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[ Also see Debt Forgetfulness Futurity Hope Intention Oaths Obligation Quarrels Resolution Swearing Threats Vows Words ]

Enemies' promises were made to be broken.
      - Aesop

Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.
      - Hannah Arendt

A mind that is conscious of its integrity scorns to say more than it means to perform.
      - Robert Burns

Promise is most given when the least is said.
      - George Chapman,
        translation of Musoeus "Hero and Leander", l. 234

Promises,--the ready money that was first coined and made current by the law of nature, to support that society and commerce that was necessary for the comfort and security of mankind.
      - Lord Clarendon, Edward Hyde

Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.
      - Cyril Connolly

Every brave man is a man of his word; to such base vices he cannot stoop, and shuns more than death the shame of lying.
      - Pierre Corneille

To promise is to give, to hope is to enjoy.
  [Fr., Promettre c'est donner, esperer c'est jouir.]
      - Abbe Jacques Delille (Jaques Delisle),
        Jardins (I)

If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.
      - Clint Eastwood

The man who is wantonly profuse of his promises ought to sink his credit as much as a tradesman would by uttering a great number of promissory notes payable at a distant day. The truest conclusion in both cases is, that neither intend or will be able to pay. And as the latter most probably intends to cheat you of your money, so the former at least designs to cheat you of your thanks.
      - Henry Fielding

Thou oughtest to be nice, even to superstition, in keeping thy promises; and therefore thou shouldst be equally cautious in making them.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

You never bade me hope, 'tis true;
  I asked you not to swear:
    But I looked in those eyes of blue,
      And read a promise there.
      - Gerald Griffin, You Never Bade Me Hope

A promise must never be broken.
      - Alexander Hamilton

Half the promises people say were never kept, were never made.
      - Edgar Watson Howe

We promise according to our hopes, and perform according to our fears.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Maxims
         (no. 39)

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.
      - Abraham Lincoln

Giants in
  Their promises, but those obtained, weak pigmies
    In their performance.
      - Philip Massinger, Great Duke
         (act II, sc. 3)

It is easy to promise, and alas! how easy to forget!
      - Louis Charles Alfred de Musset

One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises that one makes.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Any one can be rich in promises.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

Magnificent promises are always to be suspected.
      - Theodore Parker

Rarely promise, but, if lawful, constantly perform.
      - William Penn

Promises retain men better than services; for hope is to them a chain, and gratitude a thread.
      - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn

A promise is a child of the understanding and the will; the understanding begets it, the will brings it forth. He that performs delivers the mother; he that breaks it murders the child. If he be begotten in the absence of the understanding it is a bastard, but the child must be kept. If thou mistrust thy understanding, promise not; if thou hast promised, break it not: it is better to maintain a bastard than to murder a child.
      - Francis Quarles

He who is the most slow in making a promise is the most faithful in the performance of it.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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