C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Our enemies are our outward consciences.


None but yourself who are your greatest foe.


There is no little enemy.


The man who has no enemies has no following.

Donn Piatt.

True wisdom, in general, consists in energetic determination.


A man who makes no enemies is never a positive force.

Simon Cameron.

A man selects his enemies, his friends make themselves, and from these friends he is apt to suffer.

Donn Piatt.

  • My nearest
  • And dearest enemy.
  • Thomas Middleton.

    A merely fallen enemy may rise again, but the reconciled one is truly vanquished.


    A man’s enemies have no power to harm him, if he is true to himself and loyal to God.

    John B. Gough.

    That is a most wretched fortune which is without an enemy.

    Publius Syrus.

    Did a person but know the value of an enemy, he would purchase him with pure gold.

    Abbé de Raunci.

    If you want enemies excel others; if you want friends let others excel you.


    Make no enemies; he is insignificant indeed that can do thee no harm.


    It is better to break off a thousand friendships, than to endure the sight of a single enemy.


    There’s not so much danger in a known foe as a suspected friend.


    The relief of enemies has a tendency to unite mankind in fraternal affection.


    A malicious enemy is better than a clumsy friend.

    Madame Swetchine.

    A friend exaggerates a man’s virtues; an enemy inflames his crimes.


    Inflict not on an enemy every injury in your power, for he may afterwards become your friend.


    Our enemies come nearer the truth in the opinions they form of us than we do in our opinion of ourselves.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    An enemy despised is the most dangerous of all enemies.

    Publius Syrus.

    It is the enemy whom we do not suspect who is the most dangerous.


    Let our friends perish, provided that our enemies fall at the same time.


    The body of a dead enemy always smells sweet.


  • ’Tis death to me to be at enmity;
  • I hate it, and desire all good men’s love.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Though all things do to harm him what they can,
  • No greater en’my to himself than man.
  • Earl of Stirling.

  • ’Tis ill to trust a reconciled foe;
  • Be still in readiness, you do not know
  • How soon he may assault us.
  • Webster and Rowley.

    If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


    I am persuaded that he who is capable of being a bitter enemy can never possess the necessary virtues that constitute a true friend.


    It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes.

    Thomas Paine.

    Discover the opinion of your enemies, which is commonly the truest; for they will give you no quarter, and allow nothing to complaisance.


    Whosoever formeth an intimacy with the enemies of his friends, does so to injure the latter. O wise man! wash your hands of that friend who associates with your enemies.


    I have adopted the Roman sentiment, that it is more honorable to save a citizen than to kill an enemy.

    Dr. Johnson.

    It would be a rarity worth seeing could any one show us such a thing as a perfectly reconciled enemy.


  • The world is large when its weary leagues two loving hearts divide;
  • But the world is small when your enemy is loose on the other side.
  • John Boyle O’Reilly.

    It is better to decide a difference between enemies than friends, for one of our friends will certainly become an enemy and one of our enemies a friend.


  • The fine and noble way to kill a foe
  • Is not to kill him; you with kindness may
  • So change him, that he shall cease to be so;
  • Then he’s slain.
  • Aleyn.

    Avoid that which an enemy tells you to do; for if you follow his advice, you will smite your knees with the hand of sorrow. If he shows you a road straight as an arrow, turn from it and go the other way.


    Who can look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him!

    Washington Irving.

    A certain excess of animal spirits with thoughtless good-humor will often make more enemies than the most deliberate spite and ill-nature, which is on its guard, and strikes with caution and safety.


    A Christian should not discover that he has enemies by any other way than by doing more good to them than to others. “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.”

    Bishop Wilson.

    Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them.


    Some men are more beholden to their bitterest enemies than to friends who appear to be sweetness itself. The former frequently tell the truth, but the latter never.


    It is with many enterprises as with striking fire; we do not meet with success except by reiterated efforts, and often at the instant when we despaired of success.

    Madame de Maintenon.

  • Lands, intersected by a narrow frith,
  • Abhor each other. Mountains interpos’d
  • Make enemies of nations, who had else,
  • Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
  • Cowper.

    We pray for our enemies; we seek to persuade those who hate us without cause to live conformably to the goodly precepts of Christ, that they may become partakers with us of the joyful hope of blessings from God, the Lord of all.

    Justin Martyr.

    Never disregard what your enemies say. They may be severe, they may be prejudiced, they may be determined to see only in one direction, but still in that direction they see clearly. They do not speak all the truth, but they generally speak the truth from one point of view; so far as that goes, attend to them.

    B. R. Haydon.

  • I do defy him, and I spit at him;
  • Call him a slanderous coward and a villain:
  • Which to maintain I would allow him odds,
  • And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
  • Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps.
  • Shakespeare.

    Be assured those will be thy worst enemies, not to whom thou hast done evil, but who have done evil to thee. And those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee.


    Plutarch has written an essay on the benefits which a man may receive from his enemies; and, among the good fruits of enmity, mentions this in particular, that by the reproaches which it casts upon us, we see the worst side of ourselves.


    Everybody has enemies. To have an enemy is quite another thing. One must be somebody in order to have an enemy. One must be a force before he can be resisted by another force.

    Madame Swetchine.

    When you see discord amongst the troops of your enemy, be of good courage; but if they are united, then be upon your guard. When you see contention amongst your enemies, go and sit at ease with your friends; but when you see them of one mind, string your bow, and place stones upon the ramparts.


    Men of sense often learn from their enemies. Prudence is the best safeguard. This principle cannot be learned from a friend, but an enemy extorts it immediately. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war. And this lesson saves their children, their homes, and their properties.