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Blind greed! Brainless rage!
In our brief lives they drive us beyond sense
And leave us misery for a heritage
Throughout eternity!

[Oh cieca cupidigia e ira folle,
che sì ci sproni ne la vita corta,
e ne l’etterna poi sì mal c’immolle!]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 12, l. 49ff (12.49-51) (1320) [tr. James (2013)]

On seeing Phlegethon, the river of boiling blood, in which those who violently injured others (through greed or wrath) are forced to stand for all eternity.

Some versions have this as something Virgil says; most make it an exclamation of Dante's.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

O foolish Rage, O blind desire,
That spurs you on, in the short life above,
To such dire Acts as to eternity
Will keep you in this wretched bath below!
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 45ff]

O blind lust!
O foolish wrath! who so dost goad us on
In the brief life, and in the eternal then
Thus miserably o’erwhelm us.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Oh blinded lust! oh anger void of sense!
To spur us o'er the shorter life so bold,
So fell to steep us in the life immense!
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

Oh blind cupidity [both wicked and foolish],
which so incites us in the short life, and then,
in the eternal, steeps us so bitterly!
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

O blind cupidity! O foolish wrath!
Thorough this short life, that spurs them to the sleep,
Eternally in tide like this to steep.
[tr. Bannerman (1850), from Virgil]

Oh, blinded greediness! oh, foolish rage!
Which spur us so in the short world of life,
And then in death so drown us in despair!
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

O blind cupidity, O wrath insane,
⁠That spurs us onward so in our short life,
⁠ ⁠And in the eternal then so badly steeps us!
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

O blind covetousness! O foolish wrath! that dost so spur us in our short life, and afterward in the life eternal dost in such evil wise steep us!
[tr. Butler (1885)]

O blind cupidity, O foolish ire,
Which spurs us on so in our life's short day,
And soaks us till Eternity expire!
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Oh blind cupidity, both guilty and mad, that so spurs us in the brief life, and then, in the eternal, steeps us so ill!
[tr. Norton (1892)]

O sightless greed! O foolish wrath! that dost in our short life, so goad us; and after, in the life that hath no end, dost sink us in such evil plight.
[tr. Sullivan (1893), from Virgil]

Oh, blind cupidity! Oh, senseless anger,
Which in the brief life spurs us on so hotly.
And in the eternal then so sadly dips us !
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

O blind covetousness and foolish anger, which in the brief life so goad us on and then, in the eternal, steep us in such misery!
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

O blind greed and mad anger, all astray
That in the short life goad us onward so,
And in the eternal with such plungings pay!
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

O blind, O rash and wicked lust of spoil,
That drives our short life with so keen a goad
And steeps our life eternal in such broil!
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

Oh blind!
Oh ignorant, self-seeking cupidity
which spurs us so in the short mortal life
and steeps us so through all eternity!
[tr. Ciardi (1954)]

O blind cupidity and mad rage, which in the brief life so goad us on, and then, in the eternal, steep us so bitterly!
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

O blind cupidity and insane wrath,
spurring us on through our short life on earth
to steep us then forever in such misery!
[tr. Musa (1971)]

O blind cupidity and insane anger,
which goad us on so much in our short life,
then steep us in such grief eternally!
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

O blind cupidity and senseless anger,
Which so goads us in our short life here
And, in the eternal life, drenches us miserably!
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

O blind desire
Of covetousness, O anger gone insane --
That goad us on through life, which is so brief,
to steep in eternal woe when life is done.
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

Oh blind cupidity and mad rage, that so spur us in this short life, and then in the eternal one cook us so evilly!
[tr. Durling (1996)]

O blind desires, evil and foolish, which so goad us in our brief life, and then, in the eternal one, ruin us so bitterly!
[tr. Kline (2002)]

O blind cupidity, that brew of bile
and foolishness, which bubbles our brief lives,
before it steeps us in eternal gall!
[tr. Carson (2002)]

What blind cupidity, what crazy rage
impels us onwards in our little lives --
then dunks us in this stew to all eternity!
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

O blind covetousness, insensate wrath,
which in this brief life goad us on and then,
in the eternal, steep us in such misery!
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

O greedy blindness and rage, insane and senseless,
Spurring us on in this, our so short life,
Then immolating us forever and ever!
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

Added on 8-Sep-23 | Last updated 8-Sep-23
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

But oh! ye gracious Powers above,
Wrath and revenge from men and gods remove,
Far, far too dear to every mortal breast,
Sweet to the soul, as honey to the taste;
Gathering like vapours of a noxious kind
From fiery blood, and darkening all the mind.

