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The Literature Page
Quotations by Subject
- We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.
- Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818), letter to John Adams, 1774
- I've arrived at this outermost edge of my life by my own actions. Where I am is thoroughly unacceptable. Therefore, I must stop doing what I've been doing.
- Alice Koller, An Unknown Woman, 1982
- All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.
- Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
- Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
- Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
- Actions lie louder than words.
- Carolyn Wells
- Deliberation is the function of the many; action is the function of one.
- Charles de Gaulle (1890 - 1970), War Memoirs, 1960
- The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
- Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), The Confucian Analects
- You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean and paltry; for whatever a man's actions are, such must be his spirit.
- Demosthenes (384 BC - 322 BC), Third Olynthiac
- I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.
- Dorothy Day (1897 - 1980), The Long Loneliness, 1952
- An event had happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent.
- Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797), Speeches... in the Trial of Warren Hastings, May 5, 1789
- Action is character.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), The Last Tycoon, 1941
- You ask me why I do not write something....I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.
- Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910), in Cecil Woodham-Smith, Florence Nightingale, 1951
- Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money. It lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945), Speeches... in the Trial of Warren Hastings, May 5, 1789
- We defend and we build a way of life, not for America alone, but for all mankind.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945), Fireside chat on national defense, May 26, 1940
- When a man asks himself what is meant by action he proves he is not a man of action. Action is a lack of balance. In order to act you must be somewhat insane. A reasonably sensible man is satisfied with thinking.
- Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929), Conversation with Jean Martet, January 1 1929
- Somewhere deep down we know that in the final analysis we do decide things and that even our decisions to let someone else decide are really our decisions, however pusillanimous.
- Harvey Cox, On Not Leaving It to the Snake, 1967
- Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.
- Herbert Hoover (1874 - 1964)
- Only actions give life strength; only moderation gives it a charm.
- Jean Paul Richter (1763 - 1825)
- I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
- John Locke (1632 - 1704)
- I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
- Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
- Life is one long process of getting tired.
- Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902), Notebooks, 1912
- Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.
- Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), Rasselas, 1759
- In this theater of man's life, it is reserved only for God and for angels to be lookers-on.
- Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)
- Aggressive fighting for the right is the greatest sport in the world.
- Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)
- We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.
- Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919), Address at the opening of the gubernatorial campaign, New York City, October 5, 1898
- Delay is preferable to error.
- Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), Letter to George Washington, May 16, 1792