Quotations about:
    reputation


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Dignity of character ought to be graced by a house; but from a house it is not wholly derived. A master is not to be honored by a house; but a house by its master.

[Ornanda enim est dignitas domo, non ex domo tota quaerenda, nec domo dominus, sed domino domus honestanda est.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 39 (1.39) / sec. 139 (44 BC) [tr. McCartney (1798)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

It is well if a man can enhance that credit and reputation he has gotten by the splendour of his house; but he must not depend on his house alone for it; for the master ought to bring honour to his fine seat, and not the fine seat bring honour to its master.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

For dignity should be adorned by a palace, but not be wholly sought from it: -- the house ought to be ennobled by the master, and not the master by the house.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

In truth, high standing in the community should be adorned by a house, not sought wholly from a house; nor should the owner be honored by the house, but the house by the owner.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

The house should not constitute, though it may enhance, the dignity of the master; let the master honour the house, not the house the master.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

Your house may add lustre to your dignity, but it will not suffice that you should derive all your dignity from your house: the master should ennoble the house, not the house the master.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

The truth is, a man's dignity may be enhanced by the house he lives in, but not wholly secured by it; the owner should bring honour to his house, not the house to its owner.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

A house may enhance a man's dignity, but it should not be the only source of dignity; the house should not glorify its owner, but he should enhance it.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 21-Apr-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

But the best inheritance that fathers can give their children, more precious than any patrimony however large, is a reputation for virtue and for worthy deeds, which if the child disgraces, his conduct should be branded as infamous and impious.

[Optima autem hereditas a patribus traditur liberis omnique patrimonio praestantior gloria virtutis rerumque gestarum, cui dedecori esse nefas et vitium iudicandum est.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 33 (1.33) / sec. 121 (44 BC) [tr. Peabody (1883)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

Now the noblest inheritance that can ever be left by a father to his son, and far exceeding that of houses and lands, is the fame of his virtues and glorious actions; and for a son to live so, as is unworthy of the name and reputation of his ancestors, is the basest and most abominable thing in the world.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

The best inheritance left by a father to his children, superior to every other patrimony, is the honor of a virtuous conduct, and the glory of his public transactions. And it is base and criminal by an unworthy conduct, to bring disgrace upon a father's reputation.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

Now, the best inheritance a parent can leave a child -- more excellent than any patrimony -- is the glory of his virtue and his deeds; to bring disgrace on which ought to be regarded as wicked and monstrous.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

The noblest heritage, the richest patrimony a father can bequeath to his children is a reputation for virtue and noble deeds. To tarnish his good name is a sin and a crime.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

The best legacy a father can leave to his children, a legacy worth far more than the largest patrimony, is the fame of a virtuous and well-spent life. He who disgraces such a bequest is deserving of infamy.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

The noblest heritage, however, that is handed down from fathers to children, and one more precious than any inherited wealth, is a reputation for virtue and worthy deeds; and to dishonour this must be branded as a sin and a shame.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

The best heritage that descends from fathers to sons is the fame for honesty and great deeds. Such fame surpasses any legacy. We must judge it a crime and a shame to disgrace it.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 7-Apr-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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Even here
Worth wins her due, and there are tears to flow,
And human hearts to feel for human woe.

[Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi,
Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 461ff (1.461-462) (29-19 BC) [tr. Taylor (1907), st. 61, l. 543ff]
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Aeneas, on seeing murals of the Trojan Wars in Carthage. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Ev'n the mute walls relate the warrior's fame,
And Trojan griefs the Tyrians' pity claim.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Even here praiseworthy deeds meet with due reward: here are tears for misfortunes, and the breasts are touched with human woes.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Aye, praise waits on worth
E'en in this corner of the earth;
E'en here the tear of pity springs,
And hearts are touched by human things.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Worthy deeds e'en here are praised.
And mortal sufferings move their thoughts and tears.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 601ff]

