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There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.
Robert Half

They are able because they think they are able.

Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study.
Francis Bacon

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
Edward Gibbon

It generally happens that assurance keeps an even pace with ability, and the fear of miscarriage, which hinders Our first attempts, is gradually dissipated as our skill advances towards certainty of success.
Samuel Johnson


Nothing out of the common order of nature can be long borne.
Samuel Johnson


I will not give to a woman an instrument to procure abortion.
The Hippocratic Oath, c. 400 B. C.

Prevention of birth is a precipitation of murder. He also is a man who is about to be one.

Abortions will not let you forget. You remember the children you got that you did not get.
Gwendolyn Brooks

Abraham Lincoln

My fellow citizens, the President is dead, but the Government lives and God Omnipotent reigns.
James Abram Garfield, after President Lincoln's assassination.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still.
Walt Whitman

Lincoln is one of those peculiar men who perform with admirable skill everything which they undertake.
Stephen A. Douglas

I will make a prophecy that may now sound peculiar. In fifty years, perhaps much sooner, Lincoln's name will be inscribed close to Washington's on this Republic's roll of honor.
Carl Schurz

Now he belongs to the ages.
Edwin M. Stanton, on being told of Lincoln's death


Speak no evil of an absent friend. (Non male loquare absenti amico.)

Seldom seen, soon forgotten.
Richard Hilles

The pain without the peace of death.
Thomas Campbell

The absent are as good as dead.
Latin Proverb

The absent and the dead have no friends.
Spanish Proverb

Absence makes the heart go wander.
Author unidentified

Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and fans fire.
La Rochefoucauld

Absence is to love what wind is to fire;
It extinguishes the small, it kindles the great.

(L'absence est à l'amour ce qu'est au feu le vent;
Il éteint le petit, il allume le grand

Comte de Bussy-Rabutin

Abstemiousness And Gluttony

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
Benjamin Franklin

Short supper; long life.
Serbian proverb

If you find honey, eat just enough —
too much of it, and you will vomit.
Proverbs 25:16


Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult.
Samuel Johnson

Thanks be to God, since my leaving drinking of wine, I do find myself much better, and do mind my business better, and do spend less money, and less time lost in idle company.
Samuel Pepys

To set the mind above the appetites is the end of abstinence, which one of the Fathers observes to be not a virtue, but the ground-work of virtue. By forbearing to do what may innocently be done, we may add hourly new vigour to resolution, and secure the power of resistance when pleasure or interest shall lend their charms to guilt.
Samuel Johnson


A man proposes his schemes of life in a state of abstraction and disengagement, exempt from the enticements of hope, the solicitations of affection, the importunities of appetite, or the depressions of fear, and is in the same state with him that teaches upon land the art of navigation, to whom the sea is always smooth, and the wind always prosperous.
Samuel Johnson


Abundance kills more than hunger.
German proverb

Just as I see abundance as validation of my faith in God, the religion of Secular Fundamentalism sees shortage as validation of their faith.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Academic Freedom

A university studies politics, but it will not advocate fascism or communism. A university studies military tactics, but it will not promote war. A university studies peace, but it will not organize crusades of pacifism. It will study every question that affects human welfare, but it will not carry a banner in a crusade for anything except freedom of learning.
L. D. Coffman


Nothing under the sun is ever accidental.
G. E. Lessing

Accident counts for as much in companionship as in marriage.
Henry Brooks Adams


If someone accuses you for something you haven't done he either has done it himself or he would do it if he were you.
Edi Rama (Attributed)


No man has lived to much purpose unless he has built a house, begotten a son, or written a book.
Italian Proverb

Never mistake activity for achievement.
John Wooden

Accomplishing something provides the only real satisfaction in life.
Thomas Edison


The wisest man I have ever known once said to me: "Nine out of every ten people improve on acquaintance," and I have found his words true.
Frank Swinnerton

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne?
Robert Burns

If a man is worth knowing at all, he is worth knowing well.
Alexander Smith

Acquaintance, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

A wise man knows everything; a shrewd one, everybody.
Author unidentified

Sir, I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.
Samuel Johnson


The Japanese have a word for it. It's judo — the art of conquering by yielding. The Western equivalent of judo is, "Yes, dear."
J. P. McEvoy


On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; ’Twas only that when he was off he was acting.
Oliver Goldsmith


There are two kinds of people: those who don't do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven't done, and those who haven't time to write about it because they're out doing it.
Richard Flournoy and Lewis R. Foster

I plow, but I do not write about plowing.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

It seems to me that man is made to act rather than to know: the principles of things escape our most persevering researches.
Frederick The Great

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.
Benjamin Disraeli

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of moral crisis, do nothing.
Dante Alighieri

To an active mind, indolence is more painful than labor.
Edward Gibbon

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

"He means well" is useless unless he does well.

The inactivity of a conqueror betrays the loss of strength and blood.
Edward Gibbon

No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of confusion by taking one little step toward solution. Do something.
George F. Nordenholt

Colonel Brighton: Look, sir, we can't just do nothing.
General Allenby: Why not? It's usually best.
David Lean

No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
Edmund Burke

This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.
Samuel Johnson

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
Napoleon Bonaparte

If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.
John Wooden

We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
Calvin Coolidge

I never worry about action, but only about inaction.
Winston Churchill

[They] rate themselves by the goodness of their opinions, and forget how much more easily men may shew their virtue in their talk than in their actions.
Samuel Johnson

I prefer the talents of action — of war — of the senate — or even of science — to all the speculations of those mere dreamers of another existence.
Lord Byron

The end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were the noblest.
Thomas Carlyle

And whoever he be that has but little in his power, should be in haste to do that little, lest he be confounded with him that can do nothing.
Samuel Johnson

Man can only form a just estimate of his own actions, by making his power the test of his performance, by comparing what he does with what he can do.
Samuel Johnson

We must beat the iron while it is hot, but we may polish it at leisure.
John Dryden

To do nothing every man is ashamed; and to do much almost every man is unwilling or afraid. Innumerable expedients have, therefore, been invented to produce motion without labour, and employment without solicitude.
Samuel Johnson

So many worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Actors are a nuisance in the earth, the very offal of society.
Timothy Dwight

[Studio official's assessment of Fred Astaire:] Can't act. Slightly bald. Also dances.
Author unidentified


The life of youth and beauty is too short for the bringing an actress to perfection.
Colley Cibber


In the Garden of Eden sat Adam,
Massaging the bust of his madam,
He chuckled with mirth,
For he knew that on earth,
There were only two boobs and he had 'em.
Author unidentified

What could Adam have done to God that made Him put Eve in the garden?
Polish Proverb

The tomb of Adam! How touching it was, here in a land of strangers, far away from home, and friends, and all who cared for me, thus to discover the grave of a blood relation. True, a distant one, but still a relation.
Mark Twain


It's like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I've got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal.
Robert Downey Jr.


As to the adjective, when in doubt strike it out.
Mark Twain

The adjective is the enemy of the noun.
Author unidentified


Admiration is a very short-lived passion, that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object.
Joseph Addison

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Things not understood are admired.
Thomas Fuller


Admonish your friends in private; praise them in public.
Publilius Syrus


I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted — stay up all night or eat ice-cream straight out of the container.
Bill Bryson


For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
Proverbs 5:3-4

All at once he followed her [the adulteress] like an ox going to the slaughter
Proverbs 7:22


If a married woman shall be caught lying with another man, both shall be bound and thrown into the river.
The Code of the Hammurabi

But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment;
whoever does so destroys himself.
Proverbs 6:32

Between a man and his wife a husband's infidelity is nothing. The man imposes no bastards on his wife.
Samuel Johnson

A wanton and lascivious eye
Betrays the heart's adultery.
Robert Herrick

Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it.
Arthur Hugh Clough

That which constitutes adultery is not the hour that she accords to her lover: it is the night that she afterward passes in the arms of her husband.
George Sand


It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.
Charlie Munger


We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!
J. R. R. Tolkien


The adverb is the enemy of the verb.
Author unidentified


Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test.

(Popular variation: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.)

Robert G. Ingersoll

In time of prosperity friends will be plenty;
In time of adversity not one in twenty.
James Howell

In prosperity, caution; in adversity, patience.
Dutch Proverb

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
Mark Twain

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.
Henry C. Link

Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.
John Wooden

You can't adjust the winds, but you can adjust your sails.
Author unidentified

Prosperity getteth friends, but adversity trieth them.
Nicholas Ling

In the adversity of our best friends we often find something that is not wholly displeasing to us.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Adversity makes a man wise, not rich.
John Ray

Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
Thomas Carlyle

Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.

The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.
Francis Bacon

Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.
Francis Bacon


Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
Stephen Leacock

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark: you know what you are doing, but nobody else does.
Edgar Watson Howe

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson

I always hated those testimonials on TV … [where the actress says,] "If I can do it, you can do it." How the hell does she know what I can and cannot do?
Stephen Furst

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.
Norman Douglas


Advertising … makes you spend money you haven't got for things you don't want.
Will Rogers


When we ask advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.
Marquis de Lagrange

Whatever your advice, make it brief.

Advice is least heeded when most needed.
English Proverb

You may give him good advice, but who can give him wit to take it?
Thomas Fuller

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
Oscar Wilde

Beware the advice of a poor man.
Spanish Proverb

Never advise anyone to go to war or to marry.
Spanish Proverb

Years ago, my mother used to say to me, "In this world, Elwood, you must be be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.
Elwood P. Dowde (James Stewart), "Harvey"

Ask advice only of your equals.
Danish Proverb

Many receive advice, few profit by it.
Publilius Syrus

Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

[But] if the royal ear [of Theodoric] was open to the voice of truth, a saint and a philosopher are not always to be found at the ear of kings.
Edward Gibbon

If you've ever taken advice from a cartoonist, there's a good chance it didn't end well.
Scott Adams

It is better to advise than upbraid, for the one corrects the erring; the other only convicts them.

How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice, when they will not so much as take warning?
Jonathan Swift

Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

We ask advice but mean approbation.
C. C. Colton

We may give advice but we cannot give conduct.
Benjamin Franklin

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen'd, sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!

(Ah, gentle ladies, it makes me cry,
To think how many counsels sweet,
How much long and wise advice
The husband from the wife despises!)

Robert Burns

I have, all my life long, been lying till noon; yet I tell all young men, and tell them with great sincerity, that nobody who does not rise early will ever do any good.
Samuel Johnson

Vanity is so frequently the apparent motive of advice, that we, for the most part, summon our powers to oppose it without any very accurate inquiry whether it is right. It is sufficient that another is growing great in his own eyes at our expense, and assumes authority over us without our permission; for many would contentedly suffer the consequences of their own mistakes, rather than the insolence of him who triumphs as their deliverer.
Samuel Johnson

In matters of religion and matrimony I never give any advice; because I will not have anybody's torments in this world or the next laid to my charge.
Lord Chesterfield

Fortunately I have never learned to take the good advice I give myself nor the counsel of my fears.
Ernest Hemingway


The qualities we have do not make us so ridiculous as those we affect to have.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

And I cannot always withhold some expression of anger, like Sir Hugh in the comedy, when I happen to find that a woman has a beard.
Samuel Johnson

[For] it is not folly but pride, not errour but deceit, which the world means to persecute, when it raises the full cry of nature to hunt down affectation.
Samuel Johnson

The hatred which dissimulation always draws upon itself, is so great, that if I did not know how much cunning differs from wisdom, I should wonder that any men have so little knowledge of their own interest, as to aspire to wear a mask for life.
Samuel Johnson

Hypocrisy is the necessary burthen of villany, affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly; the one completes a villain, the other only finishes a fop. Contempt is the proper punishment of affectation, and detestation the just consequence of hypocrisy.
Samuel Johnson

For, if the pinnacles of fame be at best slippery, how unsteady must his footing be who stands upon pinnacles without foundation!
Samuel Johnson

Affectation may possibly succeed for a time, and a man may, by great attention, persuade others, that he really has the qualities which he presumes to boast; but the hour will come when he should exert them, and then whatever he enjoyed in praise, he must suffer in reproach.
Samuel Johnson


Affection is a coal that must be cooled;
Else, suffered, it will set the heart on fire.
William Shakespeare

I could have been happy with a servant girl had she only in sincerity of heart responded to my affection.
S. T. Coleridge

You can have true affection for only a few things in your life, and by getting rid of material things, I make sure I won't waste mine on something that can't feel my affection.
Ernest Hemingway


Affliction may one day smile again; and till then, sit thee down, sorrow!


[The] bulk of mankind must owe their affluence to small and gradual profits, below which their expense must be resolutely reduced.
Samuel Johnson


Man developed in Africa. He has not continued to do so there.
P. J. O'Rourke

After Life

Since the common events of the present life happen alike to the good and bad, it follows from the justice of the Supreme Being, that there must be another state of existence, in which a just retribution shall be made, and every man shall be happy and miserable according to his works.
Samuel Johnson


One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell that would tell anything.
Oscar Wilde

I'm very pleased with each advancing year. It stems back to when I was forty. I was a bit upset about reaching that milestone, but an older friend consoled me. 'Don't complain about growing old — many, many people do not have that privilege.'
Earl Warren

Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives.
Maurice Chevalier

As for me, except for an occasional heart attack, I feel as young as I ever did.
Robert Benchley

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

Nothing so dates a man as decrying the younger generation.
Adlai Stevenson

There are three categories of age: youth, middle age, and "Gee, you're looking well."
Dean Rusk

Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.
Benjamin Disraeli

Perhaps in time the so-called Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


Aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed.


In every unbeliever's heart there is an uneasy feeling that, after all, he may awake after death and find himself immortal. This is his punishment for his unbelief. This is the agnostic's Hell.
H. L. Mencken


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


My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.
Benjamin Disraeli


All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than it has taken out of me.
Winston Churchill

To alcohol! The cause of — and solution to — all of life's problems.
The Simpsons

Alcohol is the prince of liquids, and carries the palate to its highest pitch of exaltation.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

A man shouldn't fool with booze until he's fifty; then he's a damn fool if he doesn't.
William Faulkner

Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton was honest as a man, but, as a politician, believed in the necessity of either force or corruption to govern men.
Thomas Jefferson

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

I can do one of two things. I can be president of the United States or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both.
Theodore Roosevelt


Close alliances with despots are never safe for free states.

Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.
Thomas Jefferson

The nature of the English government forbids, of itself, reliance on her engagements; and it is well known she has been the least faithful to her alliances of any nation of Europe.
Thomas Jefferson

Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless
Adolph Hitler


Alliteration tickles the ear, and is a very popular form of language among savages.
Benjamin Disraeli


I must be dunned for alms, and do not scramble over hedges and ditches in searching for opportunities of flinging away my money on good works.
Horace Walpole

I do not give alms: I am not poor enough for that.
Friedrich Nietzsche


It is better to be alone than in ill company.
George Pettie

A man is never alone, not only because he is with himself and his own thoughts, but because he is with the Devil, who ever consorts with our solitude.
Thomas Browne

I was never less alone than while by myself.
Edward Gibbon

Woe unto him that is never alone, and cannot bear to be alone.
P. G. Hamerton

A man alone is either a god or a devil. (Homo solus aut deus, aut daemon.)
Latin Proverb

Alone the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even going and coming.
Emily Carr


It is the freeman who must win freedom for the slave; it is the wise man who must think for the fool; it is the happy who must serve the unhappy.
Jean Paul Richter

Nobody does good to men with impunity.
Auguste Rodin


A sovereign should always regard an ambassador as a spy.
The Hitopadesa

Ambassadors are the eyes and ears of the state.
Francesco Guicciardini

[An ambassador is] a politician who is given a job abroad in order to get him out of the country.
Author unidentified


Vain the ambition of kings
Who seek by trophies and dead things
To leave a living name behind,
And weave but nets to catch the wind.
John Webster

It seems that ambition makes most people wish to be loved rather than to love others.

Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.

I would to God there were more ambition in the country … ambition of that laudable kind, to excel.
John Adams

Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.
Samuel Johnson

Ambition is a vice, but it may be the father of virtue.

The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
Alexander Pope

Where ambition ends happiness begins.
Hungarian proverb

Ambition is the rankest poison to the church, when it possesses preachers. It is a consuming fire.
Martin Luther

His demands were, indeed, very often such as virtue could not easily consent to gratify; but virtue is not to be consulted when men are to raise their fortunes by the favour of the great.
Samuel Johnson

Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels.

Those who are believed to be most abject and humble are usually most ambitious and envious.
John Locke

I have never yet exerted ambition in rising in the state. But sure I am, no man has made his way better to the best company.
James Boswell

To be admired must be the constant aim of ambition.
Samuel Johnson


In England I would rather be a man, a horse, a dog, or a woman, in that order. In America I think the order would be reversed.
Bruce Gould

I regard England as my wife and America as my mistress.
Cedric Hardwicke

The European traveler in America — at least if I may judge by myself — is struck by two peculiarities: first, the extreme similarity of outlook in all parts of the United States (except the Old South), and secondly, the passionate desire of each locality to prove that it is peculiar and different from every other. The second of these is, of course, caused by the first.
Bertrand Russell

Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.
Unidentified Indian immigrant when asked why he wants to come to America

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
Frank Zappa

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde

America is not what's wrong with the world.
Donald Rumsfeld

America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Attributed)

I'll start to worry about America's standing in the world when people from all corners of the earth cease to want to come here.
Attributed to Paul Johnson

America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.
Bernard Lewis

The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.
Winston Churchill (Attributed)

We have learned one lesson in the last half-century: the well-being of the world depends, above all, on the sensible pursuit of common aims by the United States and the free European peoples. That the Japanese are rapidly transforming this relationship into a triangular one goes without saying. But the U.S.-European axis remains the fulcrum of stability, and the Europeans know it: it is the one fixed point in their geopolitics. For this reason they are remarkably dependent on the workings of the American system, and the character of the man it places in the White House.
Paul Johnson

I wonder if the word "American" will one day have the same connotation as the word "byzantine."
Author unidentified

America is now a land that rewards failure — at the personal, corporate, and state level.
Mark Steyn

The later chapters of "The Decline and Fall of the United States" will make interesting reading.
Charles C. W. Cooke

I want no criticism of America at my table. The Americans criticize themselves more than enough.
Winston Churchill

Europe is the product of history. America is the product of philosophy.
Margaret Thatcher (paraphrased)

Anyone, in any walk of life, who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself and to American tradition.
George S. Patton, Jr.

America will never be an ordinary country; it's always going to be extraordinary.
Paul Johnson

Anyone who travels to every part of the United States, as I do, becomes aware that the notion of America oppressing humanity is absurd. To a great extent, America is humanity.
Paul Johnson

In the 1770s, surveying the immensity and diversity of London, Dr. Samuel Johnson laid down: "Sir, a man who is tired of London is tired of life." The saying could be rephrased today. A man who hates America hates humanity.
Paul Johnson

In America the geography is sublime, but the men are not: the inventions are excellent, but the inventors one is sometimes ashamed of.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?
Samuel Johnson

Young man, there is America — which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world.
Edmund Burke

Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them.
Thomas Paine

Nothing contributes more to peace of soul than having no opinion at all.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I do not think the Red Indians had any right to say, "The American Continent belongs to us and we are not going to have any of these European settlers coming in here." They had not the right, nor had they the power.
Winston Churchill

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

Shall I tell you what this collision [of free and slave labor] means? … It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become entirely a slave-holding nation or entirely a free-labor nation.
William Henry Seward

America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement. The idea of novelty is there indissolubly connected with the idea of amelioration.
Alexis de Tocqueville

America And Russia

The American’s principal means of action is liberty; the Russian’s, servitude. Their points of departure are different, their ways diverse. Yet each seems called by a secret design of Providence some day to sway the destinies of half the globe.
Alexis de Tocqueville


No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
H. L. Mencken

The American people, taking one with another, constitute the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goosesteppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages.
H. L. Mencken

The Americans are the illegitimate children of the English.
H. L. Mencken

Americans are very smart about the things they care about, and ignorant about the things they don't.
Jonah Goldberg

We [Americans] are fat, overgrown lab rats, and we get too many reward pellets for too little effort.
Graeme Wood

There are no people in the world who are so slow to develop hostile feelings against a foreign country as the Americans and there are no people who once estranged, are more difficult to win back.
Winston Churchill

I am not a Virginian but an American.
Patrick Henry

They [Americans] are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging.
Samuel Johnson

I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
Samuel Johnson

See what it is to have a nation to take its place among civilized states before it has either gentlemen or scholars. They have in the course of 20 years acquired a distinct national character for low, lying knavery.
Robert Southey

I have traveled more than four thousand miles about this country; and I never met one single insolent or rude … American.
Thomas Holme

[An American is] an Anglo-Saxon relapsed into semi-barbarism.
Bayard Taylor

The American is nomadic in religion, in ideas, in morals.
James Russell Lowell

God looks after drunks, children, and Americans.
Author unidentified

A European says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with me? An American says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with him [the author]?
Terry Pratchett

The American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.
H. L. Mencken

Oppressive laws do not destroy minorities; they simply make bootleggers.
H. L. Mencken

What then is the American, this new man? He is either a European, or the descendant of a European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country … Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world.
Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur

American Fanaticism

Sometimes it [the witch-hunt] is launched from one end of the ideological spectrum, sometimes from the other, but its characteristics remain the same: fanaticism, self-righteousness, abuse of the legal forms, contempt for justice.
Paul Johnson

American Government

What was once a constitutional federal republic is now converted, in reality, into one as absolute as that of the autocrat of Russia, and as despotic in its tendency as any absolute government that ever existed.
John C. Calhoun

American Language

It is remarkable how very debased the language has become in a short period in America.
Frederick Marryat

When I speak my native tongue in its utmost purity in England, and Englishman can't understand me at all.
Mark Twain


The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York, and, in time, a Virgil at Mexico, and a Newton at Peru. At last, some curious traveler from Lima will visit England and give a description of the ruins of St. Paul’s, like the editions of Balbec and Palmyra.
Horace Walpole

Ammianus Marcellinus

Ammianus is so eloquent, that he writes nonsense.
Edward Gibbon


I am a great friend to public amusements; for they keep people from vice.
Samuel Johnson


The following classes of aliens shall be excluded from admission into the United States: … anarchists, or persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow by force or violence of the government of the United States, or of all government, or of all forms of law, or the assassination of public officials.
Act of Congress, Feb. 20, 1907

We started off trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn't obey the rules.
Alan Bennett


Life is surely given us for higher purposes than to gather what our ancestors have wisely thrown away, and to learn what is of no value, but because it has been forgotten.
Samuel Johnson


I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.
Abraham Lincoln

Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.
Van Wyck Brooks

It is certainly desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.

He who boasts of his descent praises another.

A mule always boasts that its ancestors were horses.
German Proverb

Speak of the moderns without contempt and of the ancients without idolatry; judge them all by their merits and not by their age.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.
Edmund Burke

The Queen is not amused.
Queen Victoria

Andrew Jackson

If we had had the cable telegraph in those days, this blood [from the battle of New Orleans] would not have been spilt, those lives would not have been wasted; and better still, Jackson would probably never have been president. We have gotten over the harms done us by the war of 1812, but not over some of those done us by Jackson's presidency.
Mark Twain

I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President. He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.
Thomas Jefferson

Where is there a chief magistrate of whom so much evil has been predicted, and from whom so much good has come?
Thomas H. Benton, of Andrew Jackson


Who does the best his circumstances allows
Does well, acts nobly; angels could do no more.
Edward Young


The best cure for anger is delay.

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Marcus Aurelius

Whate'er's begun in anger ends in shame.
Benjamin Franklin

When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
Thomas Jefferson

Anger is a vulgar passion directed to vulgar ends, and it always sinks to the level of its object.
Ernst Von Feuchtersleben

The size of a man can be measured by the size of the thing that makes him angry.
J. Kenfield Morley

He who is slow to anger is longer getting over it.
Hungarian Proverb

Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.
Henry Ward Beecher

An angry man [differs] from a madman only in the shorter time which his passion [endures].
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:26,27

Anger so clouds the mind, that it cannot perceive the truth.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

We are all crazy when we are angry.

Women are like wasps in their anger.
Nicholas Breton

The angry man never wanted woe.
Thomas Draxe

Anger begins with folly, and ends with repentance.
H. G. Bohn

The best answer to anger is silence.
German Proverb

He who restrains his anger overcomes his greatest enemy.
Hungarian Proverb

Those sudden bursts of rage generally break out upon small occasions; for life, unhappy as it is, cannot supply great evils as frequently as the man of fire thinks it fit to be enraged
Samuel Johnson

Whoever converses with him (the man prone to anger), lives with the suspicion and solicitude of a man that plays with a tame tiger, always under a necessity of watching the moment in which the capricious savage shall begin to growl.
Samuel Johnson

This is the round of a passionate man's life; he contracts debts when he is furious, which his virtue, if he has virtue, obliges him to discharge at the return of reason. He spends his time in outrage and acknowledgment, injury and reparation.
Samuel Johnson

I am angry nearly every day of my life … but I have learned not to show it; and I still hope to learn not to feel it, though it may take me another forty years to do so.
Louisa May Alcott

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
Francis Bacon

Anger is never without an Argument, but seldom with a good one. (Alternative version: Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.)
George Savile

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
William Blake

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.
George Eliot


The great qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race are industry, intelligence, and self-confidence.
Anthony Trollope

The Anglo-Saxon carries self-government and self-development with him wherever he goes.
H. W. Beecher


I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Winston Churchill

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
Josh Billings

The pig, if I am not mistaken,
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big —
I call it stupid of the pig.
Ogden Nash

If you have no trouble, buy a goat.
Persian Proverb

Our toil is lessened, and our wealth is increased, by our dominion over the useful animals.
Edward Gibbon

There be beasts that, at a year old, observe more, and pursue that which is for their good more prudently, than a child can do at ten.
Thomas Hobbes

The lower animals have not the high advantages which we have, but they have some which we lack. They know nothing of our hopes, but they also know nothing of our fears; they are subject to death as we are, but they are not aware of it; most of them are better able to take care of themselves than we are, and they make a less evil use of their passions.
C. L. de Montesquieu

Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot

We have no reason to believe that other creatures have higher faculties, or more extensive capacities, than the preservation of themselves, or their species, requires; they seem always to be fully employed, or to be completely at ease without employment, to feel few intellectual miseries or pleasures, and to have no exuberance of understanding to lay out upon curiosity or caprice, but to have their minds exactly adapted to their bodies, with few other ideas than such as corporal pain or pleasure impresses upon them.
Samuel Johnson

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
Immanuel Kant


No answer is also an answer.
German Proverb

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

As a thinker and a planner the ant is the equal of any savage race of men; as a self-educated specialist in several arts she is the superior of any savage race of men; and in one or two high mental qualities she is above the reach of any man, savage or civilized.
Mark Twain


Violent antipathies are always suspicious, and betray a secret affinity.
William Hazlitt


Let others praise ancient times; I am glad that I was born in these.

Damn the age; I will write for antiquity.
Attributed to Charles Lamb


The antisocial or asocial man is either a beast or a god.


To live in anguish is death itself; anxiety defeats and destroys man.
The Madness of Tristan

You know what is before you. The whips and scorpions, the thorns without roses, the dangers, anxieties, and weight of Empire.
Abigail Adams


It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what other men in whole books — what other men do not say in whole books.
F. W. Nietzsche

But, perhaps, the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truth in few words.
Samuel Johnson


Never make a defence or apology before you be accused.
Charles I


If I am asked, Shall I utter the formula of Islam or submit to death? I answer, Utter the formula and live.


