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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.
  • Your great deeds are unparallelled, your magnificence is praised! Young woman, Inana, your praise is sweet!
  • That swarm of ants that I observed, each one following the one ahead, have every one been Indra in the world of the gods by virtue of their own past action. And now, by virtue of their deeds done in the past, they have gradually fallen to the state of ants.
    • Krishna, Indra and the Ants Indra and the Ants, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas, Pg. 321 by Cornelia Dimmitt
  • 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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