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A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.
A farmer who had a quarrelsome family called his sons and told them to lay a bunch of sticks before him. Then, after laying the sticks parallel to one another and binding them, he challenged his sons, one after one, to pick up the bundle and break it. They all tried, but in vain. Then, untying the bundle, he gave them the sticks to break one by one. This they did with the greatest ease. Then said the father, Thus, my sons, as long as you remain united, you are a match for anything, but differ and separate, and you are undone.
The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.
Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.
Don't let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth -- don't let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.
The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.
Thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find - nothing.