„He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.“
知可战与不可战者胜。

—  Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu photo
Sun Tzu3
philosophe théoricien de l'art de la guerre chinois -543 - 251 avant J.-C.
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George Eliot photo

„Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.“

—  George Eliot English novelist, journalist and translator 1819 - 1880
" Janet's Repentance http://classiq.net/george-eliot/janets-repentance/index.html" Ch. 6

„He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose.“

—  Jim Elliot Martyred Christian missionary to Ecuador 1927 - 1956
Quoted from The life of the Rev. Philip Henry, A.M., Matthew Henry, J. B. Williams, pub. W. Ball, 1839 p. 35 ( Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=BUfCH_MaUS8C)

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Oliver Goldsmith photo

„For he who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain
Can never rise and fight again.“

—  Oliver Goldsmith Irish physician and writer 1728 - 1774
The Art of Poetry on a New Plan (1761), vol. ii. p. 147. The saying "he who fights and runs away may live to fight another day" dates at least as far back as Menander (ca. 341–290 B.C.), Gnomai Monostichoi, aphorism #45: ἀνήρ ὁ ϕɛύγων καὶ ράλίν μαχήɛṯαί (a man who flees will fight again). The Attic Nights (book 17, ch. 21) of Aulus Gellius (ca. 125–180 A.D.) indicates it was already widespread in the second century: "...the orator Demosthenes sought safety in flight from the battlefield, and when he was bitterly taunted with his flight, he jestingly replied in the well-known verse: The man who runs away will fight again".

George Bernard Shaw photo
Mortimer J. Adler photo
Paulo Coelho photo
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Mark Twain photo

„He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910
Aphorism 146 from Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good and Evil) an 1886 book by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Translated from: Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. Source: Gutenberg-DE Translation source: Hollingdale

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Anne Brontë photo
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Samuel Butler photo

„One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.“

—  Samuel Butler novelist 1835 - 1902
Samuel Butler's Notebooks http://books.google.com/books?id=cjk3AAAAIAAJ&q=%22One+of+the+first+businesses+of+a+sensible+man+is+to+know+when+he+is+beaten+and+to+leave+off+fighting+at+once%22&pg=PA186#v=onepage (1951)

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 Mozi photo

„The wise man who has charge of governing the empire should know the cause of disorder before he can put it in order. Unless he knows its cause, he cannot regulate it.“

—  Mozi Chinese political philosopher and religious reformer of the Warring States period -470 - -391 avant J.-C.
Book 4; Universal Love I

William Golding photo

„The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it.“

—  William Golding British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate 1911 - 1993
As quoted in Novelists in Interview (1985) edited by John Haffenden

„When a poet is being a poet — that is, when he is writing or thinking about writing — he cannot be concerned with anything but the making of a poem.“

—  Richard Wilbur American poet 1921 - 2017
Context: When a poet is being a poet — that is, when he is writing or thinking about writing — he cannot be concerned with anything but the making of a poem. If the poem is to turn out well, the poet cannot have thought of whether it will be saleable, or of what its effect on the world should be; he cannot think of whether it will bring him honor, or advance a cause, or comfort someone in sorrow. All such considerations, whether silly or generous, would be merely intrusive; for, psychologically speaking, the end of writing is the poem itself.

W.B. Yeats photo

„Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.“

—  W.B. Yeats Irish poet and playwright 1865 - 1939
Letter to Lady Elizabeth Pelham (4 January 1939))

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