„Heraclitus says that Pittacus, when he had got Alcæus into his power, released him, saying, "Forgiveness is better than revenge."“
— Diogenes Laërtius biographer of ancient Greek philosophers 180 - 240
The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (c. 200 A.D.), Book 1: The Seven Sages, Pittacus, 3.
— John Bodkin Adams general practitionar, fraudster and suspected serial killer 1899 - 1983
To police on being confronted about a forged prescription. Source: Patrick Devlin, Easing the passing: The trial of Doctor John Bodkin Adams, London, The Bodley Head, 1985
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky Russian author 1821 - 1881
The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880), Context: Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket.
— George Bernard Shaw Irish playwright 1856 - 1950
1890s, Caesar and Cleopatra (1898), Context: THEODOTUS: Caesar: you are a stranger here, and not conversant with our laws. The kings and queens of Egypt may not marry except with their own royal blood. Ptolemy and Cleopatra are born king and consort just as they are born brother and sister. BRITANNUS (shocked): Caesar: this is not proper. THEODOTUS (outraged): How! CAESAR (recovering his self-possession): Pardon him, Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature. Act II; sometimes paraphrased as: The customs of your tribe are not laws of nature.
„The reason for his anguish, the intolerable burden which had broken him at last, was the simplest thing in the world: he loved his wife. He always had, and he always would. Nothing could change that, but that was what had made his agony bite so deep, the reason he couldn't forgive himself for not somehow making things "all right" again… and the reason he'd had to turn to someone else to rebuild himself when the collapse came. It had been cowardly of him, in many ways, but he simply could not have made himself dump his weakness, his collapse on her shoulders while she coped with everything God had already done to her.“
— David Weber author 1952
"Honorverse", Echoes of Honor (1998)
„Age after age, history repeats itself when men and women, in their ignorance, limitations and pride, sit in judgment over the God-incarnated man who declares his Godhood, and condemn him for uttering the Truths they cannot understand. He is indifferent to abuse and persecution for, in his true compassion he understands, in his continual experience of Reality he knows, and in his infinite mercy he forgives.“
— Meher Baba Indian mystic 1894 - 1969