- Article III
- 1. The carrier shall be bound before and at the beginning of the voyage to exercise due diligence to: (a) Make the ship seaworthy. (b) Properly man, equip and supply the ship. (c) Make the holds, refrigerating and cool chambers, and all other parts of the ship in which goods are carried, fit and safe for their reception, carriage and preservation.
- Article IV 1. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be liable for loss or damage arising or resulting from unseaworthiness unless caused by want of due diligence on the part of the carrier to make the ship seaworthy and to secure that the ship is properly manned, equipped and supplied, and to make the holds, refrigerating and cool chambers and all other parts of the ship in which goods are carried fit and safe for their reception, carriage and preservation in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 3. Whenever loss or damage has resulted from unseaworthiness the burden of proving the exercise of due diligence shall be on the carrier or other person claiming exemption under this Article.
- The Hague Rules, Brussels, August 25th, 1924
Due diligence has been with us since the dawn of civilization.
While the American marketplace popularized the idea of due diligence as part of financial transactions starting in the early 20th century, diligence has been around for thousands of years.
One of the earliest references to diligence found to date: “He who sows the ground with care and diligence acquires a greater stock of religious merit than he could gain by the repetition of ten thousand prayers.” Zoroaster c.628- c.551 BC
Another of the earliest references is “When superior people hear of the Way, they carry it out with diligence. When middling people hear of the Way, it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not. When lesser people hear of the Way, they ridicule it greatly. If they didn’t laugh at it, it wouldn’t be the Way.” Lao Tzu, c.604 – 531 BC, in the Tao Te Ching
Another of the earliest references comes from Confucius, born 551 B.C., “The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”
History is filled with references to diligence:
The gentleman prefers to be slow in word but diligent in action.
Confucius, c. 551 – c. 479 BC
Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.
Buddha, c. 563 – 483 BC
Decay is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.
Buddha, c. 563 – 483 BC
If the study of all these sciences which we have enumerated, should ever bring us to their mutual association and relationship, and teach us the nature of the ties which bind them together, I believe that the diligent treatment of them will forward the objects which we have in view, and that the labor, which otherwise would be fruitless, will be well bestowed.
Plato, 429/427 – 348/347 BC
Persevere in virtue and diligence.
Titus Livius, 59 BC– AD 17
Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence. -Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 BC – 65 AD
There is nothing which persevering effort and unceasing and diligent care can not accomplish.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 BC – 65 AD
Everything yields to diligence.
Antiphanes, 408 to 334 BC
He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.
Menander of Athens, 342 – 292 BC
Labor diligently to increase your property.
Horace, 65 – 8 BC
People, in their rashness and ignorance, like to condemn things that are difficult and obscure, rather than learn their meaning by diligent painstaking.
Origen c. 185-255, Egyptian Philosopher
Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Love, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Seven Heavenly Virtues, 410
But when great and ingenious artists behold their so inept performances, not undeservedly do they ridicule the blindness of such men; since sane judgment abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence. Now the sole reason why painters of this sort are not aware of their own error is that they have not learnt Geometry, without which no one can either be or become an absolute artist; but the blame for this should be laid upon their masters, who are themselves ignorant of this art.
Albrecht Derer, 1471 – 1528, The Art of Measurement, 1525
Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.
Miguel De Cervantes, 1547 – 1616
That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.
William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616
I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease.
John Donne, 1572 – 1631, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, 1624, no. 6
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon, 1561 – 1626, Essays Of Studies, 1625
But the idols of the Market Place are the most troublesome of all: idols which have crept into the understanding through their alliances with words and names. For men believe that their reason governs words. But words turn and twist the understanding. This it is that has rendered philosophy and the sciences inactive. Words are mostly cut to the common fashion and draw the distinctions which are most obvious to the common understanding. Whenever an understanding of greater acuteness or more diligent observation would alter those lines to suit the true distinctions of nature, words complain.
Francis Bacon, 1561 – 1626
Can the garden afford any thing more delightful to view than those forests of asparagus, artichokes, lettuce, peas, beans and other legumes and edulous plants so different in colour and of such various shapes, rising at it were from the dead and piercing the ground in so many thousand places as they do, courting the admiration or requiring the care of the diligent Gardiner.
Stephen Switzer, The Practical Gardener, 1727
A man of sense is never discouraged by difficulties; he redoubles his industry and his diligence, he perseveres, and infallibly prevails at last.
Lord Chesterfield Stanhope, 1694 – 1773
Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.
Denis Diderot, 1713 – 1784
Diligence overcomes difficulties, sloth makes them.
Benjamin Franklin, 1706 – 1790,
Diligence is the mother of good luck.
Benjamin Franklin, 1706 – 1790, 1732
Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never.
Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790, Poor Richard’s Almanack
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
Samuel Johnson, 1709 – 1784
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.
Samuel Johnson, 1709 – 1784
“Experience deserves to be investigated, for it is only after repeated examination of what one has done that the artists succeed in understanding principles and in moments of leisure, in times of rest, that new material is prepared for experiment. Such investigations are the products of an applied mind, but this diligence is rare and, on the contrary, it is common to see men who have used all of their limbs without once in their lives having utilized their minds. Thought, the faculty of combining ideas, is what distinguishes man from a beast of burden.”
Frederick the Great, 1768
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.
Samuel Adams, 1722 – 1803, Article published 1771
Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
Abigail Adams, 1744 – 1818, Letter to John Quincy Adams, May 8, 1780
I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.
Charles Dickens, 1812 – 1870
The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence.
Abraham Lincoln, Notes for a Law Lecture, 1850
Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), 1835 – 1910
Diligence is the mother of good fortune.
Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881
It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.
Dag Hammarskjold, 1905 –1961
My share of the work of the world may be limited, but the fact that it is work makes it precious. Darwin could work only half an hour at a time; but in many diligent half-hours he laid anew the foundations of philosophy. Green, the historian, tells us that the world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
Helen Keller, 1880 – 1968
It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume…that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him.
H.L. Mencken, 1880 – 1956
If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety percent of his labor.
Nikola Tesla (1857 – 1943), New York Times, October 19, 1931