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  • Consequences are unpitying.

  • ... life has a strange way of making us pay for our blunders in the exact coinage we misspent.

  • ... only lies and evil come from letting people off.

  • ... there is a law of retribution in all things, direct or indirect, visible or invisible.

  • If people will bring dynamite into a powder factory, they must expect explosions.

  • The ends and means are a seamless web.

  • With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.

  • ... a good oyster cannot please the palate as acutely as a bad one can revolt it, and a good oyster cannot make him who eats it live for ever though a bad one can make him dead for ever.

  • ... to leap is not only to leap, it is to hit the ground somewhere.

  • All that is well intended is not well received.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to Mrs. Warren (1786), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • The loyal make the loyal, the disloyal the disloyal.

    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
    • 1845, in Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett 1845-1846, vol. 1 ()
  • We earn what we get — most of us — and, sweet heaven help us! we get it. God does not always pay on Saturday — but He Pays.

  • And never since harvests were ripened, / Or laborers born, / Have men gathered figs of the thistle, / Or grapes of the thorn!

    • Phoebe Cary,
    • "Figs of Thistles," Poems of Faith, Hope, and Love ()
  • If you take what you want in this world you will also have to take what you get.

  • The mills of God work like lightning, compared with the law.

  • Legislation may at times be disobeyed, but never law, for the breaking brings swift punishment of its own.

  • Almost every evil springs from a preceding evil. The smallest situations find their seeds in situations that preceded them. Life, all life, is a chain.

    • Holly Roth,
    • "The Pursuer" (1959), in Alfred Hitchcock: The Best of Mystery ()
  • It is often interesting, in retrospect, to consider the trifling causes that lead to great events. A chance encounter, a thoughtless remark — and the tortuous chain reaction of coincidence is set in motion, leading with devious inevitability to some resounding climax.

  • We are generally punished by where we have sinned.

  • Their mothers had finally caught up to them and been proven right. There were consequences after all; but they were the consequences to things you didn't even know you'd done.

  • Aye, have you not heard that all evil drags a long tail behind it?

  • ... when you put something good into the world, something good comes back to you.

  • ... I beheld the wretch — the miserable monster whom I had created.

  • The Game of Life is a game of boomerangs. Man's thoughts, deeds and words return to him sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.

  • Events do not really have beginnings or ends. Behind every event is the previous one, causing, or helping to cause, what follows.

  • I love to think about chance — about how one little overheard word, one pebble in a shoe, can change the universe.

  • And scandal has a way of catching up with those who disregard its power.

  • Oh, if at every moment of our lives we could know the consequences of some of the utterings, thoughts and deeds that seem so trivial and unimportant at the time! And should we not conclude from such examples that there is no such thing in life as unimportant moments devoid of meaning for the future?

  • All of our actions have in their doing the seed of their undoing. ... That in her creation of her children there should be the unspeakable promise of their death, for by their birth she had created mortal beings.

  • Our thoughts, deeds, and words return to us sooner or later with astonishing accuracy.

  • One thing is as sure as death and taxes, and that's the law of cause and effect.

  • Causes are often disproportioned to effects.

  • It is written in the code of love: He who strikes the blow is himself struck down.

    • Hadewijch,
    • 13th cent., in Theodoor Weevers, Poetry of the Netherlands in Its European Context, 1170 - 1930 ()
  • If people will play with fire, they must expect to be burned by it some time.

  • Some things come with their own punishments.