and fill me
with indomitable courage, as you did
when we loosed the bright diadem of Troy.
I pray, goddess with the glittering eyes,
that you are with me now as eagerly
as you were then. If so, then I would fight
three hundred men, if you, mighty goddess,
in your heart are willing to assist me.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 473ff]

Added on 13-Oct-21 | Last updated 13-Oct-21
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More quotes by Homer

Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
“Vectors: 56 Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays,” Michigan Quarterly Review, # 25 (Spring 1999)
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Added on 12-Oct-21 | Last updated 12-Oct-21
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Any historian of warfare knows it is in good part a comedy of errors and a museum of incompetence; but if for every error and every act of incompetence one can substitute an act of treason, many points of fascinating interpretation are open to the paranoid imagination. In the end, the real mystery, for one who reads the primary works of paranoid scholarship, is not how the United States has been brought to its present dangerous position but how it has managed to survive at all.

Richard Hofstadter (1916-1970) American historian and intellectual
“The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Herbert Spencer Lecture, Oxford (Nov 1963)
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Reprinted in Harpers (Nov 1964).
Added on 6-Jan-21 | Last updated 6-Jan-21
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Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
— By Order of the Author

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, “Notice” (1884)
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Added on 12-Apr-18 | Last updated 12-Apr-18
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Chapter the Eleventh: In Which the Plot, Behaving in Much the Manner Of a Soup to which Corn Starch Has been Added, Begins, at Last, to Thicken

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Added on 28-Oct-16 | Last updated 28-Oct-16
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My soul, sit thou a patient looker-on;
Judge not the play before the play is done:
Her plot hath many changes; every day
Speaks a new scene; the last act crowns the play.

Francis Quarles (1592-1644) English poet
Respice Finem, Epigram (1635)
Added on 31-May-16 | Last updated 31-May-16
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Physicists and astronomers see their own implications in the world being round, but to me it means that only one-third of the world is asleep at any given time and the other two-thirds is up to something.

Dean Rusk (1909-1994) American politician and diplomat
Speech, American Bar Assoc., Atlanta (22 Oct 1964)
Added on 20-Oct-15 | Last updated 20-Oct-15
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In military operations what is done openly and by force is much less than what is done by stratagem and the use of opportunity.

Polybius (203?-120 BC) Greek historian
Histories, 9.12 [tr. Paton (1925)]
Added on 2-Oct-14 | Last updated 2-Oct-14
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Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Other Authors and Sources
Robert J. Hanlon, “Hanlon’s Razor,” Murphy’s Law, Book Two (ed. A. Bloch) (1980)

Cf. Heinlein (again), Napoleon, Taylor, Bonhoeffer, and Goethe. See here for more information, including discussion that "Robert J. Hanlon" may be a corruption or obfuscation of "Robert A. Heinlein."

Various variants in combinations with "ascribe," "what can be," and "incompetence."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 17-Aug-21
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