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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 ]

What is the most important duty? One's duty toward one's parent.
      - Mencius

If we believe a thing to be bad, and if we have a right to prevent it, it is our duty to try to prevent it and to damn the consequences.
      - Lord Milner, in a speech in Glasgow

Left that command
  Sole daughter of his voice.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IX, l. 652)

We are apt to mistake our vocation by looking out of the way for occasions to exercise great and rare virtues, and by stepping over the ordinary ones that lie directly in the road before us.
      - Hannah More

Knowledge is the hill which few may wish to climb;
  Duty is the path that all may tread.
      - Sir Lewis Morris, Epic of Hades,
        quoted by Hohn Bright at Unveiling of Cobden Statue

The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our duty and find in it our pleasure.
      - Mmm. Langlois de Motteville

Duty reaches down the ages in its effects, and into eternity; and when the man goes about it resolutely, it seems to me now as though his footsteps were echoing beyond the stars, though only heard faintly in the atmosphere of this world.
      - William Mountford (1)

England expects that every man will do his duty.
      - Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson,
        Life of Nelson (ch. 9)

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
      - George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair)

To hallow'd duty
  Here with a loyal and heroic heart,
    Bind we our lives.
      - Frances Sargent Osgood

The duty of man is not a wilderness of turnpike gates, through which he is to pass by tickets from one to the other. It is plain and simple, and consists but of two points--his duty God, which every man must feel; and, with respect to his neighbor, to do as he would be done by.
      - Thomas Paine

No man's spirits were ever hurt by doing his duty; on the contrary, one good action, one temptation resisted and overcome, one sacrifice of desire or interest, purely for conscience' sake, will prove a cordial for weak and low spirits, far beyond what either indulgence or diversion or company can do for them.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

Let men laugh when you sacrifice desire to duty, if they will. You have time and eternity to rejoice in.
      - Theodore Parker

Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle, and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.
      - Theodore Parker

Who escapes a duty avoids a gain.
      - Theodore Parker

Christian obligation cannot be made to accord with a law of expediency. The Christian's maxims are, "Do right because you are bound to do right." "Do right though the heavens fall." There is a world of difference between "You had better" and "You are bound to."
      - Francis Landey Patton

If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself.
      - George S. Patton

However dear you hold your patrimony, your honor, or even your life, you should be willing to sacrifice all to duty, if you are called upon, to do so.
      - Silvio Pellico

Do well the duty that lies before you.
      - Pittacus of Mitylene

Let men of all ranks, whether they are successful or unsuccessful, whether they triumph or not--let them do their duty, and rest satisfied.
      - Plato (originally Aristocles}

Thy sum of duty let two words contain,
  (O may they graven in thy heart remain!)
    Be humble and be just.
      - Matthew Prior,
        Solomon on the Vanity of the World
         (bk. III)

The path of duty lies in what is near at hand, but men seek for it in what is remote.
      - Proverb, (Chinese)

Whoso neglects a thing which he suspects he ought to do, because it seems to him too small a thing, is deceiving himself; it is not too little, but too great for him, that he doeth it not.
      - Edward B. Pusey

As birds are made to fly and rivers to run, so the soul to follow duty.
      - Ramayana

We all know our duty better than we discharge it.
      - John Randolph of Roanoke


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