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CONTENTION
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[ Also see Argument Challenge Conflict Contradiction Controversy Difference Discord Dissension Dueling Enemies Faction Fighting Opposition Peace Quarreling Quarrels Rivalry Strife War ]

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
      - Bible, Genesis (ch. XIII, v. 8)

Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.
      - Bible, Jeremiah (ch. XV, v. 10)

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
      - Bible, Mark (ch. III, v. 25)

A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
      - Bible, Proverbs (ch. XXVII, v. 15)

Contention is a hydra's head: the more they strive the more they may: and as Praxiteles did by his glass, when he saw a scurvy face in it, brake it in pieces: but for that one he saw many more as bad in a moment.
      - Robert Burton

'Tis a hydra's head contention; the more they strive the more they may: and as Praxiteles did by his glass, when he saw a scurvy face in it, brake it in pieces; but for that one he saw many more as bad in a moment.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
         (pt. II, sc. 3, mem. 7)

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
      - Robert Burton,
        Reflections on the Revolution in France
         (vol. III, p. 195)

Even as a broken mirror, which the glass
  In every fragment multiplies, and makes
    A thousand images of one that was
      The same, and still the more, the more it breaks.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

And the combat ceased, for want of combatants.
  [Fr., Et le combat cessa, faute de combattants.]
      - Pierre Corneille, Le Cid (IV, 3)

Great contest follows, and much learned dust
  Involves the combatants; each claiming truth,
    And truth disclaiming both.
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. III, l. 161)

Did thrust (as now) in other's corn his sickle.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        Divine Weekes and Workes--Second Week, Second Day
         (pt. II)

So when two dogs are fighting in the streets,
  When a third dog one of the two dogs meets:
    With angry teeth he bites him to the bone,
      And this dog smarts for what that dog has done.
      - Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb the Great
         (act I, sc. 5, l. 55)

When individuals approach one another with deep purposes on both sides they seldom come at once to the matter which they have most at heart. They dread the electric shock of a too sudden contact with it.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun
         (vol. II, ch. XXII)

But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast,
  For gentle ways are best, and keep aloof
    From sharp contentions.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. IX, l. 317), (Bryant's translation)

Not hate, but glory, made these chiefs contend;
  And each brave foe was in his soul a friend.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. VII, l. 364), (Pope's translation)

Religious contention is the devil's harvest.
      - Jean de la Fontaine

Great contests generally excite great animosities.
      - Titus Livy

Agreement exists in disagreement.
  [Lat., Mansit concordia discors.]
      - Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia
         (I, 98)

The chiefs contend only for their place of burial.
  [Lat., Ducibus tantum de funere pugna est.]
      - Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia
         (VI, 811)

You will stir up the hornets.
  [Lat., Irritabis crabones.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Amphitruo
         (act II, 2, 75)

When two discourse, if the one's anger rise,
  The man who lets the contest fall is wise.
      - Plutarch

Stir up the hornets.
  [Fr., Irriter les freslons.]
      - Francois Rabelais, Pantagruel

Contentions fierce,
  Ardent, and dire, spring from no petty cause.
      - Sir Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak
         (ch. XL)

The whole discord of this world consists in discords.
  [Lat., Tota hujus mundi concordia ex discordibus constat.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        Nat. Quoest (bk. VII, 27)

Contention, like a horse,
  Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
    And bears down all before him.
      - William Shakespeare


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