„Nothing venture, nothing gain.
Who ne'er his bread in sorrow ate,
Who ne'er the mournful midnight hours
Weeping upon his bed has sate,
He knows you not, ye Heavenly Powers.“
Wer nichts wagt, gerwinnt nichts.
Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß,
Wer nie die kummervollen Nächte
Auf seinem Bette weinend saß,
Der kennt euch nicht, ihr himmlischen Mächte.
Bk. II, Ch. 13; translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre (Apprenticeship) (1786–1830)
„For of all gainful professions, nothing is better, nothing more pleasing, nothing more delightful, nothing better becomes a well-bred man than agriculture.“
— Marcus Tullius Cicero Roman philosopher and statesman -106 - -43 BC
Book I, section 42. Translation by Cyrus R. Edmonds (1873), p. 73
De Officiis – On Duties (44 BC)
Original: (la) Omnium autem rerum, ex quibus aliquid adquiritur, nihil est agri cultura melius, nihil uberius, nihil dulcius, nihil homine libero dignius.
„There's nothing to gain when there's nothing to be lost.
There's nothing to gain if you stay behind and count the cost.
Make the decision that you can be who you can be,
You can be.
Tasting the fruit come to the Liberty Tree.“
— Peter Gabriel English singer-songwriter, record producer and humanitarian 1950
Shaking the Tree
Song lyrics, Shaking the Tree (1990)
„From all these things the Gods gain nothing; what gain could there be to God? It is we who gain some communion with them.“
— Sallustius Roman philosopher and writer
XV. Why we give worship to the Gods when they need nothing.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Context: The divine itself is without needs, and the worship is paid for our own benefit. The providence of the Gods reaches everywhere and needs only some congruity for its reception. All congruity comes about by representation and likeness; for which reason the temples are made in representation of heaven, the altar of earth, the images of life (that is why they are made like living things), the prayers of the element of though, the mystic letters of the unspeakable celestial forces, the herbs and stones of matter, and the sacrificial animals of the irrational life in us.
From all these things the Gods gain nothing; what gain could there be to God? It is we who gain some communion with them.
— Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018
„There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions, as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.“
Source: Man's Search for Meaning (1946; 1959; 1984), p. 126 in the 1984 Pocket Books edition
„To live miserable we know not why, to have the dread of hunger, to work sore and yet gain nothing—this is the essence of poverty.“
— Robert Hunter (author) American sociologist, author, golf course architect 1874 - 1942
Source: Poverty (1912), p. 2
„And I guess I realized at that moment that I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain, and that didn't matter.“
Source: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
„“I wish…” she said, and stopped. There was nothing that could be gained by wishing for it. A final deep shaky breath, and she was ready to go on.“
Source: His Dark Materials, The Golden Compass (1995), Ch. 23 : The Bridge to the Stars
„Nothing is more evident, I venture to think, as a result of two or three thousand years of social philosophizing, than that society must live and thrive by way of the native impulses of individual human beings.“
— William Ernest Hocking American philosopher 1873 - 1966
Source: Present Status of the Philosophy of Law and of Rights (1926), Ch. VII, Natural Right, § 30, p. 68.
„In refusing to face evil, Sinclair has gained nothing and lost a great deal; the Buddhist scripture expenses it: those who refuse to discriminate might as well be dead.“
Source: The Outsider (1956), Chapter Three, The Romantic Outsider
„They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.“
— Adam Smith Scottish moral philosopher and political economist 1723 - 1790
Source: The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book I, Chapter IX, p. 117.
Context: Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.