All is not gold that shines like gold. (Non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum.)
Other translations:
  1. Everything that glitters is not gold.
  2. Do not hold as gold all that shines as gold.
Alanus De Insulis

Three-tenths of a good appearance are due to nature; seven-tenths to dress.
Chinese Proverb

A good exterior is a silent recommendation.
Publilius Syrus

Appearances are very deceitful.
Tobias Smollett

Men are valued, not for what they are, but for what they seem to be.
E. G. Bulwer-Lytton

Do not praise individuals for their good looks, or loathe anyone because of appearance alone.
Ecclesiasticus 11:2

Beware, as long as you live, of judging people by appearances.
Jean de La Fontaine

Keep up appearances; there lies the test;
The world will give thee credit for the rest.
Outward be fair, however foul within;
Sin if thou wilt, but then in secret sin.
Charles Churchill


I … smell the stench of appeasement in the air.
Margaret Thatcher

I think that if I give him [Stalin] everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

My good friends this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time.
Neville Chamberlain

We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame. My feeling is that we shall choose shame and then have war thrown in a little later on even more adverse terms than at present.
Winston Churchill

The utmost he [Neville Chamberlain] has been able to gain for Czechoslovakia and in the matters which were in dispute has been that the German dictator, instead of snatching his victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course.
Winston Churchill


All man's efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 6:7

Subdue your appetites, and you've conquered human nature.
Charles Dickens

Appetite comes with eating … but the thirst goes away with drinking.
François Rabelais

Let appetite obey reason.

Leave with an appetite.
William Bullein

If thou rise with an appetite thou art sure never to sit down without one.
William Penn

The most violent appetites in all creatures are lust and hunger; the first is a perpetual call upon them to propagate their kind, the latter to preserve themselves.
Joseph Addison


When most the world applauds you, most beware:
'Tis often less a blessing than a snare.
Edward Young

Do not trust to the cheering, for those very persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.
Oliver Cromwell

When you applaud me at the start [of my speech], that's faith; midway through, that's hope. But, ah, my dear friends, if you applaud me at the end, that will be charity!
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen


Better the oppression of Turks than the justice of Arabs.
Arab Proverb

The life of a wandering Arab [in the time of Gibbon] is a life of danger and distress; and though sometimes, by rapine or exchange, he may appropriate the fruits of industry, a private citizen in Europe is in the possession of more solid and pleasing luxury than the proudest emir, who marches in the field at the head of ten thousand horse.
Edward Gibbon

[The] noblest of [Arabs] united the love of arms with the profession of merchandise.
Edward Gibbon

[Arabs are] a people, whom it is dangerous to provoke, and fruitless to attack.
Edward Gibbon

But [the Arabs'] friendship was venal, their faith inconstant, their enmity capricious: it was an easier task to excite than to disarm these roving barbarians; and, in the familiar intercourse of war, they learned to see, and to despise, the splendid weakness both of Rome and of Persia.
Edward Gibbon

The character of Hatem is the perfect model of Arabian virtue: he was brave and liberal, an eloquent poet, and a successful robber.
Edward Gibbon

Arabs would have sat in the dark forever had not the Zionist engineers harnessed the Jordan river for electrification. Now they swarm into Palestine in seeking the light.
Winston Churchill


He was swearing audibly, and when he found that the infirmities of the English tongue hemmed in his rage, he sought consolation in Arabic, which is expressly designed for the use of the afflicted.
Rudyard Kipling


Scanavius relates that he knew an archbishop who was so old that he could remember a time when he did not deserve hanging.
Ambrose Bierce


Architect, n. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The fate of the architect is the strangest of all. How often he expends his whole soul, his whole heart and passion, to produce buildings into which he himself may never enter.
J. W. Goethe


I have found a paper of mine in which I call architecture frozen music [erstarrte Musik]. Really there is something in this; the tone of mind produced by architecture approaches the effect of music.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In architecture the pride of man, his triumph over gravitation, his will to power, assume a visible form. Architecture is a sort of oratory of power.
Friedrich Nietzsche


This gloomy region [the Arctic], where the year is divided into one day and one night, lies entirely outside the stream of history.
W. Winwood Reade


Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
George Herbert


When we wish to reprove with profit, and show another that he is mistaken, we must observe on what side he looks at the thing, for it is usually true on that side, and to admit to him that truth, but to discover to him the side whereon it is false. He is pleased with this, for he perceives that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to look on all sides.
Blaise Pascal

It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.
Caron de Beaumarchais

To attempt to argue any great question upon facts only is absurd; you cannot state any fact before a mixed audience which an opponent as clever as yourself cannot with ease twist towards another bearing, or at least meet by a contrary fact, as it is called.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There is no greater mistake that the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued.
T. H. Huxley

You cannot argue with someone who denies the first principles. (Contra negantem principia non est disputandum.)
Auctoritates Aristotelis


I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Thomas Jefferson


If you can make a good bargain with an Armenian you can make a good bargain with the Devil.
Persian Proverb


This is not a peace treaty, it is an armistice for twenty years.
Ferdinand Foch, at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919


The principal foundations of all states are good laws and good arms; and there cannot be good laws where there are not good arms.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.

I do not wish to see guns in the hands of all the world, for there are other ferae naturae besides hares and partridges.
Horace Walpole

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment II

Arms are the props of peace. (Arma pacis fulcra.)
Latin Proverb


An army of stags led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a stag.
Attributed to Chabrias

That's what an army is — a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers.
Mark Twain

A large army is always disorderly.

Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories, goodly races of horse, chariots of war, elephants, ordinance, artillery, and the like; all this is but a sheep in lion's skin except the breed and disposition of the people be stout and warlike.
Francis Bacon

The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so.
Thomas Jefferson

The army has always been the basis of power, and it is so today. Power is always in the hands of those who command it.
Lyof N. Tolstoy

It may be said, therefore, that the military opinion of the world is opposed to those people who cry 'Democratize the army!' and it must be remembered that an army is not a field upon which persons with Utopian ideas may exercise their political theories, but a weapon for the defence of the State.
Winston Churchill


[Their] minds were not yet humbled to their condition.
Edward Gibbon

It has been long observed, that drollery and ridicule is the most easy kind of wit: let it be added that contempt and arrogance is the easiest philosophy.
Samuel Johnson


I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Art for art's sake makes no more sense than gin for gin's sake.
Somerset Maugham

Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult.

Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is a sort of grandchild of God.
Dante Alighieri

You must treat a work of art like a great man: stand before it and wait patiently till it deigns to speak.
Arthur Schopenhauer

No one can explain how the notes of a Mozart melody, or the folds of a piece of Titian's drapery, produce their essential effects. If you do not feel it, no one can by reasoning make you feel it.
John Ruskin

I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like.
American Proverb

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.
Edith Wharton

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

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

I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.
Orson Welles

I don't know what art is, but I do know what it isn't. And it isn't someone walking around with a salmon over his shoulder, or embroidering the name of everyone they have slept with on the inside of a tent.
Brian Sewell

The photographer is like the cod which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.
George Bernard Shaw

I always ask the sitter if they want truth or flattery. They always ask for truth, and I always give them flattery.
Ruskin Spear

Yes — one does like to make one's mummy just as nice as possible!
James McNeill Whistler

All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.
Oscar Wilde

If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility.
Peter Medawar

The joy of conceptual art is that the description is everything. Oh yes, there is real artistry at work here. It just isn't on the walls but in the catalogue descriptions.
Benet Brandreth

Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?
Ludwig van Beethoven

The period in which any given people reach their highest power in art is precisely that in which they appear to sign the warrant of their own ruin.
John Ruskin

It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art.
Mark Twain

It is the treating of the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime that gives to art its true power.
Jean-Francois Millet

The struggle against a purpose in art is always a struggle against the moral tendency in art — against its subordination to morality. L'art pour l'art means, Let morality go to the Devil.
F. W. Nietzsche

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
Theodore Dreiser

There is sometimes a greater judgement shewn in deviating from the rules of art, than in adhering to them; and … there is more beauty in the works of a great genius who is ignorant of all the rules of art, than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes them.
Joseph Addison

All passes. Art alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne, —
The Coin, Tiberius.
Henry Austin Dobson

Human life is a sad show, undoubtedly: ugly, heavy and complex. Art has no other end, for people of feeling, than to conjure away the burden and bitterness.
Gustave Flaubert


A man is as old as his arteries.
Thomas Sydenham


The gods that first taught artists their craft laid a great curse on mankind.

Artists are on the average less happy than men of science.
Bertrand Russell

The torpid artist seeks inspiration at any cost — by virtue or by vice, by friend or by fiend, by prayer or by wine.
E. W. Emerson

The great artist is the simplifier.
H. F. Amiel

The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.
George Bernard Shaw

The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man — that is, virtuous in the Y.M.C.A. sense — has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading.
H. L. Mencken

It is closing time in the gardens of the West and from now on an artist will be judged only by the resonance of his solitude or the quality of his despair.
Cyril Connolly

That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
Ernest Hemingway

The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him.
Gustave Flaubert


There is no virtue in penance and fasting which waste the body; they are only fanatical and monkish.
Immanuel Kant

A dominant religion is never ascetic.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

Asceticism may be a mere expression of organic hardihood, disgusted with too much ease.
William James


I am ashes where once I was fire.
Lord Byron


Asia is not going to be civilised after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.
Rudyard Kipling


He that asketh faintly beggeth a denial.
Thomas Fuller

The man who is afraid of asking is ashamed of learning.
Danish Proverb


Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Alexander Pope

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's Heaven for?
Robert Browning

The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life:
Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate.
Robert Browning

Hitch your wagon to a star.
R. W. Emerson

If you aspire to the highest place it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third.


Assassination is the last resource of cowards.
Edward Gibbon


The more numerous an assembly may be, of whatever characters composed, the greater is known to be the ascendancy of passion over reason.
Alexander Hamilton


When you are at Rome live in the Roman style; when you are elsewhere live as they live elsewhere.
Saint Ambrose


I am always longing to be with men more excellent than myself.
Charles Lamb

When a dove begins to associate with crows its feathers remain white but its heart grows black.
German Proverb


[Astrology] is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeit of our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and teachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence.
William Shakespeare

I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're sceptical.
Arthur C. Clarke


[The] sublime science of astronomy … elevates the mind of man to disdain his diminutive planet and momentary existence.
Edward Gibbon


A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth a man's mind about to religion.
Francis Bacon

The three great apostles of practical atheism, that make converts without persecuting, and retain them without preaching, are wealth, health, and power.
C. C. Colton

Practical atheism, seeing no guidance for human affairs but its own limited foresight, endeavors itself to play the god, and decide what will be good for mankind and what bad.
Herbert Spencer

By cutting the umbilical cord with God, our source of ethical vitality would be gone. Morally, we would be come nothing better than a species of fantastically clever monkeys. Our ultimate fate would be too horrible to contemplate. For the truth is that we humans are all Jekyll and Hyde creatures, and the monster within each of us is always striving to take over.
Paul Johnson

They that deny a God destroy man's nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.
Francis Bacon

Man is by his constitution a religious animal; atheism is against not only our reason, but our instincts.
Edmund Burke


The kingdom that is infested by atheists is beset by famine and disease and soon perishes.
The Code of Manu

To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
Woody Allen

Some are atheists by neglect; others are so by affectation; they that think there is no God at some times do not think so at all times.
Benjamin Whichcote

Boldness formerly was not the character of Atheists as such. … But of late they are grown active, designing, turbulent, and seditious.
Edmund Burke

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
John Buchan (Lord Tweedsmuir)

There are no atheists in the foxholes.
William Thomas Cummings

All thinking men are atheists.
Ernest Hemingway


Don't fire until you can see the whites of their eyes.
William Prescott


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


Success is the child of audacity.
Benjamin Disraeli


The best audience is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk.
Alben W. Barkley

The play was a great success, but the audience was a total failure.
Oscar Wilde


Austerity is the proper antidote to indulgence.
Samuel Johnson


Poor Austria! Two things made her a nation: she was German and she was Catholic, and now she has neither.
Benjamin Disraeli


So long as the Austrian has his beer and sausages he will not revolt.
Ludwig van Beethoven

No Italian can hate an Austrian more than I do; unless it is the English, the Austrians seem to me the most obnoxious race under the sky.
Lord Byron


The best part of every author is in general to be found in his book, I assure you.
Samuel Johnson

While an author is yet living we estimate his powers by his worst performance, and when he is dead we rate them by his best.
Samuel Johnson

An author is like a baker; it is for him to make the sweets, and others to buy and enjoy them.
Leigh Hunt

An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.
Charles de Montesquieu

Authors with a mortgage never get writer's block.
Mavis Cheek

An author places himself uncalled before the tribunal of criticism, and solicits fame at the hazard of disgrace.
Samuel Johnson

To commence author is to claim praise, and no man can justly aspire to honour, but at the hazard of disgrace.
Samuel Johnson

There are men that will make you books, and turn 'em loose into the world, with as much dispatch as they would do a dish of fritters.

Choose an author as you choose a friend.
Wentworth Dillon

The most "popular," the most "successful" writers among us (for a brief period, at least) are, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, persons of mere address, perseverance, effrontery — in a word, busy-bodies, toadies, quacks.
Edgar Allan Poe

The author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.
Benjamin Disraeli

A writing man is something of a black sheep, like the village fiddler. Occasionally a fiddler becomes a violinist, and is a credit to his family, but as a rule he would have done better had his tendency been toward industry and saving.
E. W. Howe

I have protracted my work till most of those whom I wished to please have sunk into the grave, and success and miscarriage are empty sounds. I therefore dismiss it with frigid tranquility, having little to fear or hope from censure or from praise.
Samuel Johnson

No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
Samuel Johnson

The wickedness of a loose or profane author is more atrocious than that of the giddy libertine, or drunken ravisher, not only because it extends its effects wider, as a pestilence that taints the air is more destructive than poison infused in a draught, but because it is committed with cool deliberation.
Samuel Johnson


Nothing has been found so mighty
That it has not found a master.
Elias Lonnrot, The Kalevala


Autobiography is now as common as adultery and hardly less reprehensible.
Lord Altrincham (John Grigg)

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
Quentin Crisp

To write one's memoirs is to speak ill of everybody except oneself.
Henri Philippe Pétain

The next thing like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.
Benjamin Franklin

To set about writing my own life would be no less than horrible to me; and shall of a certainty never be done. The common impious vulgar of this earth, what has it to do with my life or me?
Thomas Carlyle


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

Carriage without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe.
Anonymous, 1862


Avarice and luxury have been the ruin of every great state.

