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  • ... the most comfortable characteristic of the period [1775-1825], and the one which incites our deepest envy, is the universal willingness to accept a good purpose as a substitute for good work.

  • All that is well intended is not well received.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to Mrs. Warren (1786), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • I assure you my professions never go beyond my intentions ...

  • Good intentions are wicked! As far as I can see, all they lead to are lies and delusions.

  • One of the most interesting things in the world to me is the vast difference between what people say they are going to do, and what they actually do.

  • Good resolutions are easy to make. So is lemon meringue. Both are almost impossible to keep.

  • We are not our best intentions. We are what we do.

  • ... it is not the deed but the intention that makes the crime.

    • Héloïse,
    • letter to Peter Abelard (12th cent.), in C.K. Scott Moncrief, trans., The Letters of Abelard and Heloise ()
  • We see only the actions of other people, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. Our intentions are usually much better than our actions. We could improve our world if we would take the trouble to find out the intentions of others, and consider their actions in the light of their intentions.

    • Celia Luce,
    • "Intentions and Action," Relief Society Magazine ()
  • I don't see as it matters much how well you mean if it's harm you're doin' ...

  • What we think we are surely going to do, we don't do; and what we never intended to do, we may one day notice that we have done, and done, and done.

  • There was nothing more dangerous than people convinced of their own good intentions.

  • Intentions often melt in the face of unexpected opportunity.