Here too is the meed of honour, here mortal estate touches the soul to tears.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

And even here belike deed hath its own reward.
Lo here are tears for piteous things that touch men's hearts anigh.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Virtue's wage is given --
O even here! Here also there be tears
for what men bear, and mortal creatures feel
each other's sorrow.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Here, too, virtue has its due rewards; here, too, there are tears for misfortune and mortal sorrows touch the heart.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Look! even here there are rewards for praise,
There are tears for things, and what men suffer touches
The human heart.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Here too we find virtue somehow rewarded.
Tears in the nature of things, hearts touched by human transience.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Here, too, the honorable finds its due
and there are tears for passing things; here, too,
things mortal touch the mind.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 654ff]

Even so far away
Great valor has due honor; they weep here
For how the world goes, and our life that passes
Touches their hearts.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 627ff]

Here too there is just reward for merit, there are tears for suffering and men's hearts are touched by what man has to bear.
[tr. West (1990)]

Here, too, honor matters;
Here are the tears of the ages, and minds touched
By human suffering.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Even here, merit will have its true reward ...
even here, the world is a world of tears
and the burdens of mortality touch the heart.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Here too, glory has its rewards; the world weeps, and mortal matters move the heart.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 26-Jan-22 | Last updated 26-Jan-22
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We’d all like a reputation for generosity, and we’d all like to buy it cheap.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 9 (1963)
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Added on 30-Dec-21 | Last updated 10-Mar-22
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Even if glory has nothing in itself to justify seeking it, yet it follows virtue like a shadow.

[Etsi enim nihil habet in se gloria cur expetatur, tamen virtutem tamquam umbra sequitur.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 1, ch. 45 (1.45) / sec. 109 (45 BC) [tr. Douglas (1985)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For though Glory have nothing in it self, why it should be pursu'd, yet it follows Vertue as its shadow.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

For although there be nothing in glory to make it desirable, yet it follows virtue like a shadow.
[tr. Main (1824)]

Glory follows virtue as it it were its shadow.
[Source (1826)]

For even if glory contain nothing for which it is desirable of itself, yet it follows as the shadow of virtue.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

For although there be nothing in glory to make it desirable, yet it follows virtue as its shadow.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Though as to fame, there is nothing in it that should make it an object of desire; but it follows virtue like its shadow.
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

Glory, though it have in itself nothing for which we should desire it, attends virtue like its shadow.
[tr. Black (1889)]

Although glory is not to be sought for its own sake, it follows virtue like a shadow.
[tr. Habinek (1996)]

Even if glory has nothing in it to justify our seeking it, yet it follows virtue like a shadow.
[tr. Davie (2017)]

 
Added on 16-Dec-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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Why would we worry what others think of us if their opinions did not change us?

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, #387 (2001)
 
Added on 10-Aug-21 | Last updated 10-Aug-21
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Men are willing to keep their evil characters if they can but get rid of their evil reputations. They are scrupulously studious of appearances.

Frank W. Boreham (1871-1959) Anglo-Australian preacher
“The Leopard’s Skin,” sec. 4, The Three Half-Moons (1929)
    (Source)
 
Added on 20-Jul-21 | Last updated 20-Jul-21
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It is better to be praised by another than by oneself.

[βέλτερον ὑφ’ ἑτέρου ἢ ὑφ’ ἑαυτοῦ ἐπαινέεσθαι.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 114 (Diels) [tr. Freeman (1948)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Diels citation "114. (117 N.) DEMOKRATES. 82." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter. The same translation is made by @sentantiq (2016).

Alternate translation: "It is better to be praised by others than by oneself." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
 
Added on 4-May-21 | Last updated 4-May-21
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Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so.

[Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Laelius De Amicitia [Laelius on Friendship], ch. 26 / sec. 98 (44 BC)

Common translation. Alternates:

  • "For not so many desire to be endowed with virtue itself, as to seem to be so." [tr. Edmonds (1871)]
  • "For there are not so many possessed of virtue as there are that desire to seem virtuous." [tr. Peabody (1887)]
  • "For many wish not so much to be, as to seem to be, endowed with real virtue." [tr. Falconer (1923)]
 
Added on 8-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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Be your character what it will, it will be known; and nobody will take it up on your own word. Never imagine that anything you can say yourself will varnish your defects or add lustre to your perfections! but, on the contrary, it may, and nine times in ten will, make the former more glaring, and the latter obscure.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #166 (19 Oct 1748)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 11-Oct-22
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A good cause has to be careful of the company it keeps.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“World of Books: The Greek Way,” Sunday Times of London (23 Aug 1942)
 
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
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Oh friends, be men! Deep treasure in your hearts
An honest shame, and, fighting bravely, fear
Each to incur the censure of the rest.
Of men so minded more survive than die,
While dastards forfeit life and glory both.

[ὦ φίλοι ἀνέρες ἔστε, καὶ αἰδῶ θέσθ᾽ ἐνὶ θυμῷ,
ἀλλήλους τ᾽ αἰδεῖσθε κατὰ κρατερὰς ὑσμίνας.
αἰδομένων δ᾽ ἀνδρῶν πλέονες σόοι ἠὲ πέφανται:
φευγόντων δ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἂρ κλέος ὄρνυται οὔτέ τις ἀλκή.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 15, l. 561ff (15.561) [Ajax] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Cowper (1791), l. 679ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Good friends, bring but yourselves to feel the noble stings of shame
For what ye suffer, and be men. Respect each other’s fame;
For which who strives in shame’s fit fear, and puts on ne’er so far,
Comes oft’ner off. Then stick engag’d; these fugitives of war
Save neither life, nor get renown, nor bear more mind than sheep.
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 508ff]

O Greeks! respect your fame,
Respect yourselves, and learn an honest shame:
Let mutual reverence mutual warmth inspire,
And catch from breast to breast the noble fire.
On valour's side the odds of combat lie,
The brave live glorious, or lamented die;
The wretch that trembles in the field of fame,
Meets death, and worse than death, eternal shame.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

O my friends, be men, and set honour in your hearts, and have reverence for each other during the vehement conflicts. For more of those men who reverence each other are saved than slain; but of the fugitives, neither glory arises, nor any defence.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

Brave comrades, quit ye now like men;
Bear a stout heart; and in the stubborn fight
Let each to other mutual succour give;
By mutual succour more are sav’d than fall;
In timid flight nor fame nor safety lies.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

My friends, be men, and fear dishonour; quit yourselves in battle so as to win respect from one another. Men who respect each other's good opinion are less likely to be killed than those who do not, but in flight there is neither gain nor glory.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

My friends, be men, and take ye shame in your hearts, and have shame each of the other in the fierce conflict. Of men that have shame more are saved than are slain; but from them that flee springeth neither glory nor any avail.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

Friends, respect yourselves as men,
respect each other in the moil of battle!
Men with a sense of shame survive
more often than they perish. Those who run
have neither fighting power nor any honor.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

Be men, my friends! Discipline fill your hearts!
Dread what comrades say of you here in bloody combat!
When men dread that, more men come through alive --
when soldiers break and run, good-bye glory,
good-bye all defenses!
[tr. Fagles (1990), l. 651ff]

Now, dear friends, be men, keep hold of your valorous spirit,
feel shame, each on account of the rest in the violent combats;
more of the men who feel such shame live safely than perish,
while from the ones who flee no glory nor any defense springs.
[tr. Merrill (2007), l. 529ff]
 
Added on 3-Feb-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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The less you speak of your greatness, the more I will think of it.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Remark to Sir Edward Coke
    (Source)

Quoted in Joseph Sortain, The Life of Francis, Lord Bacon (1851).
 
Added on 8-Jun-20 | Last updated 8-Jun-20
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RESPECTABILITY, n. The social status of people whose sins haven’t quite caught up with them.

Edmund H. Volkart (1919-1992) American sociologist, researcher, editor
The Angel’s Dictionary: A Modern Tribute to Ambrose Bierce (1986)
 
Added on 28-Apr-20 | Last updated 28-Apr-20
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To expose vices to the ridicule of all the world is a severe blow to them. Reprehensions are easily suffered, but not so ridicule. People do not mind being wicked; but they object to being made ridiculous.

[C’est une grande atteinte aux vices que de les exposer à la risée de tout le monde. On souffre aisément des répréhensions, mais on ne souffre point la raillerie. On veut bien être méchant, mais on ne veut point être ridicule.]

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Tartuffe, Preface (1664) [tr. Van Laun (1876)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "To expose vices to everyone’s laughter is to deal them a mighty blow. People easily endure reproofs, but they cannot at all endure being made fun of. People have no objection to being considered wicked, but they are not willing to be considered ridiculous." [tr. Kerr]
 
Added on 17-Apr-20 | Last updated 17-Apr-20
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Slavery is doomed, and that within a few years. Even Judge Douglas admits it to be an evil, and an evil can’t stand discussion. In discussing it we have taught a great many thousands of people to hate it who had never given it a thought before. What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Interview with David R. Locke (1859)
    (Source)

Recounted in A. T. Rice, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, ch. 25 (1896).
 
Added on 3-Apr-20 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
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I make this distinkshun between charakter and reputashun — reputashun iz what the world thinks ov us, charakter is what the world knows of us.

[I make this distinction between character and reputation — reputation is what the world thinks of us, character is what the world knows of us.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Lobstir Sallad” (1874)
    (Source)
 
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A slander iz like a hornet, if you kant kill it dead the fus blo, you better not strike at it.

[A slander is like a hornet, if you can’t kill it dead the first blow, you better not strike at it.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Lobstir Sallad” (1874)
    (Source)
 
Added on 19-Mar-20 | Last updated 19-Mar-20
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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

John Wooden (1910-2010) American basketball player and coach
They Call Me Coach, ch. 9, epigram (1972)
    (Source)
 
Added on 31-Jul-18 | Last updated 31-Jul-18
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Character is much easier kept than recovered.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
The American Crisis, #13 (19 Apr 1783)
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The wisest man could ask no more of Fate
Than to be simple, modest, manly, true,
Safe from the Many, honored by the Few;
To count as naught in World, or Church, or State,
But inwardly in secret to be great.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
“Jeffries Wyman,” The Nation #484 (8 Oct 1874)
    (Source)
 
Added on 20-Jun-17 | Last updated 30-Jun-17
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Even doubtful Accusations leave a Stain behind them.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #1395 (1732)
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Added on 6-Jun-17 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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Perhaps a man’s character is like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed)

In Noah Brooks "Lincoln's Imagination," _Scribner's Monthly (Aug 1879).
 
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No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothes; yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American philosopher and writer
Walden, “Economy” (1854)
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It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing — I used to be a good boy, for that matter. Both of us have lost character of late years.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
The Innocents Abroad, ch. 57 (1869)
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Added on 20-Apr-17 | Last updated 20-Apr-17
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A man is what he is, not what men say he is. His character no man can touch. His character is what he is before his God and his Judge; and only himself can damage that. His reputation is what men say he is. That can be damaged; but reputation is for time, character is for eternity.

John Bartholomew Gough (1817-1886) Anglo-American social reformer and temperance orator
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
 
Added on 28-Mar-17 | Last updated 28-Mar-17
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God will judge us by our own thoughts and deeds, not by what others say about us.