Avarice has so seized upon mankind that their wealth seems rather to possess them than they to possess their wealth.
Pliny the Younger

Avarice is the root of evil. (Radix malorum est cupiditas.)
1 Timothy 6:10 (translation of the Vulgate)


What can you conceive more silly and extravagant than to suppose a man racking his brains, and studying night and day how to fly?
William Law

The birds can fly,
An' why can't I?
J. T. Trowbridge


I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either.
Jack Benny


Men lose more conquests by their own awkwardness than by any virtue in the woman.
Ninon de Enclos


I am against the monopoly enjoyed by the BBC. For eleven years they kept me off the air. They prevented me from expressing views which have proved to be right. Their behaviour has been tyrannical. They are honeycombed with Socialists — probably with Communists.
Winston Churchill


A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
Mark Twain

A man deposits seed in a womb and goes away, and then another cause takes it, and labors on it, and makes a baby. What a consummation from such a beginning!
Marcus Aurelius

Who would not tremble and rather choose to die than to be a baby again, if he were given such a choice?
St. Augustine

An infant … is all gut and squall.
Charles Brown

A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty.
Mark Twain


A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.
Don Quinn

Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
H. L. Mencken

Cock's bones! now again I stand
The jolliest bachelor i' th' land.
Attributed to Henry VIII of England: On the beheading of Anne Boleyn, 1536

A single man has not nearly the value he would have in [a] state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.
Benjamin Franklin

An old bachelor is a poor critter.
C. F. Browne

A bachelor is one who enjoys the chase but does not eat the game.
Author unidentified

Praise all wives, but remain a bachelor.
Italian Proverb

So long as a man is without a wife he is only half a man.
Sanskrit Proverb

Happy am I who have no wife.

When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.

A good bachelor drinks his dessert (and sometimes the rest of his meals). A sweet tooth is a danger signal that you're getting too much exercise and not enough cocktails.
P. J. O'Rourke


For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard.
William Shakespeare


No man becomes bad all at once.

Nothing so bad but it might be worse.
English Proverb

A man once bad is assumed to be always bad. (Semel malus, semper presumitur esse malus.)
Legal Maxim


Fish, or cut bait.
American Proverb


One who is serious all day will never have a good time, while one who is frivolous all day will never establish a household.


There is nothing more contemptible than a bald man who pretends to have hair.

Honest men grow gray; others grow bald.
Hungarian Proverb


[The Balkans] produce more history than they can consume.
Winston Churchill

If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans.
Otto von Bismarck


Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets.
Abraham Lincoln


Where the banana grows man is sensual and cruel.
R. W. Emerson


If you owe a bank enough money you own it.
Author unidentified


A banker is a man who lends you an umbrella when the weather is fair, and takes it away from you when it rains.
Author unidentified


If the nation is living within its income its credit is good. If in some crisis it lives beyond its income for a year or two it can usually borrow temporarily on reasonable terms. But if, like the spendthrift, it throws discretion to the winds, is willing to make no sacrifice at all in spending, extends its taxing up to the limit of the people's power to pay, and continues to pile up deficits, it is on the road to to bankruptcy.
Franklin D. Roosevelt


I think the baptismal service almost perfect. I never could attend a christening without tears bursting fourth at the sight of the helpless innocent in a pious clergyman's arms.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


[The Gauls] derided the hairy and gigantic savages of the North; their rustic manners, dissonant joy, voracious appetite, and their horrid appearance, equally disgusting to the sight and to the smell.
Edward Gibbon


It's a bad bargain where nobody gains.
English proverb

No bargain without wine.
Latin saying

Bargain like a gypsy, but pay like a gentleman.
Hungarian proverb


Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?
Yogi Berra

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.
George F. Will


To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside;
Who fears to ask doth teach to be deny'd.
Robert Herrick

Though modesty be a virtue, yet bashfulness is a vice.
Thomas Fuller

The bashful always lose.
French Proverb

Bashfulness, however it may incommode for a moment, scarcely ever produces evils of long continuance; it may flush the cheek, flutter in the heart, deject the eyes, and enchain the tongue, but its mischiefs soon pass off without remembrance.
Samuel Johnson


When the Devil himself tried to study Basque, he learned only three words in seven years.
Basque proverb


Those born of sinful intercourse are not counted as children.
Legal Maxim


Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.
The Duke of Wellington: Despatch from the field of Waterloo, June, 1815

If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth.
M. I. Dragomiroff: Notes for Soldiers, c. 1890

In battle those who are most afraid are always in most danger.

The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
Patrick Henry

Battles, in these ages, are transacted by mechanism; men now even die, and kill one another, in an artificial manner.
Thomas Carlyle

Quid enim? Concurritur-horae
Momento cita mors venit, aut victoria laeta.

The battle joins, and, in a moment's flight,
Death, or a joyful conquest, ends the fight.



Well, well, General, bury these poor men, and let us say no more about it.
R. E. Lee: To General A. P. Hill after the battle of Bristoe Station, Oct. 14, 1863

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
Abraham Lincoln

On fame's eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.
Theodore O'Hara


Beware of women with beards and men without them.
Basque proverb


A spaniel, a woman, and a walnut tree,
The more they're beaten the better they be.
John Ray


Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.
John Ruskin

Why is it that beautiful women never seem to have any curiosity?

Is it because they know they're classical? With classical things the Lord finished the job. Ordinary ugly people know they're deficient and they go on looking for the pieces.

Penelope Gilliatt

Beauty and wisdom are seldom found together.
Petronius Arbiter

A holy woman may be beautiful by the gift of nature, but she must not give occasion to lust. If beauty be hers, so far from setting it off she ought rather to obscure it.

Had she deigned to remove her veil, God Himself would have fallen in love with her.
Torquato Tasso

A poor beauty finds more lovers than husbands.
George Herbert

Beauty and sadness always go together.
George MacDonald

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.
R. W. Emerson

It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.
Oscar Wilde

It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.
Chinese Proverb

Beauty is a good letter of introduction.
German Proverb

Beauty and chastity are always quarreling.
Spanish Proverb

[Beauty is] an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
Edward Gibbon

Beauty, Mr Rambler, has often overpowered the resolutions of the firm, and the reasonings of the wise, roused the old to sensibility, and subdued the rigorous to softness.
Samuel Johnson

She who is beautiful is more formidable than fire and iron.

Gaze not upon a maiden, lest her beauty be a stumbling-block to thee.
Ecclesiasticus IX, 5

How rare a thing it is to match virginity with beauty.
John Lyly

Beauty in a good woman is like fire at a distance or a sharp sword: the one does not burn, or the other wound, those who come not too close.

Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
Joseph Addison

Whenever, at a party, I have been in the mood to study fools, I have always looked for a great beauty: they always gather round her like flies around a fruit-stall.
Jean Paul Richter

The fatal gift of beauty.
Lord Byron

To marry a woman for her beauty is like buying a house for its paint.
Author unidentified

These three soon pass away: the echo, the rainbow, and the beauty of a woman.
German proverb

Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.

You will find that there are other charms than those of beauty, and other joys than the praise of fools.
Samuel Johnson

If you get simple beauty and naught else,
You get about the best thing God invents.
Robert Browning


Loath to bed, and loath to rise.
John Clarke

No bed is big enough to hold three.
German Proverb

When one begins to turn in bed it is time to turn out.
Ascribed to the Duke of Wellington

The waterbed trend was similar to the fulfillment movement, in the sense that you paid for something that was supposed to bring you happiness, but you wound up with something less fulfilling, in this case motion sickness and water damage.
Dave Barry


A husband and wife who have separate bedrooms have either drifted apart — or found happiness.
Honoré de Balzac


The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.
St. John Chrysostom

The bee that hath honey in her mouth hath a sting in her tail.
John Lyly

So the industrious bees do hourly strive
To bring their loads of honey to the hive;
Their sordid owners always reap the gains,
And poorly recompense their toils and pains.
Mary Collier


Beefsteaks and porter are gude belly mortar.
Scottish Proverb


He that drinks strong beer,
And goes to bed mellow,
Lives as he ought to live,
And dies a hearty fellow.
Author unidentified

I wish to see this beverage [beer] become common instead of the whisky which kills one-third of our citizens, and ruins their families.
Thomas Jefferson

With my beer
I sit,
While golden moments flit:
They pass
Unheeded by:
And as they fly,
Being dry,
Sit, idly sipping here
My beer.
George Arnold

There is no bad beer: some kinds are better than others.
German Proverb

Come and let me cheer your spirits,
Make you sing the songs of wisdom,
That with honor ye may praise me,
Sing the songs of beer immortal!
Elias Lonnrot, The Kalevala

Thus was brewed the beer of Northland,
At the hands of Osmo's daughter;
This the origin of brewing
Beer from Kalew-hops and barley;
Great indeed the reputation
Of the ancient beer of Kalew,
Said to make the feeble hardy,
Famed to dry the tears of women,
Make the aged young and supple,
Make the brave men ever braver,
Fill the heart with joy and gladness,
Fill the mind with wisdom-sayings,
Fill the tongue with ancient legends,
Only makes the fool more foolish.
Elias Lonnrot, The Kalevala

Beer that is not drunk has missed its vocation.
Meyer Breslau

Beer and bread make the cheeks red.
German proverb

Bread is the staff of life, but beer is life itself.
Oxfordshire proverb

I'm only here for the beer.
Advertising slogan

It's Miller time.
Miller beer


Beethoven can write music, thank God — but he can do nothing else on earth.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Keep your eyes on him [Beethoven]; he'll make the world talk of him some day.
W. A. Mozart

Beethoven is not beautiful. He is dramatic, powerful, a maker of storms, a subduer of tempests; but his speech is the speech of a self-centered egotist. He is the father of all the modern melomaniacs, who, looking into their own souls, write what they see therein — misery, corruption, slighting selfishness, and ugliness.
James Huneker


Beggars should be abolished. It annoys one to give to them, and it annoys one not to give to them.
F. W. Nietzsche

It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief.
Japanese Proverb

The beggar fears no reverse of fortune.

He [the beggar] is not expected to become bail or surety for any one. No man troubleth him with questioning his religion or politics. He is the only free man in the universe.
Charles Lamb


What we are told about the great sums got by begging is not true: the trade is overstocked.
Samuel Johnson


The beginning is half of the whole.

Every beginning is hard.
German Proverb

Well begun is half done.

"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked.

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

Lewis Carroll


I believe it because it is absurd.
Tertullian (Attributed)

We believe nothing so firmly as what we least know.
Michel de Montaigne

He does not believe [who] does not live according to his belief.
Thomas Fuller

Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
Dinah Mulock Craik

Never tell all that you know, or do all that you can, or believe all that you hear.
Portuguese Proverb

Belief forms behavior.
David Klinghoffer

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
Bertrand Russell

Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
Bertrand Russell

Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.
Alice in Wonderland (2010 film)

We believe whatever we want to believe.

Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires.
Jean de la Fontaine

We do everything by custom, even believe by it; our very axioms, let us boast of freethinking as we may, are oftenest simply such beliefs as we have never heard questioned.
Thomas Carlyle

What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.
T. H. Huxley

Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Men are nearly always willing to believe what they wish.
Julius Caesar


The believer is happy; the doubter is wise.
Hungarian proverb


The spectator and historian of [Belisarius's] exploits has observed, that amidst the perils of war, he was daring without rashness, prudent without fear, slow or rapid according to the exigencies of the moment; that in the deepest distress he was animated by real or apparent hope, but that he was modest and humble in the most prosperous fortune.
Edward Gibbon


All the church-bells made a solemn din —
A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
Ambrose Bierce


A full belly neither fights nor flies well.
George Herbert


We naturally endear to ourselves those to whom we impart any kind of pleasure, because we imagine their affection and esteem secured to us by the benefits which they receive.
Samuel Johnson


Cui bono? (to whose benefit?)
Author unidentified, though most associated with Lucius Cassius

New benefits cannot obliterate old injuries.
Niccolò Machiavelli

There is a hook in every benefit, that sticks in his jaws that takes that benefit, and draws him whither the benefactor will.
John Donne


To act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
Samuel Johnson

The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the benevolence of mankind does most good or harm.
Walter Bagehot


Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.
William Butler, of the strawberry


The best smell is bread, the best savor salt, the best love that of children.
George Herbert

The best is the enemy of the good.

It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
Winston Churchill


You also, Brutus? (Et tu, Brute!, though what Caesar said, if anything, and in what language, is uncertain)
Julius Caesar (Attributed)


The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong — but that's the way to bet.
Author unidentified

Most men (till by losing rendered sager)
Will back their own opinions by a wager.

Put up or shut up.
American saying


I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year. I usually devote to this reading the first hour after I rise every morning.
John Quincy Adams


Bibliomania, or the collecting of an enormous heap of books without intelligent curiosity, has, since libraries have existed, infected weak minds.
Isaac D'Israel


You cannot separate race, religion and culture. It will not work to say it is wrong and unlawful to insult a man's race but quite all right to spit on his god and insult the religious beliefs which form the biggest single element in his culture. In most societies the three are inextricably intermingled.
Paul Johnson

Bill Of Rights

The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. All the rest have been disposed of by judicial interpretation and legislative whittling.
H. L. Mencken

It was observed half a century ago that what is a stone wall to a layman, to a corporate lawyer is a triumphant arch. Much the same might be said of civil rights and freedoms. To the layman the Bill of Rights seems to be a stone wall against the misuse of power. But in the hands of a congressional committee, or often enough of a judge, it turns out to be so full of exceptions and qualifications that it might be a whole series of arches.
Henry Steele Commager


To play billiards well is a sign of a misspent youth.
Author unidentified


Our Grubstreet biographers … watch for the death of a great man, like so many undertakers, on purpose to make a penny of him.
Joseph Addison


Biography is one of the new terrors of death.
John Arbuthnot

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
Mark Twain

There has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful.
Samuel Johnson

Biography is the only true history.
Thomas Carlyle

Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.
Oscar Wilde

If a man is to write A Panegyrick, he may keep vices out of sight; but if he professes to write A Life, he must represent it as it was.
Samuel Johnson

If we owe regard to the memory of the dead, there is yet more respect to be paid to knowledge, to virtue, and to truth.
Samuel Johnson

Nobody likes being written about in their lifetime, it's as though the FBI and the CIA were suddenly to splash your files in the paper.
Saul Bellow

A well-written Life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
Thomas Carlyle

Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.
Benjamin Disraeli


Birds of prey do not sing.
German proverb


Birth, n. The first and direst of all disasters.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Man alone, at the moment of his birth, is cast naked upon the naked earth.
Pliny the Elder

When we are born we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools.

