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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 ]

How my achievements mock me!
  I will go meet them.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The History of Troilus and Cressida
         (Troilus at IV, ii)

Things done well
  And with a care exempt themselves from fear;
    Things done without example, in their issue
      Are to be feared.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (King Henry at I, ii)

We must not stint
  Our necessary actions in the fear
    To cope malicious censurers, which ever,
      As rav'nous fishes, do a vessel follow
        That is new-trimmed, but benefit no further
          Than vainly longing.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Wolsey at I, ii)

It is vain to expect any advantage from our profession of the truth, if we be not sincerely just and honest in our actions.
      - James Sharp

When our souls shall leave this dwelling, the glory of one fair and virtuous action is above all the 'scutcheons on our tomb, or silken banners over us.
      - James Shirley

Only the actions of the just
  Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.
      - James Shirley,
        Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (sc. 3)

Remember that in all miseries lamenting becomes fools, and action, wise folk.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Better that we should err in action than wholly refuse to perform. The storm is so much better than the calm, as it declares the presence of a living principle. Stagnation is something worse than death. It is corruption also.
      - William Gilmore Simms

To the valiant actions speak alone.
      - Tobias George Smollett

Heaven ne'er helps the men who will not act.
      - Sophocles, Fragment (288)

Action is the highest perfection and drawing forth of the utmost power, vigor, and activity of man's nature.
      - Bishop Robert South

Deeds always overbalance; and downright practice speaks more plainly than the fairest profession.
      - Bishop Robert South

Rightness expresses of actions, what straightness does of lines;
  and there can no more be two kinds of right action than there can
    be two kinds of straight line.
      - Herbert Spencer, Social Statics
         (ch. XXXII, par. 4)

The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson

If we put together all that we have learned from anthropology and ethnology about primitive men and primitive society, we perceive that the first task in life is to live. Men begin with acts, not with thoughts.
      - William Graham Sumner, Folkways (sec. I)

To will and not to do when there is opportunity is in reality not to will; and to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it.
      - Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedberg)

The only true method of action in this world is to be in it, but not of it.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

A rolling stone gathers no moss.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

The sweet remembrance of the just
  Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust.
      - Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady,
        A New Version of the Psalms of David
         (psalm 112, st. 6),
        (a paraphrase of Psalm 112)

Theirs not to make replay,
  Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson,
        Charge of the Light Brigade (st. 2)

So many worlds, so much to do,
  So little done, such things to be.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam
         (LXXII, 1)

When we cannot act as we wish, we must act as we can.
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)

Said and done. Done as soon as said.
  [Lat., Dicta et facta.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Eunuchus
         (5, 4, 19)

Do not do what is already done.
  [Lat., Actum ne agas.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Phormio
         (II, 3, 72)

How slow the time
  To the warm soul, that, in the very instant
    It forms, would execute, a great design.
      - James Thomson (1)

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