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This page relates to the concept of actions performed. For the legal document conveying property, see Deed.

Deeds are actions or acts; something that is done, often simply as opposed to rhetoric or deliberation, but occasionally with reference in particular to brave or noteworthy actions.


  • All your better deeds
    Shall be in water writ, but this in marble.
  • For now the field is not far off
    Where we must give the world a proof
    Of deeds, not words.
  • We are our own fates. Our own deeds
    Are our doomsmen. Man's life was made
    Not for men's creeds,
    But men's actions.
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part II, Canto V, Stanza 8.
  • See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
    With joy and love triumphing.
  • Nor think thou with wind
    Of æry threats to awe whom yet with deeds
    Thou canst not.
  • I on the other side
    Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds;
    The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the doer.
  • Les belles actions cachées sont les plus estimables.
  • From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
    The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
    Where great additions swell's and virtue none,
    It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
    Is good without a name.
  • He covets less
    Than misery itself would give; rewards
    His deeds with doing them, and is content
    To spend the time to end it.
  • I never saw
    Such noble fury in so poor a thing;
    Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought
    But beggary and poor looks.
  • The flighty purpose never is o'ertook,
    Unless the deed go with it.
  • Unnatural deeds
    Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
    To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
  • O, would the deed were good!
    For now the devil, that told me I did well,
    Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
  • They look into the beauty of thy mind,
    And that, in guess, they measure by thy deeds.
  • You must take the will for the deed.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 184-87.
  • Who doth right deeds
    Is twice born, and who doeth ill deeds vile.
  • L'injure se grave en métal; et le bienfait s'escrit en l'onde.
    • An injury graves itself in metal, but a benefit writes itself in water.
    • Jean Bertaut.
  • Qui facit per alium facit per se.
    • Anything done for another is done for oneself.
    • Boniface VIII, Maxim. Sexti. Corp. Jur, Book V. 12. Derived from Paulus, Digest, Book I. 17. (Quod jessu alterius solvitur pro eo est quasi ipsi solutum esset).
  • We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
    • Book of Common Prayer, General Confession.
  • To be nameless in worthy deeds, exceeds an infamous history.
  • 'Tis not what man Does which exalts him, but what man Would do.
  • Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
    Make our earth an Eden like the heaven above.
    • Julia A. Carney, Little Things. (Originally "make this pleasant earth below").
  • His deedes inimitable, like the Sea
    That shuts still as it opes, and leaves no tracts
    Nor prints of Precedent for poore men's facts.
  • So our lives
    In acts exemplarie, not only winne
    Ourselves good Names, but doth to others give
    Matter for virtuous Deedes, by which wee live.
  • Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
  • The will for the deed.
  • Facta ejus cum dictis discrepant.
    • His deeds do not agree with his words.
    • Cicero, De Finibus, Book II. 30.
  • This is the Thing that I was born to do.
  • Deeds are males, words females are.
  • "I worked for men," my Lord will say,
    When we meet at the end of the King's highway;
    "I walked with the beggar along the road,
    I kissed the bondsman stung by the goad,
    I bore my half of the porter's load.
    And what did you do," my Lord will say,
    "As you traveled along the King's highway?"
  • Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
  • Our deeds still travel with us from afar.
    And what we have been makes us what we are.
  • Things of to-day?
    Deeds which are harvest for Eternity!
  • Go put your creed into your deed,
    Nor speak with double tongue.
  • Did nothing in particular,
    And did it very well.
  • Und künftige Thaten drangen wie die Sterne
    Rings um uns her unzählig aus der Nacht.
    • And future deeds crowded round us as the countless stars in the night.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, II. 1. 121.
  • For as one star another far exceeds,
    So souls in heaven are placèd by their deeds.
  • If thou do ill, the joy fades, not the pains.
    If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains.
    • George Herbert, Church Porch, last lines. Same idea in Cato and Musonius.
  • My hour at last has come;
    Yet not ingloriously or passively
    I die, but first will do some valiant deed,
    Of which mankind shall hear in after time.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XXII. Bryant's translation.
  • Oh! 'tis easy
    To beget great deeds; but in the rearing of them—
    The threading in cold blood each mean detail,
    And furze brake of half-pertinent circumstance—
    There lies the self-denial.
  • When a man dies they who survive him ask what property he has left behind. The angel who bends over the dying man asks what good deeds he has sent before him.
  • But the good deed, through the ages
    Living in historic pages,
    Brighter grows and gleams immortal,
    Unconsumed by moth or rust.
  • For men use, if they have an evil tourne, to write it in marble; and whoso doth us a good tourne we write it in duste.
  • Actis ævum implet, non segnibus annis.
    • He fills his lifetime with deeds, not with inactive years.
    • Ovid, Ad Liviam, 449. Adapted probably from Albinovanus Pedo, contemporary poet with Ovid.
  • Ipse decor, recti facti si præmia desint,
    Non movet.
    • Men do not value a good deed unless it brings a reward.
    • Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, II. 3. 13.
  • Di pia facta vident.
    • The gods see the deeds of the righteous.
    • Ovid, Fasti, II. 117.
  • The deed I intend is great,
    But what, as yet, I know not.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, Sandy's translation.
  • Acta deos nunquam mortalia fallunt.
    • The deeds of men never escape the gods.
    • Ovid, Tristium, I. 2. 97.
  • Dictis facta suppetant.
    • Let deeds correspond with words.
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, Act I. 1.
  • Nequam illud verbum est, Bene vult, nisi qui benefacit.
    • "He wishes well" is worthless, unless the deed go with it.
    • Plautus, Trinummus, II. 4. 38.
  • We'll take the good-will for the deed.
  • Your deeds are known,
    In words that kindle glory from the stone.
  • Wer gar zu viel bedenkt wird wenig leisten.
    • He who considers too much will perform little.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell, III. 1.
  • Nemo beneficia in calendario scribit.
    • Nobody makes an entry of his good deeds in his day-book.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Beneficiis, I. 2.
  • You do the deeds,
    And your ungodly deeds find me the words.
    • Sophocles, Electra, line 624. Milton's translation.

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