The first breath is the beginning of death.
Thomas Fuller

My mother groan’d! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud,
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.
William Blake

Birth And Death

For no king has had a different beginning of existence; there is for all one entrance into life, and one way out.
Wisdom of Solomon 7:5-6


For a bishop to preach, 'tis to do other folks' office, as if the steward of the house should execute the porter's or the cook's place. 'Tis his business to see that they and all other about the house perform their duties.
John Seldon

A bishop should not go to a house where he may meet a young fellow leading out a wench.
Samuel Johnson


Blame is safer than praise.
R. W. Emerson

It makes a difference whose ox is gored.
Martin Luther


[Blasphemy is] denying the being or providence of God, contumelious reproaches of our Saviour Christ, profane scoffing at the Holy Scripture, or exposing it to contempt or ridicule.
William Blackstone


Judge none blessed before his death.
Ecclesiasticus 11:28


May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour
Before the Devil knows you're dead.
Author unidentified

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.
Author unidentified

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
Author unidentified

May the Good Lord take a liking to you, … but not too soon!
Author unidentified

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

It may well be a blessing in disguise. At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.
Winston Churchill, when told that his election loss may be a blessing in disguise

The five blessings are long life, riches, serenity, the love of virtue, and the attainment of ambition.
The Hung-Fan

My God! how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy.
Thomas Jefferson

Blessings never come in pairs; misfortunes never come alone.
Chinese proverb


In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
Desiderius Erasmus


Why should I not submit with complacency to this loss of sight, which seems only withdrawn from the body without to increase the sight of the mind within?
John Milton

Then had I not been thus exil'd from light;
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but O yet more miserable!
John Milton


The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.
Tertullian, paraphrased

All blood is alike ancient.
Thomas Fuller

Not by speechifying and counting majorities are the great questions of our times to be solved — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood (Eisen und Blut).
Otto von Bismarck


I have always (at least from fifteen) thought the reputation of learning a misfortune to a woman.
Mary Wortley Montagu


Blushing is virtue's color.
John Ray


One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.
1 Kings 20:11


The body of a man is not a home but an inn — and that only briefly.

The [body], for a time the unwilling sport
Of circumstances and passion, struggles on;
Fleets through its sad duration rapidly:
Then like an useless and worn-out machine,
Rots, perishes, and passes.
P. B. Shelley


But my hatred of Bolshevism and Bolsheviks is not founded on their silly system of economics, or their absurd doctrine of an impossible equality. It arises from the bloody and devastating terrorism which they practice in every land into which they have broken, and by which alone their criminal regime can be maintained.
Winston Churchill


Reading all the good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
René Descartes

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.
G. K. Chesterton

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folk have lent me.
Anatole France

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
Oscar Wilde

I never can understand how two men can write a book together; to me that's like three people getting together to have a baby.
Evelyn Waugh

I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
Henry Kissinger, of his memoirs

If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or, as it were, fondle them — peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on their shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you will at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances.
Winston Churchill

May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, or the Phoenicians, or whoever invented books.
Thomas Carlyle

The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing; every one must be an author; some out of vanity, to acquire celebrity and raise up a name, others for the sake of mere gain.
Martin Luther

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon

A great [large] book is a great evil.
Joseph Addison

I keep to old books, for they teach me something; from the new I learn very little.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

My books are friends that never fail me.
Thomas Carlyle

Books are a triviality. Life alone is great.
Thomas Carlyle

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
G. K. Chesterton

I buy books at a geometric rate, but read only arithmetically.
Tony Daniels (c.f. Malthus)

Another damned, thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr Gibbon?
Duke of Gloucester, to Edward Gibbon

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Ecclesiastes 12:12

Ignorant asses visiting stationers' shops, their use is not to inquire for good books, but new books.
John Webster

There's no book so bad that something good may not be found in it.

Sometimes I read a book with pleasure, and detest the author.
Jonathan Swift

I showed her that books were sweet unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.
Oliver Goldsmith

Books with striking and ingenious titles are seldom worth reading.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

The one fault of really good books is that they almost always produce a great prodigy of bad ones.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.
Benjamin Disraeli

Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.
R. L. Stevenson

Books for general reading always smell badly; the odor of common people hangs about them.
F. W. Nietzsche

I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.
Woodrow Wilson

The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known.
Yoshida Kenkō

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
W. H. Auden

As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself.
John Milton

A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
John Milton

I have rather studied books than men.
Francis Bacon

Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't.
Julian Barnes

While a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well.
Terry Pratchett

Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.
Joseph Addison

The ancient books are for authors; the new ones, for readers.
Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu

The grave puts an end to flattery and artifice, and the information that we receive from books is pure from interest, fear, or ambition.
Samuel Johnson

We see that volumes [of books] may be perused, and perused with attention, to little effect; and that maxims of prudence, or principles of virtue, may be treasured in the memory without influencing the conduct.
Samuel Johnson

They liked the book the better the more it made them cry.
Oliver Goldsmith

A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is unlikely to look out.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

We really only learn from books we cannot judge. The author of a book we could really judge ought surely to be learning from us.
J. W. Goethe

Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own.
Lord Byron

"What is the use of a book", thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
Lewis Carroll

If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come.
Raymond Chandler

He was a one-book man. Some men have only one book in them; others, a library.
Sydney Smith

Your borrowers of books — those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes.
Charles Lamb

One writes only half the book; the other half is with the reader.
Joseph Conrad

The reading of good books is like a conversation with the best men of past centuries — in fact like a prepared conversation, in which they reveal only the best of their thoughts. (La lecture de tous les bons livres est comme une conversation avec les plus honêttes gens des siècles passés, qui en ont été les auteurs, et même une conversation étudiée en laquelle ils nous découvrent que les meilleures de leurs pensées.)
René Descartes

A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
Arthur Schopenhauer

A new book often seizes the attention of the publick, without any other claim than that it is new.
Samuel Johnson

But such is the present state of our literature, that the ancient sage, who thought a great book a great evil, would now think the multitude of books a multitude of evils.
Samuel Johnson

Book of Job

The book of Job is pure Arab poetry of the highest and most antique cast.
S. T. Coleridge


Here lies a bookseller, the leaf of his life being finished, awaiting a new edition, augmented and corrected.
Epitaph on the grave of Jacob Tonson


Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

A bore is one who, when you ask him, "How are you?," tells you.
Author unidentified


When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.
Eric Hoffer

Boredom is an evil that is not to be estimated lightly. It can come in the end to real despair. The public authority takes precautions against it everywhere, as against other universal calamities.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.
C. C. Colton

Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
Bertrand Russell

Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored.
George Saunders, last words

There is nothing so insupportable to man as complete repose, without passion, occupation, amusement, care. Then it is that he feels his nothingness, his isolation, his insufficiency, his dependence, his impotence, his emptiness.
Blaise Pascal

Borrowing And Lending

Borrowing is not much better than begging.
G. E. Lessing

Neither borrow money of a friend; but of a mere stranger; where paying for it, thou shalt hear of it no more: otherwise thou shalt eclipse thy credit, lose thy friend, and yet pay as dear to another.
William Cecil

The human species is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow, and the men who lend.
Charles Lamb

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

The first chance you have to avoid a loss from a foolish loan is by refusing to make it. There is no second chance.
Charlie Munger


Boxing's just show business with blood.
Frank Bruno


A boy is, of all wild beasts, the most difficult to manage.

The parent who could see his boy as he really is, would shake his head and say, "Willie is no good; I'll sell him."
Stephen Leacock

One boy is more trouble than a dozen girls.
English Proverb

The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of remarkable Christian forbearance among men — were it not for a mawkish humanitarianism, coupled with imperfect digestive powers, we should devour our young, as Nature intended.
Ambrose Bierce

A boy is a cross between a god and a goat.
Author unidentified

Boys are capital fellows in their own way, among their mates; but they are unwholesome companions for grown people.
Charles Lamb

So in some ways I'm relieved that I don't have daughters, although in other ways I envy people with daughters, because little girls tend to be thoughtful, whereas little boys tend to be — and I say this as a loving father who would not trade his son for anything in the world — jerks.
Dave Barry


We use our brains very little, and when we do, it is only to make excuses for our reflexes and instincts — only to make our acts appear more studied.
Martin H. Fischer


Red wine for children, champagne for men, and brandy for soldiers.
Otto von Bismarck


Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
Thomas Fuller

He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
Jonathan Swift

Women are partial to the brave, and they think every man handsome who is going to the [soldier's] camp or the gallows.
John Gay


Bread and cheese is gude to eat when folk can get nae ither meat.
Scottish proverb


I advise all such as have plethorick and full bodies, especially living at rest, and which are of a phlegmatick temperament, that they not only eschew the use of breakfasts, but also oftentimes content themselves with one meal in a day.
Tobias Venner

Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
Oscar Wilde


Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.
Song of Songs 4:5

Cover that bosom that I must not see: souls are wounded by such things.


Birth's gude but breeding's better.
Scottish Proverb

Brendan Behan

[Brendan Behan was] too young to die, but too drunk to live.
Rene MacColl


I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.
Blaise Pascal

Do you wish to instruct? Be brief, that the mind may catch thy precepts and the more easily retain them.

In order to speak short upon any subject, think long.
H. H. Brackenridge

That which is brief, if it be good, is good twice over.
Spanish Proverb

It is not the burden but the overburden that kills the beast.
Spanish Proverb

Brevity is the soul of wit.
William Shakespeare

Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words.
Ecclesiasticus 32:8


We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond dreams of avarice.
Samuel Johnson


Nothing to be done without a bribe I find, in love as well as law.
Susannah Centlivre


A bridegroom is a guy who has lost his liberty in the pursuit of happiness.
Author unidentified

When the bride is in the cradle the bridegroom ought to be old enough to ride a horse.
Russian proverb


In Britain, everything is policed except crime.
Mark Steyn

For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ's Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population.
Mark Steyn

[The Suez crisis] is often said to have dealt the final blow to Britain's status as a great world power. That is not true. The status had been lost in 1947. Suez simply made it plain for all the world to see.
Paul Johnson

Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role.
Dean Acheson

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o’er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.
Thomas Campbell


Socialism has been preached for so long, the British people no longer have any sense of personal responsibility.
Lord Thomson of Fleet

I consider the British as our natural enemies, and as the only nation on earth who wish us ill from the bottom of their souls. And I am satisfied that, were out continent to be swallowed up the ocean, Great Britain would be in a bonfire from one end to the other.
Thomas Jefferson

We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

No good man is a Briton. (Nemo bonus Britto est.)
Decius Magnus Ausonius


Am I my brother's keeper?
Genesis 4:9

We tell the ladies that good wives make good husbands; I believe it is a more certain position that good brothers make good sisters.
Samuel Johnson

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother.


Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.
William Tecumseh Sherman


Buddhism is a hundred times as realistic as Christianity. It is part of its living heritage that it is able to face problems objectively and coolly. It is the product of long centuries of philosophical observation.
F. W. Nietzsche

The Buddhist doctrine [is] that real riches consist not in abundance of goods but in the paucity of wants.
Alfred Marshall


Build and borrow,
A sackful of sorrow.
(Bauen und Borgen,
Ein Sack voll Sorgen.)
German Proverb

The easiest road to poverty is to build many houses.
The Greek Anthology


Light burdens, long borne, grow heavy.
George Herbert

None knows the weight of another’s burden.
George Herbert

The white man's burden.
Rudyard Kipling


I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Thomas Jefferson

The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
Eugene McCarthy

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
Milton Friedman

The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.
Robert Conquest

It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life.
Alexis de Tocqueville

If we do not halt this steady process of building commissions and regulatory bodies and special legislation like huge inverted pyramids over every one of the simple constitutional provisions, we shall soon be spending many billions of dollars more.
F. D. Roosevelt


All I desire for my own burial is not to be buried alive.
Lord Chesterfield

And times without number it happened that two priests would be on their way to bury someone, holding a cross before them, only to find that bearers carrying three or four additional biers would fall in behind them; so that whereas the priests had thought they only had one burial to attend to, they in fact had six or eight, and sometimes more.

(E infinite volte avvenne che, andando due preti con una croce per alcuno, si misero tre o quatro bare, da'portatori portate, di dietro a quella: e, dove un morto credevano avere i preti a seppilire, n'avevano sei o otto e tal fiate pií.)

Boccaccio, during the Black Death


[I]n time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties … Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
Laurence J. Peter, commonly referred to as the Peter Principle

The basic concept of the Dilbert Principle is that the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management.
Scott Adams

If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.
Bertrand Russell

Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.
Winston Churchill

Businessmen are notable for a peculiarly stalwart character, which enables them to enjoy without loss of self-reliance the benefits of tariffs, franchises, and even outright government subsidies.
Herbert J. Muller

The egalitarianism of the present tax structure is thought to be seriously dampening individual effort, initiative, and inspiration … [it] destroys ambition, penalizes success, discourages investment to create new jobs, and may well turn a nation of risk-taking entrepreneurs into a nation of softies.
Fred Maytag II

Planned Economy: Where everything is included in the plans except economy.
Carey McWilliams

No matter what you think your job is, your job is to make your boss's life easier.
Author unidentified

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
Northcote Parkinson ("Parkinson's Law")

A man's work is his dilemma: his job is his bondage, but it also gives him a fair share of his identity and keeps him from being a bystander in somebody else's world.
Melvin Maddocks

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, it's a depression when you lose your own.
Harry S. Truman

He had talents equal to business, and aspired no higher.

Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.
John Maynard Keynes

If you owe the bank a million dollars, you have a problem; if you owe the bank a hundred million dollars, the bank has a problem.
Author unidentified (updated for current currency values)

[The] clamour and sophistry of merchants and manufacturers easily persuade [the people], that the private interest of a part, and of a subordinate part, of the society, is the general interest of the whole.
Adam Smith

To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.

The most sensible people to be met with in society are men of business and of the world, who argue from what they see and know, instead of spinning cobweb distinctions of what things ought to be.
William Hazlitt

My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.
Oscar Wilde

In thousands of years there has been no advance in public morals, in philosophy, in religion or in politics, but the advance in business has been the greatest miracle the world has ever known.
E. W. Howe

When I hear artists or authors making fun of business men I think of a regiment in which the band makes fun of the cooks.
Author unidentified


None are so busy as the fool and knave.
John Dryden

He that is busy is tempted by but one devil; he that is idle, by a legion.
Thomas Fuller

The busiest men have the most leisure.
English Proverb

The busy have no time for tears.

Who is more busy than he that hath least to do?
John Clarke

The busier we are, the more acutely we feel that we live, the more conscious we are of life.
Immanuel Kant

Those who have most to do, and are willing to work, will find the most time.
Samuel Smiles


It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis

For A to sit down and think, What shall I do? is commonplace; but to think what B ought to do is interesting, romantic, moral, self-flattering, and public-spirited all at once. It satisfies a great number of human weaknesses at once. To go on and plan what a whole class of people ought to do is to feel one's self a power on earth, to win a public position, to clothe one's self in dignity. Hence we have an unlimited supply of reformers, philanthropists, humanitarians, and would-be managers-in-general of society.
William Graham Sumner


One butcher does not fear many sheep.
Ascribed to Alexander the Great


Let the buyer beware. (Caveat emptor.)
Legal Maxim

Buying And Selling

There are more fools among buyers than among sellers.
French proverb


Cabbage twice cooked is death.
Greek Proverb.


You can’t eat your cake and have it. [Alternative version, "Wouldst thou both eat thy cake and have it?"]
English proverb


To have been happy adds to the calamity.
John Fletcher

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Ambrose Bierce


California's like an artificial limb the rest of the country doesn't really need.
Saul Bellow


Keep calm and carry on.
Author unidentified. The text appears on a British World War II poster that was apparently never used.


Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
William Shakespeare

A man calumniated is doubly injured — first by him who utters the calumny, and then by him who believes it.

Calumny disregarded is soon forgotten by the world, but if you get into a passion about it, it seems to have a foundation of truth about it.

As there is no mountain without mist, so there is no man of merit without calumniators.
Turkish proverb

Calumnies are answered best with silence.
Ben Johnson


The peasants either use a horse and a camel, a burro and a camel, a bull and a camel, or a bull and a horse. I am informed that they cannot use two camels because they fight each other. Any animal hooked up with a camel becomes disgusted and loses interest in life.
George S. Patton, Jr.


I wish the British Government would give you Canada at once. It is fit for nothing but to breed quarrels.
Lord Ashburton

Canada could have enjoyed:
English government,
French culture,
and American know-how.
Instead it ended up with:
English know-how,
French government,
and American culture.
John Robert Colombo

England would be better off without Canada; it keeps her in a prepared state for war at a great expense and constant irritation.
Napoleon I


Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States.
J. Bartlet Brebner


'Yes,' I answered you last night;
'No,' this morning, sir, I say.
Colours seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Choose not a woman nor a linen cloth by the candle.
James Sandford


Cannibals have the same notions of right and wrong that we have. They make war in the same anger and passion that move us, and the same crimes are committed everywhere. Eating fallen enemies is only an extra ceremonial. The wrong does not consist in roasting them, but in killing them.


Cannons and firearms are cruel and damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of the devil.
Martin Luther


Capital must be propelled by self-interest; it cannot be enticed by benevolence.
Walter Bagehot

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights.
Abraham Lincoln

Capital And Labor

Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital.
Pope Leo XIII


Those who pillory capitalism for "creating artificial needs" strike me as timid and dismal souls. You might just as well denounce Monet for creating an "artificial need" for Impressionism.
Paul Johnson

Despite the miracles of capitalism, it doesn't do well in popularity polls. One of the reasons is that capitalism is always evaluated against the non-existent, non-realizable utopias of socialism or communism. Any earthly system, when compared to a Utopia, will pale in comparison. But for the ordinary person, capitalism, with all of its warts, is superior to any system yet devised to deal with our everyday needs and desires.
Walter E. Williams

Industrial capitalism simply evolved, from the free and uncoordinated transactions and unimpeded movements of countless unknown individuals. It was not a political creation at all.
Paul Johnson

Industrial capitalism has done more to promote content among mankind than any other man-made phenomenon in history.
Paul Johnson

The market is the only kind of collective which conforms to nature and actually works after a fashion, because it is based upon the voluntary principle and remains a free combination of individuals.
Paul Johnson

We may indeed ask ourselves how it is that capitalism and free enterprise enable the United States not only to support its vast and varied life and needs, but also to supply these enormous sums to lighten the burden of others in distress.
Winston Churchill

Capitalism And Socialism

It is one of history's great ironies that capitalists built decent and humane societies on the basis of an amoral approach to the economics of pricing, whereas socialists built exploitative and inhumane societies on the basis of a morally inflamed approach to economics.
Kevin D. Williamson

When losses are made, under the present system those losses are borne by the individuals who sustained them and took the risk and judged things wrongly, whereas under State management all losses are quartered upon the taxpayers and the community as a whole. The elimination of the profit motive and of self-interest as a practical guide in the myriad transactions of daily life will restrict, paralyse and destroy British ingenuity, thrift, contrivance and good housekeeping at every stage in our life and production, and will reduce all our industries from a profit-making to a loss-making process.
Winston Churchill

When I see the present Socialist Government denouncing capitalism in all its forms, mocking with derision and contempt the tremendous free enterprise capitalist system on which the mighty production of the United States is founded, I cannot help feeling that as a nation we are not acting honourably or even honestly.
Winston Churchill

The choice is between two ways of life: between individual liberty and State domination; between concentrations of ownership in the hands of the State and the extension of ownership over the widest number of individuals; between the dead hand of monopoly and the stimulus of competition; between a policy of increasing restraint and a policy of liberating energy and ingenuity; between a policy of leveling down and a policy of opportunity for all to rise upwards from a basic standard.
Winston Churchill


The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.
Willi Schlamm


It offends my eyes to see rome, france, caesar, henry the fourth, etc., begin with small letters; and I do not conceive there can be any reason for doing it half so strong as the reason of long usage is to the contrary
Lord Chesterton


I am sorry I have not learned to play at cards. It is very useful in life: it generates kindness and consolidates society.
Samuel Johnson

From such assemblies (card games), in whatever humour I happened to enter them, I was quickly forced to retire; they were too trifling for me, when I was grave, and too dull, when I was cheerful.
Samuel Johnson


Small cares speak; great ones are dumb.

Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie.

It is a great mistake to suppose that all care is wakeful. People sometimes sleep, as well as wake, by reason of their sorrow.
Leigh Hunt

What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.

I am sure care’s an enemy to life.


If you can't be good be careful.
American Proverb

Be careful, and you will save many men from the sin of robbing you.
E. W. Howe


The wife of a careless man is almost a widow.
Hungarian Proverb

Careless she is with artful care,
Affecting to seem unaffected.
William Congreve

Caroline of England

Most gracious queen, we thee implore
To go away and sin no more,
But if that effort be too great,
To go away at any rate.
Anonymous: Verse circulated in London on the trial of Queen Caroline for adultery, 1820.


People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
Adam Smith

In a free trade, an effectual combination cannot be established but by the unanimous consent of every single trader, and it cannot last longer than every single trader continues of the same mind. The majority of a corporation can enact a bye-law, with proper penalties, which will limit the competition more effectually and more durably than any voluntary combination whatever.
Adam Smith


That country [Carthage] was rapidly sinking into the state of barbarism from whence it had been raised by the Phoenician colonies and Roman laws; and every step of intestine discord was marked by some deplorable victory of savage man over civilized society.
Edward Gibbon


Hard cases make bad law.
English proverb


In God we trust; all others must pay cash.
American Saying


There is a demand today for men who can make wrong appear right.
Terrence, c. 160 B.C.


When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

Stately, kindly, lordly friend
Here to sit by me.
Algernon Charles Swinburne, To a Cat.

Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of £10. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat.
Rule 46, Oxford Union Society (circa 1997)

I've never understood why women love cats. Cats are independent, they don't listen, they don't come in when you call, they like to stay out all night, and when they're home they like to be left alone and sleep. In other words, every quality that women hate in a man, they love in a cat.
Jay Leno

If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
Mark Twain

Cats are cleverer than we think, but less clever than they think.
Author unidentified

When the cat's away the mice will play.
English proverb

Cat mighty dignified till de dog come by.
American negro proverb

Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched.

In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.
Sir Terry Pratchett


Luther, taking up a caterpillar, said: 'Tis an emblem of the devil in its crawling walk, and bears his colors in its changing hue.
Martin Luther


If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors' victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation it will triumph.
T. S. Eliot

The best causes tend to attract to their support the worst arguments.
R. A. Fisher

Cause And Effect

The thorns which I have reap'd are of the tree I planted.

After this, therefore because of this. (Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.)
Latin Phrase (A familiar logical fallacy)

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
Hosea 8:7 (KJV)

The most important events are often determined by trivial causes.

No man has a right to repine at evils which, against warning, against experience, he deliberately and leisurely brings upon his own head.
Samuel Johnson


The cautious seldom make mistakes.

Think much and often, speak little, and write less.
Italian Proverb

If not chastely, then at least cautiously. (Nisi caste, saltem caute.)
Latin Proverb

Drive carefully. We have two cemeteries [but] no hospital.
Billboard outside of Branxton, New South Wales

Look before you leap.
English proverb

If your lips would keep from slips
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak, of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Author unidentified

The most cautious woman gets the reputation of being the most chaste.
Spanish proverb


A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
H. L. Mencken


Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horsepond.
Thomas Love Peacock

The interdiction of marriage to priests was an act of impious tyranny, not only contrary to the word of God, but at war with every principle of justice.
John Calvin

They that have grown old in a single state are generally found to be morose, fretful and captious, tenacious of their own practices and maxims.
Samuel Johnson

The Church of Rome have an idea that the pope is St. Peter's successor, and that the clergy ought not to marry. But I would ask, if it was lawful for St. Peter to have a wife, why not lawful for a priest or other preacher to have one?
Lorenzo Dow


The Celts or Sidonides are an old family, of whose beginning there is no memory, and their end is likely to be still more remote in the future; for they have endurance and productiveness.
R. W. Emerson


The fence around a cemetery is foolish, for those inside can't get out and those outside don't want to get in.
Arthur Brisbane

He who seeks equality should go to a cemetery.
German Proverb


The first thing will be to establish a censorship of fiction. Let the censors accept any tale that is good, and reject any that is bad.

If there had been a censorship of the press in Rome we should have had today neither Horace nor Juvenal, nor the philosophical writings of Cicero.

I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question like this can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion?
Thomas Jefferson

There is no time in history [when] the people who were censoring speech were the good guys.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

In order to keep any coherence in the governmental process, to prevent the wildest anarchy in thought and act, the government must put limits upon the free play of opinion. In part, it can reach that end by mere propaganda, by the bald force of its authority — that is, by making certain doctrines officially infamous.
H. L. Mencken

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
Heinrich Heine

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
John Stuart Mill


Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
Jonathan Swift

I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.
Thomas Jefferson

I am now too old to be much pained by hasty censure.
Samuel Johnson


If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption.
Thomas Jefferson

To bring about government by oligarchy, masquerading as democracy, it is fundamentally essential that practically all authority and control be centralized in our national government. The individual sovereignty of our states must first be destroyed.
F. D. Roosevelt


Cerberus, n. The watch-dog of Hades, whose duty it was to guard the entrance — against whom or what does not clearly appear; everybody, sooner or later, had to go there, and nobody wanted to carry off the entrance.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The hound of hell, in Greek, is called Cerberus; in Hebrew, Scorphur: he has three throats — sin, the law, and death.
Martin Luther


The public, with its mob yearning to be instructed, edified and pulled by the nose, demands certainties; it must be told definitely and a bit raucously that this is true and that is false. But there are no certainties.
H. L. Mencken

If you forsake a certainty and depend on an uncertainty, you will lose both the certainty and the uncertainty.
Sanskrit Proverb

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Bertrand Russell

Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.
Bertrand Russell

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.
Laurens Van der Post

If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused.
Walter Mondale

A mind [David Howell's] not so much open as permanently vulnerable to a succession of opposing certainties.
W. Somerset Maugham

Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.
Clarence Darrow


A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced, the imagination is agreeably stirred, the wits become more nimble. A bottle produces a contrary effect.
Winston Churchill


The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
Ecclesiastes 9:11

A wise man turns chance into good fortune.
Thomas Fuller

A man, thus cut off from the prospect of that port to which his address and fortitude had been employed to steer him, often abandons himself to chance and to the wind, and glides careless and idle down the current of life, without resolution to make another effort, till he is swallowed up by the gulph of mortality.
Samuel Johnson


Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.

There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Everything changes but the avant-garde.
Paul Valéry

The more that things change, the more we need to depend upon those things that never change.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin

If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting. You want change, make some.
Courtney C. Stevens

Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spots?
Jeremiah 23:13

All things are changed, and we change with them. (Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis.)
Lothair I

Times change and men deteriorate. (Tempora mutantur et homines deteriorantur.)
The Gesta Romanorum

Woman, wind, and luck soon change.
Portuguese proverb

When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
Lucius Cary (Viscount Falkland)

Such is the state of life that none are happy but by the anticipation of change. The change itself is nothing: when we have made it the next wish is to change again.
Samuel Johnson

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
Thomas à Kempis

Only the most intelligent and the most stupid do not change.
Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)

In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
John Henry Cardinal Newman


Life doesn't happen in chapters — at least, not regular ones. Nor do movies. Homer didn't write in chapters. I can see what their purpose is in children's books ("I'll read to the end of the chapter, and then you must go to sleep") but I'm blessed if I know what function they serve in books for adults.
Terry Pratchett


There are things about me you wouldn't understand, things you couldn't understand, things you shouldn't understand.
Pee Wee Herman

The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's.
Jean Paul Richter

If I keep my good character, I shall be rich enough.