[Ὡς ἔρις ἔκ τε θεῶν ἔκ τ’ ἀνθρώπων ἀπόλοιτο
καὶ χόλος, ὅς τ’ ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ χαλεπῆναι,
ὅς τε πολὺ γλυκίων μέλιτος καταλειβομένοιο
ἀνδρῶν ἐν στήθεσσιν ἀέξεται ἠΰτε καπνός.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 18, l. 107ff (18.107) [Achilles] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Pope (1715-20)]

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

How then too soon can hastiest death supplant
My fate-curst life? Her instrument to my indignity
Being that black fiend Contention; whom would to God might die
To Gods and men; and Anger too, that kindles tyranny
In men most wise, being much more sweet than liquid honey is
To men of pow’r to satiate their watchful enmities;
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 98ff]

May fierce contention from among the Gods
Perish, and from among the human race,
With wrath, which sets the wisest hearts on fire;
Sweeter than dropping honey to the taste,
But in the bosom of mankind, a smoke!
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 134ff]

Would that therefore contention might be extinguished from gods and men; and anger, which is wont to impel even the very wisest to be harsh; and which, much sweeter than distilling honey, like smoke, rises in the breasts of men.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

Accurs’d of Gods and men be hateful strife
And anger, which to violence provokes
E’en temp’rate souls: though sweeter be its taste
Than dropping honey, in the heart of man
Swelling, like smoke.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

May strife perish utterly among gods and men, and wrath that stirreth even a wise man to be vexed, wrath that far sweeter than trickling honey waxeth like smoke in the breasts of men.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

Therefore, perish strife both from among gods and men, and anger, wherein even a righteous man will harden his heart -- which rises up in the soul of a man like smoke, and the taste thereof is sweeter than drops of honey.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

So may strife perish from among gods and men, and anger that setteth a man on to grow wroth, how wise soever he be, and that sweeter far than trickling honey waxeth like smoke in the breasts of men.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

Why, I wish that strife would vanish away from among gods and mortals, and gall, which makes a man grow angry for all his great mind, that gall of anger that swarms like smoke inside of a man's heart and becomes a thing sweeter to him by far than the dripping of honey. [tr. Lattimore (1951)]

Ah, let strife and rancor perish from the lives of gods and men, with anger that envenoms even the wise and is far sweeter than slow-dripping honey, clouding the hearts of men like smoke.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

If only strife could die from the lives of gods and men
and anger that drives the sanest man to flare in outrage --
bitter gall, sweeter than dripping streams of honey,
that swarms in people's chests and blinds like smoke.
[tr. Fagles (1990), l. 126ff]
Added on 10-Feb-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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More quotes by Homer

We may seem angry, but anger should be far from us; for in anger nothing right or judicious can be done.

[Sed tamen ira procul absit, cum qua nihil recte fieri nec considerate potest.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 38 (1.38) / sec. 136 (44 BC) [tr. Miller (1913)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

We must be sure, as was said, to avoid all anger; for whatsoever is guided by its influence and directions can never be done with any prudence or moderation.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

But still, let anger be remote; for under its influence our conduct cannot be upright or deliberate.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

But still, let all passion be avoided; for with that nothing can be done with rectitude, nothing with discretion.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Anger itself we must put far away, for with it we can do nothing right or well-advised.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

All things considered, you should avoid anger; nothing good or courteous happens when men are angry.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

But still anger ought be far from us, for nothing is able to be done rightly nor judiciously with anger.

Added on 11-Jan-21 | Last updated 8-Sep-22
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Rage — Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds.

[Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 1, l. 1ff (1.1-5) (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990)]

Original Greek. Alternate translation:
The wrath of Peleus' son, the direful spring
Of all the Grecian woes, O Goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurled to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain,
Whose limbs, unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore ....
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

Achilles sing, O Goddess! Peleus' son;
His wrath pernicious, who ten thousand woes
Caused to Achaia’s host, sent many a soul
Illustrious into Ades premature,
And Heroes gave (so stood the will of Jove)
To dogs and to all ravening fowls a prey.
[tr. Cowper (1791)]

Sing, O goddess, the destructive wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, which brought countless woes upon the Greeks, and hurled many valiant souls of heroes down to Hades, and made themselves a prey to dogs and to all birds ....
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

