[T]he servant ... came and stood beside him and said, "Socrates, I shall not find fault with you, as I do with others, for being angry and cursing me ... when I tell them to drink the poison.... Try to bear what you must as easily as you can." And he burst into tears and turned and went away. And Socrates ... said to us, "How charming the man is!" ... I wrapped my face in my cloak and wept for myself; for it was not for him that I wept, but for my own misfortune in being deprived of such a friend.
--Plato, Phaedo, 399 B.C.
........ Think how many blameless lives are brightened by the blazing indiscretions of other people.
--Saki (H. H. Munro), Reginald, 1904
........ The Japanese race was now divided into the emperor on the one hand and everyone else on the other; and where responsibility for defeat was concerned, the lowliest subject was suddenly equal to the most beribboned and bemedaled officer or official. On the matter of blame, the old guard hastened to espouse the purest sort of democracy imaginable.
--John w. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, 1998
........ How wonderful to have someone to blame ... to live with one's nemesis! You maybe miserable, but you feel forever in the right.
--Erica Jong, How to Save Your Own Life, 1977
How could we avoid losing a hundred million dollars on our stake in British Petroleum? ... My boss wanted to threaten the British government with another stock market crash if it didn't take back its oil company. (Note to members of all governments: Be wary of Wall Streeters threatening crashes. They are tempted to do this whenever you encroach on their turf.)
--Michael Lewis, Liar's Poker, 1989
........ Finally Abdou and I separated the trio, and I discovered how the quarrel had started. Mother and daughter-in-law had disagreed on the recipe for haroset, the thick preserve made from fruits and wine that is eaten at Passover. My mother wanted raisins and dates, because her mother used raisins and dates, but my grandmother wanted oranges, raisins and prunes, because this had been her family's recipe for as far back as she could remember. "Maudite pesah! Cursed Passover!" cried my grandmother. Sugared water was promptly distributed to all three in their respective rooms.
--Andre Aciman, Out of Egypt: A Memoir, 2007
........ Mr. Cizec has bingled me. I am short haired for life.... In front there is no change, behind I'm like the rump of a partridge.
--Virginia Woolf, 1927
........ Lear: I...