A monk should surely love his books with humility, wishing their good and not the glory of his own curiosity; but what the temptation of adultery is for laymen and the yearning for riches is for secular ecclesiastics, the seduction of knowledge is for monks.
To evade such temptations is the first duty of the poet. For as the ear is the antechamber to the soul, poetry can adulterate and destroy more surely then lust or gunpowder. The poet's, then, is the highest office of all. His words reach where others fall short. A silly song of Shakespeare's has done more for the poor and the wicked than all the preachers and philanthropists in the world.
I fell victim to the temptation of every autobiographer, to the illusion that since the past exists only in one's memories and the words which strive vainly to encapsulate them, it is possible to create past events simply by saying they occurred.
Where was the Jew in him? You couldn't find it and yet you knew it was there. Where was the irrationality in him? Where was the crybaby in him? Where were the wayward temptations? No guile. No artifice. No mischief. All that he had eliminated to achieve his perfection. No striving, no ambivalence, no doubleness- just the style, the natural physical refinement of a star.
You must talk to me, Caravaggio. Or am I just a book? Something to be read, some creature to be tempted out of a loch and shot full of morphine, full of corridors, lies, loose vegetation, pockets of stones.
The silence was always the greates temptation.
Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you.
I think sometimes there might be an advantage in making people aware how worn and stale these old transgressions are. It might take some of the shine off them for those who are tempted.
But if you happen to be a man, sometime in the future, and you've made it this far, please remember: you will never be subject to the temptation or feeling you must forgive, a man, as a woman. It's difficult to resist, believe me. But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest.
The temptation was great to muster what force we could and put up a fight. It's the easiest way out, and the most satisfactory to self-respect--but, nearly invariably, the stupidest.
I felt an unrelenting restlessness. It was the first time I had ever experienced jealousy, and that emotion clung to my skin day and night like a dark stain, a contamination I could not shed; it became so unbearable that when finally I rid myself of it, I was freed forever of the desire to possess another person or the temptation ever to belong to anyone.
I couldn't resist the temptation to tease Pyle - it is, after all, the weapon of weakness and I was weak.
But I ask again, are there many like Thee? And could thou believe for one moment that men, too, could face such a temptation? Is the nature of men such, that they can reject miracles and at the great moments of their life, the moments of their deepest, most agonizing spiritual difficulties, cling only to the free verdict of their heart? ... and thou didst hope that man, following Thee, would cling to god and not ask for a miracle.
The very good people did not convince me; I felt they'd never been tempted. But you knew; you understood; you felt the world outside tugging at one with all its golden hands - and you hated the things it asked of one; you hated happiness bought by disloyalty and cruelty and indifference. That was what I'd never known before - and it's better than anything I've known.
When you handle books all day long, every new one is a friend and a temptation.
Which is better? - To have surrendered to temptation; listened to passion; made no painful effort - no struggled; - but to have sunk down in the silken snare; fallen asleep on the flower covering it; wakened in a southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have been now living in France, Mr. Rochester's mistress; delirious with his love half my time - for he would - oh, yes, he would have love me well for a while.
Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. ... We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means-the only complete realist.
If you could see into my past just by touching my back, you'd have a hard time resisting the temptation too.
Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.
People can so easily be tempted by slackness... and by money.
One thing that characterizes Harriet is that she is extremely diligent. She's going to be prepared. The temptation will be great for some to try to match wits with her on constitutional issues. There's some danger that senators might demonstrate not her lack of knowledge, but their own.
To exchange principles for popularity might be a temptation. It's at the core of populism. We must offer something else.
If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us.
It is like a temptation to eat ice cream instead of something that is better for you.
Let a man be but in earnest in praying against a temptation as the tempter is in pressing it, and he needs not proceed by a surer measure.
The temptations are great to simply retreat to the domain of private life and give up on our public problems.
ASPERSE, v.t. Maliciously to ascribe to another vicious actions which one has not had the temptation and opportunity to commit.
All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.
Both sides succumbed to the temptation to attribute to oneself only glory and to accuse one's political rival of all sins, both unintentional and fictitious,