Quotations about   reward

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The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a wilderness.

Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) British sexologist, physician, social reformer [Henry Havelock Ellis]
The Dance of Life, ch. 5 “The Art of Religion,” sec. 4 (1923)
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Added on 17-Mar-22 | Last updated 17-Mar-22
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     May the gods —
And surely there are powers that care for goodness,
Surely somewhere justice counts — may they
And your own consciousness of acting well
Reward you as they should!

[Di tibi, si qua pios respectant numina, si quid
Usquam iustitiae est et mens sibi conscia recti,
Praemia digna ferant.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 603ff (1.603-605) [Aeneas to Dido] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 820ff]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

The gods, if gods to goodness are inclin'd;
If acts of mercy touch their heav'nly mind,
And, more than all the gods, your gen'rous heart.
Conscious of worth, requite its own desert!
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

The gods (if any powers divine regard the pious, if justice any where exists, and a mind conscious of its own virtue) shall yield thee a just recompense.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

May Heaven, if virtue claim its thought,
If justice yet avail for aught,
Heaven, and the sense of conscious right,
With worthier meed your acts requite!
[tr. Conington (1866)]

     If anywhere
The gods regard the good; if anywhere
Be justice, and a mind within itself
Conscious of rectitude, -- the gods shall give
Deserved reward to thee.
[tr. Cranch (1872)] https://archive.org/details/aeneidvirgiltra00crangoog/page/n55/mode/2up?q=gyas#:~:text=If%20anywhere%20%C2%AB8,reward%20to%20thee.

The gods grant thee worthy reward, if their deity turn any regard on goodness, if aught avails justice and conscious purity of soul.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

But if somewhere a godhead is the righteous man to heed,
If justice is, or any soul to note the right it wrought,
May the Gods give thee due reward.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

The gods, if gods the good and just regard,
And thy own conscience, that approves the right,
Grant thee due guerdon and a fit reward.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 80, l. 712ff]

May gods on high (if influence divine
bless faithful lives, or recompense be found
in justice and thy self-approving mind)
give thee thy due reward.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

May the gods, if any divine powers have regard for the good, if justice has any weight anywhere -- may the gods and the consciousness of right bring thee worthy rewards!
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

If there is justice anywhere, if goodness
Means anything to any power, if gods
At all regard good people, may they give
The great rewards you merit.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

If angels there be who look after the good, if indeed just dealing
And minds informed with the right mean anything to heaven,
May God, reward you as you deserve!
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

May gods confer on you your due rewards,
if deities regard the good, if justice
and mind aware of right count anywhere.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 847ff]

May the gods bring you the reward you deserve, if there are any gods who have regard for goodness, if there is any justice in the world, if their minds have any sense of right.
[tr. West (1990)]

     May the gods --
If any powers above look down on the pious,
If there is any justice anywhere -- may the gods
And your good conscience reward you
As you deserve.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

     But may the gods,
if there are Powers who still respect the good and true,
if justice still exists on the face of the earth,
may they and their own sense of right and wrong
bring you your just rewards.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 720ff]

May the gods -- if they honor pious men, if there's justice anywhere, and conscience -- reward you in kind.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Added on 2-Feb-22 | Last updated 2-Feb-22
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All religions are ultimately cargo cults. Adherents perform required rituals, follow specific rules, and expect to be supernaturally gifted with desired rewards — long life, honor, wisdom, children, good health, wealth, victory over opponents, immortality after death, any desired rewards.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) American writer
Parable of the Talents, ch. 19, epigram (1998)
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Added on 7-Oct-21 | Last updated 7-Oct-21
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I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) French author, existentialist philosopher, feminist theorist
All Said and Done (1974)
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Added on 26-Aug-21 | Last updated 26-Aug-21
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The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up.

Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) English intellectual, literary critic and writer.
The Unquiet Grave (1944)
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Do the best you can where you are; and, when that is accomplished, God will open a door for you, and a voice will call, “Come up hither into a higher sphere.”

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Life Thoughts [ed. E. Proctor] (1858)
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Added on 12-Feb-21 | Last updated 12-Feb-21
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For, though th’ ascent be rough, and steep the fall,
Ambition has but one reward for all:
A little power, a little transient fame,
A grave to rest in, and a fading name!

William Winter (1836-1917) American dramatic critic and author
“The Queen’s Domain,” The Queen’s Domain, and Other Poems (1858)
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Added on 2-Sep-20 | Last updated 2-Sep-20
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Do not be chary of appreciation. Hearts are unconsciously hungry for it.

Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American clergyman, hymnist
“Destruction and Fulfilment,” Sermon 12, Twenty Sermons, 4th Series (1887)
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Sermon on Matt. 17.
Added on 11-Feb-20 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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The world oftener rewards the appearances of merit than merit itself.

