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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 ]

Take up the White Man's burden.
      - Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden

Duty is what goes most against the grain, because in doing that we do only what we are strictly obliged to, and are seldom much praised for it.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

The pleasure a man of honor enjoys in the consciousness of having performed his duty is a reward he pays himself for all his pains.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

They do well, or do their duty, who with alacrity do what they ought.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

He who can at all times sacrifice pleasure to duty approaches sublimity.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

All duties are matters of conscience, with this restriction that a superior obligation suspends the force of an inferior one.
      - Sir Roger L'Estrange

A deliberate rejection of duty prescribed by already recognized truth cannot but destroy, or at least impair most seriously the clearness of our mental vision.
      - Canon Henry P. Liddon

Men should soon make up their minds to be forgotten, and look about them, or within them, for some higher motive in what they do than the approbation of men, which is fame, namely, their duty; that they should be constantly and quietly at work, each in his sphere, regardless of effects, and leaving their fame to take care of itself.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

O thou sculptor, painter, poet,
  Take this lesson to thy heart;
    That is best which lieth nearest;
      Shape from that thy work of art.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The everyday cares and duties, which men call drudgery, are the weights and counterpoises of the clock of time; giving its pendulum a true vibration and its hands a regular motion; and when they cease to hang upon its wheels, the pendulum no longer swings, the hands no longer move, the clock stands still.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not infrequently are Christians heard to speak of duties as crosses to be borne; and I am convinced that some among them regard their performance as a complete compliance with the law of self-denial. It is a cross to pray, to speak, to commend Christ to others, to attend church, to frequent the social meetings, and, indeed, to do anything of a distinctly religious nature. By the force of their will and with the aid of sundry admonitions they bring themselves up to the discharge of those obligations, but, on the whole, they feel that it should entitle them to a place in "the noble army of martyrs." I am sorry to dissipate the comfortable illusion; but I am compelled to assure them that they totally misapprehend the doctrine of our Lord. He said that it was His meat and drink to do the will of His Father; and He never once refers to duty in any other way than as a delight. The cross was something distinct from it.
      - George Horace Lorimer

Thet tells the story! Thet's wut we shall git
  By tryin' squirtguns on the burnin' Pit;
    For the day never comes when it'll du
      To kick off dooty like a worn-out shoe.
      - James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers
         (no. 11)

Put thou thy trust in God;
  In duty's path go on;
    Fix on His word thy steadfast eye;
      So shall thy work be done.
      - Martin Luther

There is nothing in the universe I fear but that I shall not know all my duty, or shall fail to do it.
      - Mary Lyon

The thing which must be, must be for the best; God helps us do our duty and not shrink.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith")

The things which must be, must be for the best,
  God helps us do our duty and not shrink,
    And trust His mercy humbly for the rest.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        Imperfection

Straight is the line of duty;
  Curved is the line of beauty;
    Follow the straight line, thou shalt see
      The curved line ever follow thee.
      - William MacCall, Duty

It is a happy thing for us that this is really all we have to concern ourselves about--what to do next. No man can do the second thing. He can do the first.
      - George MacDonald

The doing of things from duty is but a stage on the road to the kingdom of truth and love.
      - George MacDonald

Those who do it always would as soon think of being conceited of eating their dinner as of doing their duty. What honest boy would pride himself on not picking a pocket? A thief who was trying to reform would.
      - George MacDonald

Every duty, even the least duty, involves the whole principle of obedience.
      - Henry Edward Manning

High hearts are never long without hearing some new call, some distant clarion of God, even in their dreams; and soon they are observed to break up the camp of ease, and start on some fresh march of faithful service.
      - James Martineau

Every mission constitutes a pledge of duty. Every man is bound to consecrate his every faculty to its fulfilment. He will derive his rule of action from the profound conviction of that duty.
      - Giuseppe Mazzini,
        Life and Writings--Young Europe--General Principles

I cannot but take notice of the wonderful love of God to mankind, who, in order to encourage obedience to His laws, has annexed a present as well as a future reward to a good life; and has so interwoven our duty and our happiness together that, while we are discharging our obligations to the one, we are at the same time making the best provision for the other.
      - William Melmoth ("Sir Thomas Fitzosborne")

The path of duty lies in what is near, and men seek for it in what is remote; the work of duty lies in what is easy, and men seek for it in what is difficult.
      - Mencius


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