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DUTY
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[ Also see Character Choice Conviction Example Inclination Morality Obedience Obligation Office Patriotism Religion Responsibility Right Service Stewardship Trust ]

Man cannot choose his duties.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

The idea of duty--that recognition of something to be lived for beyond the mere satisfaction of self--is to the moral life what the addition of a great central ganglion is to animal life.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

And rank for her meant duty, various,
  Yet equal in its worth, done worthily.
    Command was service; humblest service done
      By willing and discerning souls was glory.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Agatha

The reward of one duty is the power to fulfil another.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Daniel Deronda (bk. VI, ch. XLVI)

Duty only frowns when you flee from it; follow it, and it smiles upon you.
      - Elizabeth, nee Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise (used ps Carmen Sylva)

Duty grows everywhere--like children, like grass.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thus is man made equal to every event. He can face danger for the right. A poor, tender, painful body, he can run into flame or bullets or pestilence, with duty for his guide.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

You will always find those who think they know your duty better than you know it.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
  So near is God to man.
    When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
      The youth replies, I can.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Voluntaries
         (st. 3, l. 13)

Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power, and consequently should not be any part of your concern.
      - Epictetus

Be content with doing calmly the little which depends upon yourself, and let all else be to you as if it were not.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

I believe that we are conforming to the divine order and the will of Providence when we are doing even indifferent things that belong to our condition.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

The great point is to renounce your own wisdom by simplicity of walk, and to be ready to give up the favor, esteem, and approbation of every one, whenever the path in which God leads you passes that way.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

When I'm not thank'd at all, I'm thank'd enough:
  I've done my duty, and I've done no more.
      - Henry Fielding,
        The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great
         (act I, sc. 3)

Duty largely consists of pretending that the trivial is critical.
      - John Fowles

The secret consciousness
  Of duty well performed; the public voice
    Of praise that honors virtue, and rewards it;
      All these are yours.
      - Saint Francis of Assisi

In common things the law of sacrifice takes the form of positive duty.
      - James Anthony Froude,
        Short Studies on Great Subjects--Sea Studies

Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day's performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet and from it learn the all.
      - Margaret Fuller (Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli)

Brethren, life is passing; youth goes, strength decays. But duty performed, work done for God--this abides forever, this alone is imperishable.
      - Richard Fuller (1)

The people of this country have shown by the highest proofs human nature can give that wherever the path of duty and honor may lead, however steep and rugged it may be, they are ready to walk in it.
      - James Abram Garfield

Every mission constitutes a pledge of duty. Every man is bound to consecrate his every faculty to its fulfillment. He will derive his rule of action from the profound conviction of that duty.
      - William Lloyd Garrison

I hate to see a thing done by halves; if it be right, do it boldly; if it be wrong, leave it undone.
      - Bernard Gilpin

When any duty is to be done, it is fortunate for you if you feel like doing it; but, if you do not feel like it, that is no reason for not doing it.
      - Washington Gladden

Duty is a power which rises with us in the morning, and goes to rest with us at night. It is coextensive with the action of our intelligence. It is the shadow which cleaves to us, go where we will, and which only leaves us when we leave the light of life.
      - Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone

Do the duty which lies nearest to thee.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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