Of Peleus' son, Achilles, sing, O Muse,
The vengeance, deep and deadly; wence to Greece
Unnumber'd ills arose; which many a soul
Of mighty warriors to the viewless shades
Untimely sent; they on the battle plain
Unburied lay, a prey to rav'ning dogs,
And carrion birds ....
[tr. Derby (1864)]

Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs and all winged fowls ....
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

Sing, O goddess, the rage of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures ....
[tr. Butler (1898)]

The wrath sing, goddess, of Peleus' son, Achilles, that destructive wrath which brought countless woes upon the Achaeans, and sent forth to Hades many valiant souls of heroes, and made them themselves spoil for dogs and every bird ....
[tr. Murray (1924)]

Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Achilles' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that cause the Achaeans loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men -- carrion
for dogs and birds ....
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

Sing now, goddess, the wrath of Achilles the scion of Peleus,
ruinous rage which brought the Achaians uncounted afflictions;
many the powerful souls it sent to the dwellings of Hades,
those of the heroes, and spoil for the dogs it made of their bodies,
plunder for all of the birds ....
[tr. Merrill (2007)]
Added on 5-Aug-20 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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More quotes by Homer

                        It is the wit,
The policy of sin, to hate those men
We have abus’d.

William Davenant (1606-1668) English poet and playwright [a.k.a. William D'Avenant]
The Just Italian, Act 3, sc. 1 [Sciolto] (1630)
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There are answers which, in turning away wrath, only send it to the other end of the room.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch, Book 3, ch. 24 (1871)

An allusion to Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath."
Added on 8-Sep-17 | Last updated 8-Sep-17
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As the man put it: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Any sufficiently advanced alien intelligence is indistinguishable from God — the angry monotheistic sadist subtype. And the elder ones … aren’t friendly. (See? I told you I’d rather be an atheist!)

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Fuller Memorandum (2010)

See Clarke. .
Added on 7-Feb-17 | Last updated 7-Feb-17
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More quotes by Stross, Charles

Are we like the God of the Old Testament that we can decide, in Washington, D.C., what cities, what towns, what hamlets in Vietnam are going to be destroyed? … Do we have to accept that? … I do not think we have to. I think we can do something about it.

Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968) American politician
Speech, US Senate (Mar 1968)

Frequently cited as his last Senate speech about the Vietnam War.
Added on 20-Oct-14 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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There is not in nature
A thing that makes a man so deform’d, so beastly,
As doth intemperate anger.

John Webster (c.1580-c.1634) English Jacobean dramatist
The Duchess of Malfi (1612-13)
Added on 7-Mar-14 | Last updated 7-Mar-14
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People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
Added on 3-Jan-14 | Last updated 3-Jan-14
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We live in an age of Wrath. It is to be found in the terrorist, the kidnapper, the hijacker, the looter, and in the clenched fist of the demonstrator. […] When we ask what is their justification, they hardly have to give an answer, because our age finds it for them. They are angry. That is apparently enough. We justify their Wrath, so we justify their violence. If someone thinks that he has cause to be angry, he may act from his Anger as destructively as he sees fit. In fact, we have come close to the point of giving to Wrath an incontestable license to terrorize our society, just as an angry man may terrorize his family, but whereas we do not excuse the husband or the father, we extend our sympathy and understanding to the terrorist.

Henry Fairlie (1924-1990) British journalist and social critic
The Seven Deadly Sins Today (1978)
Added on 23-Aug-13 | Last updated 31-Mar-17
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If you would not be of an angry temper, then, do not feed the habit. Give it nothing to help it increase. Be quiet at first and reckon the days in which you have not been angry. I used to be angry every day; now every other day; then every third and fourth day; and if you miss it so long as thirty days, offer a of Thanksgiving to God. For habit is first weakened and then entirely destroyed.

Epictetus (c.55-c.135) Greek (Phrygian) Stoic philosopher
The Discourses, ch. 18 (c. AD 101-108)
Added on 9-Aug-13 | Last updated 16-May-14
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ANGER: Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back — in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

Frederick Buechner (b. 1926) American minister, author
Wishful Thinking (1971)
Added on 10-May-13 | Last updated 3-Feb-21
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He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who ruleth his spirit than he who taketh a city.

The Bible (The Old Testament) (14th - 2nd C BC) Judeo-Christian sacred scripture [Tanakh, Hebrew Bible], incl. the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)
Proverbs 16:32 (KJV)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Sep-23
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