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More on    Aaliyah [Haughton] (1979–2001), R&B singer, actress

I want people to remember me as a full on entertainer and a good person.
– Aaliyah

It's hard to say what I want my legacy to be when I'm long gone.
– Aaliyah

Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God gave you the talent, you should go for it. But don't think it's going to be easy. It's hard!
– Aaliyah

 

More on    Hank [Henry Louis] Aaron (1934– ), Hall of Fame baseball player

Can I smoke now without someone taking my picture?
– Hank Aaron

Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit.
– Hank Aaron

Guessing what the pitcher is going to throw is eighty percent of being a successful hitter. The other twenty percent is just execution.
– Hank Aaron

I can't recall a day this year or last when I did not hear the name of Babe Ruth.
– Hank Aaron

I don't see pitches down the middle anymore – not even in batting practice.
– Hank Aaron

I don't want them to forget Ruth, I just want them to remember me!
– Hank Aaron

I looked for the same pitch my whole career, a breaking ball. All of the time. I never worried about the fastball. They couldn't throw it past me, none of them.
– Hank Aaron

I never doubted my ability, but when you hear all your life you're inferior, it makes you wonder if the other guys have something you've never seen before. If they do, I'm still looking for it.
– Hank Aaron (1992)

I never smile when I have a bat in my hands. That's when you've got to be serious. When I get out on the field, nothing's a joke to me. I don't feel like I should walk around with a smile on my face.
– Hank Aaron

I'm hoping someday that some kid, black or white, will hit more home runs than myself. Whoever it is, I'd be pulling for him.
– Hank Aaron

It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.
– Hank Aaron

Last year, I was sort of a kid and I was a little scared, I ain't scared any more.
– Hank Aaron

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.
– Hank Aaron

On the field, blacks have been able to be super giants. But, once our playing days are over, this is the end of it and we go back to the back of the bus again.
– Hank Aaron

Roger Maris lost his hair the season he hit sixty-one, I still have all my hair, but when it's over, I'm going home to Mobile and fish for a long time.
– Hank Aaron

The pitcher has got only a ball. I've got a bat. So the percentage in weapons is in my favor and I let the fellow with the ball do the fretting.
– Hank Aaron

The triple is the most exciting play in baseball. Home runs win a lot of games, but I never understood why fans are so obsessed with them.
– Hank Aaron

You can only milk a cow so long, then you're left holding the pail.
– Hank Aaron

You got to play a hundred and fifty games a year, so pick your spots. You can miss two games a month; so pick the days you're gonna be hurt, or you're gonna rest or you're gonna have a drink or two. The rest of the time, be on that field.
– Hank Aaron

 

More on    Edward Abbey (1927–1989), American essayist, novelist, atheist, anarchist and militant conservationist

A city man is at home anywhere, for all big cities are much alike. But a country man has a place where he belongs, where he always returns, and where, when the time comes, he is willing to die.
– Edward Abbey

A cowboy is a hired hand on the middle of a horse contemplating the hind end of a cow.
– Edward Abbey

A man without a horse is like a man without a weapon: stunted and naked.
– Edward Abbey

A cowboy is a farm boy in leather britches and a comical hat.
– Edward Abbey

A critic is to an author as a fungus to an oak.
– Edward Abbey

A drink a day keeps the shrink away.
– Edward Abbey

A formal education can sometimes be broadening but more often merely flattens.
– Edward Abbey

A genius is always on duty; even his dreams are tax deductible.
– Edward Abbey

A good book is a kind of paper club, serving to rouse the slumbrous and to silence the obtuse.
– Edward Abbey

A good philosopher is one who does not take ideas seriously.
– Edward Abbey

A good writer must have more than vin rose in his veins, use more than Chablis for ink.
– Edward Abbey

A leader leads from in front, by the power of example. A ruler pushes from behind, by means of the club, the whip, the power of fear.
– Edward Abbey

A life without tragedy would not be worth living.
– Edward Abbey

A Mahler symphony is full of surprises – but each surprise, on second hearing, turns out to be an inevitable surprise.
– Edward Abbey

A man is not aware of his virtues (if any). Nevertheless, one hopes that they exist.
– Edward Abbey

A man without passion would be like a body without a soul. Or even more grotesque, like a soul without a body.
– Edward Abbey

A man's duty? To be ready – with rifle or rood – to defend his home when the showdown comes.
– Edward Abbey

A mother's sorrow is more true, honorable, and beautiful than the detachment of the sage.
– Edward Abbey

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
– Edward Abbey

A pretty girl can do no wrong.
– Edward Abbey

A rancher is a farmer who farms the public lands with a herd of four-legged lawn mowers.
– Edward Abbey

A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and The Last Whole Earth Catalog.
– Edward Abbey

A true conservative must necessarily be a conservationalist.
– Edward Abbey

A true libertarian supports free enterprise, opposes big business; supports local self-government, opposes the nation-state; supports the National Rifle Association, opposes the Pentagon.
– Edward Abbey

A woman, as much as a man, is responsible by the age of forty for the character of her face. But women, obeying the biological imperative, strive harder to preserve a youthful appearance (the reproductive look) and lose it sooner.
– Edward Abbey

Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: form of rape by the State.
– Edward Abbey

According to the current doctrines of mysticoscientism, we human animals are really and actually nothing but "organic patterns of nodular energy composed of collocations of infinitesimal points oscillating on the multi-dimensional coordinates of the space-time continuum." I'll have to think about that. Sometime. Meantime, I'm going to gnaw on this sparerib, drink my Blatz beer, and contemplate the a posteriori coordinates of that young blonde over yonder, the one in the tennis skirt, tying her shoelaces.
– Edward Abbey

Ah, to be a buzzard now that spring is here!
– Edward Abbey

Alaska is our biggest, buggiest, boggiest state. Texas remains our largest unfrozen state. But mountainous Utah, if ironed out flat, would take up more space on a map than either.
– Edward Abbey

Alaska's chief attractions are: (a) its small and insignificant human population, thanks to the miserable climate; and (b) its large and magnificent wildlife population, thanks to (a). Both of these attractions are being rapidly diminished, however, by (c) the Law of Growth and Space-Age Sleaze.
– Edward Abbey

All dams are ugly, but the Glen Canyon Dam is sinful ugly.
– Edward Abbey

All forms of government are pernicious, including good government.
– Edward Abbey

All gold is fool's gold.
– Edward Abbey

All governments need enemies. How else to justify their existence?
– Edward Abbey

All governments require enemy governments.
– Edward Abbey

All is One? But One is so Many!
– Edward Abbey

All power rests on hierarchy: An army is nothing but a well-organized lynch mob.
– Edward Abbey

All revolutions have failed? Perhaps. But rebellion for good cause is self-justifying – a good in itself. Rebellion transforms slaves into human beings, if only for an hour.
– Edward Abbey

All serious writers want the obvious rewards: fame, money, women, love – and most of all, an audience!
– Edward Abbey

America My Country: last nation on earth to abolish human slavery; first of all nations to drop the nuclear bomb on our fellow human beings.
– Edward Abbey

Among politicians and businessmen, *Pragmatism* is the current term for "To hell with our children."
– Edward Abbey

An empty man is full of himself.
– Edward Abbey

Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.
– Edward Abbey

Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.
– Edward Abbey

Anarchy works. Italy has proved it for a thousand years.
– Edward Abbey

Anton Bruckner wrote the same symphony nine times (ten, actually), trying to get it just right. He failed.
– Edward Abbey

Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in.
– Edward Abbey

Anywhere, anytime, I'd sacrifice the finest nuance for a laugh, the most elegant trope for a smile.
– Edward Abbey

Appearance "versus" reality? Appearance "is" reality, God damn it!
– Edward Abbey

Apuleius married a rich widow, then wrote The Golden Ass.
– Edward Abbey

Are people more important than the grizzly bear? Only from the point of view of some people.
– Edward Abbey

Art, science, philosophy, religion – each offers at best only a crude simplification of actual living experience.
– Edward Abbey

As a confirmed melancholic, I can testify that the best and maybe only antidote for melancholia is action. However, like most melancholics, I suffer also from sloth.
– Edward Abbey

As between the skulking and furtive poacher, who hunts for the sake of meat, and the honest gentleman shooter, who kills for the pleasure of sport, I find the former a higher type of humanity.
– Edward Abbey

As Mark Twain said, "I love Wagner – if only they'd cut out all that damned singing!"
– Edward Abbey

As war and government prove, insanity is the most contagious of diseases.
– Edward Abbey

Baseball is a slow, sluggish game, with frequent and trivial interruptions, offering the spectator many opportunities to reflect at leisure upon the situation on the field: This is what a fan loves most about the game.
– Edward Abbey

Baseball serves as a good model for democracy in action: Every player is equally important and each has a chance to be a hero.
– Edward Abbey

"Be fair," say the temporizers, "tell both sides of the story." But how can you be fair to both sides of a rape? Of a murder? Of a massacre?
– Edward Abbey

Be it ever so vile, there's no place like home.
– Edward Abbey

Be of good cheer: We'll live to piss on the graves of our enemies.
– Edward Abbey

Beauty is only skin deep; ugliness goes all the way through.
– Edward Abbey

Belief in God? An afterlife? I believe in rock: this apodictic rock beneath my feet.
– Edward Abbey

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.
– Edward Abbey

Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses ...
– Edward Abbey

Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.
– Edward Abbey

Beware of the man who has no enemies.
– Edward Abbey

Beware the writer who always encloses the word reality in quotation marks: He's trying to slip something over on you. Or into you.
– Edward Abbey

Beware of your wishes: They will probably come true.
– Edward Abbey

Books are like eggs – best when fresh.
– Edward Abbey

By the age of eighteen, a human has acquired enough joy and heartache to provide the food of reflection for a century.
– Edward Abbey

By the age of forty, a man is responsible for his face. And his fate.
– Edward Abbey

Capitalism: Nothing so mean could be right. Greed is the ugliest of the capital sins.
– Edward Abbey

Charity should be spontaneous. Calculated altruism is an affront.
– Edward Abbey

Chastity is more a state of mind than of anatomy.
– Edward Abbey

Cheer up, comrades: You can't feel as bad as you look. Or look as bad as you feel.
– Edward Abbey

Christian theology: nothing so grotesque could possibly be true.
– Edward Abbey

Cities should be like the county fairgrounds: empty places except during times of festival and tournament.
– Edward Abbey

Civilization, like an airplane in flight, survives only as it keeps going forward.
– Edward Abbey

Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an inner tube: There are some things one would rather have done than do.
– Edward Abbey

Cold morning on Aztec Peak Fire Lookout. First, build fire in old stove. Second, start coffee. Then, heat up last night's pork chops and spinach for breakfast. Why not? And why the hell not?
– Edward Abbey

Concrete is heavy; iron is hard – but the grass will prevail.
– Edward Abbey

Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and the powerful.
– Edward Abbey

Cowboys make better lovers: Ask any cow.
– Edward Abbey

Critics are like ticks on a dog or tits on a motor: ornamental but dysfunctional.
– Edward Abbey

Crossing the bar: "I want to buy a beer for every man in the house. If any."
– Edward Abbey

Daddy, the garbage man is here! Tell him we don't need any.
– Edward Abbey

Death is every man's final critic. To die well you must live bravely.
– Edward Abbey

Defiance is beautiful. The defiance of power, especially great or overwhelming power, exalts and glorifies the rebel.
– Edward Abbey

Democracy – rule by the people – sounds like a fine thing; we should try it sometime in America.
– Edward Abbey

Desire lends strength. Aspiration creates inspiration, which, for the artist, is the breath of life.
– Edward Abbey

Desire, said the Buddha, is the cause of suffering. But without desire, what delight?
– Edward Abbey

Do I believe in ghosts? I believe in the ghosts that haunt the human mind.
– Edward Abbey

Edmund Wilson was our greatest American literary critic because he was more than a literary critic: He was a fearless, even radical judge of the society he lived in. (See, for example, A Piece of My Mind; The Cold War and the Income Tax; the introduction to Patriotic Gore.) Our conventional critics cannot forgive him for those scandalous lapses in good taste.
– Edward Abbey

England has never enjoyed a genuine social revolution. Maybe that's what's wrong with that dear, tepid, vapid, insipid, stuffy, little country.
– Edward Abbey

Epitaphs for a gravestone: "Please: no hooliganism"; or "Es prohibe se hace agua aqui"; or "No comment".
– Edward Abbey

Every analysis leaves a residue of the unknown; this we call God or Karma or – depending on time and place – the UFO. (Unidentified Fucking Object).
– Edward Abbey

Every man has two vocations: his own and philosophy.
– Edward Abbey

Every man should be his own guru; every woman her own gurette.
– Edward Abbey

Every moment is precious. And precarious.
– Edward Abbey

Every writer has his favorite coterie of enemies: Mine is the East Coast literati – those prep school playmates and their Ivy League colleagues.
– Edward Abbey

Everyone should learn a manual trade: It's never too late to become an honest person.
– Edward Abbey

Except for the scale of the operation, there was nothing unusual about Hitler's massacre of the Jews. Genocide's an old tradition, as human as mother love or cherry pie.
– Edward Abbey

Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and the hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.
– Edward Abbey

Farting is such sweet sorrow.
– Edward Abbey

Fence straddlers have no balls. In compensation, however, they enjoy a comfortable seat and can retreat swiftly, when danger threatens, to either side of the fence. There is something to be said for every position.
– Edward Abbey

Filling out the form: Race? Human. Religion? Paiute. Occupation? Criminal anarchy. Hobbies? Survival with honor.
– Edward Abbey

Fire lookout, 1400 hours, ferocious lightning storm. Me and God. That fucker is trying to get me again, God damn him. But I got me old .357 ...
– Edward Abbey

Football is a game for trained apes. That, in fact, is what most of the players are – retarded gorillas wearing helmets and uniforms. The only thing more debased is the surrounding mob of drunken monkeys howling the gorillas on.
– Edward Abbey

For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous. Bricks to all greenhouses! Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!

For this world that men have made, none of us is bad enough. For the world that made us, none is good enough.
– Edward Abbey

For women, the sexual act is a means to a higher end. For a man, it is an end in itself.
– Edward Abbey

Free love is priced right.
– Edward Abbey

Freedom begins between the ears.
– Edward Abbey

From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm.
– Edward Abbey

Generally speaking, it's a matter of only mild intellectual interest to me whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth. In fact, I don't care a rat's ass either way.
– Edward Abbey

Girls, like flowers, bloom but once. But once is enough.
– Edward Abbey

Girls: I never wanted them all. Just all the ones I wanted.
– Edward Abbey

God bless America. Let's save some of it.
– Edward Abbey

God is love? Not bloody likely.
– Edward Abbey

Going to bed with Gertrude Stein, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Susan Sontag, or Margaret Thatcher: There are some things one prefers neither to do nor to have done.
– Edward Abbey

Good writing can be defined as having something to say and saying it well. When one has nothing to say, one should remain silent. Silence is always beautiful at such times.
– Edward Abbey

Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law.
– Edward Abbey

Government should be weak, amateurish and ridiculous. At present, it fulfills only a third of the role.
– Edward Abbey

Grand opera is a form of musical entertainment for people who hate music.
– Edward Abbey

Great art is indefinable but that's all right; it exists anyway.
– Edward Abbey

Great art is never perfect; perfect art is never great.
– Edward Abbey

Grown men do not need leaders.
– Edward Abbey

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
– Edward Abbey

"Have a nice day," said Lady Macbeth.
– Edward Abbey

Henry James: our finest lady novelist.
– Edward Abbey

Henry James was our master of periphrasis – the fine art of saying as little as possible in the greatest number of words.
– Edward Abbey

High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks – chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring ...
– Edward Abbey

Hierarchical institutions are like giant bulldozers – obedient to the whim of any fool who takes the controls.
– Edward Abbey

Home is where, when you have to go there, you probably shouldn't.
– Edward Abbey

Homosexuality, like androgyny, might be an instinctive racial response to overpopulation, crowding, and stress. Both flourish when empire reaches its apogee.
– Edward Abbey

How can I be so evil? It ain't easy.
– Edward Abbey

How did Haydn and Mozart produce such vast quantities of formally perfect art? They worked from a perfect formula. In music, Beethoven was the Great Emancipator.
– Edward Abbey

How long does it take to write a good book? All of the years that you've lived.
– Edward Abbey

How to Avoid Pleurisy: Never make love to a girl named Candy on the tailgate of a half-ton Ford pickup during a chill rain in April out on Grandview Point in San Juan County, Utah.
– Edward Abbey

How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.
– Edward Abbey

Humankind will not be free until the last Kremlin commissar is strangled with the entrails of the last Pentagon chief of staff.
– Edward Abbey

Humility is a virtue when you have no other.
– Edward Abbey

I always wanted to be a cowboy. But alas! I was burdened early with certain inescapable obligations to world literature.
– Edward Abbey

I always write with my .357 magnum handy. Why? Well, you never know when God may try to interfere.
– Edward Abbey

I am an enemy of the State. But isn't everyone?
– Edward Abbey

I am happy to be a regional writer. My region is the American West, old Mexico, West Virginia, New York, Europe, Australia, the human heart, and the male groin.
– Edward Abbey

I am my brother's keeper, says the chickenshit liberal. Perhaps he does not realize that he now has more than 2 1/2 billion brothers.
– Edward Abbey

I believe in nothing that I cannot touch, kiss, embrace ... The rest is only hearsay.
– Edward Abbey

I come more and more to the conclusion that wilderness, in America or anywhere else, is the only thing left that is worth saving.
– Edward Abbey

I do not believe in personal immortality; it seems so unnecessary. Show me one man who deserves to live forever.
– Edward Abbey

I find more and more, as I grow older, that I prefer women to men, children to adults, animals to humans ... And rocks to living things? No, I'm not that old yet.
– Edward Abbey

I hate intellectual discussion. When I hear the words "phenomenology" or "structuralism," I reach for my buck knife.
– Edward Abbey

I have been a lucky man. But someone has to be.
– Edward Abbey

I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In fact I work only under duress.
– Edward Abbey

I have written much about many good places. But the best places of all, I have never mentioned.
– Edward Abbey

I intend to be good for the rest of my natural life – if I live that long.
– Edward Abbey

I know my own nation best. That's why I despise it the most. And know and love my own people, too, the swine. I'm a patriot. A dangerous man.
– Edward Abbey

I like the smell of oil, grease, gasoline – and gunfire.
– Edward Abbey

I, too, believe in fidelity. But how can I be true to one woman without being false to all the others?
– Edward Abbey

I was once invited to take part in a heroic, possibly fatal enterprise, but I declined, mainly on account of sloth.
– Edward Abbey

I would never betray a friend to serve a cause. Never reject a friend to help an institution. Great nations may fall in ruin before I would sell a friend to save them.
– Edward Abbey

I would prefer to write about everything; what else is there? But one must be selective.
– Edward Abbey

I wouldn't trade a good horse for the best Rolls-Royce ever made – unless I could trade the Rolls for two good horses.
– Edward Abbey

I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion.
– Edward Abbey

If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream.
– Edward Abbey

If, as some say, evil lies in the hearts not the institutions of men, then there's hardly a distinction worth making between, say, Hitler's Germany and Rebecca's Sunnybrook Farm.
– Edward Abbey

If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns.
– Edward Abbey

If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture – that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.
– Edward Abbey

If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers.
– Edward Abbey

If the end does not justify the means – what can?
– Edward Abbey

If the world is irrational, we can never know it – either it or its irrationality.
– Edward Abbey

If there's anything I hate, it's the vibraphone. And the cha-cha-cha. And Latin rhythms generally.
– Edward Abbey

If we had the power of ten Shakespeares or a dozen Mozarts, we could not produce anything half so marvelous as one ordinary human child.
– Edward Abbey

If wilderness is outlawed, only outlaws can save wilderness.
– Edward Abbey

If you feel that you must suffer, then plan your suffering carefully – as you choose your dreams, as you conceive your ancestors.
– Edward Abbey

If you feel that you're not ready to die, never fear; nature will give you complete and adequate assistance when the time comes.
– Edward Abbey

If you're never ridden a fast horse at a dead run across a desert valley at dawn, be of good cheer: You've only missed out on one half of life.
– Edward Abbey

I'm a fastidious sort of fellow, fond of watermelon and buckbrush nuts.
– Edward Abbey

I'm in favor of animal liberation. Why? Because I'm an animal.
– Edward Abbey

In a nation of sheep, one brave man forms a majority.
– Edward Abbey

In all of nature, there is no sound more pleasing than that of a hungry animal at its feed. Unless you are the food.
– Edward Abbey

In America, as elsewhere, the general irritability level keeps rising.
– Edward Abbey

In art as in a boat, a bullet, or a coconut-cream pie, purpose determines form.
– Edward Abbey

In art as in life, form and subject, body and soul, are one.
– Edward Abbey

In both metaphysics and art, honesty is the best policy. Keep it clean.
– Edward Abbey

In everything but brains and brawn, women are vastly superior to men. A different race.
– Edward Abbey

In history-as-politics, the "future" is that vacuum in time waiting to be filled with the antics of statesmen.
– Edward Abbey

In marriage, the occasional catastrophic crisis is easier to manage than the daily routine.
– Edward Abbey

In metaphysics, the notion that earth and all that's on it is a mental construct is the product of people who spend their lives inside rooms. It is an indoor philosophy.
– Edward Abbey

In my case, saving the world was only a hobby.
– Edward Abbey

In order to write a book, it is necessary to sit down (or stand up) and write. Therein lies the difficulty.
– Edward Abbey

In social affairs, I'm an optimist. I really do believe that our military-industrial civilization will soon collapse.
– Edward Abbey

In social institutions, the whole is always less than the sum of its parts. There will never be a state as good as its people, or a church worthy of its congregation, or a university equal to its faculty and students.
– Edward Abbey

In the American Southwest, I began a lifelong love affair with a pile of rocks.
– Edward Abbey

In the dog-eat-dog economy, the Doberman is boss.
– Edward Abbey

In the end, for all our differences and conflicts, most women and men share the same food, work, shelter, bed, life, joy, anguish, and fate. We need each other.
– Edward Abbey

In the modern technoindustrial culture, it is possible to proceed from infancy into senility without ever knowing manhood.
– Edward Abbey

In the modern world, all literary art is necessarily political – especially that which pretends not to be.
– Edward Abbey

In the Soviet Union, government controls industry. In the United States, industry controls government. That is the principal structural difference between the two great oligarchies of our time.
– Edward Abbey

In the world of words, one of my best-loved tribes is the diatribe.
– Edward Abbey

In writing, fidelity to fact leads eventually to the poetry of truth.
– Edward Abbey

Indolence and melancholy: Each generates the other. If one can speak of such feeble passions as generating anything.
– Edward Abbey

Industrialism, whether of the capitalist or socialist coloration, is the basic tyrant of the modern age.
– Edward Abbey

Is a mirage real? Well, it's a real mirage.
– Edward Abbey

Is it possible to grow wiser without knowing it? One hopes so. We all hope so.
– Edward Abbey

Is the Archbishop's blessing any more meaningful than the Politician's handshake? The come, they go, with bigger things than us on their minds.
– Edward Abbey

Is there a God? Who knows? Is there an angry unicorn on the dark side of the moon?
– Edward Abbey

It is always dishonest for a reviewer to review the author instead of the author's book.
– Edward Abbey

It is an author's most solemn obligation to honor truth. If the free and independent writer does not speak truth to power, who will?
– Edward Abbey

It is not an easy thing to inflate a dog.
– Edward Abbey

It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.
– Edward Abbey

It is not the writer's task to answer questions but to question answers. To be impertinent, insolent, and, if necessary, subversive.
– Edward Abbey

It is the difference between men and women, not the sameness, that creates the tension and the delight.
– Edward Abbey

It is time for us men to acknowledge not only that women are vastly superior beings (that's easy) but also that they are – in every way that matters – our equals. That's hard.
– Edward Abbey

It is true that some of my fiction was based on actual events. But the events took place after the fiction was written.
– Edward Abbey

It may be true that my desk here is really "nothing but" a transient eddy of electrons in the flux of universal process. Nevertheless, I find that it continues to support my feet, my revolver, and my cigars all day long. What happens when my back is turned I don't know. Or much care. That's no concern of mine.
– Edward Abbey

It may be true that there are no atheists in foxholes. But you don't find many Christians there, either. Or, about as many of one as the other.
– Edward Abbey

It's a fool's life, a rogue's life, and a good life if you keep laughing all the way to the grave.
– Edward Abbey

It's true: Every time you kill an elk, you're saving some cow's life.
– Edward Abbey

I've never yet read a review of one of my own books that I couldn't have written much better myself.
– Edward Abbey

I've wrecked and ravaged half my life in the pursuit of women, and I suffer the pangs of about seventeen regrets – the seventeen who got away.
– Edward Abbey

J. Edgar Hoover, J. Bracken Lee, J. Parnell Thomas, J. Paul Getty – you can always tell a shithead by that initial initial.
– Edward Abbey

Jack Kerouac, like a sick refrigerator, worked too hard at keeping cool and died on his mama's lap from alcohol and infantilism.
– Edward Abbey

James Joyce buried himself in his great work. Finnegan's Wake is his monument and his tombstone. A dead end.
– Edward Abbey

Jane Austen: Getting into her books is like getting in bed with a cadaver. Something vital is lacking; namely, life.
– Edward Abbey

Jesus don't walk on water no more; his feet leak.
– Edward Abbey

John Updike: our greatest suburban chic-boutique man of letters. A smug and fatal complacency has stunted his growth beyond hope of surgical repair. Not enough passion in his collected works to generate steam in a beer can. Nevertheless, he is considered by some critics to be America's finest living author: Hold a chilled mirror to his lips and you will see, presently, a fine and dewy moisture condensing – like a faery breath! – upon the glass.
– Edward Abbey

Let us praise the noble turkey vulture: No one envies him; he harms nobody; and he contemplates our little world from a most serene and noble height.
– Edward Abbey

Life: another day, another dolor.
– Edward Abbey

Life imitates art – but badly.
– Edward Abbey

Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit.
– Edward Abbey

Life is too tragic for sadness: Let us rejoice.
– Edward Abbey

Life is unfair. And it's not fair that life is unfair.
– Edward Abbey

Life without music would be an intolerable insult.
– Edward Abbey

Lifting her skirt, she revealed her treasure. The mother lode. Pretty, I thought, but is it art?
– Edward Abbey

Like any writer, I'd rather be read than dead. Like any serious author, I'd rather be dead than not read at all.
– Edward Abbey

Literary critics, like a herd of cows or a school of fish, always face in the same direction, obeying that love for unity that every critic requires.
– Edward Abbey

Literature, like anything else, can become a wearisome business if you make a lifetime specialty of it. A healthy, wholesome man would no more spend his entire life reading great books than he would packing cookies for Nabisco.
– Edward Abbey

Little boys love machines; girls adore horses; grown-up men and women like to walk.
– Edward Abbey

Longevity, like intelligence and good looks and health and strength of character, is largely a matter of genetic heritage. Choose your parents with care.
– Edward Abbey

Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.
– Edward Abbey

King Arthur and his armored goons of the Round Table functioned as the Politburo of a slave state: Camelot. Of all who have written on the Matter of Arthur, from Malory to White, only Mark Twain understood this. But Mark Twain was a great writer.
– Edward Abbey

Koan: Why "did" the chicken cross the road?
– Edward Abbey

Liberty cannot be guaranteed by law. Nor by any thing else except the resolution of free citizens to defend their liberties.
– Edward Abbey

Life is cruel? Compared to what?
– Edward Abbey

Life is hard? True – but let's love it anyhow, though it breaks every bone in our bodies.
– Edward Abbey

Life without music would be an intolerable insult.
– Edward Abbey

Man was created to complete the horse.
– Edward Abbey

Man's deliberate destruction of his own habitat – planet Earth – could serve as a mighty theme for a mighty book worthy of a modern Melville or Tolstoy. But our best fictioneers confine themselves to domestic drama – soap opera with literary trimmings.
– Edward Abbey

Married couples who quarrel bitterly every day may really need each other as deeply as those who appear to be desperately in love.
– Edward Abbey

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
– Edward Abbey

Men have never loved one another much, for reasons we can readily understand: Man is not a lovable animal.
– Edward Abbey

Men love their ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it.
– Edward Abbey

Mental degeneracy may be caused by lead poisoning. Or by a poor dip in the gene pool.
– Edward Abbey

Metaphysics is a cobweb that the mind weaves around things.
– Edward Abbey

Mexico: where life is cheap, death is rich, and the buzzards are never unhappy.
– Edward Abbey

Might does not make right but it sure makes what is.
– Edward Abbey

Money confers the power to command the labor of others. Love of money is love of power. And love of power is the root of evil.
– Edward Abbey

Mormonism: Nothing so hilarious could possibly be true. Or all bad.
– Edward Abbey

Most academic economists know nothing of economy. In fact, they know little of anything.
– Edward Abbey

Most new books drop immediately into the oblivion they so richly deserve.
– Edward Abbey

Most of the literary classics are worth reading, if you've nothing better to do.
– Edward Abbey

Most of us lead lives of chaotic improvisation from day to day, bawling for peace while plunging grimly into fresh disorders.
– Edward Abbey

Most of what we call the classics of world literature suggest artifacts in a wax museum. We have to hire and pay professors to get them read and talked about.
– Edward Abbey

Most writers are naturally sycophants. Born in the fetal position, they never learn to stand erect.
– Edward Abbey

Motherhood is an essential, difficult, and full-time job. Women who do not wish to be mothers should not have babies.
– Edward Abbey

Mozart, striving for perfection, wrote the same symphony forty-one times. In his case, it worked. He wrote a perfect symphony.
– Edward Abbey

Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible. If there is a Kingdom of Heaven, it lies in music.
– Edward Abbey

Music clouds the intellect but clarifies the heart.
– Edward Abbey

Music endures and ages far better than books. Books, made of words, are unavoidably attached to ideas, events, conflict, and history, but music has the power to transcend time. At least for a time. Palestrina sounds as fresh today as he did in 1555, but Dante, only three centuries older, already smells of the archaic, the medieval, the catacombs.
– Edward Abbey

Music is a savage art, a measured madness.
– Edward Abbey

My Aunt Ida at age eighty-three: "Yeah," she said, "I'll be dead pretty soon. And frankly, I don't give a damn."
– Edward Abbey

My books always make the best-seller lists in Wolf Hole, Arizona, and Hanksville, Utah.
– Edward Abbey

My books are not taken seriously. But that's all right; they are given playfully.
– Edward Abbey

My computer tells me that in twenty-five years there will be no more computers.
– Edward Abbey

My cousin Elroy spent seven years as an IBM taper staring at THINK signs on the walls before he finally got a good idea: He quit.
– Edward Abbey

My notion of a great novel is something like a five-hundred-page shaggy-dog story, with only the punch line omitted.
– Edward Abbey

My own best books have not been published. In fact, they've not even been written yet.
– Edward Abbey

My Publisher: "Yes, sooner or later, we all wake up dead!"
– Edward Abbey

My sole literary ambition is to write one good novel, then retire to my hut in the desert, assume the lotus position, compose my mind and senses, and sink into meditation, contemplating my novel.
– Edward Abbey

Narrow-minded provincialism: Sad to say but true – I am more interested in the mountain lions of Utah, the wild pigs of Arizona, than I am in the fate of all the Arabs of Araby, all the Wogs of Hindustan, all the Ethiopes of Abyssinia ...
– Edward Abbey

Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful.
– Edward Abbey

Nature, like Miamonides said, is mainly a good place to throw beer cans on Sunday afternoons.
– Edward Abbey

Nearly all of Latin America, from Chile to Mexico, is one long rack of torture. Financed, equipped, and refined by the U.S. government.
– Edward Abbey

Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never make love to a woman called Mizz *La Belle Dame*.
– Edward Abbey

New Yorkers like to boast that if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. But if you can survive anywhere, why live in New York?
– Edward Abbey

No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next – if not a damn sight better.
– Edward Abbey

No man likes to be smoked out of his hole in February.
– Edward Abbey

No man-made structure in all of American history has been hated so much, by so many, for so long, with such good reason, as that Glen Canyon Dam at Page, Arizona, Shithead Capital of Coconino County.
– Edward Abbey

No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.
– Edward Abbey

Nobody has so many friends that he can afford to lose one.
– Edward Abbey

Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our antimaterialist, otherworldly, New Age, spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and seaweed slime.
– Edward Abbey

Nothing can excel a few days in jail for giving a young man or woman a quick education in the basis of industrial society.
– Edward Abbey

Nothing could be more reckless than to base one's moral philosophy on the latest pronouncements of science.
– Edward Abbey

Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday's newspaper.
– Edward Abbey

Of all bores, the worst is the sparkling bore.
– Edward Abbey

Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a great man. Later, a good man. Now, finally, I find it difficult enough and honor enough to be – a man.
– Edward Abbey

One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and living experience. But this remains the most utopian and fantastic of ideals.
– Edward Abbey

One day in Dipstick, Nebraska, or Landfill, Oklahoma, is worth more to me than an eternity in Dante's plastic Paradiso, or Yeats's gold-plated Byzantium.
– Edward Abbey

One must be reasonable in one's demands on life. For myself, all that I ask is: (1) accurate information; (2) coherent knowledge; (3) deep understanding; (4) infinite loving wisdom; (5) no more kidney stones, please.
– Edward Abbey

One thing more dangerous than getting between a grizzly sow and her cub is getting between a businessman and a dollar bill.
– Edward Abbey

One thing worse than self-hatred is chiggers.
– Edward Abbey

One word is worth a thousand pictures. If it's the right word.
– Edward Abbey

Only a fool is astonished by the foolishness of mankind.
– Edward Abbey

Only a fool would leave the enjoyment of rainbows to the opticians. Or give the science of optics the last word on the matter.
– Edward Abbey

Only the half-mad are wholly alive.
– Edward Abbey

Opera: I like it, except for all those howling sopranos and caterwauling tenors. (Why can't tenors sing like men?)
– Edward Abbey

Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart.
– Edward Abbey

Our big social institutions do not reflect human nature; they distort it.
– Edward Abbey

Our contemporary Tories prefer the term "ordered liberty" to quot;freedom". The word "freedom" scares them; it has too much of a paleolithic ring to it.
– Edward Abbey

Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris.
– Edward Abbey

Our "neoconservatives" are neither new nor conservative, but old as Bablyon and evil as Hell.
– Edward Abbey

Our suicidal poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, Jarrell, et al.) spent too much of their lives inside rooms and classrooms when they should have been trudging up mountains, slogging through swamps, rowing down rivers. The indoor life is the next best thing to premature burial.
– Edward Abbey

Paradise for a happy man lies in his own good nature.
– Edward Abbey

Perfection is a minor virtue.
– Edward Abbey

Phoenix, Arizona: an oasis of ugliness in the midst of a beautiful wasteland.
– Edward Abbey

Platitude: a statement that denies by implication what it explicitly affirms.
– Edward Abbey

Poetry – even bad poetry – may be our final hope.
– Edward Abbey

Poor Dimitri Shostakovich: In the Soviet Union, he was condemned as being too radical; in the West, for being too conservative. He could please no one but the musical public. He revenged himself on both by writing a short piece called "March of the Soviet Police."
– Edward Abbey

Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.
– Edward Abbey

Preacher to me: "A dollar for the Lord, brother?" Me to preacher: "That's all right, I'm headed his way. I'll give it to him when I see him."
– Edward Abbey

Proust again: One can only wish that a man with such powers of total recall had led a less tedious life, moved among somewhat livelier circles ...
– Edward Abbey

Proverbs save us the trouble of thinking. What we call folk wisdom is often no more than a kind of expedient stupidity.
– Edward Abbey

Pure science is a myth: Both mathematical theoreticians like Albert Einstein and practical crackpots like Henry Ford dealt with different aspects of the same world.
– Edward Abbey

Quantum mechanics provides us with an approximate, plausible, conjectural explanation of what actually is, or was, or may be taking place inside a cyclotron during a dark night in February.
– Edward Abbey

Reason has seldom failed us because it has seldom been tried.
– Edward Abbey

Reason is the newest and rarest thing in human life, the most delicate child of human history.
– Edward Abbey

Recorded history is largely an account of the crimes and disasters committed by banal little men at the levers of imperial machines.
– Edward Abbey

Reincarnation? There is such a thing. What could be more Mozartian than the Nutcracker Suite?
– Edward Abbey

Remembrance of Things Past: an enormous fruitcake laced with cyanide.
– Edward Abbey

Representative government has broken down. Our politicians represent not the people who vote for them but the commercial interests who finance their election campaigns. We have the best politicians that money can buy.
– Edward Abbey

"Rock" is the music of slaves. Of adolescents pursuing the illusion of freedom and protest while the steel chains of technology bind them ever tighter.
– Edward Abbey

"Rock": music to hammer out fenders by. Music for vomiting to after a hard day spreading asphalt. Vietnam music. Imitation-Afro, industrial air-compressor music.
– Edward Abbey

Rocks, like louseworts and snail darters and pupfish and 3rd-world black, lesbian, militant poets, have rights, too. Especially the right to exist.
– Edward Abbey

Romanticism was more than merely an alternative to a sterile classicism; romanticism made possible, especially in art, a great expansion of the human consciousness.
– Edward Abbey

Roosters: The cry of the male chicken is the most barbaric yawp in all of nature.
– Edward Abbey

Salome had but seven veils; the artist has a thousand.
– Edward Abbey

Saving the world was merely a hobby. My vocation has been that of inspector of desert water holes.
– Edward Abbey

"Say what you like about my bloody murderous government," I says, "but don't insult me poor bleedin' country."
– Edward Abbey

Science is the whore of industry and the handmaiden of war.
– Edward Abbey

Science transcends mere politics. As recent history demonstrates, scientists are as willing to work for a Tojo, a Hitler, or a Stalin as for the free nations of the West.
– Edward Abbey

Scientific method: There's a madness in the method.
– Edward Abbey

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul. One brave deed is worth a thousand books.
– Edward Abbey

Sex is not compulsory, reply the fetus lovers. True: but we're not talking about sex – we're talking about maternity.
– Edward Abbey

Shakespeare wrote great poetry and preposterous plays. Who really cares, for example, which petty tyrant rules Milan? Or who succeeds to the throne of Denmark? Or why the barons ganged up on Richard II?
– Edward Abbey

Simplicity is always a virtue. One kid on a riverbank working out a Stephen Foster tune on his new harmonica heard from the correct esthetic distance projects more magic and power than the entire Vienna Philharmonic and Chorus laboring (once again) through the Mozart Requiem or Bach's B Minor Mass.
– Edward Abbey

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.
– Edward Abbey

Spartacus, like Jesus, was also crucified by the Romans. And for equally good reasons.
– Edward Abbey

Some lives are tragic, some ridiculous. Most are both at once.
– Edward Abbey

Some of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution. A few more wore red coats, a few wore blue coats, and the rest wore no coats at all. We never did figure out who won that war.
– Edward Abbey

South of the border: The Hispanics despise the mestizos, the mestizos look with contempt on *Los Indios*, the Indians take it out on their women and dogs.
– Edward Abbey

Style: There is something in too much verbal felicity (as in Joyce or Nabokov or Borges) that can betray the writer into technique for the sake of technique.
– Edward Abbey

Some people write to please, to soothe, to console. Others to provoke, to challenge, to exasperate and infuriate. I've always found the second approach the more pleasing.
– Edward Abbey

Suicide: Don't knock it if you ain't tried it.
– Edward Abbey

Susan Sontag: What she really wanted, throughout her career, was to grow up to be a Frenchman.
– Edward Abbey

Taxation: how the sheep are shorn.
– Edward Abbey

Tee Vee football: one team wins, one team loses – they tie – who cares? And why?
– Edward Abbey

Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people.
– Edward Abbey

That which today calls itself science gives us more and more information, an indigestible glut of information, and less and less understanding.
– Edward Abbey

The absurd vanity of metaphysicians who like to imagine that they create the world by thinking about it.
– Edward Abbey

The artist in our time has two chief responsibilities: (1) art; and (2) sedition.
– Edward Abbey

The artist's job? To be a miracle worker: make the blind see, the dull feel, the dead to live.
– Edward Abbey

The author: an imaginary person who writes real books.
– Edward Abbey

The basic question is this: Why should anything exist? Nothing would be tidier.
– Edward Abbey

The basic science is not physics or mathematics but biology – the study of life. We must learn to think both logically and bio-logically.
– Edward Abbey

The best American writers have come from the hinterlands – Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Hemingway, Faulkner, Wolfe, Steinbeck. Most of them never even went to college.
– Edward Abbey

The best argument for Christianity is the Gregorian chant. Listening to that music, one can believe anything – while the music lasts.
– Edward Abbey

The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.
– Edward Abbey

The best people, like the best wines, come from the hills.
– Edward Abbey

The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.
– Edward Abbey

The consolation of reading biography: Most great men have led lives even more miserable than our own.
– Edward Abbey

The critics say that Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony has no form. They are wrong; it has the form of Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony.
– Edward Abbey

The death penalty would be even more effective, as a deterrent, if we executed a few innocent people more often.
– Edward Abbey

The developers and entrepreneurs must somehow be taught a new vocabulary of values.
– Edward Abbey

The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.
– Edward Abbey

The dog's life is a good life, for a dog.
– Edward Abbey

The earth is real. Only a fool, milking his cow, denies the cow's reality.
– Edward Abbey

The ever-rising cost of living: Someday soon, the corporate technicians will be locking meters on our noses and charging us a royalty on the air we breathe.
– Edward Abbey

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
– Edward Abbey

The feminist notion that the whole of human history has been nothing but a vast intricate conspiracy by men to enslave their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters presents us with an intellectual neurosis for which we do not yet have a name.
– Edward Abbey

The feminists have a legitimate grievance. But so does everyone else.
– Edward Abbey

The function of an ideal is not to be realized but, like that of the North Star, to serve as a guiding point.
– Edward Abbey

The great question of life is not the question of death but the question of life. Fear of death shames us all.
– Edward Abbey

The greater your dreams, the more terrible your nightmares.
– Edward Abbey

The gurus come from the sickliest nation on earth to tell us how to live. And we pay them for it.
– Edward Abbey

The hawk's cry is as sharp as its beak.
– Edward Abbey

The highest treason, the meanest treason, is to deny the holiness of this little blue planet on which we journey through the cold void of space.
– Edward Abbey

The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.
– Edward Abbey

The ideal kitchen-sink novel: Throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Then add the kitchen sink.
– Edward Abbey

The ideal society can be described, quite simply, as that in which no man has the power of means to coerce others.
– Edward Abbey

The industrial corporation is the natural enemy of nature.
– Edward Abbey

The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death. From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses.
– Edward Abbey

The Latino military fare badly when they stumble into war with the gringos. But in the torture, murder, and massacre of their own people, they have always performed with brilliance and elan.
– Edward Abbey

The mad scientist was once only a creature of gothic romance; now he is everywhere, busy torturing atoms and animals in his laboratory.
– Edward Abbey

"The mind is everything," wrote Proust. No doubt true, when you're dead from the neck down.
– Edward Abbey

The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages – as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already.
– Edward Abbey

The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
– Edward Abbey

The more fantastic an ideology or theology, the more fanatic its adherents.
– Edward Abbey

The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws.
– Edward Abbey

The most striking thing about the rich is the gracious democracy of their manners – and the crude vulgarity of their way of life.
– Edward Abbey

The New Age orgy: The flesh was willing but the spirits weak.
– Edward Abbey

The night I filled an inside straight: Even a blind hog's gonna root up an acorn once in a while.
– Edward Abbey

The nuclear bomb took all the fun out of war.
– Edward Abbey

The one great gift to humankind from our nuclear physicists has been the nuclear bomb. How can we ever thank them?
– Edward Abbey

The one thing worse than a knee-pad Tory is a chickenshit liberal. The type that can not say "shit" even when his mouth is full of it.
– Edward Abbey

The plow has probably done more harm – in the long run – than the sword.
– Edward Abbey

The Proustian aquarium: grotesque and gorgeous fish drifting with languid fins through a subaqueous medium of pale violet polluted ink.
– Edward Abbey

The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient.
– Edward Abbey

The purpose of love, sex, and marriage is the production and raising of children. But look about you: Most people have no business having children. They are unqualified, either genetically or culturally or both, to reproduce such sorry specimens as themselves. Of all our privileges, the license to breed is the one most grossly abused.
– Edward Abbey

The rancher strings barbed wire across the range, drills wells and bulldozes stock ponds everywhere, drives off the elk and antelope and bighorn sheep, poisons coyotes and prairie dogs, shoots eagle and bear and cougar on sight, supplants the native bluestem and grama grass with tumbleweed, cow shit, cheat grass, snakeweed, anthills, poverty weed, mud and dust and flies – and then leans back and smiles broadly at the Tee Vee cameras and tells us how much he loves the West.
– Edward Abbey

The ready availability of suicide, like sex and alcohol, is one of life's basic consolations.
– Edward Abbey

The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information.
– Edward Abbey

The rebel is doomed to a violent death. The rest of us can look forward to sedated expiration in a coma inside an oxygen tent, with tubes inserted in every bodily orifice.
– Edward Abbey

The response to my books from my East Coast friends has been wildly various, running the gamut from "bad" to "very bad." (Is there another gamut?)
– Edward Abbey

The rich are not very nice. That's why they're rich.
– Edward Abbey

The rich can buy everything but health, virtue, friendship, wit, good looks, love, pride, intelligence, grace, and, if you need it, happiness.
– Edward Abbey

The rifle and handgun are "equalizers" – the weapons of a democracy. Tanks and bombers represent dictatorship.
– Edward Abbey

The sense of justice springs from self-respect; both are coeval with our birth. Children are born with an innate sense of justice; it usually takes twelve years of public schooling and four more years of college to beat it out of them.
– Edward Abbey

The sexual revolution transformed the American West: Now even cowboys can get laid.
– Edward Abbey

The sneakiest form of literary subtlety, in a corrupt society, is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads. Laughter, praise, honors, money, and the love of beautiful girls will be your only reward.
– Edward Abbey

The "terror" of the French Revolution lasted for ten years. The terror that preceded and led to it lasted for a thousand years.
– Edward Abbey

The tragedy of modern war is not so much that the young men die but that they die fighting each other – instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.
– Edward Abbey

The tragic sense of life: our heroic acceptance of the suffering of others.
– Edward Abbey

The true, unacknowledged purpose of capital punishment is to inspire fear and awe – fear and awe of the State.
– Edward Abbey

The very poor are strictly materialistic. It takes money to be a mystic.
– Edward Abbey

The world exists for its own sake, not for ours. Swallow *that* pill!
– Edward Abbey

The world is full of burled and gnarly knobs on which you can hang a metaphysical system. If you must.
– Edward Abbey

The world is older and bigger than we are. This is a hard truth for some folks to swallow.
– Edward Abbey

The world is what it is, no less and no more, and therein lies its entire and sufficient meaning.
– Edward Abbey

The world is wide and beautiful. But almost everywhere, everywhere, the children are dying.
– Edward Abbey

The world of employer and employee, like that of master and slave, debases both.
– Edward Abbey

The writer concerned more with technique than truth becomes a technician, not an artist.
– Edward Abbey

The writer speaks not to his audience (who wants to listen to lectures?) but for them, expressing their thoughts and emotions through the imaginative power of his art.
– Edward Abbey

There are circumstances in which suicide presents a viable option; a workable alternative; the only sensible solution.
– Edward Abbey

There are only two kinds of books – good books and the others. The good are winnowed from the bad through the democracy of time.
– Edward Abbey

There are two kinds are art: (1) decorative, nonobjective, wallpaper art; and (2) art with a moral purpose.
– Edward Abbey

There are two kinds of people I cannot abide: bigots and any well-organized ethnic group.
– Edward Abbey

There comes a point, in literary objectivity, when the author's self-effacement is hard to distinguish from moral cowardice.
– Edward Abbey

There comes a time in the life of us all when we must lay aside our books or put down our tools and leave our place of work and walk forth on the road to meet the enemy face-to-face. Once and for all and at last.
– Edward Abbey

There has got to be a God; the world could not have become so fucked up by chance alone.
– Edward Abbey

There has never been a day in my life when I was not in love.
– Edward Abbey

There has never been an "original" sin: each is quite banal.
– Edward Abbey

There has never yet been a human society worthy of the name of civilization. Civilization remains a remote ideal.
– Edward Abbey

There is a fine art to making enemies and it requires diligent cultivation. It's not as easy as it looks.
– Edward Abbey

There is a wine called Easy Days and Mellow Nights, well-known on the outskirts of the Navajo reservation. It is an economical wine, fortified with the best of intentions, and I recommend it to every serious wino.
– Edward Abbey

There is a kind of poetry in simple fact.
– Edward Abbey

There is much to admire in the work of D.H. Lawrence – excepting his queer, soft, gooey, and epicene prose.
– Edward Abbey

There is no force more potent in the modern world than stupidity fueled by greed.
– Edward Abbey

There is no trajectory so pathetic as that of an artist in decline.
– Edward Abbey

There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.
– Edward Abbey

There is this to be said for walking: It's the one mode of human locomotion by which a man proceeds on his own two feet, upright, erect, as a man should be, not squatting on his rear haunches like a frog.
– Edward Abbey

There never was a good war or a bad revolution.
– Edward Abbey

There is a deep, abiding, unshakable satisfaction in a life of complete failure.
– Edward Abbey

There's nothing so obscene and depressing as an American Christmas.
– Edward Abbey

There's something about winning at poker that restores my faith in the innate goodness of my fellowman.
– Edward Abbey

This world may be only illusion – but it's the only illusion we've got.
– Edward Abbey

Those art lovers who pride themselves mostly on taste usually possess no other talent.
– Edward Abbey

Those who dream of the joys of living in a space colony should live in a space colony.
– Edward Abbey

Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.
– Edward Abbey

Though I've lived in the rural West most of my life, I never once fell in love with a horse. Not once. Neither end.
– Edward Abbey

Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner of the natural world, nothing in that fact implies that they have the right or the need to do so.
– Edward Abbey

Three words remain that can yet stir the blood of man: the word "rebellion"; the word "revolt"; the word "revolution".
– Edward Abbey

Through logic and inference we can prove anything. Therefore, logic and inference, in contrast to ordinary daily living experience, are secondary instruments of knowledge. Probably tertiary.
– Edward Abbey

To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.
– Edward Abbey

Tofu and futons. The adepts of Orientalism seem to spend most of their lives reclining. They can't quite summon the energy to crawl up onto a chair. Even their Yogic exercises are carried out in a prone or sitting position.
– Edward Abbey

Too many American authors have a servile streak where their backbone should be. Where's our latest Nobel laureate? More than likely you'll find him in the Rose Garden kissing the First Lady's foot.
– Edward Abbey

Trout fishing. One must be a stickler for proper form. Use nothing but #4 blasting caps. Or a hand grenade, if handy. Or at a pool well-lined with stone, one blast from a .44 magnum will bring a few stunned brookies quietly to the surface.
– Edward Abbey

Truth is always the enemy of power. And power the enemy of truth.
– Edward Abbey

Truth is merely common sense, say the naive realist. Really? Then where, precisely, is the location of – a rainbow? In the air? In the eye? In between? Or somewhere else?
– Edward Abbey

Us nature mystics got to stick together.
– Edward Abbey

Vladimir Nabokov was a writer who cared nothing for music and whose favorite sport was the pursuit, capture, and murder of butterflies. This explains many things; for example, the fact that Nabokov's novels, for all their elegance and wit, resemble nothing so much as butterflies pinned to a board: pretty but dead; symmetrical but stiff.
– Edward Abbey

War: First day in the U.S. Army, the government placed a Bible in my left hand, a bayonet in the other.
– Edward Abbey

War? The one war I'd be happy to join is the war against officers.
– Edward Abbey

We are all ONE, say the gurus. Aye, I might agree – but one WHAT?
– Edward Abbey

We judge individual man and women as we do nations and races – by the character of their achievement and by their achievement of character.
– Edward Abbey

We live in a society in which it is normal to be sick; and sick to be abnormal.
– Edward Abbey

We live in a time of twin credulities: the hunger for the miraculous combined with a servile awe of science. The mating of the two gives us superstition plus scientism – a Mongoloid metaphysic.
– Edward Abbey

We live in the kind of world where courage is the most essential of virtues; without courage, the other virtues are useless.
– Edward Abbey

We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here.
– Edward Abbey

Wealth should come like manna from heaven, unearned and uncalled for. Money should be like grace – a gift. It is not worth sweating and scheming for.
– Edward Abbey

We spend more time working for our labor-saving machines than they do working for us.
– Edward Abbey

"Welcome to the banquet of life," said a recent Pope, forgetting that most have to fight their way to the table.
– Edward Abbey

What are called inspirational books, like Gibran's The Prophet or Bach's Seagull, seem to have been strained through a bowl of fish-eye tapioca.
– Edward Abbey

What did Jesus say to the headwaiter at the Last Supper? "Separate checks, please."
– Edward Abbey

What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote.
– Edward Abbey

What ideal, immutable Platonic cloud could equal the beauty and perfection of any ordinary everyday cloud floating over, say, Tuba City, Arizona, on a hot day in June?
– Edward Abbey

What is reason? Knowledge informed by sympathy, intelligence in the arms of love.
– Edward Abbey

What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse.
– Edward Abbey

What our economists call a depressed area almost always turns out to be a cleaner, freer, more livable place than most.
– Edward Abbey

Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.
– Edward Abbey

What's the difference between a whore and a congressman? A congressman makes more money.
– Edward Abbey

What's the difference between the Lone Ranger and God? There really is a Lone Ranger.
– Edward Abbey

When a dog howls at the moon, we call it religion. When he barks at strangers, we call it patriotism.
– Edward Abbey

When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.
– Edward Abbey

When a writer has done the best that he can do, he should then withdraw from the book-writing business and take up an honest trade like shoe repair, cattle stealing, or screwworm management.
– Edward Abbey

When I hear the word "culture," I reach for my checkbook.
– Edward Abbey

When riding my old Harley at ninety per at midnight down the Via Roma in Naples, I kept one consolation firmly in mind: If anything goes wrong, I'll never have time to regret it.
– Edward Abbey

When the biggest, richest, glassiest buildings in town are the banks, you know that town's in trouble.
– Edward Abbey

When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. But men of intellect will believe anything – if it appeals to their ego, their vanity, their sense of self-importance.
– Edward Abbey

When the situation is desperate, it is too late to be serious. Be playful.
– Edward Abbey

When the situation is hopeless, there's nothing to worry about.
– Edward Abbey

When the writer has done his best, he then should proceed to do his second best.
– Edward Abbey

Whenever I read Time or Newsweek or such magazines, I wash my hands afterward. But how to wash off the small but odious stain such reading leaves on the mind?
– Edward Abbey

Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.
– Edward Abbey

Who needs astrology? The wise man gets by on fortune cookies.
– Edward Abbey

Why administrators are respected and schoolteachers are not: An administrator is paid a lot for doing very little, while a teacher is paid very little for doing a lot.
– Edward Abbey

Why do I live in the desert? Because the desert is the locus Dei.
– Edward Abbey

Why I oppose the nuclear-arms race: I prefer the human race.
– Edward Abbey

Why do I write? I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. To unfold the folded lie, to record to truth of our time, and, of course, to promote esthetic bliss.
– Edward Abbey

Why must love always be accompanied – sooner or later – by sorrow and pain? Why not? Because pure bliss is for pure idiots.
– Edward Abbey

Why the critics, like a flock of ducks, always move in perfect unison: Their authority with the public depends upon an appearance of unanimous agreement. One dissenting voice would shatter the whole fragile structure.
– Edward Abbey

Wilderness begins in the human mind.
– Edward Abbey

William Dean Howells: a rubber chicken dangling on a string.
– Edward Abbey

With the neutron bomb, which destroys life but not property, capitalism has found the weapon of its dreams.
– Edward Abbey

Women truly are better than men. Otherwise, they'd be intolerable.
– Edward Abbey

Women: We cannot love them all. But we must try.
– Edward Abbey

Women who love only women may have a good point.
– Edward Abbey

Writing on the wall: "Will trade three blind crabs for two with no teeth."
– Edward Abbey

Writers should avoid the academy. When a writer begins to accept pay for talking about words, we know what he will produce soon: nothing but words.
– Edward Abbey

You cannot reshape human nature without mutilating human beings.
– Edward Abbey

You can't belay a man who's falling in love.
– Edward Abbey

You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.
– Edward Abbey

You long for success? Start at the bottom; dig down.
– Edward Abbey

Zen: the sound of the ax chopping. Chopping logic.
– Edward Abbey

 

More on    Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott (1821–1893), Canadian Prime Minister

I hate politics, and what are considered their appropriate methods. I hate notoriety, public meetings, public speeches, caucuses, and everything that I know of that is apparently the necessary incident of politics – except doing public work to the best of my ability.
– Sir John Abbott (June 4, 1891)

War is the science of destruction.
– Sir John Abbott

 

More on    Lyman Abbott (1835–1922), U.S. clergyman, author

A child is a beam of sunlight from the Infinite and Eternal, with possibilities of virtue and vice – but as yet unstained.
– Lyman Abbott

Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry and sin not.
– Lyman Abbott

Every great sin ought to rouse a great anger. Mob law is better than no law at all. A community which rises in its wrath to punish with misdirected anger a great wrong is in a healthier moral condition than a community which looks upon its perpetration with apathy and unconcern.
– Lyman Abbott

Every life is march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice.
– Lyman Abbott

I think of death as a glad awakening from this troubled sleep which we call life; as an emancipation from a world, which, beautiful though it may be, is still a land of captivity.
– Lyman Abbott

In New York – whose subway trains in particular have been "tattooed" with an energy to put our own rude practitioners to shame – not an inch of free space is spared except that of advertisements.
– Lyman Abbott

It is easy to condemn, it is better to pity.
– Lyman Abbott

Patience is passion tamed.
– Lyman Abbott

Postmodernism represents a moment of suspension before the batteries are recharged for the new millennium, an acknowledgment that preceding the future is a strange and hybrid interregnum that might be called the last gasp of the past.
– Lyman Abbott

The brotherhood of man is an integral part of Christianity no less than the Fatherhood of God; and to deny the one is no less infidel than to deny the other.
– Lyman Abbott

The earth is mankind's ultimate haven, our blessed terra firma. When it trembles and gives way beneath our feet, it's as though one of God's checks has bounced.
– Lyman Abbott

The highest qualities of character … must be earned.
– Lyman Abbott

[The Trinity] is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.
– Lyman Abbott, A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge

We "need" cancer because, by the very fact of its insurability, it makes all other diseases, however virulent, not cancer.
– Lyman Abbott

 

More on    Abd al-Qadir [`Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza'iri](1808–1883), Algerian Arab military leader and poet

Death is a black camel, which kneels at the gates of all.
– Abd al-Qadir

If I have accepted leadership, this is to have the right to be the first to march in the battles, and I am ready to step behind any other chief whom you judge more worthy and more capable than me to lead you, provided that he pledges to take in hand the cause of our faith.
– Abd al-Qadir

If on behalf of your king you were to offer me all the riches of France and you were able to place all of them here on my burnous [raw wool robe], I would prefer to be thrown in this sea, the waves of which break against the walls of my prison, rather than give up the commitments made towards me publicly and officially. I shall take these commitments with me to my grave. I am here as your guest. Make me prisoner if you want. But shame and dishonor will reach you, not me.
– Abd al-Qadir, rejecting a bribe offered by Napoleon III while Abd al-Qadir was imprisoned in Toulon

But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American War? The revolution was effected before the war commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

It often takes more courage to change one's opinion than to stick to it.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

One who's our friend is fond of us; one who's fond of us isn't necessarily our friend.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

The most important thing about having goals is having one.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.
– Geoffrey F. Abert

You people are telling me what you think I want to know. I want to know what is actually happening.
– Creighton Abrams, commanding general, U.S. forces in Vietnam

I never said I had no idea about most of the things you said I had no idea about.
– Elliot Abrams

In fact, the ubiquity of the handheld reflects two other key trends among the Baby Boomers: No one has a secretary, and no one can remember a damn thing.
– Elliot Abrams

Religion is now one of the organizing principles behind American policy.
– Elliot Abrams, in an introduction to the book The Influence of Faith: Religious Groups and Foreign Policy, Rowman and Littlefield, 2001

There isn't any way for the people of Nicaragua to find out what's going on in Nicaragua.
– Elliot Abrams

 

More on    Bella Savitsky Abzug (1920-1998) U.S. Congressman, lawyer, writer, news commentator

Abortion doesn't belong in the political arena. It's a private right, like many other rights concerning the family.
– Bella Abzug

All of the men on my staff can type.
– Bella Abzug

I am not being facetious when I say that the real enemies in this country are the Pentagon and its pals in big business.
– Bella Abzug

I am not elevating women to sainthood, nor am I suggesting that all women share the same views, or that all women are good and all men bad.
– Bella Abzug

I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee.
– Bella Abzug

I prefer the word "homemaker" because "housewife" always implies that there may be a wife someplace else.
– Bella Abzug

I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy.
– Bella Abzug

Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.
– Bella Abzug

The establishment is made up of little men, very frightened.
– Bella Abzug

The inside operation of Congress – the deals, the compromises, the selling out, the co-opting, the unprincipled manipulating, the self-serving career-building – is a story of such monumental decadence that I believe if people find out about it they will demand an end to it.
– Bella Abzug

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.
– Bella Abzug

They used to give us a day – it was called International Women's Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn't behave and here we are.
– Bella Abzug

We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it.
– Bella Abzug

Women have been and are prejudiced, narrowminded, reactionary, even violent. Some women. They, of course, have a right to vote and a right to run for office. I will defend that right, but I will not support them or vote for them.
– Bella Abzug

Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.
– Bella Abzug

A man whose life has been dishonourable is not entitled to escape disgrace in death.
– Lucius Accius (170 BC–86 BC)

Let them hate so long as they fear.
Latin: Oderint Dum Metuant
– Lucius Accius (170 BC–86 BC)

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer.
– Dean Acheson

Controversial proposals, once accepted, soon become hallowed.
– Dean Acheson

I doubt very much if a man whose main literary interests were in works by Mr. Zane Grey, admirable as they may be, is particularly equipped to be the chief executive of this country, particularly where Indian Affairs are concerned.
– Dean Acheson, on Eisenhower

The first requirement of a statesman is that he be dull. This is not always easy to achieve.
– Dean Acheson

The greatest mistake I made was not to die in office.
– Dean Acheson

Washington is like a self-sealing tank on a military aircraft. When a bullet passes through, it closes up.
– Dean Acheson

By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes is his duty, against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
– Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg] (1834–1902), British historian

Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
– Attributed to Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg] (1834–1902), British historian

Learn as much by writing as by reading.
– Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg] (1834–1902), British historian

Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.
– Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg] (1834–1902), British historian

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.
– Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg] (1834–1902), British historian, letter, April 5, 1887, to Bishop Mandell Creighton. The Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, Vol. 1, Chapter 13 (1904).