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims], #312 (1665-1678)
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Added on 12-Nov-19 | Last updated 12-Nov-19
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There is always some peace in having submitted to the right. Don’t spoil it by worrying about the results, if you can help it. It is not your business to succeed (no one can be sure of that) but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God ….

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter to Arthur Greeves, Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. 2: 1931-1949 (2004)
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Added on 20-Sep-19 | Last updated 20-Sep-19
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AGATHA: … But after that, I’d better see some cake.
TARVEK: You know, there’s more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.
AGATHA: If that’s what you think, then you’re doing it wrong!

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Girl Genius, Vol. 13, p. 38, “The Heterodyne Requires Cake” (10 Apr 2013)
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In Agatha H. and the Siege of Mechanicsburg (2020) [with Kaja Foglio], this is rendered:

“But after that, I’d better see some cake.”

Tarvek glanced at her. “You know, there’s more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it.”

Agatha thought about this and was filled with a sudden conviction, one that would stand the test of time through everything else that happened to her through the years. “If that’s what you think, then you’re doing it wrong.”

Added on 16-Aug-19 | Last updated 3-Jan-22
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There is only one question which really matters: why do bad things happen to good people?

Harold S. Kushner (b. 1935) American author, rabbi
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, ch. 1 (1981)
Added on 3-Mar-17 | Last updated 3-Mar-17
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The only reward of virtue is virtue.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
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Convinced that character is all and circumstances nothing, [the Puritan] sees in the poverty of those who fall by the way, not a misfortune to be pitied and relieved, but a moral failing to be condemned, and in riches, not an object of suspicion but the blessing which rewards the triumph of energy and will.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, ch. 4 (1926)
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Great minds, like heaven, are pleased in doing good,
Though the ungrateful subjects of their favors
Are barren in return.

Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718) English poet and dramatist
Tamerlane, Act 2, sc. 2 (1701)
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Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“The Weight of Glory,” sermon, Oxford University Church of St Mary the Virgin (8 Jun 1941)
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Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
Added on 25-May-16 | Last updated 25-May-16
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The common interests
of states and individuals alike demand
that good and evil receive their just rewards.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Hecuba, l. 900 [tr. Arrowsmith (1964)]
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If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing, it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
Letter to Miss Vanhomrigh (12 Aug 1720)
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Added on 27-Aug-15 | Last updated 27-Aug-15
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Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.

Muhammad (570-632) Arabian merchant, prophet, founder of Islam [Mohammed]
(Attributed)
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Attributed in Rev. James Wood (ed.) Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893). Also sometimes attributed to Moliere.
Added on 24-Aug-15 | Last updated 24-Aug-15
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The honest Man takes Pains, and then enjoys Pleasures;
the Knave takes Pleasure, and then suffers Pains.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (May 1755)
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I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice — it was the choice of the one who subjected it — but in the hope that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Romans 8:18-25
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The snow covers many a dunghill, so doth prosperity many a rotten heart.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) English Puritan divine, writer
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (1652)
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I know, indeed, of nothing more subtly satisfying and cheering than a knowledge of the real good will and appreciation of others. Such happiness does not come with money, nor does it flow from a fine physical state. It cannot be brought. But it is the keenest joy, after all, and the toiler’s truest and best reward.

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) American author, literary critic, and playwright
Interview with Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine
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Quoted in Marden, How They Succeeded: Life Stories of Successful Men Told by Themselves, ch. 11 (1901).
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The greatest humiliation in life, is to work hard on something from which you expect great appreciation, and then fail to get it.

Edgar Watson "Ed" Howe (1853-1937) American journalist and author [E. W. Howe]
Ventures in Common Sense, “Miscellany of Life” (1919)
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He that will have the Kernel, must crack the Shell.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #2348 (1732)
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Morality turns on whether the pleasure precedes or follows the pain. Thus it is immoral to get drunk because the headache comes after the drinking. But if the headache came first and the drunkenness afterwards, it would be moral to get drunk.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler, “Morality” (1912)

Full text.

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Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
“The American Crisis” #1 (19 Dec 1776)
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It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

Charles Dudley Warner (1829–1900) American essayist and novelist
Backlog Studies, Fifth Study, sec. 3 (1872)
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Originally published in Scribner's Monthly (Apr 1872). Frequently misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“New England Reformers,” lecture, Boston (3 Mar 1844), Essays: Second Series (1844)
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Reprinted in Essays: Second Series (1844).
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There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Christian Religion” (1881)
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Happiness is not a reward — it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment — it is a result.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Christian Religion,” Part 2, The North American Review (Nov 1881)
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