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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 ]

If the duties before us be not noble, let us ennoble them by doing them in a noble spirit; we become reconciled to life if we live in the spirit of Him who reconciled the life of God with the lowly duties of servants.
      - Frederick William Robertson

Let a man begin in earnest with "I ought," and he will end, by God's grace, if he persevere, with "I will." Let him force himself to abound in all small offices of kindliness, attention, affectionateness, and all these for God's sake. By and by he will feel them become the habit of his soul.
      - Frederick William Robertson

And I read the moral--A brave endeavour
  To do thy duty, whate'er its worth,
    Is better than life with love forever,
      And love is the sweetest thing on earth.
      - James Jeffrey Roche, Sir Hugo's Choice

Every duty we omit obscures some truth we should have known.
      - John Ruskin

God never imposes a duty without giving the time to do it.
      - John Ruskin

The constant duty of every man to his fellows is to ascertain his own powers and special gifts, and to strengthen them for the help of others.
      - John Ruskin

A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations.
      - Bertrand Arthur William Russell

Alas! when duty grows thy law, enjoyment fades away.
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        The Playing Infant

It is wonderful what strength of purpose and boldness and energy of will are roused by the assurance that we are doing our duty.
      - Sir Walter Scott

Never anything can be amiss, when simpleness and duty tender it.
      - William Shakespeare

Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
  Even such a woman oweth to her husband.
      - William Shakespeare

My noble father,
  I do perceive here a divided duty.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Desdemona at I, iii)

And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers,
  Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her;
    And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
      Should have been cherished by her childlike duty,
        I now am full resolved to take a wife
          And turn her out to who will take her in.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Duke of Milan at III, i)

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

Whether your time calls you to live or die, do both like a prince.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Commonplace though it may appear, this doing of one's duty embodies--the highest ideal of life and character. There may be nothing heroic about it; but the common lot of men as not heroic.
      - Samuel Smiles

Life is of little value unless it be consecrated by duty.
      - Samuel Smiles

The great object of the Christian is duty; his predominant desire to obey God. When he can please the world consistently with these, he will do so; otherwise it is enough for him that God commands, and enough for them that he cannot disobey.
      - Gardiner Spring

Is there no reconciliation of some ancient quarrel, no payment of some long outstanding debt, no courtesy or love or honor to be rendered to those to whom it has long been due; no charitable, humble, kind, useful deed, by which you can promote the glory of God, or good will among men, or peace upon earth? If there be any such, I beseech you, in God's name, in Christ's name, go and do it.
      - Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

Speak, Lord, our souls are hushed to hear what Thou hast to say to us. Great is the stake, overwhelming may be the risks--most glorious are the opportunities. Speak, Lord, and show us what our duty is--how high, how difficult, yet how happy, how blessed--show us what our duty is, and, O great God and Father, give us strength to do it.
      - Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

There is no duty we underrate so much as the duty of being happy.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson

To me there is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson

There are not good things enough in life to indemnify us for the neglect of a single duty.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

We have an intuitive sense of our duty.
      - Jonathan Swift

Not once or twice in our rough island story,
  The path of duty was the way to glory.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson,
        Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington
         (st. 8)


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