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SUICIDE
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[ Also see Crime Death Killing Life Murder Poison ]

Ah, yes, the sea is still and deep,
  All things within its bosom sleep!
    A single step, and all is o'er,
      A plunge, a bubble, and no more.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Christus--The Golden Legend (pt. V)

Our pious ancestors enacted a law that suicides should be buried where four roads meet, and that a cart-load of stones should be thrown upon the body. Yet when gentlemen or ladies commit suicide, not by cord or steel, but by turtle-soup or lobster-salad, they may be buried in consecrated ground, and under the auspices of the Church; and the public are not ashamed to read an epitaph on their tombstones false enough to make the marble blush. Were the barbarous old law now in force that punished the body of the suicide for the offence of his soul, we should find many a Mount Auburn at the cross-roads.
      - Horace Mann

When Fannius from his foe did fly
  Himself with his own hands he slew;
    Who e'er a greater madness knew?
      Life to destroy for fear to die.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. II, 80)

He is not valiant that dares lie; but he that boldly bears calamity.
      - Philip Massinger

That kills himself to avoid misery, fears it;
  And at the best shows but a bastard valor.
      - Philip Massinger

He
  That kills himself to avoid misery, fears it,
    And, at the best, shows but a bastard valour.
      This life's a fort committed to my trust,
        Which I must not yield up, till it be forced:
          Nor will I. He's not valiant that dares die,
            But he that boldly bears calamity.
      - Philip Massinger, Maid of Honour
         (act IV, sc. 3)

If you like not hanging, drown yourself;
  Take some course for your reputation.
      - Philip Massinger, New Way to pay Old Debts
         (act II, sc. 1)

Suicide is belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's relatives.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

'T is more brave to live than to die.
      - Owen Meredith (pseudonym of Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, Lord Lytton)

What poetical suicides and sublime despair might have been prevented by a timely dose of blue pill, or the offer of a loge aux Italiens!
      - Charles Morgan

Men would not be so hasty to abandon the world either as monks or as suicides, did they but see the jewels of wisdom and faith which are scattered so plentifully along its paths; and lacking which no soul can come again from beyond the grave to gather.
      - William Mountford (1)

Suicide is a crime the most revolting to the feelings; nor does any reason suggest itself to our understanding by which it can be justified. It certainly originates in that species of fear which we denominate poltroonery. For what claim can that man have to courage who trembles at the frowns of fortunes? True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life in whatever shape they may challenge him to combat.
      - Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)

The thought of suicide is a great consolation; one can get through many a bad night with it.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

There is a doctrine uttered in secret that man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away; this is a great mystery which I do not quite understand. Yet I, too, believe that the gods are our guardians, and that we are a possession of theirs.
 * * * * *
Then there may be reason in saying that a man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him, as he is now summoning me.
      - Plato (originally Aristocles},
        Dialogues--Phaedo (par. 42)

We ought not to quit our post without the permission of Him who commands; the post of man is life.
      - Pythagoras

He only who gave life has a power over it.
      - Samuel Richardson

Child of despair, and suicide by name.
      - Richard Savage

The coward sneaks to death; the brave live on.
      - Dr. George Sewell

He that cuts off twenty years of life
  Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
      - William Shakespeare

I do find it cowardly and vile,
  For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
    The time of life.
      - William Shakespeare

The more pity that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves, more than their even Christian.
      - William Shakespeare

Who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
  The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
    The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,
      The insolence of office, and the spurns
        That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
          When he himself might his quietus make
            With a bare bodkin?
      - William Shakespeare

Bravest at the last,
  She levelled at our purposes, and being royal,
    Took her own way.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Octavius Caesar at V, ii)

Against self-slaughter
  There is a prohibition so divine
    That cravens my weak hand.
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Imogen at III, iv)

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
  Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
    The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
      The insolence of office, and the spurns
        That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
          When he himself might his quietus make
            With a bare bodkin?
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, i)


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