Anne Brontë (1820-1849) British novelist, poet [pseud. Acton Bell]
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, ch. 39 “A Scheme of Escape” (1848)
 
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Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Vain-Glory,” Essays, No. 54 (1625)
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The best foreign policy is to live our daily lives in honesty, decency, and integrity; at home, making our own land a more fitting habitation for free men; and abroad, joining with those of like mind and heart, to make of the world a place where all men can dwell in peace.

Eisenhower - honesty decency integrity - wist_info quote

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Inaugural Gabriel Silver lecture, Columbia University (23 Mar 1950)

Eisenhower was President of Columbia University at the time. The quote was widely used in an "I Believe" advertisement for Eisenhower during the 1956 election.

(Sources 1 and 2)
 
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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 a sad fate for a man to die
Too well known to everybody else,
And still unknown to himself.

[Illi mors gravis incubate
Qui notus nimis omnibus
Ignotus moritur sibi.]

Seneca - still unknown to himself - wist_info quote

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Thyestes, ll. 401-403 [tr. Bacon]

Lines from the Chorus translated by Francis Bacon, in "Of Great Place," Essays, Part 11. Sometimes incorrectly attributed to Bacon.
 
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I will not deny but that the best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.

John Milton (1608-1674) English poet
An Apology for Smectymnuus (1642)
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Time never fails to bring every exalted reputation to a strict scrutiny: the world, in passing the judgment that is never to be reversed, will deny all partiality even to the name of Washington. Let it be denied, for its justice will confer glory.

Fisher Ames (1758-1808) American politician, orator
“Eulogy on Washington” (8 Feb 1800)
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Many men and many women enjoy popular esteem, not because they are known, but because they are not.

Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou, Notable Thoughts About Women, #3144 (1882).
 
Added on 27-Apr-16 | Last updated 27-Apr-16
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There is but one way I know of conversing safely with all men; that is, not by concealing what we say or do, but by saying or doing nothing that deserves to be concealed.

Pope - deserves to be concealed - wist_info quote

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
Letter to H. Cromwell (28 Oct 1710)
 
Added on 11-Apr-16 | Last updated 11-Apr-16
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Act uprightly, and despise Calumny; Dirt may stick to a Mud Wall, but not to polish’d Marble.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (1757)
 
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Calumny is like a wasp which harasses you. Raise no hand against it unless you’re sure of killing it, for otherwise it will return to the charge more furious than ever.

Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Maxims and Thoughts, #302 (1796)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Calumny is like the wasp which worries you, which it were best not to try to get rid of unless you are sure of slaying it; for otherwise it will return to the charge more furious than ever."
 
Added on 29-Feb-16 | Last updated 29-Feb-16
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The evil men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Julius Caesar, Act 3, sc. 2, l. 84ff [Antony] (1599)
    (Source)
 
Added on 23-Feb-16 | Last updated 28-Jun-22
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Say nothing good of yourself, you will be distrusted; say nothing bad of yourself, you will be taken at your word.

Joseph Roux
Joseph Roux (1834-1886) French Catholic priest
Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, Part 5 “Joy, Suffering, Fortune,” #22 (1886) [tr. Hapgood]
    (Source)
 
Added on 3-Feb-16 | Last updated 3-Feb-16
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It’s a sad fact of modern life that sooner or later you will end up on YouTube doing something stupid. The trick, according to my dad, is to make a fool of yourself to the best of your ability.

Ben Aaronovitch (b. 1964) British author
Broken Homes (2013)
 
Added on 27-Jan-16 | Last updated 27-Jan-16
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Besides, there are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink.

Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) American novelist and dramatist
Penrod, ch. 10 (1914)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-Jan-16 | Last updated 25-Jan-16
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It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

Martin - good qualities - wist_info quote

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
(Attributed)
 
Added on 6-Jan-16 | Last updated 20-Jan-19
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Make the least ado about your greatest gifts. Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 295 (1647)

Alt. trans.: "The greater your exploits the less you need affect them: content yourself with doing, leave the talking to others." [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
 
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The greatest height of heroism to which an individual, like a people, can attain is to know how to face ridicule; better still, to know how to make oneself ridiculous and not to shrink from the ridicule.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], Conclusion (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]
    (Source)
 
Added on 6-Nov-15 | Last updated 6-Nov-15
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When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.

