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Weakness refers to a lack in force or ability; the opposite of strength.
- Mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of human nature.
- Joseph Addison, The Spectator (1711–1714), No. 162 (5 September 1711).
- Amiable weakness.
- Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones (1749), Book X, Chapter VIII. Sheridan—School for Scandal, Act V, scene 1.
- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- And the weak soul, within itself unbless'd,
Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (1764), line 271.
- If there are sound reasons or bases for the points you demand, then there is no need for violence. On the other hand, when there is no sound reason that concessions should be made to you but mainly your own desire, then reason cannot work and you have to rely on force. Thus using force is not a sign of strength but rather a sign of weakness.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, in "The Nobel Evening Address" in The Dalai Lama : A Policy of Kindness (1990), p. 115.
- Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, as quoted in Words Of Wisdom: Selected Quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2001) edited by Margaret Gee, p. 71.
- If weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness; that plea, therefore,
With God or man will gain thee no remission.
- Are you or aren't you convinced that weakness is a man's condition? How can you raise yourself if you haven't fallen first?
- Cesare Pavese, The devil in the hills.
- Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 249.
- Fine by defect, and delicately weak.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle II, line 43.
- La faiblesse est le seul défaut que l'on ne saurait corriger.
- Weakness is the only fault which cannot be cured.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes (1665–1678), No. 130
- Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold, which the owner knows not of.
- Jonathan Swift,Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)
- The Tsar is not treacherous but he is weak. Weakness is not treachery, but it fulfils all its functions.
- Omnis enim ex infirmitate feritas est.
- All savageness is a sign of weakness.
- De Vita Beata (On the Happy Life): cap. 3, line 4
- Alternate translation: All cruelty springs from weakness. (translator unknown)
- Seneca the Younger, As quoted in Caxtoniana: A Series of Essays on Life, Literature, and Manners (1864), Harper & brothers, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, p. 174 (in the essay The Sympathetic Temperment).
- All savageness is a sign of weakness.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 863-64.
- The cord breaketh at last by the weakest pull.
- Francis Bacon, On Seditions; quoted as a Spanish Proverb
- But the concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.
- Edmund Burke, Speech on the Conciliation of America.
- Amiable weakness of human nature.
- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XIV.
- Das sterbliche Geschlecht ist viel zu schwach
In ungewohnter Höhe nicht zu schwindeln.
- The mortal race is far too weak not to grow dizzy on unwonted heights.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, I, 3, 98.
- On affaiblit toujours tout ce qu'on exagère.
- We always weaken whatever we exaggerate.
- Jean-François de La Harpe, Mélanie, I, 1.
- Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
Shows sof'ness in the upper story!
- James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers, Second Series. No. 7.
- Even the weakest is thrust to the wall.
- In Scogin's Tests (1540). "The weakest goeth to the wall." Title of a play printed 1600, and 1618. "The weakest goes to the wall." Tuvill, Essays Morall (1609).
- Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman's pleasure, woman's pain—
Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain.