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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


Acerrima proximorum odia—The hatred of those most closely connected with us is the bitterest.

Acribus initiis, incurioso fine—Full of ardour at the beginning, careless at the end.

As formerly we suffered from wickedness, so now we suffer from the laws.

Asperæ facetiæ ubi multum ex vero traxere, acrem sui memoriam relinquunt—Satire, when it comes near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind it.

Carmina spreta exolescunt; si irascare, agnita videntur—Abuse, if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.

Compositum miraculi causa—A story trumped up to astonish.

Corpora lente augescunt, cito extinguuntur—All bodies are slow in growth, rapid in decay.

Corruptissima in republica plurimæ leges—In a state in which corruption abounds laws are very numerous.

Cupido dominandi cunctis affectibus flagrantior est—The desire of rule is the most ardent of all the affections of the mind.

Dum singuli pugnant, universi vincuntur—While they fight separately, the whole are conquered.

Eloquence is like flame: it requires matter to feed on, motion to excite it, and it brightens as it burns.

Eo magis præfulgebat quod non videbatur—He shone the brighter that he was not seen.

Erant in officio, sed tamen qui mallent imperantium mandata interpretari, quam exsequi—They attended to their regulations, but still as if they would rather debate about the commands of their superiors than obey them.

Etiam fortes viros subitis terreri—Even brave men may be alarmed by a sudden event.

Etiam sapientibus cupido gloriæ novissima exuitur—Even by the wise the desire of glory is the last of all passions to be laid aside.

Facetiarum apud præpotentes in longum memoria est—It is long before men in power forget the jest they have been the subject of.

Festinatione nil tutius in discordiis civilibus—Nothing is safer than despatch in civil quarrels.

Flattery labours under the odious charge of servility.

Habet aliquid ex iniquo omne magnum exemplum, quod contra singulos, utilitate publica rependitur—Every great example of punishment has in it some tincture of injustice, but the wrong to individuals is compensated by the promotion of the public good.

He shone with the greater splendour because he was not seen.

Honesta mors turpi vita potior—An honourable death is better than an ignominious life.

Ignavissimus quisque, et, ut res docuit, in periculo non ausurus, nimio verbis et lingua ferox—Every recreant, who, as experience has proved, will fly in the hour of danger, is the most boastful in his words and language afterwards.

In every battle the eye is first conquered.

In the mind, as in a field, though some things may be sown and carefully brought up, yet what springs naturally is the most pleasing.

In turbas et discordias pessimo cuique plurima vis—In seasons of tumult and discord, the worst men have the greatest power.

Initia magistratuum nostrorum meliora ferme, et finis inclinat—The commencement of our official duties is characterised by greater vigour and alacrity, but towards the end they flag.

Insita hominibus natura violentiæ resistere—It is natural to man to resist oppression.

Insita mortalibus natura, propere sequi quæ piget inchoare—People are naturally ready enough to follow in matters in which they are disinclined to take the lead.

Intuta quæ indecora—What is unbecoming is unsafe.

Is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum facinus auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes paterentur—Such was the public temper, that some few dared to perpetrate the vilest crimes, more were fain to do so, and all looked passively on.

It is common to esteem most what is unknown.

It is human nature to hate him whom you have injured.

It is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure.

Leves homines futuri sunt improvidi—Light-minded men are improvident of the future.

Major e longinquo reverentia—Respect is greater at a distance.

Major privato visus, dum privatus fuit, et omnium consensu capax imperii, nisi imperasset—He was regarded as greater than a private individual so long as he remained one, and, by the consent of all, would have been deemed worthy to rule had he never ruled.Of the Emperor Galba.

Malorum facinorum ministri quasi exprobrantes aspiciuntur—Accomplices in evil actions are always regarded as reproaching the deed.

Manebant vestigia morientis libertatis—There still remained traces of expiring liberty.

Miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari—An unhappy peace may be profitably exchanged for war.

Multos qui conflictari adversis videantur, beatos; ac plerosque, quanquam magnas per opes, miserrimos—We may see many struggling against adversity who yet are happy; and more, although abounding in wealth, who are most wretched.

Necessity reforms the poor, and satiety the rich.

Neque fœmina, amissa pudicitia, alia abnuerit—When a woman has once lost her chastity, she will shrink from nothing.

Neque mala vel bona quæ vulgus putet—Things are not to be judged either good or bad merely because the public think so.

Neque quies gentium sine armis neque arma sine stipendiis neque stipendia sine tributis haberi queunt—The quiet of nations cannot be maintained without arms, nor can arms be maintained without pay, nor pay without taxation.

Nihil scriptum miraculi causa—Nothing is written here to excite wonder, or for effect.

Nulli jactantius mœrent, quara qui maxime lætantur—None mourn so demonstratively as those who are in reality rejoicing most.

O homines ad servitutem paratos!—Oh, men, how ye prepare yourselves for slavery!

Omnia inconsulti impetus cœpta, initiis valida, spatio languescunt—All enterprises which are entered on with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigour at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.

Omnia quæ nunc vetustissima creduntur, nova fuere … et quod hodie exemplis tuemur, inter exempla erit—Everything which is now regarded as very ancient was once new, and what we are defending to-day by precedent, will by and by be a precedent itself.

Omnia serviliter pro dominatione—Servile in all his actions for the sake of power.Of Otho.

Par negotiis, neque supra—Equal to, and not above, his business.

Plus impetus, majorem constantiam, penes miseros—We find greater violence and more perseverance among the wretched.

Principes mortales, rempublicam æternam—Princes are mortal, the republic is eternal.

Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem læseris—It is a weakness of your human nature to hate those whom you have wronged.

Prosperity is the touchstone of virtue; for it is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure.

Rara temporum felicitate, ubi sentire quæ velis, et quæ sentias dicere licet—Such was the happiness of the times, that you might think as you chose and speak as you thought.

Ratio et consilium propriæ ducis artes—Thought and deliberation are the qualities proper to a general.

Rebus secundis etiam egregios duces insolescere—In the hour of prosperity even the best generals are apt to be haughty and insolent.

Reipublicæ forma laudari facilius quam evenire, et si evenit, haud diuturna esse potest—It is more easy to praise a republican form of government than to establish it; and when it is established, it cannot be of long duration.

Romam cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque—All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.

Si cadere necesse est, occurrendum discrimini—If we must fall, let us manfully face the danger.

Sine ira et studio—Without aversion and without preference.

Suspectum semper invisumque dominantibus, qui proximus destinaretur—Those in supreme power always suspect and hate their next heir.

Suum cuique decus posteritas rependunt—Posterity will pay every one his due.

Tardiora sunt remedia quam mala—Remedies are slower in their operation than diseases.

The lust of fame is the last that a wise man shakes off.

Ut sunt molles in calamitate mortalium animi!—How weak are the hearts of mortals under calamity!

Utque alios industria, ita hunc ignavia ad famam protulerat—While other men have attained to fame by their industry, this man has by his indolence.

Veritas visu et mora, falsa festinatione et incertis valescunt—Truth is established by inspection and delay; falsehood thrives by haste and uncertainty.

Vestigia morientis libertatis—The footprints of expiring liberty.

Vetera extollimus, recentium incuriosi—We extol what is old, regardless of what is of modern date.