"You need not fear, George; I shall not murder her. I do not believe in violence; it is the last resource of fools. If I did, you would not be alive now."

-- uttered by the character of Lady Anne Bellamy
H[enry] Rider Haggard. Dawn, 1884. (Chapter XXI, fourth-to-last paragraph)
[contributed to SS factoids pages by Daniel Kian Mc Kiernan, August 2002]

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

Isaac Asimov. "Bridle and Saddle" (aka "The Mayors", in Foundation), 1942

He was opposed to the use of force. Force, he believed, was the last resort of incompetence; he had said so frequently enough since this operation had begun. Of course, he was absolutely right, though not in the way he meant. Only the incompetent wait until the last extremity to use force, and by then, it is usually too late to use anything, even prayer.

H. Beam Piper. "A Slave is a Slave", Analog, 1962