Walter Payton (1954-1999) American football player
(Attributed)
 
Added on 20-Oct-15 | Last updated 20-Oct-15
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A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 181 (1647) [tr Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)
 
Added on 7-Oct-15 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
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I have regard to appearance still. So am I no hero.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (6 Apr 1839)
 
Added on 4-Sep-15 | Last updated 4-Sep-15
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Never threaten, because a threat is a promise to pay that it isn’t always convenient to meet, but if you don’t make it good it hurts your credit.

George Horace Lorimer (1867-1937) American journalist, author, magazine editor
Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son (1901)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-Jun-15 | Last updated 15-Oct-15
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Let us believe neither half of the good people tell us of ourselves, nor half the evil they say of others.

Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn (1792-1870) French-Swiss poet
(Attributed)
    (Source)
 
Added on 5-Jun-15 | Last updated 6-Jun-15
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If evil Men speak good, or good Men evil of thee; examine thy Actions, and suspect thy self: But if evil Men speak evil of thee; hold it as an Honor, and by way of Thankfulness love them; but upon condition, that they continue to hate thee.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, #1253 (1725)
 
Added on 20-May-15 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.

Charles Edward "C. E." Montague (1867-1928) English journalist, novelist, essayist
“Any Cure?” sec. 3, Disenchantment (1922)
    (Source)

Montague did not take credit for the phrase, referring to it as a saying.

This was not the first time Montague used the phrase. In a memoir about journalist William T. Arnold in 1906, he stated that a phrase that "someone has said" was a particular favorite of Arnold's: "There is no limit to what a man can do who does not care who gains the credit for it."

More discussion of the quote and its origins: A Man May Do an Immense Deal of Good, If He Does Not Care Who Gets the Credit – Quote Investigator. See also Truman.
 
Added on 9-Apr-15 | Last updated 14-Dec-22
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When we meet a fact which contradicts a prevailing theory, we must accept the fact and abandon the theory, even when the theory is supported by great names and generally accepted.

Claude Bernard (1813-1878) French physiologist, scientist
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine [Introduction à l’Étude de la Médecine Expérimentale] (1865)
 
Added on 16-Jan-15 | Last updated 16-Jan-15
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Let’s work hard at being real. This means we are free to question, to admit failure or weakness, to confess wrong, to declare the truth. When a person is authentic, he or she does not have to win or always be in the top ten or make a big impression or look super-duper pious. […] Authentic people usually enjoy life more than most. They don’t take
themselves so seriously. They actually laugh and cry and think more freely because they have nothing to prove — no big image to protect, no role to play. They have no fear of being found out, because they’re not hiding anything.

Charles Rozell "Chuck" Swindoll (b. 1934) American evangelist, author, educator
Strengthening Your Grip, “On Priorities” (1982)
 
Added on 31-Oct-14 | Last updated 31-Oct-14
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My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others! My manner of thinking stems straight from my considered reflections; it holds with my existence, with the way I am made. It is not in my power to alter it; and were it, I’d not do so.

Donatien Alphonse François de Sade (1740-1814) French aristocrat, philosopher, writer, libertine [The Marquis de Sade]
Letter to his wife (1783)
 
Added on 24-Oct-14 | Last updated 24-Oct-14
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Please not thyself the flattering crowd to hear;
‘Tis fulsome stuff, to please thy itching ear.
[…]
Survey thy soul, not what thou does appear,
But what thou art.

Persius (AD 34-62) Roman poet and satirist [Aulus Persius Flaccus]
Fourth Satire
 
Added on 17-Oct-14 | Last updated 17-Oct-14
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