The best is, in war or faction or ordinary vindictive
life, not to take sides.
Leave it for children, and the emotional rabble of the
streets, to back their horse or support a brawler.
But if you are forced into it: remember that good and
evil are as common as air, and like air shared
By the panting belligerents; the moral indignation that
hoarsens orators is mostly a fool.
Hold your nose and compromise; keep a cold mind. Fight,
if needs must; hate no one. Do as God does,
Or the tragic poets: they crush their man without hating
him, their Lear or Hitler, and often save without
As for these quarrels, they are like the moon, recurrent
and fantastic. They have their beauty but night’s
It is better to be silent than make a noise. It is better
to strike dead than strike often. It is better not