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[ Also see Anger Cruelty Enemies Evil Forgiveness Hatred Injury Malice Murder Passion Punishment Resentment Retaliation Retribution Vengeance ]

The best sort of revenue is not to be like him who did the injury.
      - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius)

Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty.
      - Aristotle

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.
      - Francis Bacon

By taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing over it, he is superior.
      - Francis Bacon

He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green.
      - Francis Bacon

In revenge a man is but even with his enemy; for it is a princely thing to pardon, and Solomon saith it is the glory of a man to pass over a transgression.
      - Francis Bacon

In taking revenge a man is but equal to his enemy, but in passing it over he is his superior.
      - Francis Bacon

The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy. But then let a man take heed that the revenge be such as there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and is two for one.
      - Francis Bacon

Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
      - Francis Bacon, Of Revenge

The world will avenge itself upon all happiness in which it has no share.
      - Honore de Balzac

Women do most delight in revenge.
      - Sir Thomas Browne, Christian Morals
         (part III, sec. XII)

Revenge is a common passion; it is the sin of the uninstructed. The savage deems it noble; but Christ's religion, which is the sublime civilizer, emphatically condemns it. Why? Because religion ever seeks to ennoble man; and nothing so debases him as revenge.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

If we do but watch the hour,
  There never yet was human power
    Which could evade, if unforgiven,
      The patient search and vigil long
        Of him who treasures up a wrong.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Revenge is lost in agony, and wild remorse to rage succeeds.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

There are things
  Which make revenge a virtue by reflection,
    And not an impulse of mere anger; though
      The laws sleep, justice wakes, and injur'd souls
        Oft do a public right with private wrong.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Sweet is revenge--especially to women.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto I, st. 124)

But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have,
  Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind:
    Do we his body from our fury save,
      And let our hate prevail against his mind?
        What can 'gainst him a greater vengeance be,
          Than make his foe more worthy far than he.
      - Lady Elizabeth Carew (Cary or Carey)

Revenge, which, like envy, is an instinct of justice, does but take into its own hands the execution of that natural law which precedes the social.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.
      - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (3),
        on rejoining the Conservatives 20 years after leaving the Liberals

We can more easily avenge an injury than requite a kindness; on this account, because there is less difficulty in getting the better of the wicked than in making one's self equal with the good.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

Few things are more agreeable to self-love than revenge, and yet no cause so effectually restrains us from revenge as self-love. And this paradox naturally suggests another; that the strength of the community is not unfrequently built upon the weakness of those individuals that compose it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

I will not be revenged, and this I owe to my enemy; but I will remember, and this I owe to myself.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Revenge is a debt, in the paying of which the greatest knave is honest and sincere, and, so far as he is able, punctual.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Revenge is fever in our own blood, to be cured only by letting the blood of another; but the remedy too often produces a relapse, which is remorse--a malady far more dreadful than the first disease, because it is incurable.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Some philosophers would give a sex to revenge, and appropriate it almost exclusively to the female mind. But, like most other vices, it is of both genders; yet, because wounded vanity and slighted love are the two most powerful excitements to revenge, it has been thought, perhaps, to rage with more violence in the female heart.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

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