When the first just and friendly man appeared on the earth, from that day a fatal Waterloo was visible for all the men of pride and fraud and blood.
It is a fatal defect of current principles of administration that, like proverbs, they occur in pairs. For almost every principle one can find an equally plausible and acceptable contradictory principle. Although the two principles of the pair will lead to exactly opposite recommendations, there is nothing in the theory to indicate which is the appropriate one to apply.1945 Administrative Behavior.
Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from these rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous, and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it.Adam Smith
All victories breed hate, and that over your superior is foolish or fatal.Baltasar Gracián, in The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647), Maxim 7 : Avoid victories over your superiors; as translated by Joseph Jacobs (1892)
Man is his own star, and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man Commands all light, all influence, all fate. Nothing to him falls early, or too late. Our acts our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.Epilogue. Compare: "Every man hath a good and a bad angel attending on him in particular all his life long", Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, part i. sect. 2, memb. 1, subsect. 2.
'A man who comes to be hanged,' pursued Jasper, impartially, 'has the satisfaction of knowing that he has brought society to its last resource. He is a man of such fatal importance that nothing will serve against him but the supreme effort of law. In a way, you know, that is success.'george gissing
A young man before he leaves the shelter of his father's house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortify'd with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtues, lest he should be led into some ruinous course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and his steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation.john locke
I come from all places and to all places I go: I am art among the arts and mountain among mountains. I know the strange names of flowers and herbs and of fatal deceptions and magnificent griefs. In night's darkness I've seen raining down on my head pure flames, flashing rays of beauty divine.josé martí
There is no more fatal obstacle to efficiency than the revelation that idleness has the same privileges as industry, and that for every additional blow with the pick or hammer an additional profit will be distributed among shareholders who wield neither.R. H. Tawney (1920) The Acquisitive Society. p.81
In the social equation, the value of a single life is nil; in the cosmic equation, it is infinite... Not only communism, but any political movement which implicitly relies on purely utilitarian ethics, must become a victim to the same fatal error. It is a fallacy as naïve as a mathematical teaser, and yet its consequences lead straight to Goya's Disasters, to the reign of the guillotine, the torture chambers of the Inquisition, or the cellars of the Lubianka.Arthur Koestler
The decadent writer writes shamelessly of himself, convinced that his life is special enough to impress those who have ... made miserable by frankness , his handsome condescension , his elitism, and his perfect lack of candor were fatal gifts, ...The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, in The Devil's Advocates: Decadence in Modern Literature, p.52