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Quotations about Excuses

The moment I make an excuse, I confess to many things. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

If there is a hard-won ability I would wish to take into a second life, it is the ability to recognize tomorrow's regret in today's excuse. ~Robert Brault,

Excuses are reasons with a streak of jaundice. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "New England's Accents," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

It is always too hot or too cold for the man who wants to quit. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

The truly free man is the one who will turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse. ~Jules Renard, 1895, translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget

Don't make excuses — make good! ~Elbert Hubbard, 1909

He who excuses himself accuses himself. ~Proverb, quoted by Gabriel Meurier, 1500s

"And besides," he added, forgetting that several excuses are always less convincing than one... ~Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point, 1928

How strange to use "You only live once" as an excuse to throw it away. ~Bill Copeland, unverified

Don't do what you'll have to find an excuse for. ~Proverb

Intensity of desire will always find a way, just as weakness of purpose will always find an excuse. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse,
As patches set upon a little breach
Discredit more in hiding of the fault
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.
~William Shakespeare, King John, c.1596  [IV, 2, Pembroke]

Excuses are the tools with which incompetents build to themselves great monuments of Nothing. ~Author unknown, early 1900s

Bad excuses are worse than none. ~Proverb

An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded. ~Jonathan Swift

[Y]ou will not be broken down by discouragement and will not give up... Everybody comes in the way of life, not once, but five thousand times, to a point where the roads fork. One road is that of excuse, and the other that of heroism. Ninety-nine men in a hundred take the road of excuse... If is another switch of the devil. But, or if, makes the difference between being a man and but half a man, or but a quarter of a man. And it is just at this point that men have light enough to see that there is a duty incumbent upon them, and that they do see it is proved by the fact that they think it necessary to excuse themselves for violating the dictates of their conscience. And, boy, girl, young man, maiden, man, woman, remember that where you are tempted to make an excuse is where the devil pays for giving up heroism; and wherever you feel tempted to make an excuse, there do you stand and be heroic... [N]ever excuse yourself... Hold yourself up to the highest conduct, always and everywhere. ~Henry Ward Beecher

If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another. ~Yiddish proverb

There is always a perfectly good excuse, always a reason not to. The hardest freedom to win is the freedom from one's excuses. ~Robert Brault,

We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty. ~Quintilian

If your armor against the world is laziness and excuses, you're not protecting yourself from battle and injury — you've trapped yourself inside with them. ~Terri Guillemets

There is no such thing as a list of reasons. There is either one sufficient reason or a list of excuses. ~Robert Brault,

We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible. François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680)

Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse. ~Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin, 1973

A pint of effort is worth a gallon of excuses. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968

We weave our excuses around events.
Thin, poor quality cloth of justification
Poor substitutes for the heavy tribal blankets
Once we wove to wrap our children.
~Phillip Pulfrey, "Cloth," Beyond Me,

The trouble with always leaving yourself a way out is that you always take it. ~Robert Brault,

DESTINY, n.  A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. ~Ambrose Bierce

Every vice has its excuse ready. ~Publilius Syrus

Success is a tale of obstacles overcome, and for every obstacle overcome, an excuse not used. ~Robert Brault,

Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals — except the weasel. ~The Simpsons, "Boy Scoutz 'n the Hood," 1993, written by McGrath, Canterbury, & Cohen  [S5, E8, Homer —tg]

Your letter of excuses has arrived. I receive the letter, but do not admit the excuses, except in courtesy; as when a man treads on your toes and begs your pardon, the pardon is granted, but the joint aches, especially if there is a corn upon it. ~Lord Byron

You can make excuses or you can get the job done, but you can't do both. ~Hap Holmstead

The explanation is always longer when there isn't any. ~Robert Brault,

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ~Proverb

It was our fault, and our very great fault — and now we must turn it to use; We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse! So the more we work and the less we talk the better results we shall get... ~Rudyard Kipling, "The Lesson"

The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse. ~Author unknown

If you always make excuses to not follow through you deserve the weight of anxiety on your chest. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2010

Of all Excuses this is most forbid:
"I did the Thing because the Others did."
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Explanations," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Justifying a fault doubles it. ~French proverb

If God had intended me to make excuses for who I am, He would have given me better excuses. ~Robert Brault,

The things you want to do are all up to you—
Excuses are sabotage.
~Terri Guillemets, 2002

A true friend sees past your excuses to the real reason it's not your fault. ~Robert Brault,

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. ~Kimberly Johnson, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1996

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