Stratagem Quotes

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Stratagem Quotes

On dispersive ground, therefore, fight not. On facile ground, halt not. On contentious ground, attack not. On open ground, do not try to block the enemys way. On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies. On serious ground, gather in plunder. In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march. On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem. On desperate ground, fight.
— Sun Tzu —

One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.

— Harold Pinter

She didn't give a damn about some of them, but she had grown to learn that inattention can be a stratagem to avoid pain, and that it is often misread as shallowness and indifference.

— Thomas Harris

The Marxians love of democratic institutions was a stratagem only, a pious fraud for the deception of the masses. Within a socialist community there is no room left for freedom.

— Ludwig Von Mises

Another anti-theoretical stratagem is to claim that in order to launch some fundamental critique of our culture, we would need to be standing at some Archimedean point beyond it. What this fails to see is that reflecting critically on our situation is part of our situation. It is a feature of the peculiar way we belong to the world. It is not some impossible light-in-the-refrigerator attempt to scrutinize ourselves when we are not there. Curving back on ourselves is as natural to us as it is to cosmic space or a wave of the sea. It does not entail jumping out of our own skin. Without such self-monitoring we would not have survived as a species.

— Terry Eagleton

Dissembling was so large a part of middle-class life that honesty and frankness seemed the most devious stratagem of all. The most outright lie was the closest one came to truth.

— J.G. Ballard

First lay plans which will ensure victory, and then lead your army to battle;  if you will not begin with stratagem but rely on brute strength alone, victory will no longer be assured

— Sun Tzu

To read of a detective's daring finesse or ingenious stratagem is a rare joy.

— Rex Stout

The French Foreign Office, wishful to allay the anger of the Parisian mob clamouring for war with England, secured this admirable couple and sent them round the town.  You cannot be amused at a thing, and at the same time want to kill it.  The French nation saw the English citizen and citizeness-no caricature, but the living reality-and their indignation exploded in laughter.  The success of the stratagem prompted them later on to offer their services to the German Government, with the beneficial results that we all know.

— Jerome K. Jerome

The Fox And The Crow
A CROW having stolen a bit of meat, perched in a tree and held it in her beak. A Fox, seeing this, longed to possess the meat himself, and by a wily stratagem succeeded. "How handsome is the Crow," he exclaimed, in the beauty of her shape and in the fairness of her complexion! Oh, if her voice were only equal to her beauty, she would deservedly be considered the Queen of Birds!" This he said deceitfully; but the Crow, anxious to refute the reflection cast upon her voice, set up a loud caw and dropped the flesh. The Fox quickly picked it up, and thus addressed the Crow: "My good Crow, your voice is right enough, but your wit is wanting.

— Aesop

He understood then that all his exploits as a reporter, the feats that had won him such recognition and fame, were merely an attempt to keep his most ancient fears at bay, a stratagem for taking refuge behind a lens to test whether reality was more tolerable from that perspective.

— Isabel Allende

One battle in twelve might be won by a brilliant military stratagem. The rest stood or fell by somebody's blunders. Only rarely, there came the feel of a great campaign evolved by a stylist: imaginative, comprehensive, irresistible.

— Dorothy Dunnett

In strife who inquires whether stratagem or courage was used?

— Virgil

You're damn right I would." Cramer took a step toward the door, remembered his hat, reached across the red leather chair to get it, and marched out. I went to the hall to see that he was on the outside when he shut the door. When I stepped back in, Wolfe spoke. "No mention of anonymous letters. A stratagem?

— Rex Stout

The whole business is the crudest sort of stratagem, since we have no way of foreseeing it to the end. It is a mere paying out of rope on the chance that somewhere along the length of it will be a noose.

— Isaac Asimov

Never fight with Russian. On your every stratagem they answer unpredictable stupidity.

— Otto Von Bismarck

There is not a little generalship and stratagem required in the managing and marshalling of our pleasures, so that each shall not mutually encroach to the destruction of all. For pleasures are very voracious, too apt to worry one another, and each, like Aaron's serpent, is prone to swallow up the rest. Thus drinking will soon destroy the power, gaming the means, and sensuality the taste, for other pleasures less seductive, but far more salubrious, and permanent as they are pure.

— Charles Caleb Colton

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping him or herself. Serve and you shall be served. If you love and serve people, you cannot, by any hiding or stratagem, escape the remuneration.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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