There is something even more valuable to civilization than wisdom, and that is character.
H. L. Mencken

The older I grow the less I esteem mere ideas. In politics, particularly, they are transient and unimportant … There are only men who have character and men who lack it.
H. L. Mencken

Mankind is made up of inconsistencies, and no man acts invariably up to his predominant character. The wisest man sometimes acts weakly, and the weakest sometimes wisely.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
When health is lost, something is lost;
When character is lost, all is lost!
Author unidentified

But the human character, however it may be exalted or depressed by a temporary enthusiasm, will return by degrees to its proper and natural level, and will resume those passions that seem the most adapted to its present condition.
Edward Gibbon

There never could be a man so brave that he would not sometime, or in the end, turn part or all coward; or so wise that he was not, from beginning to end, part ass if you knew where to look; or so good that nothing at all about him was despicable.
James Gould Cozzen

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden

Tell me with whom you consort and I will tell you who you are; if I know how you spend your time, then I know what might become of you.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is in trifles, and when he is off his guard, that a man best shows his character.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Your character depends largely upon what the public doesn't know about you.
Author unidentified

One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works.
Meister Eckhart

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds; and until we know what has been or will be the peculiar combination of outward with inward facts, which constitute a man's critical actions, it will be better not to think ourselves wise about his character.
George Eliot


With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln

Charity and pride have different aims, yet both feed the poor.
Thomas Fuller

He gives twice that gives soon; i.e., he will soon be called to give again.
Benjamin Franklin

I cannot describe to you the despairing sensation of trying to do something for a man who seems incapable or unwilling to do anything further for himself.

Do not tell me of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
R. W. Emerson

With one hand I take thousands of rubles from the poor, and with the other I hand back a few kopecks.
Leo Tolstoy

The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.
William Hutton

It was his doctrine that the poor
Were always able, never willing;
And so the beggar at the door
Had first abuse and then a shilling.
W. M. Praed

Whatever capital you divert to the support of to a shiftless and good-for-nothing person is so much diverted from some other employment, and that means from somebody else.
W. G. Sumner

I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.
Grover Cleveland

Charity begins at hame, but shouldna end there.
Scottish Proverb

Charity cannot take the place of justice unfairly withheld.
Pope Pius XI

But how shall we expect charity towards others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves? Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world; yet is every man his greatest enemy, and, as it were, his own executioner.
Sir Thomas Browne

"To wipe all tears from off all faces," is a task too hard for mortals; but to alleviate misfortunes is often within the most limited power: yet the opportunities which every day affords of relieving the most wretched of human beings are overlooked and neglected, with equal disregard of policy and goodness.
Samuel Johnson

Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.
George Sand

Charles Dickens

Mr. Dickens writes too often and too fast …. If he persists much longer in this course, it requires no gift of prophecy to foretell his fate he has risen like a rocket, and he will come down like a stick.
Anonymous review 1838

Dickens was the incarnation of cockneydom, a caricaturist who aped the moralist; he should have kept to short stories. If his novels are read at all in the future people will wonder what we saw in him.
George Meredith

He [Charles Dickens] describes London like a special correspondent for posterity.
Walter Bagehot

Charles I

His [Charles I] policy was a series of intrigues which failed, and a succession of bargains in which he asked much, offered little, and got nothing.
C. H. Firth


Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world will let them.
Logan Pearsall Smith

All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.
Oscar Wilde


Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.
Saint Augustine

Chaste makes waste.
Author unidentified

An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

Although the progress of civilization has undoubtedly contributed to assuage the fiercer passions of human nature, it seems to have been less favorable to the virtue of chastity … The refinements of life corrupt while they polish the intercourse of the sexes.
Edward Gibbon

A reputation for chastity is necessary to a woman. Chastity itself is also sometimes useful.
Author unidentified

It is possible to meet with women who have never had an affair of gallantry; but it is rare to find any who have had only one.
La Rochefoucauld

Your women of honor, as you call 'em, are only chary of their reputations, not their persons; and 'tis scandal that they would avoid, not men.
William Wycherley

A woman's resistance is no proof of her virtue; it is much more likely to be a proof of her experience. If we spoke sincerely, we should have to confess that our first impulse is to yield; we only resist on reflection.
Ninon D'Enclos

Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality; it strikes at the root of all domestic happiness, and consigns more than half of the human race to misery.
P. B. Shelley: Queen Mab, notes, 1813

The most virtuous woman always has something within her that is not quite chaste.
Honoré de Balzac

Che Guevara

Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom. He helped establish an unjust social system in Cuba and has been erected into a symbol of social justice. He stood for the ancient rigidities of Latin-American thought, in a Marxist-Leninist version, and he has been celebrated as a freethinker and a rebel.
Paul Berman


What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
Thomas Paine


He that cheats me once, shame on him; he that cheats me twice, shame on me. (He that cheats me ance, shame fa' him; he that cheats me twice; shame fa' me.)
Scottish Proverb

'Tis no sin to cheat a cheater. (Fallere fallentem non est fraus.)
Medieval Latin Proverb

And while a rightful claim to pleasure or to affluence must be procured either by slow industry or uncertain hazard, there will always be multitudes whom cowardice or impatience incite to more safe and more speedy methods, who strive to pluck the fruit without cultivating the tree, and to share the advantages of victory without partaking the danger of the battle.
Samuel Johnson


See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!


Be cheerful while you are alive.

Health and cheerfulness mutually beget each other.
Joseph Addison


Life's too short for chess.
Henry J. Byron

[Chess is a] foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time.
George Bernard Shaw


Chicago has a strange metaphysical elegance of death about it.
Claes Oldenburg


The child is not the mere creature of the state.
U.S. Supreme Court, 1925

A child is a lifetime of worry.
Author unidentified

Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
P. J. O'Rourke

Teach your child to hold his tongue, he'll learn fast enough to speak.
Author unidentified

A child tells in the street what its father and mother say at home.
The Talmud

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!

A naughty child is better sick than whole.
George Herbert

The fundamental theory of liberty upon which governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state.
Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Oregon school case, 1925


Grow up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

The childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day.
John Milton

It is customary, but I think it is a mistake, to speak of happy childhood. Children are often overanxious and acutely sensitive. Man ought to be man and master of his fate; but children are at the mercy of those around them.
John Lubbock (Lord Avebury)


The childless escape much misery.

It is horrible to see oneself die without children.
Napoleon I


I am married to Beatrice Salkeld, a painter. We have no children, except me.
Brendan Behan

Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children.
Author unidentified

Anybody who hates children and dogs can't be all bad.
W. C. Fields

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
Oscar Wilde

Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
Author unidentified

I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
Robert Orben

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
Rita Rudner

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mark 10:14

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises.
Francis Bacon

When children stand quiet they have done some ill.
George Herbert

We are given children to test us and make us more spiritual.
George F. Will

Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.
Robert Byrne

Every generation faces a barbarian invasion in the form of its own children, who need to be civilized.
Attributed to Irving Kristol

It was no wonder that people were so horrible when they started life as children.
Kingsley Amis

It's never the right time to have kids, but it's always the right time for screwing. God's not a dumb shit. He knows how it works.
Samuel Halpern

Children's tongues are filled with questions,
Children cannot speak in wisdom.
Elias Lonnrot, The Kalevala

It is a great happiness to see our children rising round us, but from that good fortune spring the bitterest woes of man.

What greater grief can there be for mortals than to see their children dead?

Children and chickens would ever be eating.
Thomas Tusser

Children are poor men's riches.
English Proverb

Children are certain cares and uncertain comforts.
English Proverb

Late children, early orphans.
Benjamin Franklin

Children have neither a past nor a future. Thus they enjoy the present — which seldom happens to us.
Jean de la Bruyère

Children should be seen and not heard.
English Proverb

All children are by nature evil, and while they have none but the natural evil principle to guide them, pious and prudent parents must check their naughty passions in any way that they have in their power, and force them into decent and proper behavior and into what are called good habits.
Martha Mary Butt

Children need models more than they need critics.
Joseph Joubert

Children are never too tender to be whipped: — like tough beefsteaks, the more you beat them the more tender they become.
E. A. Poe

Children are a torment, and nothing else.
Lyof N. Tolstoy

There are many loving parents in the world, but no loving children.
Chinese Proverb

A house without children is only a cemetery.
Sanskrit Proverb

The dearest child of all is the dead one.
Spanish Proverb

Little children, little sorrows; big children, great sorrows. (Variation: Small child, small problems. Big child, big problems.)
Danish Proverb

Is it not a fundamental error to consider children as innocent beings, whose little weaknesses may perhaps want some correction, rather than as beings who bring into the world a corrupt nature and evil dispositions, which it should be the great end of education to rectify?
Hannah More

Envy the kangaroo. That pouch setup is extraordinary; the baby crawls out of the womb when it is about two inches long, gets into the pouch, and proceeds to mature. I'd have a baby if it would develop in my handbag.
Rita Rudner


But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
Edmund Burke


The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.
Thomas Jefferson


May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Nelson Mandela

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.
J. K. Rowling

Was there ever in anyone's life span a point free in time, devoid of memory, a night when choice was any more than the sum of all the choices gone before?
Joan Didion

Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.
Henry Ford, on the Model T Ford


The Christians are unhappy men who are persuaded that they will survive death and live forever; in consequence, they despise death and are willing to sacrifice their lives to their faith.

Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian.

To make one a complete Christian he must have the works of a papist, the words of a Puritan, and the faith of a Protestant.
James Howell

I have sent for you that you may see how a Christian can die.
Joseph Addison, on his deathbed

A very heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a sad, good Christian at her heart.
Alexander Pope

I think all Christians, whether papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.
Samuel Johnson

Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
That all the Apostles would have done as they did.

Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens.
Daniel Webster

Christianity is the bastard progeny of Judaism. It is the basest of all national religions.

The Christian religion teaches me two points — that there is a God whom men can know, and that their nature is so corrupt that they are unworthy of Him.
Blaise Pascal

I would believe in Christianity if it dated from the beginning of the world.
Napoleon I

Offences by Christians are far more abominable than those by the heathen.
Martin Luther


To be mistaken in believing that the Christian religion is true is no great loss to anyone; but how dreadful to be mistaken in believing it to be false!
Blaise Pascal

It is no fault of Christianity that a hypocrite falls into sin.
Saint Jerome

I discovered that the calamities of mankind during the Christian centuries occurred not because men and women practiced Christianity but because they failed to do so. Bad as it was with religion, mankind would be infinitely worse without it.
Paul Johnson

A shipwrecked sailor, landing on a lonely beach, observed a gallows. "Thank God," he exclaimed, "I am in a Christian country!
Author unidentified

Christianity teaches a man to spend the best part of his life preparing for the worst.
Author unidentified

The man who gave them their name, Christus, had been executed during the rule of Tiberius by the [prefect] Pontius Pilatus. The pernicious superstition had been temporarily suppressed, but it was starting to break out again, not just in Judaea, the starting point of the curse, but in Rome as well, where all that is abominable and shameful in the world flows together and gains popularity. And so, at first, those who confessed were apprehended, and subsequently, on the disclosures they made, a huge number were found guilty — more because of their hatred of mankind than because they were arsonists.

Of all the religions ever devised by the great practical jokers of the race, [Christianity] is the one that offers most for the least money, so to speak, to the inferior man. It starts out by denying his inferiority in plain terms: all men are equal in the sight of God. It ends by erecting that inferiority into a sort of actual superiority: it is a merit to be stupid, and miserable, and sorely put upon — of such are the celestial elect.
H. L. Mencken


Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat;
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you.
Old English Carol

Christmas is the Disneyfication of Christianity.
Don Cupitt

Christopher Columbus

When he [Christopher Columbus] started out he didn't know where he was going, when he got there he didn't know where he was, and when he got back he didn't know where he had been.
Author unidentified

Christopher Marlowe

Marlowe was happy in his buskin Muse —
Alas, unhappy in his life and end;
Pity it is that wit so ill should dwell,
Wit lent from Heaven, but vices sent from Hell.


Dear mother, dear mother, the church is cold,
But the ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm.
William Blake

We must recall that the Church is always 'one generation away from extinction.'
George Carey

Church and State

Christianity, with its doctrine of humility, of forgiveness, of love, is incompatible with the state, with its haughtiness, its violence, its punishments, its wars.
Lyof N. Tolstoy


Sublime tobacco! which from East to West,
Cheers the tar's labor or the Turkman's rest;
Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Like other charmers wooing the caress,
More dazzling when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more adore by far
Thy naked beauties — Give me a cigar!

And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.
Rudyard Kipling


I never was truly my own master; but was always controlled by circumstances.

