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quotations about enemies

It's not enough to hate your enemy. You have to understand how the two of you bring each other to deep completion.

DON DELILLO, Underworld

Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.

STEPHEN KING, The Last Gunslinger

The most certain way to make a man your enemy is to tell him you esteem him such.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to John Banister, Apr. 21, 1778

We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.

AESOP, Fables

Every man is his greatest enemy, and, as it were, his own executioner.


Men of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war.


Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

MARIO PUZO, The Godfather

A man's enemies are those he should endeavor first to make his friends.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.


If you want enemies, excel others; if you want friends, let others excel you.


Men and women are natural enemies, like cat and dog--only more so. They are forced to live together for a time, or this wonderful race couldn't go on.


He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

ALI IBN-ABI-TALIB, A Hundred Sayings

I hate admitting that my enemies have a point.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Satanic Verses

However bad a man, he will have some friends: however good, he will have some enemies.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

It is at all times more easy to make enemies than friends.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to George Washington Parke Custis, Nov. 28, 1796

Personal affection is a luxury you can have only after all your enemies are eliminated. Until then, everyone you love is a hostage, sapping your courage and corrupting your judgment.


The only good enemy is a dead enemy.

LAURELL K. HAMILTON, The Killing Dance

The worst enemy is one whose doctrines are founded in hate and are thus beyond debate.

TOBSHA LEARNER, The Witch of Cologne

The assault of our enemies is not part of our life; it is only part of our experience; we throw it off and guard ourselves against it as against frost, storm, rain, hail, or any other of the external evils which may be expected to happen.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Love your enemies.

BIBLE, Matthew 5:44

Instead of loving your enemies, have no enemies to love.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Our worst enemies are those we least suspect--ourselves.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

Fear not, too much, an open enemy;
He is consistent--always at his post;
But watchful be of him who holds the key
Of your own heart, and flatters you the most.


If thou wilt think evil of thy neighbour, soon shalt thou have him for thy foe.

MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy

Your worst and most dangerous enemy is the person that injures you under the pretensions of friendship.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

He makes no friends who never made a foe.

ALFRED TENNYSON, Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir

When an intimate friend turns from us, we often find him the most inveterate enemy.


The foes that are unseen are often stronger than those that are seen.


If you are without an enemy in the world, you may be a lamb or an ass, but you are not a man.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

I have always paid attention to the merits of my enemies, and found it an advantage.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, speech, Apr. 16, 1953

By a few soft words and pleasant looks enemies have been made friends, and old attachments renewed that had been annulled for years.


Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

DOROTHY PARKER, "Ballads of a Great Weariness," Enough Rope

For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home or on your doorstep.

UMBERTO ECO, The Prague Cemetery

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

G. K. CHESTERTON, Illustrated London News, Jul. 16, 1910

The only enemy to fear is the enemy within, the demon that speaks in your own voice, the assassin in the mirror.

BOB LONSBERRY, A Various Language

How much reverence has a noble man for his enemies!--and such reverence is a bridge to love.--For he desires his enemy for himself, as his mark of distinction; he can endure no other enemy than one in whom there is nothing to despise and very much to honor! In contrast to this, picture "the enemy" as the man of ressentiment conceives him--and here precisely is his deed, his creation: he has conceived "the evil enemy," "the Evil One," and this in fact is his basic concept, from which he then evolves, as an afterthought and pendant, a "good one"--himself!

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Genealogy of Morals

A distant enemy is always preferable to one at the gate.

EMIL CIORAN, History & Utopia

Enemies make us watchful of ourselves and induce self-examination; for we must argue thus: our foe hates us with reason or without reason; if without reason, then he not really hates us, but some other sort of person for whom he mistakes us; but if with reason, then it is plain we should improve, and remove the reason.


Enemies were teachers in disguise.


The enemy is never more unnerving than when he's invisible.

K. J. PARKER, Devices and Desires

In reality, there are no enemies; we're all souls in growth, waking up.

JAMES REDFIELD, The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision

Browse Enemies Quotes II

Browse Enemies Quotes III

Read James Vila Blake's essay: Of Enemies


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