"Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds."

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – Letter to Daughter ("Things to Worry About") on Rap Genius

Meaning

See Shakespeare’s Sonnet 94. Fitzgerald gives a literary gloss to his belief in rewards for virtue and punishments for not fulfilling your duties (your talents?).

A lily that festers is someone who is talented but did not fulfill their potential, or shirked the responsibilities their talent entailed. Someone like this is worse than someone who is born without talent (a weed), according to Fitzgerald.

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