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Oscar WildeAlways forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

John KennedyForgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

VoltaireI always made one prayer to God: “O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous! ”God granted it.

—  Voltaire, 1694-1778, French philosopher & writer

Niccolò MachiavelliKeep your friends close and your enemies closer.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

     (This version was used in “Godfather;” the original starts with “The Prince”.)

NapoleonNever interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Lao-TzuThere is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

Winston ChurchillYou have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

Abraham LincolnWhy, madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

Eric HofferYou can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

William BlakeWhen a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.

—  William Blake, 1757-1827, English poet & painter

La RochefoucauldMarriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy.

—  La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

Jean CocteauUnderstand that some of your enemies are amongst your best friends.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

Paul ValeryBooks have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Douglas MacArthurThe enemy is in front of us, the enemy is behind us, the enemy is to the right and to the left of us. They can't get away this time!

—  Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964, American general

George W. BushWhether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President

George W. BushOur enemies have made the mistake that America's enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President

Franklin RooseveltI ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.

—  Franklin Roosevelt, 1882-1945, American President [1936-1945]

David Lloyd GeorgeWe are fighting Germany, Austria and drink, and as far as I can see, the greatest of these three deadly foes is drink.

—  David Lloyd George, 1863-1945, British Prime Minister [1916-1922]

William BlakeHe who loves his enemies betrays his friends; this surely is not what Jesus meant.

—  William Blake, 1757-1827, English poet & painter

Sun TzuIt is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy's strength, surround them; if five times, attack them; if double, be able to divide them; if equal, engage them; if fewer, defend against them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.

—  Sun Tzu, c. 5th cent. BC, Chinese general & military strategist

Stupid Quotes

George W. BushOur enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President

Ancient Greek

AntisthenesPay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.

Προσέχειν τοις εχθροίς· πρώτοι γαρ των αμαρτημάτων αισθάνονται.

—  Antisthenes, 445-360 BC, Ancient Greek Cynic philosopher



Yiddish proverbThe poor man’s enemies are few, the rich man’s friends are even fewer.

—  Yiddish proverb

Yiddish proverbWhen your enemy falls, don’t rejoice; but don’t pick him up either.

—  Yiddish proverb

American Indian proverbMake my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed.

—  American Indian proverb ‐ Plains

Movie Quotes

The Godfather, Part II (1974)My father taught me many things here. He taught me, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”.

—  from the film The Godfather, Part II (1974)


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou