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ACTION
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[ Also see Ability Acting Activity Adventure Deeds Doing Effort Employment Excitement Exercise Exertion Idleness Inaction Inactivity Labor Life Man Quiet Recreation Rest Sleep Theories Thought Vivacity Work ]

Wouldst thou know the lawfulness of the action which thou desirest to undertake, let thy devotion recommend it to Divine blessing: if it be lawful, thou shalt perceive thy heart encouraged by thy prayer; if unlawful, thou shalt find thy prayer discouraged by thy heart. That action is not warrantable which either blushes to beg a blessing, or, having succeeded, dares not present a thanksgiving.
      - Francis Quarles

There are three sorts of actions: those that are good, those that are bad, and those that are doubtful; and we ought to be most cautious of those that are doubtful; for we are in most danger of these doubtful actions, because they do not alarm us; and yet they insensibly lead to greater transgressions, just as the shades of twilight gradually reconcile us to darkness.
      - A. Reed

So much to do; so little done.
      - Cecil John Rhodes, last words

To live is not merely to breathe: it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, senses, faculties,--of all of our parts of ourselves which give us the feeling of existence.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There is no action so slight or so mean but it may be done to a great purpose, and ennobled thereby.
      - John Ruskin

Act! the wise are known by their actions; fame and immortality are ever their attendants. Mark with deeds the vanishing traces of swiftrolling time. Let us make happy the circle around us,--be useful as much as we may. For that fills up with soft rapture, that dissolves the dark clouds of the day!
      - Johann Gaudenz Salis, Baron von Salis-Seewis

Advise well before you begin, and when you have maturely considered, then act with promptitude.
      - Sallust (Caius Sallustius Crispus)

In my opinion, he only may be truly said to live and enjoy his being who is engaged in some laudable pursuit, and acquires a name by some illustrious action, or useful art.
      - Sallust (Caius Sallustius Crispus)

Get good counsel before you begin; and when you have decided, act promptly.
  [Lat., Prius quam incipias consulto, et ubi consulueris mature facto opus est.]
      - Sallust (Caius Sallustius Crispus),
        Catilina (I)

He that is overcautious will accomplish nothing.
  [Ger., Wer gar zu viel bedenkt, wird wenig leisten.]
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        Wilhelm Tell (III, 1, 72)

Be great in act, as you have been in thought.
      - William Shakespeare

Heaven never helps the man who will not act.
      - William Shakespeare

I profess not talking: only this, Let each man do his best.
      - William Shakespeare

Let's take the instant by the forward top; for we are old, and on our quickest decrees, the inaudible and noiseless foot of time steals, ere can effect them.
      - William Shakespeare

Hold, or cut bowstrings.
      - William Shakespeare,
        A Midsummer Night's Dream
         (Bottom at I, ii)

Where is our usual manager of mirth?
  What revels are in hand? Is there no play
    To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
      - William Shakespeare,
        A Midsummer Night's Dream
         (Theseus at V, i)

. . . Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th' ignorant
  More learned than the ears. . . .
      - William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
         (Volumnia at III, ii)

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, ii)

O, the blood more stirs
  To rouse a lion than to start a hare!
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Hotspur at I, iii)

I thank him that he cuts me from my tale,
  For I profess not talking. Only this--
    Let each man do his best; and here draw I
      A sword whose temper I intend to stain
        With the best blood that I can meet withal
          In the adventure of this perilous day.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Hotspur at V, ii)

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
  It were done quickly.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at I, vii)

From this moment
  The very firstlings of my heart shall be
    The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
      To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:
        The castle of MacDuff I will surprise,
          Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge th' sword
            His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
              That trace him in his line.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at IV, i)

But I remember now
  I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
    Is often laudable, to do good sometime
      Accounted dangerous folly.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Wife at IV, ii)

What's done cannot be undone.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Lady Macbeth at V, i)

So smile the heavens upon this holy act
  That after-hours with sorrow chide us not!
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Friar Laurence at II, vi)


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