There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
– Lord Acton [John Emerich Edward Dalberg] (1834–1902), British historian, letter, April 5, 1887, to Bishop Mandell Creighton. The Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, Vol. 1, Chapter 13 (1904).

Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.
– Abigail Adams (1744–1818), wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams.

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.
– Abigail Adams (1744–1818), wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams.

We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.
– Abigail Adams (1744–1818), wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams.

... whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to men, Emancipating all Nations, you insist upon retaining absolute power over wives. But you must remember that Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken – and notwithstanding all your wise Laws and Maxims we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our Masters, and without violence throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.
– Abigail Adams (1744–1818), wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams. In a letter dated May 7, 1776 and written from Braintree, Mass. to her husband, John Adams, reprinted in The Feminist Papers, Part 1, by Alice S. Rossi (1973)

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
– Douglas Adams

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
– Douglas Adams

Of making many books there is no end –
    So Sancho Panza said, and so say I.
Thou wert my guide, philosopher and friend
     When only one is shining in the sky.

Books cannot always please, however good;
     The good is oft interred with their bones.
To be great is to be misunderstood,
     The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans.

The Moving Finger writes, and having writ,
     I never write as funny as I can.
Remote, unfriendly, studious let me sit
     And say to all the world, "This was a man!"

Go, lovely Rose, that lives its little hour!
    Go, little booke! and
let who will be clever!
Roll on! From yonder ivy-mantled tower
    The moon and I could keep this up forever.
– Franklin P. Adams, "Lines on and from Bartlett's Familiar Quotations"

 

More on    Henry Brooks Adams (1838–1918), American writer and historian, grandson of John Quincy Adams, great-grandson of John Adams.

As for piracy, I love to be pirated. It is the greatest compliment an author can have. The wholesale piracy of Democracy was the single real triumph of my life. Anyone may steal what he likes from me.
– Henry Adams , letter to Brooks Adams (July 11, 1905)

Had Grant been a Congressman one would have been on one’s guard, for one knew the type. One never expected from a Congressman more than good intentions and public spirit. Newspaper-men as a rule had no great respect for the lower House; Senators had less; and Cabinet officers had none at all. Indeed, one day when Adams was pleading with a Cabinet officer for patience and tact in dealing with Representatives, the Secretary impatiently broke out: "You can’t use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!"
– Henry Adams , The Education of Henry Adams, Chapter 17 (1906)

Henry B. Adams was the first in an infinite series to discover and admit to himself that he really did not care whether truth was, or was not, true. He did not even care that it should be proved true, unless the process were new and amusing. He was a Darwinian for fun.
– Henry Adams , The Education of Henry Adams (1906)

I am an anarchist in politics and an impressionist in art as well as a symbolist in literature. Not that I understand what these terms mean, but I take them to be all merely synonyms of pessimist.
– Henry Adams , letter to Charles Milnes Gaskell (October 28, 1894)

It’s a queer sensation, this secret belief that one stands on the brink of the world’s greatest catastrophe. For it means the fall of Western Europe, as it fell in the fourth century. It recurs to me every November, and culminates every December. I have to get over it as I can, and hide, for fear of being sent to an asylum.
– Henry Adams , letter to Brooks Adams (November 23, 1900)

Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.
– Henry Adams , The Education of Henry Adams (1906)

My belief is that science is to wreck us, and that we are like monkeys monkeying with a loaded shell; we don’t in the least know or care where our practically infinite energies come from or will bring us to.
– Henry Adams , letter to Brooks Adams (August 10, 1902)

No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else.
– Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, Chapter 7 (1906)

Positively I sit here, and look at Europe sink, first one deck disappearing, then another, and the whole ship slowly plunging bow-down into the abyss; until the nightmare gets to be howling. The Roman Empire was a trifle to it.
– Henry Adams , letter to Elizabeth Cameron (April 22, 1901)

Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic ... No mind is so well balanced as to bear the strain of seizing unlimited force without habit or knowledge of it; and finding it disputed with him by hungry packs of wolves and hounds whose lives depend on snatching the carrion.
– Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, Chapter 28 (1906)

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
– Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, Chapter 24 (1906)

Thank God, I never was cheerful. I come from the happy stock of the Mathers, who, as you remember, passed sweet mornings reflecting on the goodness of God and the damnation of infants.
– Henry Adams , letter to Elizabeth Cameron (December 20, 1914)

The more I live here in western Europe, the more I am impressed by the sense of decay; not the graceful and dignified decay of an oriental, but the vulgar and sordid decay of a bankrupt cotton-mill.
– Henry Adams , letter to Elizabeth Cameron (January 20, 1898)

The Southern secessionists were certainly unbalanced in mind – fit for medical treatment, like other victims of hallucination, – haunted by suspicion, by idées fixes, by violent morbid excitement; but this was not all. They were stupendously ignorant of the world. As a class, the cotton-planters were mentally one-sided, ill-balanced, and provincial to a degree rarely known. They were a close society on whom the new fountains of power had poured a stream of wealth and slaves that acted like oil on flame. They showed a young student his first object-lesson of the way in which excess of power worked when held by inadequate hands.
– Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, Chapter 7 (1906)

You may cut off the heads of every rich man now living – of every statesman – every literary, and every scientific authority, without in the least changing the social situation. Artists, of course, disappeared long ago as social forces. So did the church. Corporations are not elevators, but levellers, as I see them.
– Henry Adams , letter to Brooks Adams (January 30, 1910)

You seem to think that I am adapted to nothing but the sugar-plums of intellect and had better not try to digest anything stronger.... a writer of popular sketches in magazines; a lecturer before Lyceums and College societies; a dabbler in metaphysics, poetry, and art, than which I would rather die, for if it has come to that, alas! verily, as you say, mediocrity has fallen on the name of Adams.
– Henry Adams , letter to Charles Francis Adams Jr. (February 9, 1859)

 

More on    John Adams (1735–1826), second U.S. president

... a revolution of government is the strongest proof that can be given by a people of their virtue and good sense.
– John Adams, Journal (1786)

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
– John Adams, "Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials" (December 1770)
(see Tobias Smollett)

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.
– John Adams, "Thoughts on Government" (April 1776)

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
– John Adams

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one man is a shame, two is a lawfirm, and three or more is a congress.
– John Adams

Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyranical and cruel as unlimited despots.
– John Adams, letter to a friend in England, quoted in Jefferson's Great Gamble by Charles A. Cerami. (1789)

No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.
– John Adams

The proposition that the people are the best keepers of their own liberties is not true. They are the worst conceivable, they are no keepers at all; they can neither judge, act, think, or will, as a political body.
– John Adams

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
– John Adams, Journal (1772)

We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.
– John Adams, "Thoughts on Government" (April 1776)

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
– John Adams

 

More on    John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), 6th US President (1825-29), eldest son of John Adams, 2nd US president.

All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.
– John Quincy Adams

All rising to great place is by a winding stair.
– John Quincy Adams, speech at Plymouth, Massachusetts

All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.
– John Quincy Adams

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
– John Quincy Adams

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
– John Quincy Adams

[America] well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.
– John Quincy Adams, speech (July 4, 1821)

Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom.
– John Quincy Adams

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
– John Quincy Adams

Duty is ours; results are God's.
– John Quincy Adams

From the time we became an independant nation, it was as much a law of nature that this would become our claim as that the Mississippi should flow to sea.
– John Quincy Adams

I inhabit a week, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in on by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair.
– John Quincy Adams

Idleness is sweet, and its consequences are cruel.
– John Quincy Adams

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
– John Quincy Adams

In charity to all mankind, bearing no malice or ill-will to any human being, and even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow-men, not knowing what they do.
– John Quincy Adams, in a letter to A. Bronson

It is essential ... that you should form and adopt certain rules or principles, for the government of your own conduct and temper. Unless you have such rules and principles, there will be numberless occasions on which you will have no guide for your government but your passions...It is in the Bible, you must learn them, and from the Bible how to practice them.
– John Quincy Adams

Man wants but little here below
Nor wants that little long,
'Tis not with me exactly so;
But 'tis so in the song.
My wants are many, and, if told,
Would muster many a score;
And were each wish a mint of gold,
I still should long for more.
– John Quincy Adams, "The Wants of Man"

Not stones, nor wood, nor the art of artisans make a state; but where men are who know how to take care of themselves, these are cities and walls.
– John Quincy Adams, in his diary

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
– John Quincy Adams

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.
– John Quincy Adams

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
– John Quincy Adams

Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.
– John Quincy Adams

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
– John Quincy Adams

So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.
– John Quincy Adams

The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God. It contains the history of the creation of the world, and of mankind.
– John Quincy Adams

The declaration that our People are hostile to a government made by themselves, for themselves, and conducted by themselves, is an insult.
– John Quincy Adams, speech in Westmoreland County, Virginia

The die was now cast; I had passed the Rubicon. Swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish with my country was my unalterable determination.
– John Quincy Adams, in a conversation with Jonathan Sewell

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.
– John Quincy Adams

The manners of women are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable in a nation or not.
– John Quincy Adams, in his diary

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.
– John Quincy Adams, letter to Mrs. Adams

Think of your forefathers! Think of your posterity!
– John Quincy Adams, speech at Plymouth, Massachusetts

This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe,
For freedom only deals the deadly blow;
Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade,
For gentle peace in freedom's hallowed shade.
– John Quincy Adams, written in an album

This is the last of earth! I am content.
– John Quincy Adams, last words (February 21, 1848)

This mode of electioneering suited neither my taste nor my principles. I thought it equally unsuitable to my personal character and to the station in which I am placed.
– John Quincy Adams

To live without having a Cicero and a Tacitus at hand seems to me as if it was aprivation of one of my limbs.
– John Quincy Adams

To respect the rights of the State governments is the inviolable duty of that of the Union; the government of every State will feel its own obligation to respect and preserve the rights of the whole.
– John Quincy Adams

Westward the star of empire takes its way.
– John Quincy Adams, speech at Plymouth, Massachusetts

Where annual elections end, there slavery begins.
– John Quincy Adams

Yesterday the greatest question was decided which was ever debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that those United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.
– John Quincy Adams, letter to Mrs. Adams

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
– Scott Adams

I'm slowly becoming a convert to the principle that you can't motivate people to do things, you can only demotivate them. The primary job of the manager is not to empower but to remove obstacles.
– Scott Adams

He who would pass his declining years with honor and comfort, should, when young, consider that he may one day become old, and remember when he is old, that he has once been young.
– Joseph Addison (1672–1719). (see Samuel Johnson)

A thick skin is a gift from God.
– Konrad Adenauer

 

More on   Aeschylus (525 BC–456 BC) Greek tragic poet

A prosperous fool is a grievous burden.
– Aeschylus, Fragment 383

Against a spike
Kick not, for fear it pain thee if thou strike.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, lines 1623–4.

And in this too profit begets profit.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 437

And though all streams flow from a single course to cleanse the blood from polluted hand, they hasten on their course in vain.
– Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, line 72

As long as there are men the bulwark is safe.
– Aeschylus, The Persians, line 349

Ask the gods nothing excessive.
– Aeschylus, The Suppliants

Be bold and boast, just like the cock beside the hen.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 1671

But from the good health of the mind comes that which is dear to all and the object of prayer – happiness.
– Aeschylus, Eumenides, line 535

Call no man happy till he is dead.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 938

Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon

Destiny waits alike for the free man as well as for him enslaved by another's might.
– Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers

Exiles feed on hope.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 1668

Fear hurries on my tongue through want of courage.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 259

Few men have the natural strength to honor a friend's success without envy.
– Aeschylus

For he does not wish to seem but to be just.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 592

For the impious act begets more after it, like to the parent stock.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 758.

For there is no defense for a man who, in the excess of his wealth, has kicked the great altar of Justice out of sight.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 381.

God is not averse to deceit in a holy cause.
– Aeschylus

His resolve is not to seem, but to be, the best.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes

I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon

I say that the dead are slaying the living.
– Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, line 886

I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.
– Aeschylus

If you pour oil and vinegar into the same vessel, you would call them not friends but opponents.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 322

In every tyrant’s heart there springs in the end
This poison, that he cannot trust a friend.
– Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

In few men is it part of nature to respect a friend's prosperity without begrudging him.
– Aeschylus

In war, truth is the first casualty.
– Aeschylus

It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.
– Aeschylus

It is always in season for old men to learn.
– Aeschylus

It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and to rebuke the sufferer.
– Aeschylus

It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon

It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man [makes us believe] the oath.
– Aeschylus

Learning is ever in the freshness of its youth, even for the old.
– Aeschylus

Making it a valid law to learn by suffering.
– Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, line 177

Necessity is stronger far than art.
– Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, line 513

Never in misfortune nor in prosperity may I share my dwelling with the tribe of women.
– Aeschylus,
The Seven Against Thebes, line 187

Obedience is the mother of success, and success the parent of salvation.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 224

Of prosperity mortals can never have enough.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 1331

Only when man's life comes to its end in prosperity can one call that man happy.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon

Shoals of corpses shall witness, mute, even to generations to come, before the eyes of men that we ought never, being mortal, to cast our sights too high.
– Aeschylus, The Persians, line 818

Since long I’ve held silence a remedy for harm.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 177

So, in the Libyan fable it is told
 That once an eagle, stricken with a dart,
  Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
   "With our own feathers, not by others' hand
    Are we now smitten.
– Aeschylus, Fragment (Plumptre's translation), line123

Success is man's god.
– Aeschylus

Sweet is a grief well ended.
– Aeschylus

The evils of mortals are manifold; nowhere is trouble of the same wing seen.
– Aeschylus, The Suppliants, line 327.

The field of doom bears death as its harvest.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 601

The future you shall know when it has come; before then forget it.
– Aeschylus

The reward of suffering is experience.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 185.

The saying goes that the gods leave a town once it is captured.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 217

The wisest of the wise may err.
– Aeschylus

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.
– Aeschylus

These things are not inscribed in tablets, not sealed in the folds of papyri, but you hear them clearly from the tongue in a free mouth.
– Aeschylus, The Suppliants, line 946.

Time as he grows old teaches all things.
– Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

To be rather than to seem.
Latin: Esse quam videri.
– Aeschylus, Siege of Thebes

We have a man who does not boast, but whose hand sees what must be done.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 534

We shall perish by guile just as we slew.
– Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, line 888

We should know clearly before we discuss this matter; to guess is one thing, to know clearly another.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 1368

What atonement is there for blood spilt upon the earth?
– Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, line 48

What exists outside is a man’s concern; let no woman give advice; and do no mischief within doors.
– Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, line 200

When a man's willing and eager, the gods join in.
– Aeschylus

When a tongue fails to send forth appropriate shafts, there might be a word to act as healer of these.
– Aeschylus, The Suppliants, line 446.

Words are the physicians of the mind diseased.
– Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

You shall learn, though late, the lesson of how to be discreet.
– Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 1423

You wish to be thought to act justly rather than to do so.
– Aeschylus, Eumenides, line 430.

 

More on    Aesop, legendary Greek fabulist.

A man who has no enemies has no friends.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Man with No Enemies"

An oak and a reed were arguing about their strength. When a strong wind came up, the reed avoided being uprooted by bending and learning with the gusts of wind. But the oak stood firm and was torn up by the roots.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Oak and the Reeds"

Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

Appearances often are deceiving.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Peacock and Juno"

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass"

Beware that you do not lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Ass and His Shadow"

Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Milkmaid and Her Pail"

Every truth has two sides. It is well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either side.
– Aesop

Familiarity breeds contempt.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Fox and the Lion"

He that is neither one thing nor the other has no friends.
– Aesop

In union there is strength.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Father and His Sons"

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Wolf and the Kid"

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Vain Jackdaw"

Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.
– Aesop, Fables, "The Fox and the Goat"

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
– Aesop

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.
– Aesop

Put your shoulder to the wheel.
– Aesop, Fables, "Hercules and the Wagoner"

The gods help them that help themselves.
– Aesop, Fables, "Hercules and the Wagoner"

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
– Aesop

We often despise what is most useful to us.
– Aesop

Wealth unused might as well not exist.
– Aesop

"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "we have got plenty of food at present."
– Aesop

If the enemy within cannot kill us, then the enemy without can do us no harm.
– African Proverb

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.
– African Proverb

When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.
– African Proverb

The truth which makes men free is often the truth which men prefer not to hear.
– Herbert Agar

Even God cannot change the past.
– Agathon (448–400 BC), Athenian tragic poet

This only is denied to God: the power to undo the past.
– Agathon (448–400 BC), Athenian tragic poet

In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.
– Spiro Agnew (1918–1996), American politician, Nixon's vice-president, in a speech at San Diego

To one extent, if you've seen one city slum, you've seen them all.
– Spiro Agnew (1918–1996), American politician, Nixon's vice-president

Ultra-liberalism today translates into a whimpering isolationism in foreign policy, a mulish obstructionism in domestic policy, and a pusillanimous pussyfooting on the critical issue of law and order.
– Spiro Agnew (1918–1996), American politician, Nixon's vice-president, before he pled nolo contendere on charges of tax evasion on bribes taken when he was governor of Maryland.

Set your expectations high; find men and women whose integrity and values you respect; get their agreement on a course of action; and give them your ultimate trust.
– John Akers

Adversity is the seed of well-doing: it is the nurse of heroism and boldness; who that hath enough, will endanger himself to have more? who that is at ease, will set his life on the hazard?
– Akhenaton? (Egyptian pharaoh, c. 1375 BC)

Labour not after riches first, and think thou afterwards wilt enjoy them. He who neglecteth the present moment, throweth away all that he hath. As the arrow passeth through the heart, while the warrior knew not that it was coming; so shall his life be taken away before he knoweth that he hath it.
– Akhenaton? (Egyptian pharaoh, c. 1375 BC)

To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom;
and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares;
but a contented mind is a hidden treasure,
and trouble findeth it not.
– Akhenaton? (Egyptian pharaoh, c. 1375 BC)

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
– Herm Albright

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.
– Louisa May Alcott

If at first you don't succeed, you're running about average.
– M.H. Alderson

Magnificent desolation.
– "Buzz" Aldrin, astronaut, when he first set foot on the moon

Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
– Alfonso X, the Wise, Spanish king of Castile (1226–1284)

 

More on    Muhammed Ali [Cassius Marcellus Clay] (1942– ) African-American heavyweight boxing champion

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
– Muhammed Ali

I always liked to chase the girls. Parkinson's stops all that. Now I might have a chance to go to heaven.
– Muhammed Ali, calling his Parkinson's Disease a blessing.

I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.
– Muhammed Ali (1975)

I am the greatest.
– Muhammed Ali

I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
– Muhammed Ali

It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I just beat people up.
– Muhammed Ali

It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.
– Muhammed Ali

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
– Muhammed Ali

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
– Muhammed Ali

 

More on    Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) Italian poet

Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here.
Italian: Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate.
– Dante Alighieri

For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?
– Dante Alighieri

How bitter another's bread is, thou shalt know
By tasting it; and how hard to the feet
Another's stairs are, up and down to go.
– Dante Alighieri

My soul tasted that heavenly food, which gives new appetite while it satiates.
Italian: L'anima mia gustava di quel cibo,
Che saziando di se, di se s'asseta.

– Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (XXXI, 128)

Pride, envy, avarice – these are the sparks have set on fire the souls of man.
– Dante Alighieri,

The customs and fashions of men change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come.
– Dante Alighieri, Paradiso (XXVI, 137)

The hottest places in hell are reserved for whose who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
– Dante Alighieri

There is no greater grief than to recall a time of happiness when in misery.
– Dante Alighieri

This audacity of theirs is not new.
Italian: Questa lor tracotanza non e nuova.
– Dante Alighieri, Inferno (VIII, 124)

I'm a little tired of writing "I told you so" regarding the Bush Administration and Iraq. We in the anti-war camp have been proven horribly right, and to be honest, continuing to point this out ain't so much fun anymore. American credibility with the world – thanks to the WMD issue – is almost non-existent. Iraq is falling apart and a country that before the war wasn't a haven for Islamic groups such as Al Qa’ida, is now. Pointing out the myriad flaws in logic, misplaced claims, stretched truths and unexamined untruths from Washington no longer helps.
– Christopher Allbritton, freelance journalist

The resistance that has claimed 50+ Americans in direct combat deaths since May 1, and perceived by many to be an anti-coalition or anti-American resistance movement, could be metastasizing into an anti-Western intifada/Arab nationalist revival. It's unlikely a small group of former Ba'athists led by Saddam loyalists are leading the resistance now, and it's pretty obvious that killing Uday and Qusai Hussein was ineffective, seeing as the attacks have increased. Likewise, killing or capturing Saddam Hussein is probably equally ineffective – this is no longer about him.
– Christopher Allbritton, freelance journalist

In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue.
– Ethan Allen (1738–1789) American revolutionary, Reason the Only Oracle of Man (1784)

I have generally been denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism makes me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not strictly speaking, whether I am one or not.
– Ethan Allen (1738–1789) American revolutionary, Reason the Only Oracle of Man (1784)

I have just returned from Boston. It is the only thing to do if you find yourself up there.
– Fred Allen

What's on your mind? If you'll forgive the overstatement.
– Fred Allen

You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.
– James Allen

I didn't accept it. I received it.
– Richard Allen, National Security Advisor to President Reagan, explaining the $1000 in cash and two watches he was given by two Japanese journalists after he helped arrange a private interview for them with First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Buying stock is exactly the same thing as going to a casino, only with no cocktail service.
– Ted Allen

 

More on    Woody Allen [born Allen Stewart Konigsberg} (1935– ) American comic actor, writer, and filmmaker

A "Bay Area Bisexual" told me I didn't quite coincide with either of her desires.
– Woody Allen

A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me and she said "no."
– Woody Allen

Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate.
– Woody Allen

As the poet said,"Only God can make a tree" – probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
– Woody Allen

At the moment it's just a Notion, but with a bit of backing I think I could turn it into Concept, and then an Idea.
– Woody Allen

Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats.
– Woody Allen

Being bisexual doubles your chance of a date on Saturday night.
– Woody Allen

Agathon: But it was you who proved that death doesn't exist.
Socrates: Hey listen – I've proved a lot of things. That's how I pay my rent. Theories and little observations. A puckish remark now and then. Occasional maxims. It beats picking olives, but let's not get carried away.
Agathon: But you have proved many times that the soul is immortal.
Socrates: And it is! On paper. See, that's the thing about philosophy – it's not all that functional once you get out of class.
Simmias: And the eternal "forms"? You said each thing did exist and always will exist.
Socrates: I was talking mostly about heavy objects. A statue or something. With people it's a lot different.
Agathon: But all that talk about death being the same as sleep.
Socrates: Yes, the difference is that when you're dead and somebody yells, "Everybody up, it's morning," it's very hard to find your slippers.
– Woody Allen, "My Apology"

But she was so sweet and we just walked in the park and I was so touched by her that, after fifteen minutes, I wanted to marry her and, after half an hour, I completely gave up the idea of snatching her purse.
– Woody Allen, "Take the Money and Run"

Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.
– Woody Allen

Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak.
– Woody Allen, "The Condemned"

Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue.
– Woody Allen

Don't knock masturbation – it's sex with someone I love.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

Eighty percent of success is showing up.
– Woody Allen

Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it.
– Woody Allen

His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy.
– Woody Allen

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
– Woody Allen, Without Feathers, 1975

How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?
– Woody Allen

How the hell do I know why there were Nazis? I don't even know how the can opener works!
– Woody Allen, "Hannah and Her Sisters"

I am at two with nature.
– Woody Allen

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
– Woody Allen

I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
– Woody Allen

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.
– Woody Allen

I could tell by the sound of your voice over the phone. Very authoritative you know, like the Pope or the computer in 2001.
– Woody Allen, "Manhattan"

I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
– Woody Allen

I don't respond well to mellow, you know what I mean, I-I have a tendency to... if I get too mellow, I-I ripen and then rot.
– Woody Allen

I don't think my parents liked me. They put a live teddy bear in my crib.
– Woody Allen

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.
– Woody Allen

I don't wanna live in a city where the only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

I failed to make the chess team because of my height.
– Woody Allen

I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible would be like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

I had a mad impulse to throw you down on the lunar surface and commit interstellar perversion with you.
– Woody Allen

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.
– Woody Allen

I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys.
– Woody Allen

I interestingly dated a woman in the Eisenhover administration, briefly, and it was ironic to me because I was trying to do to her what Eisenhover has been doing to the country for the last few years.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

I know exactly what I think about all this, but I can never find words to put it in. Maybe if I get a little drunk I could dance it for you.
– Woody Allen, "Shadows and Fog"

I tended to place my wife under a pedestal.
– Woody Allen

I think being funny is not anyone's first choice.
– Woody Allen

I think you should defend to the death their right to march, and then go down and meet them with baseball bats.
– Woody Allen

I thought your line was great about, uh,"life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television." I mean, it's completely true.
– Woody Allen, "Husbands and Wives"

I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
– Woody Allen

I was raised in the Jewish tradition, taught never to marry a Gentile woman, shave on a Saturday night and, most especially, never to shave a Gentile woman on a Saturday night.
– Woody Allen

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead.
– Woody Allen

I'd call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.
– Woody Allen

I'd like to meet the man who invented sex and see what he's working on now.
– Woody Allen

If George W. is sincere about wanting to hunt down and kill the people responsible for Osama Bin Laden, he might as well start with his father. It was the Reagan/Bush CIA, after all, that made Bin Laden what he is today. Everybody knows this, but nobody mentions it – partly because it's so inconvenient, and partly because we're so embarrassed by the obvious Freudian implications of it all, and the thought that thousands and thousands of people may be about to die for what boils down to a rivalry over the sexual favors of Barbara Bush.
– Woody Allen (September 17, 2001)

If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.
– Woody Allen

If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.
– Woody Allen, "Hannah and Her Sisters"

If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right.
– Woody Allen

If my films make one more person miserable, I'll feel I have done my job.
– Woody Allen

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.
– Woody Allen

If there is reincarnation, I'd like to come back as Warren Beatty's fingertips.
– Woody Allen

If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe.
– Woody Allen

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.
– Woody Allen

I'm astounded by people who want to "know" the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.
– Woody Allen

I'm such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.
– Woody Allen

I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.
– Woody Allen

In Beverly Hills they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

In my house I'm the boss, my wife is just the decision maker.
– Woody Allen

Inertia accounts for two-thirds of marriages. But love accounts for the other third.
– Woody Allen, "Hollywood Ending," (2002)

Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought – particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.
– Woody Allen

Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right.
– Woody Allen

It is no secret that organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.
– Woody Allen

It makes up for the strip search.
– Woody Allen, on receiving a standing ovation at the 2002 Academy Awards

Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.
– Woody Allen

It is impossible to experience one's death objectively and still carry a tune.
– Woody Allen

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.
– Woody Allen

It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
– Woody Allen

I've never been an intellectual but I have this look.
– Woody Allen

Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.
– Woody Allen

Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.
– Woody Allen

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it's all over much too soon.
– Woody Allen

Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.
– Woody Allen

Man consists of two parts, his mind and his body, only the body has more fun.
– Woody Allen

Marriage is the death of hope.
– Woody Allen

Men die, but does Cloquet die? This question puzzled him, but a few simple line drawings on a pad done by one of the guards set the whole thing clear.
– Woody Allen, "The Condemned"

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.
– Woody Allen

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
– Woody Allen

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.
– Woody Allen

Linda: My God. Can't you cook anything but that TV dinner?
Allan: Who bothers to cook them? I suck them frozen.
– Woody Allen, "Play It Again, Sam"

My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a quaker.
– Woody Allen

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.
– Woody Allen

Nietzsche says that we will live the same life, over and over again. God – I'll have to sit through the Ice Capades again.
– Woody Allen

Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.
– Woody Allen

Nothing worth knowing can be understood with the mind.
– Woody Allen

Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing "Embraceable You" in spats.
– Woody Allen

On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down.
– Woody Allen

Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast.
– Woody Allen

Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it.
– Woody Allen

Sex between a man and a woman can be absolutely wonderful – provided you get between the right man and the right woman.
– Woody Allen

Sex is like having dinner: sometimes you joke about the dishes, sometimes you take the meal seriously.
– Woody Allen

Sex between two people is a beautiful thing; between five it's fantastic.
– Woody Allen

Sex is better than talk ... Talk is what you suffer through so you can get to sex.
– Woody Allen, "Hollywood Ending," (2002)

Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's one of the best.
– Woody Allen

She wore a short skirt and a tight sweater and her figure described a set of parabolas that could cause cardiac arrest in a yak.
– Woody Allen

Some guy hit my fender the other day, and I said unto him "Be fruitful and multiply." But not in those exact words.
– Woody Allen

Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness.
– Woody Allen

That was the most fun I've ever had without laughing.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

The baby is fine, the only problem is that he looks like Edward G. Robinson.
– Woody Allen

The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife – a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it's being held.
– Woody Allen

The curtain rises on a vast primitive wasteland, not unlike certain parts of New Jersey.
– Woody Allen

The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you.
– Woody Allen

"The food at this place is really terrible."
And the other one says, "Yeah, I know. And such small portions."
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

The government is unresponsive to the needs of the little man. Under 5'7", it is impossible to get your congressman on the phone.
– Woody Allen

The last time I was in a woman I was visiting the Statue of Liberty.
– Woody Allen, "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989)

The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep.
– Woody Allen

The only time my wife and I had a simultaneous orgasm was when the judge signed the divorce papers.
– Woody Allen

The prison psychiatrist asked me if I thought sex was dirty. I told him only when it's done right.
– Woody Allen

The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have.
– Woody Allen

The whole country was tied together by radio. We all experienced the same heroes and comedians and singers. They were giants.
– Woody Allen

There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.
– Woody Allen, "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989)

There are worst things than death. If you've ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman, you know exactly what I mean.
– Woody Allen, "Love and Death" (1975)

There's nothing sexier than a lapsed Catholic.
– Woody Allen, "Alice" (1990)

Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
– Woody Allen

Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.
– Woody Allen

Sonja: To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love, but then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy then is to suffer but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore to be unhappy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.
– Woody Allen, "Love and Death"

To YOU I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
– Woody Allen

Tradition is the illusion of permanance.
– Woody Allen

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
– Woody Allen

What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream? Or what's worse, what if only that fat guy in the third row exists?
– Woody Allen

What is it about death that bothers me so much? Probably the hours.
– Woody Allen, Without Feathers (1975)

When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room.
– Woody Allen

When the Academy called, I panicked. I thought they might want their Oscars back and the pawn shop has been out of business for awhile.
– Woody Allen, at the 2002 Academy Awards

When we played softball, I'd steal second base, feel guilty and go back.
– Woody Allen

Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?
– Woody Allen

You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
– Woody Allen

Annie: You know I just like to smoke a little something before sex, it helps me relax.
Alvy: How about I give you some Sodium Pentathol and can sleep through the whole thing.
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

Alvy: You look like a really happy couple? Are you?
Woman: Yeah.
Alvy: Yeah? So how to you count for it?
Woman: I am very shallow and empty, and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say.
Man: And I'm exactly the same way.
Alvy: I see. That's very interesting. So you managed to work out something?
Man: Right!
– Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

You use sex to express every emotion except love.
– Woody Allen, "Husbands and Wives"

How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak?
– Isabel Allende

The poet and the baker are brothers in the essential task of nourishing the world.
– Isabel Allende

As a nation we have revisited that bitter lesson all too often since the school prayer decision of 1962. In the name of prayer and "family values," large numbers of citizens have reacted to their neighbors with hate and anger when public school religious practices have been challenged as violating the Bill of Rights. It is astounding and depressing to witness people who claim that school prayer is necessary to return the nation to spiritual values, attacking with vicious and intemperate behavior fellow citizens who disagree with their solution. In the name of their deity, these self-styled keepers of public morality exhibit the most outrageous forms of discrimination, hate, and intimidation against those who challenge organized prayer in public schools. And the venom has not been diluted over the thirty-four years since Engle. Further, on those occasions where the challenge to school prayer originated with Jewish citizens, the ugly head of anti-Semitism lurks all too close to the surface.
– Robert S. Alley, Without a Prayer: Religious Expression in Public Schools, page 22

Over and over again throughout this book we witness the majority of citizens in a given community, in the name of prayer, abusing and tyrannizing those who have challenged local- or state-endorsed religious practices. And these represent only a few examples: the problem itself is too widespread for every instance to be included here. Establishment in the name of the majority has bred hooligans ready to threaten fellow citizens, harassing both adults and children alike in the name of prayer. The disease of de facto religious establishments is evident today in the vicious treatment by community majorities of those courageous citizens who seek protection under the First Amendment.
– Robert S. Alley, Without a Prayer: Religious Expression in Public Schools, (back cover)

Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
– Alonzo of Aragon, as quoted by Francis Bacon in Apothegm

What's a cult? It just means not enough people to make a minority.
– Robert Altman, film director, Interview, The Observer (London) (April 11, 1981)

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.
– Oscar Ameringer (from Politicians and Other Scoundrels by Ferdinand Lundberg)

Oh, order! Material order, intellectual order, moral order! What a comfort and strength, and what an economy! To know where we are going and what we want; that is order. To keep one’s word, to do the right thing, and at the right time: more order. To have everything under one’s hand, to put one’s whole army through its manoeuvres, to work with all one’s resources: still order. To discipline one’s habits and efforts and wishes, to organize one’s life and distribute one’s time, to measure one’s duties and assert one’s rights, to put one’s capital and resources, one’s talents and opportunities to profit: again and always order. Order is light, peace, inner freedom, self-determination: it is power. To conceive order, to return to order, to realize order in oneself, around oneself, by means of oneself, this is aesthetic and moral beauty, it is well-being, it is what ought to be.
– Henri Frédéric Amiel (1821–1881), journal entry, The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel (January 27, 1860)

No power or virtue of man could ever have deserved that what has been fated should not have taken place.
Latin, Nulla vis humana vel virtus meruisse unquam potuit, ut, quod praescripsit fatalis ordo, non fiat.
– Marcellinus Ammianus (–c. 395), Roman historian from Antioch, Historia (XXIII)

Wicked acts are accustomed to be done with impunity for the mere desire of occupation.
Latin: Solent occupationis spe vel impune quaedam scelesta committi.
– Marcellinus Ammianus (–c. 395), Roman historian from Antioch, Historia (XXX)

 

More on    Anacharsis (6th century BC), Scythian prince and philosopher

At Athens, wise men propose, and fools dispose.
– Anacharsis

Play so that you may be serious.
– Anacharsis

Wise men argue cases, fools decide them.
– Anacharsis

Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will like them only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
– Anacharsis, to Solon when writing his laws

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
– Hans Christian Andersen

 

More on    Dwayne Andreas U.S. businessman, Chairman Emeritus of Archer Daniels Midland, political campaign contributor

There isn't one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country.
– Dwayne Andreas

If everything's under control, you're going too slow.
– Mario Andretti, race car driver

[YAF] emerged to offer an ideological and structural critique of the reigning liberalism. They sought to reject, not reform, the consensus liberalism.
– John A. Andrew III, historian, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics

 

More on    Maya Angelou [Marguerite Johnson] (1928– ), African-American poet, writer, activist

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
– Maya Angelou

Achievement brings its own anticlimax.
– Maya Angelou

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
– Maya Angelou

As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them.
– Maya Angelou

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.
– Maya Angelou

At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.
– Maya Angelou

Being a woman is hard work.
– Maya Angelou

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean.
– Maya Angelou

Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
– Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Chapter 17 (1969)

Effective action is always unjust.
– Maya Angelou

For Africa to me ... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerance. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.
– Maya Angelou

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
– Maya Angelou

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!
– Maya Angelou

Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure.
– Maya Angelou

I find it interresting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at commensurate speed.
– Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
– Maya Angelou

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.
– Maya Angelou

I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition – about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive.
– Maya Angelou

If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat.
– Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.
– Maya Angelou

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
– Maya Angelou

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning "Good morning" at total strangers.
– Maya Angelou

I'm a spring leaf trembling in anticipation.
– Maya Angelou

It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.
– Maya Angelou

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: "I'm with you kid. Let's go."
– Maya Angelou

Living a life is like constructing a building: if you start wrong, you'll end wrong.
– Maya Angelou

Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style.
– Maya Angelou

Lyrical poetry is out for the time being, and something that is called rap or hip-hop is in. It is still poetry, and we can't live without it. We need language to tell us who we are, how we feel, what we're capable of – to explain the pains and glory of our existence.
– Maya Angelou

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
– Maya Angelou

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway."
– Maya Angelou

Now, after years of observation and enough courage to admit what I have observed, I try to plant peace if I do not want discord; to plant loyalty and honesty if I want to avoid betrayal and lies.
– Maya Angelou

One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
– Maya Angelou

Self-pity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.
– Maya Angelou

Some critics will write "Maya Angelou is a natural writer" – which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.
– Maya Angelou

Talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it.
– Maya Angelou

The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.
– Maya Angelou

The honorary duty of a human being is to love.
– Maya Angelou

The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.
– Maya Angelou

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.
– Maya Angelou

The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.
– Maya Angelou, quoted by Dr. Paul Gorski, "Multicultural Pavilion: Quotations and Proverbs"

The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.
– Maya Angelou, quoted by Dr. Paul Gorski, "Multicultural Pavilion: Quotations and Proverbs"

The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.
– Maya Angelou

The white American man makes the white American woman maybe not superfluous but just a little kind of decoration. Not really important to turning around the wheels of the state. Well the black American woman has never been able to feel that way. No black American man at any time in our history in the United States has been able to feel that he didn't need that black woman right against him, shoulder to shoulder – in that cotton field, on the auction block, in the ghetto, wherever.
– Maya Angelou

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
– Maya Angelou

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.
– Maya Angelou

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.
– Maya Angelou

We really are 15 countries, and it's remarkable that each of us thinks we represent the real America. The Midwesterner in Kansas, the black American in Durham – both are certain they are the real American.
– Maya Angelou, quoted by Dr. Paul Gorski, "Multicultural Pavilion: Quotations and Proverbs"

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.
– Maya Angelou

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
– Maya Angelou

Among the more irritating consequences of our flagrantly religious society is the special dispensation that mainstream religions receive. We all may talk about religion as a powerful social force, but unlike other similarly powerful institutions, religion is not to be questioned, criticized or mocked.
– Natalie Angier, "Confessions of a Lonely Atheist," in New York Times Magazine (January 14, 2001)

With a large bird above me, I am walking around the sky. I entrust myself to the wind.
– Anishinaabeg dream song

A wise man learns by the experience of others. An ordinary man learns by his own experience. A fool never learns.
– Anonymous

Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.
– Anonymous

Experience is something you get too late to do anything about the mistakes you made while getting it.
– Anonymous

Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.
– Anonymous

Education is what you get from reading the fine print. Experience is what you get for not reading it.
– Anonymous

Experience is what you got by not having it when you need it.
– Anonymous

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.
– Anonymous

Sixty-five is the age when one acquires sufficient experience to lose his job.
– Anonymous

The best advice you'll get is from someone who made the same mistake himself.
– Anonymous

The study of the Bible is a post graduate course in the richest library of human experience.
– Anonymous

Trouble brings experience, and experience brings wisdom.
– Anonymous

 

More on    Susan B[rownell] Anthony (1820–1906), American feminist leader and suffragist

Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.
– Susan B. Anthony, The Revolution (woman suffrage newspaper) March 18, 1869

The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God.
– Susan B. Anthony, quoted in Rufus K. Noyes, Views of Religion

 

More on    Antisthenes (444 BC–371 BC), Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, founder of the Cynic school of philosophy; urged return to simplicity of nature.

As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.
– Antisthenes

It is better to fall among crows than flatterers; for those devour only the dead – these the living.
– Antisthenes

Not to unlearn what you have learned is the most necessary kind of learning.
– Antisthenes

Observe your enemies, for they first find out your faults.
– Antisthenes

On being praised by some wicked men, I am sadly afraid that I must have done some wicked thing.
– Antisthenes

Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.
– Antisthenes

Quarrels often arise in marriages when the bridal gifts are excessive.
– Antisthenes

Royalty does good and is badly spoken of.
– Antisthenes

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.
– Antisthenes

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.
– Antisthenes

We must not contradict, but instruct him that contradicts us; for a madman is not cured by another running mad also.
– Antisthenes

When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life.
– Antisthenes

As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power.
– Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.
– Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy.
– Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.
– Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

He who predicts the future is lying even if he tells the truth.
– Arab saying

Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.
– Arab saying

Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you.
– Yassir Arafat, chairman, Palestine Liberation Organization

Give me a firm place to stand, and I will move the earth.
– Archimedes

 

More on    Aristotle (384–322 B.C.), Greek philosopher

A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and unskilled labor.
– Aristotle

A friend is a second self.
– Aristotle

A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.
– Aristotle

A human being is a naturally political [animal].
– Aristotle

A true friend is one soul in two bodies.
– Aristotle

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
– Aristotle

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.
– Aristotle

All men by nature desire to know.
– Aristotle

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
– Aristotle

All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.
– Aristotle

All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.
– Aristotle

Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way; this is not easy.
– Aristotle

As a rock on the seashore he standeth firm, and the dashing of the waves disturbeth him not. He raiseth his head like a tower on a hill, and the arrows of fortune drop at his feet. In the instant of danger, the courage of his heart sustaineth him; and the steadiness of his mind beareth him out.
– Aristotle

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.
– Aristotle

Bad men are full of repentance.
– Aristotle

Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.
– Aristotle

Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.
– Aristotle

Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your increased means permit.
– Aristotle

Change in all things is sweet.
– Aristotle

Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses and avoids.
– Aristotle

Civil confusions often spring from trifles but decide great issues.
– Aristotle

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
– Aristotle

Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.
– Aristotle

Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.
– Aristotle

Different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government.
– Aristotle

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.
– Aristotle

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.
– Aristotle

Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.
– Aristotle, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
– Aristotle

For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.
– Aristotle

For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first.
– Aristotle

For what is the best choice, for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.
– Aristotle

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.
– Aristotle

Friendship is essentially a partnership.
– Aristotle

Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.
– Aristotle

Happiness depends upon ourselves.
– Aristotle

He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
– Aristotle

Homer has taught all other poets the are of telling lies skillfully.
– Aristotle

Hope is a waking dream.
– Aristotle, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.
– Aristotle

Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.
– Aristotle

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
– Aristotle, in Stobaeus, Florilegium

I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
– Aristotle, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.
– Aristotle

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.
– Aristotle

If the hammer and the shuttle could move themselves, slavery would be unnecessary.
– Aristotle

In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.
– Aristotle

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
– Aristotle

In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.
– Aristotle

In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.
– Aristotle

In the arena of human life the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities.
– Aristotle

It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered.
– Aristotle

It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken.
– Aristotle

It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
– Aristotle

It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.
– Aristotle

It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
– Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics"

It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.
– Aristotle

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
– Aristotle

It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
– Aristotle

Law is mind without reason.
– Aristotle

Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.
– Aristotle, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
– Aristotle

Man is by nature a political animal.
– Aristotle

Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law, and without justice.
– Aristotle

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way ... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
– Aristotle

Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.
– Aristotle

Men come together in cities in order to live: they remain together in order to live the good life.
– Aristotle

Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.
– Aristotle

Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
– Aristotle, "Eudemian Ethics"

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
– Aristotle

Most people would rather give than get affection.
– Aristotle

Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.
– Aristotle

My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.
– Aristotle

Nature does nothing uselessly.
– Aristotle

No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.
– Aristotle

No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
– Aristotle

No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.
– Aristotle

No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world.
– Aristotle

Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
– Aristotle

One swallow does not make a summer.
– Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.
– Aristotle

Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
– Aristotle

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.
– Aristotle

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
– Aristotle

Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness.
– Aristotle

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
– Aristotle

Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.
– Aristotle

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
– Aristotle

Revolutions are not about trifles, but spring from trifles.
– Aristotle

Strange that the vanity which accompanies beauty – excusable, perhaps, when there is such great beauty, or at any rate understandable – should persist after the beauty was gone.
– Aristotle

Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.
– Aristotle

That in the soul which is called the mind is, before it thinks, not actually any real thing.
– Aristotle

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
– Aristotle

The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.
– Aristotle

The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men.
– Aristotle

The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.
– Aristotle

The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class.
– Aristotle

The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.
– Aristotle

The end of labor is to gain leisure.
– Aristotle

The generality of men are naturally apt to be swayed by fear rather than reverence, and to refrain from evil rather because of the punishment that it brings than because of its own foulness.
– Aristotle

The gods too are fond of a joke.
– Aristotle

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
– Aristotle

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.
– Aristotle

The law is reason, free from passion.
– Aristotle

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.
– Aristotle

The moral virtues, then, are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit.
– Aristotle

The more thou dost advance, the more thy feet pitfalls will meet. The Path that leadeth on is lighted by one fire – the light of daring burning in the heart. The more one dares, the more he shall obtain. The more he fears, the more that light shall pale – and that alone can guide.
– Aristotle

The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.
– Aristotle

The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.
– Aristotle

The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
– Aristotle

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
– Aristotle

The secret to humor is surprise.
– Aristotle

The soul never thinks without a picture.
– Aristotle

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.
– Aristotle

The vigorous are no better than the lazy during one half of life, for all men are alike when asleep.
– Aristotle

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.
– Aristotle

The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life – knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live.
– Aristotle

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
– Aristotle

There are some jobs in which it is impossible for a man to be virtuous.
– Aristotle

There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
– Aristotle

There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
– Aristotle

Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.
– Aristotle

This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own.
– Aristotle

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.
– Aristotle

Those who excel in virtue have the best right of all to rebel, but then they are of all men the least inclined to do so.
– Aristotle

Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last.
– Aristotle

To give a satisfactory decision as to the truth it is necessary to be rather an arbitrator than a party to the dispute.
– Aristotle

To perceive is to suffer.
– Aristotle

To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill.
– Aristotle

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Aristotle

We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.
– Aristotle

We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace.
– Aristotle

We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
– Aristotle

We make war that we may live in peace.
– Aristotle

We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.
– Aristotle

We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time.
– Aristotle

Well begun is half done.
– Aristotle

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
– Aristotle, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.
– Aristotle

What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions.
– Aristotle

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
– Aristotle

Wit is educated insolence.
– Aristotle

Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.
– Aristotle

Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.
– Aristotle

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
– Aristotle

Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing.
– Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics"

Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.
– Aristotle

 

More on    Ayi Kwei Armah (1939– ), Ghanaian novelist and poet

How have we come to be mere mirrors to annihilation? For whom do we aspire to reflect our people's death? For whose entertainment shall we sing our agony? In what hopes? That the destroyers, aspiring to extinguish us, will suffer conciliatory remorse at the sight of their own fantastic success? The last imbecile to dream such a dream is dead, killed by the saviors of his dream.
– Ayi Kwei Armah, 2000 Seasons

Ra's no self-created god
Ra is our self-creation
Ra is us
embracing space
traversing time. So
no my love
whatever we've run short of
this hasty day
its name cannot be
time.
– Ayi Kwei Armah, from "Seed Time"

they dream of substituting
another small tight group
for the one serving its bitter time
at the tip of
the overripe colonial abscess
on this sliver of our continental home
we'we been connected into calling
our state.
– Ayi Kwei Armah, from "News"

You cannot get ahead while you are getting even.
– Dick Armey

If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; if you can't pick it up, paint it.
– US Army saying

Those who await not gifts from chance have conquered fate.
– Matthew Arnold, Victorian English poet

Miracles are doomed; they will drop out like fairies and witchcraft, from among the matter which serious people believe.
– Matthew Arnold, Victorian English poet, Literature and Dogma

Your expression is the most important thing you can wear.
– Sid Ascher

If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right.
– Neil Ascherson, British journalist

For the past fifteen years or so, British governments have tried to persuade the rest of us that the best judges of the national interest are ... businessmen. This may be a ridiculous statement, but – ominously – fewer and fewer people laugh at it.
– Marykay Ash

Civilized people – Muslims, Christians and Jews – all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator. Civilized people of all religious faiths are called to the defense of His creation. We are a nation called to defend freedom – a freedom that is not the grant of any government or document, but is our endowment from God.
– U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, in a February 19, 2003 speech at a Christian broadcasters' convention

 

More on    Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) Russian-born scientist and author

... anger is the common substitute for logic among those who have no evidence for what they desperately want to believe.
– Isaac Asimov, The Tyrannosaurus Prescription

As it happens, Josephus, who mentions John the Baptist, does not mention Jesus. There is, to be sure, a paragraph in his history of the Jews which is devoted to Jesus, but it interrupts the flow of the discourse and seems suspiciously like an afterthought. Scholars generally believe this to have been an insertion by some early Christian editor who, scandalized that Joesphus should talk of the period without mentioning the Messiah, felt the insertion to be a pious act.
– Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible

Creationists make it sound as though a "theory" is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.
– Isaac Asimov

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
– Isaac Asimov, Free Inquiry

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
– Isaac Asimov

If mankind recognizes that war is impossible ... that all national rivalries are foolish ... if they get together any kind of an extension of detente ... then we may pull out of it all the better for it.
– Isaac Asimov

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes.
– Isaac Asimov, The Canadian Atheists Newsletter

It is no one's privilege to despise another. It is only a hard-won right after long experience.
– Isaac Asimov, "C-Chute"

It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.
– Isaac Asimov

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
– Isaac Asimov

Naturally since the Sumerians didn't know what caused the flood any more than we do, they blamed the gods. (That's the advantage of religion. You're never short an explanation for anything.)
– Isaac Asimov, The Tyrannosaurus Prescription

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
– Isaac Asimov

Our lifetime may be the last that will be lived out in a technological society.
– Isaac Asimov

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
– Isaac Asimov

So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe.
– Isaac Asimov

To rebel against a powerful political, economic, religious, or social establishment is very dangerous and very few people do it, except, perhaps, as part of a mob. To rebel against the "scientific" establishment, however, is the easiest thing in the world, and anyone can do it and feel enormously brave, without risking as much as a hangnail. Thus, the vast majority, who believe in astrology and think that the planets have nothing better to do than form a code that will tell them whether tomorrow is a good day to close a business deal or not, become all the more excited and enthusiastic about the bilge when a group of astronomers denounces it.
– Isaac Asimov

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
– Isaac Asimov

The bible must be seen in a cultural context. It didn't just happen. These stories are retreads. But, tell a Christian that – No, No! What makes it doubly sad is that they hardly know the book, much less its origins.
– Isaac Asimov

The first law of dietetics seems to be: if it tastes good, it's bad for you.
– Isaac Asimov

The fundamentalists deny that evolution has taken place; they deny that the earth and the universe as a whole are more than a few thousand years old, and so on. There is ample scientific evidence that the fundamentalists are wrong in these matters, and that their notions of cosmogony have about as much basis in fact as the Tooth Fairy has.
– Isaac Asimov

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
– Isaac Asimov

The young specialist in English Lit, ... lectured me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the Universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern "knowledge" is that it is wrong.
... My answer to him was, "... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
– Isaac Asimov, The Relativity of Wrong,, page 226. (1996)

Thin people are thin because they don't know any better.
– Isaac Asimov

Things do change. The only question is that since thiings are deteriorating so quickly, will society and man's habits change quickly enough?
– Isaac Asimov

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
– Isaac Asimov

Work while the day is long,
While the right arm is strong,
While the life-blood is young,
  Night cometh on.

Work while the sun is high,
In the bright smiling sky;
Swiftly life's minutes fly:
  Night cometh on.

Strive with thy heart and soul;
Press to the distant goal;
Waste not the hours that roll:
  Night cometh on.

Life is a season lent;
Moments are treasures sent;
See that they're wisely spent:
  Night cometh on.

What thy hand finds to do,
That, with thy might, pursue,
With a brave heart and true:
  Night cometh on.

What though we toil in pain,
'Twill not be all in vain;
Haste then the good to gain:
  Night cometh on.

What though grief rack the breast?
Doth there not come a rest?
Let us then do our best:
  Night cometh on.
– John Askham (1825-1894) "Work While it is Day" (1863)

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
– Margaret Atwood

Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad and I will show you a guy you can beat every time.
– Rene Auberjonis

 

More on    W H [Wystan Hugh] Auden (1907–73), British poet

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
– W H Auden

Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.
– W H Auden

It is already possible to imagine a society in which the majority of the population, that is to say, its laborers, will have almost as much leisure as in earlier times was enjoyed by the aristocracy. When one recalls how aristocracies in the past actually behaved, the prospect is not cheerful.
– W H Auden

It takes little talent to see what is under one's nose, a good deal of it to know in what direction to point that organ.
– W H Auden

No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
– W H Auden

Political history is far too criminal a subject to be a fit thing to teach children.
– W H Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
– W H Auden

To save your world you asked this man to die;
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
– W H Auden

The most important truths are likely to be those which ... society at that time least wants to hear.
– W H Auden

We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die.
– W H Auden

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.
– W H Auden

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
– Berthold Auerbach

All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment freshly-baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless new-born infants.
– Saint Augustine

I feel that nothing so casts down the manly mind from it's height as the fondling of women and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state.
– Saint Augustine, De Trinitate 7.7

It is impossible that there should be inhabitants on the opposite side of the Earth, since no such race is recorded by Scripture among the descendants of Adam.
– Saint Augustine

It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word.
– Saint Augustine, Treatise on the Correction of the Donatists (417), page 214

Nothing is so much to be shunned as sex relations.
– Saint Augustine

O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.
– Saint Augustine

Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances, ... and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.
– Saint Augustine, "De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim" (The Literal Meaning of Genesis)

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.
– Saint Augustine

Unless you believe, you will not understand.
– Saint Augustine, De Libero Arbitrio

Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections i n holy men.
– Saint Augustine

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
– Marcus Aurelius

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Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.
– Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor (1792–1871)

I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam.
– Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor (1792–1871), quoted in "In Mathematical Circles" by H. Eves

On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
– Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor (1792–1871)

[It] is like living in a wilderness of mirrors. No fact goes unchallenged.
– Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior under Bill Clinton

If things go wrong, don't go with them.
– Roger Babson

It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.
– Roger Babson

Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.
– Roger Babson

Property may be destroyed and money may lose its purchasing power; but, character, health, knowledge and good judgement will always be in demand under all conditions.
– Roger Babson

The successful man is the one who had the chance and took it.
– Roger Babson

A woman isn't complete without a man. But where do you find a man – a real man – these days?
– Lauren Bacall

And to meet whom did Franklin D Roosevelt find himself tempted to call off the Yalta Conference? Myrna Loy. And to see what lady in what picture did John Dillinger risk coming out of hiding to meet his bullet-ridden death in an alley in Chicago? Myrna Loy, in Manhattan Melodrama.
– Lauren Bacall

Find me a man who's interesting enough to have dinner with and I'll be happy.
– Lauren Bacall

How many women do we know who were continually kissed by Clark Gable, William Powell, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy and Fredric March? Only one: Myrna Loy.
– Lauren Bacall

I am essentially a loner.
– Lauren Bacall

I am not a has-been. I am a will be.
– Lauren Bacall

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.
– Lauren Bacall

I wish Frank Sinatra would just shut up and sing.
– Lauren Bacall

Imagination is the highest kite that one can fly.
– Lauren Bacall

In Hollywood, an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty percent of publicity.
– Lauren Bacall

Looking at yourself in a mirror isn't exactly a study of life.
– Lauren Bacall

They're guys who want to screw around all the time, which interests me not at all. God knows we've done that, been there, and we don't want to do that any more.
– Lauren Bacall

You can't start worrying about what's going to happen. You get spastic enough worrying about what's happening now.
– Lauren Bacall

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.
– Johannes Sebastian Bach

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the rightkeys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
– Johannes Sebastian Bach

Success, or failure, very often arrives on wings that seem mysterious to us.
– Dr. Marcus Bach

We catch on to the truth and technique of expectation in those rare moments when we are stirred by an awareness of a guidance seemingly higher and greater than our own, when for a little while we are taken over by a force and an intelligence above and beyond those commonly felt. Confident and free, filled with wonder and ready acceptance, we permit ourselves to be taken over by our unquestioning self.
– Dr. Marcus Bach

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
– Richard Bach

An idea is never given to you without you being given the power to make it reality. You must, nevertheless, suffer for it.
– Richard Bach

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours.
– Richard Bach

Ask yourself the secret of your success. Listen to your answer, and practice it.
– Richard Bach

Can miles truly separate us from friends? If we want to be with someone we love, aren't we already there?
– Richard Bach

Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?
– Richard Bach

Civilization ... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere.
– Richard Bach

Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends
– Richard Bach

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.
– Richard Bach

Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.
– Richard Bach

Evolution made civilization steward of this planet. A hundred thousand years later, the steward stood before evolution not helper but destroyer, not healer but parasite. So evolution withdrew its gift, passed civilization by, rescued the planet from intelligence and handed it to love.
– Richard Bach

Happiness is the reward we get for living to the highest right we know.
– Richard Bach

Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
– Richard Bach

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.
– Richard Bach

I don't want to do business with those who don't make a profit, because they can't give the best service.
– Richard Bach

I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?
– Richard Bach

If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.
– Richard Bach

If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.
– Richard Bach

If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.
– Richard Bach

In order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.
– Richard Bach

In order to win, you must expect to win.
– Richard Bach

In the United States Christmas has become the rape of an idea.
– Richard Bach

Jonathan is that brilliant little fire that burns within us all, that lives only for those moments when we reach perfection.
– Richard Bach

Learning is finding out what you already know.
– Richard Bach

Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.
– Richard Bach

Live never to be ashamed if anything you say or do is published around the world, even if what is said is not true.
– Richard Bach

Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true.
– Richard Bach

Rarely do members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
– Richard Bach

Strong beliefs win strong men, and then make them stronger.
– Richard Bach

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
– Richard Bach

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
– Richard Bach

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.
– Richard Bach

The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder.
– Richard Bach

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.
– Richard Bach

The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.
– Richard Bach

You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.
– Richard Bach

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.
– Richard Bach

You don't want a million answers as much as you want a few forever questions. The questions are diamonds you hold in the light. Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel.
– Richard Bach

You teach best what you most need to learn.
– Richard Bach

Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.
– Richard Bach

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.
– Burt Bacharach

 

More on    Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962), French philosopher

A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.
– Gaston Bachelard

A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.
– Gaston Bachelard

Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child's world and thus a world event.
– Gaston Bachelard

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.
– Gaston Bachelard

Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectification of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid.
– Gaston Bachelard

Ideas are refined and multiplied in the commerce of minds. In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls.
– Gaston Bachelard

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.
– Gaston Bachelard

Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
– Gaston Bachelard

Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need.
– Gaston Bachelard

Man is an imagining being.
– Gaston Bachelard

One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it.
– Gaston Bachelard

Reverie is not a mind vacuum. It is rather the gift of an hour which knows the plenitude of the soul.
– Gaston Bachelard

The characteristic of scientific progress is our knowing that we did not know.
– Gaston Bachelard

The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.
– Gaston Bachelard

The words of the world want to make sentences.
– Gaston Bachelard

There is no original truth, only original error.
– Gaston Bachelard

To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry.
– Gaston Bachelard

To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.
– Gaston Bachelard

Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.
– Gaston Bachelard

 

More on    Francis Bacon (1561–1626) English philosopher, statesman and writer

A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner.
– Francis Bacon

A good conscience is a continual feast.
– Francis Bacon

A graceful and pleasing figure is a perpetual letter of recommendation.
– Francis Bacon

A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it.
– Francis Bacon

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.
– Francis Bacon

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.
– Francis Bacon

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open.
– Francis Bacon

A trust is an obligation of conscience of one to the will of another.
– Francis Bacon

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
– Francis Bacon

Acorns were good until bread was found.
– Francis Bacon

All colors will agree in the dark.
– Francis Bacon

All rising to great place is by a winding stair.
– Francis Bacon

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
– Francis Bacon, Certain Apophthegms of Lord Bacon (no. IV)

Antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time.
– Francis Bacon

As for the passions and studies of the mind; avoid envy; anxious fears; anger fretting inwards; subtle and knotty inquisitions; joys and exhilarations in excess; sadness not communicated.
– Francis Bacon, Essays, Civil and Moral, XXX, "Of Regiment of Health"

As the births of living creatures, at first, are ill-shapen: so are all Innovations, which are the births of time.
– Francis Bacon

Atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man.
– Francis Bacon

Be not penny-wise. Riches have wings. Sometimes they fly away of themselves, and sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more.
– Francis Bacon

Be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others.
– Francis Bacon

Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
– Francis Bacon

Boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences whence it is bad in council though good in execution.
– Francis Bacon

Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
– Francis Bacon, "Proposition touching Amendment of Laws"

But the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation.
– Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (book I, Advantages of Learning)

By far the best proof is experience.
– Francis Bacon

By indignities men come to dignities.
– Francis Bacon

Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried, or childless men.
– Francis Bacon

Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.
– Francis Bacon

Come home to men's business and bosoms.
– Francis Bacon, Essays (dedication of 9th Edition)

Consistency is the foundation of virtue.
– Francis Bacon

Cure the disease and kill the patient.
– Francis Bacon

Cure the disease and kill the patient.
– Francis Bacon

Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.
– Francis Bacon

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words, or in good order.
– Francis Bacon

Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.
– Francis Bacon

For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
– Francis Bacon

For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.
– Francis Bacon

For cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.
– Francis Bacon

For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour unto learning to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters mechanical, except they be such as may be thought secrets, rarities, and special subtilities, which humour of vain supercilious arrogancy is justly derided in Plato ... But the truth is, they be not the highest instances that give the securest information; as may well be expressed in the tale ... of the philosopher, that while he gazed upwards to the stars fell into the water; for if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it cometh often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small.
– Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, pages 71–72. (1973)

For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with columbine innocence, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent: his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced.
– Francis Bacon

For my name and memory I leave to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations and the next ages.
– Francis Bacon

Fortune hath somewhat the nature of a woman; if she be too much wooed, she is the farther off.
– Francis Bacon

Fortune is like the market, where, many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall.
– Francis Bacon

God almighty first planted a garden: and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasure.
– Francis Bacon

God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires.
– Francis Bacon

God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave.
– Francis Bacon

God's first creature, which was light.
– Francis Bacon

Good fame is like fire; when you have kindled you may easily preserve it; but if you extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again.
– Francis Bacon

He of whom many are afraid ought to fear many.
– Francis Bacon

He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.
– Francis Bacon

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
– Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
– Francis Bacon

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
– Francis Bacon

Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.
– Francis Bacon

Houses are built to live in, and not to look on: therefore let use be preferred before uniformity.
– Francis Bacon, Essays, "Of Building" (1623)

I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death.
– Francis Bacon

I had rather believe all the Fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a Mind.
– Francis Bacon

I have taken all knowledge to be my province.
– Francis Bacon

I hold every man a debtor to his profession.
– Francis Bacon

I think of life as meaningless, but we give it meaning during our own existence.
– Francis Bacon

I would live to study, and not study to live.
– Francis Bacon

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.
– Francis Bacon

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties. (1605)
– Francis Bacon

If money be not they servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.
– Francis Bacon
see
Italian proverb

If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and are patient in them, we shall end in certainties.
– Francis Bacon (1605)

If we do not maintain Justice, Justice will not maintain us.
– Francis Bacon

Ill Fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not.
– Francis Bacon

Imagination was given man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
– Francis Bacon

In charity there is no excess.
– Francis Bacon

In every great time there is some one idea at work which is more powerful than any other, and which shapes the events of the time and determines their ultimate issues.
– Francis Bacon

In taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior, for it is a prince's part to pardon.
– Francis Bacon, Essays (1625)

In things that a man would not be seen in himself, it is a point of cunning to borrow the name of the world; as to say, "The world says," or "There is a speech abroad."
– Francis Bacon, Essays, "Of Cunning" (1623)

[It has been well said that] the arch-flatterer with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence is a man's self.
– Francis Bacon, quoted in Essays

It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear.
– Francis Bacon

It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth ... and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below.
– Francis Bacon

It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self.
– Francis Bacon

It is as hard and severe a thing to be a true politician as to be truly moral.
– Francis Bacon

It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
– Francis Bacon

It is the true office of history to represent the events themselves, together with the counsels, and to leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and faculty of every man's judgment.
– Francis Bacon

It was prettily devised of Aesop, "The fly sat on the axle tree of the chariot wheel and said, what dust do I raise!"
– Francis Bacon

Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws.
– Francis Bacon

Judges ought to be more leaned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.
– Francis Bacon

Knowledge is power.
Latin: Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.
– Francis Bacon: 12 Meditationes Sacrae De Haeresibus.

Lies are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on substance.
– Francis Bacon

Life, an age to the miserable, and a moment to the happy.
– Francis Bacon
see
Publilius Syrus and Albert Einstein

Little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
– Francis Bacon

Look to make your course regular, that men may know beforehand what they may expect.
– Francis Bacon

Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled. Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still he was never a whit abashed, but said, "If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill."
– Francis Bacon, "Of Boldness"

Man seeketh in society comfort, use and protection.
– Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)

Many a man's strength is in opposition, and when he faileth, he grows out of use.
– Francis Bacon

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
– Francis Bacon

Men in great place are thrice servants, – servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Great Place"

Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.
– Francis Bacon, Essay XLII, "Of Youth and Age"

Men on their side must force themselves for a while to lay their notions by and begin to familiarize themselves with facts.
– Francis Bacon

Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.
– Francis Bacon

Mysteries are due to secrecy.
– Francis Bacon

Nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body, and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions if they be not altogether open. Therefore set it down: That a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral.
– Francis Bacon

Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.
– Francis Bacon

Nature is commanded by obeying her.
– Francis Bacon

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.
– Francis Bacon

Next to religion, let your care be to promote justice.
– Francis Bacon

No man's fortune can be an end worthy of his being.
– Francis Bacon

No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Truth"

None of the affections have been noted to fascinate and bewitch but envy.
– Francis Bacon

Nothing destroys authority more than the unequal and untimely interchange of power stretched too far and relaxed too much.
– Francis Bacon

Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
– Francis Bacon

Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety.
– Francis Bacon

Nuptial love makes mankind; friendly love perfects it; but wanton love corrupts and debases it.
– Francis Bacon

Of great wealth there is no real use, except in its distribution, the rest is just conceit.
– Francis Bacon

Opportunity makes a thief.
– Francis Bacon

Our humanity is a poor thing, except for the divinity that stirs within us.
– Francis Bacon

People of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon and seldom drive business home to its conclusion, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.
– Francis Bacon

People of great position are servants times three, servants of their country, servants of fame, and servants of business.
– Francis Bacon

People usually think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and ingrained opinions, but generally act according to custom.
– Francis Bacon

Pictures and shapes are but secondary objects and please or displease only in the memory.
– Francis Bacon

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.
– Francis Bacon

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.
– Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
– Francis Bacon

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
– Francis Bacon

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
– Francis Bacon

Riches are for spending.
– Francis Bacon

Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt.
– Francis Bacon

Silence is the virtue of fools.
– Francis Bacon

Small amounts of philosophy lead to atheism, but larger amounts bring us back to God.
– Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
– Francis Bacon, Essay, "Of Studies"

States as great engines move slowly.
– Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, Book ii (1605)

Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner.
– Francis Bacon

Suspicion amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they never fly by twilight.
– Francis Bacon

Suspicions that the mind, of itself, gathers, are but buzzes; but suspicions that are artificially nourished and put into men's heads by the tales and whisperings of others, have stings.
– Francis Bacon

That things are changed, and that nothing really perishes, and that the sum of matter remains exactly the same, is sufficiently certain.
– Francis Bacon

The best armor is to keep out of gunshot.
– Francis Bacon

The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
– Francis Bacon

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it.
– Francis Bacon, Essay, "On Goodness"

The fortune which nobody sees makes a person happy and unenvied.
– Francis Bacon

The French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are.
– Francis Bacon

The genius, wit, and the spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs.
– Francis Bacon

The great advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three. First to lay asleep opposition and to surprise. For where a man's intentions are published, it is an alarum to call up all that are against them. The second is to reserve a man's self a fair retreat: for if a man engage himself, by a manifest declaration, he must go through, or take a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind of another. For to him that opens himself, men will hardly show themselves adverse; but will fair let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought.
– Francis Bacon

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears.
– Francis Bacon

The laws of the most kingdoms and states have been like buildings of many pieces, and patched up from time to time according to occasion, without frame or model. ... This continual heaping up of laws without digesting them maketh but a chaos and confusion, and turneth the laws many times to become but snares for the people. ... Then look into the state of your laws and justice of your land: purge out multiplicity of laws: clear the incertainty of them: repeal those that are snaring; and press the execution of those that are wholesome and necessary ...
– Francis Bacon

The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes the middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy (science); for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay up in the memory whole, as it finds it, but lays it up in the understanding altered and disgested. Therefore, from a closer and purer league between these two faculties, the experimental and the rational (such as has never been made), much may be hoped.
– Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power.
– Francis Bacon

The mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands.
– Francis Bacon

The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.
– Francis Bacon

The person is a poor judge who by an action can be disgraced more in failing than they can be honored in succeeding.
– Francis Bacon

The place of justice is a hallowed place.
– Francis Bacon

The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man's body.
– Francis Bacon

The remedy is worse than the disease.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Seditions"
see
Publius Syrus

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.
– Francis Bacon

The wisdom of our ancestors.
– Francis Bacon

The World's a bubble, and the Life of Man Less than a span.
– Francis Bacon, "The World"

The worst solitude is to have no real friendships.
– Francis Bacon

There is a difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man is really so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool.
– Francis Bacon

There is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man's self.
– Francis Bacon

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Beauty"

There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.
– Francis Bacon

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
– Francis Bacon

They that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils.
– Francis Bacon

This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half.
– Francis Bacon

This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.
– Francis Bacon

Time is the measure of business.
– Francis Bacon

To be free minded and cheerfully disposed at hours of meat and sleep and of exercise is one of the best precepts of long lasting.
– Francis Bacon, Essays, Civil and Moral, XXX, "Of Regiment of Health"

To choose time is to save time.
– Francis Bacon

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Travel"

Truth arises more readily from error than from confusion.
– Francis Bacon

Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.
– Francis Bacon

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.
– Francis Bacon

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Beauty"

We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
– Francis Bacon

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.
– Francis Bacon

   What then remains but that we still should cry
For being born, and, being born, to die?
– Francis Bacon, paraphrase of a Greek epigram, in "The World"

Who ever is out of patience is out of possession of their soul.
– Francis Bacon

Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.
– Francis Bacon

   Who then to frail mortality shall trust
But limns on water, or but writes in dust.
– Francis Bacon, "The World"

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.
– Francis Bacon

Without friends the world is but a wilderness. There is no man that imparteth his joys to his friends, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his grieves to his friend, but he grieveth the less.
– Francis Bacon

Wives are young men's mistresses; companions for middle age, and old men's nurses.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Marriage and Single Life"

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
– Francis Bacon

Young people are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and more fit for new projects than for settled business.
– Francis Bacon, "Of Youth and Age"

 

More on    Roger Bacon (1214–1292), English friar, studied languages, mathematics, optics and science

Argument is conclusive ... but ... it does not remove doubt, so that the mind may rest in the sure knowledge of the truth, unless it finds it by the method of experiment. For if any man who never saw fire proved by satisfactory arguments that fire burns. his hearer's mind would never be satisfied, nor would he avoid the fire until he put his hand in it that he might learn by experiment what argument taught.
– Roger Bacon

For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics.
– Roger Bacon, Opus Majus (1266–1267)

It is the perennial youthfulness of mathematics itself which marks it off with a disconcerting immortality from the other sciences.
– Roger Bacon, Opus Majus (1266–1267)

Mathematics is the door and the key to the sciences.
– Roger Bacon

Neglect of mathmatics works injury to all knowledge, since he who ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of this world. And what is worse, is that men who are thus ignorant are unable to percieve their own ignorance and so do not seek a remedy.
– Roger Bacon

The strongest arguments prove nothing so long as the conclusions are not verified by experience. Experimental science is the queen of sciences and the goal of all speculation.
– Roger Bacon

There are in fact four very different stumbling blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge.
– Roger Bacon, Opus Majus (1266–1267)

There are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience.
– Roger Bacon, Opus Majus (1266–1267)

I do not know what is the good of keeping this country; it [Afghanistan] is nearly all a howling desert, with a little cultivation along the few river banks. However, personally, I do not mind how long they keep it, it is a jolly climate. These Afghans are awful-looking sportsmen, fine big fellows with great hooked noses and long hair, in loose white clothing, and very murderous. Since we have been here six of our native servants have disappeared and have never been seen again. One of them was the head cook of our mess; we suspected a village near by of murdering him, for he went to buy eggs, so we sent a squadron out there with the political officer and they searched the place, but of course found no signs of the old boy; if they had they would have probably hanged some of the villagers and burned the place.
– Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the World Scout Movement, Memories of India, Chapter 8

In 1880 we were at war with the Afghans under Ayub Khan. It happened this way. Owing to supposed machinations of the Russians with the Ameer of Afghanistan, an expedition was sent to Kabul in November 1878. This force passed through the Khyber Pass and took up its position at Jalalabad and other places on the road to Kabul. At the same time Sir Donald Stewart marched a force through the Bolan Pass into Baluchistan and seized Kandahar. Sir Frederick (now Earl) Roberts, with a third force, marched up into the Kuram valley and on into Afghanistan, defeating the Afghan troops at Paiwar Kotal.
    Under these defeats the Ameer Shere Ali fled the country and died soon afterwards. He was succeeded by his son, Yakub Khan, who then made terms with the British, whose troops left the country, while Major Cavagnari was installed as British Resident at Kabul. A few months later this officer and his staff were massacred, whereupon a fresh expedition was sent into Afghanistan under Sir Frederick Roberts who, after defeating the Afghans at Charasia, took the city of Kabul and captured Yakub Khan. His force was then cut off by a rising of the Afghans; but was relieved by Sir Donald Stewart from Kandahar.
    Abdurrahman was now made Ameer (1880) on condition that he remained an ally of the British; but Ayub Khan, a son of the late Ameer, had meantime raised a force in Persia and advanced from Herat against Kandahar. A British force, consisting of about 2,500 British and native troops under General Burrows, went out to oppose him. They met near Maiwand in a heavy mist and our force was surrounded and defeated with heavy loss. In this fight 961 of our officers and men were killed and 168 were wounded or missing.
– Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the World Scout Movement, Memories of India, Chapter 8

Kandahar itself, which I visited many times, was a strange place and more than a trifle dangerous. All the officers and men went about armed, most officers carrying a hog-spear, some of them revolvers. I had a long stout stick with a lanyard to it, and a beautiful smile which I expected would disarm anybody ! But amongst the crowd there were very often fanatics or Ghazis who were only too anxious to stick their knives into a European, as they believed that if they were then killed in consequence of their act they would go straight to Heaven.
– Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the World Scout Movement, Memories of India, Chapter 8

The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given control of the property interests of the country, and upon the successful Management of which so much depends.
Do not be discouraged. Pray earnestly that right may triumph, always remembering that the Lord God Omnipotent still reigns, and that His reign is one of law and order, and not of violence and crime.
– George F. Baer (1842–1914), U.S. railroad magnate and mine owner, open letter to the press during the Pennsylvania miners' strike (August 1902)

They don't suffer. They can't even speak English.
– George F. Baer, mine owner, answering a reporter's question about the suffering of starving miners.

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now.
– Joan Baez (1941– ) US folksinger, political activist.

The world of humanity has two wings, one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly.
– Abdu'l Baha, Persian, eldest son of Bahį'u'llįh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahį'ķ Faith

 

More on    Pearl Bailey (1918–1992) African-American singer, entertainer, UN delegate, humanitarian

A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive.
– Pearl Bailey (1971)

There's a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.
– Pearl Bailey

There is a way to look at the past. Don't hide from it. It will not catch you if you don't repeat it.
– Pearl Bailey (1993)

When you're young, the silliest notions seem the greatest achievements.
– Pearl Bailey, 1968

 

More on    Russell Baker (1925– ) U.S. columnist & journalist, winner of Pulitzer in 1982

A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.
– Russell Baker

A new star with a tremendous national appeal, the skill of a consummate showman.
– Russell Baker

A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab 20 miles out of town to reach it.
– Russell Baker

A solved problem creates two new problems, and the best prescription for happy living is not to solve any more problems than you have to.
– Russell Baker

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
– Russell Baker

Americans like fat books and thin women.
– Russell Baker

An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious – just dead wrong.
– Russell Baker

Anticipating that most poetry will be worse than carrying heavy luggage through O'Hare Airport, the public, to its loss, reads very little of it.
– Russell Baker

Can't anything be done about calling these guys student athletes? That's like referring to Attila the Hun's cavalry as "weekend warriors"
– Russell Baker

Caution: These verses may be hazardous to your solemnity.
– Russell Baker

Disguises thinner than a Chicago stripteaser's work clothes.
– Russell Baker

Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.
– Russell Baker

Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as a whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.
– Russell Baker

I gave up on new poetry myself 30 years ago when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens in a hostile world.
– Russell Baker

I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.
– Russell Baker

I was converted from fool [when] my spine [was] somewhat reorganized... What amazed me was how fast a perfectly robust man looking forward to nothing more terminal than a night in Toledo can cease being alive once he pulls the dreamboat out of the driveway.
– Russell Baker

In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.
– Russell Baker

In America nothing dies easier than tradition.
– Russell Baker

In an age when the fashion is to be in love with yourself, confessing to be in love with somebody else is an admission of unfaithfulness to one's beloved.
– Russell Baker

Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories; those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.
– Russell Baker

Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperately? I say that what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down.
– Russell Baker

It seems to be a law of American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic.
– Russell Baker

It was dramatic to watch [my grandmother] decapitate [a turkey] with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with "gourmet" status.
– Russell Baker

Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.
– Russell Baker

Live by publicity, you'll probably die by publicity.
– Russell Baker

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.
– Russell Baker

New York is the only city in the world where you can get deliberately run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian.
– Russell Baker

Objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost
– Russell Baker

People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.
– Russell Baker

People who say you're just as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately.
– Russell Baker

Poetry is so vital to us until school spoils it.
– Russell Baker

Reporters thrive on the world's misfortune. For this reason they often take an indecent pleasure in events that dismay the rest of humanity.
– Russell Baker

Research is a scientific activity dedicated to discovering what makes grass green.
– Russell Baker

Situation comedy on television has thrived for years on "canned" laughter grafted by gaglines by technicians using records of guffawing audiences that have been dead for years.
– Russell Baker

Skins tanned to the consistency of well-traveled alligator suitcases.
– Russell Baker

So there he is at last. Man on the moon. The poor magnificent bungler! He can't even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and, vroom.
– Russell Baker

Television was the most revolutionary event of the century. Its importance was in a class with the discovery of gunpowder and the invention of the printing press, which changed the human condition for centuries afterward.
– Russell Baker

The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.
– Russell Baker

The lobbies of the new hotels and the Pan American Building exhale a chill as from the unopened Pharaonic tombs... And in their marble labyrinths there is an evil presence that hates warmth and sunlight.
– Russell Baker

The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
– Russell Baker

The people who are always hankering loudest for some golden yesteryear usually drive new cars.
– Russell Baker

The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.
– Russell Baker

The worst thing about the miracle of modern communications is the Pavlovian pressure it places upon everyone to communicate whenever a bell rings.
– Russell Baker

There are no liberals behind steering wheels.
– Russell Baker

There's so much spectating going on that a lot of us never get around to living.
– Russell Baker

Those people who taught Hubert Humphrey a lesson will still be enjoying the Nixon Supreme Court when Tricia and Julie begin to find silver threads among the gold and the black.
– Russell Baker

Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
– Russell Baker

What the New Yorker calls home would seem like a couple of closets to most Americans, yet he manages not only to live there but also to grow trees and cockroaches right on the premises.
– Russell Baker

When it comes to cars, only two varieties of people are possible – cowards and fools.
– Russell Baker

You can't enjoy light verse with a heavy heart.
– Russell Baker

The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains.
– Josephine Baker, African-American dancer, emigrated to France (1940)

A violinist had a violin, a painer his palette. All I had was myself. I was the instrument that I must care for.
– Josephine Baker, African-American dancer, emigrated to France

 

More on    James [Arthur] Baldwin (1924–1987) African-American novelist and playwright

An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.
– James Baldwin

Any honest examination of the national life proves how far we are from the standard of human freedom with which we began. The recovery of this standard demands of everyone who loves this country a hard look at himself, for the greatest achievments must begin somewhere, and they always begin with the person. If we are not capable of this examination, we may yet become one of the most distinguished and monumental failures in the history of nations.
– James Baldwin

Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.
– James Baldwin (1955)

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
– James Baldwin

Be careful what you set your heart upon – for it will surely be yours.
– James Baldwin

Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck – but, most of all, endurance.
– James Baldwin

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
– James Baldwin, Nobady Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961)

Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one's beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses.
– James Baldwin

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be.
– James Baldwin, Nobady Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961)

Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.
– James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son (1955)

I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.
– James Baldwin (1984)

I imagine that one of the reasons that people cling to their hates so stubbornly is becaue they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with the pain.
– James Baldwin (1955)

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.
– James Baldwin

I want to be an honest man and a good writer.
– James Baldwin (1955)

It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
– James Baldwin

It is only in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story.
– James Baldwin

It is precisely this black-white experience which may prove of indispensable value to us in the world we face today. The world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.
– James Baldwin

It is very nearly impossible ... to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.
– James Baldwin

Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.
– James Baldwin

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time.
– James Baldwin (1962)

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
– James Baldwin

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and now we cannot live within.
– James Baldwin

Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didnt have it and thought of other things if you did.
– James Baldwin

Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.
– James Baldwin

No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it.
– James Baldwin

Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.
– James Baldwin

One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.
– James Baldwin (1962)

People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.
– James Baldwin (1961)

People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.
– James Baldwin

Rage cannot be hidden, it can only be dissembled. This dissembling deludes the thoughtless, and strengthens rage and adds, to rage, contempt.
– James Baldwin

The American ideal, after all, is that everyone should be as much alike as possible.
– James Baldwin

The future is like heaven – everyone exalts it, but no one wants to go there now.
– James Baldwin
see
Loretta Lynn

The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.
– James Baldwin (1962)
see
Shakespeare
see Bob Dylan

The only thing that white people have that black people need, or should want, is power – and no one holds power forever.
– James Baldwin (1962)

The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions.
– James Baldwin (1962)

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
– James Baldwin (1961)

The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid: the state of being alone.
– James Baldwin

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.
– James Baldwin

The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one's key to the experience of others Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck – but, most of all, endurance.
– James Baldwin

The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.
– James Baldwin

The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.
– James Baldwin (1961)

There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
– James Baldwin (1961)

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.
– James Baldwin (1962)

Voyagers discover that the world can never be larger than the person that is in the world; but it is impossible to foresee this, it is impossible to be warned.
– James Baldwin

We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.
– James Baldwin

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
– Lucille Ball (1911–1989), US television actress

 

More on    Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) [Honoré Balssa] French journalist and writer

A city [Paris] where great ideas perish, done to death by a witticism.
– Honoré de Balzac

A courage which looks easy and yet is rare; the courage of a teacher repeating day after day the same lessons – the least rewarded of all forms of courage.
– Honoré de Balzac

A husband and wife who have separate bedrooms have either drifted apart or found happiness.
– Honoré de Balzac

A good husband is never the first to go to sleep at night or the last to awake in the morning.
– Honoré de Balzac

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
– Honoré de Balzac

A lover always thinks of his mistress first and himself second; with a husband it runs the other way.
– Honoré de Balzac

A man may and ought to pride himself more on his will than on his talent.
– Honoré de Balzac

A mother who is really a mother is never free.
– Honoré de Balzac

A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.
– Honoré de Balzac

A woman must be a genius to create a good husband.
– Honoré de Balzac

A woman who has made fun of her husband can love him no more.
– Honoré de Balzac

All happiness depends on courage and work. I have had many periods of wretchedness, but with energy and above all with illusions, I pulled through them all.
– Honoré de Balzac

All human power is a compound of time and patience.
– Honoré de Balzac

All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual.
– Honoré de Balzac

An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence.
– Honoré de Balzac

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
– Honoré de Balzac

Believe anything you hear about the world; nothing is too impossibly bad.
– Honoré de Balzac

Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.
– Honoré de Balzac

Conviction brings a silent, indefinable beauty into faces made of the commonest human clay; the devout worshiper at any shrine reflects something of its golden glow, even as the glory of a noble love shines like a sort of light from a woman's face.
– Honoré de Balzac

Count not thyself to have found true peace, if thou hast felt no grief; nor that then all is well if thou hast no adversary; nor that this is perfect, if all things fall out according to thy desire.
– Honoré de Balzac

Cruelty and fear shake hands together.
– Honoré de Balzac

Economized love is never real love.
– Honoré de Balzac

Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.
– Honoré de Balzac

Finance, like time, devours its own children.
– Honoré de Balzac

First love is a kind of vaccination which saves a man from catching the complaint the second time.
– Honoré de Balzac

Genius is intensity.
– Honoré de Balzac

Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane.
– Honoré de Balzac

Hatred is the vice of narrow souls; they feed it with all their littleness, and make it the pretext of base tyrannies.
– Honoré de Balzac

He went to bed and slept the sleep of the good-for-nothing which, by an anachronism not a single songwriter has yet struck, is proven to be more sound than that of innocence.
– Honoré de Balzac

I am a galley slave to pen and ink.
– Honoré de Balzac

I do not regard a broker as a member of the human race.
– Honoré de Balzac

If those who are the enemies of innocent amusements had the direction of the world, they would take away the spring, and youth, the former from the year, the latter from human life.
– Honoré de Balzac

If we all said to people's faces what we say behind one another's backs, society would be impossible.
– Honoré de Balzac

If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye.
– Honoré de Balzac

Imagination helps bring out the realism of every detail and only sees the beauties of the work.
– Honoré de Balzac

In a husband there is only a man; in a married woman there is a man, a father, and mother, and a woman.
– Honoré de Balzac

In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls.
– Honoré de Balzac

Inspiration in matters of taste will not come twice.
– Honoré de Balzac

It is as absurd to say that a man can't love one woman all the time as it is to say that a violinist needs several violins to play the same piece of music.
– Honoré de Balzac

It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than to say pretty things from time to time.
– Honoré de Balzac

It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action.
– Honoré de Balzac

It is not enough to be an upright man, we must be seen to be one; society does not exist on moral ideas only.
– Honoré de Balzac

Life cannot go on without much forgetting.
– Honoré de Balzac

Love is a game in which one always cheats.
– Honoré de Balzac

Love is the poetry of the senses.
– Honoré de Balzac

Love passes quickly, and passes like a street Arab, anxious to mark his way with mischief.
– Honoré de Balzac

Manners are the hypocrisy of a nation.
– Honoré de Balzac

Marriage must incessantly contend with a monster that devours everything: familiarity.
– Honoré de Balzac

Misfortune, no less than happiness, inspires us to dream.
– Honoré de Balzac

Modesty is the conscience of the body.
– Honoré de Balzac

Most people of action are inclined to fatalism and most of thought believe in providence.
– Honoré de Balzac

Nature makes only dumb animals. We owe the fools to society.
– Honoré de Balzac

No man should marry until he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.
– Honoré de Balzac

Nobody loves a woman because she is handsome or ugly, stupid or intelligent. We love because we love.
– Honoré de Balzac

Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself.
– Honoré de Balzac

Nothing so fortifies a friendship as a belief on the part of one friend that he is superior to the other.
– Honoré de Balzac

One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul
– Honoré de Balzac

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.
– Honoré de Balzac

Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.
– Honoré de Balzac

Solitude is fine, but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.
– Honoré de Balzac

Strolling is the gastronomy of the eye. To walk is to vegetate, to stroll is to live.
– Honoré de Balzac

The duration of passion is proportionate with the original resistance of the woman.
– Honoré de Balzac

The errors of women spring, almost always, from their faith in the good, or their confidence in the true.
– Honoré de Balzac

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
– Honoré de Balzac

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.
– Honoré de Balzac

The more you judge, the less you love.
– Honoré de Balzac

The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one.
– Honoré de Balzac

There are no little events with the heart. It magnifies everything; it places in the same scales the fall of an empire of fourteen years and the dropping of a woman's glove, and almost always the glove weighs more than the empire.
– Honoré de Balzac

There is no such thing as a great talent without great will power.
– Honoré de Balzac

This coffee plunges into the stomach ... the mind is aroused, and ideas pour forth like the battalions of the Grand Army on the field of battle. ... Memories charge at full gallop ... the light cavalry of comparisons deploys itself magnificently; the artillery of logic hurry in with their train of ammunition; flashes of wit pop up like sharp-shooters.
– Honoré de Balzac

Those sweetly smiling angels with pensive looks, innocent faces, and cash-boxes for hearts.
– Honoré de Balzac

To kill a relative of whom you are tired is something. But to inherit his property afterwards, that is genuine pleasure.
– Honoré de Balzac

To loaf is a science, to loaf is to live.
– Honoré de Balzac

To our shame a woman is never so much attached to us as when we suffer.
– Honoré de Balzac

To promote laughter without joining in it greatly heightens the effect.
– Honoré de Balzac

True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.
– Honoré de Balzac

Virtue, perhaps, is nothing more than politeness of soul.
– Honoré de Balzac

Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn't, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence.
– Honoré de Balzac

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.
– Honoré de Balzac

What is art? Nature concentrated.
– Honoré de Balzac

When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.
– Honoré de Balzac

Wit needs leisure, and certain inequalities of position.
– Honoré de Balzac

Woman has this in common with angels, that suffering beings belong especially to her.
– Honoré de Balzac

 

More on    Tallulah Bankhead (1903–1968) , U.S. stage and film actress

Because all my life I've been terrible at remembering people's names. Once I introduced a friend of mine as "Martini". Her name was actually "Olive".
– Tallulah Bankhead, on why she called everyone "darling"

Cocaine isn't habit forming. I should know-I've been using it for years.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Dahling Congressman Boykin: 10 AM is an unprecedented time for a child of the grease paint to cope with the sandman.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Dahling, you're divine. I've had an affair with your husband. You'll be next.
– Tallulah Bankhead, to Joan Crawford and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once.
– Tallulah Bankhead

I am as pure as the driven slush.
– Tallulah Bankhead

I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.
– Tallulah Bankhead

I thought I told you to wait in the car.
– Tallulah Bankhead, on seeing a former lover for the first time in years

I'll go to my grave convinced that I could have drawn the cheers of Longstreet and Beauregard and Robert E. Lee had I been permitted to wrestle with Rhett Butler.
– Tallulah Bankhead, in her autobiography, about losing the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind

I'm as pure as the driven slush.
– Tallulah Bankhead

I'm serious about love. I'm damned serious about it now ... I haven't had an affair for six months. Six months! Too long ... If there's anything the matter with me now, it's not Hollywood or Hollywood's state of mind ... the matter with me is, I WANT A MAN!... six months is a long, long while. I WANT A MAN!
– Tallulah Bankhead, in an interview with Motion Picture magazine (1932)

I've been called many things, but never an intellectual.
– Tallulah Bankhead

I've tried several varieties of sex. The conventional position makes me claustrophobic. And the others give me either stiff neck or lockjaw.
– Tallulah Bankhead

If you really want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.
– Tallulah Bankhead

It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work – the night watchman.
– Tallulah Bankhead

It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Let's not quibble! I'm the foe of moderation, the champion of excess. If I may lift a line from a die-hard whose identity is lost in the shuffle, I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.
– Tallulah Bankhead

My father warned me about men and booze, but he never said anything about women and cocaine.
– Tallulah Bankhead

No man worth his salt, no man of spirit and spine, no man for whom I could have any respect, could rejoice in the identification of Tallulah's husband. It's tough enough to be bogged down in a legend. It would be even tougher to marry one.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Television could perform a great service in mass education, but there's no indication its sponsors have anything like this on their minds.
– Tallulah Bankhead

The less I behave like Whistler's mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.
– Tallulah Bankhead

The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again I'd make all the same mistakes – only sooner.
– Tallulah Bankhead

There is less in this than meets the eye.
– Tallulah Bankhead

They made me sound as if I'd been castrated.
– Tallulah Bankhead

They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum.
– Tallulah Bankhead

Working on television is like being shot out of a cannon. They cram you all up with rehearsals, then someone lights a fuse and – BANG – there you are in someone's living room.
– Tallulah Bankhead

 

More on    P.T. [Phineas Taylor] Barnum (1810–1891), U.S. showman

Every crowd has a silver lining.
– P.T. Barnum

Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.
– P.T. Barnum

Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well as now.
– P.T. Barnum

The great common people of this country are slaves, the monopoly is their master. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags... We will stand by our homes and stay by our firesides by force if necessary. The people are at bay, let the bloodhounds of money who have dogged us thus far beware.
– Elizabeth Barr, Kansas agitator (1890)

Always be a little kinder than necessary.
– James M. Barrie

Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
– Dave Barry

American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it.
– Dave Barry

Auto racing is boring except when a car is going at least 172 miles per hour upside down.
– Dave Barry

Bill Gates is a very rich man today .. and do you want to know why? The answer is one word: versions.
– Dave Barry

Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.
– Dave Barry

Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business.
– Dave Barry

Cigarette sales would drop to zero overnight if the warning said "Cigarettes contain fat."
– Dave Barry

"Escargot" is French for "fat crawling bag of phlegm."
– Dave Barry

Experts agree that the best type of computer for your individual needs is one that comes on the market about two days after you actually purchase some other computer.
– Dave Barry

Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.
– Dave Barry

For me, the worst part of playing golf, by far, has always been hitting the ball.
– Dave Barry

Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects.
– Dave Barry

Hobbies of any kind are boring except to people who have the same hobby. (This is also true of religion, although you will not find me saying so in print).
– Dave Barry

I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
– Dave Barry

I believe that we parents must encourage our children to become educated, so they can get into a good college that we cannot afford.
– Dave Barry

I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care.
– Dave Barry

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base.
– Dave Barry

If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of the toads, he would have made them cute and furry.
– Dave Barry

If you asked me to name the three scariest threats facing the human race, I would give the same answer that most peope would: nuclear war, global warming and Windows.
– Dave Barry

If you want to take long walks, take long walks. If you want to hit things with a stick, hit things with a stick. But there's no excuse for combining the two and putting the results on TV. Golf is not so much a sport as insult to lawns.
– Dave Barry

It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.
– Dave Barry

It is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person's plate.
– Dave Barry

I've gained a few pounds around the middle. The only lower-body garmets I own that still fit me comfortably are towels.
– Dave Barry

Karate is a form of marital arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world.
– Dave Barry

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
– Dave Barry

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
– Dave Barry

Scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid.
– Dave Barry

Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in Janurary, only more intelligent.
– Dave Barry

Talking about golf is always boring. (Playing golf can be interesting, but not the part where you try to hit the little ball; only the part where you drive the cart).
– Dave Barry

Technically, Windows is an "operating system," which means that it supplies your computer with the basic commands that it needs to suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, stop operating.
– Dave Barry

The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting.
– Dave Barry

The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.
– Dave Barry

The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.
– Dave Barry

Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet.
– Dave Barry

To an adolescent, there is nothing in the world more embarrassing than a parent.
– Dave Barry

We journalists ... are also extremely impressed with scientists, and we will, frankly, print just about any wacky thing they tell us, especially if it involves outer space.
– Dave Barry

We operate under a jury system in this country, and as much as we complain about it, we have to admit that we know of no better system, except possibly flipping a coin.
– Dave Barry

What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
– Dave Barry

What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held.
What Men Want: Tickets for the world series.
– Dave Barry

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
– Dave Barry

You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, `My God, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!'
– Dave Barry

Your modern teenager is not about to listen to advice from an old person, defined as a person who remembers when there was no Velcro.
– Dave Barry

Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
– John Barrymore's dying words

The absurd man is he who never changes.
– Auguste Barthelemy

I'm not smart, but I like to observe. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.
– Bernard Baruch

The sinews of war are five – men, money, materials, maintenance (food) and morale.
– Bernard Baruch

To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
– Bernard Baruch, quoted in Newsweek on his 85th birthday

 

More on    Basho [Matsuo Kinsaku] (1644–1694), Japanese poet, first great poet of haiku

Bush clover in blossom waves
Without spilling
A drop of dew.
– Basho

Spring departs.
Birds cry
Fishes' eyes are filled with tears.
– Basho

Summer grasses
all that remain
of soldiers' dreams.
– Basho

The wind from Mt. Fuji
I put it on the fan.
Here, the souvenir from Edo.
– Basho

The man who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does. No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.
– Daisy Bates

 

More on    Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), French writer, translator, and critic. His only volume of poetry, Les Fleurs du Mal (1857, expanded 1861), was publicly condemned as obscene.

An Angel struck in fury like an eagle's claw
He seized the miscreant's forelock in a solid hand,
And shaking him he said, "You shall obey the law!
(Because I am your Angel, hear me?) I command!
 
"Know now that you must learn to love – with no grimace –
The poor, the evil ones, the gnarled, those dazed of eye,
In order to prepare for Jesus, when he'll pass,
A fine, triumphal carpet of your charity.
 
"For such is Love! Before your heart and feelings cloy,
Kindle, to God's great glory, once again your joy;
That is the true, the lasting ecstasy to choose!"
 
My word! The Angel chastened him he loved, his fist,
That of a giant, torturing the poor accursed;
But always the condemned one answered: "I refuse!"
– Charles Baudelaire, "The Rebel"

Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry.
– Charles Baudelaire

Conceive me as a dream of stone:
my breast, where mortals come to grief,
is made to prompt all poets' love,
mute and noble as matter itself.
 
With snow for flesh, with ice for heart,
I sit on high, an unguessed sphinx
begrudging acts that alter forms;
I never laugh, I never weep.
 
In studious awe the poets brood
before my monumental pose
aped from the proudest pedestal,
and to bind these docile lovers fast
I freeze the world in a perfect mirror:
 
The timeless light of my wide eyes.
– Charles Baudelaire, "Beauty"

It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.
– Charles Baudelaire

It is necessary to work, if not from inclination, at least from despair. Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
– Charles Baudelaire

There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.
– Charles Baudelaire

Tonight the moon dreams in a deeper languidness,
And, like a beauty on her cushions, lies at rest;
While drifting off to sleep, a tentative caress
Seeks, with a gentle hand, the contour of her breast;
 
As on a crest above her silken avalanche,
Dying, she yields herself to an unending swoon
And sees a pallid vision everywhere she'd glance,
In the azure sky where blossoms have been strewn.
 
When sometimes, in her weariness, upon our sphere
She might permit herself to shed a furtive tear,
A poet of great piety, a foe of sleep,
 
Catches in the hollow of his hand that tear,
An opal fragment, iridescent as a star;
Within his heart, far from the sun, it's buried deep.
– Charles Baudelaire, "Sorrows of the Moon"

 

More on    Gary Bauer, longtime president of the Family Research Council; U.S. presidential candidate, 2000; hard-core Christian Conservative of a most extremist variety.

I don't see why Christians should censor themselves out of any forum in which our perspectives can be heard. I disagree with the theology of many groups that I address; Jews, for example, who do not accept Jesus, or atheists.
– Gary Bauer, defending his participation at the "Family Federation for World Peace" conference sponsored by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, where Bauer took between $80,000 and $160,000 plus expences from Moon's church to speak at the conference

I think Robertson stepped down because the position has already been filled ... [Bush] is that leader right now.
– Gary Bauer, crediting George W. Bush with Pat Robertson's decision to resign as president of the Christian Coalition, The Washington Post (December 23, 2001)

We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe.
– Gary Bauer

From the depths I call out to you,
With my tongue dried up, and
My butterflies scorched over your mouth.
Is this snow from the coldness of your nights
– 'Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayyati (1926–1999), Iraqi poet

The Ship of Fate moved on,
Sinbad of the Wind never came,
How was it you came when our wells
Are poisoned, where can you have come from?
Did we meet before I came to be?
– 'Abd al-Wahhab Al-Bayyati (1926–1999), Iraqi poet, "The Impossible"

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.
– Charles Beard (1874–1948), American historian

It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.
– Caron de Beaumarchais

What things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been
So nimble and so full of subtile flame
As if that every one from whence they came
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,
And resolved to live a fool the rest
Of his dull life.
– Francis Beaumont, letter to Ben Jonson

One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius.
– Simone De Beauvoir

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.
– Simone De Beauvoir

 

More on    Beck Hansen [born Bek David Campbell] (1970– ), U.S. musician and songwriter

Art is the child of Nature; yes, her darling child, in whom we trace the features of the mother's face, her aspect and her attitude.
– Beck

Had there been no difficulties and no thorns in the way, then man would have been in his primitive state and no progress made in civilization and mental culture.
– Beck

I think my whole generation's mission is to kill the cliche.
– Beck

I'm the artist formally known as Beck. I have a genius wig. When I put that wig on, then the true genius emerges. I don't have enough hair to be a genius. I think you have to have hair going everywhere.
– Beck

No one should drive a hard bargain with an artist.
– Beck

Tonight the city is full of morgues, and all the toilets are overflowing. There's shopping malls coming out of the walls, as we walk out among the manure. That's why I pay no mind.
– Beck

Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.
– Beck

Whole lotta magic goin' on backstage
Everybody wants to get backstage
Backstage must be all of the rage
But backstage is just like turnin' another page
In a book you just want to throw out the window
– Beck, "Take me backstage," song created onstage on February 18, 2000

 

More on    Henry Ward Beecher (1813–1887), US abolitionist & clergyman

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.
– Henry Ward Beecher

A book is good company. It is full of conversation without loquacity. It comes to your longing with full instruction, but pursues you never.
– Henry Ward Beecher

A man's true state of power and riches is to be in himself.
– Henry Ward Beecher

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
– Henry Ward Beecher

A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.
– Henry Ward Beecher

All words are pegs to hang ideas on.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Doctrine is nothing but the skin of truth set up and stuffed.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
– Henry Ward Beecher, "Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit" (1887)

Every charitable act is a stepping stone towards heaven.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Expedients are for the hour; principles for the ages.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Fear secretes acids; but love and trust are sweet juices.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.
– Henry Ward Beecher, from "Life Thoughts"

God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only choice is how.
– Henry Ward Beecher

God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offense into everlasting forgiveness.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Good nature is worth more than knowledge, more than money, more than honor.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
– Henry Ward Beecher

He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Heaven will be inherited by every man who has heaven in his soul.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.
– Henry Ward Beecher

I don't like these cold, precise, perfect people, who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything.
– Henry Ward Beecher

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.
– Henry Ward Beecher

If a man has come to that point where he is so content that he says; I do not want to know any more, or do any more or be any more, he is in a state of which he ought to be changed into a mummy.
– Henry Ward Beecher

If a man meets with injustice, it is not required that he shall not be roused to meet it; but if he is angry after he has had time to think upon it, that is sinful. The flame is not wrong, but the coals are.
– Henry Ward Beecher

In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.
– Henry Ward Beecher

It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes men invincible.
– Henry Ward Beecher

It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage.
– Henry Ward Beecher

It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Worry is rust upon the blade.
– Henry Ward Beecher

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Keep a fair-sized cemetery in your back yard, in which to bury the faults of your friends.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Laughter is day, and sobriety is night; a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Living is death; dying is life. We are not what we appear to be. On this side of the grave we are exiles, on that citizens; on this side orphans, on that children.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Love is the river of life in the world.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Love, like a lamp, needs to be fed out of another's heart, or its flame burns low.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Men will let you abuse them if only you will make them laugh.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.
– Henry Ward Beecher

No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Now comes the mystery.
– Henry Ward Beecher, last words (March 8, 1887)

One's best success comes after their greatest disappointments.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. The most tranquil house, with the most serene inhabitants, living upon the utmost regularity of system, is yet exemplifying infinite diversities.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Private opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Repentance may begin instantly, but reformation often requires a sphere of years.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Riches are not an end of life, but an instrument of life.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
– Henry Ward Beecher

That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The blossom cannot tell what becomes of its odor, and no man can tell what becomes of his influence.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is a human owl, vigilant in darkness, and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is: that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The meanest, most contemptible kind of praise is that which first speaks well of a man, and then qualifies it with a "but".
– Henry Ward Beecher

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.
– Henry Ward Beecher

The power of hiding ourselves from one another is mercifully given, for men are wild beasts, and would devour one another but for this protection.
– Henry Ward Beecher, "Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit" (1887)

There are three schoolmasters for everybody that will employ them – the senses, intelligent companions, and books.
– Henry Ward Beecher

There is not a heart but has it's moments of longing, yearning for something better, nobler, holier than it knows now.
– Henry Ward Beecher

There was never a person who did anything worth doing that did not receive more than he gave.
– Henry Ward Beecher

To array a man's will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.
– Henry Ward Beecher

To become an able and successful man in any profession, three things are necessary, nature, study and practice.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Troubles are often the tools God fashions us for better things.
– Henry Ward Beecher

We are not to make the ideas of contentment and aspiration quarrel, for God made them fast friends. A man may aspire, and yet be quite content until it is time to raise; and both flying and resting are but parts of one contentment. The very fruit of the gospel is aspiration. It is to the heart what spring is to the earth, making every root, and bud, and bough desire to be more.
– Henry Ward Beecher

We never know the love of our parents for us till we have become parents.
– Henry Ward Beecher

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.
– Henry Ward Beecher

We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God's.
– Henry Ward Beecher

When young men are beginning life, the most important period, it is often said, is that in which their habits are formed. That is a very important period. But the period in which the ideas of the young are formed and adopted is more important still. For the ideal with which you go forward to measure things determines the nature, so far as you are concerned, of everything you meet.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
– Henry Ward Beecher

You cannot sift out the poor from the community. The poor are indispensable to the rich.
– Henry Ward Beecher

You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave.
– Henry Ward Beecher

You never know till you try to reach them how accessible men are; but you must approach each man by the right door.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep burning, unquenchable.
– Henry Ward Beecher

Strength is a matter of the made-up mind.
– John Beecher

No great advance has ever been made in science, politics, or religion, without controversy.
– Lyman Beecher

Tones that sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.
– Ludwig von Beethoven

America must confront threats to both her security and her freedom. And the more we strive to protect one, the more we endanger the other. We can have a perfectly secure country – but at great cost to our freedom of movement, openness and perhaps even to free expression. And we can have a perfectly free and open society – and be vulnerable to the kind of horrific attacks we still can't quite believe happened in New York and Washington – right before our eyes.
– Paul Begala (September 12, 2001)

 

More on    Brendan [Francis] Behan (1923–1964), Irish author, dramatist, and IRA activist

Ah, bless you, Sister, may all your sons be bishops.
– Brendan Behan

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.
– Brendan Behan

He was born an Englishman and remained one for years.
– Brendan Behan, Hostage (1958)

I am a drinker with writing problems.
– Brendan Behan

I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.
– Brendan Behan

I saw a notice which said, "Drink Canada Dry" and I've just started.
– Brendan Behan

If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks.
– Brendan Behan

It was not really the length of sentence that worried me – for I had always believed that if a fellow went into the I.R.A. at all he should be prepared to throw the handle after the hatchet, die dog or shite the licence – but that I'd sooner be with Charlie and Ginger and Browny in Borstal than with my own comrades and countrymen any place else. It seemed a bit disloyal to me, that I should prefer to be with boys from English cities than with my own countrymen and comrades from Ireland's hills and glens.
– Brendan Behan, Borstal Boy (1958)

Message? What the hell do you think I am, a bloody postman?
– Brendan Behan, asked what was the message in one of his plays

Never throw stones at your mother,
You'll be sorry for it when she's dead,
Never throw stones at your mother,
Throw bricks at your father instead.
– Brendan Behan, The Hostage (1958)

New York is my Lourdes, where I go for spiritual refreshment ... a place where you're least likely to be bitten by a wild goat.
– Brendan Behan

Ninety-seven saint days a year wouldn't affect the theater, but two Yom Kippurs would ruin it.
– Brendan Behan

Quarrel not, hearts too precious to break
so have another pint for Jaysus' sake.
– Brendan Behan

Shakespeare said pretty well everything and what he left out, James Joyce, with a judge from meself, put in.
– Brendan Behan

The bells of hell
Go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me.
Oh death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling
Or grave thy victory?
– Brendan Behan, The Hostage (1958)

The Bible was a consolation to a fellow alone in the old cell. The lovely thin paper with a bit of matress stuffing in it, if you could get a match, was as good a smoke as I ever tasted.
– Brendan Behan

The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.
– Brendan Behan

The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.
– Brendan Behan

There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
– Brendan Behan

To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement. To get drunk was a victory.
– Brendan Behan

What the hell difference does it make, left or right? There were good men lost on both sides.
– Brendan Behan

When I came back to Dublin I was courtmartialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.
– Brendan Behan

 

More on    Aphra Behn (1640–1689), English poet, author and playwright, first English woman to earn a living by writing

All trembling in my arms Aminta lay,
Defending of the bliss I strove to take;
Raising my rapture by her kind delay,
Her force so charming was and weak.
The soft resistance did betray the grant,
While I pressed on the heaven of my desires;
Her rising breasts with nimbler motions pant;
Her dying eyes assume new fires.
Now to the height of languishment she grows,
And still her looks new charms put on;
– Now the last mystery of Love she knows,
We sigh, and kiss: I waked, and all was done.
– Aphra Behn, "The Dream," fromA Voyage to the Isle of Love (1684)

Come away; poverty's catching.
– Aphra Behn

... faith, Sir, we are here to Day, and gone to Morrow.
– Aphra Behn, The Lucky Chance (1686)

For the future, therefore, I must call Oroonoko Caesar; since by that name only he was known in our Western World, and by that name he was received on shore at Parham-House, where he was destined a slave. But if the King himself (God bless him) had come ashore, there could not have been greater expectation by all the whole plantation, and those neighboring ones, than was on ours at that time; and he was received more like a governor than a slave: notwithstanding, as the custom was, they assigned him his portion of land, his house, and his business up in the plantation. But as it was more for form than any design to put him to his task, he endured no more of the slave but the name, and remained some days in the house, receiving all visits that were made him, without stirring towards that part of the plantation where the negroes were.
– Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: Or, The Royal Slave (1688)

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain
But both, thō false, were well receiv'd.
The Fair are pleas'd to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believ'd.
– Aphra Behn, "A Thousand Martyrs I Have Made"

If things on earth may be to heaven resembled,
It must be love, pure, constant, undissembled.
– Aphra Behn, "And Forgive Us Our Trespasses"

Love ceases to be a pleasure, when it ceases to be a secret.
– Aphra Behn

Love in fantastic triumph sat,
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd,
For whom fresh pains he did create,
And strange tyrannic power he shew'd;
From thy bright eyes he took his fire,
Which round about in sport he hurl'd;
But 'twas from mine he took desire
Enough to undo the amorous world.
– Aphra Behn, "Love Arm'd"

Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.
– Aphra Behn, The Rover (1677)

No friend to Love like a long voyage at sea.
– Aphra Behn

Now judge you what a condition poor England is in: for my part I look upon it as a lost nation.
– Aphra Behn, The Widow Ranter (1689)

Of all that writ, he was the wisest bard, who spoke this mighty truth – He that knew all that ever learning writ, Knew only this – that he knew nothing yet.
– Aphra Behn, The Emperor of the Moon (1687)

Oh, what a dear ravishing thing is the beginning of an Amour!
– Aphra Behn

One hour of right down love
Is worth an hour of dully living on.
– Aphra Behn, The Rover (1677)

Pan, grant that I may never prove
So great a Slave to fall in love,
And to an Unknown Deity
Resign my happy Liberty:
I love to see the Amorous Swains
...Unto my Scorn their Hearts resign;
With Pride I see the Meads and Plains
...Throng'd all with Slaves, and they all mine:
Whilst I the whining Fools despise,
That pay their Homage to my Eyes.
– Aphra Behn, "Song"

Patience is a flatterer, sir and an ass, sir.
– Aphra Behn

Sure, I rose the wrong way today, I have had such damn'd ill luck every way.
– Aphra Behn, The Town (1677)

The nymph's resentments none but I
Can well imagine or condole:
But none can guess Lysander's soul,
But those who swayed his destiny.
His silent griefs swell up to storms,
And not one god his fury spares;
He cursed his birth, his fate, his stars
But more the shepherdess's charms,
Whose soft bewitching influence
Had damned him to the hell of impotence.
– Aphra Behn, "The Disappointment" (1680)

There is no sinner like a young saint.
– Aphra Behn, The Rover (1677)

They once made mourning and fasting for the death of the English Governor, who had given his hand to come on such a day to 'em, and neither came nor sent; believing, when a man's word was past, nothing but death could or should prevent his keeping it: and when they saw he was not dead, they asked him what name they had for a man who promised a thing he did not do. The Governor told them, such a man was a liar, which was a word of infamy to a gentleman. Then one of 'em replied, "Governor, you are a liar, and guilty of that infamy."
– Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: Or, The Royal Slave (1688)

'Twas but a dream, yet by my heart I knew,
Which still was panting, part of it was true:
Oh how I strove the rest to have believed;
Ashamed and angry to be undeceived!
– Aphra Behn, "The Dream," fromA Voyage to the Isle of Love (1684)

Variety is the soul of pleasure.
– Aphra Behn, The Rover (1677)

We were monarchs once of all this spacious world, till you, [the English] an unknown people, landing here, distress'd and ruin'd by destructive storms, abusing all our charitable hospitality, unsurp'd our right, and made your friends your slaves.
– Aphra Behn, The Widow Ranter (1689)

WITS, like Physicians, never can agree,
When of a different Society;
And Rabel's Drops were never more cry'd down
By all the Learned Doctors of the Town,
Than a new Play, whose author is unknown.
– Aphra Behn, Prologue to The Rover (1677)

Yet if thou didst but know how little wit governs this mighty universe.
– Aphra Behn, Comedy of the Rounded Heads (1689)

(act I, sc. 2)

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
– Hada Bejar

Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.
– Alexander Graham Bell, first telephone message

The great advantage [the telephone] possesses over every other form of electrical apparatus consists in the fact that it requires no skill to operate the instrument.
– Alexander Graham Bell

What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
– Alexander Graham Bell

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell

It appears that my worst fears have been realized: we have made progress in everything yet nothing has changed.
– Derrick Bell (1987)

 

More on    Cardinal Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine (1542–1621), Jesuit saint and Inquisitor who, on biblical grounds, vehemently opposed the Copernican Theory and other forms of scientific scholarship.
The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Bellarmine.
Bellarmine's Letter on Galileo's Theories, (1615)

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
– Cardinal Bellarmine

To affirm that the Sun ... is at the centre of the universe and only rotates on its axis without going from east to west, is a very dangerous attitude and one calculated not only to arouse all Scholastic philosophers and theologians but also to injure our holy faith by contradicting the Scriptures.
– Cardinal Bellarmine

We, Robert Cardinal Bellarmine, have heard that Mr. Galileo Galilei is being slandered or alleged to have abjured in our hands and also to have been given salutary penances for this. Having been sought about the truth of the matter, we say that the above-mentioned Galileo has not abjured in our hands, or in the hands of others here in Rome, or anywhere else that we know, any opinion or doctrine of his; nor has he received any penances, salutary or otherwise. On the contrary, he has only been notified of the declaration made by the Holy Father and published by the Sacred Congregation of the Index, whose content is that the doctrine attributed to Copernicus (that the earth moves around the sun and the sun stands at the center of the world without moving from east to west) is contrary to Holy Scripture and therefore cannot be defended or held. In witness whereof we have written and signed this with our own hands, on this 26th day of May 1616.
– Cardinal Bellarmine, in a Certificate regarding the Roman Catholic Church's punishment of Galileo for holding the position that the Earth orbits the Sun

For a nation which has an almost evil reputation for bustle, bustle, bustle, and rush, rush, rush, we spend an enormous amount of time standing around in line in front of windows, just waiting.
– Robert Benchley, Benchley – or Else!

The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.
– Robert Benchley

Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile ... initially scared me to death.
– Betty Bender

– Fabulous shoes of Gettysburg, dead man's shoes,
Did anyone ever wear you, when it was done,
When the men were gone, when the farms were spoiled with the bones,
What became of your nails and leather? The swords went home,
The swords went into museums and neat glass cases,
The swords look well there. They are clean from the war.
You wouldn't put old shoes in a neat glass case,
Still stuck with the mud of marching.
                             And yet, a man
With a taste for such straws and fables, blown by the wind,
Might hide a pair in a labelled case sometime
Just to see how the leather looked, set down by the swords....
– Stephen Vincent Benet, "John Brown's Body"

The buttercup meadows
are very yellow
A child comes there
To fill her hands
The gold she gathers
Is soft and precious
As sweet as new butter
Fresh from the churn

She fills her frock
With the yellow flowers,
The butter she gathers
Is smooth as gold,
Little bright cups
Of new-churned sunshine
For a well behaved
Hoop skirted doll

Her frock's full
And her hands are mothy
With yellow pollen
But she keeps on.
Down by the fence
They are even thicker.
She runs, bowed down
with butter-cup gold.

She sees a rider.
His face is grey
With a different dust
He talks loud.
He rattles like tinware
He has a long sword
To kill little girls.

He shouts at her now,
But she doesn't answer.
"Where is the town?" But she will not hear.
There are other riders
Jangling behind him.
"We won't hurt you youngster!" But they have swords.

The buttercup fall
Like Spilt butter
She runs away.
She runs to her house.
She hides her face
In her mother's apron
And tried to tell her
How dreadful it was.
– Stephen Vincent Benet, "John Brown's Body"

Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.
– Ernest Benn

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.
– Ernest Benn

Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.
– Robert F. Bennett

Casual drug users should be shot ... Dealers should be beheaded. I have no moral problem with beheadings.
– William Bennett, Drug Czar for President George H.W. Bush

Conservatives seemed to be flying in all directions after the demise of Communism. I've just discovered what will hold the Republican Party together. I've seen the party coalesce in the past twenty-four to forty-eight hours in opposition to the Clinton proposals.
– William Bennett, Drug Czar for President George H.W. Bush

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.
– Warren G. Bennis

Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.
– Warren G.Bennis

The rewards in business go to the man who does something with an idea.
– William Benton

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
– Henri Bergson

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours.
– Milton Berle

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
– Milton Berle

I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are.
– Milton Berle

Laughter is an instant vacation.
– Milton Berle

You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.
– Milton Berle

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
– Irving Berlin

Happiness is good health and a bad memory.
– Ingrid Bergman

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
– Hector Berlioz

It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not the opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed the same kind.
– George Bernard

 

More on    Yogi Berra [Lawrence Peter Berra] (1925– ), baseball catcher, coach, and manager

A nickel isn't worth a dime today.
–Yogi Berra

Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.
–Yogi Berra

Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked.
–Yogi Berra

Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.
– Yogi Berra

Closed.
– Yogi Berra, when asked as a child how he liked school

Even Napoleon had his Watergate.
– Yogi Berra (on Frenchmen in American politics)

I didn't really say everything I said.
– Yogi Berra

I made a wrong mistake.
– Yogi Berra

I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.
– Yogi Berra, in 1947, when the people of his hometown, St. Louis, celebrated with him before a Yankees-Browns game

If the fans don't come out to the ball park, you can't stop them.
– Yogi Berra

If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be.
– Yogi Berra

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.
– Yogi Berra

It ain't over till it's over.
– Yogi Berra

It gets late out there early.
– Yogi Berra, referring to the bad sun conditions in left field at the stadium.

It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
– Yogi Berra

Ninety percent of all mental errors are in your head.
– Yogi Berra, Sports Illustrated

No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded.
– Yogi Berra

That's his style of hitting. If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.
– Yogi Berra

The future ain't what it used to be.
– Yogi Berra

This is like deja vu all over again.
– Yogi Berra

We have deep depth.
– Yogi Berra

We made too many wrong mistakes.
– Yogi Berra

When asked what would he do if he found $1 million, Yogi responded, "If the guy was poor, I'd give it back."
– Yogi Berra

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
– Yogi Berra

Yogi ordered a pizza. The waitress asked "How many pieces do you want your pie cut?"
Yogi responded, "Four. I don't think I could eat eight."
– Yogi Berra

You can observe a lot by just watching.
– Yogi Berra

You can't think and hit the ball at the same time.
– Yogi Berra

You have to give one hundred percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what is left.
– Yogi Berra

An injury engraves itself on metal; a benefit is written on the waves.
– Jean Bertaut

For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart.
– Mary MacLeod Bethune

I never stop to plan. I take things step by step.
– Mary MacLeod Bethune

Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.
– Mary MacLeod Bethune (1955)

The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.
– Mary MacLeod Bethune

We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.
– Mary MacLeod Bethune (1955)

If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky,
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One ...
I am become Death,
The shatterer of Worlds.
– Bhagavad Gita (c. 400 BC) Hindu religious book (quoted by Robert Openheimer after the first test of an atomic bomb)

The life within me seems to swim and faint;
Nothing do I foresee save woe and wail!
It is not good, O Keshav! nought of good
Can spring from mutual slaughter! Lo, I hate
Triumph and domination, wealth and ease,
Thus sadly won! Aho! what victory
Can bring delight, Govinda! what rich spoils
Could profit; what rule recompense; what span
Of life itself seem sweet, bought with such blood?
Seeing that these stand here, ready to die,
For whose sake life was fair, and pleasure pleased ...
– Bhagavad Gita (c. 400 BC) Hindu religious book, translated by Sir Edwin Arnold

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
– Bible

Of the making of many books there is no end, and in much study there is weariness for the flesh.
– Bible, Ecclesiastes 12:12

 

More on    Ambrose Bierce 1842–1914?, U.S. satirist, journalist

Abasement: n. A decent and customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth of power. Peculiarly appropriate in an employee when addressing an employer.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abatis: n. Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abdication: n. An act whereby a sovereign attests his sense of the high temperature of the throne.
Poor Isabella's Dead, whose abdication
Set all tongues wagging in the Spanish nation.
For that performance 'twere unfair to scold her:
She wisely left a throne too hot to hold her.
To History she'll be no royal riddle –
Merely a plain parched pea that jumped the griddle.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abdomen: n. The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage. From women this ancient faith commands but a stammering assent. They sometimes minister at the altar in a half-hearted and ineffective way, but true reverence for the one deity that men really adore they know not. If woman had a free hand in the world's marketing the race would become graminivorous.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Ability: n. The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Aboriginies: n. Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abnormal: adj. Not conforming to standard. In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested. Wherefore the lexicographer adviseth a striving toward the straiter [sic] resemblance of the Average Man.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abridge: v.t. To shorten.
  "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to abridge their king, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
        Oliver Cromwell
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abrupt: adj. Sudden, without ceremony, like the arrival of a cannon-shot and the departure of the soldier whose interests are most affected by it.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abscond: v.i. To "move in a mysterious way," commonly with the property of another.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Absent: adj. Peculiarly exposed to the tooth of detraction; vilifed; hopelessly in the wrong; superseded in the consideration and affection of another.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Absentee: n. A person with an income who has had the forethought to remove himself from the sphere of exaction.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Absolute: adj. Independent, irresponsible. An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins. Not many absolute monarchies are left, most of them having been replaced by limited monarchies, where the sovereign's power for evil (and for good) is greatly curtailed, and by republics, which are governed by chance.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Abstainer: n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Absurdity: n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Academe: n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Academy: n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Accident: n. An inevitable occurrence due to the action of immutable natural laws.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Accomplice: n. One associated with another in a crime, having guilty knowledge and complicity, as an attorney who defends a criminal, knowing him guilty. This view of the attorney's position in the matter has not hitherto commanded the assent of attorneys, no one having offered them a fee for assenting.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Accord: n. Harmony.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Accordion: n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Accuse: v.t. To affirm another's guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for having wronged him.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Accountability: n. The mother of caution.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Acephalous: adj. In the surprising condition of the Crusader who absently pulled at his forelock some hours after a Saracen scimitar had, unconsciously to him, passed through his neck, as related by de Joinville.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Achievement: n. The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Acknowlwdge: v.t. To confess. Acknowledgement of one another's faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Acquaintance: n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Actually: adv. Perhaps; possibly.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Adage: n. Boned wisdom for weak teeth.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Adamant: n. A mineral frequently found beneath a corset. Soluble in solicitate of gold.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Adder: n. A species of snake. So called from its habit of adding funeral outlays to the other expenses of living.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Adherent: n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Administration: n. An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Admiral: n. That part of a war-ship which does the talking while the figure-head does the thinking.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Admiration: n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Admonition: n. Gentle reproof, as with a meat-axe. Friendly warning.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Affianced: pp. Fitted with an ankle-ring for the ball-and-chain.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Affliction: n. An acclimatizing process preparing the soul for another and bitter world.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

African: n. A nigger that votes our way.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Age: n. That period of life in which we compound for the vices that we still cherish by reviling those that we have no longer the enterprise to commit.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Agitator: n. A statesman who shakes the fruit trees of his neighbors – to dislodge the worms.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Air: n. A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Alderman: n. An ingenious criminal who covers his secret thieving with a pretence of open marauding.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Alien: n. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Alliance: In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted into each others' pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Alligator: n. The crocodile of America, superior in every detail to the crocodile of the effete monarchies of the Old World. Herodotus says the Indus is, with one exception, the only river that produces crocodiles, but they appear to have gone West and grown up with the other rivers. From the notches on his back the alligator is called a sawrian.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Alone: adj. In bad company.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Altar: n. The place whereupon the priest formerly raveled out the small intestine of the sacrificial victim for purposes of divination and cooked its flesh for the gods. The word is now seldom used, except with reference to the sacrifice of their liberty and peace by a male and a female tool.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Ambidextrous: adj. Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Ambition: n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Amnesty: n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Annoit: v.t. To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Antipathy: n. The sentiment inspired by one's friend's friend.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Aphorism: n. Predigested wisdom.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Apologize: v.i. To lay the foundation for a future offence.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Apostate: n. A leech who, having penetrated the shell of a turtle only to find that the creature has long been dead, deems it expedient to form a new attachment to a fresh turtle.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Apothecary: n. The physician's accomplice, undertaker's benefactor and grave worm's provider.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Appeal: v.t. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Appetite: n. An instinct thoughtfully implanted by Providence as a solution to the labor question.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Applause: n. The echo of a platitude.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

April fool: n. The March fool with another month added to his folly.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Archbishop: n. An ecclesiastical dignitary one point holier than a bishop.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Architect: n. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Ardor: n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Arena: n. In politics, an imaginary rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles with his record.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Aristocracy: n. Government by the best men. (In this sense the word is obsolete; so is that kind of government.) Fellows that wear downy hats and clean shirts – guilty of education and suspected of bank accounts.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Armor: n. The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Arrayed: pp. Drawn up and given an orderly disposition, as a rioter hanged to a lamppost.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Arrest: v.t. Formally to detain one accused of unusualness.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Artlessness: n. A certain engaging quality to which women attain by long study and severe practice upon the admiring male, who is pleased to fancy it resembles the candid simplicity of his young.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Asperse: v.t. Maliciously to ascribe to another vicious actions which one has not had the temptation and opportunity to commit.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Ass: n. A public singer with a good voice but no ear. In Virginia City, Nevada, he is called the Washoe Canary, in Dakota, the Senator, and everywhere the Donkey. The animal is widely and variously celebrated in the literature, art and religion of every age and country; no other so engages and fires the human imagination as this noble vertebrate. Indeed, it is doubted by some (Ramasilus, lib. II., De Clem., and C. Stantatus, De Temperamente) if it is not a god; and as such we know it was worshiped by the Etruscans, and, if we may believe Macrobious, by the Cupasians also. Of the only two animals admitted into the Mahometan Paradise along with the souls of men, the ass that carried Balaam is one, the dog of the Seven Sleepers the other. This is no small distinction. From what has been written about this beast might be compiled a library of great splendor and magnitude, rivalling that of the Shakespearean cult, and that which clusters about the Bible. It may be said, generally, that all literature is more or less Asinine.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Auctioneer: n. The man who proclaims with a hammer that he has picked a pocket with his tongue.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Australia: n. A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Baal: n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the Phoenicians; as Belus or Bel he had the honor to be served by the priest Berosus, who wrote the famous account of the Deluge; as Babel he had a tower partly erected to his glory on the Plain of Shinar. From Babel comes our English word "babble." Under whatever name worshiped, Baal is the Sun-god. As Beelzebub he is the god of flies, which are begotten of the sun's rays on the stagnant water. In Physicia Baal is still worshiped as Bolus, and as Belly he is adored and served with abundant sacrifice by the priests of Guttledom.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Babe or Baby: n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or condition, chiefly remarkable for the violence of the sympathies and antipathies it excites in others, itself without sentiment or emotion. There have been famous babes; for example, little Moses, from whose adventure in the bulrushes the Egyptian hierophants of seven centuries before doubtless derived their idle tale of the child Osiris being preserved on a floating lotus leaf.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Bacchus: n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Back: n. That part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Backbite: v.t. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Bait: n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Baptism: n. A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever. It is performed with water in two ways – by immersion, or plunging, and by aspersion, or sprinkling.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Barometer: n. An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Before undergoing a surgical operation, arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
– Ambrose Bierce

Birth: n. The first and direst of all disasters.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Bore: n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Bride: n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Cabbage: A ... vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Childhood: n. The period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth – two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Christian: n. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Clairvoyant: n. A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron – namely, that he is a blockhead.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Clergyman: n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of bettering his temporal ones.
– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum. (I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.)
– Ambrose Bierce

Conservative: n: a statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Critic: n. A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Cynic: n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Day: n. A period of time of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Deliberation: n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Dentist: n.: A Prestidigitator who, putting metal in one's mouth, pulls coins out of one's pockets.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Diplomacy: The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Education: n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Egotist: n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Every time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American eagle, it observes only the rear end of an ostrich.
– Ambrose Bierce

Experience: n. The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Faith: n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Fork: n. An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
– Ambrose Bierce

Happiness: An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Hatred: A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's superiority.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

History: n. An account mostly false, of events unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Impiety: n. Your irreverence toward my deity.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
– Ambrose Bierce

An inventor is a person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Interpreter: One who enables two persons of different languages to understand each other by repeating to each what it would have been to the interpreter's advantage for the other to have said.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Lawsuit n. A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Lawyer: n. One skilled in the circumvention of the law.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Life: n. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay. We live in daily apprehension of its loss; yet when lost it is not missed.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Logic: n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Longevity: n. Uncommon extension of the fear of death.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Love: n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mad: adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Magpie: n. A bird whose thievish disposition suggested to someone that it might be taught to talk.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Maiden: n. A young person of the unfair sex addicted to clewless conduct and views that madden to crime. The genus has a wide geographical distribution, being found wherever sought and deplored wherever found. The maiden is not altogether unpleasing to the eye, nor (without her piano and her views) insupportable to the ear, though in respect to comeliness distinctly inferior to the rainbow, and, with regard to the part of her that is audible, bleating out of the field by the canary – which, also, is more portable.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Magesty: n. The state and title of a king. Regarded with a just contempt by the Most Eminent Grand Masters, Grand Chancellors, Great Incohonees and Imperial Potentates of the ancient and honorable orders of republican America.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Male: n. A member of the unconsidered, or negligible sex. The male of the human race is commonly known (to the female) as Mere Man. The genus has two varieties: good providers and bad providers.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Malefactor: n. The chief factor in the progress of the human race.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Malthusian: adj. Pertaining to Malthus and his doctrines. Malthus believed in artificially limiting population, but found that it could not be done by talking. One of the most practical exponents of the Malthusian idea was Herod of Judea, though all the famous soldiers have been of the same way of thinking.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mammalia: n. pl. A family of vertebrate animals whose females in a state of nature suckle their young, but when civilized and enlightened put them out to nurse, or use the bottle.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mammon: n. The god of the world's leading religion. The chief temple is in the holy city of New York.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Man: n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Manicheism: n. The ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant warfare between Good and Evil. When Good gave up the fight the Persians joined the victorious Opposition.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Manna: n. A food miraculously given to the Israelites in the wilderness. When it was no longer supplied to them they settled down and tilled the soil, fertilizing it, as a rule, with the bodies of the original occupants.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Marraige: n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Martyr: n. One who moves along the line of least reluctance to a desired death.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Material: adj. Having an actual existence, as distinguished from an imaginary one. Important.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mausoleum: n. The final and funniest folly of the rich.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mayonnaise: n. One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Me: pro. The objectionable case of I. The personal pronoun in English has three cases, the dominative, the objectionable and the oppressive. Each is all three.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Meander: n. To proceed sinuously and aimlessly. The word is the ancient name of a river about one hundred and fifty miles south of Troy, which turned and twisted in the effort to get out of hearing when the Greeks and Trojans boasted of their prowess.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Medal: n. A small metal disk given as a reward for virtues, attainments or services more or less authentic. It is related of Bismark, who had been awarded a medal for gallantly rescuing a drowning person, that, being asked the meaning of the medal, he replied: "I save lives sometimes." And sometimes he didn't.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Medicine: n. A stone flung down the Bowery to kill a dog in Broadway.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Meekness: n. Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Meerschaum: n. (Literally, seafoam, and by many erroneously supposed to be made of it.) A fine white clay, which for convenience in coloring it brown is made into tobacco pipes and smoked by the workmen engaged in that industry. The purpose of coloring it has not been disclosed by the manufacturers.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mendacious: adj. Addicted to rhetoric.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Merchant: n. One engaged in a commercial pursuit. A commercial pursuit is one in which the thing pursued is a dollar.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mercy: n. An attribute beloved of detected offenders.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mesmerism: n. Hypnotism before it wore good clothes, kept a carriage and asked Incredulity to dinner.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Metropolis: n. A stronghold of provincialism.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Millenium: n. The period of a thousand years when the lid is to be screwed down, with all reformers on the under side.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mind: n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with. From the Latin mens, a fact unknown to that honest shoe-seller, who, observing that his learned competitor over the way had displayed the motto "Mens conscia recti," emblazoned his own front with the words "Men's, women's and children's conscia recti."
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mine: adj. Belonging to me if I can hold or seize it.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Minister: n. An agent of a higher power with a lower responsibility. In diplomacy and officer sent into a foreign country as the visible embodiment of his sovereign's hostility. His principal qualification is a degree of plausible inveracity next below that of an ambassador.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Minor: adj. Less objectionable.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Minstrel: adj. Formerly a poet, singer or musician; now a nigger with a color less than skin deep and a humor more than flesh and blood can bear.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Miracle: n. An act or event out of the order of nature and unaccountable, as beating a normal hand of four kings and an ace with four aces and a king.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Miscreant: n. A person of the highest degree of unworth. Etymologically, the word means unbeliever, and its present signification may be regarded as theology's noblest contribution to the development of our language.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Misdemeanor: n. An infraction of the law having less dignity than a felony and constituting no claim to admittance into the best criminal society.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Misericorde: n. A dagger which in mediaeval warfare was used by the foot soldier to remind an unhorsed knight that he was mortal.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Misfortune: n. The kind of fortune that never misses.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Miss: n. The title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Missis (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense. Two are corruptions of Mistress, the other of Master. In the general abolition of social titles in this our country they miraculously escaped to plague us. If we must have them let us be consistent and give one to the unmarried man. I venture to suggest Mush, abbreviated to Mh.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Molecule: n. The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. It is distinguished from the corpuscle, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter, by a closer resemblance to the atom, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. Three great scientific theories of the structure of the universe are the molecular, the corpuscular and the atomic. A fourth affirms, with Haeckel, the condensation of precipitation of matter from ether – whose existence is proved by the condensation of precipitation. The present trend of scientific thought is toward the theory of ions. The ion differs from the molecule, the corpuscle and the atom in that it is an ion. A fifth theory is held by idiots, but it is doubtful if they know any more about the matter than the others.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monad: n. The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. (See Molecule.) According to Leibnitz, as nearly as he seems willing to be understood, the monad has body without bulk, and mind without manifestation – Leibnitz knows him by the innate power of considering. He has founded upon him a theory of the universe, which the creature bears without resentment, for the monad is a gentleman. Small as he is, the monad contains all the powers and possibilities needful to his evolution into a German philosopher of the first class – altogether a very capable little fellow. He is not to be confounded with the microbe, or bacillus; by its inability to discern him, a good microscope shows him to be of an entirely distinct species.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monarch: n. A person engaged in reigning. Formerly the monarch ruled, as the derivation of the word attests, and as many subjects have had occasion to learn. In Russia and the Orient the monarch has still a considerable influence in public affairs and in the disposition of the human head, but in western Europe political administration is mostly entrusted to his ministers, he being somewhat preoccupied with reflections relating to the status of his own head.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monarchical government: n. Government.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monday: n. In Christian countries, the day after the baseball game.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Money: n. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it. An evidence of culture and a passport to polite society. Supportable property.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monkey: n. An arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monosylabic: adj. Composed of words of one syllable, for literary babes who never tire of testifying their delight in the vapid compound by appropriate googoogling. The words are commonly Saxon – that is to say, words of a barbarous people destitute of ideas and incapable of any but the most elementary sentiments and emotions.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monsignor: n. A high ecclesiastical title, of which the Founder of our religion overlooked the advantages.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Monument: n. A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated. The monument custom has its reductiones ad absurdum in monuments "to the unknown dead" – that is to say, monuments to perpetuate the memory of those who have left no memory.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Moral: adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

More: adj. The comparative degree of too much.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mouse: n. An animal which strews its path with fainting women. As in Rome Christians were thrown to the lions, so centuries earlier in Otumwee, the most ancient and famous city of the world, female heretics were thrown to the mice. Jakak-Zotp, the historian, the only Otumwump whose writings have descended to us, says that these martyrs met their death with little dignity and much exertion. He even attempts to exculpate the mice (such is the malice of bigotry) by declaring that the unfortunate women perished, some from exhaustion, some of broken necks from falling over their own feet, and some from lack of restoratives. The mice, he avers, enjoyed the pleasures of the chase with composure. But if "Roman history is nine-tenths lying," we can hardly expect a smaller proportion of that rhetorical figure in the annals of a people capable of so incredible cruelty to a lovely women; for a hard heart has a false tongue.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mousquetaire: n. A long glove covering a part of the arm. Worn in New Jersey. But "mousquetaire" is a mighty poor way to spell muskeeter.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mouth: n. In man, the gateway to the soul; in woman, the outlet of the heart.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mugwump: n. In politics one afflicted with self-respect and addicted to the vice of independence. A term of contempt.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mulatto: n. A child of two races, ashamed of both.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Multitude: n. A crowd; the source of political wisdom and virtue. In a republic, the object of the statesman's adoration. "In a multitude of counsellors there is wisdom," saith the proverb. If many men of equal individual wisdom are wiser than any one of them, it must be that they acquire the excess of wisdom by the mere act of getting together. Whence comes it? Obviously from nowhere – as well say that a range of mountains is higher than the single mountains composing it. A multitude is as wise as its wisest member if it obey him; if not, it is no wiser than its most foolish.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mummy: n. An ancient Egyptian, formerly in universal use among modern civilized nations as medicine, and now engaged in supplying art with an excellent pigment. He is handy, too, in museums in gratifying the vulgar curiosity that serves to distinguish man from the lower animals.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mustang: n. An indocile horse of the western plains. In English society, the American wife of an English nobleman.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Myrmidon: n. A follower of Achilles – particularly when he didn't lead.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Mythology: n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

The ocean is a body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Opera: n. A play representing life in another world whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures, and no postures but attitudes.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Optimism: n. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Optimist: n. A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pain: n. An uncomfortable frame of mind that may have a physical basis in something that is being done to the body, or may be purely mental, caused by the good fortune of another.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
Formerly, painting and sculpture were combined in the same work: the ancients painted their statues. The only present alliance between the two arts is that the modern painter chisels his patrons.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Palace; n. A fine and costly residence, particularly that of a great official. The residence of a high dignitary of the Christian Church is called a palace; that of the Founder of his religion was known as a field, or wayside. There is progress.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Palm: n. A species of tree having several varieties, of which the familiar "itching palm" (Palma hominis) is most widely distributed and sedulously cultivated. This noble vegetable exudes a kind of invisible gum, which may be detected by applying to the bark a piece of gold or silver. The metal will adhere with remarkable tenacity. The fruit of the itching palm is so bitter and unsatisfying that a considerable percentage of it is sometimes given away in what are known as "benefactions."
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Palmistry: n. The 947th method (according to Mimbleshaw's classification) of obtaining money by false pretences. It consists in "reading character" in the wrinkles made by closing the hand. The pretence is not altogether false; character can really be read very accurately in this way, for the wrinkles in every hand submitted plainly spell the word "dupe." The imposture consists in not reading it aloud.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pandemonium: n. Literally, the Place of All the Demons. Most of them have escaped into politics and finance, and the place is now used as a lecture hall by the Audible Reformer. When disturbed by his voice the ancient echoes clamor appropriate responses most gratifying to his pride of distinction.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pantaloons: n. A nether habiliment of the adult civilized male. The garment is tubular and unprovided with hinges at the points of flexion. Supposed to have been invented by a humorist. Called "trousers" by the enlightened and "pants" by the unworthy.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pantheism: n. The doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pantomime: n. A play in which the story is told without violence to the language. The least disagreeable form of dramatic action.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pardon: v. To remit a penalty and restore to the life of crime. To add to the lure of crime the temptation of ingratitude.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Passport: n. A document treacherously inflicted upon a citizen going abroad, exposing him as a n alien and pointing him out for special reprobation and outrage.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Past: n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one – the knowledge and the dream.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pastime: n. A device for promoting dejection. Gentle exercise for intellectual debility.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Patience: n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Patriot: n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Patriotism: n. Combustible rubbish read to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Peace: n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Philosophy: n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Phonograph: n. An irritating toy that restores life to dead noises.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pleasure: n. The least hateful form of dejection.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Politeness: n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Politics: n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

To be positive: To be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Pray: v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Quotation: n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Religion: n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Reporter: A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Reverence:n. The spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Revolution: n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Saint: n. A dead sinner revised and edited.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Scriptures: n.: The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Self-denial is indulgence of a propensity to forego.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Success is the one unpardonable sin against one's fellows.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

The covers of this book are too far apart.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
– Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
– Ambroise Bierce

We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.
– Ambroise Bierce

Year n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
– Ambroise Bierce

 

More on    Steve Biko (1946–1977), founder and martyr of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa.

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
– Steve Biko

The power of a movement lies in the fact that it can indeed change the habits of people. This change is not the result of force but of dedication, of moral persuasion.
– Steve Biko, Interview, July 1976. Quoted in Biko, by Donald Woods (1978).

 

More on    Josh Billings (1818–1885) U.S. humorist and lecturer

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
– Josh Billings

About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
– Josh Billings

Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist – it reduces him to his fighting weight.
– Josh Billings

Advice is like castor oil, easy to give, but dreadful to take.
– Josh Billings

Always live within your income, even if you have to borrow money to do so.
– Josh Billings

As a general thing, when a woman wears the pants in a family, she has a good right to them.
– Josh Billings

As long as we are lucky we attribute it to our smartness; our bad luck we give the gods credit for.
– Josh Billings

As scarce as the truth is, the supply is always greater than the demand.
– Josh Billings, Affurisms from Josh Billings: His Sayings (1865)

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.
– Josh Billings

Building air castles is a harmless business as long as you don't attempt to live in them.
– Josh Billings

Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius.
– Josh Billings

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they ought to be done.
– Josh Billings

Confess your sins to the Lord and you will be forgiven; confess them to man and you will be laughed at.
– Josh Billings

Don't ever prophesy; for if you prophesy wrong, nobody will forget it; and if you prophesy right, nobody will remember it.
– Josh Billings

Don't mistake pleasure for happiness. They are a different breed of dogs.
– Josh Billings

Don't put off till tomorrow what can be enjoyed today.
– Josh Billings

Don't take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to.
– Josh Billings

Economy is a savings-bank, into which men drop pennies, and get dollars in return.
– Josh Billings

Every man has his follies – and often they are the most interesting thing he had got.
– Josh Billings

Experience is a school where a man learns what a big fool he has been.
– Josh Billings

Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt of, not swallowed.
– Josh Billings

Genius ain't anything more than elegant common sense.
– Josh Billings

Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess, and yet all the honesty in the world ain't lawful tender for a loaf of bread.
– Josh Billings

I am a poor man, but I have this consolation: I am poor by accident, not by design.
– Josh Billings

I don't care how much a person talks, if they only say it in a few words.
– Josh Billings

I have finally come to the conclusion that a good reliable set of bowels is worth more to man than any quanity of brains.
– Josh Billings

I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.
– Josh Billings

I think when the full horror of being fifty hits you, you should stay home and have a good cry.
– Josh Billings

If a man should happen to reach perfection in this world, he would have to die immediately to enjoy himself.
– Josh Billings

If there was no faith there would be no living in this world. We couldn't even eat hash with safety.
– Josh Billings

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
– Josh Billings

If you ever find happiness by hunting for it, you will find it, as the old woman did her lost spectacles, safe on her own nose all the time.
– Josh Billings

In youth we run into difficulties. In old age difficulties run into us.
– Josh Billings

It ain't so much trouble to get rich as it is to tell when we have got rich.
– Josh Billings

It is better to be a young June bug than an old bird of paradise.
– Josh Billings

It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those that we intend to commit.
– Josh Billings

It is not all bad, this getting old, ripening. After the fruit has got its growth it should juice up and mellow. God forbid I should live long enough to ferment and rot and fall to the ground in a squash.
– Josh Billings

It is true that wealth won't make a man virtuous, but I notice there isn't anybody who wants to be poor just for the purpose of being good.
– Josh Billings

It may be risky to marry for love, but it's so honest that the Lord just has to smile on it.
– Josh Billings

It's not only the most difficult thing to know one's self, but the most inconvenient.
– Josh Billings

Knowledge is like money: the more he gets, the more he craves.
– Josh Billings

Laughing is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one spot.
– Josh Billings

Learning sleeps and snores in libraries, but wisdom is everywhere, wide awake, on tiptoe.
– Josh Billings

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.
– Josh Billings

Life is short, but it's long enough to ruin any man who wants to be ruined.
– Josh Billings

Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.
– Josh Billings

Men mourn for what they have lost; women for what they ain't got.
– Josh Billings

Music hath the charm to soothe a savage beast, but I'd try a revolver first.
– Josh Billings

Nature never makes any blunders; when she makes a fool, she means it.
– Josh Billings

No one can disgrace us but ourselves.
– Josh Billings

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.
– Josh Billings

One of rarest things that a man ever does is to do the best he can.
– Josh Billings

One of the best temporary cures for pride and affectation is seasickness; a man who wants to vomit never puts on airs.
– Josh Billings

Reason often makes mistakes, but conscience never does.
– Josh Billings

Remember the poor, it costs nothing.
– Josh Billings

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.
– Josh Billings

Some folks are wise and some otherwise.
– Josh Billings

Take all the fools out of this world and there wouldn't be any fun living in it, or profit.
– Josh Billings

The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.
– Josh Billings

The best medicine I know for rheumatism is to thank the Lord that it ain't gout.
– Josh Billings

The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his way.
– Josh Billings

The happiest time in a man's life is when he is in the red hot pursuit of a dollar with a reasonable prospect of overtaking it.
– Josh Billings

The miser and the glutton are two facetious buzzards: one hides his store, and the other stores his hide.
– Josh Billings

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it.
– Josh Billings

The time to pray is not when we are in a tight spot but just as soon as we get out of it.
– Josh Billings

The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much that ain't so.
– Josh Billings

The wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease.
– Josh Billings

There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.
– Josh Billings

There are people who are always anticipating trouble, and in this way they manage to enjoy many sorrows that never really happen to them.
– Josh Billings

There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can't tell the truth without lying.
– Josh Billings

There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: Twins.
– Josh Billings

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
– Josh Billings

Those who enter heaven may find the outer walls plastered with creeds, but they won't find any on the inside.
– Josh Billings

Time is like money, the less we have of it to spare the further we make it go.
– Josh Billings

There is nothing so easy to learn as experience and nothing so hard to apply.
– Josh Billings

There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.
– Josh Billings

There's a lot of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it.
– Josh Billings

Threescore years and ten is enough; if a man can't suffer all the misery he wants in that time, he must be numb.
– Josh Billings

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.
– Josh Billings

What the moral army needs just now is more rank and file and fewer brigadier generals.
– Josh Billings

When a man comes to me for advice, I find out the kind of advice he wants, and I give it to him.
– Josh Billings

Woman's influence is powerful, especially when she wants something.
– Josh Billings

The scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of the intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured.
– Alfred Binet (1857–1911), on his intelligence (IQ) scale, quoted in Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, W.W. Norton and Co., Ltd, NY (1996)

The most serious doubt that has been thrown on the authenticity of the biblical miracles is the fact that most of the witnesses in regard to them were fishermen.
– Arthur Binstead (1846–1915), Pitcher's Proverbs (1909)

On the edge of destiny, you must test your strength.
– Billy Bishop

 

More on    Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck (1815–1898) German statesman

To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.
– Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck

Politics is the art of the possible.
– Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck

The Catholic priest, from the moment he becomes a priest, is a sworn officer of the pope.
– Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, speech in the Prussian upper house, April 12, 1886

When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.
– Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck

Freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.
– Hugo Black (1886–1971) U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1937–1971), One Man's Stand For Freedom (1963)

The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.
– Hugo Black (1886–1971) U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1937–1971), Majority opinion, Everson v Board of Education

It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.
– William Blackstone

Education, education, education.
– Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

I didn't come into politics to change the Labour Party. I came into politics to change the country.
– Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

Now is not the time for sound-bites. I can feel the hand of history on my shoulder.
– Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, on the signing of the "Good Friday Agreement"

This party will, ultimately, be judged on its ability to deliver on its promise.
– Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

You only require two things in life: your sanity and your wife.
– Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

I don't have any bad habits. They might be bad habits for other people, but they're all right for me.
– Eubie Blake (1979)

If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
– Eubie Blake (1980)

 

More on    William Blake (1757–1827), English poet, engraver, publisher and artist

A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said, "I've a pretty rose-tree",
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.

Then I went to my pretty rose-tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.
– William Blake, Songs of Experience, "My Pretty Rose-Tree" (1794)

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
– William Blake

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove house fill'd with doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro' all its regions.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?"
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery."
– William Blake, Songs of Experience, "The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow" (1794)

Ah, Sunflower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go.
– William Blake, Songs of Experience, "The Sunflower"

All futurity seems teeming with endless destruction never to be repelled; Desperate remorse swallows the present in a quenchless rage.
– William Blake

And there the lion's ruddy eyes
Shall flow with tears of gold,
And pitying the tender cries,
And walking round the fold,
Saying, "Wrath, by his meekness,
And, by his health, sickness
Is driven away
Form our immortal day.
– William Blake, "Songs of Innocence – Night"

Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.
– William Blake

Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.
– William Blake

Better murder an infant in its cradle than nurse an unacted desire.
– William Blake

Both read the Bible day and night,
but thou read black where I read white.
– William Blake

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
– William Blake, "And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time"

Can I see another's woe,
and not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
and not seek for kind relief?
– William Blake

Christianity is art and not money. Money is its curse.
– William Blake

Commerce is so far from being beneficial to arts, or to empire, that it is destructive of both, as all their history shows, for the above reason of individual merit being its great hatred. Empires flourish till they become commercial, and then they are scattered abroad to the four winds.
– William Blake

Cruelty has a Human Heart,
And jealousy a Human Face;
Terror the Human Form Divine,
And secrecy the Human Dress.
The Human Dress is forged Iron,
The Human Form a Fiery Forge,
The Human Face a Furnace seal'd,
The Human Heart its hungry gorge.
– William Blake

Every harlot was a virgin once.
– William Blake

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

Exuberance is beauty.
– William Blake

For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.
– William Blake

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
This is not done by jostling in the street.
– William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy
 Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
 Lives in eternity's sun-rise.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

He who desires but does not act, breeds pestilence.
– William Blake

I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.
– William Blake

If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they'd immediately go out.
– William Blake

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
– William Blake

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
– William Blake

Love seeketh not itself to please,
nor for itself hath any care,
but for another gives its ease,
and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.
– William Blake

Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.
– William Blake

Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose public records to be true.
– William Blake, Annotations to Bishop Watson, An Apology for the Bible in a Series of Letters Addressed to Thomas Paine (1798; published in Complete Writings, ed. by Geoffrey Keynes (1957).

Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility.
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

Some say that happiness is not good for mortals, and they ought to be answered that sorrow is not fit for immortals and is utterly useless to any one; a blight never does good to a tree, and if a blight kill not a tree but it still bear fruit, let none say that the fruit was in consequence of the blight.
– William Blake

That the Jews assumed a right exclusively to the benefits of God will be a lasting witness against them and the same will it be against Christians.
– William Blake

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

The cistern contains: the fountain overflows.
One thought fills immensity.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

The foundation of empire is art & science. Remove them or degrade them, & the empire is no more.
– William Blake

The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.
– William Blake, "To the Deists"

The Goddess Fortune is the devil's servant, ready to kiss any one's ass.
– William Blake

The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.
– William Blake

The inquiry in England is not whether a man has talents and genius, but whether he is passive and polite and a virtuous ass and obedient to noblemen's opinions in art and science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved.
– William Blake

The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
– William Blake

The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel'd to heaven is no artist.
– William Blake

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
– William Blake

The strongest poison ever known came from Caesar's laurel crown.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
– William Blake

The weak in courage is strong in cunning.
– William Blake

Those who restrain their desires, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.
– William Blake

Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache;
do be my enemy for friendship's sake.
– William Blake

To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit. General knowledges are those knowledges that idiots possess.
– William Blake

To see a world in a grain of sand,
 And a heaven in a wild flower:
  Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
   And eternity in an hour.
– William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," poem first published by Rossetti in his edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (18630 It was edited from a manuscript written by Blake probably during his stay at Felpham (1800-3)

To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes.
– William Blake

Use what talents you possess; The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
– William Blake

What is now proved was once only imagin'd.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.
– William Blake

When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.
– William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.
– William Blake, "Songs of Innocence – The Chimney Sweeper"

When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!
– William Blake

Where mercy, love, and pity dwell, there God is dwelling too.
– William Blake

You cannot have Liberty in this world without what you call Moral Virtue, and you cannot have Moral Virtue without the slavery of that half of the human race who hate what you call Moral Virtue.
– William Blake

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
– William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
– Kenneth Blanchard

If your project doesn't work, look for the part that you didn't think was important.
– Arthur Bloch

Overachievement is giving yourself a high colonic with a Roto-Rooter.
– Robert Bloch

I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf.
– Robert Bloch

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.
– Block's Murphy's Law

[The] first responsibility [of the press is to] use its freedom to protect the rights and liberties of all individuals. The press must speak out, and, if the occasion arises, raise bloody hell.
– Herb Block, political cartoonist, who used the nom de plume Herblock (1957)

Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginings.
– Ralph Blum

No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine.
– former State Department officer William Blum

Ours is the ten-second democracy of the ballot box, accompanied by tolerance of dissent so long as it doesn't threaten established power.
– former State Department officer William Blum, Rogue State

 

More on    Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375), Italian poet and scholar

Although love dwells in gorgeous palaces, and sumptuous apartments, more willingly than in miserable and desolate cottages, it cannot be denied but that he sometimes causes his power to be felt in the gloomy recesses of forests, among the most bleak and rugged mountains, and in the dreary caves of a desert.
– Giovanni Boccaccio

Do as we say, and not as we do.
– Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron

Heaven would indeed be heaven if lovers were there permitted as much enjoyment as they had experienced on earth.
– Giovanni Boccaccio

His hair stood upright like porcupine quills.
– Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron

How many valiant men, how many fair ladies, breakfast with their kinfolk and the same night supped with their ancestors in the next world! The condition of the people was pitiable to behold. They sickened by the thousands daily, and died unattended and without help. Many died in the open street, others dying in their houses, made it known by the stench of their rotting bodies. Consecrated churchyards did not suffice for the burial of the vast multitude of bodies, which were heaped by the hundreds in vast trenches, like goods in a ships hold and covered with a little earth.
– Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375), Italian poet and scholar, describing the Black Plague

Human it is to have compassion on the unhappy.
– Giovanni Boccaccio

In this world, only misery is safe from envy.
– Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron

No corrupt mind ever understands words healthily.
– Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron

People tend to believe the bad rather than the good.
– Giovanni Boccaccio

So much good have I received from you that if ever I was worth anything, It was because of you and the love I bore for you.
– Giovanni Boccaccio

While farmers generally allow one rooster for ten hens, ten men are scarcely sufficient to service one woman.
– Giovanni Boccaccio

They'll nail anyone who ever scratched his ass during the National Anthem.
– Humphrey Bogart, speaking of the House Un-American Activities Committee

 

More on    Niels Bohr 1885–1962, Danish physicist, Nobel in 1922

There are two kinds of truths: small truth and great truth. You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is a falsehood. The opposite of a great truth is another great truth.
– Niels Bohr

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
– Niels Bohr

You're not thinking, you're merely being logical!
– Niels Bohr

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
– Derek Bok

 

More on    Simón Bolķvar (1783– ), patriot, statesman and liberator of five South American Republics

If Nature is against us, we shall fight Nature, and make it obey.
– Simón Bolķvar

Judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.
– Simón Bolķvar

The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.
– Simón Bolķvar

The first duty of a government is to give education to the people.
– Simón Bolķvar

We have plowed the seas.
– Simón Bolķvar

 

More on    Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) French general and emperor

A Constitution should be short and obscure.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

A leader is a dealer in hope.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

A man's palate can, in time, become accustomed to anything.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

A true man hates no one.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Ability is of little account without opportunity.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

All religions have been made by men.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

An order that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Chance is the providence of adventurers.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Circumstances!?! I make circumstances.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Courage is like love, it must have hope for nourishment.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Do you know what amazes me more than anything else? The impotence of force to organize anything.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Doctors will have more lives to answer for in the next world than even we generals.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Every private in the French army carries a marshall's baton in his knapsack.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Great people are meteors designed to burn so that the earth may be lighted.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Greatness is nothing unless it is lasting.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Here, Gentlemen, a dog teaches us a lesson in humanity.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares "God wills it thus." Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I closed the gulf of anarchy and brought order out of chaos. I rewarded merit regardless of birth or wealth, wherever I found it. I abolished feudalism and restored equality to all regardless of religion and before the law. I fought the decrepit monarchies of the Old Regime because the alternative was the destruction of all this. I purified the Revolution.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I have only one counsel for you – be master.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I made all my generals out of mud.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle this matter by lunch time.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon-shots.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Imagination rules the world.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

In politics ... never retreat, never retract ... never admit a mistake.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Incidents should not govern policy; but, policy incidents.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

It is astonishing what power words have over a man.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

It requires more courage to suffer than to die.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Let the path be open to talent.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Medicines are only fit for old people.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions, the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Men are lead by trifles.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Music of all the arts has the most influence on the passions and the legislator should give it the greatest encouragement.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
– Napoleon Bonaparte.

Never awake me when you have good news to announce, because with good news nothing presses; but when you have bad news, arouse me immediately, for then there is not an instant to be lost.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

One must change one's tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one's superiority.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Philosophers have no conception of religion as a popular force. If I had to make a religion for philosophers, it would be very different from what I would supply for the credulous.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Public instruction should be the first object of government.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Secrets travel fast in Paris.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The art of the police is not to see what it is useless that it should see.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The destiny of the child is always the work of the mother.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The French complain of everything, and always.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The greatest general is he who makes the fewest mistakes.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The infectiousness of crime is like that of the plague.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The most dangerous moment comes with victory.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The most insupportable of tyrannies is that of inferiors.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The only one who is wiser than anyone is everyone.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The only victory over love is flight.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

There are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

There is no class of people so hard to manage in a state, as those whose intentions are honest, but whose consciences are bewitched.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

There is no place in a fanatic's head where reason can enter.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Tragedy warms the soul, elevates the heart, can and ought to create heroes.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Truth alone wounds.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Vengeance has no foresight.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Victory belongs to the most persevering.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Water, air, and cleanliness are the chief articles in my pharmacy.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

We must laugh at man, to avoid crying for him.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

What is history but a fable agreed upon?
– Napoleon Bonaparte

When firmness is sufficient, rashness is unnecessary.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

When I want any good head work done, if possible, I always choose a man with a long nose.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

When soldiers have been baptized in the fire of a battlefield, they have all one rank in my eyes.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Who saves his country violates no law.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

With audacity one can undertake anything, but not do everything.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

You must not fear death, my lads; defy him, and you drive him into the enemy's ranks.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your tricks of war.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

When powerful people pursue profits at the expense of human rights and our environment, they have failed as leaders.
– Julia (Judy) Bonds, winner of the 2002 Goldman Prize award for environmental activists

The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas. It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong than to be always right by having no ideas at all.
– Edward de Bono

By the old system we have no time for mental cultivation – that is the policy of big business – they endeavor to keep people ignorant by keeping them always at work.
– Boston Worker (1835)

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.
– James Boswell

Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.
– Elias Boudinot

In politics, merit is rewarded by the possessor being raised, like a target, to a position to be fired at.
– Christian Nevell Bovee (from Politicians and Other Scoundrels by Ferdinand Lundberg)

We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism.
– Robert Bowman, Vietnam Veteran, bishop of the United Catholic Church in Melbourne Beach, Florida

The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.
– Henry Boyle

We believe that doctors have the same concerns as their patients and will share in all the sacrifices that are necessary to keep the economy strong.
– Dr. Joseph F. Boyle

From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself the best I can. But lacking this, in the future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind and see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
– Ray Bradbury

We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.
– Ray Bradbury

You can't try to do things; you simply must do them.
– Ray Bradbury

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.
– General Omar Bradley

Set our course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.
– General Omar Bradley

Without free speech no search for truth is possible ... no discovery of truth is useful ... Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.
– Charles Bradlaugh, English reformer (1890)

All over the world, people need change. The change? Getting control over the power and resources they need to solve their problems.
– Jeremy Brecher, historian and author

 

More on    Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) German poet, playwright, and theatrical reformer

Grub first, then ethics.
– Bertolt Brecht

Love is also like a coconut which is good while it is fresh, but you have to spit it out when the juice is gone, what’s left tastes bitter.
– Bertolt Brecht

Poverty makes you wise but it's a curse.
– Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera

The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top aren't always defeats and victories for the fellows at the bottom.
– Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage

The finest plans have always been spoiled by the littleness of them that should carry them out. Even emperors can't do it all by themselves.
– Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage

Andrea:
Unhappy the land that has no heroes!
Galileo:
No, unhappy the land that needs heroes.
– Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo

War is like love, it always finds a way.
– Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage

What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?
– Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera

Whenever there are great virtues, it's a sure sign something's wrong.
– Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage

Who struggles can fail. Who doesn't struggle has already failed!
– Bertolt Brecht

You can only help one of your luckless brothers
By trampling down a dozen others.
– Bertolt Brecht, The Good Woman of Setzuan

Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.
– Bertolt Brecht

Would it not be easier for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?
– Bertolt Brecht

Why be a man when you can be a success?
– Bertolt Brecht

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

I don't have any solution but I certainly admire the problem.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

In order to keep an open mind, I am trying to avoid learning anything.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

Inform all the troops that communications have completely broken down.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

Please don't ask me what the score is, I'm not even sure what the game is.
– Ashleigh Brilliant

Please don't lie to me, unless you're absolutely sure I'll never find out the truth.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and whatever you hit, call it the target.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

Today's children are required to learn what most people in former times were forbidden to know.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

Try to relax and enjoy the crisis.
– Ashleigh Brilliant, Brilliant Thoughts (http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com)

The one function TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were.
– David Brinkley

Feeling without judgement is a washy draught indeed; but judgement untempered by feeling is too bitter and husky a morsel for human deglutition.
– Charlotte Brontė, Jane Eyre

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.
– Charlotte Brontė, Jane Eyre

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
– Rupert Brooke, English poet, "The Soldier"

If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.
– Mel Brooks

Those who have easy, cheerful attitudes tend to be happier than those with less pleasant temperaments, regardless of money, "making it", or success.
– Dr. Joyce Brothers

Act as if it were impossible to fail.
– Dorothea Broude

Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.
– Henry Brougham

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow.
– Charles Brower

Be smarter than other people, just don't tell them so.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

If you are angry, why not try this. Write a letter. Pour out all of your feelings, describe your anger and disappointment. Don't hold anything back. Then put the letter in a drawer. After two days, take it out and read it. Do you still want to send it? I've found that anger and pie crusts soften after two days.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
see
Thomas Jefferson
see Mark Twain

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.
– H. Jackson Brown

The next time you face a customer who has every right to be upset, say something like this: "I don't blame you for feeling as you do. If I were you, I'd feel exactly the same way. What would you like for me to do?" These are magical, healing words, and you'll be surprised at how reasonable people become when they believe you are on their side.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

When you are angry or frustrated, what comes out? Whatever it is, it's a good indication of what you're made of.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

When you have nothing important or interesting to say, don't let anyone persuade you to say it.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You either make dust or eat dust.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.
– Les Brown

The sins of the nation will only be purged with blood.
– John Brown, abolitionist, as he was being led to the gallows.

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it's you.
– Rita Mae Brown

Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.
– Sam Brown

Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.
– Robert Browning

As long as men are liable to die and are desirous to live, a physician will be made fun of, but he will be well paid.
– Jean de la Bruyere

 

More on    William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925), U.S. lawyer, newspaper editor, politician

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.
– William Jennings Bryan

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
– William Jennings Bryan

Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
– William Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold", speech given during the 1896 Democratic National Convention, July 9, 1896

No one can earn a million dollars honestly.
– William Jennings Bryan

We say to you that you have made the definition of a business man too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the cross-roads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, who begins in spring and toils all summer, and who by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of the country creates wealth, is as much a business man as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain; the miners who go down a thousand feet into the earth, or climb two thousand feet upon the cliffs, and bring forth from their hiding places the precious metals to be poured into the channels of trade are as much businessmen as the few financial magnates who, in a back room, corner the money of the world. We come to speak of this broader class of business men.
– William Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold", speech given during the 1896 Democratic National Convention, July 9, 1896

You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.
– William Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold", speech given during the 1896 Democratic National Convention (July 9, 1896)

If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games for you.
– Paul "Bear" Bryant, football coach

I heard a bee, on a summer day,
Brisk and busy, and ripe for quarrel –
Bustling, and buzzing, and bouncing away,
In the fragrant depth of an old tar-barrel.
Do you ask what his buzzing was all about?
Oh, he was wondrous shrewd and critical:
'Twas sport to hear him scold and flout,
And the topics he chose were all political.
And first and foremost he buzzed of tar,
And called the heads of the government asses,
To let it be carried off so far,
And changed, at Trinidad, for molasses.
– William Cullen Bryant, "Bee in the Tar-Barrel" (1831)

Loveliest of lovely things are they
On earth that soonest pass away.
The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
– William Cullen Bryant, "A Scene on the Banks of the Hudson"

My friend, thou sorrowest for thy golden prime,
For thy fair youthful years too swift of flight;
Thou musest, with wet eyes, upon the time
Of cheerful hopes that filled the world with light –
Years when thy heart was bold, thy hand was strong,
And quick the thought that moved thy tongue to speak,
And willing faith was thine, and scorn of wrong
Summoned the sudden crimson to thy cheek.
– William Cullen Bryant, "Return of Youth"

 

More on    Pat Buchanan

AIDS is nature's retribution for violating the laws of nature.
– Pat Buchanan, during his 1992 presidential campaign

Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.
– Pat Buchanan, in a 1977 column, The Guardian (January 14, 1992)

... integration of blacks and whites – but even more so, poor and well-to-do – is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed consciously by government side by side with the capable.
– Pat Buchanan, memo to President Nixon, quoted in Washington Post, 1/5/92

Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.
– Pat Buchanan, speaking before the Christian Coalition in 1993

The War Between the States was about independence, about self-determination, about the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance. How long is this endless groveling before every cry of "racism" going to continue before the whole country collectively throws up?
– Pat Buchanan, accusing someone of "putting on an act" by associating the Confederacy with slavery, July 28, 1993

There is a legitimate grievance in my view of white working-class people that every time, on every issue, that the black militants loud-mouth it, we come up with more money ... If we can give 50 Phantoms [jet fighters] to the Jews, and a multi-billion dollar welfare program for the blacks ... why not help the Catholics save their collapsing school system.
– Pat Buchanan, memo to President Nixon, quoted in Boston Globe (January 4, 1992)

There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The "negroes" of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.
– Pat Buchanan, when discussing race relations in the 1950s, in his autobiography, Right from the Beginning (1988)

Though Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core, a man who without compunction could commit murder and genocide, he was also an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him.
– Pat Buchanan (1977)

We were among Hoover's conduits to the American people.
– Pat Buchanan, who was caught publishing FBI anti-Martin Luther King Jr. propaganda as his own editorials in the St. Louis Globe Democrat in the mid-1960s, in his autobiography, Right from the Beginning (1988)

We're going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular humanism right out of the public schools of America.
– Pat Buchanan, presidential candidate, addressing an anti-gay rally in Des Moines, Iowa (February 11, 1996)

 

More on    Pearl Buck (1892–1973), U.S. author, daughter of missionaries in China

A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.
– Pearl S. Buck

At my age the bones are water in the morning until food is given them.
– Pearl S. Buck

Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.
– Pearl S. Buck

Hunger makes thief of any man.
– Pearl S. Buck

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.
– Pearl S. Buck

None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
– Pearl S. Buck

Nothing in life is as good as the marriage of true minds between man and woman. As good? It is life itself.
– Pearl S. Buck

Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.
– Pearl S. Buck

Praise out of season, or tactlessly bestowed, can freeze the heart as much as blame.
– Pearl S. Buck

The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people – no mere father and mother – as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.
– Pearl S. Buck

The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.
– Pearl S. Buck

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.
– Pearl S. Buck, The Joy of Children (1964)

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.
– Pearl S. Buck

There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream – whatever that dream might be.
– Pearl S. Buck

Truth is always exciting. Speak it, then, Life is dull without it.
– Pearl S.Buck

The academic community has in it the biggest concentration of alarmists, cranks and extremists this side of the giggle house.
– William F. Buckley Jr.

There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.
– William F. Buckley Jr.

A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.
– Buddha

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
– Buddha

Birth gives rise to old age and death.
– Buddha

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
– Buddha

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
– Buddha

Help others, but when you do that, do not forget yourself.
– Buddha

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
– Buddha

Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.
– Buddha

Pain is the outcome of sin.
– Buddha

The body can be destroyed, but the effect of a kind action can remain.
– Buddha

The only thing permanent is change.
– Buddha

Win over anger with love, over ill will with good will; win over greed with generosity, over the liar with truth.
– Buddha

The only time to buy these is on a day with no "y" in it.
– Warren Buffet, investor

Any community's arm of force – military, police, security – needs people in it who can do neccesary evil, and yet not be made evil by it. To do only the necessary and no more. To constantly question the assumptions, to stop the slide into atrocity.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Borders of Infinity" (1989)

But pain ... seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Borders of Infinity" (1989)

Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Borders of Infinity" (1989)

Experience suggests it doesn't matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Borders of Infinity" (1989)

Good soldiers never pass up a chance to eat or sleep. They never know how much they'll be called on to do before the next chance.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Borders of Infinity" (1989)

His mother had often said, When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. She had emphasized the corollary of this axiom even more vehemently: when you desired a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Memory" (1996)

If you want to catch something, running after it isn't always the best way.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Borders of Infinity" (1989)

My home is not a place, it is people.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Barrayar" (1991)

Our children change us…whether they live or not.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Barrayar" (1991)

People are not simple, and one pigeonhole almost never suffices to hold them.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer

Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible. We're not giving up. We're waiting for a better opportunity to win.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction writer, "Barrayar" (1991)

 

More on    Sir Edward G. D. Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873), British politician, poet, critic and novelist

A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

A fresh mind keeps the body fresh. Take in the ideas of the day, drain off those of yesterday. As to the morrow, time enough to consider it when it becomes today.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

A good heart is better than all the heads in the world.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

A life of pleasure makes even the strongest mind frivolous at last.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

All that's bright must fade, The brightest still the fleetest; All that's sweet was made But to be lost when sweetest.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Anger ventilated often hurries towards forgiveness; anger concealed often hardens into revenge.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Art and science have their meeting point in method.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Beneath the rule of men entirely great,The pen is mightier than the sword.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Chance happens to all, but to turn chance to account is the gift of few.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Common sense is only a modification of talent. Genius is an exaltation of it. The difference is, therefore, in degree, not nature.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Dream manfully and nobly, and thy dreams shall be prophets.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity and truth accomplishes no victories without it.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Give, and you may keep your friend if you lose your money; Lend, and the chances are that you lose your friend if ever you get back your money.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Happiness and virtue rest upon each other; the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Happy is the man who hath never known what it is to taste of fame -to have it is a purgatory, to want it is a Hell!
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

How many of us have been attracted to reason; first learned to think, to draw conclusions, to extract a moral from the follies of life, by some dazzling aphorism.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

I cannot love as I have loved, And yet I know not why; It is the one great woe of life To feel all feeling die.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

I was always an early riser. Happy the man who is! Every morning day comes to him with a virgin's love, full of bloom and freshness. The youth of nature is contagious, like the gladness of a happy child.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

If thou be industrious to procure wealth, be generous in the disposal of it. Man never is so happy as when he giveth happiness unto another.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest. The classic literature is always modern.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

It is difficult to say who do you the most harm: enemies with the worst intentions or friends with the best.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Master books, but do not let them master you. Read to live, not live to read.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

No author ever drew a character consistent to human nature, but he was forced to ascribe to it many inconsistencies.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

One of the sublimest things in the world is plain truth.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

One of the surest evidences of friendship that one individual can display to another is telling him gently of a fault. If any other can excel it, it is listening to such a disclosure with gratitude, and amending the error.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of strength.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle at the onset.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Remorse is the echo of a lost virtue.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The conscience is the most flexible material in the world. Today you cannot stretch it over a mole hill; while tomorrow it can hide a mountain.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The easiest person to deceive is one's self.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The pen is mightier than the sword.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The prudent person may direct a state, but it is the enthusiast who regenerates or ruins it.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

There is but one philosophy and its name is fortitude! To bear is to conquer our fate.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

There is no such thing as luck. It's a fancy name for being always at our duty, and so sure to be ready when good time comes.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application of a rough truth.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

To laugh, if but for an instant only, has never been granted to man before the fortieth day from his birth, and then it is looked upon as a miracle of precocity.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Truth makes on the ocean of nature no one track of light; every eye, looking on, finds its own.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Two lives that once part are as ships that divide.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

We tell our triumphs to the crowds, but our own hearts are the sole confidants of our sorrows.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

What ever our wandering our happiness will always be found within a narrow compass, and in the middle of the objects more immediately within our reach.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

What is past is past, there is a future left to all men, who have the virtue to repent and the energy to atone.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

What mankind wants is not talent; it is purpose.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Whatever our wandering our happiness will always be found within a narrow compass, and in the middle of the objects more immediately within our reach.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Whatever the number of a man's friends, there will be times in his life when he has one too few; but if he has only one enemy, he is lucky indeed if he has not one too many.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Whenever I hear French spoken as I approve, I find myself quietly falling in love.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

You believe that easily which you hope for earnestly.
– Edward Bulwar-Lytton

The labor Movement; the folks who bought you the weekend.
– bumper sticker (1995)

Don't get the idea that I'm one of these goddamn radicals. Don't get the idea that I'm knocking the American system.
– AL Capone, gangster (1929)

H. L. Mencken said one time that anytime you hear someone say, "It's not about money," it's about money! And when you hear anyone say, "It's not about sex," it's about sex!
– Retired Senator Dale Bumpers

God doesn’t make no mistakes. That’s how he got to be God.
– Archie Bunker

Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive.
– Bugs Bunny

I saw that was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven.
– John Bunyan Pilgrim's Progress

We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.
– Anthony Burgess

Frugality is founded on the principal that all riches have limits.
– Edmund Burke (1729–1797), British politician

Good order is the foundation of all things.
– Edmund Burke (1729–1797), British politician

Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.
– Edmund Burke (1729–1797), British politician

Never despair. But if you do, work on in despair.
– Edmund Burke (1729–1797), British politician

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– Edmund Burke (1729–1797), British politician

But if the young are never tired of erring in conduct, neither are the older in erring of judgment ...
– Fanny Burney (1752–1840) English novelist, letter writer, Cecilia, Book IV, Chapter 11 (1782)

A child on the farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse and thinks of home.
– Carl Burns

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person.
– Dr. David M. Burns

Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done.
– Aaron Burr

The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.
– Aaron Burr

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
– George Burns

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
– John Burroughs

 

More on    William S. Burroughs (1914–1997), U.S. Beat Generation author

A functioning police state needs no police.
– William S. Burroughs

A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on.
– William S. Burroughs

Admittedly, a homosexual can be conditioned to react sexually to a woman, or to an old boot for that matter. In fact, both homo- and heterosexual experimental subjects have been conditioned to react sexually to an old boot, and you can save a lot of money that way.
– William S. Burroughs

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager."
– William S. Burroughs

America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.
– William S. Burroughs

America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.
– William S. Burroughs

Anything that can be done chemically can be done by other means.
– William S. Burroughs

Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
– William S. Burroughs

Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective.
– William S. Burroughs

Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.
– William S. Burroughs

I feel that any form of so called psychotherapy is strongly contraindicated for addicts. The question "Why did you start using narcotics in the first place?" should never be asked. It is quite as irrelevant to treatment as it would be to ask a malarial patient why he went to a malarial area.
– William S. Burroughs

I know that Nature designs that this whole continent, not merely these thirty-six states, shall be, sooner or later, within the magic circle of the American union.
– William S. Burroughs

I'm running out of everything now. Out of veins, out of money.
– William S. Burroughs

In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die or boredom.
– William S. Burroughs

Jeder macht eine kleine Dummheit.
[English: Everyone makes a little dumbness.]
– William S. Burroughs

Junk is not like alchohol or weed, a means to inreased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.
– William S. Burroughs

Language is a virus from outer space.
– William S. Burroughs

Madness is confusion of levels of fact ... Madness is not seeing visions but confusing levels.
– William S. Burroughs

Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole.
– William S. Burroughs

Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.
– William S. Burroughs

Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it "creative observation." Creative viewing.
– William S. Burroughs

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
– William S. Burroughs, Decisions

Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use any other drug with special horror.
– William S. Burroughs

So cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.
– William S. Burroughs

Strip your psyche to the bare bones of spontaneous process, and you give yourself one chance in a thousand to make the Pass.
– William S. Burroughs

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.
– William S. Burroughs

The face of evil is always the face of total need.
– William S. Burroughs

The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.
– William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

The only possible ETHIC is to do what one wants to do.
– William S. Burroughs

The people in power will not disappear voluntarily, giving flowers to the cops just isn't going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love and nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window.
– William S. Burroughs The Job: Interviews with Daniel Odier, Prisoners of the Earth Come Out (1969)

There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks.
– William S. Burroughs

There is no line between the "real world" and "world of myth and symbol." Objects, sensations, hit with the impact of hallucination.
– William S. Burroughs

There is the pleasurable orgasm, like a rising sales graph, and there is the unpleasurable orgasm, slumping ominously like the Dow Jones in 1929.
– William S. Burroughs

They tend to be suspicious, bristly, paranoid-type people with huge egos they push around like some elephantiasis victim with his distended testicles in a wheelbarrow terrified no doubt that some skulking ingrate of a clone student will sneak into his very brain and steal his genius work.
– William S. Burroughs

Which came first, the intestine or the tapeworm?
– William S. Burroughs

 

More on    Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890), British explorer, translator, author and orientalist

Abjure the Why and seek the How:
the God and gods enthroned on high,
Are silent all, are silent still;
nor hear thy voice, nor deign reply.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton, "The Kasīdah Of Hājī Abdū El-Yezdī "

All Faith is false, all Faith is true:
Truth is the shattered mirror strown
In myriad bits; while each believes
his little bit the whole to own.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton, "The Kasīdah Of Hājī Abdū El-Yezdī "

And still the Weaver plies his loom,
whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design,
so dark we doubt it owns a plan.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton, "The Kasīdah Of Hājī Abdū El-Yezdī "

Broke is a temporary condition, poor is a state of mind.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

Cease, Man, to mourn, to weep, to wail;
enjoy thy shining hour of sun;
We dance along Death's icy brink,
but is the dance less full of fun?
– Sir Richard Francis Burton, "The Kasīdah Of Hājī Abdū El-Yezdī "

Conquer thyself, till thou has done this, thou art but a slave; for it is almost as well to be subjected to another's appetite as to thine own.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause; He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

Friends of my youth, a last adieu!
haply some day we meet again;
Yet ne'er the self-same men shall meet;
the years shall make us other men.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton, "The Kasīdah Of Hājī Abdū El-Yezdī"

Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to un-know.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

Reason is life's sole arbiter.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton, "The Kasīdah Of Hājī Abdū El-Yezdī "

Support a compatriot against a native, however the former may blunder or plunder.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

They lard their lean books with the fat of others work.
– Sir Richard Francis Burton

Call a spade a spade.
– Robert Burton (1577–1640), Anatomy of Melancholy, "Democritus to the Reader"
see
Desiderius Erasmus
and Gertrude Stein

I say with Didacus Stella, a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself.
– Robert Burton (1577–1640), Anatomy of Melancholy, "Democritus to the Reader"
see
Sir Isaac Newton
and George Herbert
and Bernard of Chartres (probable original)

 

More on    George Herbert Walker Bush (1924– ), 41st president of the U.S.

I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
– George H.W. Bush

I had my chance. We got some things right, we messed up some things … I just sit there and do what I vowed I would never do – talk back to the television.
– George H.W. Bush, on life after the presidency

I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don't always agree with them.
– George H.W. Bush

It's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.
– George H.W. Bush

Read my lips: no new taxes.
– George H.W. Bush

The trouble with the French is, they have no word for entrepreneur.
– George H.W. Bush

The U.S. has a new credibility. What we say goes.
– George H.W. Bush, NBC Nightly News (February 2, 1991)

[There were] 312 premature babies at Kuwait City's maternity hospital who died after Iraqi soldiers stole their incubators and left the infants on the floor,
– George H.W. Bush, repeated many times after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, demanstrated as a lie later.

We love your adherence to democratic principle.
– Vice President George H.W. Bush to Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos

 

More on    George W. Bush (1946–   ), 43rd U.S. president
and the skeletons in his closet.

After all, this is the guy [Saddam Hussein] who tried to kill my dad.
– George W. Bush, St. Louis, Houston, Texas (September 26, 2002)

America's responsibility to history is to rid the world of evil.
– George W Bush, speaking at the National Cathedral (September 14, 2001)

And if you're interested in the quality of education and you're paying attention to what you hear at Laclede, why don't you volunteer? Why don't you mentor a child how to read?
– George W. Bush, St. Louis, Missouri (January 5, 2004)

And we live in an amazing world. And yet, in the midst of our world, there's a lot of folks who are dying and will die.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2003)

As a matter of fact, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to do just that in the state of Texas, to get a Patients Bill of Rights through.
– George W. Bush, October 17, 2000, regarding a bill that he in fact opposed, then vetoed, then refused to sign when it was later passed by a veto-proof majority, and is now trying to take credit for.

As we hunt down the terrorists, we're committed to spending – spreading freedom in all parts of the world, including the Middle East.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2003)

At some point, we may be the only ones left. That's OK with me. We are America.
– George W Bush, in Bob Woodward, Bush at War

But the true strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of people like Travis, people who are willing to love their neighbor, just like they would like to love themselves.
– George W. Bush, Springfield, Missouri (February 9, 2004)

Dear Ken, One of the sad things about old friends is that they seem to be getting older – just like you! 55 years old. Wow! That is really old. Thank goodness you have such a young, beautiful wife. Laura and I value our friendship with you. Best wishes to Linda, your family, and friends. Your younger friend, George W. Bush.
– George W. Bush, in a letter to Kenneth Lay, Enron CEO, on his birthday in 1997, contradicting reports that the two were not close, reprintedUSA Today (February 26, 2002)

Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi. She's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy.
– George W. Bush, citing Jahmi, who is a man, in a speech paying tribute to women reformers during International Women's Week

Feels Good!
– George W. Bush, on the brink of declaring war on Iraq.

First, we would not accept a treaty that would not have been ratified, nor a treaty that I thought made sense for the country.
– George W. Bush, on the Kyoto accord, April 24, 2001

God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear.
– George W. Bush

Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again … Why are we doing it again?
– George W. Bush, in a cabinet meeting, before Karl Rove convinced him otherwise, quoted in The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill by Ron Suskind

I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2001)

I appreciate [Florida Governor] Jeb [Bush] – talk about swamping somebody, he knows the definition of "swamp" when it comes to political campaigns.
– George W. Bush, Tampa, Florida (June 30, 2003)

I appreciate Lieutenant Governor Judi Kell for being here. Great to see you again, Judi.
– George W. Bush, to Connecticut's Lieutenant Governor Jodi Rell, Bridgeport, Connecticut (April 9, 2002)

I appreciate that question because I, in the state of Texas, had heard a lot of discussion about a faith-based initiative eroding the important bridge between church and state.
– George W. Bush, speaking to reporters (January 29, 2001)

I didn't – I swear I didn't – get into politics to feather my nest or feather my friends' nests.
– George W. Bush, Bush Jr., in the Houston Chronicle

I don't think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision.
– George W. Bush, to ABC News, June, 1999, regarding Fort Hood's decision to allow Wiccan rituals just as all military bases allow rituals of the Christian faith.

I do not think witchcraft is a religion, and I do not think it is in any way appropriate for the U.S. military to promote it.
– George W. Bush, October 15, 2000, Web, White & Blue 2000

I do remain confident in Linda. She'll make a fine labor secretary. From what I've read in the press accounts, she's perfectly qualified.
– George W. Bush, Austin, Texas (January 8, 2001)

I had the opportunity to go out to Goree Island and talk about what slavery meant to America. It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America. America is what it is today because of what went on in the past.
– George W. Bush, commenting on the significance of slavery in America's past, "Remarks by the President to Embassy Personnel, Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport, Dakar, Senegal" (July 8, 2003)

I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.
– George W. Bush, Greater Nashua, New Hampshire, Chamber of Commerce (January 27, 2000)

I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
– George W. Bush, Saginaw, Michigan (September 29, 2000)

I know they understand the proper role of government. And that is that government can't make people love one another.
– George W. Bush, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (March 12, 2002)

I mean, listen, Mom and Dad love children in the Muslim world just like we do in America, and they've got to understand that – that there are some common beliefs that we share that will make – and the Peace Corps is a good way to spread that message.
– George W. Bush, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (March 12, 2002)

I need to be able to move the right people to the right place at the right time to protect you, and I'm not going to accept a lousy bill out of the United Nations Senate.
– George W. Bush, South Bend, Indiana (October 31, 2002)

I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question.
– George W. Bush, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, October 4, 2000

I understand small business growth. I was one.
– George W. Bush, New York Daily News (February 19, 2000)

I urge all Texans to answer the call to serve those in need. By volunteering their time, energy or resources to helping others, adults and youngsters follow Christ's message of love and service in thought and deed.
Therefore, I, George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 10, 2000, Jesus Day in Texas and urge the appropriate recognition whereof,
        In official recognition whereof,
        I hereby affix my signature this
        17th day of April, 2000.
– George W. Bush, "Jesus Day 2000" Proclamation

I want it to be said that the Bush administration was a results-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read and having an education system that's responsive to the child and to the parents, as opposed to mired in a system that refuses to change, will make America what we want it to be – a more literate country and a hopefuller country.
– George W. Bush (January 2001)

I want to remind you all that in order to fight and win the war, it requires an expenditure of money that is commiserate with keeping a promise to our troops to make sure that they're well-paid, well-trained, well-equipped.
– George W. Bush

I want to thank all my citizens for coming.
– George W. Bush, Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota (October 31, 2002)

I want to thank the astronauts who are with us, the courageous spacial entrepreneurs who set such a wonderful example for the young of our country.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., (January 14, 2004)

I was a prisoner too, but for bad reasons.
– George W. Bush, to Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, on being told that all but one of the Argentine delegates to a summit meeting were imprisoned during the military dictatorship, Monterrey, Mexico, (January 13, 2004)

If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
– George W. Bush, December 18, 2000

If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.
– George W. Bush, speech to the graduating class of West Point (June 1, 2002)
see
George W. Bush
and also Arthur Schlesinger Jr.on preventive war.

I'm a uniter not a divider. That means when it comes time to sew up your chest cavity, we use stitches as opposed to opening it up.
– George W. Bush, on David Letterman (March 2, 2000)

I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure.
– George W. Bush (January 18, 2001)

I'm the master of low expectations.
– George W. Bush (June 4, 2003)

In an economic recession, I'd rather that in order to get out of this recession, that the people be spending their money, not the government trying to figure out how to spend the people's money.
– George W. Bush, Tampa, Florida (February 16, 2004)

In my judgment, when the United States says there will be serious consequences, and if there isn't serious consequences, it creates adverse consequences.
– George W. Bush

It would be helpful if we opened up ANWR. I think it's a mistake not to. And I would urge you all to travel up there and take a look at it and you can make the determination as to how beautiful that country is.
– George W. Bush, making his case for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (March 29, 2001)

It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it.
– George W. Bush, Reuters (May 5, 2000)

It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet.
– George W. Bush, Arlington Heights, Ill., October 24, 2000

It's not the governor's role to decide who goes to heaven. I believe that God decides who goes to heaven, not George W. Bush.
– George W. Bush, in the Houston Chronicle

It's very important for folks to understand that when there's more trade, there's more commerce.
– George W. Bush, at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada (April 21, 2001)

It's very important for there to be stability in a marketplace. I've read som comments from the OPEC ministers who said this was just a matter to make sure the market remains stable and preditable.
– George W. Bush, commenting on OPEC production cuts to keep oil prices high despite slumping world demand. (2001)

It's White
– George W. Bush, when asked by a child what the White House is like, London Daily Mirror (July, 2001)

It's your money. You paid for it.
– George W. Bush, LaCrosse, Wisconsin (October 18, 2000)

I've coined new words, like, misunderstanding and Hispanically.
– George W. Bush, Radio-Television Correspondents Association dinner, Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2001)

Just remember it's the birds that's supposed to suffer, not the hunter.
– George W. Bush, advising quail hunter and New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici, Roswell, New Mexico, (January 22, 2004)

King Abdullah of Jordan, the King of Morocco, I mean, there's a series of places – Qatar, Oman – I mean, places that are developing – Bahrain – they're all developing the habits of free societies.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., (January 29, 2004)

Making sure every child can read, making sure that we encourage faith-based organizations ... when it comes to helping neighbors in need, making sure that our neighborhoods are safe, making sure that the state of Texas recognizes that people from all walks of life have got a shot at the Texas dream but, most importantly, making sure that government is not the answer to people's problems.
– George W. Bush, upon having been asked how he would define "compassionate conservatism"

Maybe [Kerry] was hoping Saddam Hussein would lose the next Iraqi election.
– George W. Bush, on Kerry's opposition to Bush's invasion plan to topple Saddam

More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than – I say more Muslims – a lot of Muslims have died – I don't know the exact count – at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there's been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., (January 29, 2004)

My advice is, don't peak too early.
– George W. Bush, at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, showing off his first-grade report card, in which he received all As

My views are one that speaks to freedom.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., (January 29, 2004)

Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.
– George W. Bush, Austin, Texas (December 20, 2000)

Oh, please don't kill me.
– Texas Governor George W. Bush, said with a laugh to reporters asking what death row convict Carla Faye Tucker said to him in her appeal for clemency

One of the interesting initiatives we've taken in Washington, D.C., is we've got these vampire-busting devices. A vampire is a – a cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone.
– George W. Bush, Denver, Colorado (August 14, 2001)

One of the most meaningful things that's happened to me since I've been the governor – the president – governor – president. Oops. Ex-governor. I went to Bethesda Naval Hospital to give a fellow a Purple Heart, and at the same moment I watched him – get a Purple Heart for action in Iraq – and at that same – right after I gave him the Purple Heart, he was sworn in as a citizen of the United States – a Mexican citizen, now a United States citizen.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., (January 9, 2004)

Our nation must come together to unite.
– George W. Bush, Tampa, Florida (June 4, 2001)

Part of having a secure homeland is to have a good airport system, that's safe for people to travel, an airport system that is inspecting bags by inspectors who are qualified to inspect bags.
– George W. Bush, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (February 5, 2002)

Probably wearing a red tie too many times.
– George W. Bush, reflecting on his biggest mistake during the first hundred days

Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?
– George W. Bush, Florence, South Carolina (January 11, 2000)

Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment.
– George W. Bush, interview with the New York Times (January 14, 2001)

See, one of the interesting things in the Oval Office – I love to bring people into the Oval Office – right around the corner from here – and say, this is where I office, but I want you to know the office is always bigger than the person.
– George W. Bush

See, without the tax relief package, there would have been a deficit, but there wouldn't have been the commiserate – not "commiserate" – the kick to our economy that occurred as a result of the tax relief.
– George W. Bush

She's just trying to make sure Anthony gets a good meal – Antonio.
– George W. Bush, on Laura Bush inviting Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to dinner at the White House. NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw (January 14, 2001)

So thank you for reminding me about the importance of being a good mom and a great volunteer as well.
– George W. Bush, St. Louis (January 5, 2004)

Sometimes, boys and girls would rather watch TV than read. When your teachers say read, they are giving you pretty damn good advice.
– George W. Bush, advice given to thirty British schoolchildren after his tour of the British Museum, London Daily Mirror (July, 2001)

Targeting innocent civilians for murder is always and everywhere, wrong. Brutality against women is always and everywhere, wrong.
– George W. Bush, speech to the graduating class of West Point (June 1, 2002)

[T]he best way to find these terrorists who hide in holes is to get people coming forth to describe the location of the hole, is to give clues and data.
– George W. Bush

The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants.
– George W. Bush, interview with the New York Times (January 14, 2001)

The candidates are an interesting group, with diverse opinions – for tax cuts and against them, for NAFTA and against NAFTA, for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act, in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.
– George W. Bush

The great thing about America is everybody should vote.
– George W. Bush, Austin, Texas (December 8, 2000)

[T]he illiteracy level of our children are appalling.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., (January 23, 2004)

The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American and to threats who are friends of America.
– George W. Bush, Fort Hood, Texas (January 3, 2003)

The more money they have in their more pockets – in their pockets, the more likely it is that somebody will find work.
– George W. Bush, at the Greenbriar Resort, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (February 9, 2003)

The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case.
– George W. Bush, Pella, Iowa, quoted by the San Antonio Express-News (January 30, 2000)

The recession started upon my arrival. It could have been–some say February, some say March, some speculate maybe earlier it started–but nevertheless, it happened as we showed up here. The attacks on our country affected our economy. Corporate scandals affected the confidence of people and therefore affected the economy. My decision on Iraq, this kind of march to war, affected the economy.
– George W. Bush, Meet the Press (February 8, 2004)

The senator [McCain] has got to understand if he's going to have – he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road.
– George W. Bush, to reporters in Florence, South Carolina (February 17, 2000)

The war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path to action. And this nation will act.
– George W. Bush, speech to the graduating class of West Point (June 1, 2002)
see
George W. Bush
and also Arthur Schlesinger Jr.on preventive war.

The world is more peaceful as a result of Saddam Hussein not being in power.
– George W. Bush, Monterrey, Mexico (January 12, 2004)

Then I went for a run with the other dog and just walked. And I started thinking about a lot of things. I was able to – I can't remember what it was. Oh, the inaugural speech, started thinking through that.
– George W. Bush, pre-inaugural interview with U.S. News & World Report (January 22, 2001 issue)

There is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial regime of iron-clad absolutely solid evidence. The evidence I had was the best possible evidence that he had a weapon.
– George W. Bush

There ought to be limits to freedom. We're aware of this [web] site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is.
– George W. Bush, discussing a web site that parodies him

There's an old saying in Tennessee – I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says: Fool me once, shame on [pause] shame on you. [Pause] Fool me [long pause] you can't get fooled again.
– George W. Bush, The Washington Post,"The Reliable Source," by Lloyd Grove (September 18, 2002)

There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead.
– George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2001)

They misunderestimated me.
– George W. Bush, Bentonville, Arkansas (November 6, 2000)

They [opponents of privatization] want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program.
– George W. Bush, Debate in St. Charles, Missouri (November 2, 2000)

This administration is doing everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end.
– George W. Bush, April 10, 2001

Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!
– George W. Bush, joking about his administration's failure to find WMDs in Iraq as he narrated a comic slideshow during the Radio & TV Correspondents' Association dinner

We ought to make the pie higher.
– George W. Bush, South Carolina Republican Debate (February 15, 2000)

We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.
– George W. Bush, After meeting with the leaders of the European Union, Gothenburg, Sweden (June 14, 2001)

Well, I think if you say you are going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness.
– George W. Bush

Well, it's an unimaginable honor to be the president during the Fourth of July of this country. It means what these words say, for starters. The great inalienable rights of our country. We're blessed with such values in America. And I – it's – I'm a proud man to be the nation based upon such wonderful values.
– George W. Bush, visiting the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C. (July 2, 2001)

You teach a child to read and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.
– George W. Bush, at Townsend Elementary School, Townsend, Tennessee, on his education reform plans (February 21, 2001)

 

More on    Samuel Butler (1612–1680), English poet, author

A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
– Samuel Butler

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
– Samuel Butler

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
– Samuel Butler

Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.
– Samuel Butler

For they know they will sooner gain their end by appealing to men's pockets, in which they have generally something of their own, than to their heads, which contain for the most part little but borrowed or stolen property.
– Samuel Butler

For truth is precious and divine;
Too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
– Samuel Butler

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
– Samuel Butler

God cannot alter the past, but historians can.
– Samuel Butler

He that is down can fall no lower.
– Samuel Butler

I do not mind lying but I hate inaccuracy.
– Samuel Butler

It has been said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.
– Samuel Butler

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.
– Samuel Butler

It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma, or want of dogma, that the danger lies.
– Samuel Butler

Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often.
– Samuel Butler

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
– Samuel Butler

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
– Samuel Butler

Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.
– Samuel Butler

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
– Samuel Butler

The advantage of doing one's praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and in exactly the right places.
– Samuel Butler

The course of true anything does not run smooth.
– Samuel Butler

The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.
– Samuel Butler

There are two great rules in life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that every one can in the end get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less of an exception to the general rule.
– Samuel Butler

'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have lost at all.
– Samuel Butler

To do great work a man must be very idle as well as very industrious.
– Samuel Butler

Truth is generally kindness, but where the two diverge and collide, kindness should override truth.
– Samuel Butler

I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a hlgh class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1910–1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. In China in 1927 l helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
I had a swell racket. l was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions. l might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents.
– Major General Smedley Butler (1881–1940), Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, twice winner of the Medal of Honor, speech (1933)

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people.
Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
– Major General Smedley Butler (1881–1940), Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, twice winner of the Medal of Honor, speech (1933)

You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.
– Charles Buxton

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think.
– Lord Byron (1788–1824)

I live not in myself, but I become a portion of that around me.
– Lord Byron

Let these describe the indescribable.
– Lord Byron

Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.
– Lord Byron
see
William Drummond for an earlier almost identical quote

C       To Top

 

More on    James Branch Cabell (1879–1958), U.S. author

Always the fact remains that to the mentally indolent this book may well seem a volume of disconnected short stories. All of us being more or less mentally indolent, this possibility constitutes a dire fault.
– James Branch Cabell, The Certain Hour (1916)

Hey, my masters, lords and brothers, ye that till the fields of rhyme,
Are ye deaf ye will not hearken to the clamor of your time?
– James Branch Cabell, The Certain Hour (1916)

It was not his to choose from what volume or on which page thereof he would read; accident, as it seemed, decided that; but the chance-opened page lay unblurred before him, and he saw it with a clarity denied to other men of his generation.
– James Branch Cabell, The Cream of the Jest (1917)

No lady is ever a gentleman.
– James Branch Cabell

Patriotism is the religion of hell.
– James Branch Cabell

People marry for a variety of reasons and with varying results. But to marry for love is to invite inevitable tragedy.
– James Branch Cabell

Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is.
– James Branch Cabell

There is not any memory with less satisfaction than the memory of some temptation we resisted.
– James Branch Cabell

Thus he labors, and loudly they jeer at him; – That is, when they remember he still exists.
– James Branch Cabell, The Certain Hour (1916)

We are talking over telephones, as Shakespeare could not talk;
We are riding out in motor-cars where Homer had to walk;
And pictures Dante labored on of mediaeval Hell
The nearest cinematograph paints quicker, and as well.

But ye copy, copy always;– and ye marvel when ye find
This new beauty, that new meaning,– while a model stands behind,
Waiting, young and fair as ever, till some singer turn and trace
Something of the deathless wonder of life lived in any place.

Hey, my masters, turn from piddling to the turmoil and the strife!
Cease from sonneting, my brothers; let us fashion songs from life.
– James Branch Cabell, The Certain Hour (1916)

Why is the King of Hearts the only one that hasn't a moustache?
– James Branch Cabell

Yet creeds mean very little, Coth answered the dark god, still speaking almost gently. The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
– James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion (1926)

You touch on a disheartening truth. People never want to be told anything they do not believe already.
– James Branch Cabell, The Cream of the Jest (1917)

Make haste slowly.
Latin: Festina lente.
– Augustus Caesar

 

More on    Julius Caesar (100 BC–44 BC), Roman author, general, & politician

All bad precedents began as justifiable measures.
– Julius Caesar

All of Gaul is divided into three parts.
Latin: Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.
– Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico (On the Gallic Wars), first line.

Arms and laws do not flourish together.
– Julius Caesar

As a result of a general defect of nature, we are either more confident or more fearful of unusual and unknown things.
– Julius Caesar

As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can.
– Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico (On the Gallic Wars)

Avoid an unusual and unfamiliar word just as you would a reef.
– Julius Caesar, concerning analogy, quoted in Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights

Experience is the teacher of all things.
– Julius Caesar

Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces.
– Julius Caesar

Go on, my friend, and fear nothing; you carry Caesar and his fortune in your boat.
– Julius Caesar, from Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Romans

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.
– Julius Caesar

I believe that the members of my family must be as free from suspicion as from actual crime.
– Julius Caesar, from Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars

I came, I saw, I conquered.
Latin: Veni, vidi, vici.
– Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico (On the Gallic Wars)

I have lived long enough to satisfy both nature and glory.
– Julius Caesar

I love the name of honor, more than I fear death.
– Julius Caesar

I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome.
– Julius Caesar, from Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Romans

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.
– Julius Caesar

In extreme danger fear feels no pity.
– Julius Caesar

In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes.
– Julius Caesar

It does not disturb me that those whom I pardon are said to have deserted me so that they might again bring war against me. I prefer nothing more than that I should be true to myself and they to themselves.
– Julius Caesar, letter to Cicero

It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.
– Julius Caesar

It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.
– Julius Caesar

It is not these well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and the hungry-looking.
– Julius Caesar, from Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Romans

It is the custom of the immortal gods to grant temporary prosperity and a fairly long period of impunity to those whom they plan to punish for their crimes, so that they may feel it all the more keenly as a result of the change in their fortunes.
– Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico (On the Gallic Wars)

It is the right of war for conquerors to treat those whom they have conquered according to their pleasure.
– Julius Caesar

Men willingly believe what they wish.
Latin: Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
– Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico (On the Gallic Wars)

No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.
– Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico (On the Gallic Wars)

The die is cast.
Latin: Alea iacta est.
– Julius Caesar, on crossing the Rubicon River into territory he was not legally allowed to enter, from Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Romans

The Ides of March have come.
– Julius Caesar, reputedly spoken on his way to the forum on March 15, 44 BC, the day of his assassination, recalling the warning of a soothsayer, from Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Romans

They were not thinking of the means by which they could win, but how they could make use of the victory.
– Julius Caesar

To win by strategy is no less the role of a general than to win by arms.
– Julius Caesar

What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.
– Julius Caesar

When the swords flash let no idea of love, piety, or even the face of your fathers move you.
– Julius Caesar

Which death is preferably to every other? "The unexpected".
– Julius Caesar

You also, Brutus.
Latin: Et tu, Brute.
– Julius Caesar, as he was stabbed by assassins, from Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.
– John Cage

You dirty, double-crossing rat.
– James Cagney (1899–1986), U.S. screen actor. in the film Blonde Crazy (1931) Popularly misquoted as "You dirty rat"

Please walk alone and send your love and your kisses to guide me.
– Sammy Cahn (1913–1993), U.S. songwriter, in song "I’ll Walk Alone" (1944)

 

More on    Michael Caine [Maurice Joseph Micklewhite] (1933– ), British stage and screen actor

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
– Michael Caine

Not many people know that.
– Michael Caine’s catch-phrase, found in his films and the title of his memoirs, said to have been his comment when habitually offering information garnered from The Guinness Book of Records

The basic rule of human nature is that powerful people speak slowly and subservient people quickly – because if they don’t speak fast nobody will listen to them.
– Michael Caine, London Times (August 26, 1992)

These flowers, which were splendid and sprightly,
Waking in the dawn of the morning,
In the evening will be a pitiful frivolity,
Sleeping in the cold night’s arms.
– Pedro Calderón De La Barca (1600–1681), Spanish playwright

Politicians have become corporate prostitutes.
– Helen Caldicott, MD

I like it here in New York. I like the idea of having to keep eyes in the back of your head all the time.
– John Cale (1940– ), British rock musician, London Times (September 27, 1989)

The Government of the absolute majority instead of the Government of the people is but the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised.
– John Caldwell Calhoun (1782–1850), speech in the U.S. Senate (February 15, 1833)

I wept as I remembered how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
– Callimachus (c.305–240 B.C.), Alexandrian poet, speaking of the poet Heraclitus of Halicarnassus, on the news of his death

My audience was my life. What I did and how I did it, was all for my audience.
– Cab Calloway (1988)

Go mad, and beat their wives;
Plunge (after shocking lives)
Razors and carving knives
Into their gizzards.
– Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884), British poet, "Ode to Tobacco", reference to a letter in the medical journal Lancet (February 14, 1857): "[Dr. Webster] distinctly enumerates tobacco as one of the causes of insanity. ... Two brothers in one family had become deranged from smoking tobacco, and in that state had committed suicide."

Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there.... Myth is nourished by silence as well as by words.
– Italo Calvino (1923–1985), Italian author and critic, lecture, delivered in Turin, Italy (November 1969)

The unconscious is the ocean of the unsayable, of what has been expelled from the land of language, removed as a result of ancient prohibitions.
– Italo Calvino (1923–1985), Italian author and critic, lecture, delivered in Turin, Italy (November 1969)

It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
– Arthur Calwell

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call be a Communist.
– Bishop Helder Camara of Recife in Brazil

And even as he stabbed me through and through
I pitied him for his small strategy.
– Norman Cameron (1905–1953), Scottish poet, "The Compassionate Fool"

Green, green is El Aghir. It has a railway station,
And the wealth of its soil has borne many another fruit:
A mairie, a school and an elegant Salle de Fetes.
Such blessings, as I remarked, in effect, to the waiter,
Are added unto them that have plenty of water.
– Norman Cameron (1905–1953), Scottish poet, "Green, Green Is El Aghir"

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
– Simon Cameron

We are your daughters, your sisters, your sons, your nurses, your mechanics, your athletes, your police, your politicians, your fathers, your doctors, your soldiers, your mothers. We live with you, care for you, help you, protect you, teach you, love you, and need you. All we ask is that you let us. We are no different. We want to serve, like you. Need love, like you. Feel pain, like you. And we deserve justice, like you.
– Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer (1942– ), U.S. Army nurse, discharged from the Army in 1992 after stating during routine questioning for a top-security clearance that she was a lesbian, after 26 years service, including Vietnam, where she won the Bronze Star, Serving in Silence (1994)

I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
–Joseph Campbell

 

More on    Albert Camus (1913–1960) French novelist, essayist and playwright, received 1957 Nobel for literature

Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question.
– Albert Camus, La Chute (The Fall),1956

Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.
– Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
– Albert Camus

Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.
– Albert Camus

If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
– Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Life is a sum of all your choices.
– Albert Camus

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
– Albert Camus

There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
– Albert Camus

Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.
– Albert Camus

We can see a time when ... the only people at liberty will be prison guards who will then have to lock up one another. ... and that will be the ideal society in which problems of opposition, the headache of all twentieth century governments, will be settled once and for all.
– Albert Camus

We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.
– Albert Camus

What is a rebel? A man who says no.
– Albert Camus, L'Homme revolte (The Rebel), 1951

What then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be an equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal, who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him, and who from that moment onward had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.
– Albert Camus

You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
– Albert Camus

Successful salesmanship is 90% preparation and 10% presentation.
– Bertrand R. Canfield

It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.
– Eddie Cantor

Do you guys know that there's a bigger markup in fresh milk than there is in alchohol? Honest to God, we've been in the wrong racket all along.
– Al Capone, 1930

I don't even know what street Canada is on.
– Al Capone

The American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it Capitalism, call it what you like, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.
– Al Capone

Vote early and vote often.
– Al Capone

When they come at you with a knife, go at them with a gun.
– Al Capone

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
– Al Capone

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.
– Truman Capote

Mick Jagger is about as sexy as a pissing toad.
– Truman Capote

Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.
– Truman Capote

A lady came up to me on the street, pointed at my suede jacket and said, "Don't you know a cow was murdered for that jacket?"
I said "I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too."
– George Carlin

Ask people why they have deer heads on their walls and they tell you it's because they're such beautiful animals. I think my wife is beautiful, but I only have photographs of her on the wall.
– George Carlin

Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?
– George Carlin

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?
– George Carlin

Ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window?
– George Carlin

Future historians will be able to study at the Jimmy Carter Library, the Gerald Ford Library, the Ronald Reagan Library, and the Bill Clinton Adult Bookstore.
– George Carlin

I have six locks on my door, all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three of them.
– George Carlin

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.
– George Carlin

I'm desperately trying to figure out why Kamikaze pilots wore helmets.
– George Carlin

I'm in shape. Round is a shape.
– George Carlin

I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a part of hell will break loose ... it'll be much harder to detect.
– George Carlin

I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.
– George Carlin

I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.
– George Carlin

Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.
– George Carlin

One out of every three Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of two of your best friends. If they are OK, then it must be you.
– George Carlin

They show you how detergents take out bloodstains. I think if you've got a T-shirt with bloodstains all over it, maybe your laundry isn't your biggest problem.
– George Carlin

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
– George Carlin

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
– George Carlin

You have to stay in shape. My mother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we have no idea where she is.
– George Carlin

It is not to die, nor even to die of hunger, that makes a man wretched. Many men have died; all men must die. But it is to live miserable, we know not why; to work sore, and yet gain nothing; to be heart-worn, weary, yet isolated, unrelated, girt in with a cold, universal *laissez-faire*.
– Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), English author, b. Scotland.

Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
– Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), English author, b. Scotland.

War is a quarrel between two thieves too cowardly to fight their own battle; therefore they take boys from one village and another village, stick them into uniforms, equip them with guns, and let them loose like wild beasts against each other.
– Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), English author, b. Scotland.

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.
– Andrew Carnegie

The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.
– Andrew Carnegie

Here lies a man who knew how to enlist the service of better men than himself.
– Tombstone of Andrew Carnegie

Each nation feels superior to other nations. That breeds patriotism – and wars.
– Dale Carnegie

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.
– Dale Carnegie

Fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.
– Dale Carnegie

 

More on    Lewis Carroll (1832–1898) [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] British mathematician, writer, and poet

A loaf of bread, the Walrus said,
 Is what we chiefly need:
  Pepper and vinegar besides
   Are very good indeed –
    Now if you're ready, Oysters, dear,
     We can begin to feed!
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass (1872)

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it half an hour a day. Why, sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 5 (1872)

As large as life, and twice as natural.
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 7 (1872)

Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.
– Lewis Carroll

"Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic!"
– Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 5 (1872)

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
 How neatly spreads his claws,
  And welcomes little fishes in
   With gently smiling jaws!
– Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , referring to crocodiles

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."
– Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
 "To talk of many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing-wax –
 Of cabbages – and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
 And whether pigs have wings."
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass (1872)

There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.

He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.
– Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass (1872)

"Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
 "There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail!
  See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance:
   They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?"
– Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the time he killed himself.
– Johnny Carson

I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.
– Jimmy Carter, in an interview with Playboy one month prior to the 1976 election

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be.
– Rosalynn Carter

We have become ninety-nine percent money mad. The method of living at home modestly and within our income, laying a little by systematically for the proverbial rainy day which is due to come, can almost be listed among the lost arts.
– George Washington Carver (1931)

 

More on    James Carville (1944– ), U.S. political consultant, campaign manager

As long as the Republicans keep serving up the same worthless ideas, the American people won't care who's running the GOP.
– James Carville

As with mosquitoes, horseflies, and most bloodsucking parasites, Kenneth Starr was spawned in stagnant water.
– James Carville

Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Just get elected, then get even.
– James Carville

I think Ralph Nader is the biggest liar in American politics when he said it didn't matter who was president.
– James Carville

In the Clinton administration we worried the president would open his zipper. In the Bush administration, they worry the president will open his mouth.
– James Carville

Listen to what I am saying. Over 75 years, the amount the new tax cuts (those not yet in force) will cost exceeds the projected Social Security deficit. I don't know how I can say it any clearer.
– James Carville

Republicans now have their own network in Fox, so guys who don't like to answer questions, like Trent Lott, have a place to go to hit softballs.
– James Carville

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle reminded the country that President Bush's economic record is, in Daschle's words, "abysmal and atrocious." In a show-and-tell on the Senate floor, Daschle pointed out that during the Bush administration the country has lost 2 million jobs, stock values have lost $4.5 trillion, economic growth has slowed to 1 percent, health care costs and foreclosures are up, and the federal surplus has all but vanished. Republicans rush to change the subject, saying Democrats shouldn't be critical without offering alternatives. Here's my alternative: vote Democratic.
– James Carville

She usually goes on the bottom.
– James Carville, responding to a New Hampshire voter who asked about his marriage, "How do you do it?"

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, you'll be able to use public money to send yours kids to General Beauregard Bigot Private Academy, Fundamentalist Football, and Frequent Drug Tests. They have these religious schools that teach these kids insanity like the earth is 5,000 years old, where the pope is a demon. I don't want my tax money going to that kind of crap. You can practice religion until you fall out. I don't want to pay for somebody else's bigotry.
– James Carville

... that’s exactly what happened in the ’80s. They have this tax cut and the coffers were just overflowing. Didn’t we run $3 trillion in debt that the Democrats had to come clean up? Using this war on terrorism as an excuse for these budget deficits I think is one of the most fraudulent things in American politics.
– James Carville

The Bush budget, with all the lies in it and wrapped in a flag, that is flag desecration.
– James Carville

The public in this poll and other polls shows an appetite, they want to address other problems. The danger is, if they see Democrats absent from this discussion , then they will assume the party is not really for something. The danger is not so much that you risk being against Bush. The danger is you run the risk of not being for something. That is the real danger. We are saying be positive, be for something ... And it is fine to be for something different than Bush is for.
– James Carville

They're just ultra-conservatives soaked in big oil money.
– James Carville

This current administration cannot even bring home a soldier from Iraq and they talk about putting a man on the moon... didn't the Democrats whose candidates were elected in the last three presidential elections do that?
– James Carville

We’ll never raise as much money as Bush is going to raise and his corporate lobbyists, I can promise you, because he has paid them back in spades.
– James Carville

What in the name of God would have happened if the man who was investigating [Newt] Gingrich [Independent Counsel James Cole] was representing the AFL-CIO and giving speeches to gay groups and environmental groups? It would be the end of days.
– James Carville, directed at Ken Starr

What's the real difference between Republicans and Democrats?.. Let me tell ya the real difference ... Republicans will always take on people in the interest of power and good Democrats will never fear to take on the power in the interests of people.
– James Carville

More on    Sir Roger Casement (1864–1916) British diplomat, Irish revolutionary. and activist in the struggle to stop exploitation in the Belgian Congo, hanged by the British for dealing with Germany for aid to Irish independence during World War I.

A constitution to be maintained intact must be the achievement and the pride of the people themselves; must rest on their own free will and on their determination to sustain it, instead of being something resident in another land whose chief representative is an armed force – armed not to protect the population, but to hold it down.
– Sir Roger Casement, speech from the dock, Old Bailey, London (June 30, 1916)

I came here for one thing only, to try to help national Ireland – and if there is no such thing in existence then the sooner I pay for my illusions the better.
– Sir Roger Casement

If there be no right of rebellion against a state of things that no savage tribe would endure without resistance, then I am sure that it is better for men to fight and die without right than to live in such a state of right as this. Where all your rights become only an accumulated wrong; where men must beg with bated breath for leave to subsist in their own land, to think their own thoughts, to sing their own songs, to garner the fruits of their own labours – and, even while they beg, to see things inexorably withdrawn from them then, surely, it is braver, a saner and a truer thing, to be a rebel in act and deed against such circumstances as these than tamely, to accept it as the natural lot of men.
– Sir Roger Casement, speech from the dock, Old Bailey, London (June 30, 1916)

Ireland has no blood to give to any land, to any cause, but that of Ireland. ... Let our graves be in that patriot grass whence alone the corpse of Irish nationality can spring to life.
– Sir Roger Casement, in The Irish Independent (October 5, 1914)

It is a strange, strange fate, and now, as I stand face to face with death, I feel just as if they were going to kill a boy. For I feel like a boy – and my hands are so free from blood and my heart always so compassionate and pitiful that I cannot comprehend that anyone wants to hang me.
– Sir Roger Casement

It is quite clear to every Irishman that the only rule that John Bull respects is that of the rifle.
– Sir Roger Casement, to Morten (May 1, 1914)

Men, he said, still came to him whose hands had been cut off by the Government soldiers during those evil days, and he said there were still many victims of this species of mutilation in the surrounding country. Two cases of the kind came to my actual notice while I was on the lake. One, a young man, both of whose hands had been beaten off with the butt-ends of rifles against a tree, the other a young lad of eleven or twelve years of age, whose right hand was cut off at the wrist. This boy described the circumstances of his mutilation, and, in answer to my inquiry, said that although wounded at the time he was perfectly sensible of the severing of his wrist, but lay still fearing that if he moved he would be killed. In both these cases the Government soldiers had been accompanied by white officers whose names were given to me.
– Sir Roger Casement, report on the Congo Free State in his capacity as British consul to the Congo. Quoted in The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

This is the condemnation of English rule, of English-made law, of English government in Ireland, that it dare not rest on the will of the Irish people, but it exists in defiance of their will; that it is a rule derived not from right, but from conquest. But conquest, my lord, gives no title, and if it exists over the body, it fails over the mind.
– Sir Roger Casement, speech from the dock, Old Bailey, London (June 30, 1916)

The basic difference between an ordinary person and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary person takes everything as a blessing or a curse.
– Carlos Castaneda

The trick is what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
–Carlos Castaneda

Revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.
– Fidel Castro

That gentleman has arrived there, and hopefully he is not as stupid as he seems, nor as mafia-like as his predecessors were.
– Fidel Castro on George W. Bush

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.
– Henry Cate

 

More on    Willa Cather (1873–1947), American novelist noted for her books about immigrants struggling to make a living in the Midwest during the late 1800s

A child's attitude toward everything is an artist's attitude.
– Willa Cather

All the intelligence and talent in the world can't make a singer. The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity.
– Willa Cather

Art is a concrete and personal and rather childish thing after all – no matter what people do to graft it into science and make it sociological and psychological; it is no good at all unless it is let alone to be itself – a game of make-believe, or re-production, very exciting and delightful to people who have an ear for it or an eye for it.
– Willa Cather

Art, it seems to me, should simplify. It is very near the whole of the higher artistic process; finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole – so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
– Willa Cather

Artistic growth is, more that anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the great artist knows how difficult it is.
– Willa Cather

Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth is the floor of the sky.
– Willa Cather

... for that wind that made one a boy again ... One could breathe that only on the bright edges of the world, on the great grass plains or the sagebrush desert.
– Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.
– Willa Cather

He had the uneasy manner of a man who is not among his own kind, and who has not seen enought of the world to feel that all people are in some sense his own kind.
– Willa Cather

Human love was a wonderful thing, he told himself, and it was most wonderful where it had least to gain.
– Willa Cather, One of Ours

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. I feel as if this tree knows everything I ever think of when I sit here. When I come back to it, I never have to remind it of anything; I begin just where I left off.
– Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
– Willa Cather

I tried to go to sleep, but the jolting made me bite my tongue, and I soon began to ache all over. When the straw settled down, I had a hard bed. Cautiously I slipped from under the buffalo hide, got up on my knees and peered over the side of the wagon. There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields. If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made. No, there was nothing but land--slightly undulating, I knew, because often our wheels ground against the brake as we went down into a hollow and lurched up again on the other side. I had the feeling that the world was left behind, that we had got over the edge of it, and were outside man's jurisdiction. I had never before looked up at the sky when there was not a familiar mountain ridge against it. But this was the complete dome of heaven all there was of it. I did not believe that my dead father and mother were watching me from up there; they would still be looking for me at the sheep-fold down by the creek or along the white road that lead to the mountain pastures. I had left even their spirits behind me. The wagon jolted on, carrying me I knew not wither. I don't think I was homesick. If we never arrived anywhere, it did not matter. Between that earth and that sky I felt erased, blotted out. I did not say my prayers that night: here, I felt, what would be would be.
– Willa Cather, My Antonia

I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge.
– Willa Cather, My Antonia

...life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
– Willa Cather

Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody.
– Willa Cather, My Antonia

Miracles seem to rest, not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from far off, but upon our perceptions being made finer so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear that which is about us always.
– Willa Cather

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
– Willa Cather

No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.
– Willa Cather

On the farm the weather was the great fact, and men's affairs went on underneath it, as the streams creep under the ice.
– Willa Cather

One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them. In those simple relationships of loving husband and wife, affectionate sisters, children and grandmother, there are innumerable shades of sweetness and anguish which make up the pattern of our lives day by day, though they are not down in the list of subjects from which the conventional novelist works.
– Willa Cather

Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile, his friends are everything.
– Willa Cather

Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness.
– Willa Cather

Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
– Willa Cather

She used to drag her mattress beside her low window and lie awake for a long while, vibrating with excitement, as a machine vibrates from speed. Life rushed in upon her through that window – or so it seemed. In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no work of art so big or so beautiful that is was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardor and anticipation.
– Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915)

Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
– Willa Cather

Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.
– Willa Cather

Sometimes I wonder why God ever trusts talent in the hands of women, they usually make such an infernal mess of it. I think He must do it as a sort of ghastly joke.
– Willa Cather

That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.
– Willa Cather

The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
– Willa Cather

The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
– Willa Cather

The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
– Willa Cather

The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own.
– Willa Cather

The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
– Willa Cather

The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
– Willa Cather

The qualities of a second-rate writer can easily be defined, but a first-rate writer can only be experienced. It is just the thing in him which escapes analysis that makes him first-rate.
– Willa Cather

The sky was a midnight-blue, like warm, deep, blue water, and the moon seemed to lie on it like a water-lily, floating forward with an invisible current.
– Willa Cather, One of Ours

The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
– Willa Cather

The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
– Willa Cather

The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper – whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.
– Willa Cather

The universal human yearning for something permanent, enduring, without shadow of change.
– Willa Cather

... there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years.
– Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
– Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915)

There is one big thing – desire. And before it, when it is big, all is little.
– Willa Cather

There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields. If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight. There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.
– Willa Cather, My Antonia

To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
– Willa Cather

What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself – life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
– Willa Cather

When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless.
– Willa Cather

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
– Willa Cather

Where there is great love, there are always wishes.
– Willa Cather

Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
– Willa Cather, My Antonia

Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand - a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods – or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market.
– Willa Cather

 

More on    Catherine the Great [born PrincessSophie Augusta Freidrica of Anhalt-Zerbst] (1729–1796), wife of Tsar Peter III, Russian empress from 1762

Do sometimes sink with their own weights.
– Catherine the Great, letter to Voltaire, quoted in The Complete Works of Catherine II, editor Evdokimov (1893)

For to tempt and to be tempted are things very nearly allied ... whenever feeling has anything to do in the matter, no sooner is it excited than we have already gone vastly farther than we are aware of.
– Catherine the Great

I praise loudly. I blame softly.
– Catherine the Great

I shall be an autocrat, that's my trade; and the good Lord will forgive me, that's his.
– Catherine the Great

Your wits make others witty.
– Catherine the Great, letter to Voltaire, quoted in The Complete Works of Catherine II, editor Evdokimov (1893)

 

 

More on    Cato the Elder [Marcus Porcius Cato] (234–149 BC), Roman statesman, orator

After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
– Cato the Elder

An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes.
– Cato the Elder

An orator is a good man who is skilled in speaking.
– Cato the Elder, from Seneca the Elder, Controversiae

Anger so clouds the mind, that it cannot perceive the truth.
– Cato the Elder

Be firm or mild as the occasion may require.
– Cato the Elder

Buy not what you want, but what you have need of; what you do not want is dear at a farthing.
– Cato the Elder, Epistles (94), as quoted by Seneca

Carthage must be destroyed.
– Cato the Elder's ending line for all his Senate speeches

Cessation of work is not accompanied by cessation of expenses.
– Cato the Elder, De Agri Cultura

Consider it the greatest of all virtues to restrain the tongue.
– Cato the Elder

Do not expect good from another's death.
– Cato the Elder

Don't promise twice what you can do at once.
– Cato the Elder

From lightest words sometimes the direst quarrel springs.
– Cato the Elder

Grasp the subject, the words will follow.
– Cato the Elder

I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.
– Cato the Elder

I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue, than why I have one.
– Cato the Elder, quoted in Plutarch's Parallel Lives

In conversation avoid the extremes of forwardness and reserve.
– Cato the Elder

In doing nothing men learn to do evil.
– Cato the Elder

It is difficult to spear to the belly, because it has no ears.
– Cato the Elder, when the Romans demanded corn

Lighter is the wound foreseen.
– Cato the Elder

Old age has deformities enough of its own. It should never add to them the deformity of vice.
– Cato the Elder

Patience is the greatest of all virtues.
– Cato the Elder

Should anyone attempt to deceive you by false expressions, and not be a true friend at heart, act in the same manner, and thus art will defeat art.
– Cato the Elder

The best way to keep good acts in memory is to refresh them with new.
– Cato the Elder, attributed to Apothegms (no. 247), by Bacon

The only wise man of them all is he,
The others e'en as shadows flit and flee.
– Cato the Elder

Those who are serious in ridiculous matters will be ridiculous in serious matters.
– Cato the Elder, quoted in Plutarch's Moralia: Sayings of Kings and Commanders

Those who steal from private individuals spend their lives in stocks and chains; those who steal from the public treasury go dressed in gold and purple.
– Cato the Elder

'Tis sometimes the height of wisdom to feign stupidity.
– Cato the Elder

We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them.
– Cato the Elder

Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.
– Cato the Elder, quoted in Plutarch's Parallel Lives

As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.
– Dick Cavett

Eloquence is vehement simplicity.
– Richard Cecil

Virtue consisted in avoiding scandal and venereal disease.
– Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury (1830–1903), English political leader, Life in Edwardian England

They improvidentially piped growing volumes of sewage into the sea, the healing virtues of which were advertised on every railway station.
– Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury (1830–1903), English political leader, referring to seaside resorts, Life in Edwardian England

Prudence which degenerates into timidity is very seldom the path to safety.
– Viscount Cecil

Most great men and women are not perfectly rounded in their personalities, but are instead people whose one driving enthusiasm is so great it makes their faults seem insignificant.
– Charles A. Cerami

Gross ignorance – 144 times worse than ordinary ignorance.
– Bennett Cerf

 

More on    Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616) Spanish novelist, dramatist, and poet

A closed mouth catches no flies.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Italian proverb quoted by Sancho Panza in Don Quixote, Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 11

Alas! all music jars when the soul’s out of tune.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote, Part 2, Book 6, Chapter 11

Be slow of tongue and quick of eye.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote,, Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 6
see
Shakespeare

It is good to live and learn.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote, Part 2, Chapter 32

Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable in the one as in the other.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote,, Part 2, Book 5, Chapter 21

One of the most considerable advantages the great have over their inferiors is to have servants as good as themselves.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote,, Part 2, Book 5, Chapter 31

The greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

There is a remedy for all things but death, which will be sure to lay us out flat some time or other.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote, Part 2, Chapter 10

When the severity of the law is to be softened, let pity, not bribes, be the motive.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote’s advice to Sancho Panza, in Don Quixote, Part 2, Book 6, Chapter 9

Which I have earned with the sweat of my brows.
– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote, Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 4

Learn and think imperially.
– Joseph Chamberlian

It is better to wear out than to rust out.
– Richard Chamberland

I reject foreign intervention in my country. Naturally, it follows that that I do not approve of invasions into other countries, be they Panama, or Grenada, or any other.
– Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, president of Nicaragua, Dreams of the Heart, 1996

Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.
– Kyle Chandler

 

More on    William Ellery Channing (1780–1842), U.S. anti-slavery Unitarian clergyman

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.
– William Ellery Channing

Do anything rather than give yourself to reverie.
– William Ellery Channing

Every human being has a work to carry on within, duties to perform abroad, influence to exert, which are peculiarly his, and which no conscience but his own can teach.
– William Ellery Channing

Every human being is intended to have a character of his own; to be what no others are, and to do what no other can do.
– William Ellery Channing

Every man is a volume if you know how to read him.
– William Ellery Channing

Faith is love taking the form of aspiration.
– William Ellery Channing

Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it.
– William Ellery Channing

God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.
– William Ellery Channing

Habitat of castle gray,
Creeping thing in sober way,
Visible sage mechanician,
Skillfulest arithmetician.
– William Ellery Channing, "The Spider"

He who is false to the present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and you will see the effect when the weaving of a lifetime is unraveled.
– William Ellery Channing

I do not look on a human being as a machine, made to be kept in action by a foreign force, to accomplish an unvarying succession of motions, to do a fixed amount of work, and then to fall to pieces at death, but as a being of free spiritual powers; and I place little value on any culture but that which aims to bring out these, and to give them perpetual impulse and expansion.
– William Ellery Channing

I laugh, for hope hath happy place with me,
If my bark sinks, 'tis to another sea.
– William Ellery Channing, "A Poet's Hope"

Ideas are the mightiest influence on earth. One great thought breathed into a man may regenerate him.
– William Ellery Channing

Immortality is the glorious discovery of Christianity.
– William Ellery Channing, "Immortality"

Innocent amusements are such as excite moderately, and such as produce a cheerful frame of mind, not boisterous mirth; such as refresh, instead of exhausting, the system; such as recur frequently, rather than continue long; such as send us back to our daily duties invigorated in body and spirit; such as we can partake of in the presence and society of respectable friends; such as consist with and are favorable to a grateful piety; such as are chastened by self-respect, and are accompanied with the consciousness that life has a higher end than to be amused.
– William Ellery Channing

It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.
– William Ellery Channing, "On Self-Culture"

It is not the quantity but the quality of knowledge which determines the mind's dignity.
– William Ellery Channing

Labor is discovered to be the grand conqueror, enriching and building up nations more surely than the proudest battles.
– William Ellery Channing, "Lecture on War"

Iron hand in a velvet glove.
– William Ellery Channing

Men are never very wise and select in the exercise of a new power.
– William Ellery Channing, "The Present Age"

Mistake, error, is the discipline through which we advance.
– William Ellery Channing, "Address on The Present Age"

Most joyful let the Poet be;
It is through him that all men see.
– William Ellery Channing, "The Poet of the Old and New Times"

Natural amiableness is too often seen in company with sloth, with uselessness, with the vanity of fashionable life.
– William Ellery Channing

Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual.
– William Ellery Channing

The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny ... In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges.
– William Ellery Channing

The hills are reared, the seas are scooped in vain
If learning's altar vanish from the plain.
– William Ellery Channing

The mind, in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven.
– William Ellery Channing

The office of government is not to confer happiness, but to give men the opportunity to work out happiness for themselves.
– William Ellery Channing

The worst tyrants are those which establish themselves in our own breasts.
– William Ellery Channing

War will never yield but to the principles of universal justice and love, and these have no sure root but in the religion of Jesus Christ.
– William Ellery Channing, "Lecture on War"

We are judged not by the degree of our light but by fidelity to the light we have.
– William Ellery Channing

We smile at the ignorance of the savage who cuts down the tree in order to reach its fruit; but the same blunder is made by every person who is over eager and impatient in the pursuit of pleasure.
– William Ellery Channing

There are so many colors in the rainbow, so many colors in the morning sun, so many colors in the flowers, and I see every one.
– Harry Chapin

And therefore I tell you (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge) that I am the Martyr of the People.
– King Charles I, speech on the scaffold (January 30, 1649)

I see all the birds are flown.
– King Charles I, in House of Commons, when he arrived to arrest five members (January 4, 1642)

Never make a defence of apology before you be accused.
– King Charles I, letter to Lord Wentworth (September 3, 1636)

I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.
– Holy Roman Emperor Charles V

 

More on    Ray Charles [Ray Charles Robinson] (1930–2004), pioneering American pianist and musician who helped shape the sound of rhythm and blues

Affluence separates people. Poverty knits 'em together. You got some sugar and I don't; I borrow some of yours. Next month you might not have any flour; well, I'll give you some of mine.
– Ray Charles (1978)

I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me – like food or water.
– Ray Charles (1978)

Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.
– Ray Charles, Brother Ray (1978)

My music had roots which I'd dug up from my own childhood, musical roots buried in the darkest soil.
– Ray Charles (1978)

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it's the only one you've got.
– Emile-Auguste Chartier

To think is to say no.
– Emile-Auguste Chartier

I've been wrestling with reality for 35 years and I'm happy, doctor; I've finally won out over it.
– Mary Chase and Oscar Brodney, writers of the play and movie "Harvey" (1950), line for Elwood P. Dowd (played by Jimmy Stewart)

Attitude is your acceptance of the natural laws, or your rejection of the natural laws.
– Stuart Chase

Sanely applied advertising could remake the world.
– Stuart Chase

The Lord prefers common looking people. That is why he made so many of them.
– Stuart Chase

The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.
– Stuart Chase

Traditional nationalism cannot survive the fissioning of the atom. One world or none.
– Stuart Chase

 

More on    Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1342–1400) English poet

Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.
– Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales. The Frankeleines Tale. Line 11789

But all thing which that shineth as the gold
Ne is no gold, as I have herd it told.
– Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1342–1400) English poet, Canterbury Tales. The Chanones Yemannes Tale. Line 16430.

One eare it heard, at the other out it went.
– Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1342–1400) English poet, Troilus and Creseide, Book iv. Line 435.

 

More on    Anton Chekhov (c. 1860–1904) Russian playwright and short story writer

A writer is not a confectioner, a cosmetic dealer, or an entertainer.
– Anton Chekhov

Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.
– Anton Chekhov

Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.
– Anton Chekhov

Love, friendship, respect, do not unite people as much as a common hatred of something.
– Anton Chekhov: Notebooks

Man is what he believes.
– Anton Chekhov

No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand ... Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.
– Anton Chekhov

Only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.
– Anton Chekhov

The more refined one is, the more unhappy.
– Anton Chekhov

To judge between good or bad, between successful and unsuccessful would take the eye of a God.
– Anton Chekhov

You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.
– Anton Chekhov

Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.
– Dick Cheney

Cherokee Grandfather: "A fight is going on inside me, It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person too."
Grandson: "Which wolf will win?"
Grandfather simply replied: "The one you feed."
– Cherokee story

Impossibilities are merely things of which we have not learned, or which we do not wish to happen.
– Charles W. Chesnutt (1901)

The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.
– Charles W. Chesnutt (1901)

There's time enough, but none to spare.
– Charles W. Chesnutt (1901)

As man sows, so shall he reap. In works of fiction, such men are sometimes converted. More often, in real life, they do not change their natures until they are converted into dust.
– Charles W. Chesnutt (1901)

Selfishness is the most constant of human motives. Patriotism, humanity, or the love of God may lead to sporadic outbursts sweep away the heaped-up wrongs of centuries; but they languish at times, while the love of self works on ceaselessly, unwearyingly, burrowing always at the very root of life, and heaping up fresh wrongs for other centuries to sweep away.
– Charles W. Chesnutt (1901)

Sins, like chickens, come home to roost.
– Charles W. Chesnutt (1901)

 

More on    Lord Chesterfield   (1694–1773), Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, English politician.

An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.
– Lord Chesterfield, Letter to his son (October 9, 1746)

Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so.
– Lord Chesterfield

I am convinced that a light supper, a good night's sleep, and a fine morning, have sometimes made a hero of the same man, who, by an indigestion, a restless night, and rainy morning, would have proved a coward.
– Lord Chesterfield

I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.
– Lord Chesterfield, letter to his son, April 30, 1750

If you are not in fashion, you are nobody.
– Lord Chesterfield

In my mind, there is nothing so illiberal and so ill bred as audible laughter.
– Lord Chesterfield

Men, as well as women, are much oftener led by their hearts than by their understandings.
– Lord Chesterfield

Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise.
– Lord Chesterfield

Most people enjoy the inferiority of their best friends.
– Lord Chesterfield (1694–1773)

Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.
– Lord Chesterfield

Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
– Lord Chesterfield

Women who are either indisputably beautiful, or indisputably ugly, are best flattered upon the score of their understandings; but those who are in a state of mediocrity are best flattered upon their beauty, or at least their graces: for every woman who is not absolutely ugly, thinks herself handsome.
– Lord Chesterfield

You must embrace the man you hate, if you cannot be justified in knocking him down.
– Lord Chesterfield

Young men are apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are apt to think themselves sober enough.
– Lord Chesterfield

 

More on    G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936), English journalist, writer, literary critic

A change of opinions is almost unknown in an elderly military man.
– G.K. Chesterton, A Utopia of Usurers (1917)

A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (May 25, 1931)

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
– G. K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man (1925)

A detective story generally describes six living men discussing how it is that a man is dead. A modern philosophic story generally describes six dead men discussing how any man can possible be alive.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men (1912)

[A] few people have ventured to imitate Shakespeare's tragedy. But no audacious spirit has dreamed or dared to imitate Shakespeare's comedy. No one has made any real attempt to recover the loves and the laughter of Elizabethan England. The low dark arches, the low strong pillars upon which Shakespeare's temple rests we can all explore and handle. We can all get into his mere tragedy; we can all explore his dungeon and penetrate into his coal-cellar, but we stretch our hands and crane our necks in vain towards that height where the tall turrets of his levity are tossed towards the sky. Perhaps it is right that this should be so; properly understood, comedy is an even grander thing than tragedy.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (April 27, 1907)

A good man's work is effected by doing what he does, a woman's by being what she is.
– G. K. Chesterton, Robert Browning (1903)

A man cannot be wise enough to be a great artist without being wise enough to wish to be a great philosopher. A man cannot have the energy to produce good art without having the energy to pass beyond it. A small artist is content with art; a great artist is content with nothing except everything.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

A man imagines a happy marriage as a marriage of love; even if he makes fun of marriages that are without love, or feels sorry for lovers who are without marriage.
– G. K. Chesterton, Chaucer (1932)

A modern vegetarian is also a teetotaler, yet there is no obvious connection between consuming vegetables and not consuming fermented vegetables. A drunkard, when lifted laboriously out of the gutter, might well be heard huskily to plead that he had fallen there through excessive devotion to a vegetable diet.
– G. K. Chesterton, William Blake (1910)

A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed; but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttle-fish.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Orthodox : a Selection from the Uncollected Writings of G.K. Chesterton. arranged and introduced by A.L. Maycock (1936)

Aesthetes never do anything but what they are told.
– G. K. Chesterton, Lunacy and Letters, "The Love of Lead"

All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it.
– G.K. Chesterton, A Utopia of Usurers (1917)

All government is an ugly necessity.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Short History of England (1917)

All men thirst to confess their crimes more than tired beasts thirst for water; but they naturally object to confessing them while other people, who have also committed the same crimes, sit by and laugh at them.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (March 14, 1908)

All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead; but the darker secret of why he is alive.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Thing (1929)

All the exaggerations are right, if they exaggerate the right thing.
– G. K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "On Gargoyles"

America has a genius for the encouragement of fame.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Father Brown Omnibus

America is the only country ever founded on a creed.
– G. K. Chesterton, What I Saw In America (1922)

Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men (1912)

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.
– G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, "On Running After Ones Hat" (1908)

And all over the world, the old literature, the popular literature, is the same. It consists of very dignified sorrow and very undignified fun. Its sad tales are of broken hearts; its happy tales are of broken heads.
– G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens (1906)

Anyone thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate.
– G. K. Chesterton, The New Jerusalem, chapter 5

Anyone who is not an anarchist agrees with having a policeman at the corner of the street; but the danger at present is that of finding the policeman half-way down the chimney or even under the bed.
– G. K. Chesterton, What I Saw In America (1922)

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (May 5, 1928)

At any street corner we may meet a man who utters the frantic and blasphemous statement that he may be wrong. Every day one comes across somebody who says that of course his view may not be the right one. Of course his view must be the right one, or it is not his view. We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were too proud to be convinced; but these are too humble to be convinced. The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern sceptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance.
– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)

Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home; because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be a usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World (1910)

Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.
– G. K. Chesterton, G.K.'s Weekly (April 10, 1926)

Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.
– G.K. Chesterton, "Lunacy and Letters"

Bigotry may be roughly defined as the anger of men who have no opinions.
– G.K. Chesterton

Business, especially big business, is now organized like an army. It is, as some would say, a sort of mild militarism without bloodshed; as I say, a militarism without the military virtues.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Thing (1929)

By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.
– G. K. Chesterton, Generally Speaking, "On Detective Novels"

By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (March 25, 1911)

[Capitalism is] that commercial system in which supply immediately answers to demand, and in which everybody seems to be thoroughly dissatisfied and unable to get anything he wants.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Spice of Life "How to Write a Detective Story"

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World (1910)

Civilization has run on ahead of the soul of man, and is producing faster than he can think and give thanks.
– G. K. Chesterton, London Daily News (February 21, 1902)

Comforts that were rare among our forefathers are now multiplied in factories and handed out wholesale; and indeed, nobody nowadays, so long as he is content to go without air, space, quiet, decency and good manners, need be without anything whatever that he wants; or at least a reasonably cheap imitation of it.
– G. K. Chesterton, Commonwealth (1933)

Complaint always comes back in an echo from the ends of the world; but silence strengthens us.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Father Brown Omnibus

Customs are generally unselfish. Habits are nearly always selfish.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (January 11, 1908)

Do not enjoy yourself. Enjoy dances and theaters and joy-rides and champagne and oysters; enjoy jazz and cocktails and night-clubs if you can enjoy nothing better; enjoy bigamy and burglary and any crime in the calendar, in preference to the other alternative; but never learn to enjoy yourself.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Common Man (1950)

Do not look at the faces in the illustrated papers. Look at the faces in the street.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (November 16, 1907)

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (April 19, 1930)

For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers.
– G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered (1908)

For my part, I would have no executions except by the mob; or, at least, by the people acting quite exceptionally. I would make capital punishment impossible except by act of attainder. Then there would be some chance of a few of our real oppressors getting hanged.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (February 13, 1909)

From the standpoint of any sane person, the present problem of capitalist concentration is not only a question of law, but of criminal law, not to mention criminal lunacy.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity, "A Case In Point"

From time to time, as we all know, a sect appears in our midst announcing that the world will very soon come to an end. Generally, by some slight confusion or miscalculation, it is the sect that comes to an end.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (September 24, 1927)

Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (September 30, 1933)

He is a [sane] man who can have tragedy in his heart and comedy in his head.
– G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909)

He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.
– G. K. Chesterton, Varied Types (1908)

How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it?
– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)

How quickly revolutions grow old; and, worse still, respectable.
– G. K. Chesterton, "The Listener" (March 6, 1935)

I agree with the realistic Irishman who said he preferred to prophesy after the event.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (October 7, 1916)

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
– G. K. Chesterton

I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (June 3, 1922)

I cannot understand the people who take literature seriously; but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this book. It is a collection of crude and shapeless papers upon current or rather flying subjects; and they must be published pretty much as they stand. They were written, as a rule, at the last moment; they were handed in the moment before it was too late, and I do not think the commonwealth would have been shaken to its foundations if they had been handed in the moment after. They must go out now, with all their imperfections on their head, or rather on mine; for their vices are too vital to be improved with a blue pencil, or with anything I can think of, except dynamite.
– G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, "The Case for the Ephemeral" (1908)

I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Judgement of Dr. Johnson (1927)

I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess.
– G. K. Chesterton, "The Victorian Age in Literature"

I never could see anything wrong in sensationalism; and I am sure our society is suffering more from secrecy than from flamboyant revelations.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (October 4, 1919)

I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (August 4, 1906)

I still hold ... that the suburbs ought to be either glorified by romance and religion or else destroyed by fire from heaven, or even by firebrands from the earth.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Coloured Lands (1938)

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.
– G. K. Chesterton, "Ballad of the White Horse" (1911)

I think the oddest thing about the advanced people is that, while they are always talking about things as problems, they have hardly any notion of what a real problem is.
– G. K. Chesterton, "Uses of Diversity"

I would give a woman not more rights, but more privileges. Instead of sending her to seek such freedom as notoriously prevails in banks and factories, I would design specially a house in which she can be free.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World (1910)

I would make a law, if there is none such at present, by which an editor, proved to have published false news without reasonable verification, should simply go to prison. This is not a question of influences or atmospheres; the thing could be carried out as easily and as practically as the punishment of thieves and murderers. Of course there would be the usual statement that the guilt was that of a subordinate. Let the accused editor have the right of proving this if he can; if he does, let the subordinate be tried and go to prison. Two or three good rich editors and proprietors properly locked up would take the sting out of the Yellow Press better than centuries of Dr. Horton.
– G. K. Chesterton, "Limericks and Counsels of Perfection"

Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (September 11, 1909)

If a man called Christmas Day a mere hypocritical excuse for drunkeness and gluttony, that would be false, but it would have a fact hidden in it somewhere. But when Bernard Shaw says that Christmas Day is only a conspiracy kept up by Poulterers and wine merchants from strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startling and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewellers who wanted to sell wedding rings.
– G. K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw, chapter 6 (1909)

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.
– G. K. Chesterton, Where All Roads Lead (1922)

If we want to give poor people soap we must set out deliberately to give them luxuries. If we will not make them rich enough to be clean, then empathically we must do what we did with the saints. We must reverence them for being dirty.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World (1910)

If you attempt an actual argument with a modern paper of opposite politics, you will have no answer except slanging or silence.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World, chapter 3 (1910)

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.
– G.K. Chesterton, The Speaker (December 15, 1900)

In the struggle for existence, it is only on those who hang on for ten minutes after all is hopeless, that hope begins to dawn.
– G.K. Chesterton, The Speaker (February 2, 1901)

It has been often said, very truely, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary.
– G. K. Chesterton, Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, Part I, "The Dickens Period" (1911)

It is a good sign in a nation when things are done badly. It shows that all the people are doing them. And it is a bad sign in a nation when such things are done very well, for it shows that only a few experts and eccentrics are doing them, and that the nation is merely looking on.
– G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, "Patriotism and Sport" (1908)

It is hard to make government representative when it is also remote.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (August 17, 1918)

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.
– G. K. Chesterton, "The Catholic Church and Conversion"

It is terrible to contemplete how few politicians are hanged.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Cleveland Press (March 1, 1921)

It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Coloured Lands (1938)

It is the mark of our whole modern history that the masses are kept quiet with a fight. They are kept quiet by the fight because it is a sham-fight; thus most of us know by this time that the Party System has been popular only in the sense that a football match is popular.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Short History of England(1917)

It is true that I am of an older fashion; much that I love has been destroyed or sent into exile.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Judgement of Dr. Johnson (1927)

It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (March 14, 1908)

Journalism largely consists of saying "Lord Jones is Dead" to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
– G.K. Chesterton

Let all the babies be born. Then let us drown those we do not like.
– G. K. Chesterton, GK's Weekly, "Babies and Distributism" (November 12, 1932)

Love means loving the unlovable – or it is no virtue at all.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

Making the landlord and the tenant the same person has certain advantages, as that the tenant pays no rent, while the landlord does a little work.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World, "Hudge and Grudge" (1910)

Man is always something worse or something better than an animal; and a mere argument from animal perfection never touches him at all. Thus, in sex no animal is either chivalrous or obscene. And thus no animal invented anything so bad as drunkeness – or so good as drink.
– G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, "Wine when it is red" (1908)

Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline.
– G. K. Chesterton, Manalive (1912)

[Marxism will] in a generation or so [go] into the limbo of most heresies, but meanwhile it will have poisoned the Russian Revolution.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (July 19, 1919)

Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.
– G.K. Chesterton, A Utopia of Usurers, "The New Name" (1917)

Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (October 23, 1909)

Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World (1910)

Misers get up early in the morning; and burglars, I am informed, get up the night before.
– G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909)

Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength is shown in levity.
– G. K. Chesterton, "The Man Who was Thursday" (1908)

Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else.
– G.K. Chesterton, Utopia of Usurers, "The Church of the Servile State" (1917)

Modern man is staggering and losing his balance because he is being pelted with little pieces of alleged fact which are native to the newspapers; and, if they turn out not to be facts, that is still more native to newspapers.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (April 7, 1923)

Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World (1910)

My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.
– G. K. Chesterton, New York Times Magazine (February 11, 1923)

"My country, right or wrong" is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober."
– G.K. Chesterton

My forthcoming work in five volumes, "The Neglect of Cheese in European Literature" is a work of such unprecedented and laborious detail that it is doubtful if I shall live to finish it.
– G. K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "Cheese"

Nearly all the best and most precious things in the universe you can get for a halfpenny. I make an exception, of course, of the sun, the moon, the earth, people, stars, thunderstorms, and such trifles. You can get them for nothing.
– G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles, "The Shop of Ghosts" (1909)

[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is an absolutely unlimited number of inspired officials and an absolutely unlimited amount of money to pay them.
– G. K. Chesterton, BBC Magazine, "The Debate with Bertrand Russell" (November 27, 1935)

None of the modern machines, none of the modern paraphernalia ... have any power except over the people who choose to use them.
– G. K. Chesterton, London Daily News (July 21, 1906)

Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.
– G. K. Chesterton, Christendom in Dublin (1933)

One of the chief uses of religion is that it makes us remember our coming from darkness, the simple fact that we are created.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Boston Sunday Post(January 16, 1921)

Only poor men get hanged.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (July 17, 1909)

Over-civilization and barbarism are within an inch of each other. And a mark of both is the power of medicine-men.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (September 11, 1909)

Our materialistic masters could, and probably will, put Birth Control into an immediate practical programme while we are all discussing the dreadful danger of somebody else putting it into a distant Utopia.
– G. K. Chesterton, GK's Weekly (January 17, 1931)

Our society is so abnormal that the normal man never dreams of having the normal occupation of looking after his own property. When he chooses a trade, he chooses one of the ten thousand trades that involve looking after other people's property.
– G. K. Chesterton, Commonwealth (October 12, 1932)

Price is a crazy and incalculable thing, while Value is an intrinsic and indestructible thing.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Well and the Shallows, "Reflections on a Rotten Apple" (1935)

Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, chapter 2 (1905)

Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.
– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)

Properly speaking, of course, there is no such thing as a return to nature, because there is no such thing as a departure from it. The phrase reminds one of the slightly intoxicated gentleman who gets up in his own dining room and declares firmly that he must be getting home.
– G. K. Chesterton, Chesterton Review (August, 1993)

Psychoanalysis is a science conducted by lunatics for lunatics. They are generally concerned with proving that people are irresponsible; and they certainly succeed in proving that some people are.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (June 23, 1928)

Puritanism was an honourable mood; it was a noble fad. In other words, it was a highly creditable mistake.
– G. K. Chesterton, William Blake (1910)

Real sensationalism, of which I happen to be very fond, may be either moral or immoral. But even when it is most immoral, it requires moral courage. For it is one of the most dangerous things on earth genuinely to surprise anybody. If you make any sentient creature jump, you render it by no means improbable that it will jump on you.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of "touching" a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.
– G. K. Chesterton, Twelve Types, "Charles II"

Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton (1936)

Savages and modern artists are alike strangely driven to create something uglier than themselves. but the artists find it harder.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (November 25, 1905)

Science is a grand thing when you can get it; in its real sense one of the grandest words in the world. But what do these men mean, nine times out often, when they use it nowadays? When they say detection is a science? When they say criminology is a science? They mean getting outside a man and studying him as if he were a gigantic insect: in what they would call a dry impartial light, in what I should call a dead and dehumanized light. They mean getting a long way off him, as if he were a distant prehistoric monster; staring at the shape of his "criminal skull" as if it were a sort of eerie growth, like the horn on a rhinoceros’s nose. When the scientist talks about a type, he never means himself, but always his neighbour; probably his poorer neighbour. I don’t deny the dry light may sometimes do good; though in one sense it’s the very reverse of science. So far from being knowledge, it’s actually suppression of what we know. It’s treating a friend as a stranger, and pretending that something familiar is really remote and mysterious. It’s like saying that a man has a proboscis between the eyes, or that he falls down in a fit of insensibility once every twenty-four hours.
– G. K. Chesterton, "The Secret of Father Brown"

Self-denial is the test and definition of self-government.
– G. K. Chesterton, Alarms And Discursions, "The Field of Blood" (1911)

So far as a man may be proud of a religion rooted in humility, I am very proud of my religion; I am especially proud of those parts of it that are most commonly called superstition. I am proud of being fettered by antiquated dogmas and enslaved by dead creeds (as my journalistic friends repeat with so much pertinacity), for I know very well that it is the heretical creeds that are dead, and that it is only the reasonable dogma that lives long enough to be called antiquated.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton (1936)

Some people leave money for the improvement of public buildings. I can leave dynamite for the improvement of public buildings.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (March 17, 1906)

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant, "A Defense of Humilities" (1901)

The aesthete aims at harmony rather than beauty. If his hair does not match the mauve sunset against which he is standing, he hurriedly dyes his hair another shade of mauve. If his wife does not go with the wall-paper, he gets a divorce.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (December 25, 1909)

The aim of good prose words is to mean what they say. The aim of good poetical words is to mean what they do not say.
– G. K. Chesterton, London Daily News (April 22, 1905)

The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, chapter 16 (1905)

The beautification of the world is not a work of nature, but a work of art, then it involves an artist.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (September 18, 1909)

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (July 16, 1910)

The center of every man's existence is a dream. Death, disease, insanity, are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel.
– G. K. Chesterton, Twelve Types, "Sir Walter Scott"

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.
– G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World, chapter 5 (1910)

The comedy of man survives the tragedy of man.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (February 6, 1906)

The decay of society is praised by artists as the decay of a corpse is praised by worms.
– G. K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw (1909)

The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.
– G. K. Chesterton, What I Saw In America, chapter 19 (1922)

The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (January 9, 1909)

The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.
– G. K. Chesterton, radio broadcast talk (June 11, 1935)

The great majority of people will go on observing forms that cannot be explained; they will keep Christmas Day with Christmas gifts and Christmas benedictions; they will continue to do it; and some day suddenly wake up and discover why.
– G. K. Chesterton, Generally Speaking, "On Christmas"

The modern city is ugly not because it is a city but because it is not enough of a city, because it is a jungle, because it is confused and anarchic, and surging with selfish and materialistic energies.
– G. K. Chesterton, Lunacy and Letters, "The Way to the Stars"

The modern world is a crowd of very rapid racing cars all brought to a standstill and stuck in a block of traffic.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (May 29, 1926)

The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings.
– G. K. Chesterton, Christendom in Dublin, chapter 3 (1933)

The only defensible war is a war of defense.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton (1936)

The past is not what it was.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Short History of England (1917)

The person who is really in revolt is the optimist, who generally lives and dies in a desperate and suicidal effort to persuade other people how good they are.
– G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to The Defendant (1901)

The position we have now reached is this: starting from the State, we try to remedy the failures of all the families, all the nurseries, all the schools, all the workshops, all the secondary institutions that once had some authority of their own. Everything is ultimately brought into the Law Courts. We are trying to stop the leak at the other end.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (March 24, 1923)

The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (September 7, 1929)

The real argument against aristocracy is that it always means the rule of the ignorant. For the most dangerous of all forms of ignorance is ignorance of work.
– G. K. Chesterton, New York Sun (November 3, 1918)

The really great person is the person who makes every person feel great.
– G.K. Chesterton

The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (October 28, 1922)

The revolt against vows has been carried in our day even to the extent of a revolt against the typical vow of marriage. It is most amusing to listen to the opponents of marriage on this subject. They appear to imagine that the ideal of constancy was a yoke mysteriously imposed on mankind by the devil, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all lovers on themselves. They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words – "free-love" – as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind itself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant, "A Defence of Rash Vows"

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.
– G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to the Book of Job (1907)

The simplification of anything is always sensational.
– G. K. Chesterton, Varied Types

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (January 14, 1911)

The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (January 3, 1920)

The ultimate effect of the great science of Fingerprints is this: that whereas a gentleman was expected to put on gloves to dance with a lady, he may now be expected to put on gloves in order to strangle her.
– G. K. Chesterton, "Avowals and Denials" (1935)

The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.
– G. K. Chesterton, What I Saw In America (1922)

The vast mass of humanity, with their vast mass of idle books and idle words, have never doubted and never will doubt that courage is splendid, that fidelity is noble, that distressed ladies should be rescued, and vanquished enemies spared. There are a large number of cultivated persons who doubt these maxims of daily life, just there are a large number of persons who believe they are the Prince of Wales; and I am told that both classes of people are entertaining conversationalists.
– G.K. Chesterton, "A Defense of Penny Dreadfuls" (1901)

The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea.
– G. K. Chesterton, T.P.'s Weekly (Christmas Number, 1910)

The whole curse of the last century has been what is called the Swing of the Pendulum; that is, the idea that Man must go alternately from one extreme to the other. It is a shameful and even shocking fancy; it is the denial of the whole dignity of the mankind. When Man is alive he stands still. It is only when he is dead that he swings.
– G. K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The New House"

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (April 19, 1924)

The whole modern world is pining for a genuinely sensational journalism. This has been discovered by that very able and honest journalist, Mr. Blatchford, who started his campaign against Christianity, warned on all sides, I believe, that it would ruin his paper, but who continued from an honourable sense of intellectual responsibility. He discovered, however, that while he had undoubtedly shocked his readers, he had also greatly advanced his newspaper. It was bought–first, by all the people who agreed with him and wanted to read it; and secondly, by all the people who disagreed with him, and wanted to write him letters. Those letters were voluminous (I helped, I am glad to say, to swell their volume), and they were generally inserted with a generous fulness. Thus was accidentally discovered (like the steam-engine) the great journalistic maxim– that if an editor can only make people angry enough, they will write half his newspaper for him for nothing.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

The whole pleasure of marriage is that it is a perpetual crisis.
– G. K. Chesterton, Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, Part II, "David Copperfield" (1911)

The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (June 11, 1910)

The world will very soon be divided, unless I am mistaken, into those who still go on explaining our success, and those somewhat more intelligent who are trying to explain our failure.
– G. K. Chesterton, speech to Anglo-Catholic Congress (June 29, 1920)

Theology is only thought applied to religion.
– G. K. Chesterton, The New Jerusalem

There are some desires that are not desirable.
– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)

There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (January 13, 1906)

There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.
– G. K. Chesterton, "Outline of Sanity"

There have been household gods and household saints and household fairies. I am not sure that there have yet been any factory gods or factory saints or factory fairies. I may be wrong, as I am no commericial expert, but I have not heard of them as yet.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (December 18, 1926)

There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (July 18, 1908)

There is a corollary to the conception of being too proud to fight. It is that the humble have to do most of the fighting.
– G. K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man (1925)

There is only one thing that stands in our midst, attenuated and threatened, but enthroned in some power like a ghost of the Middle Ages: the Trade Unions.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Short History of England(1917)

There'd be a lot less scandal if people didn't idealize sin and pose as sinners.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Father Brown Omnibus

These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (August 11, 1928)

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. Nothing is more keenly required than a defence of bores. When Byron divided humanity into the bores and bored, he omitted to notice that the higher qualities exist entirely in the bores, the lower qualities in the bored, among whom he counted himself. The bore, by his starry enthusiasm, his solemn happiness, may, in some sense, have proved himself poetical. The bored has certainly proved himself prosaic.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

This is the age in which thin and theoretic minorities can cover and conquer unconscious and untheoretic majorities.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News(December 20, 1919)

Though the academic authorities are actually proud of conducting everything by means of Examinations, they seldom indulge in what religious people used to descibe as Self-Examination. The consequence is that the modern State has educated its citizens in a series of ephemeral fads.
– G. K. Chesterton, Nash's Pall Mall Magazine (April, 1935)

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
– G. K. Chesterton

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Short History of England, chapter10 (1917)

To hurry through one's leisure is the most unbusiness-like of actions.
– G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles, "A Somewhat Improbable Story" (1909)

To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun; to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Uses of Diversity (1921)

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.
– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)

Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (February 24, 1906)

War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (July 24, 1915)

We are learning to do a great many clever things ... The next great task will be to learn not to do them.
– G. K. Chesterton, Varied Types (1908)

We have had no good comic operas of late, because the real world has been more comic than any possible opera.
– G. K. Chesterton, The Quotable Chesterton

We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour.
– G. K. Chesterton

What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.
– G. K. Chesterton, "Sidelights on New London and Newer New York"

What is called matriarchy is simply moral anarchy, in which the mother alone remains fixed because all the fathers are fugitive and irresponsible..
– G. K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man (1925)

What life and death may be to a turkey is not my business; but the soul of Scrooge and the body of Cratchit are my business.
– G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, "Christmas" (1908)

What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another.
– G. K. Chesterton, London Daily News (December 21, 1905)

When a politician is in opposition he is an expert on the means to some end; and when he is in office he is an expert on the obstacles to it.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (April 6, 1918)

When giving treats to friends or children, give them what they like, emphatically not what is good for them.
– G. K. Chesterton, Chesterton Review (February, 1984)

When learned men begin to use their reason, then I generally discover that they haven't got any.
– G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News (November 7, 1908)

When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale.
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.
– G. K. Chesterton, London Daily News (July 29, 1905)

Whenever you hear much of things being unutterable and indefinable and impalpable and unnamable and subtly indescribable, then elevate your aristocratic nose towards heaven and snuff up the smell of decay. It is perfectly true that there is something in all good things that is beyond all speech or figure of speech. But it is also true that there is in all good things a perpetual desire for expression and concrete embodiment; and though the attempt to embody it is always inadequate, the attempt is always made. If the idea does not seek to be the word, the chances are that it is an evil idea. If the word is not made flesh it is a bad word.
– G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men (1912)

With all that we hear of American hustle and hurry, it is rather strange that Americans seem to like to linger on longer words.
– G. K. Chesterton, What I Saw In America (1922)

Women are the only realists; their whole object in life is to pit their realism against the extravagant, excessive, and occasionally drunken idealism of men.
– G. K. Chesterton, "A Handful of Authors"

Women have a thirst for order and beauty as for something physical; there is a strange female power of hating ugliness and waste as good men can only hate sin and bad men virtue.
– G. K. Chesterton, Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, Part II, "Bleak House" (1911)

You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
– G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909)

You can't have the family farm without the family.
– G. K. Chesterton, Tales of the Long Bow (1925)

You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion.
– G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles, "How I Met the President" (1909)

Here's an unsigned question. "Mr. Vice President, don't you think it's time to step down and let someone else add new energy and vitality to the ticket?" No . . . I don't. And Rudy [Giuliani], you need to do a better job disguising your handwriting.
– Dick Cheney, at the Gridiron Dinner

I always feel a genuine bond whenever I see Senator Clinton. She's the only person who's at the center of more conspiracy theories than I am.
– Dick Cheney, at the Gridiron Dinner

Reagan proved deficits don't matter.
– Vice President Dick Cheney, when Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil warned of a looming fiscal crisis, quoted in The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill by Ron Suskind

The president responds very favorably when Laura refers to him in those terms, but the rest of us would not use that phrase, I don't believe.
– Dick Cheney, on reports the First Lady calls the President "Bushie"

 

More on    Chilon of Sparta (6th century BC), Greek philosopher and political reformer

Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time.
– Chilon of Sparta

Gold is best tested by a whetstone hard,
Which gives a certain proof of purity;
And gold itself acts as the test of men,
By which we know the temper of their minds.
– Chilon of Sparta

I consider that tyrant a fortunate man who dies a natural death in his own house.
– Chilon of Sparta

Know thyself.
– Chilon of Sparta

When strong, be merciful, if you would have the respect, not the fear of your neighbors.
– Chilon of Sparta

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
– Chinese proverb

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.
– Chinese proverb

The first time it is a favor, the second time a rule.
– Chinese Proverb

The gem cannot be polished without friction.
– Chinese proverb

The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.
– Chinese Proverb

A war that lacks legitimacy does not acquire legitimacy because it has been won.
– Jacques Chirac

There is no reason to accept the doctrines crafted to sustain power and privilege, or to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social laws. These are simply decisions made within institutions that are subject to human will and that must face the test of legitimacy. And if they do not meet the test, they can be replaced by other institutions that are more free and more just, as has happened often in the past.
– Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US media and foreign policy critic

[The inauguration of Bill Clinton is] a repudiation of our forefathers' covenant with God.
– Christian Coalition (1993)

Coffee in England always tastes like a chemistry experiment.
– Agatha Christie

Every woman should marry an archaeologist because she grows increasingly attractive to him as she grows increasingly to resemble a ruin.
– Agatha Christie (who married an archeologist and lived in Iraq)

What the people wants is called "politically unrealistic" Translated into English, that means power and privilege are opposed to it.
– Noam Chomsky

The best things carried to excess are wrong.
– Charles Churchill

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
– Winston Churchill

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
– Winston Churchill

An aphorism is not an aphorism unless you know what it means.
– Winston Churchill

Any man under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart, and any man over 30 who is not a conservative has no brains.
– Winston Churchill

Before we proceed further let us get one thing clear. Are we talking about the brown Indians in India, who have multiplied alarmingly under the benevolent British rule? Or are we speaking of the red Indians in America who, I understand, are almost extinct?
– Winston Churchill

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
– Winston Churchill

Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.
– Winston Churchill

Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.
– Winston Churchill

First there are the Jews who, dwelling in every country throughout the world, identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life, and, while adhering faithfully to their own religion, regard themselves as citizens in the fullest sense of the State which has received them...In violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their fathers...This worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation.
– Winston Churchill, "Zionism versus Bolshevism," Illustrated Sunday Herald (February, 1920)

Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into a even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.
– Winston Churchill

I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
– Winston Churchill

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
– Winston Churchill

I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
– Winston Churchill, speaking of the Palestinians (1937)

I do not see any other way of realizing our hopes about World Organization in five or six days. Even the Almighty took seven.
– Winston Churchill

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.
– Winston Churchill, War Office Departmental Minute, Churchill Papers 16/16, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge (May 12, 1919)

I have taken more good from alcohol than alcohol has taken from me.
– Winston Churchill

I like a man who grins when he fights.
– Winston Churchill

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
– Winston Churchill

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
– Winston Churchill

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time a tremendous whack.
– Winston Churchill

In defeat unbeatable, in victory unbearable.
– Winston Churchill, on Bernard Montgomery

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
– Winston Churchill

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.
– Winston Churchill

Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.
– Winston Churchill

Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
– Winston Churchill

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.
– Winston Churchill

Politics are almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics – many times.
– Winston Churchill

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
– Winston Churchill

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill

The Americans will always do the right thing ... After they've exhausted all the alternatives.
– Winston Churchill

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
– Winston Churchill

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.
– Winston Churchill

The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.
– Winston Churchill

The price of greatness is responsibility.
– Winston Churchill

The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate... I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.
– Winston Churchill to Asquith (1910)

To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.
– Winston Churchill, on Korean War negotiations

War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
– Winston Churchill

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
– Winston Churchill

What is the true and original root of Dutch aversion to British rule? It is the abiding fear and hatred of the movement that seeks to place the native on a level with the white man...the Kaffir is to be declared the brother of the European, to be constituted his legal equal, to be armed with political rights.
– Winston Churchill, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria, in reference to the Boers of South Africa (1900)

When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.
– Winston Churchill, on formal declarations of war

Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.
– Winston Churchill

 

More on    Marcus Tullius Cicero   (106–43 BC), Roman orator, philosopher
or the Cicero Collection

A home without books is a body without soul.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Always the same.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Brevity is the best recommendation of speech, whether in a senator or an orator.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Delay and procrastination is troublesome.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Few people come to old age.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Fortune is blind.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

He departed, he escaped, he rushed forth.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Honor is the reward of virtue.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

How long now, Catiline, will you abuse our patience?
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Inhumanity is troublesome in every generation.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

It is a delight to do nothing.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

It is stupid to be afraid of that which you cannot avoid.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Justice consists in doing no injury to men; decency in giving them no offence.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis, book 1, chapter 28, section 99 (44 BC)

May arms yield to the toga.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

May the safety of the people be the highest law.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

No fortification is such that it cannot be subdued with money.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Nothing is more uncertain than the masses.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Nothing is so secure that money will not defeat it.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

O, excellent protector of sheep, the wolf!
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Often it is not even useful to know what may be.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Oh, the times! Oh, the customs!
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Our fatherland is the common parent of everyone.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

People do not understand what a great revenue economy is.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Romulus was not a king of barbarians, was he?
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Six mistakes mankind keeps making centruy after century: Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; Attempting to compel others to believe and live as well as we do.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Take from a man his reputation for probity, and the more shrewd and clever he is, the more hated and mistrusted he becomes.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis, II, 34 (44 BC)

The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

The beginnings of all things are small.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

The highest law is the greatest injustice.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

There are many degrees in excellence.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Divinatione, book 2, section 58 (45 BC)

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

We are all taken in by an enthusiasm for praise.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

We are slaves of the laws in order that we may be able to be free.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

When they are silent, they are crying out.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

While the sick man has life there is hope.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistolarum ad Atticum, ix. 10, 4

 

More on    Emile M. Cioran (1911–1995) Romanian-born French philosopher

A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.
– Emile M. Cioran

A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.
– Emile M. Cioran

Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher's the poet's equal there.
– Emile M. Cioran

Better to be an animal than a man, an insect than an animal, a plant than an insect, and so on. Salvation? Whatever diminishes the kingdom of consciousness and compromises its supremacy.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.
– Emile M. Cioran

Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
– Emile M. Cioran

Does our ferocity not derive from the fact that our instincts are all too interested in other people? If we attended more to ourselves and became the center, the object of our murderous inclinations, the sum of our intolerances would diminish.
– Emile M. Cioran

Each time you find yourself at a turning point, the best thing is to lie down and let hours pass. Resolutions made standing up are worthless: they are dictated either by pride or by fear. Prone, we still know these two scourges, but in a more attenuated, more intemporal form.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.
– Emile M. Cioran

From denial to denial, his existence is diminished: vaguer and more unreal than a syllogism of sighs, how could he still be a creature of flesh and blood? Anemic, he rivals the Idea itself; he has abstracted himself from his ancestors, from his friends, from every soul and himself; in his veins, once turbulent, rests a light from another world. Liberated from what he has lived, unconcerned by what he will live; he demolishes the signposts on all his roads, and wrests himself from the dials of all time. "I shall never meet myself again," he decides, happy to turn his last hatred against himself, happier still to annihilate – in his forgiveness – all beings, all things.
– Emile M. Cioran, A Short History of Decay

Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven't been cut off.
– Emile M. Cioran

I have always lived with the awareness of the impossibility of living. And what has made existence endurable to me is my curiosity as to how I would get from one minute, one day, one year to the next.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

I pride myself on my capacity to perceive the transitory character of everything. An odd gift which spoiled all my joys; better: all my sensations. I have decided not to oppose anyone ever again, since I have noticed that I always end by resembling my latest enemy.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot.
– Emile M. Cioran

Imaginary pains are by far the most real we suffer, since we feel a constant need for them and invent them because there is no way of doing without them.
– Emile M. Cioran

Impossible to spend sleepless nights and accomplish anything: if, in my youth, my parents had not financed my insomnias, I should surely have killed myself.
– Emile M. Cioran

It is because of speech that men give the illusion of being free. By speaking, they deceive themselves, as they deceive others: because they say what they are going to do, who could suspect they are not masters of their actions?
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
– Emile M. Cioran

Life is nothing; death, everything. Yet there is nothing which is death, independent of life. It is precisely this absence of autonomous, distinct reality which makes death universal; it has no realm of its own, it is omnipresent, like everything which lacks identity, limit, and bearing: an indecent infinitude.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Man is unacceptable.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil.
– Emile M. Cioran

Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.
– Emile M. Cioran

Negation is the mind's first freedom, yet a negative habit is fruitful only so long as we exert ourselves to overcome it, adapt it to our needs; once acquired it can imprison us.
– Emile M. Cioran

No human beings more dangerous than those who have suffered for a belief: the great persecutors are recruited from the martyrs not quite beheaded. Far from diminishing the appetite for power, suffering exasperates it. Far from diminishing the appetite for power, suffering exasperates it.
– Emile M. Cioran

No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.
– Emile M. Cioran

Once we begin to want, we fall under the jurisdiction of the Devil. It is a great force, and a great fortune, to be able to live without any ambition whatever. I aspire to it, but the very fact of so aspiring still participates in ambition.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other.
– Emile M. Cioran

Our contortions, visible or secret, we communicate to the planet; already it trembles even as we do, it suffers the contagion of our crises and, as this grand mal spreads, it vomits us forth, cursing us the while.
– Emile M. Cioran, Drawn and Quartered

Our first intuitions are the true ones.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born (1973)

Paradise was unendurable, otherwise the first man would have adapted to it; this world is no less so, since here we regret paradise or anticipate another one. What to do? where to go? Do nothing and go nowhere, easy enough.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Philosophers write for professors; thinkers for writers.
– Emile M. Cioran, Drawn and Quartered

Progress is the injustice each generation commits with regard to its predecessors.
– Emile M. Cioran

Reason is a whore, surviving by simulation, versatility, and shamelessness.
– Emile M. Cioran

Saints live in flames, wisemen, next to them.
– Emile M. Cioran, Tears and Saints

Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.
– Emile M. Cioran

Suffering makes you live time in detail, moment after moment. Which is to say that it exists for you: over the others, the ones who don't suffer, time flows, so that they don't live in time, in fact they never have.
– Emile M. Cioran, The New Gods

The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live – moreover, the only one.
– Emile M. Cioran

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.
– Emile M. Cioran

The fear of being deceived is the vulgar version of the quest for Truth.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

The mind is the result of the torments the flesh undergoes or inflicts upon itself.
– Emile M. Cioran

The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.
– Emile M. Cioran

There is no means of proving it is preferable to be than not to be.
– Emile M. Cioran

To exist is equivalent to an act of faith, a protest against the truth, an interminable prayer. As soon as they consent to live, the unbeliever and the man of faith are fundamentally the same, since both have made the only decision that defines a being.
– Emile M. Cioran

To live is to lose ground.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.
– Emile M. Cioran

Tyranny destroys or strengthens the individual; freedom enervates him, until he becomes no more than a puppet. Man has more chances of saving himself by hell than by paradise.
– Emile M. Cioran

We derive our vitality from our store of madness.
– Emile M. Cioran

What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?
– Emile M. Cioran

Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.
– Emile M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

You are done for – a living dead man – not when you stop loving but stop hating. Hatred preserves: in it, in its chemistry, resides the "mystery" of life.
– Emile M. Cioran

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
– Tom Clancy

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
– Karen Kaiser Clark

It was as if Osama bin Laden, hidden in some high mountain redoubt, were engaging in long-range mind control of George Bush, chanting "invade Iraq, you must invade Iraq."
– Richard Clarke, Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator, on Bush's response to 9/11

 

More on    Arthur C. Clarke (1917– ), UK writer, one of the grand masters of science fiction

A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.
– Arthur C. Clarke

All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.
– Arthur C. Clarke

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
– Arthur C. Clarke

Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.
    Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this universe, there shines a star.
– Arthur C. Clarke, foreword, 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968)

Chemistry is a trade for people without enough imagination to be physicists.
– Arthur C. Clarke

Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.
– Arthur C. Clarke

I don't pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about.
– Arthur C. Clarke

If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.
– Arthur C. Clarke

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
– Arthur C. Clarke

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.
– Arthur C. Clarke

Nevertheless, it is vital to remember that information – in the sense of raw data – is not knowledge; that knowledge is not wisdom; and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.
– Arthur C. Clarke, "Is There Life After Television" in Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! (1999)

New ideas pass through three periods:
It can't be done.
It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing
I knew it was a good idea all along!
– Arthur C. Clarke

The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
– Arthur C. Clarke

The future isn't what it used to be.
– Arthur C. Clarke

The moon is the first milestone on the road to the stars.
– Arthur C. Clarke

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
– Arthur C. Clarke

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.
– Arthur C. Clarke

Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
– Arthur C. Clarke

 

More on    Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831),

All action takes place, so to speak, in a kind of twilight, which like a fog or moonlight, often tends to make things seem grotesque and larger than they really are.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the whole; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought of together.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

The best defense is a good offense.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

The difficulty of accurate recognition constitutes one of the most serious sources of friction in war ... War has a way of masking the stage with scenery crudely daubed with fearsome appartions.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

The military machine – the army and everything related to it – is basically very simple and therefore seems easy to manage. But we should bear in mind that none of its components is of one piece: each piece is composed of individuals, every one of whom retains his potential of friction ... A battalion is made up of individuals, the least important of whom may chance to delay things or somehow make them go wrong.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerglimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

War is not an exercise of the will directed at an inanimate matter.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

War is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

War is the province of danger.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

What this task requires in the way of higher intellectual gifts is a sense of unity and a power of judgement, raised to a marvelous pitch of vision, which easily grasps and dismisses a thousand remote possibilities an ordinary mind would labor to identify, and wear itself out in doing so.
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce.
– Clayton Anti-Trust Act, VI (1914)

You're either part of the solution or part of the problem.
– Eldridge Cleaver, 1968

History could pass for a scarlet text, its jot and title graven red in human blood.
– Eldridge Cleaver, 1968

Respect commands itself and can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.
– Eldridge Cleaver, 1968

The struggle of our people for freedom has progressed to the form where all of us must take a stand either for or against the freedom of our people You are either with Your People or against them. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.
– Eldridge Cleaver, To My Black Brothers In Vietnam

We have dedicated our lives, our blood, to the freedom and liberation of our people, and nothing, no force can stop us from achieving our goal. If it is necessary to destroy the United States of America, then let us destroy it with a smile on our faces.
– Eldridge Cleaver, To My Black Brothers In Vietnam

You don't have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.
– Eldridge Cleaver, 1970

Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.
– Mark A. Clement

 

More on    William [Bill] Jefferson Clinton (1946– ), 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001

America is a work in progress, and we have strived through decades of challenge and change to become what our founders envisioned on our first Independence Day. As we continue that endeavor, let us work together to create an America that remains the world's strongest force for peace, justice, and freedom. Let us work for an America that is not driven apart by differences but instead is united around shared values and respect for our diversity. Let us work for an America in which every one of us, without regard to race or religious belief or gender or station in life, can achieve our dreams. In this way we will best pay tribute to those who, 220 years ago, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to guarantee our freedom.
– Bill Clinton (July 4, 1996)

They remind me of teenagers who got their inheritance too soon and couldn't wait to blow it.
– Bill Clinton on the Bush White House

Frankly, Mr. Mayor, I think your new hairstyle is the right way to go. After all, in Washington, the coverup is always worse than the truth.
– Senator Hillary Clinton to Rudy Giuliani at the annual Gridiron Dinner

I thought Missouri was the Show-Me State.
– Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, lampooning Attorney General John Ashcroft's (former senator from Missouri) decision to spend more than $8,000 to cover statues of bare-breasted women in the Justice Department building

Imagine a school with children that can read or write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live.
– Peter Cochrane

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like.
– Jean Cocteau

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
– Chapman Cohen

I don't want to know what the law is, I want to know who the judge is.
– Roy M. Cohn

 

More on    Sir Edward Coke  (1552–1634) English jurist

They (corporations) cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
– Sir Edward Coke, Case of Sutton’s Hospital, 10 Rep. 32.

The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.
– Sir Edward Coke, Semayne’s Case, 5 Rep. 91.

You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.
– Edwin Louis Cole

When you educate a man you educate an individual, but when you educate a woman, you educate a nation.
– Johnetta B. Cole (1993)

I'm a musician at heart, I know I'm not really a singer. I couldn't compete with real singers. But I sing because the public buys it.
– Nat King Cole [Nathaniel Adams Coles] 1949

Critics don't buy records. They get 'em free.
– Nat King Cole [Nathaniel Adams Coles]

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
a stately pleasure-dome decree,
where Alph, the sacred river, ran
through caverns measureless to man
down to a sunless sea.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), Xanadu

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink.
Water, water everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Success doesn't come to you, you go to it.
– Marva Collins

Happiness, wealth, and success are the by-products of goal setting, they cannot be the goals themselves.
– John Condry

Anger and humor are like the left and right arm. They complement each other. Anger empowers the poor to declare their uncompromising opposition to opression, and humor prevents them from being consumed by their fury.
– James Cone, 1991

Truth knows no color; it appeals to intelligence.
– James Cone (1986)

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.
– Confucius

The superior man is modest in his speech, but excels in his actions.
– Confucius

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
– Confucius

When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.
– Confucius

Heav'n hath no rage like love to hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn'd.
– William Congreve

Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.
– William Congreve, The Old Bachelor

... rather courtship to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull play.
– William Congreve, The Old Bachelor

I have always hated that damn James Bond. I'd like to kill him.
– Sean Connery

 

More on    Joseph Conrad [Jósef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski] (1857–1924), Polish-born (in in an area of Ukraine formerly Polish, then ruled by Russia) English novelist and short-story writer

... a belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
– Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth.
– Joseph Conrad

A man is a worker. If he is not that he is nothing.
– Joseph Conrad

A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. If he tries to climb out into the air as inexperienced people endeavor to do, he drowns.
– Joseph Conrad

A man's most open actions have a secret side to them.
– Joseph Conrad

A man's real life is that accorded to him in the thoughts of other men by reason of respect or natural love.
– Joseph Conrad

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.
– Joseph Conrad

A word carries far – very far – deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.
– Joseph Conrad

A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.
– Joseph Conrad

Above all, we must forgive the unhappy souls who have elected to make the pilgrimage on foot, who skirt the shore and look uncomprehendingly upon the horror of the struggle, the joy of victory, the profound hopelessness of the vanquished.
– Joseph Conrad

Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of flattering illusions.
– Joseph Conrad

All a man can betray is his conscience.
– Joseph Conrad,
Under Western Eyes (1911)

All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward upon the miseries or credulities of mankind.
– Joseph Conrad: A Personal record preface (1912)

All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward upon the miseries and credulities of mankind.
– Joseph Conrad

An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation.
– Joseph Conrad

As in political so in literary action a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices and the consistent narrowness of his outlook.
– Joseph Conrad

Criticism, that fine flower of personal expression in the garden of letters.
– Joseph Conrad

Don't talk to me of your Archimedes' lever. He was an absentminded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
– Joseph Conrad

English saved my life.
– Joseph Conrad

For all that has been said of the love that certain natures (on shore) have professed for it, for all the celebrations it has been the object of in prose and song, the sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.
– Joseph Conrad

Going home must be like going to render an account.
– Joseph Conrad

An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation.
– Joseph Conrad

And a word carries far – very far – deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.
– Joseph Conrad,
Lord Jim (1900)

Any work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.
– Joseph Conrad

As in political so in literary action a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices and the consistent narrowness of his outlook.
– Joseph Conrad

As to honor – you know – it's a very fine mediaeval inheritance which women never got hold of. It wasn't theirs.
– Joseph Conrad

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.
– Joseph Conrad

Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration, losing the exact notion of sincerity, and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his purpose – as, in fact, not good enough for his insistent emotion. From laughter and tears the descent is easy to sniveling and giggles.
– Joseph Conrad

Don't talk to me of your Archimedes' lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
– Joseph Conrad

... don't you forget what's divine in the Russian soul – and that's resignation.
– Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength; and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life.
– Joseph Conrad

Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it.
– Joseph Conrad

For all that has been said of the love that certain natures (on shore) have professed for it, for all the celebrations it has been the object of in prose and song, the sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.
– Joseph Conrad

For every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early, and the human race come to an end.
– Joseph Conrad

God is for men and religion is for women.
– Joseph Conrad

Going home must be like going to render an account.
– Joseph Conrad

Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys.
– Joseph Conrad

Hang ideas! They are tramps, vagabonds, knocking at the back-door of your mind, each taking a little of your substance, each carrying away some crumb of that belief in a few simple notions you must cling to if you want to live decently and would like to die easy!
– Joseph Conrad

He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision – he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath – "The horror! The Horror!"
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

He remembered that she was pretty, and, more, that she had a special grace in the intimacy of life. She had the secret of individuality which excites – and escapes.
– Joseph Conrad, Victory

He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness. That was it!
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.
– Joseph Conrad

His eyes were naturally heavy; he had an air of having wallowed, fully dressed, all day on an unmade bed.
– Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird.
– Joseph Conrad

How does one kill fear, I wonder? How do you shoot a specter through the heart, slash off its spectral head, take it by its spectral throat?
– Joseph Conrad

I can't imagine a human being so hard up for something to do as to quarrel with me.
– Joseph Conrad

I dare say I am compelled, unconsciously compelled, now to write volume after volume, as in past years I was compelled to go to sea, voyage after voyage. Leaves must follow upon each other as leagues used to follow in the days gone by, on and on to the appointed end, which, being truth itself, is one – one for all men and for all occupations.
– Joseph Conrad

I don't like work ... but I like what is in work – the chance to find yourself. Your own reality – for yourself, not for others – which no other man can ever know.
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

I had ambition not only to go farther than any man had ever been before, but as far as it was possible for a man to go.
– Joseph Conrad

I had, in a moment of inadvertence, created for myself a tie. How to define it precisely I don't know. One gets attached in a way to people one has done something for. But is that friendship? I am not sure what it was. I only know that he who forms a tie is lost. The germ of corruption has entered into his soul.
– Joseph Conrad, Victory

I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat.
– Joseph Conrad

I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more – the feeling that I could last forever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort – to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires – and expires, too soon, too soon – before life itself.
– Joseph Conrad, "Youth" (1902)

I would not unduly praise the virtue of restraint. It is often merely temperamental. But it is not always a sign of coldness. It may be pride. There can be nothing more humiliating than to see the shaft of one's emotion miss the mark of either laughter or tears. Nothing more humiliating! And this for the reason that should the mark be missed, should the open display of emotion fail to move, then it must perish unavoidably in disgust or contempt.
– Joseph Conrad

In plucking the fruit of memory one runs the risk of spoiling its bloom.
– Joseph Conrad

In the immutability of their surroundings the foreign shores, the foreign faces, the changing immensity of life, glide past, veiled not by a sense of mystery but by a slightly disdainful ignorance; for there is nothing mysterious to a seaman unless it be the sea itself, which is the mistress of his existence and as inscrutable as Destiny.
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

It is a maudlin and indecent verity that comes out through the strength of wine.
– Joseph Conrad

It is not Justice the servant of men, but accident, hazard, Fortune – the ally of patient Time – that holds an even and scrupulous balance.
– Joseph Conrad,
Lord Jim (1900)

It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog.
– Joseph Conrad

It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull.
– Joseph Conrad

It is the mark of an inexperienced man not to believe in luck.
– Joseph Conrad

It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth. – Chance.
– Joseph Conrad

It is very difficult to be wholly joyous or wholly sad on this earth. The comic, when it is human, soon takes upon i itself a face of pain; and some of our grieves... have their source in weaknesses which must be recognized with smiling compassion as the common inheritance of us all.
– Joseph Conrad

It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun.
– Joseph Conrad

It occurred to me that my speech or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility.
– Joseph Conrad

It's extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it's just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.
– Joseph Conrad

It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.
– Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands (1896)

It's queer how out of touch with the truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there has never been anything like it, and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset.
– Joseph Conrad

Nations it may be have fashioned their Governments, but the Governments have paid them back in the same coin.
– Joseph Conrad

... one wonders that there can be found a man courageous enough to occupy the post. It is a matter of meditation. Having given it a few minutes I come to the conclusion in the serenity of my heart and the peace of my conscience that he must be either an extreme megalomaniac or an utterly unconscious being.
– Joseph Conrad, "The Censor of Plays" (1907)

Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.
– Joseph Conrad

Perhaps life is just that ... a dream and a fear.
– Joseph Conrad

Protection is the first necessity of opulence and luxury.
– Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

Resignation, not mystic, not detached, but resignation open-eyed, conscious, and informed by love, is the only one of our feelings for which it is impossible to become a sham.
– Joseph Conrad

Some great men owe most of their greatness to the ability of detecting in those they destine for their tools the exact quality of strength that matters for their work.
– Joseph Conrad

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
– Joseph Conrad

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

The East Wind, an interloper in the dominions of Westerly Weather, is an impassive-faced tyrant with a sharp poniard held behind his back for a treacherous stab.
– Joseph Conrad

The future is of our own making – and the most striking characteristic of the century is just that development.
– Joseph Conrad

The last thing a woman will consent to discover in a man whom she loves, or on whom she simply depends, is want of courage.
– Joseph Conrad

The mind of man is capable of anything because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future.
– Joseph Conrad

The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky – seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

The real significance of crime is in its being a breach of faith with the community of mankind.
– Joseph Conrad

The revolutionary spirit is mighty convenient in this, that it frees one from all scruples as regards ideas. Its hard absolute optimism is repulsive to my mind by the menace of fanaticism and intolerance it contains. No doubt one should smile at these things; but, imperfect Esthete, I am no better Philosopher. All claim to special righteousness awakens in me that scorn and anger from which a philosophical mind should be free.
– Joseph Conrad

The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement – but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.
– Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

The sea – this truth must be confessed – has no generosity. No display of manly qualities – courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness – has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power.
– Joseph Conrad

The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.
– Joseph Conrad

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits.
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

The Westerly Wind asserting his sway from the south-west quarter is often like a monarch gone mad, driving forth with wild imprecations the most faithful of his courtiers to shipwreck, disaster, and death.
– Joseph Conrad

There are men here and there to whom the whole of life is like an after-dinner hour with a cigar; easy, pleasant, empty, perhaps enlivened by some fable of strife to be forgotten – before the end is told – even if there happens to be any end to it.
– Joseph Conrad

There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.
– Joseph Conrad,
Lord Jim (1900)

There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery.
– Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (1900)

They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience.
– Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

This could have occurred nowhere but in England, where men and sea interpenetrate, so to speak.
– Joseph Conrad

This magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud keep still.
– Joseph Conrad

To a teacher of languages there comes a time when the world is but a place of many words and man appears a mere talking animal not much more wonderful than a parrot.
– Joseph Conrad

To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.
– Joseph Conrad

Truth of a modest sort I can promise you, and also sincerity. That complete, praiseworthy sincerity which, while it delivers one into the hands of one's enemies, is as likely as not to embroil one with one's friends.
– Joseph Conrad

Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory.
– Joseph Conrad,
Lord Jim (1900)

We live, as we dream – alone
– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

What all men are really after is some form, or perhaps only some formula, of peace.
– Joseph Conrad

What is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men's existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history?
– Joseph Conrad

What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it. To be part of the animal kingdom under the conditions of this earth is very well - but soon as you know of your slavery, the pain, the anger, the strife, the tragedy begins.
– Joseph Conrad, letter (1897)

Who knows what true loneliness is – not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
– Joseph Conrad

Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love – and to put its trust in life.
– Joseph Conrad

Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.
– Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

You can't, in sound morals, condemn a man for taking care of his own integrity. It is his clear duty. And least of all can you condemn an artist pursuing, however humbly and imperfectly, a creative aim. In that interior world where his thought and his emotions go seeking for the experience of imagined adventures, there are no policemen, no law, no pressure of circumstance or dread of opinion to keep him within bounds. Who then is going to say Nay to his temptations if not his conscience?
– Joseph Conrad

You have fallen terribly, my boy, fallen, perhaps, through your own self-confident dreams. Get up and try again. No skulking, no evasion! Live this thing down, humbly and hopefully, in the light of day.
– Joseph Conrad,
Lord Jim (1900)

You shall judge a man by his foes as well as by his friends.
– Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (1900)

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
– Rich Cook

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
– Calvin Coolidge

When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.
– Calvin Coolidge

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
– Calvin Coolidge

Public debt [is] a burden on all the people.
– Calvin Coolidge, Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge (1929)

The business of America is business.
– Calvin Coolidge, speech, January 17, 1925, before American Society of Newspaper Editors

Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
– Henry Steele Commager

The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity.
– Anna Julia Cooper (1892)

Bullies are always cowards at heart and may be credited with a pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey.
– Anna Julia Cooper (1892)

I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.
– Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With the Wind."

To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent.
– Robert Copeland

I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night.
– Marie Corelli

Ideas are precious. An idea is the only lever which moves the world.
– Arthur F. Corey

One thing that makes George Bush such a great president is that he does not govern according to public opinion polls.
– US Senator John Cornyn, Republican, Texas

Frankly, sharing a media market with Chuck Schumer is like sharing a banana with a monkey. Take a little bite of it, and he will throw his own feces at you.
– New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine, on New York Senator Charles Schumer's fondness for publicity

A word to the wise ain't necessary – it's the stupid ones who need advice.
– Bill Cosby, Fat Albert's Survival Kit, 1975

Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.
– Bill Cosby (1986)

Children today know more about sex than I or my father did.
– Bill Cosby, 1991

Civilization had too many rules for me, so I did my best to rewrite them.
– Bill Cosby (1991)

I am certainly not an authority on love because there are no authorities on love, just those who've had luck with it and those who haven't.
– Bill Cosby, 1989

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
– Bill Cosby (1977)

Let us now set forth one of the fundamental truths about marriage: the wife is in charge.
– Bill Cosby, Love and Marriage, 1989

Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries.
– Bill Cosby, Time Flies (1987)

Men and women belong to different species and communications between them is still in its infancy.
– Bill Cosby, 1989

My childhood should have taught me lessons for my own fatherhood, but it didn't because parenting can only be learned by people who have no children.
– Bill Cosby, Childhood (1991)

Poets have said that the reason to have children is to give yourself immortality. Immortality? Now that I have five children, my only hope is that they are all out of the house before I die.
– Bill Cosby, Fatherhood (1986)

The essence of childhood, of course, is play, which my friends and I did endlessly on streets that we reluctantly shared with traffic.
– Bill Cosby, Childhood (1991)

The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods.
– Bill Cosby (1989)

The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now.
– Bill Cosby (1987)

The truth is that parents are not really interrested in justice. They just want quiet.
– Bill Cosby (1986)

There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God.
– Bill Cosby (1978)

We are the only animals that let our kids come back home.
– Bill Cosby

When you become senile, you won't know it.
– Bill Cosby (1987)

Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.
– E. Joseph Cossman

Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere.
– Elvis Costello

Sex and golf are the two things you can enjoy even if you're not good at them.
– Kevin Costner

But as George Bush said: You are with the terrorists or you are with America. Now we're getting a pretty clear picture of who is with the terrorists. As George Patton said, I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the b@stards are and can kill them.
– Ann Coulter

Cheney is my ideal man. Because he's solid. He's funny. He's very handsome. He was a football player. People don't think about him as the glamour type because he's a serious person, he wears glasses, he's lost his hair. But he's a very handsome man. And you cannot imagine him losing his temper, which I find extremely sexy. Men who get upset and lose their tempers and claim to be sensitive males: talk about girly boys. No, there's a reason hurricanes are named after women and homosexual men, it's one of our little methods of social control. We're supposed to fly off the handle.
– Ann Coulter, from a New York Observer interview by George Gurley (August 20, 2002)

I love Texas Republicans! They're these beautiful women, they're so great-looking, they're completely loaded. They're dripping in this gorgeous jewelry, they're really funny and sarcastic and smart. Americans are so cool, and they're such parochial idiots here in New York.
– Ann Coulter, from a New York Observer interview by George Gurley (August 20, 2002)

COULTER: I take the biblical idea. God gave us the earth.
PETER FENN (Democratic strategist): Oh, OK.
COULTER: We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
FENN: This is a great idea.
COULTER: God says, "Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours."
FENN: Terrific. We're Americans, so we should consume as much of the earth's resources...
COULTER: Yes! Yes.
FENN: ... as fast as we possibly can.
COULTER: As opposed to living like the Indians.
– Ann Coulter, from a series of video clips from FOX HANNITY & COLMES, shown on June 22, 2001

I think, on the basis of the recent Supreme Court ruling that we can't execute the retarded, American journalists commit mass murder without facing the ultimate penalty. I think they are retarded. I'm trying to communicate to the American people and I have to work through a retarded person!
– Ann Coulter, from a New York Observer interview by George Gurley (August 20, 2002)

It's always so comforting when Muslims cite the precise verse from the Quran that tells them killing is wrong. Don't all empathetic human beings understand that instinctively? What if they lost their Quran that day and couldn't remember?
– Ann Coulter, "My Name Is Adolf" (September 11, 2002)

It's not terrorism that's bad, it's Muslims who are bad. And Christianity will make them good. Those crusades in the 11th and 12th centuries, they were great for world peace weren't they? And the carpet bombing of German cities is cited by many as an Allied war crime. It did little to win the war (that was done by the brave American grunts at Normandy). Mostly all it did was kill a lot of innocent women and children. Oh, never mind. I was trying to be rational again.
– Ann Coulter

[John] Kerry claims he is still foursquare behind disarming Saddam Hussein, but not "until we have exhausted the remedies available, built legitimacy and earned the consent of the American people, absent, of course, an imminent threat requiring urgent action." As George Bush pointed out in his State of the Union address, dictators are not in the habit of "politely putting us on notice before they strike." By the time a threat is "'imminent," Chicago will be gone.
– Ann Coulter (January 29, 2003)

Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.
– Ann Coulter

My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.
– Ann Coulter, from a New York Observer interview by George Gurley (August 20, 2002)

So now we have idiots like Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., saying race discrimination is no different than colleges admitting legacies. One difference is – as Terry Eastland famously said – we didn't fight a civil war to stop colleges from giving a preference to the children of alumni.
– Ann Coulter

The myth of "McCarthyism" is the greatest Orwellian fraud of our times. Liberals are fanatical liars, then as now. The portrayal of Sen. Joe McCarthy as a wild-eyed demagogue destroying innocent lives is sheer liberal hobgoblinism. Liberals weren't hiding under the bed during the McCarthy era. They were systematically undermining the nation's ability to defend itself, while waging a bellicose campaign of lies to blacken McCarthy's name. Liberals denounced McCarthy because they were afraid of getting caught, so they fought back like animals to hide their own collaboration with a regime as evil as the Nazis.
– Ann Coulter

The reason any conservative's failing is always major news is that it allows liberals to engage in their very favorite taunt: Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is the only sin that really inflames them. Inasmuch as liberals have no morals, they can sit back and criticize other people for failing to meet the standards that liberals simply renounce. It's an intriguing strategy. By openly admitting to being philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards, liberals avoid ever being hypocrites.
– Ann Coulter

The New York Times ran a Tom Tomorrow cartoon sneering about Americans who believe with "unwavering faith in an invisible omniscient deity who favors those born in the middle of the North American land mass." This is how liberals conceive of America: an undifferentiated land mass in the middle of North America.
– Ann Coulter

The only beef Enron employees have with top management is that management did not inform employees of the collapse in time to allow them to get in on the swindle. If Enron executives had shouted, "Head for the hills!" the employees might have had time to sucker other Americans into buying wildly over-inflated Enron stock. Just because your boss is a criminal doesn't make you a hero.
– Ann Coulter

This is as we have come to expect from a family of heroin addicts, statutory rapists, convicted and unconvicted female-killers, cheaters, bootleggers and dissolute drunks known as "Camelot." Why would anyone want such people as their "good friends"?
– Ann Coulter, from a New York Observer interview by George Gurley (August 20, 2002)

When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.
– Ann Coulter, address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (January 2002)

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.
– Ann Coulter

The road to the future leads us smack into the wall. We simply ricochet off the alternatives that destiny offers: a demographic explosion that triggers social chaos and spreads death, nuclear delirium and the quasi-annihilation of the species ... Our survival is no more than a question of 25, 50 or perhaps 100 years.
– Jacques Cousteau

While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.
– Stephen Covey

The man who rolls up his sleeves seldom loses his shirt.
– Thomas Cowan

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
– Noel Coward

A fool must now and then be right by chance.
– William Cowper (1731–1800)

No man can be a patriot on an empty stomach.
– William Cowper (1731–1800)

Variety’s the very spice of life.
– William Cowper (1731–1800)

Books cannot always please, however good;
Minds are not ever craving for their food.
– George Crabbe (1754–1832), The Borough, Letter xxiv, Schools

Congealed thinking is the forerunner of failure ... make sure you are always receptive to new ideas.
– George Crane

Thou hast there in thy wrist a Sanskrit charge
To conjugate infinity's dim marge –
Anew...!
– Hart Crane, "The Bridge: Cape Hatteras"

These stupid peasants, who, throughout the world, hold potentates on their thrones, make statesmen illustrious, provide generals with lasting victories, all with ignorance, indifference, or half-witted hatred, moving the world with the strength of their arms, and getting their heads knocked together in the name of God, the king, or the stock exchange – immortal, dreaming, hopeless asses, who surrender their reason to the care of a shining puppet, and persuade some toy to carry their lives in his purse.
– Stephen Crane

If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?
– Seymour Cray (1925–1996), father of supercomputing

Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
– Cree Indian prophecy

The double helix was a revelatory experience; for me, everything fell into place and my future scientific life was decided there and then.
– Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA structure

We've discovered the secret of life.
– Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA structure

When I went to Oxford in October 1952 to work on bacteriophage with Hinshelwood, it was the intention of seeing whether physical chemistry could provide help in solving biological problems. I should have gone to study molecular biology but the subject did not yet exist.
– Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA structure

 

More on    Quentin Crisp (1908–1999), British Author

A gentleman doesn't pounce, he glides. If a woman sits on a piece of furniture which permits your sitting beside her, you are free to regard this as an invitation, though not an unequivocal one.
– Quentin Crisp

A pinch of notoriety will do.
– Quentin Crisp

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
– Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant

Decency must be an even more exhausting state to maintain than its opposite. Those who succeed seem to need a stupefying amount of sleep.
– Quentin Crisp

Euphemisms are not, as many young people think, useless verbiage for that which can and should be said bluntly; they are like secret agents on a delicate mission, they must airily pass by a stinking mess with barely so much as a nod of the head.
– Quentin Crisp

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.
– Quentin Crisp

Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.
– Quentin Crisp

Flowers are words which even a baby can understand.
– Quentin Crisp

For an introvert his environment is himself and can never be subject to startling or unforeseen change.
– Quentin Crisp

For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook.
– Quentin Crisp

Health consists of having the same diseases as one's neighbors.
– Quentin Crisp

However low a man sinks he never reaches the level of the police.
– Quentin Crisp

I am not famous; I am notorious and if I am rich it is because I have taken my wages in people.
– Quentin Crisp

I am one of the stately homos of old England.
– Quentin Crisp

I don't hold with abroad and think that foreigners speak English when our backs are turned.
– Quentin Crisp

I have always lived my life in the profession of being.
– Quentin Crisp

I recommend limiting one's involvement in other people's lives to a pleasantly scant minimum.
– Quentin Crisp

I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.
– Quentin Crisp

I told Mr. Hurt it was difficult for actors to play victims, but he has specialized in victims. When he stopped playing me, he played Caligula, which was only me in a sheet. Then he played The Elephant Man, which was only me with a paper bag over my head.
– Quentin Crisp

If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.
– Quentin Crisp

If I were asked to describe the difference between the sexes in the gay world, I would say that the men wanted to be amused; the girls sought vindication.
– Quentin Crisp

If Mr. Vincent Price were to be co-starred with Miss Bette Davis in a story by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe directed by Mr. Roger Corman, it could not fully express the pent-up violence and depravity of a single day in the life of the average family.
– Quentin Crisp

If you describe things as better than they are, you are considered to be a romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you will be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you will be thought of as a satirist.
– Quentin Crisp

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.
– Quentin Crisp

Is not the whole world a vast house of assignation to which the filing system has been lost?
– Quentin Crisp

It is explained that all relationships require a little give and take. This is untrue. Any partnership demands that we give and give and give and at the last, as we flop into our graves exhausted, we are told that we didn't give enough.
– Quentin Crisp

It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom.
– Quentin Crisp

It's no good running a pig farm badly for thirty years while saying, "Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer." By then, pigs will be your style.
– Quentin Crisp

Life is a game in which the rules are constantly changing; nothing spoils a game more than those who take it seriously. Adultery? Phooey! You should never subjugate yourself to another nor seek the subjugation of someone else to yourself. If you follow that Crispian principle you will be able to say "Phooey," too, instead of reaching for your gun when you fancy yourself betrayed.
– Quentin Crisp

Life was a funny thing that occurred on the way to the grave.
– Quentin Crisp

Los Angeles is just New York lying down.
– Quentin Crisp

Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone- but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.
– Quentin Crisp

Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not like and once you understand that, you understand all. This idea that love overtakes you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny.
– Quentin Crisp

Manners are love in a cool climate.
– Quentin Crisp

Marriage is but for a little while. It is alimony that is forever.
– Quentin Crisp

Men get laid, but women get screwed.
– Quentin Crisp

Mr. Crisp thanks the world for letting him stay so long.
– Quentin Crisp, when he was asked what he would like in his obituary

My function in life was to render clear what was already blindingly conspicuous.
– Quentin Crisp

My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.
– Quentin Crisp

Never get involved with someone who wants to change you.
– Quentin Crisp

Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.
– Quentin Crisp

Nothing in our culture, not even home computers, is more overrated than the epidermal felicity of two featherless bipeds in desperate congress.
– Quentin Crisp

Nothing more rapidly inclines a person to go into a monastery than reading a book on etiquette. There are so many trivial ways in which it is possible to commit some social sin.
– Quentin Crisp

Nothing shortens a journey so pleasantly as an account of misfortunes at which the hearer is permitted to laugh.
– Quentin Crisp

Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically – for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist – but then what isn't?
– Quentin Crisp

One should always be wary of anyone who promises that their love will last longer than a weekend.
– Quentin Crisp

Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.
– Quentin Crisp

The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole life in the hands of some other person. I would describe this method of searching for happiness as immature. Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency.
– Quentin Crisp

The continued propinquity of another human being cramps the style after a time unless that person is somebody you think you love. Then the burden becomes intolerable at once.
– Quentin Crisp

The English think incompetence is the same thing as sincerity.
– Quentin Crisp

The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
– Quentin Crisp

The law is simply expediency wearing a long white dress.
– Quentin Crisp

The poverty from which I have suffered could be diagnosed as "Soho" poverty. It comes from having the airs and graces of a genius and no talent.
– Quentin Crisp

The trouble with children is that they're not returnable.
– Quentin Crisp

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.
– Quentin Crisp

The war between the sexes is the only one in which both sides regularly sleep with the enemy.
– Quentin Crisp

The worst part of being gay in the twentieth century is all that damn disco music to which one has to listen.
– Quentin Crisp

The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.
– Quentin Crisp

There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can't think what to do with the long winter evenings.
– Quentin Crisp

There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.
– Quentin Crisp

This school was on top of a hill so that God could see everything that went on. It looked like a cross between a prison and a church and it was.
– Quentin Crisp

This woman did not fly to extremes; she lived there.
– Quentin Crisp

Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.
– Quentin Crisp

To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.
– Quentin Crisp

Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
– Quentin Crisp

Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.
– Quentin Crisp

When asked, "Should I tell my mother I'm gay?" I answer, "Never tell your mother anything."
– Quentin Crisp

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"
– Quentin Crisp

Whenever we confront an unbridled desire we are surely in the presence of a tragedy-in-the-making.
– Quentin Crisp

You fall out of your mother's womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave.
– Quentin Crisp

 

More on    Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), English statesman and general

Do not trust to the cheering, for those persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.
– Oliver Cromwell

Every tenth man of the soldiers were killed and the rest sent to the Barbados ... I think we put to the sword altogether about 2,000 men ... about 100 of them fled to St Peter's Church ... they asked for mercy, I refused ... I ordered St Peter's Church to be set on fire.
– Oliver Cromwell, writing to the Speaker of the House of Commons after defeating the Irish Catholics at Drogheda. (September, 1649)

I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me, otherwise I will not pay a farthing for it.
– Oliver Cromwell

Put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry!
– Oliver Cromwell, when his troops were about to cross a river to attack the enemy

What is the purport of the levelling principle but to make the tenant as liberal a fortune as the landlord. I was by birth a gentleman. You must cut these people in pieces or they will cut you in pieces.
– Oliver Cromwell commenting on the activities of the Levellers and the Diggers (1649)

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
Gotta get down to it soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?
– Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, "Ohio", song about the shooting of four students at Kent State University during an anti-war protest (May 4th, 1970)

It is better to wear out than to rust out.
– Richard Cumberland (1631–1718), in G. Horne, The Duty of Contending for the Faith (1786) p. 21

I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.
– ee cummings

The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches.
– e e cummings

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
– Marie Curie

If you threw a dead cat off a 50-story building, it might bounce when it hit the sidewalk. But don't confuse that bounce with renewed life. It is still a dead cat.
– Chet Currier, "Looking for the Bottom in Oil Stocks," Associated Press

There are not Indians enough in the country to whip the 7th Cavalry.
– General George Armstrong Custer

It is odd, is it not, that a person's worth to society is measured by their wealth, when instead their wealth should be measured by their worth to society.
– A. Cygni

D       To Top

Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth or the only truth.
– Charles Anderson Dana (1819–1897), American newspaper editor, publisher

When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news.
– Charles Anderson Dana (1819–1897), American newspaper editor, publisher

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous – everyone hasn't met me yet.
– Rodney Dangerfield

I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.
– Rodney Dangerfield

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
– C. Archie Danielson

Dante – see Dante Alighieri

 

More on    Edwidge Danticat (1969– ), Haitian-born U.S. writer and lecturer

A flattened and drying daffodil was dangling off the little card that I had made my aunt Atie for Mother's day. I pressed my palm over the flower and squashed it against the plain beige cardboard. When I turned the corner near the house, I saw her sitting in an old rocker in the yard, staring at a group of children crushing dried yellow leaves into the ground.
– Edwidge Danticat, first line, Breath, Eyes, Memory

 

More on    Georges Jacques Danton (1759–1794), French revolutionary leader, orator, lawyer

At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.
– Georges Jacques Danton

Audacity, more audacity and always audacity.
– Georges Jacques Danton

For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into action?
– Georges Jacques Danton

In revolutions authority remains with the greatest scoundrels.
– Georges Jacques Danton

Show my head to the people, it is worth seeing.
– Georges Jacques Danton, mounting the scaffold to be beheaded (April 5, 1794)

The tocsin you hear today is not an alarm but an alert: it sounds the charge against our enemies.
– Georges Jacques Danton, speech in Paris (September 2, 1792)

Awake thee, my Lady-Love!
Wake thee, and rise!
The sun through the bower peeps
Into thine eyes.
– George Darley (1785–1849), Irish poet and mathematician, Sylvia; or, The May Queen, act 4, scene 1)

Away thee, my Lady-Love!
Wake thee, and rise!
The sun through the bower peeps
Into thine eyes.
– George Darley (1785–1849), Irish poet and mathematician, "Waking Song "

Fool! I mean not
That poor-souled piece of heroism, self-slaughter;
Oh no! the miserablest day we live
There's many a better thing to do than die!
– George Darley (1785–1849), Irish poet and mathematician, "Ethelstan"

Round, round the cypress bier
Where she lies sleeping,
On every turf a tear,
Let us go weeping!
– George Darley (1785–1849), Irish poet and mathematician, "Dirge"

He didn't say that. He was reading what was given to him in a speech.
– Richard Darman, director of OMB, explaining why President George H.W. Bush wasn't following up on his campaign pledge that there would be no loss of wetlands.

 

More on    Clarence Darrow (1857–1938) U.S. lawyer

As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.
– Clarence Darrow

Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat-tails.
– Clarence Darrow

Common experience shows how much rarer is moral courage than physical bravery. A thousand men will march to the mouth of the cannon where one man will dare espouse an unpopular cause ... True courage and manhood come from the consciousness of the right attitude toward the world, the faith in one's purpose, and the sufficiency of one's own approval as a justification for one's own acts.
– Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

Depressions may bring people closer to the church but so do funerals.
– Clarence Darrow

Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to?
– Clarence Darrow

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure – that is all that agnosticism means.
– Clarence Darrow, during the Scopes trial

I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.
– Clarence Darrow

If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.
– Clarence Darrow

Industrial contests take on all the attitudes and psychology of war, and both parties do many things that they should never dream of doing in times of peace. Whatever may be said, the fact is that all strikes and all resistance to strikes take on the psychology of warfare, and all parties in interest must be judged from that standpoint.
– Clarence Darrow

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.
– Clarence Darrow

Liberty is the most jealous and exacting mistress that can beguile the soul and brain of man.
– Clarence Darrow

No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed.
– Clarence Darrow

None meet life honestly and few heroically.
– Clarence Darrow

Not only do ... rulers keep many millions of men whose only trade is war, but these must be supported in worse than useless idleness by the labor of the poor. Still other millions are trained to war and are ever ready to answer to their master's call, to desert their homes and trades and offer up their lives to satisfy the vain ambitions of the ruler of the state. Millions more must give their strength and lives to build forts and ships, make guns and cannon and all the modern implements of war. Apart from any moral question of the right of man to slay his fellow man, all this great burden rests upon the poor. The vast expense of war comes from the production of the land and must serve to weaken and impair its industrial strength.
– Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.
– Clarence Darrow

The fact that there is a general belief in a future life is no evidence of its truth.
– Clarence Darrow

The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children.
– Clarence Darrow

The lowest standards of ethics of which a right-thinking man can possibly conceive is taught to the common soldier whose trade is to shoot his fellow men. In youth he may have learned the command, "Thou shalt not kill," but the ruler takes the boy just as he enters manhood and teaches him that his highest duty is to shoot a bullet through his neighbor's heart – and this, unmoved by passion or feeling or hatred, and without the least regard to right or wrong, but simply because his ruler gives the word.
– Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

The man who fights for his fellow-man is a better man than the one who fights for himself.
– Clarence Darrow

The only real lawyers are trial lawyers, and trial lawyers try cases to juries.
– Clarence Darrow

The origin of the absurd idea of immortal life is easy to discover; it is kept alive by hope and fear, by childish faith, and by cowardice.
– Clarence Darrow

There is a soul of truth in error; there is a soul of good in evil.
– Clarence Darrow

There is no such thing as justice – in or out of court.
– Clarence Darrow

To think is to differ.
– Clarence Darrow

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.
– Clarence Darrow

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become president. Now I'm beginning to believe it.
– Clarence Darrow

With all their faults, trade-unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed.
– Clarence Darrow

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
– Clarence Darrow

 

More on    Charles Darwin (1809–1882) English naturalist

A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can.
– Charles Darwin

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
– Charles Darwin

A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.
– Charles Darwin

A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.
– Charles Darwin

Every new body of discovery is mathematical in form, because there is no other guidance we can have.
– Charles Darwin, "Mathematical Maxims and Minims"

Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.
– Charles Darwin

I have called this principle, by which, each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.
– Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

I love fool's experiments. I am always making them.
– Charles Darwin

It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.
– Charles Darwin

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
– Charles Darwin

Man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is.
– Charles Darwin

Mathematics seems to endow one with something like a new sense.
– Charles Darwin, "Mathematical Maxims and Minims"

The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.
– Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.
– Charles Darwin

The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble to us, and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.
– Charles Darwin

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
– Charles Darwin

There seems to be one quality of mind which seems to be of special and extreme advantage in leading him to make discoveries. It was the power of never letting exceptions go unnoticed.
– Charles Darwin

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the creator into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from a simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
– Charles Darwin

We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man.
– Charles Darwin

What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel work of nature!
– Charles Darwin

Whenever I have found that I have blundered, or that my work has been imperfect, and when I have been contemptuously criticized, and even when I have been overpraised, so that I have felt mortified, it has been my greatest comfort to say hundreds of times to myself that I have worked as hard and as well as I could, and no man can do more than this.
– Charles Darwin

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. there are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.
– Charles Darwin

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
– Francis Davidson, "Poetical Rhapsody" (1602), catchphrase quoting a line in an anonymous song, later popularised by poet T.H. Bayly (1797–1839) in his song "Isle of Beauty"

I enjoy pressure, can't do without it.
– George Davies

 

More on    Leonardo DaVinci (1452–1519) Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, and scientist

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.
– Leonardo DaVinci

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer since to remain constant at work will cause you to lose power of judgement. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
– Leonardo DaVinci

Every obstacle is destroyed through rigor.
– Leonardo DaVinci

He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.
– Leonardo DaVinci

It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.
– Leonardo DaVinci

Just as iron rusts from disuse, even so does inaction spoil the intellect.
– Leonardo DaVinci

The faculty of imagination is both the rudder and the bridle of the senses.
– Leonardo DaVinci

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.
– Leonardo DaVinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.
– Leonardo DaVinci

Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.
– Angela Davis, 1974

Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo – obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.
– Angela Davis, 1974

If half the lawyers would become plumbers, two of man's biggest problems would be solved.
– Felton Davis, "Reflections on the Lake," published in The Gainesville Times

A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I'm still doing it.
– Miles Davis (1926–1991), U.S. jazz musician, composer, 1989

For me, music and life are all about style.
– Miles Davis (1926–1991), U.S. jazz musician, composer (1989)

I'll play it first and tell you what it is later.
– Miles Davis (1926–1991), U.S. jazz musician, composer

It's always been a gift with me, hearing music the way I do. I don't know where it comes from, it's just there and I don't question it.
– Miles Davis (1926–1991), U.S. jazz musician, composer, 1989

Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can effect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.
– Ossie Davis, 1974

Fame comes with its own standard. A guy who twitches his lips is just another guy with a lip twitch – unless he's Humphrey Bogart.
– Sammy Davis, Jr., Yes I Can, 1965

Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted.
– Sammy Davis, Jr., Yes I Can, 1965

But perhaps the rest if us could have separate classes in science appreciation, the wonder of science, scientific ways of thinking, and the history of scientific ideas, rather than laboratory experience.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

How do we account for the current paranormal vogue in the popular media? Perhaps it has something to do with the millennium – in which case it's depressing to realise that the millennium is still three years away.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

if you want to do evil, science provides the most powerful weapons to do evil; but equally, if you want to do good, science puts into your hands the most powerful tools to do so. The trick is to want the right things, then science will provide you with the most effective methods of achieving them.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

It really comes down to parsimony, economy of explanation. It is possible that your car engine is driven by psychokinetic energy, but if it looks like a petrol engine, smells like a petrol engine and performs exactly as well as a petrol engine, the sensible working hypothesis is that it is a petrol engine.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

It's been suggested that if the supernaturalists really had the powers they claim, they'd win the lottery every week. I prefer to point out that they could also win a Nobel Prize for discovering fundamental physical forces hitherto unknown to science. Either way, why are they wasting their talents doing party turns on television?
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

The popularity of the paranormal, oddly enough, might even be grounds for encouragement . I think that the appetite for mystery, the enthusiasm for that which we do not understand, is healthy and to be fostered. It is the same appetite which drives the best of true science, and it is an appetite which true science is best qualified to satisfy.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

You contain a trillion copies of a large, textual document written in a highly accurate, digital code, each copy as voluminous as a substantial book. I'm talking, of course, of the DNA in your cells.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

You could give Aristotle a tutorial. And you could thrill him to the core of his being. Aristotle was an encyclopedic polymath, an all time intellect. Yet not only can you know more than him about the world. You also can have a deeper understanding of how everything works. Such is the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Planck, Watson, Crick and their colleagues.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

You don't have to be a scientist – you don't have to play the bunsen burner – in order to understand enough science to overtake your imagined need and fill that fancied gap. Science needs to be released from the lab into the culture.
– Richard Dawkins, "The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable.
– Simone De Beauvoir: The Coming of Age, 1970

Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeeeeaaaaaah!
– Howard Dean's Iowa concession speech

Now that we're on dog pee, we can have an interesting conversation about that. I do not recommend drinking urine ... but if you drink water straight from the river, you have a greater chance of getting an infection than you do if you drink urine.
– Howard Dean, teaching an eight-grade science class in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.
– Stephen Decatur

 

More on    Eugene V. Debs (1855–1926) U.S. Socialist leader

Am I my brothers keeper? That frequently asked question has never been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. Yes, I am my brothers keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by maudlin sentimentality, but by the higher duty I owe myself. It is when you have done your work honestly, when you have contributed your share to the common fund that you begin to live. Then, as Whitman said, you can take out your soul; and you can commune with yourself; you can take a comrade by the hand and you can look into his soul and in that holy communion you live. And if you don't know what that is, or if you are not at least at the edge of it, it is denied you even to look into the Promised Land.
– Eugene V. Debs (1908)

Capitalism is proud of its prisons which fitly symbolize the character of its institutions and constitute one of the chief elements of its philanthropy.
– Eugene V. Debs (1927)

Full opportunity for full development is the unalienable right of all. He who denies it is a tyrant, he who does not demand it is a coward; he who is indifferent to it is a slave; he who does not desire it is dead. The Earth for all the people! That is the demand.
– Eugene V. Debs

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of millions of dollars – while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
– Eugene V. Debs (1918)

I believe in Socialism because I believe in humanity.
– Eugene V. Debs

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.
– Eugene V. Debs

I would not be a Capitalist; I would be a man; you cannot be both at the same time.
– Eugene V. Debs (1905)

I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it.
– Eugene V. Debs

If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.
– Eugene V. Debs

Private appropriation of the Earth's surface, the natural resources and the means of life is nothing less a crime than a crime against humanity, but the... few who are beneficiaries of this iniquitious social arrangement, far from being viewed as criminals meriting punishment, are the exalted rulers of society, and the people they exploit gladly render them homage and obeisance.
– Eugene V. Debs (1927)

Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and bruised itself. We have been enjoined by the courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, traduced by the press, frowned upon by public opinion, and deceived by politicians. But notwithstanding all this and all these, labor is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun.
– Eugene V. Debs

The economic ruling class is always the political ruling class.
– Eugene V. Debs (1927)

The master class has always declared the war with nothing to loose and all to gain; the subject class have always fought the battles with nothing to gain and all to lose.
– Eugene V. Debs (1918)

The protection the government owes you and fails to provide, you are morally to provide for yourselves... when the law fails and becomes the bulwark of crime and oppression, then an appeal to force is not only morally justified, but becomes a patriotic duty.
– Eugene V. Debs (1914)

The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.
– Eugene V. Debs

The very moment the capitalist press credits me for being a wise labor leader, I will invite you to investigate me upon the charge of treason.
– Eugene V. Debs (1905)

We [propose] to destroy the capitalist and save the man. We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.
– Eugene V. Debs

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are usually right. In every age there have been a few heroic souls who have been misunderstood, maligned, persecuted, sometimes put to death. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Paine... were the rebels of their day. When they began to chafe under the rule of a foreign king and to sow the seed of resistance among the colonists they were opposed by the people and denounced by the press.
– Eugene V. Debs (1918)

When the working class unites, there will be a lot of jobless labor leaders.
– Eugene V. Debs, speech (December 10, 1905)

Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better then the meanst on the earth. I said then, and I say now that while there is a lower class, I am in it, where there is a criminal element, I am of it, while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
– Eugene V. Debs

Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.
– George Louis DeBuffon

We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
– Decca Recording Company, rejecting the Beatles (1962)

I learned everything I know about hustling from the Baptist Church. Spending Sundays sitting on those hard benches, listening to the preacher pitch salvation ... why it was like getting a PhD in selling.
– Morris Dees

 

More on    Daniel Defoe (1660–1731), English journalist and novelist

Actions receive their tincture from the times,
And as they change are virtues made of crimes.
– Daniel Defoe, "A Hymn to the Pillory" (1703)

All men would be tyrants if they could.
– Daniel Defoe, The History of the Kentish Petition (1712–1713)

And of all plagues with which mankind are cursed, ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.
– Daniel Defoe

As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is the worst of all snares.
– Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

From this amphibious ill-born mob began That vain, ill-natured thing, an Englishman.
– Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman

Great families of yesterday we show, And lords whose parents were the Lord knows who.
– Daniel Defoe, "The True-Born Englishman"

He that is rich is wise.
– Daniel Defoe

I hear much of people’s calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.
– Daniel Defoe

In trouble to be troubled Is to have your trouble doubled
– Daniel Defoe

It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.
– Daniel Defoe

Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.
– Daniel Defoe

Middle age is youth without levity, and age without decay.
– Daniel Defoe

My man Friday
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Necessity makes an honest man a knave.
– Daniel Defoe

One day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand.
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Pride the first peer and president of hell.
– Daniel Defoe

The best of men cannot suspend their fate: The good die early, and the bad die late.
– Daniel Defoe, "Character of the late Dr S. Annesley"

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the lustre of it will never appear.
– Daniel Defoe, "An Essay Upon Projects"

'Tis no sin to cheat the devil.
– Daniel Defoe

'Tis well that virtue gives nobility,
How shall we else the want of birth and blood supply?
Since scarce one family is left alive,
Which does not from some foreigner derive.
– Daniel Defoe, "The True-Born Englishman"

We loved the doctrine for the teacher's sake.
– Daniel Defoe, "Character of the late Dr S. Annesley"

Wealth, howsoever got, in England makes lords of mechanics, gentlemen of rakes; Antiquity and birth are needless here; 'Tis impudence and money makes a peer.
– Daniel Defoe

Whenever God erects a house of prayer The devil always builds a chapel there; And 'twill be found, upon examination, The latter has the largest congregation.
– Daniel Defoe, "The True-Born Englishman"

 

More on    Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970) French leader

A great country worthy of the name does not have any friends.
– Charles de Gaulle (1958)

Belgium is just a country invented by the British to annoy the French.
– Charles de Gaulle

Diplomats are useful only in fair weather. As soon as it rains they drown in every drop.
– Charles de Gaulle, 1958

How can you expect to govern a country that has two hundred and forty-six kinds of cheese?
– Charles de Gaulle, 1958

I have against me the bourgeois, the military and the diplomats, and for me, only the people who take the Métro.
– Charles de Gaulle

I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
– Charles de Gaulle

I respect only those who resist me, but I cannot tolerate them.
– Charles de Gaulle

In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.
– Charles de Gaulle

In politics it is necessary either to betray one's country or the electorate. I prefer to betray the electorate.
– Charles de Gaulle

It will not be any European statesman who will unite Europe: Europe will be united by the Chinese.
– Charles de Gaulle

Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.
– Charles de Gaulle

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.
– Charles de Gaulle

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.
– Charles de Gaulle

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him.
– Charles de Gaulle

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
– Charles de Gaulle

To govern is always to choose among disadvantages.
– Charles de Gaulle

Treaties are like roses and young girls – they last while they last.
– Charles de Gaulle

You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.
– Charles de Gaulle

A little kindness from person to person is better than a vast love for all humankind.
– Richard Dehmel (1863–1920), German poet and playwright

There’s a woman at the beginning of all great things.
– Alphonse de Lamartine

 

More on    Martin Delany (1812–1885) African-American leader

Every people should be originators of their own destiny.
– Martin Delany

A serpent is a serpent, and none the less a viper, because it is nestled in the bosom of an honest-hearted man.
– Martin Delany

Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.
– Sarah Louise Delany, 1993

In our dreams we are always young.
– Sarah Louise Delany, 1993

When you get real old, honey, you realizre there are certain things that just don't matter anymore. You lay it all on the table. There's a saying: Only little children and old folks tell the truth.
– Sarah Louise Delany, 1993

History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today.
– Tom DeLay, speech in House of Representatives (April 28, 1999)

It is easier to forgive an enemy that a friend.
– Madame Dorthee Deluzy

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.
– W. Edwards Deming

As a vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not; so men are proved, by their speeches, whether they be wise or foolish.
– Demosthenes

Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.
– Demosthenes

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
– Thomas De Quincey

Societies characterized by enduring deep divisions of income and wealth, such as most third-world societies, are wounded societies with little sense of the common good ... As America drifts in this direction, ending poverty and redistributing income should be at the top of the national agenda.
– Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
– Rene Descartes

I can doubt everything, except one thing, and that is the very fact that I doubt.
– Rene Descartes

I think, therefore I am.
Latin: Cogito, ergo, sum.
– Rene Descartes

The absent are always in the wrong.
– Philippe Néricault Destouches (1680–1754)

There are two dilemmas that rattle the human skull: How do you hang on to someone who won't stay? And how do you get rid of someone who won't go?
– Danny DeVito, from "The War of the Roses"

It wasn't long before people discovered the final horrors of letting an urchin into Parliament.
– Bernadette Devlin

To gain that worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.
– Bernadette Devlin

Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.
– Bernadette Devlin

Economics is war pursued by other means.
– Raymond F. DeVoe Jr.

Intellectually, religious emotions are not creative but conservative. They attach themselves readily to the current view of the world and consecrate it.
– John Dewey

 

More on    Phillip K(indred) Dick (1928–1982) American science fiction writer

"A spray can of Ubik," the girl answered, "is a portable negative ionizer, with a self-contained, high- voltage, low-amp unit powered by a peak-gain helium battery of 25kv. The negative ions are given a counter-clockwise spin by a radically biased acceleration chamber, which creates a centripetal tendency to them so that they cohere rather than dissipate. A negative ion field diminishes the velocity of anti-protophasons normally present in the atmosphere; as soon as their velocity falls they cease to be anti-protophasons and, under the principle of parity, no longer can unite with protophasons radiated from persons frozen in cold-pac; that is, those in half-life. The end result is that the proportion of protophasons not canceled by anti-protophasons increases, which means – for a specific time, anyhow – an increment in the net put-forth field of protophasonic activity ... which the affected half-lifer experiences as greater vitality plus a lowering of the experience of low cold-pac temperatures."
– Phillip K Dick, "Ubik"

Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.
– Phillip K Dick, What The Dead Men Say (1964)

Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment.
– Phillip K Dick

Giving me a a new idea is like handing a cretin a gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang bang.
– Phillip K Dick

I became educated to the fact that the greatest pain does not come zooming down from a distant planet, but up from the depths of the heart. Of course, both could happen; your wife and child could leave you, and you could be sitting alone in your empty house with nothing to live for, and in addition the Martians could bore through the roof and get you.
– Phillip K Dick

"I don't see why our coffee pot won't work. They perfected them back in the twentieth century. What's left to know that we don't know already?"
"Think of it as being like Newton's color theory. Everything about color that could be known was know by 1800, and then Land came along with his two-light-source and intensity theory, and what had seemed a closed field was busted all over."
"You mean there may be things about self-regulating coffee pots that we don't know? That we just think we know?"
"Something like that."
– Phillip K Dick, "A Maze of Death"

I think we're getting a restricted view of actual patterns. And the restricted view says that people do things deliberately, in concert, aimed at me, where in truth there are patterns that emanate from beyond people. And they're certainly not directed at any of us, you know; they're much broader, and they work through all of us.
– Phillip K Dick, interview (1974)

Instant Ubik has all the fresh flavor of just-brewed drip coffee. Your husband will say, ", Sally, I used to think your coffee was only so-so. But now, wow!" Safe when taken as directed.
– Phillip K Dick, "Ubik"

It makes a noise, he thought, like a thousand cosmic babies dropping an endless number of giant pot lids onto a titanic concrete floor.
– Phillip K Dick, "A Maze of Death"

My first published story, in the most lurid of all pulp magazines on the stands at the time, Planet Stories. As I carried four copies into the record store where I worked, a customer gazed at me and them with dismay, and said, "Phil, you read that kind of stuff?", I had to admit I not only read it , I wrote it.
– Phillip K Dick, talking about "Beyond lies the Wub" (July 1952)

Never walk over a writer, I said to myself, unless you're positive he can't rise up behind you. If you're going to burn him, make sure he's dead. Because if he's alive, he will talk: talk in written form, on the printed, permanent page.
– Phillip K Dick, Radio Free Albemuth

Nobody's troubles are Mickey Mouse.
– Phillip K Dick, "A Scanner Darkly" (1976)

People have told me that everything about me, every facet of my life, psyche, experiences, dreams and fears are laid out explicitly in my writing, that from the corpus of my work I can be absolutely and precisely inferred. This is true.
SF is a rebellious art form, and it needs writers and readers and bad attitudes – an attitude of, "Why?" Or, "How come?". Or, "Who says?". This gets subliminated into such themes as appear in my writing as, "Is the universe real?" Or, "Are we all really human, or are some of us just reflex machines?" I have a lot of anger in me. I always have had. Last week my doctor told me that my blood pressure is elevated again and there now seems to be a cardiac complication. I got mad. Death makes me mad. Human and animal suffering make me mad.
– Phillip K Dick, Introduction to Golden Man (1981)

Reality is that which refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.
– Phillip K Dick, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful.
– Phillip K Dick

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
– Phillip K Dick, "Valis"

The average American suffers from two delusions, one that God is dead and the other is that there is a difference between brands of cigarettes.
– Phillip K Dick, letter to Avram Davidson

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
– Phillip K Dick, "How to Build A Universe That Won’t Fall Apart in Two Days"

The Science Fiction writer glimpses totalities, some good, some bad, some merely bizarre, and he wants to bring these glimpses to our attention. Part scientist, part political activist, but with the conviction of the magic power of the written word, and his restlessness, his impatience – he will spin one new world for you after the other.
– Phillip K Dick, from "Who is a Sci-Fi Writer", an essay in The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick Edited by Lawrence Sutin.

The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited more by going into banking.
– Phillip K Dick

They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed – run over, maimed, destroyed – but they continued to play anyhow.
– Phillip K Dick, "A Scanner Darkly" (1976)

This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.
– Phillip K Dick

To me, this story states my early conclusions as to what is human. I have not really changed my view since I wrote this story, back in the fifties. It's not what you look like, or what planet you were born on. It's how kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes us from rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape we take, wherever we go, whatever we become. For me, "Human Is" is my credo. May it be yours.
– Phillip K Dick, talking about "Human Is" (1976)

We hypothesize information into objects. Rearrangements of objects in the change in the content of the information. The message has changed. This is a language we have lost the ability to read. We ourselves are part of this language; changes in us are changes in the content of information. We ourselves are information-rich; information is entered into us, is processed and then is projected outwards once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing.
– Phillip K Dick, "Valis"

What gods notice, they destroy. Be humble and you will escape the jealousy of the great.
– Phillip K Dick, The Man in the High Castle

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life.
– Phillip K Dick, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

 

More on    Charles Dickens (1812–1870) English novelist

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self.
– Charles Dickens

A man in public life expects to be sneered at – it is the fault of his elevated situation, and not of himself.
– Charles Dickens

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
– Charles Dickens

Bring in the bottled lightning, a clean tumbler, and a corkscrew.
– Charles Dickens

Buy an annuity cheap, and make your life interesting to yourself and everybody else that watches the speculation.
– Charles Dickens

Credit is a system whereby a person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay.
– Charles Dickens

Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great arm-chair by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead, carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in front of the fire and close to it, as if his constitution were analogous to that of a muffin, and it was essential to toast him brown while he was very new.
– Charles Dickens, first line of Dombey and Son

Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism are all very good words for the lips; especially prunes and prism.
– Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor. With such people the gray head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.
– Charles Dickens

God bless us every one.
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

"Gracious heavens!" he cries out, leaping up and catching hold of his hair, "what's this? Print!"
– Charles Dickens, "Somebody's Luggage," from the 1894 Chapman and Hall Christmas Stories

Hallo! A great deal of steam! the pudding was out of the copper. A smell like a washing-day! That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook's next door to each other, with a laundress's next door to that. That was the pudding.
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!
– Charles Dickens

Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.
– Charles Dickens

He assigned it to regions more than tropical.
– Charles Dickens

He did each single thing as if he did nothing else.
– Charles Dickens

He would make a lovely corpse.
– Charles Dickens

Here's the rule for bargains: "Do other men, for they would do you." That's the true business precept.
– Charles Dickens

He's tough, ma'am – tough is J.B.; tough and de-vilish sly.
– Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States. No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here.
– Charles Dickens

I do come home at Christmas. We all do, or we all should. We all come home, or ought to come home, for a short holiday – the longer, the better – from the great boarding school where we are forever working at our arithmetical slates, to take, and give a rest.
– Charles Dickens

I do not know the American gentleman, God forgive me for putting two such words together.
– Charles Dickens

I feel an earnest and humble desire, and shall till I die, to increase the stock of harmless cheerfulness.
– Charles Dickens

I made a compact with myself that in my person literature should stand by itself, of itself, and for itself.
– Charles Dickens, in a speech at a Liverpool Banquet

I never had one hour's happiness in her society, and yet my mind all round the four-and-twenty hours was harping on the happiness of having her with me unto death.
– Charles Dickens

I never see any difference in boys. I only know two sorts of boys. Mealy boys and beef-faced boys.
– Charles Dickens

I think it's liquid aggravation that circulates through his veins, and not regular blood.
– Charles Dickens

I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
– Charles Dickens, spoken by Ebeneezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

If its individual citizens, to a man, are to be believed, it always is depressed, and always is stagnated, and always is at an alarming crisis, and never was otherwise; though as a body, they are ready to make oath upon the Evangelists, at any hour of the day or night, that it is the most thriving and prosperous of all countries on the habitable globe.
– Charles Dickens

In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile.
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.
– Charles Dickens

In the year 1775, there stood upon the borders of Epping Forest, at a distance of about twelve miles from London – measuring from the Standard in Cornhill, or rather from the spot on or near to which the Standard used to be in days of yore – a house of public entertainment called the Maypole; which in fact was demonstrated to all such travellers as could neither read or write (and sixty years ago a vast number both of travellers and stay-at-homes were in this condition) by the emblem reared on the roadside over against the house, which, if not of those goodly proportions that Maypoles were wont to present in olden times, was a fair young ash, thirty feet in height, and straight as any arrow that ever English yeoman drew.
– Charles Dickens, first line of Barnaby Rudge

Industry is the soul of business and the keystone of prosperity.
– Charles Dickens

It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humor.
– Charles Dickens

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
– Charles Dickens, last line, A Tale of Two Cities

It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.
– Charles Dickens, Bleak House

It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.
– Charles Dickens

It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, "God Bless Us, Every One!"
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
– Charles Dickens, first line, A Tale of Two Cities

It will be very generally found that those who will sneer habitually at human nature, and affect to despise it, are among its worst and least pleasant samples.
– Charles Dickens

It's my girl that advises. She has the head. But I never own to it before her. Discipline must be maintained.
– Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Jobling, there are chords in the human mind.
– Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.
– Charles Dickens

Lizzie! I never thought before, that there was a woman in the world who could affect me so much by saying so little.
– Charles Dickens

London. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather.
– Charles Dickens, first line of Bleak House

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.
    Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
– Charles Dickens, first line of A Christmas Carol

Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.
– Charles Dickens

Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than they found it.
– Charles Dickens

Never sign a valentine with your own name.
– Charles Dickens

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.
– Charles Dickens

Perhaps it is a good thing to have an unsound hobby ridden hard; for it is sooner ridden to death.
– Charles Dickens

Poetry's unnat'ral; no man ever talked poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin' day.
– Charles Dickens

Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since clothes came in fell a trifle short of the wearer's expectation.
– Charles Dickens

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
– Charles Dickens

Secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Something will come of this. I hope it mayn't be human gore.
– Charles Dickens

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature.
– Charles Dickens

That's a Blazing strange answer.
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

The Bearings of this observation lays in the application on it.
– Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

The wind's in the east. ... I am always conscious of an uncomfortable sensation now and then when the wind is blowing in the east.
– Charles Dickens, Bleak House

The word of a gentleman is as good as his bond; and sometimes better.
– Charles Dickens

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
– Charles Dickens

"There are strings," said Mr. Tappertit, "... in the human heart that had better not be wibrated."
– Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge

This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.
– Charles Dickens

Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Chrismtas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.
– Charles Dickens

"Wal'r, my boy," replied the captain; "in the Proverbs of Solomon you will find the following words: "May we never want a friend in need, nor a bottle to give him!" When found, make a note of."
– Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

We forge the chains we wear in life.
– Charles Dickens

We start from the Mother's Arms and we run to the Dustshovel.
– Charles Dickens

When found, make a note of.
– Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

When you're a married man, Samivel, you'll understand a good many things as you don't understand now; but whether it's worth while, going through so much, to learn so little, as the charity-boy said when he got to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o taste.
– Charles Dickens

With affection beaming in one eye, and calculation shining out of the other.
– Charles Dickens

You might, from your appearance, be the wife of Lucifer.
– Charles Dickens

 

More on    Emily Dickinson (1830–1886), American lyrical poet

A word is dead when it is said, some say.
I say it just begins to live that day.
– Emily Dickenson

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate,
Whose table once a Guest, but not
The second time, is set.
Whose crumbs the crows inspect,
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the Farmer’s corn;
Men eat of it and die.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.
– Emily Dickenson, "'Hope' is the thing with feathers –" (1861)

My life closed twice before its close –
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
– Emily Dickinson, "My life closed twice"

Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell.
– Emily Dickenson

Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed.
– Emily Dickenson

 

More on    Denis Diderot (1713–1784),French philosopher, chief editor of L'Encyclopédie

Although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully; and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if he does not hurt any living being, he is a holy man.
– Denis Diderot

Distance is a great promoter of admiration!
– Denis Diderot

Every man has his dignity. I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to.
– Denis Diderot

Evil always turns up in this world through some genius or other.
– Denis Diderot

From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
– Denis Diderot

If you want me to believe in God, you must make me touch him.
– Denis Diderot

In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.
– Denis Diderot

It is said that desire is a product of the will, but the converse is in fact true: will is a product of desire.
– Denis Diderot

Justice is the first virtue of those who command, and stops the complaints of those who obey.
– Denis Diderot

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
– Denis Diderot

Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government; they are not African or Asian or European: they are good or bad.
– Denis Diderot

Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.
– Denis Diderot

People praise virtue, but they hate it, they run away from it. It freezes you to death, and in this world you've got to keep your feet warm.
– Denis Diderot

Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.
– Denis Diderot

Sentences are like sharp nails, which force truth upon our memories.
– Denis Diderot

The arbitrary rule of a just and enlightened prince is always bad. His virtues are the most dangerous and the surest form of seduction: they lull a people imperceptibly into the habit of loving, respecting, and serving his successor, whoever that successor may be, no matter how wicked or stupid.
– Denis Diderot

The best doctor is the one you run to and can't find.
– Denis Diderot

The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counter authority to the law.
– Denis Diderot

The infant runs toward it with its eyes closed, the adult is stationary, the old man approaches it with his back turned.
– Denis Diderot

The possibility of divorce renders both marriage partners stricter in their observance of the duties they owe to each other. Divorces help to improve morals and to increase the population.
– Denis Diderot

There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.
– Denis Diderot

There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it.
– Denis Diderot

There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.
– Denis Diderot

To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!
– Denis Diderot

Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.
– Denis Diderot

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
– Denis Diderot

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years.
– Denis Diderot

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.
– Denis Diderot

You have to make it happen.
– Denis Diderot

A King, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A Father can do neither.
– Marlene Dietrich

It is the friends you can call up at 4 AM that matter.
– Marlene Dietrich

Sleeping alone, except under doctor's orders, does much harm. Children will tell you how lonely it is sleeping alone. If possible, you should always sleep with someone you love. You both recharge your mutual batteries free of charge.
– Marlene Dietrich, Marlene Dietrich's ABC (1962)

The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.
– Edsger W. Dijkstra

 

More on    Diogenes Laėrtius (early 3rd century), Greek biographer

All things are in common among friends.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

Bury me on my face, because in a little while everything will be turned upside down.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

I am a citizen of the world.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

It takes a wise man to discover a wise man.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

Not to unlearn what you have learned.
– Diogenes Laėrtius, when asked what learning was the most necessary

Nothing can be produced out of nothing.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

The mob is the mother of tyrants.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

There is one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.
– Diogenes Laėrtius

 

More on    Diogenes of Sinope (412–323 BC), Greek cynic philosopher, moralist

The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master.
– Diogenes of Sinope

[When asked what was the proper time for supper] If you are a rich man, whenever you please; and if you are a poor man, whenever you can.
– Diogenes , quoted in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
– Paul Dirac

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.
– Senator Everett Dirksen

As a rule, he or she who has the most information will have the greatest success in life.
– Benjamin Disraeli

He is a self-made man, very much in love with his creator.
– Benjamin Disraeli

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Mediocrity can talk; but it is for genius to observe.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Never complain and never explain.
– Benjamin Disraeli

The secret of success is constancy to purpose.
– Benjamin Disraeli

The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Youth is a blunder; Manhood a struggle; Old Age a regret.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Our desires attract supporting reasons as a magnet the iron fillings.
– W. MacNeile Dixon

 

More on    Assia Djebar [Fatima-Zohra Imalayen] (1936– ), Algerian novelist, translator, and filmmaker

I can tell every woman's history by the way she walks down the street: how long she has lived, what is her genealogy; I can tell if she has been around for three centuries or three days! I know if she has been wearing her hair loose and her skirts above her knees, since her grandmother was young, or in readiness for her daughter to blossom into adolescence ...Yes, faced with any woman passing by I have the presumption to claim that I can tell at first glance, because it is the first, where that woman is going: from shadow to sunshine, from silence to speech, from night to truth stripped bare. The first step reveals both the silhouette and the hope.
    Oh, eye of the night, oh, song of love, murmured by the singer who knows no love, I conjure up the moment of liberty, by a split-second image or by a word, even in a foreign tongue.
– Assia Djebar, in A Sister to Scheherazade (1985)

Just so I could have worries that never change whether it's peace or wartime, so I could wake up in the middle of the night and question myself on what it is that sleeps in the depths of the heart of the man sharing my bed. Just so I could give birth and weep, for life never comes unaccompanied to a woman, death is always right behind, furtive, quick, and smiling at the mothers...
– Assia Djebar, from "There Is No Exile" in Women in Their Apartments (1980)

Writing in a foreign language … has brought me to the cries of the women silently rebelling in my youth, to my own true origins.
– Assia Djebar, in Fantasia

 

More on    E[dgar] L[awrence] Doctorow (1931– ), U.S. novelist, professor at NYU

I try to avoid experience if I can. Most experience is bad.
– E. L. Doctorow

In the twentieth century one of the most personal relationships to have developed is that of the person and the state. It's become a fact of life that governments have become very intimate with people, most always to their detriment.
– E. L. Doctorow

It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Like art and politics, gangsterism is a very important avenue of assimilation into society.
– E. L. Doctorow

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
– E. L. Doctorow

The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.
– E. L. Doctorow

There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there's only narrative.
– E. L. Doctorow

We're always attracted to the edges of what we are, out by the edges where it's a little raw and nervy.
– E. L. Doctorow

Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.
– E. L. Doctorow

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
– E. L. Doctorow

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
– E. L. Doctorow

You can't remember sex. You can remember the fact of it, and recall the setting, and even the details, but the sex of the sex cannot be remembered, the substantive truth of it, it is by nature self-erasing, you can remember its anatomy and be left with a judgment as to the degree of your liking of it, but whatever it is as a splurge of being, as a loss, as a charge of the conviction of love stopping your heart like your execution, there is no memory of it in the brain, only the deduction that it happened and that time passed, leaving you with a silhouette that you want to fill in again.
– E. L. Doctorow

 

More on    Bob Dole U.S. politician

As long as there are only three to four people on the floor, the country is in good hands. It's only when you have fifty to sisty in the Senate that you want to be concerned.
– Bob Dole

At least she's the president of something, which is more than I can say.
– Bob Dole, after losing the 1996 election to Clinton, talking about his wife's presidency of the Red Cross

Elizabeth's [Dole, his wife] back at the Red Cross, and I'm walking the dog.
– Bob Dole, after losing the 1996 election to Clinton

If something happened along the route and you had to leave your children with Bob Dole or Bill Clinton, I think you would probably leave them with Bob Dole.
– Bob Dole

If you're hanging around with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the Senate. You'll get the same kind of feeling and you won't have to pay.
– Bob Dole

Our intent will not be to create gridlock. Oh, except maybe from time to time.
– Bob Dole, on working with the Clinton administration

Something is wrong with America. I wonder sometimes what people are thinking about or if they're thinking at all.
– Bob Dole

The Brooklyn Dodgers had a no hitter last night.
– Bob Dole

The internet is a great way to get on the net.
– Bob Dole

There they are. See no evil, hear no evil, and ... evil.
– Bob Dole, watching former presidents Carter, Ford and Nixon standing by each other at a White House event

Think I'll win. Could be big.
– Bob Dole

We know smoking tobacco is not good for kids, but a lot of other things aren't good. Drinking's not good. Some would say milk's not good.
– Bob Dole

We'll all be riding that streetcar of desire.
– Bob Dole

We're trying to get good pictures. Don't worry very much about what I say.
– Bob Dole

Well, he got this new globe for Christmas.
– Bob Dole, dispelling rumors that George W. Bush lacks a grasp of foreign affairs

When these political action committees give money, they expect something in return other than good government.
– Bob Dole, 1983 (before he got lots of PAC money)

You feel a little older in the morning. By noon I feel about 55.
– Bob Dole

You know, a better man for a better America. That's sort of our slogan.
– Bob Dole

 

More on    John Donne (1572–1631), English priest and poet

Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.
– John Donne

And new Philosophy calls all in doubt, the element of fire is quite put out; the Sun is lost, and the earth, and no man's wit can well direct him where to look for it.
– John Donne

Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp.
– John Donne

As states subsist in part by keeping their weaknesses from being known, so is it the quiet of families to have their chancery and their parliament within doors, and to compose and determine all emergent differences there.
– John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away, and whisper to their souls to go, whilst some of their sad friends do say, the breath goes now, and some say no.
– John Donne

Busy old fool, unruly Sun, why dost thou thus through windows and through curtains call on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
– John Donne

But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner.
– John Donne

Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove,
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
– John Donne

Contemplative and bookish men must of necessity be more quarrelsome than others, because they contend not about matter of fact, nor can determine their controversies by any certain witnesses, nor judges. But as long as they go towards peace, that is Truth, it is no matter which way.
– John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more, must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery. Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, And poppy, or charms, can make us sleep as well, And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die.
– John Donne (1631)

Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven.
– John Donne

For, thus friends absent speak.
– John Donne

He must pull out his own eyes, and see no creature, before he can say, he sees no God; He must be no man, and quench his reasonable soul, before he can say to himself, there is no God.
– John Donne

I am two fools, I know, for loving and saying so.
– John Donne

I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease.
– John Donne

Let us love nobly, and live, and add again years and years unto years, till we attain to write threescore: this is the second of our reign.
– John Donne

Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
– John Donne

Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
– John Donne

Love is agrowing, to full constant light; and his first minute, after noon, is night.
– John Donne

Love's mysteries in souls do grow, But yet the body is his book.

More than kisses, letters mingle souls.
– John Donne

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
– John Donne, "Meditation XVII"

O, if thou car'st not whom I love alas, thou lov'st not me.
– John Donne

Pleasure is none, if not diversified.
– John Donne

Reason is our soul's left hand, Faith her right.
– John Donne

She and comparisons are odious.
– John Donne, Elegy 8, "The Comparison"

Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls. For, thus friends absent speak.
– John Donne

To be no part of any body, is to be nothing.
– John Donne

We are all conceived in close prison; in our mothers wombs, we are close prisoners all; when we are born, we are born but to the liberty of the house; prisoners still, though within larger walls; and then all our life is but a going out to the place of execution, to death.
– John Donne

We understood
Her by her sight; her pure and eloquent blood
Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought
That one might almost say her body thought.
– John Donne, Funeral Elegies. "On the Death of Mistress Drury"

When I died last, and, Dear, I die as often as from thee I go though it be but an hour ago and lovers hours be full eternity.
– John Donne

When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.
– John Donne

Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.
– John Donne

Who are a little wise the best fools be.
– John Donne, "The Triple Fool"

Today enormous effort goes into convincing the American public that we're just consumers of media manipulation and sound-bites and spin doctors. That we care only about ourselves, money, and stuff. That acting out of passion and conviction doesn't make a difference. But all history shows that it does.
– Bernadine Dorn

 

More on    Fyodor Dostoevsky [also transliterated Dostoyevsky or Dostoyevski] (1821–1881), Russian novelist

A just cause is not ruined by a few mistakes.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

But yet I am firmly persuaded that a great deal of consciousness, every sort of consciousness, in fact, is a disease.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground

Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

I like them to talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

I tell Thee that man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find some one quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment – as well as the prison.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

If it were desired to reduce man to nothing, it would be necessary only to give his work a character of uselessness.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

If the devil does not exist, and man has therefore created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

If there is no immortality, there is no virtue.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Innovators and men of genius have almost always been regarded as fools at the beginning (and very often at the end) of their careers.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man's life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return Him the ticket.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1879)

Love a man, even in his sin, for that love is a likeness of the divine love, and is the summit of love on earth.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering ...
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground

Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Neither man or nation can exist without a sublime idea.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Oh, never, never can they feed themselves without us! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us". They will understand themselves, at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share between them! They will be convinced, too, that they can never be free, for they are weak, vicious, worthless, and rebellious. Thou didst promise them the bread of Heaven, but, I repeat again, can it compare with earthly bread in the eyes of the weak, ever sinful and ignoble race of man? And if for the sake of the bread of Heaven thousands shall follow Thee, what is to become of the millions and tens of thousands of millions of creatures who will not have the strength to forego the earthly bread for the sake of the heavenly? ... Receiving bread from us, they will see clearly that we take the bread made by their hands from them, to give it to them, without any miracle. ... in truth they will be more thankful for taking it from our hands than for the bread itself. ... They will marvel at us and will be awe-stricken before us, and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever that we have been able to subdue such a turbulent flock of thousands of millions.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1879)

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on Earth.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Realists do not fear the results of their study.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and painfully as to find someone to worship.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The formula "Two and two make five" is not without its attractions.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The socialist who is a Christian is more to be dreaded than a socialist who is an atheist.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

The soul is healed by being with children.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

There are things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

They wanted to speak, but could not; tears stood in their eyes. They were both pale and thin; but those sick pale faces were bright with the dawn of a new future, of a full resurrection into a new life. They were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the other.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

To live without Hope is to Cease to live.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Until you have become really, in actual fact, as brother to everyone, brotherhood will not come to pass.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

We always imagine eternity as something beyond our conception, something vast, vast! But why must it be vast? Instead of all that, what if it's one little room, like a bathhouse in the country, black and grimy and spiders in every corner, and that's all eternity is? I sometimes fancy it like that.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Without some goal and some efforts to reach it, no man can live.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
– Justice William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court

Our upside down welfare state is "socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor." The great welfare scandal of the age concerns the dole we give rich people.
– William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1969)

 

More on    Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), runaway slave, abolitionist, writer, editor, speaker

A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.
– Frederick Douglass

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
– Frederick Douglass

I expose slavery in this country, because to expose it is to kill it. Slavery is one of those monsters of darkness to whom the light of truth is death.
– Frederick Douglass

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
– Frederick Douglass, runaway slave

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.
– Frederick Douglass

I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.
– Frederick Douglass (July 5, 1852

… if such a people as ours had heard the beloved disciple of the Lord, exclaiming in the rapture of the apocalyptic vision, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people;" they, instead of answering, Amen Glory to God in the Highest, would have responded, – but brother John, will it pay? Can money be made out of it? Will it make the rich richer, and the strong stronger? How will it effect property? In the eyes of such people, there is no God but wealth; no right and wrong but profit and loss…. [Our] national morality and religion have reached a depth of baseness than which there is no lower deep.
– Frederick Douglass, "The Significance of Emancipation in the West Indies." Speech, Canandaigua, New York (August 3, 1857)

If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.
– Frederick Douglass, 1849 letter to an abolitionist associate. In Organizing For Social Change: A Mandate For Activity In The 1990s. Edited by K. Bobo, J. Kendall, and S. Max. (1991) (Douglass reused this quote in an 1857 speech quoted below.)

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
– Frederick Douglass

It is a great mistake for any class of laborers to isolate itself and thus weaken the bond of brotherhood between those on whom the burdens and hardship of labor [fall]. The fortunate ones of the Earth, who are abundant in land and money and know nothing of the anxious care and pinching poverty of the laboring classes, may be indifferent to the appeal to justice at this point, but the laboring classes cannot afford to be indifferent. What labor everywhere wants, what it ought to have, and will someday demand and receive, is an honest day's pay for an honest day's work. As the laborer becomes more intelligent he will develop what capital he already possesses –that is the power to organize and combine for its own protection.
– Frederick Douglass

Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
– Frederick Douglass, "The Significance of Emancipation in the West Indies." Speech, Canandaigua, New York (August 3, 1857)

One and God make a majority.
– Frederick Douglass

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.
– Frederick Douglass, "The Significance of Emancipation in the West Indies." Speech, Canandaigua, New York (August 3, 1857)

The only penetrable point of a tyrant is fear of death.
– Frederick Douglass (1860)

The soul that is within me no man can degrade.
– Frederick Douglass

When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind.
– Frederick Douglass

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
– Frederick Douglass

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
– Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1858–1930), British writer, physician, creator of Sherlock Holmes

It is stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1858–1930), British writer, physician, creator of Sherlock Holmes

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1858–1930), British writer, physician, creator of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear

There comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1858–1930), British writer, physician, creator of Sherlock Holmes

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1858–1930), British writer, physician, creator of Sherlock Holmes

Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch.
– Steve Droke

Every few hundred years throughout Western history a sharp transformation has occurred. In a matter of decades, society altogehter rearranges itself – its world view, its basic values its social and political structures, its arts, its key institutions. Fifty years later a new world exists. And the people born into that world cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born.
– Peter F. Drucker

Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.
– Peter F. Drucker

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.
– Peter F. Drucker

 

More on    Sir William Drummond (1585–1649), Scottish poet

God never had a church but there, men say,
  The devil a chapel hath raised by some wiles,
    I doubted of this saw, till on a day
      I westward spied great Edinburgh's Saint Giles.
– William Drummond, Posthumous Poems, "A Proverb"

He lives who dies to win a lasting name.
– William Drummond, "Sonnet XII"

He that will not reason is a bigot, He that cannot reason is a fool, He that dares not reason is a slave.
– William Drummond
see
Byron for a later almost identical quote

I study myself more than any other subject; it is my metaphysic, and my physic.
– William Drummond

Iron sharpens iron; scholar, the scholar.
– William Drummond

Let Zephyr only breathe
  And with her tresses play.
– William Drummond, song, "Phoebus, Arise"

My life lies in those eyes which have me slain.
– William Drummond, "Sonnet XXIX"

Of this fair volume which we world do name
If we the sheets and leaves could turn with care.
– William Drummond

Put a bridle on thy tongue; set a guard before thy lips, lest the words of thine own mouth destroy thy peace ... on much speaking cometh repentance, but in silence is safety.
– William Drummond

Sleep, Silence's child, sweet father of soft rest, Prince whose approach peace to all mortals brings Indifferent host to shepherds and kings; Sole comforter to minds with grief opprest.
– William Drummond

So that my life be brave, what though not long?
– William Drummond, song, "Phoebus, Arise"

Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours,
  Of winter's past or coming void of care,
    Well pleased with delights which present are,
      Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers.
– William Drummond, sonnet, "To a Nightingale"

Thrice happy he, who by some shady grove,
  Far from the clamorous world; doth live his own;
    Though solitary, who is not alone,
      But doth converse with that eternal love.
– William Drummond, song, "Urania; or, Spiritual Poems"

What sweet delight a quiet life affords.
– William Drummond, sonnet

Study what thou art Whereof thou art a part What thou knowest of this art This is really what thou art. All that is without thee also is within.
– William Drummond

There is a silence, the child of love, which expresses everything, and proclaims more loudly than the tongue is able to do.
– William Drummond

 

More on    John Dryden (1631–1700), British poet, dramatist, critic

A horrid stillness first invades the ear,
And in that silence we the tempest fear.
– John Dryden, "Astraea Redux" (1660)

A knock-down argument; 'tis but a word and a blow.
– John Dryden, "Amphitryon" (1690)

A man so various, that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome.
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong;
Was everything by starts, and nothing long:
But in the course of one revolving moon
Was chemist, fiddler, statesman and buffoon.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Ah, how sweet it is to love!
Ah, how gay is young Desire!
And what pleasing pains we prove
When we first approach Love's fire!
Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.
– John Dryden, "Ah, how sweet it is to love!"

All heiresses are beautiful.
– John Dryden, Albanat, in King Arthur, act 1, scene 1 (1691)

All human things are subject to decay, And when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
– John Dryden, "MacFlecknoe" (1682)

And all at Worcester but the honour lost.
– John Dryden, "Astraea Redux" (1660)

And all to leave what with his toil he won
To that unfeathered two-legged thing, a son.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

And, like another Helen, fir'd another Troy.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

At home the hateful names of parties cease,
And factious souls are wearied into peace.
– John Dryden, "Astraea Redux" (1660)

Bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense,
But good men starve for want of impudence.
– John Dryden, Constantine the Great: Epilogue

But he has now another taste of Wit;
And, to confess a truth (though out of time,)
Grows weary of his long-loved mistress Rhyme.
Passion’s too fierce to be in fetters bound,
And Nature flies him like enchanted ground:
– John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (1675)

But though Heaven made him poor, with reverence speaking, He never was a poet of God’s making; The midwife laid her hand on his thick skull, With this prophetic blessing – Be thou dull;
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

But, when to Sin our byast Nature leans,
The careful Devil is still at hand with means;
And providently Pimps for ill desires:
The Good Old Cause, reviv’d, a Plot requires,
Plots, true or false, are necessary things,
To raise up Common-wealths and ruine Kings.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

By viewing nature, nature's handmaid, art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow;
That fishes first to shipping did impart,
Their tail the rudder, and their head the prow.
– John Dryden, "Annus Mirabilis" (1665)

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth exposed he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Drinking is the soldier’s pleasure;
Rich the treasure;
Sweet the pleasure;
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below.
– John Dryden, All for Love, prologue (1678)

Even victors are by victories undone.
– John Dryden, "Epistle to John Dryden of Chesterton" (1700)

Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And welt'ring in his blood;
Deserted at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth expos'd he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Fool that I was, upon my eagle’s wings
I bore this wren, till I was tired with soaring,
And now he mounts above me.
– John Dryden, Antony, in All for Love, act 2, scene 1 (1678)

For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toll and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

For while my former flames remain within, Repentance is but want of power to sin.
– John Dryden, Arcite, in "Palamon and Arcite", dramatic poem adapted from Chaucer’s "Knight’s Tale" (1700)

Give, you gods,
Give to your boy, your Caesar,
The rattle of a globe to play withal,
This gewgaw world, and put him cheaply off;
I'll not be pleased with less than Cleopatra.
– John Dryden, All for Love, act 2, scene 1 (1678)

Great Wits are sure to Madness near alli’d
And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide;
Else, why should he, with Wealth and Honour blest,
Refuse his Age the needful hours of Rest?
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave
None but the brave
None but the brave deserves the fair.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Happy the man, and happy he alone, He who can call today his own; He who, secure within, can say, Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
– John Dryden, "Imitation of Horace" (1685)

He raised a mortal to the skies;
She drew an angel down.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Here stopped the good old sire, and wept for joy
In silent raptures of the hopeful boy.
All arguments, but most his plays, persuade
That for anointed dullness he was made.
– John Dryden, "MacFlecknoe" (1682)

High on a throne of his own labors reared.
At his right hand our young Ascanius sate,
Rome’s other hope and pillar of the state.
His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace,
And lambent dullness played around his face.
– John Dryden, "MacFlecknoe" (1682)

Let old Timotheus yield the prize
Or both divide the crown;
He rais'd a mortal to the skies
She drew an angel down.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Love works a different way in different minds,
the fool it enlightens and the wise it blinds.
– John Dryden

Men are but children of a larger growth,
Our appetites as apt to change as theirs,
And full of cravings too, and full as vain.
– John Dryden, All for Love, act 4, scene 1 (1678)

My Liberty;
For were ev'n Paradise it self my Prison,
Still I shou'd long to leap the Crystal walls.
– John Dryden, Don Sebastian, act 2, scene 1 (1690)

Nature meant me
A wife, a silly harmless household Dove,
Fond without art; and kind without deceit.
– John Dryden, Cleopatra, in All for Love, act 4, scene 1 (1678)

Never was patriot yet, but was a fool.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Nor is the people’s judgement always true:
The most may err as grossly as the few.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Nor let his Love enchant your generous Mind;
‘Tis Natures trick to propagate her Kind.
Our fond Begetters, who would never die,
Love but themselves in their Posterity.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Oh that my Pow’r to Saving were confin’d:
Why am I forc’d, like Heav’n, against my mind,
To make Examples of another Kind?
Must I at length the Sword of Justice draw?
Oh curst Effects of necessary Law!
How ill my Fear they by my Mercy scan,
Beware the Fury of a Patient Man.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Railing in other men may be a crime,
But ought to pass for mere instinct in him:
Instinct he follows and no farther knows,
For to write verse with him is to transprose;
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Resolv’d to ruin or to rule the state.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Roused by the lash of his own stubborn tail
Our lion now will foreign foes assail.
– John Dryden, "Astraea Redux" (1660)

Self-defence is Nature’s eldest law.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Since every man who lives is born to die,
And none can boast sincere felicity,
With equal mind, what happens, let us bear,
Nor joy nor grieve too much for things beyond our care.
– John Dryden, Egeus, in "Palamon and Arcite", dramatic poem adapted from Chaucer’s "Knight’s Tale" (1700)

So over violent, or over civil
That every man with him was God or Devil.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

Softly sweet in Lydian measures
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.
"War", he sung, "is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble.
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying;
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think it worth enjoying.
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the Gods provide thee."
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain:
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

The god-like hero sate
On his imperial throne:
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound
(So should desert in arms be crowned).
The lovely Thais by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserve the fair.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

The Legend of Love no Couple can find
So easie to part, or so equally join’d.
– John Dryden, Amphitryon (1690)

The sober part of Israel, free from stain,
Well knew the value of a peaceful reign;
And, looking backward with a wise affright,
Saw seams of wounds, dishonest to the sight:
In contemplation of whose ugly scars
They cursed the memory of civil wars.
The moderate sort of men, thus qualified,
Inclined the balance to the better side;
And David's mildness managed it so well,
The bad found no occasion to rebel.
– John Dryden, "Absolom and Achitophel" (1681)

The true Amphitryon.
– John Dryden, Amphitryon, act 4, scene 1 (1690)

Thou strong seducer, Opportunity!
– John Dryden, Almahide, in The Conquest of Granada,part 2, act 4, scene 3 (1670)

Time and death shall depart and say in flying
Love has found out a way to live, by dying.
– John Dryden, "No, No, Poor Suffering Heart"

War, he sung, is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

War is the trade of Kings.
– John Dryden, Arthur, in King Arthur, act 2, scene 2 (1691)

We lov’d, and we lov’d, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov’d out in us both;
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
‘Twas pleasure first made it an oath.
– John Dryden, "Marriage ą la Mode"

Welcome, thou kind deceiver!
Thou best of thieves! who, with an easy key,
Dost open life, and, unperceived by us,
Even steal us from ourselves.
– John Dryden, All for Love, act 5, scene 1 (1678)

With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
– John Dryden, "Alexander’s Feast" (1697)

Whistling to keep myself from being afraid.
– John Dryden, Amphitryon, act 3, scene 1 (1690)

You know I met you,
Kist you, and prest you close within my arms,
With all the tenderness of wifely love.
– John Dryden, Amphitryon, act 3, scene 1 (1690)

 

More on    W.E.B. Dubois (1868–1963), Black nationalist and Pan-Africanist, a founder of the NAACP, editor of its magazine for 25 years, until 1934

An American, a Negro ... two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
– W.E.B. Dubois

By the God of Heaven, we are cowards and jackasses if now that the war is over, we do not marshal every ounce of our brain and brawn to fight the forces of hell in our own land.

We return.
We return from fighting.
We return fighting!
Make way for Democracy! We saved it in France, and by the great Jehovah, we will save it in the United Stated of America, or know the reason why.

– W.E.B. Dubois, editorial in Crisis magazine of the NAACP, at the end of WW I (1919)

Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.
– W.E.B. Dubois (1897)

Drunk with power, we [the US] are leading the world to hell in a new colonialism with the same old human slavery, which once ruined us, to a third world war, which will ruin the world.
– W.E.B. Dubois (1949)

Histories of the world omitted China; if a Chinaman invented compass or movable type or gunpowder we promptly "forgot it" and named their European inventors. In short, we regarded China as a sort of different and quite inconsequential planet.
– W.E.B. Dubois

I believe in pride of race and lineage and self; in pride of self so deep as to scorn injustice to other selves. Especially do I believe in the Negro Race: in the beauty of its genius, the sweetness of its soul, and its strength in that meekness which shall yet inherit this turbulent earth.
– W.E.B. Dubois

I insist that the object of all true education is not to make men carpenters, it is to make carpenters men.
– W.E.B. Dubois

If there is anybody in this land who thoroughly believes that the meek shall inherit the earth they have not often let their presence be known.
– W.E.B. Dubois

Is a civilization naturally backward because it is different? Outside of cannibalism, which can be matched in this country, at least, by lynching, there is no vice and no degradation in native African customs which can begin to touch the horrors thrust upon them by white masters. Drunkenness, terrible diseases, immorality, all these things have been gifts of European civilization.
– W.E.B. Dubois

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.
– W.E.B. Dubois

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.
– W.E.B. Dubois

The music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways.
– W.E.B. Dubois

The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line – the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War.
– W.E.B. Dubois

The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the shadowy and of the Egypt the Sphinx. Throughout history, the powers of single blacks flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.
– W.E.B. Dubois

There are certain books in the world which every searcher for truth must know: the Bible, the Critique of Pure Reason, the Origin of Species, and Karl Marx's Capital.
– W.E.B. Dubois

There they sat, nearly thirty of them, on the rough benches, their faces shading from a pale cream to a deep brown, the little feet bare and swinging, the eyes full of expectation, with here and there a twinkle of mischief, and the hands grasping Webster's blue-back spelling-book. I loved my school, and the fine faith the children had in the wisdom of their teacher was truly marvelous. We read and spelled together, wrote a little, picked flowers, sang, and listened to stories of the world beyond the hill.
– W.E.B. Dubois, "A Negro Schoolmaster in the New South," Atlantic Monthly (January 1899)

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.
– W.E.B. Dubois

Today I see more clearly than yesterday that back of the problem of race and color, lies a greater problem which both obscures and implements it: and that is the fact that so many civilized persons are willing to live in comfort even if the price of this is poverty, ignorance and disease of the majority of their fellowmen; that to maintain this privilege men have waged war until today war tends to become universal and continuous, and the excuse for this war continues largely to be color and race.
– W.E.B. Dubois

We black men seem the sole oasis of simple faith and reverence in a dusty desert of dollars and smartness.
– W.E.B. Dubois

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
– Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents (1899)

The corporation is a true Frankenstein's monster – an artificial person run amok, responsible only to its own soulless self.
– William Dugger, management analyst

There is Tranquility in Ignorance, but Servitude is its Partner.
– George Duisman

 

More on    Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870),

A good surgeon operates with his hand, not with his heart.
– Alexandre Dumas

A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
– Alexandre Dumas

All for one, and one for all.
– Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.
– Alexandre Dumas

Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.
– Alexandre Dumas

He was thinking alone, and seriously racking his brain to find a direction for this single force four times multiplied, with which he did not doubt, as with the lever for which Archimedes sought, they should succeed in moving the world, when some one tapped gently at his door.
– Alexandre Dumas

How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it.
– Alexandre Dumas

I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest.
– Alexandre Dumas

If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.
– Alexandre Dumas

Infatuated, half through conceit, half through love of my art, I achieve the impossible working as no one else ever works.
– Alexandre Dumas

It is almost as difficult to keep a first class person in a fourth class job, as it is to keep a fourth class person in a first class job.
– Alexandre Dumas

It is only rarely that one can see in a little boy the promise of a man, but one can almost always see in a little girl the threat of a woman.
– Alexandre Dumas

Jealousy is the art of injuring ourselves more than others.
– Alexandre Dumas

Let us look for the woman.
– Alexandre Dumas

Nothing succeeds like success.
French:Rien ne réussit comme le succčs.
– Alexandre Dumas, Ange Pitou

Oh! The good times when we were so unhappy.
– Alexandre Dumas

Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.
– Alexandre Dumas

Pure love and suspicion cannot dwell together: at the door where the latter enters, the former makes its exit.
– Alexandre Dumas

Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.
– Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

You are one of the forces of nature.
– Alexandre Dumas

    A lilt and a swing,
    And a ditty to sing,
  Or ever the night grow old;
    The wine is within,
    And I'm sure t'were a sin
For a soldier to choose to be cold, my dear,
For a soldier to choose to be cold.

    We're right for a spell,
    But the fever is – well,
  No thing to be braved, at least;
    So bring me the wine;
    No low fever in mine,
For a drink more kind than a priest, my dear,
For a drink is more kind than a priest.
– Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) "At the Tavern" (1903)

 

More on    Isadora Duncan (1878–1927), U.S. dancer

Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences.
– Isadora Duncan

Art is not necessary at all. All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live in is to love – to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved.
– Isadora Duncan

I had learned to have a perfect nausea for the theatre: the continual repetition of the same words and the same gestures, night after night, and the caprices, the way of looking at life, and the entire rigmarole disgusted me.
– Isadora Duncan

If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.
– Isadora Duncan

It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence.
– Isadora Duncan

It seems to me monstrous that anyone should believe that the jazz rhythm expresses America. Jazz rhythm expresses the primitive savage.
– Isadora Duncan

My motto – sans limites.
– Isadora Duncan

People do not live nowadays. They get about ten percent out of life.
– Isadora Duncan

Perhaps he was a bit different from other people, but what really sympathetic person is not a little mad?
– Isadora Duncan

So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world.
– Isadora Duncan

So that ends my first experience of matrimony, which I always thought a highly over-rated performance.
– Isadora Duncan

The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul.
– Isadora Duncan

The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet.
– Isadora Duncan

The first essential in writing about anything is that the writer should have no experience of the matter.
– Isadora Duncan

The only dance masters I could have were Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Walt Whitman and Nietzsche.
– Isadora Duncan

The real American type can never be a ballet dancer. The legs are too long, the body too supple and the spirit too free for this school of affected grace and toe walking.
– Isadora Duncan

Virtuous people are simply those who have not been tempted sufficiently, because they live in a vegetative state, or because their purposes are so concentrated in one direction that they have not had the leisure to glance around them.
– Isadora Duncan

We may not all break the Ten Commandments, but we are certainly all capable of it. Within us lurks the breaker of all laws, ready to spring out at the first real opportunity.
– Isadora Duncan

What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print.
– Isadora Duncan

With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood.
– Isadora Duncan

You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you.
– Isadora Duncan

If we guarantee employment for some, we jeopardize employment for everyone.
– Albert Dunlap

Show me a chief executive who's on five boards and who lends his or her name, prestige and time to fifteen community activities – and I'll show you a company that's underperforming. A chief executive is paid to run the company. That's the CEO's job.
– Albert Dunlap

 

More on    Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936), U.S. journalist

A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.
– Finley Peter Dunne

A lie with a purpose is one of the worst kind, and the most profitable.
– Finley Peter Dunne

A man's idea in a game of cards is war, cruel, devastating, and pitiless. A lady's idea of it is a combination of larceny, embezzlement and burglary.
– Finley Peter Dunne

Alcohol is necessary for a man so that he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed be the facts.
– Finley Peter Dunne

Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
– Finley Peter Dunne

Don't jump on a man unless he is down.
– Finley Peter Dunne

High finance ain't burglary, an' it ain't obtaining money under false pretenses, an' it ain't manslaughter. It's what ye might call a judicious selection from th' best features of them arts.
– Finley Peter Dunne

It don't make much difference what you study, so long as you don't like it.
– Finley Peter Dunne

Most vegetarians look so much like the food they eat that they can be classified as cannibals.
– Finley Peter Dunne

One of the strangest things about life is that the poor, who need the money the most, are the ones that never have it.
– Finley Peter Dunne

The only good husbands stay bachelors: They're too considerate to get married.
– Finley Peter Dunne

The past always looks better than it was because it isn't here.
– Finley Peter Dunne

The world is not growing worse and it is not growing better – it is just turning around as usual.
– Finley Peter Dunne

There ain't any news in being good. You might write the doings of all the convents of the world on the back of a postage stamp, and have room to spare.
– Finley Peter Dunne

There are no friends at cards or world politics.
– Finley Peter Dunne

To say, "Give up that city or we shall take it from you" is not at all persuasive.
– Pierre Samuel DuPont to Thomas Jefferson, when Jefferson was threatening war with France to obtain the city of New Orleans. (1802)

Trust everybody, but cut the cards.
– Finley Peter Dunne

 

More on    Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Lord Dunsany (1878–1957), British fantasy writer and chess player

A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.
– Lord Dunsany

I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full.
– Lord Dunsany

Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.
– Lord Dunsany

What then are your means of acquiring and persuading France to an amicable cession of her property? Alas, Mr. President ... it is payment in money. Consider what the most successful war with France and Spain would cost you. And contract for a part – a half let us say. The two countries will have made a good bargain. You will have Louisiana and probably the Floridas for the least expenditure possible; and this conquest will be neither envenomed by hatreds nor sullied by human blood.
– Pierre Samuel DuPont, letter to Thomas Jefferson, when Jefferson was threatening war with France to obtain the city of New Orleans. (1802)

 

More on    William J. Durant (1885–1981), U.S. historian

Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.
– Will Durant

Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.
– Will Durant

Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing the things historians usually record – while, on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks.
– Will Durant

Death is an incident in an extended existence.
– Will Durant

Destroy it. There may be a redistribution of the land, but the natural inequality of men soon re-creates an inequality of possessions and privileges, and raises to power a new minority with essentially the same instincts as the old.
– Will Durant

Drunkenness was in good repute in England till "Bloody Mary" frowned upon it; it remained popular in Germany. The French drank more stably, not being quite so cold.
– Will Durant

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
– Will Durant

Education is the transmission of civilization.
– Will Durant

Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principles.
– Will Durant

Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it.
– Will Durant

If man asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous.
– Will Durant

In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order.
– Will Durant

Inquiry is fatal to certainty.
– Will Durant

It is a mistake to think that the past is dead. Nothing that has ever happened is quite without influence at this moment. The present is merely the past rolled up and concentrated in this second of time. You, too, are your past; often your face is your autobiography; you are what you are because of what you have been; because of your heredity stretching back into forgotten generations; because of every element of environment that has affected you, every man or woman that has met you, every book that you have read, every experience that you have had; all these are accumulated in your memory, your body, your character, your soul. So with a city, a country, and a race; it is its past, and cannot be understood without it.
– Will Durant

It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.
– Will Durant

Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul.
– Will Durant

Moral codes adjust themselves to environmental conditions.
– Will Durant

Nature has never read the Declaration of Independence. It continues to make us unequal.
– Will Durant

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.
– Will Durant

Peace is an unstable equilibrium, which can be preserved only by acknowledged supremacy or equal power.
– Will Durant and Ariel Durant,The Lessons of History

The ego is willing but the machine cannot go on. It's the last thing a man will admit, that his mind ages.
– Will Durant

The family is the nucleus of civilization.
– Will Durant

The love we have in our youth is superficial compared to the love that an old man has for his old wife.
– Will Durant

The most interesting thing in the world is another human being who wonders, suffers and raises the questions that have bothered him to the last day of his life, knowing he will never get the answers.
– Will Durant

The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.
– Will Durant

The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.
– Will Durant

There is nothing in socialism that a little age or a little money will not cure.
– Will Durant

Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory.
– Will Durant

To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.
– Will Durant

To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves. Nothing is often a good thing to say, and always a clever thing to say.
– Will Durant

We are living in the excesses of freedom. Just take a look at 42nd Street and Broadway.
– Will Durant

When people ask me to compare the 20th century to older civilizations, I always say the same thing: "The situation is normal."
– Will Durant

Woe to him who teaches men faster than they can learn.
– Will Durant

In the post-Cold War era, the United States needs to promote the development of democracy and human rights, not militaries that view their own citizens as the enemy.
– U.S. Senator Richard Durbin

The sheer stupidity of the commanders increased in direct proportion to their rank.
– Erik Durschmied, BBC and CBS war correspondent, now Professor of Military History at the Military Academy of Austria, speaking of the Crimean War

Infinite patience brings immediate results.
– Wayne Dyer

 

More on    Bob Dylan (1941– ), US folksinger

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.
– Bob Dylan

A South politician preaches to the poor white man,
"You got more than the blacks, don't complain.
You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain.
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.
– Bob Dylan, "Only a Pawn in Their Game"

Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
– Bob Dylan, "My Back Pages"

All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.
– Bob Dylan

Charity is suppose to cover up for a multitude of sins.
– Bob Dylan, "Something's Burning Baby"

Democracy don't rule the world,
you better get that in your head;
this world is ruled by violence,
but I guess that's better left unsaid.
– Bob Dylan, "Union Sundown" on the album Infidels (1983)

Gonna change my way of thinking,
make my self a different set of rules.
Gonna put my good foot forward
and stop being influenced by fools.
– Bob Dylan, "Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking"

How many times must a cannon ball fly before they are forever banned?
– Bob Dylan, "Blowin' In The Wind"

How many years can a people exist before they're allowed to be free?
– Bob Dylan, "Blowin' In The Wind"

I ain't looking to compete with you, beat, or cheat, or mistreat you, simplify you, classify you, deny, defy, or crucify you. All I really want to do is, baby, be friends with you.
– Bob Dylan, "All I Really Want To Do"

I got my dark sunglasses,
I'm carryin' for good luck my black tooth.
Don't ask me nothin' about nothin',
I just might tell you the truth.
– Bob Dylan, "Outlaw Blues"

I make my stand and remain as I am, and bid farewell and not give a damn.
– Bob Dylan, "Restless Farewell"

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
– Bob Dylan

I think you will find when your death takes it's toll, all the money you made will never buy back your soul.
– Bob Dylan, "Masters Of War"

In the dime stores and bus stations,
People talk of situations,
Read books, repeat quotations,
Draw conclusions on the wall.
Some speak of the future,
My love she speaks softly,
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all.
– Bob Dylan, "Love Minus Zero/No Limit"

He not busy being born is busy dying.
– Bob Dylan, "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," from the album Bringing It All Back Home

Money doesn't talk, it swears.
– Bob Dylan, "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," from the album Bringing It All Back Home

Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge

Mama's in the fact'ry
She ain't got no shoes
Daddy's in the alley
He's lookin' for the fuse
I'm in the streets
With the tombstone blues
– Bob Dylan, "Tombstone Blues"

Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No." Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run"
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God says, "Out on Highway 61."
– Bob Dylan, "Highway 61 Revisited"

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.
– Bob Dylan, "With God on Our Side"

People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent.
– Bob Dylan, "Brownsville Girl"

People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around – the music and the ideas.
– Bob Dylan

Some are masters of illusions, some are ministers of trade, all under the same delusion, all their beds unmade.
– Bob Dylan, "Tangled Up In Blue (Real Live)"

The battle outside ragin' will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls.
– Bob Dylan, "The Times they are a-changin'"

The dirt of gossip blows into my face and the dust rumours cover me. But if the arrow is straight and the point is slick, it can pierce through dust no matter how thick.
– Bob Dylan, "Restless Farewell"

This land is your land and this land is my land – sure – but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.
– Bob Dylan

To live outside the law, you must be honest.
– Bob Dylan

Too much information about nothing.
– Bob Dylan, "Someone's Got A Hold Of My Heart"

Too much of nothing can turn a man into a liar.
It can cause one man to sleep on nails and another to eat fire.
– Bob Dylan, "Too Much Of Nothing"

Trying to create a next world war,
he found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor,
he said I never engaged in this kind of thing before,
but yes I think it can be done very easily.
– Bob Dylan, "Highway 61 Revisited"

Well, I rapped upon a house
With the U.S. flag upon display
I said, "Could you help me out
I got some friends down the way"
The man says, "Get out of here
I'll tear you limb from limb"
I said, "You know they refused Jesus, too"
He said, "You're not Him
Get out of here before I break your bones
I ain't your pop"
– Bob Dylan, "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream"

Well, I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them.
– Bob Dylan, "Maggie’s Farm"

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
– Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"
see
Shakespeare
see James Baldwin

You better start swimming or sink like a stone, cause the times they are a-changing.
– Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
– Bob Dylan, "Subterranean Homesick Blues"

You five and ten cent women with nothing in your heads, I got a real gal I'm loving and Lord I'll love her 'til I'm dead.
– Bob Dylan, "Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan's Blues"

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns when they all came down and did tricks for you.
– Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"

You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you.
– Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"

You've got a lot of nerve to call yourself a friend, when I was down you stood there grinning.
– Bob Dylan, "Positively 4th Street"

[The ideas we associate with Martin Luther King-as-American-icon are so familiar that] many whites now assume such ideas were always warmly received and are therefore loathe to find new remedies for what they think are exaggerated or, worse, nonexistent problems.
– Michael Eric Dyson

E       To Top

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
– Amelia Earhart, aviation pioneer

Every time a man gets in his car it should be a vacation.
– Harley Earl

There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again.
– Clint Eastwood

They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.
– Clint Eastwood

This film cost $31 million. With that kind of money I could have invaded some country.
– Clint Eastwood

When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross.
– Clint Eastwood

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
– Abba Eban

His ignorance is encyclopedic
– Abba Eban

Everyone is always in favor of general economy and particular expenditure.
– Sir Anthony Eden, British prime minister

Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work.
– Thomas A. Edison

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.
– Thomas A. Edison

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure.
– Thomas A. Edison

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.
– Thomas A. Edison

Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.
– Thomas A. Edison

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.
– Thomas A. Edison

If there is a way to do it better, find it.
– Thomas A. Edison

Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen.
– Bob Edwards

He’s so slow that he takes an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes.
– Former Governor Edwin Edwards of Louisiana, describing his opponent, Dave Treen in the 1984 Governor’s race.

He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today.
– Tryon Edwards

It was the kind of behavior that could only occur when people had been trapped for thousands of years, staring at the same sights, fetishizing everything around them, spiraling down toward the full-blown insanity of religion. You didn't need gates and barbed wire to make a prison. Familiarity could pin you to the ground, far more effectively.
– Greg Egan, Schild's Ladder

 

 

More on    Albert Einstein (1879–1955), German-born physicist

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.
– Albert Einstein

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
– Albert Einstein

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
– Albert Einstein

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
– Albert Einstein

Dancers are the athletes of God.
– Albert Einstein

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
– Albert Einstein

Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.
– Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
– Albert Einstien

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
– Albert Einstien

I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field.
– Albert Einstein (commenting on why he joined the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO)

If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
– Albert Einstein

If I had only known. I would have become a locksmith.
– Albert Einstein

If relativity is proved right the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist. If relativity is proved wrong the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew.
– Albert Einstein

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?
– Albert Einstein

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
– Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.
– Albert Einstein

In the middle of difficulity lies opportunity.
– Albert Einstein

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.
– Albert Einstein

Let every man be respected as an individual and no man be idolized.
– Albert Einstein

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
– Albert Einstein

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.
– Albert Einstein

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
– Albert Einstein

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
– Albert Einstein

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.
– Albert Einstein
see
Publilius Syrus and Francis Bacon

Strange is our situation here on earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. There is one thing we do know definitively: that we are here for the sake of each other ... Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labor of others, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.
– Albert Einstein

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
– Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
– Albert Einstein

The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
– Albert Einstein

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.
– Albert Einstein

The search and striving for truth and knowledge is one of the highest of man's qualities.
– Albert Einstein

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
– Albert Einstein

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
– Albert Einstein

The trite objects of human efforts – possessions, outward successes, luxury – have always seemed to me contemptible.
– Albert Einstein

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
– Albert Einstein

There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.
– Albert Einstein

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods.
– Albert Einstein

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
– Albert Einstein

The need is not really for more brains. The need is for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger, and the bear. The hand that hefted the axe, out of some old blind allegiance to the past, fondles the machine gun as lovingly. It is a habit man will have to break to survive, but the roots go very deep.
– Loren Eiseley

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

American leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, farewell address, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 1961 (Washington: GPO, 1961), pages 1038–1039.

Americans, indeed all freemen, remember that in the final choice, a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

An atheist is a guy who watches a Notre Dame-SMU football game and doesn't care who wins.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953)

I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

I have serious doubts about the value of debates in a presidential election. They tend to be a test of reaction time rather than a genuine exposition of the participants' philosophies and programs.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Public policy itself could become the captive of a scientific/technological elite.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, farewell address, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 1961 (Washington: GPO, 1961), pages 1038–1039.

The bombs are aimed exclusively at military targets ... Unfortunately there are some civilians around these targets.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, standing up for the way the United States was handling bombing in North Vietnam.

Today in America unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and of depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. I have no use for those – regardless of their political party – who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a helpless mass.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that's assault, not leadership.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

You have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the falling domino principle. You have a row of dominos set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a disintegration that would have the most profound influences. Then with respect to more people passing under this domination, Asia, after all, has already lost some 450 million of its peoples to the communist dictatorship, and we simply can't afford greater losses. But when we come to the possible sequence of events, the loss of Indochina, of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula, and Indonesia following, now you begin to talk about areas that not only multiply the disadvantages that you would suffer through the loss of materials, sources of materials, but now you are talking about millions and millions of people. Finally, the geographical position achieved thereby does many things. It turns the so-called island defense chain of Japan, Formosa, of the Philippines and to the southward; it moves in to threaten Australia and New Zealand. So, the possible consequences of the loss are just incalculable to the free world.
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower explains the Domino Theory (1954)

It doesn't matter whether it comes in by cable, telephone lines, computor, or satellite. Everyone's going to have to deal with Disney.
– Michael Eisner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Disney

The best defense is no offense.
– Dr. Ivan Eland

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
– TS Eliot

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
– TS Eliot

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
– Queen Elizabeth I, in Francis Bacon, Apophthegms (1625)

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
– Walter Elliott

The two most abundant things in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
– Harlan Ellison

 

More on    Ralph [Waldo] Ellison (1914–1994), African-American writer, teacher

a former student of ours (I say former because he shall never, under any circumstances, be enrolled as a student here again) who has been expelled for a most serious defection from our strictest rules of deportment.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

A third major problem, and one that is indispensable to the centralization and direction of power, is that of learning the meaning of the myths and symbols which abound among the Negro masses. For without this knowledge, leadership, no matter how correct its program, will fail. Much in Negro life remains a mystery; perhaps the zoot suit conceals profound political meaning; perhaps the symmetrical frenzy of the Lindy-hop conceals clues to great potential powers – if only Negro leaders would solve this riddle. On this knowledge depends the effectiveness of any slogan or tactic. For instance, it is obvious that Negro resentment over their treatment at the hands of their allies is justified. This naturally makes for a resistance to our stated war aims, even though these aims are essentially correct; and they will be accepted by the Negro masses only to the extent that they are helped to see the bright start of their own hopes through the fog of their daily experiences. The problem is psychological; it will be solved only by a Negro leadership that is aware of the psychological attitudes and incipient forms of action which the black masses reveal in their emotion-charged myths, symbols, and wartime folk-lore. Only through a skillful and wise manipulation of these centers of repressed social energy will Negro resentments, self-pity and indignation be channelized to cut through temporary issues and become transformed into positive action.
– Ralph Ellison, "On the Hidden Political Meaning of Cultural Symbolism," unsigned editorial comment, Negro Quarterly (Winter 1943)

America is woven of many strands; I would recognize them and let it so remain. It's "winner take nothing" that is the great truth of our country or of any country. Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat. Our fate is to become one, and yet many – This in not prophecy, but description.
– Ralph Ellison, epilogue, The Invisible Man (1952)

Commercial rock 'n' roll music is a brutalization of the stream of contemporary Negro church music an obscene looting of a cultural expression.
– Ralph Ellison

Education is all a matter of building bridges.
– Ralph Ellison

had a feeling that your people were somehow connected with my destiny. That what happened to you was connected with what would happen to me.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.
– Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

Hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.
– Ralph Ellison

His name was Tod Clifton, he believed in Brotherhood, he aroused our hopes and he died.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination indeed, everything except me.
– Ralph Ellison, prologue, The Invisible Man (1952)

I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.
– Ralph Ellison

I am one of the most irresponsible beings that ever lived. Irresponsibility is part of my invisibility; any way you face it, it is a denial. But to whom can I be responsible, and why should I be, when you refuse to see me?
– Ralph Ellison, prologue, The Invisible Man (1952)

I felt that even when they were polite they hardly saw me, that they would have begged the pardon of Jack the Bear, never glancing his way if the bear happened to be walking along minding his business. It was confusing. I did not know if it was desirable or undesirable.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.
– Ralph Ellison

I'm not a separatist. The imagination is integrative. That's how you make the new – by putting something else with what you've got. And I'm unashamedly an American integrationist.
– Ralph Ellison

It goes a long way back, some twenty years. All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
– Ralph Ellison

Power doesn't have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.
– Ralph Ellison

Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.
– Ralph Ellison

The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike.
– Ralph Ellison

The antidote to hubris, to overweening pride, is irony, that capacity to discover and systematize ideas. Or, as Emerson insisted, the development of consciousness, consciousness, consciousness.
– Ralph Ellison

The blues is an art of ambiguity, an assertion of the irrepressibly human over all circumstances, whether created by others or by one's own human failing.
– Ralph Ellison

the friends of all common people
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

The truth is the light and light is the truth.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

The white folk tell everybody what to think – except men like me. I tell them.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

to repress not only his emotions but his humanity ... [to be] invisible, a walking personification of the Negative, ... the mechanical man!
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

To Whom It May Concern: ... Keep This Nigger-Boy Running.
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

When I discover who I am, I'll be free.
– Ralph Ellison

Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
– Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (1952)

 

More on    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), American author and poet

A man is known by the books he reads.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Children are all foreigners.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every hero becomes a bore at last.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every man I meet is in some way my superior.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers ... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

For what avail the plow or sail,
Or land, or life, if freedom fail?
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, May-Day and Other Pieces

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give all to love; obey thy heart.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make the most of yourself for that is all there is to you.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Patience and fortitude conquer all things.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-trust is the first secret of success.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for being.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Rhodora"

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be great is to be misunderstood.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reward of a thing well done is to have it done.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Vigor is contagious, and whatever makes us either think or feel strongly adds to our power and enlarges our field of action.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals (1824)

According to the Bank of England the economy is growing too fast so interest rates must rise to counter the supposed inflationary threat. In lay terms, I interpret this to mean that people are working much harder, causing economic growth, and they're in danger of spending their money, which is what the recession-hit shops want them to do. But the Bank and the City seem to think this is wrong, and that if people work harder they should be punished by having their mortgages increased.
– Harry Enfield, British comedian

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
– Friedrich Engels

By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. By proletariat, the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live.
– Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx, Manifesto of the Communist Party, footnote (1888 edition)

Freedom is the recognition of necessity.
– Friedrich Engels

Ireland still remains the Holy Isle whose aspirations must on no account be mixed with the profane class-struggles of the rest of the sinful world ... the Irish peasant must not on any account know that the Socialist workers are his sole allies in Europe.
– Friedrich Engels, letter to Karl Marx (December 9, 1869)

People think they have taken quite an extraordinarily bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy.
– Friedrich Engels, Introduction to 1891 edition of Karl Marx, The Civil War in France (1871)

The economic development of our actual society tends more and more to concentrate, to socialize production into immense establishments.
– Frederick Engels

The socialist movement cannot be gagged. On the contrary, the antisocialist law… will complete the revolutionary education of the German workers.
– Frederick Engels

The state is not "abolished," it withers away.
– Frederick Engels, Anti-Düring, part 3, chapter 2 (1878).

As good have no time as make no good use of it.
– English Proverb

No time like the present.
– English Proverb

There is time for all things.
– English Proverb

Mediocrity in politics is not to be despised. Greatness is not needed.
– Hans Magnus Enzensberger (1929– ), German poet, critic, on "The Late Show," BBC2 (November 5, 1990)

 

More on    Epictetus (50–135), Greek Stoic philosopher

A child understands fear and the hurt and hate it brings.
– Epictetus

A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs.
– Epictetus

A ship ought not to be held by one anchor, nor life by a single hope.
– Epictetus

A thing either is what it appears to be; or it is not, but yet appears to be; or it is, but does not appear to be; or it is not, and does not appear to be.
– Epictetus

A wise man is he who does not grieve for the thing which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
– Epictetus

All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.
– Epictetus

All religions must be tolerated for every man must get to heaven in his own way.
– Epictetus

Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man's task.
– Epictetus

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.
– Epictetus

Be not swept off your feet by the vividness of the impression, but say, "Impression, wait for me a little. Let me see what you are and what you represent. Let me try you."
– Epictetus

Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast.
– Epictetus

Common and vulgar people ascribe all ills that they feel to others; people of little wisdom ascribe to themselves; people of much wisdom, to no one.
– Epictetus

Control thy passions, lest they take vengeance on thee.
– Epictetus

Covetousness like jealousy, when it has taken root, never leaves a person, but with their life. Cowardice is the dread of what will happen.
– Epictetus

Difficulties show men what they are. In case of any difficulty remember that the gods have pitted you against a rough antagonist that you may be a conqueror, and this cannot be without toil.
– Epictetus

Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.
– Epictetus

Everything has two handles, one by which it may be borne, the other by which it may not.
– Epictetus

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.
– Epictetus

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
– Epictetus

For it is not death or hardship that is a fearful thing, but the fear of death and hardship.
– Epictetus

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.
– Epictetus

Freedom is the right to live as we wish.
– Epictetus

God has delivered yourself to your care, and says, "I had no fitter to trust than you."
– Epictetus

God has entrusted me with myself.
– Epictetus

God has pitted you against a rough antagonist that you may be a conqueror, and this cannot be without toil.
– Epictetus

He is a drunkard who takes more than three glasses though he be not drunk.
– Epictetus

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
– Epictetus

He who exercises wisdom exercises the knowledge which is about the gods.
– Epictetus

I am not eternity, but a man; a part of the whole, as an hour is of the day.
– Epictetus

I have a lantern. You steal my lantern. What, then, is your honour worth no more to you than the price of my lantern?
– Epictetus

I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know.
– Epictetus

If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you?
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
– Epictetus

If virtue promises happiness, prosperity and peace, then progress in virtue is progress in each of these for to whatever point the perfection of anything brings us, progress is always an approach toward it.
– Epictetus

If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say, "He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned."
– Epictetus

If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase.
– Epictetus

If you set your heart upon philosophy, you must straightway prepare yourself to be laughed at and mocked by many who will say Behold a philosopher arisen among us! or How came you by that brow of scorn? But do you cherish no scorn, but hold to those things which seem to you the best, as one set by God in that place. Remember too, that if you abide in those ways, those who first mocked you, the same shall afterwards reverence you; but if you yield to them, you will be laughed at twice as much as before.
– Epictetus

If you wish to be a writer, write.
– Epictetus

If you would cure anger, do not feed it. Say to yourself: "I used to be angry every day; then every other day; now only every third or fourth day." When you reach thirty days offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods.
– Epictetus

Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public.
– Epictetus

In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.
– Epictetus

Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.
– Epictetus

It is a sign of a dull nature to occupy oneself deeply in matters that concern the body; for instance, to be over much occupied about exercise, about eating and drinking, about easing oneself, about sexual intercourse.
– Epictetus

It is difficulties that show what men are.
– Epictetus

It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.
– Epictetus

It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.
– Epictetus

It is not he who gives abuse that affronts, but the view that we take of it as insulting; so that when one provokes you it is your own opinion which is provoking.
– Epictetus

It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.
– Epictetus

It is the sign of a dull mind to dwell upon the cares of the body, to prolong exercise, eating and drinking and other bodily functions. These things are best done by the way; all your attention must be given to the mind.
– Epictetus

It is your own convictions which compels you; that is, choice compels choice.
– Epictetus

It takes more than just a good looking body. You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it.
– Epictetus

It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
– Epictetus

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.
– Epictetus

Let death and exile, and all other things which appear terrible be daily before your eyes, but chiefly death, and you win never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

Liars are the cause of all the sins and crimes in the world.
– Epictetus

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
– Epictetus

Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.
– Epictetus

Never say of anything, "I have lost it"; but, "I have returned it." Is your child dead? It is returned. Is your wife dead? She is returned. Is your estate taken away? Well, and is not that likewise returned? "But he who took it away is a bad man." What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it; but don't view it as your own, just as travelers view an inn.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

No man is free who is not master of himself.
– Epictetus

Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort.
– Epictetus

Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

Nothing is in reality either pleasant or unpleasant by nature; but all things become so through habit.
– Epictetus

On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.
– Epictetus

One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent.
– Epictetus

Only the educated are free.
– Epictetus, Discourses

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.
– Epictetus

Practice yourself, for heaven's sake in little things, and then proceed to greater.
– Epictetus

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.
– Epictetus

Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author pleases to make it. If short, of a short one; if long, of a long one. If it is his pleasure you should act a poor man, a cripple, a governor, or a private person, see that you act it naturally. For this is your business, to act well the character assigned you; to choose it is another's.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Don't stop it. Is it not yet come? Don't stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a wife, to public posts, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods. And if you don't even take the things which are set before you, but are able even to reject them, then you will not only be a partner at the feasts of the gods, but also of their empire.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

Seek not good from without: seek it from within yourselves, or you will never find it.
– Epictetus

Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.
– Epictetus

So you wish to conquer in the Olympic games, my friend? And I too, by the Gods, and a fine thing it would be! But first mark the conditions and the consequences, and then set to work. You will have to put yourself under discipline; to eat by rule, to avoid cakes and sweetmeats; to take exercise at the appointed hour whether you like it or no, in cold and heat; to abstain from cold drinks and from wine at your will; in a word, to give yourself over to the trainer as to a physician. Then in the conflict itself you are likely enough to dislocate your wrist or twist your ankle, to swallow a great deal of dust, or to be severely thrashed, and, after all these things, to be defeated.
– Epictetus

Tell me where I can escape death: discover for me the country, show me the men to whom I must go, whom death does not visit. Discover to me a charm against death. If I have not one, what do you wish me to do? I cannot escape from death, but shall I die lamenting and trembling? ... Therefore if I am able to change externals according to my wish, I change them: but if I cannot, I am ready to tear the eyes out of him who hinders me.
– Epictetus

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.
– Epictetus

The good or ill of a man lies within his own will.
– Epictetus

The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.
– Epictetus

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
– Epictetus

The materials of action are variable, but the use we make of them should be constant.
– Epictetus

The soul's impurity consists in bad judgments, and purification consists in producing in it right judgments, and the pure soul is one which has right judgments.
– Epictetus

The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing.
– Epictetus

The universe is but one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human, by nature endeared to each other.
– Epictetus

The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.
– Epictetus

There is nothing good or evil save in the will.
– Epictetus

There is only one way to happiness, and that is cease worrying about the things which are beyond the power of our will.
– Epictetus

To accuse others for one's misfortunes is a sign of want of education; to accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun; to accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

Unless we place our religion and our treasure in the same thing, religion will always be sacrificed.
– Epictetus

We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.
– Epictetus, The Encheiridion

We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk the less.
– Epictetus

We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free.
– Epictetus

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
– Epictetus

What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.
– Epictetus

What is the first business of one who practices philosophy? To get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.
– Epictetus, Discourses

What, will the world be quite overturned when you die?
– Epictetus

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.
– Epictetus

When you close your doors, and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within. And what need have they of light to see what you are doing?
– Epictetus, Discourses

Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit.
– Epictetus

Wherever any one is against his will, that is to him a prison.
– Epictetus

Who is not attracted by bright and pleasant children, to prattle, to creep, and to play with them?
– Epictetus

Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.
– Epictetus

Whoever then wishes to be free, let him neither wish for anything nor avoid anything which depends on others. If he does not observe this rule, he must be a slave.
– Epictetus

You are a little soul carrying around a corpse.
– Epictetus

You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself.
– Epictetus

You may fetter my leg, but Zeus himself cannot get the better of my free will.
– Epictetus

Your master is he who controls that on which you have set your heart or wish to avoid.
– Epictetus

 

More on    Desiderius Erasmus [Gerrit Gerritszoon] (1466–1536),

A nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Diluculum

An angelic boyhood becomes a Satanic old age.
– Desiderius Erasmus, quoted as a proverb invented by Satan

Ask a wise man to dinner and he'll upset everyone by his gloomy silence or tiresome questions. Invite him to a dance and you'll have a camel prancing about. Haul him off to a public entertainment and his face will be enough to spoil the people's entertainment.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Betwixt the devil and the deep sea.
– Desiderius Erasmus, quoted from the Greek, in Adagia (Adages)

Between the victim and the stone knife.
– Desiderius Erasmus, letter to Pirkheimer

By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Classes and masses.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Preface, De Utilitate Colloquiorum

Concealed talent brings no reputation.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Don't give your advice before you are called upon.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age?
– Desiderius Erasmus

Fools are without number.
– Desiderius Erasmus

From hence, no question, has sprung an observation ... confirmed now into a settled opinion, that some long experienced souls in the world, before their dislodging, arrive to the height of prophetic spirit.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Praise of Folly

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Great eagerness in the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, or honor, cannot exist without sin.
– Desiderius Erasmus

He touches nothing but he adds a charm.
– Desiderius Erasmus, quoted as a proverb invented by Satan

He who allows oppression shares the crime.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Heaven grant that the burden you carry may have as easy an exit as it had an entrance.
– Desiderius Erasmus, "Prayer To A Pregnant Woman"

I don't like your way of conditioning and contracting with the saints. Do this and I'll do that! Here's one for t'other. Save me and I'll give you a taper or go on a pilgrimage.
– Desiderius Erasmus, The Shipwreck

I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.
– Desiderius Erasmus

If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don't do it, and it won't happen.
– Desiderius Erasmus

If you look at history you'll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
– Desiderius Erasmus

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Latin:In regione caecorum rex est luscus.
– Desiderius Erasmus, quoted from the Greek, in Adagia (Adages)

It is a good part of sagacity to have known the foolish desires of the crowd and their unreasonable notions.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Preface, De Utilitate Colloquiorum

It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.
– Desiderius Erasmus

It is the worst of madness to learn what has to be unlearnt.
– Desiderius Erasmus, De Ratione Studii

It is wisdom in prosperity, when all is as thou wouldn't have it, to fear and suspect the worst.
– Desiderius Erasmus

It's the generally accepted privilege of theologians to stretch the heavens, that is the Scriptures, like tanners with a hide.
– Desiderius Erasmus

[Julian would learn something] even if he had one foot in the grave.
– Desiderius Erasmus, quoting Pomponius, original phrase "one foot in the ferry boat" (Charon's boat, that ferried the dead to Hades)

Jupiter, not wanting man's life to be wholly gloomy and grim, has bestowed far more passion than reason – you could reckon the ration as twenty-four to one. Moreover, he confined reason to a cramped corner of the head and left all the rest of the body to the passions.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Luther was guilty of two great crimes – he struck the Pope in his crown, and the monks in their belly.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Man's mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Nature, more of a stepmother than a mother in several ways, has sown a seed of evil in the hearts of mortals, especially in the more thoughtful men, which makes them dissatisfied with their own lot and envious of another s.
– Desiderius Erasmus

No one respects a talent that is concealed.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Now I believe I can hear the philosophers protesting that it can only be misery to live in folly, illusion, deception and ignorance, but it isn't – it's human.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Of two evils choose the least.
– Desiderius Erasmus, quoted from the Greek, in Adagia (Adages)

Prevention is better than cure.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Procrastination brings loss, delay danger.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Adolescens

Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance; but revelry is the same flower, when rank and running to seed.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Submit or resign.
– Desiderius Erasmus, letter to Pirkheimer

The camel set out to get him horns and was shorn of his ears.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Adagia (Adages)

The desire to write grows with writing.
– Desiderius Erasmus

The entire world is my temple, and a very fine one too, if I'm not mistaken, and I'll never lack priests to serve it as long as there are men.
– Desiderius Erasmus

The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.
– Desiderius Erasmus

The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.
– Desiderius Erasmus

The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.
– Desiderius Erasmus

The nearer people approach old age the closer they return to a semblance of childhood, until the time comes for them to depart this life, again like children, neither tired of living nor aware of death.
– Desiderius Erasmus

The pleasures which we most rarely experience give us the greatest delight.
– Desiderius Erasmus

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.
– Desiderius Erasmus

They take unbelievable pleasure in the hideous blast of the hunting horn and baying of the hounds. Dogs' dung smells sweet as cinnamon to them.
– Desiderius Erasmus

This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Time takes away the grief of men.
– Desiderius Erasmus

War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.
– Desiderius Erasmus

We call a fig a fig, and a skiff a skiff.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Colloquy – Philetymus et Pseudocheus
see
Robert Burton
and Gertrude Stein

We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.
– Desiderius Erasmus, Diluculum

What difference is there, do you think, between those in Plato's cave who can only marvel at the shadows and images of various objects, provided they are content and don't know what they miss, and the philosopher who has emerged from the cave and sees the real things?
– Desiderius Erasmus

What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.
– Desiderius Erasmus

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Whether a party can have much success without a woman present I must ask others to decide, but one thing is certain, no party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Women, can't live with them, can't live without them.
– Desiderius Erasmus

You'll see certain Pythagoreans whose belief in communism of property goes to such lengths that they pick up anything lying about unguarded, and make off with it without a qualm of conscience as if it had come to them by law.
– Desiderius Erasmus

Your library is your paradise.
– Desiderius Erasmus

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.
– Paul Erdos

The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.
– Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
– Paul Ehrlich

Opinion is that exercise of the human will which helps us to make a decision without information.
– John Erskine

There's a difference between beauty and charm. A beautiful woman is one I notice. A charming woman is one who notices me.
– John Erskine

What are Palestinians? When I came here [to Palestine], there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was a desert, more than underdeveloped. Nothing.
– Prime Minister Levi Eschol of Israel

When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.
– Ethiopian Proverb

 

More on    Euripides (485 BC–406 BC), Greek tragic playwright

A bad beginning makes a bad ending.
– Euripides, Aeolus

A coward turns away, but a brave man's choice is danger.
– Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris (412 BC)

A second wife
is hateful to the children of the first;
a viper is not more hateful.
– Euripides,
Alcestis (438 BC)

A sweet thing, for whatever time,
to revisit in dreams the dear father we have lost.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

A woman should be good for everything at home, but abroad good for nothing.
– Euripides, Meleager

Account no man happy till he dies.
– Euripides

Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.
– Euripides

Among mortals second thoughts are wisest.
Variant: Second thoughts are ever wiser.
– Euripides

At last came Oedipus, the man of sorrow, on his mission from Delphi to this land of Thebes, a joy to them then but afterwards cause of grief; for, when he had read the riddle triumphantly, he formed with his mother an unhallowed union, woe to him! polluting the city; and by his curses, luckless wight, he plunged his sons into a guilty strife, causing them to wade through seas of blood.
– Euripides, The Phoenix (431 BC)

Authority is never without hate.
– Euripides

But the devil when he purports any evil against man, first perverts his mind.
– Euripides

Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.
– Euripides

Circumstances rule men and not men rule circumstances.
– Euripides

Cleverness is not wisdom.
– Euripides

Cowards do not count in battle; they are there, but not in it.
– Euripides, Meleager

Danger gleams like sunshine to a brave man's eyes.
– Euripides

Dishonor will not trouble me, once I am dead.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

Do not consider painful what is good for you.
– Euripides

Do not plan for ventures before finishing what's at hand.
– Euripides

Down on your knees, and thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love.
– Euripides

Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account.
– Euripides

Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.
– Euripides, The Phoenix (431 BC)

Forgive, son; men are men; they needs must err.
– Euripides

Fortune truly helps those who are of good judgment.
– Euripides

Friends show their love in times of trouble.
– Euripides

God helps him who strives hard.
– Euripides

Happiness is brief. It will not stay. God batters at its sails.
– Euripides

He is not a lover who does not love forever.
– Euripides

He is wise that is wise to himself.
– Euripides

He was a wise man who originated the idea of God.
– Euripides

Human excellence means nothing unless it works with the consent of the gods.
– Euripides

Human misery must somewhere have a stop; there is no wind that always blows a storm.
– Euripides

I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right.
– Euripides, The Suppliants (422 BC)

I care for riches, to make gifts
 To friends, or lead a sick man back to health
  With ease and plenty. Else small aid is wealth
   For daily gladness; once a man be done
    With hunger, rich and poor are all as one.
– Euripides, Electra (413 BC)

I hate it in friends when they come too late to help.
– Euripides

I have found power in the mysteries of thought,
exaltation in the changing of the Muses;
I have been versed in the reasonings of men;
but Fate is stronger than anything I have known.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

I know indeed what evil I intend to do,
 but stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury,
  fury that brings upon mortals the greatest evils.
– Euripides, Medea (431 BC)

I love the old way best, the simple way of poison, where we too are strong as men.
– Euripides

I sacrifice to no god save myself — And to my belly, greatest of deities.
– Euripides,

The Cyclops (424 BC)

I would prefer as friend a good man ignorant than one more clever who is evil too.
– Euripides

If the gods do evil then they are not gods.
– Euripides

Ignorance of one's misfortunes is clear gain.
– Euripides, Antiope

Impudence is the worst of all human diseases.
– Euripides

In case of dissension, never dare to judge till you've heard the other side.
– Euripides, The Heracleidae (428 BC)

In misfortune, which friend remains a friend?
– Euripides

In this world second thoughts, it seems, are best.
– Euripides, Hippolytus (428 BC)

It destroys one's nerves to be amiable everyday to the same human being.
– Euripides

It is a good thing to be rich and a good thing to be strong, but it is a better thing to be loved by many friends.
– Euripides

It is change; all yields its place and goes.
– Euripides

It is said that gifts persuade even the gods.
– Euripides, Medea (431 BC)

It is the gods' best gift.
– Euripides

It's not beauty but fine qualities, my girl, that keep a husband.
– Euripides

Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides.
– Euripides

Judge a tree from its fruit, not from its leaves.
– Euripides

Know first who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.
– Euripides

Leave no stone unturned.
– Euripides, The Heracleidae (428 BC)

Life has no blessing like a prudent friend.
– Euripides

Light be the earth upon you, lightly rest.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.
– Euripides, A href="http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/orestes.html">Orestes (408 BC)

Love must not touch the marrow of the soul. Our affections must be breakable chains that we can cast them off or tighten them.
– Euripides

Luckier than one's neighbor, but still not happy.
– Euripides

Man's best possession is a sympathetic wife.
– Euripides, Antigone (410 BC)

Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
– Euripides

Moderation, the noblest gift of Heaven.
– Euripides, Medea (431 BC)

Money is far more persuasive than logical arguments.
– Euripides, Medea (431 BC)

Much effort, much prosperity.
– Euripides

My tongue swore, but my mind was still unpledged.
– Euripides, Hippolytus (428 BC)

Never say that marriage has more of joy than pain.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

New faces have more authority than accustomed ones.
– Euripides

No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.
– Euripides

No one is happy all his life long.
– Euripides

No one is truly free, they are a slave to wealth, fortune, the law, or other people restraining them from acting according to their will.
– Euripides

No one who lives in error is free.
– Euripides

Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.
– Euripides

O lady, nobility is thine, and thy form is the reflection of thy nature!
– Euripides, Ion

Often a noble face hides filthy ways.
– Euripides

Old men's prayers for death are lying prayers, in which they abuse old age and long extent of life. But when death draws near, not one is willing to die, and age no longer is a burden to them.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

One does nothing who tries to console a despondent person with word. A friend is one who aids with deeds at a critical time when deeds are called for.
– Euripides

One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.
– Euripides

Only a madman would give good for evil.
– Euripides

People that seem so glorious are all show; underneath they are like everyone else.
– Euripides

Prosperity is full of friends.
– Euripides

Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal.
– Euripides

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.
– Euripides

Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of friends.
– Euripides

Second thoughts are ever wiser.
– Euripides, Hippolytus (428 BC)

Short is the joy that guilty pleasure brings.
– Euripides

Silence is true wisdom's best reply.
– Euripides

Silver and gold are not the only coin; virtue too passes current all over the world.
– Euripides, Oedipus

Slight not what's near, when aiming at what's far.
Variant: Slight not what's near through aiming at what's far.
– Euripides, A href="http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/rhesus.html">Rhesus (435 BC)

Slow but sure moves the might of the gods.
– Euripides, The Bacchantes (410 BC)

Song brings of itself a cheerfulness that wakes the heart of joy.
– Euripides

Sweet is the remembrance of troubles when you are in safety.
– Euripides, Andromeda

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.
– Euripides

Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head.
– Euripides

That glittering hope is immemorial and beckons many men to their undoing.
– Euripides

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.
– Euripides

The best prophet is common sense, our native wit.
– Euripides

The best of seers is he who guesses well.
– Euripides

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.
– Euripides

The best of seers is he who guesses well.
– Euripides

The best prophet is common sense, our native wit.
– Euripides

The bold are helpless without cleverness.
– Euripides

The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.
– Euripides, Aegeus

The day is for honest men, the night for thieves.
– Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris (412 BC)

The fountains of sacred rivers flow upwards.
– Euripides,
Medea (431 BC)

The gifts of a bad man bring no good with them.
Variant: There is no benefit in the gifts of a bad man.
– Euripides, Medea (431 BC)

The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children.
– Euripides, Phrixus

The good and the wise lead quiet lives.
– Euripides

The greatest pleasure of life is love.
– Euripides

The language of truth is simple.
– Euripides

The lucky person passes for a genius
– Euripides

The man who melts with social sympathy, though not allied, is more worth than a thousand kinsmen.
– Euripides, Orestes (408 BC)

The nobly born must nobly meet his fate.
– Euripides, Alcmene

The variety of all things forms a pleasure.
– Euripides, Orestes (408 BC)

The wavering mind is but a base possession.
– Euripides

The wisest men follow their own direction.
– Euripides

There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change.
– Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris (412 BC)

There is just one life for each of us: our own.
– Euripides

There is no benefit in the gifts of a bad man.
– Euripides

There is nothing like the sight of an old enemy down on his luck.
– Euripides

There is nothing more hostile to a city that a tyrant, under whom in the first and chiefest place, there are not laws in common, but one man, keeping the law himself to himself, has the sway, and this is no longer equal.
– Euripides,
The Suppliants (422 BC)

There is one thing alone
that stands the brunt of life throughout its course:
a quiet conscience.
– Euripides, Hippolytus (428 BC)

There is the sky, which is all men's together.
– Euripides

There is something in the pang of change more than the heart can bear, unhappiness remembering happiness.
– Euripides

There is the sky, which is all men's together.
– Euripides

This is courage in a man: to bear unflinchingly what heaven sends.
– Euripides

This is slavery, not to speak one's thought. Variant: Who dares not speak his free thoughts is a slave.
– Euripides, The Phoenician Women (411–409 BC)

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, he first makes mad.
– Euripides

Thou didst bring me forth for all the Greeks in common, not for thyself alone.
– Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis (412 BC)

Time cancels young pain.
– Euripides,
Alcestis (438 BC)

Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks.
– Euripides, Aeolus

To a father waxing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter.
– Euripides

To generous souls, every task is noble.
– Euripides

To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man.
– Euripides

To see their children dead before their eyes?
– Euripides

Toil, says the proverb, is the sire of fame.
– Euripides, Licymnius

Try first thyself, and after call in the gods;
For to the worker the gods themselves lend aid.
– Euripides, Hippolytus (428 BC)

'Twas but my tongue, 'twas not my soul that swore.
Variant: My tongue swore, but my mind was still unpledged.
– Euripides, Hippolytus (428 BC)

Unhappiness remembering happiness.
– Euripides

Vengeance comes not slowly either upon you or any other wicked man, but steals silently and imperceptibly, placing its foot on the bad.
– Euripides

Victory is fair; and if the gods are growing kinder, it would be well with me.
– Euripides, The Phoenix (431 BC)

Waste no tears over the griefs of yesterday.
Variant: Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.
– Euripides, Alexander

We know the good, we apprehend it clearly, but we can't bring it to achievement.
– Euripides

Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all: only our characters are steadfast, not our gold.
– Euripides

What anger worse or slower to abate then lovers' love when it turns to hate.
– Euripides

What greater grief than the loss of one's native land.
– Euripides, Medea (431 BC)

What is a seer? A man who with luck tells the truth sometimes, with frequent falsehoods, but when his luck deserts him, collapses then and there.
– Euripides, spoken by Achilles, in Iphigenia in Aulis (412 BC)

When a man's stomach is full it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor.
– Euripides

When good men die their goodness does not perish,
But lives though they are gone. As for the bad,
All that was theirs dies and is buried with them.
– Euripides, Temenidae

When love is in excess it brings a man neither honor nor any worthiness.
– Euripides,
Medea (431 BC)

Who knows but life be that which men call death, And death what men call life?
– Euripides, Phrixus

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
– Euripides

Whoso neglects learning in his youth,
Loses the past and is dead for the future.
– Euripides, Phrixus

Woman is woman's natural ally.
– Euripides, Alope

You were a stranger to sorrow: therefore Fate has cursed you.
– Euripides, Alcestis (438 BC)

Your very silence shows you agree.
– Euripides

Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor.
– Euripides

Zeus hates busybodies and those who do too much.
– Euripides

This contract is so one-sided that I am astonished to find it written on both sides of the paper.
– Lord Evershed, Naked Promises

Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done.
– Sam Ewing

Failing doesn't make you a failure. Giving up, accepting your failure, refusing to try again does!
– Richard Exely

F       To Top

The real patriot is the person who is not afraid to criticize the defective policies of the country which he loves.
– Joseph J. Fahey

The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection, and not a fountain, to show them that we love them, not when we feel like it, but when they do.
– Nan Fairbrother

The decline in American pride, patriotism, and piety can be directly attributed to the extensive reading of so-called "science fiction" by our young people. This poisonous rot about creatures not of God's making, societies of 'aliens' without a good Christian among them, and raw sex between unhuman beings with three heads and God alone knows what sort of reproductive apparatus keeps our young people from realizing the true will of God.
– Jerry Falwell, "Can Our Young People Find God in the Pages of Trashy Magazines? No, Of Course Not!", Reader's Digest, August, 1985

Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America.
– Jerry Falwell

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters.
– Jerry Falwell

If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.
– Jerry Falwell

I hope I live to see the day, when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!
– Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, (1979)

 

More on    Frantz Fanon (1925–1961), author of Wretched of the Earth

Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society – which is based on myths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement – will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.
– Frantz Fanon

Fervor is the weapon of choice of the impotent.
– Frantz Fanon

However painful it may be for me to accept this conclusion, I am obliged to state it: for the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white.
– Frantz Fanon

I am black: I am the incarnation of a complete fusion with the world, an intuitive understanding of the earth, an abandonment of my ego in the heart of the cosmos, and no white man, no matter how intelligent he may be, can ever understand Louis Armstrong and the music of the Congo.
– Frantz Fanon

I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.
– Frantz Fanon

My final prayer: oh my body, make me always a man who asks questions.
– Frantz Fanon, last line, Black Skin, White Masks

There is a point at which methods devour themselves.
– Frantz Fanon

We are nothing on this earth if we are not in the first place the slaves of a cause, the cause of the people, the cause of justice and liberty.
– Frantz Fanon

What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.
– Frantz Fanon

The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five Kings left – the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds.
– King Farouk of Egypt

 

More on    William Faulkner (1897–1962), US novelist

A man's moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream.
– William Faulkner

A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once.
– William Faulkner

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.
– William Faulkner

An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they choose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why.
– William Faulkner

An artist is completely amoral in that he will rob, beg, borrow, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
– William Faulkner

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
– William Faulkner

Facts and truth really don't have much to do with each other.
– William Faulkner

I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail.
– William Faulkner

I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.
– William Faulkner

If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoevski, all of us.
– William Faulkner

If we Americans are to survive it will have to be because we choose and elect and defend to be first of all Americans; to present to the world one homogeneous and unbroken front, whether of white Americans or black ones or purple or blue or green. If we in America have reached that point in our desperate culture when we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don't deserve to survive, and probably won t.
– William Faulkner

Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.
– William Faulkner

No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by that word. It is every individual's individual code of behavior by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol – cross or crescent or whatever – that symbol is man's reminder of his duty inside the human race.
– William Faulkner

One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours – all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.
– William Faulkner

People between twenty and forty are not sympathetic. The child has the capacity to do but it can't know. It only knows when it is no longer able to do – after forty. Between twenty and forty the will of the child to do gets stronger, more dangerous, but it has not begun to learn to know yet. Since his capacity to do is forced into channels of evil through environment and pressures, man is strong before he is moral. The world's anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty.
– William Faulkner

Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.
– William Faulkner

Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them.
– William Faulkner

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.
– William Faulkner

The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews.
– William Faulkner

The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn't have needed anyone since.
– William Faulkner

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
– William Faulkner

The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next.
– William Faulkner

The man who removes a m