Circumstantial Evidence

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.
H. D. Thoreau


A good circus is an oasis of Hellenism in a world that reads too much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful.
Oscar Wilde


Civis, the most honorable name among the Romans; a citizen, a word of contempt among us.
Jonathan Swift


I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
Steve McQueen

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
Thomas Jefferson

I was rear'd
In the great city, pent mid cloisters dim,
And saw naught lovely but the sky and stars.
S. T. Coleridge

If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; if you would know, and not be known, live in a city.
C. C. Colton

A great city, a great solitude. (Magna civitas, magna solitudo.)
Latin Proverb

God the first garden made, and the first city Cain.
Abraham Cowley

Civic Duty

From a very early age, I had imbibed the opinion, that it was every man's duty to do all that lay in his power to leave his country as good as he had found it.
William Cobbett

Civil Service

The business of the Civil Service is the orderly management of decline.
William Armstrong

Civil War

Thus ended the great American Civil War, which upon the whole must be considered the noblest and least avoidable of all the great mass conflicts of which till then there was record.
Winston Churchill

Say to the seceded States, "Wayward sisters, depart in peace."
Winfield Scott


Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
George Washington


Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.
Arnold Toynbee

Yet the experience of four thousand years should enlarge our hopes, and diminish our apprehensions: we cannot determine to what height the human species may aspire in their advances towards perfection; but it may safely be presumed, that no people, unless the face of nature is changed, will relapse into their original barbarism.
Edward Gibbon

Civilization is an enormous improvement on the lack thereof.
P. J. O'Rourke

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.
Will Durant

Civilization is not an evolution of mankind but the imposition of human good on human evil. It is not a historical inevitability. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, because evil doesn't recede willingly before the wheels of progress.
Andrew McCarthy

Some of us worry about a resurgent Islam and its attendant complications for a decayed Western civilization; some of us worry about global warming. In twenty years' time, one of us will be proved right.
Dennis Prager (Attributed)

Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.
Jean-François Revel

There is the moral of all human tales;
'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glory — when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption — barbarism at last.
Lord Byron

We think our civilization near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star.
R. W. Emerson

Civilization is carried on by superior men, and not by people in the mass; if nature sends no such men, civilization declines.
Victor Duruy

All the civilizations we know have been created and directed by small intellectual aristocracies, never by people in the mass. The power of crowds is only to destroy.
Gustave Lebon

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
Samuel Johnson

The three great elements of modern civilization, gunpowder, printing, and the Protestant religion.
Thomas Carlyle

The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops — no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


A charlatan makes obscure what is clear; a thinker makes clear what is obscure.
Hugh Kingsmill

I prefer clarity to agreement.
Dennis Prager


The class distinctions simply result from the different degrees of success with which men have availed themselves of the chances which were presented to them. Instead of endeavoring to redistribute the acquisitions which have been made between the existing classes, our aim should be to increase, multiply, and extend the chances.
William Graham Sumner


The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend when the wind blows over it.

That some men are poorer than others ever was and ever will be; and that many are naturally querulous and envious is an evil as old as the world.
William Petty

Many faint with toil,
That few may know the cares and woe of sloth.
P. B. Shelley

Why is one man richer than another? Because he is more industrious, more persevering, and more sagacious.
John Ruskin

It is the tendency of all social burdens to crush out the middle class, and to force society into an organization of only two classes, one at each social extreme.
W. G. Sumner


There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.
Quentin Crisp

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.
Benjamin Disraeli

Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.
Francis Bacon


To a philosophic eye the vices of the clergy are far less dangerous than their virtues.
Edward Gibbon


They [clichés] will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.
George Orwell


Choose clients as you would friends.
Charlie Munger


In northern climates you will find people who have few vices, many virtues, and much sincerity and frankness. Go southward, and you will think that you have removed altogether from morality.
C. L. de Montesquieu

I wonder that any human being should remain in a cold country who could find room in a warm one.
Thomas Jefferson

I believe we should all behave quite differently if we lived in a warm, sunny climate all the time.
Noël Coward


Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain

She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on her with a pitchfork.
Jonathan Swift

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Matthew 6:28-29


Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.
Robin Williams

[Is] cocaine habit-forming? Of course not. I ought to know. I've been using it for years.
Tallulah Bankhead

I said to a guy, I said, "Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful?", and he said, "Well, it intensifies your personality." I said, "Yes, but what if you're an asshole?"
Bill Cosby


A little whiskey to make it strong,
A little water to make it weak,
A little lemon to make it sour,
A little sugar to make it sweet.


Oh, no doubt the cod is a splendid swimmer — admirable for swimming purposes but not for eating.
Oscar Wilde


Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.
Thomas Jefferson

Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power.
George Washington


Coffee, because adulting is hard.
Author unidentified

Of all the unchristian beverages that ever passed my lips, Turkish coffee is the worst. The cup is small, it is smeared with grounds; the coffee is black, thick, unsavory of smell, and execrable in taste.
Mark Twain

Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.
Turkish Proverb


Good cognac is like a woman. Do not assault it. Coddle and warm it in your hands before you sip it.
Winston Churchill


Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


The colonial powers did not conspire against the natives. They conspired against each other. Each colonial power hated all the rest, despised their methods, rejoiced in their misfortunes and happily aggravated them when convenient. They would not cooperate even when imperative self-interest demanded it.
Paul Johnson

The Europeans have scarcely visited any coast but to gratify avarice and extend corruption; to arrogate dominion without right, and practice cruelty without incentive.
Samuel Johnson


I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.
Winston Churchill


I certainly know that a comedian can only last till he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious and I don't want either of those to happen to me til I am dead (if then).
Will Rogers


The funniest thing about comedy is that you never know why people laugh. I know what makes them laugh but trying to get your hands on the why of it is like trying to pick an eel out of a tub of water.
W. C. Fields

They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian … They're not laughing now.
Bob Monkhouse

Comedy is tragedy that happens to other people.
Angela Carter


The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

The man who expects comfort in this life must be born deaf, dumb and blind.
Turkish Proverb

Human comfort and divine comfort are of different natures: human comfort consists in external, visible help, which a man may see, hold, and feel; divine comfort only in words and promises, where there is neither seeing, hearing, nor feeling.
Martin Luther

I do not ask you much: I beg cold comfort.


He that cannot obey, cannot command.
Author unidentified

[It] is sad to remember that, when anyone has fairly mastered the art of command, the necessity for that art usually expires — either through the termination of the war or through the advanced age of the commander.
George S. Patton, Jr.

No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.
William Penn


In my experience, all very successful commanders are prima donnas, and must be so treated. Some officers require urging, others require suggestions, very few have to be restrained.
George S. Patton, Jr.


I think 'No Comment' is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.
Winston Churchill


As the sun of civilisation rose above the hills, the fair flowers of commerce unfolded, and the streams of supply and demand, hitherto congealed by the frost of barbarism, were thawed.
Winston Churchill


Committee: A group of the unfit appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.
Carl C. Byers

I've searched all the parks in all the cities — and found no statues of Committees.
G. K. Chesterton

Committee — a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Fred Allen (attributed)

Common People

If by the people you understand the multitude, the hoi polloi, 'tis no matter what they think; they are sometimes in the right, sometimes in the wrong: their judgement is a mere lottery.
John Dryden

Common Sense

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

[As] a rule, only very learned and clever men deny what is obviously true; common men have less brains, but more sense.
Walter T. Stace

Common sense is not so common.

Common sense is the best distributed commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it. (Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partagée, car chacun pense en être bien pourvu.)
René Descartes


The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it.
William H. Whyte


The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
The Communist Manifesto

Communism requires of its adherents that they arise early and participate in a strenuous round of calisthenics. To someone who wishes that cigarettes came already lit the thought of such exertion at an hour when decent people are just nodding off is thoroughly abhorrent.
Fran Lebowitz

Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals.
Clare Booth Luce

I sometimes think that the entire [Communist movement] was just a front for the cement industry.
Author unidentified

Losing you is not a loss, and keeping you is no specific gain.
Khmer Rouge slogan

For over ten years, bombs rained down on every village and hamlet in South Vietnam, and no one budged. It took the coming of a Communist 'peace' to send hundreds of thousands of people out into the South China Sea, on anything that could float, or might float, to risk dehydration, piracy, drowning.
General Vernon Walters (paraphrased)

Were it possible to have a community of property, it would soon be found that no one would toil, but that men would be disposed to be satisfied with barely enough for the supply of their physical wants, since none would exert themselves to obtain advantages solely for the use of others.
J. Fenimore Cooper

All men have an equal right to the free development of their faculties; they have an equal right to the impartial protection of the state; but it is not true, it is against all the laws of reason and equity, it is against the eternal nature of things, that the indolent man and the laborious man, the spendthrift and the economist, the imprudent and the wise, should obtain and enjoy an equal amount of goods.
Victor Cousin

Institutions grounded on Communism always have brilliant beginnings, for Communism involves a great exaltation; but they decline rapidly, for Communism is in conflict with human nature.
Ernest Renan

When two friends have a common purse, one sings and the other weeps.
Spanish Proverb

Everyone can see how communism rots the soul of a nation. How it makes it abject in peace and proves it abominable in war.
Winston Churchill

A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. … From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
Winston Churchill

I think the day will come when it will be recognized without doubt, not only on one side of the House, but throughout the civilized world, that the strangling of Bolshevism at its birth would have been an untold blessing to the human race.
Winston Churchill

If I had been properly supported in 1919, I think we might have strangled Bolshevism in its cradle, but everybody turned up their hands and said, 'How shocking!'
Winston Churchill

Fascism was the shadow or ugly child of communism … As Fascism sprang from Communism, so Nazism developed from Fascism. Thus were set on foot those kindred movements which were destined soon to plunge the world into more hideous strife, which none can say has ended with their destruction.
Winston Churchill

Fidel Castro is right. You do not quieten your enemy by talking with him like a priest, but by burning him.
Nicolae Ceauşescu


[A communist is] one who has nothing, and is eager to share it with others.
Author unidentified

What is a communist? One who hath yearnings For equal division of unequal earnings.
Ebenezer Elliott

Community Organizer

Like most people, I have no wish to live in a community organized by community organizers.
Mark Steyn

The thirteenth rule of radical tactics: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Saul Alinsky

The organizer must become schizoid, politically, in order to slip into becoming a true believer. Before men can act an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil. He knows there can be no action until issues are polarized to this degree.
Saul Alinsky

Dostoevsky said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future.
Saul Alinsky

The classic statement on polarization comes from Christ: 'He that is not with me is against me.' (Luke 11:23) He allowed no middle ground to the moneychangers in the Temple. One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.
Saul Alinsky

It should be borne in mind that the target is always trying to shift responsibility to get out of being the target. There is a constant squirming and moving and strategy … on the part of the designated target. The forces for change must keep this in mind and pin that target down securely. If an organization permits responsibility to be diffused and distributed in a number of areas, attack becomes impossible.
Saul Alinsky


The companion of an evening and the companion for life, require very different qualifications.
Samuel Johnson


The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better than himself.

He that goeth to bed with dogs ariseth with fleas.
John Sanford

A man is known by the company he keeps.
English Proverb

Keep not ill company lest you increase the number.
George Herbert

Company in distress
Makes the sorrow less.
Thomas Fuller

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

Lay aside the best book whenever you can go into the best company; and depend upon it, you change for the better.
Lord Chesterfield

Bad company corrupts good character.
1 Corinthians 15:33


Take thou heed that thou make no comparisons, and if any body happen to be praised for some brave act, or virtue, praise not another for the same virtue in his presence, for every comparison is odious.
Francis Hawkins

But how can it avail the man who languishes in the gloom of sorrow, without prospect of emerging into the sunshine of cheerfulness, to hear that others are sunk yet deeper in the dungeon of misery, shackled with heavier chains, and surrounded with darker desperation?
Samuel Johnson


If we wish to feel good, compassion is excellent. But if we want to do good, our compassion must be guided by moral standards.
Dennis Prager

We should only affect compassion, and carefully avoid having any.
La Rochefoucauld


Since I must be old and have the gout, I have long turned those disadvantages to my own account, and plead them to the utmost when they will save me from doing anything I dislike.
Horace Walpole


Of all the human qualities, the one I admire the most is competence. A tailor who is really able to cut and fit a coat seems to me an admirable man, and by the same token a university professor who knows little or nothing of the thing he presumes to teach seems to me to be a fraud and a rascal.
H. L. Mencken


The best competition I have is against myself to become better.
John Wooden


Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others.
C. S. Lewis

Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.
Author unidentified

To complain of the age we live in, to murmur at the present possessors of power, to lament the past, to conceive extravagant hopes of the future, are the common dispositions of the greatest part of mankind.
Edmund Burke


Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication, which is baffling — the incomprehensible should cause suspicion rather than admiration. Possibly this trend results from a mistaken belief that using a somewhat mysterious device confers an aura of power on the user.
Niklaus Wirth


There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me — I always feel that they have not said enough.
Mark Twain

Women are never disarmed by compliments; men always are.
Oscar Wilde


The good composer is slowly discovered, the bad composer is slowly found out.
Ernest Newman

The public doesn't want new music; the main thing that it demands of a composer is that he be dead.
Arthur Honegger

Tchaikovsky thought of committing suicide for fear of being discovered as a homosexual, but today, if you are a composer and not homosexual, you might as well put a bullet through your head.
Sergei Diaghilev


You can't stop. Composing's not voluntary, you know. There's no choice, you're not free. You're landed with an idea and you have responsibility to that idea.
Harrison Birtwhistle

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.
William Blake


[A compromise] is an agreement between two men to do what both agree is wrong.
Lord Edward Cecil


Yet we are constantly annoyed, and the legislatures are kept constantly busy, by the people who have made up their minds that it is wise and conducive to happiness to live in a certain way, and who want to compel everybody else to live in their way.
William Graham Sumner


But they [computers] are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Author unidentified

Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random numbers is, of course, in a state of sin.
John von Neumann

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.
Rick Cook

Whenever I'm on my computer, I don't type 'lol'. I type 'lqtm': 'laugh quietly to myself'. It's more honest.
Demetri Martin

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
Mitch Ratcliffe

The computer, with its multiplying forums for spontaneous free expression from e-mail to listservs and blogs, has increased facility and fluency of language but degraded sensitivity to the individual word and reduced respect for organized argument, the process of deductive reasoning.
Camille Paglia

Computers are anti-Faraday machines. He said he couldn't understand anything until he could count it, while computers count everything and understand nothing.
Ralph Cornes

Computer Programming

Real programmers don't comment their code. It was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
Author unidentified

A good programmer can overcome a poor language or a clumsy operating system, but even a great programming environment will not rescue a bad programmer.
Kernighan and Pike

[The C programming language] is a razor-sharp tool, with which one can create an elegant and efficient program or a bloody mess.
Kernighan and Pike

Sometimes a programmer confronted with a problem thinks, "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now he has two problems.
Jamie Zawinski, paraphrased

Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs. Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to to, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do.
Donald Knuth

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
Bill Gates

As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs.
Maurice Wilkes, who discovered debugging c. 1949

[The C programming language] makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows your whole leg off.
Bjarne Stroustrup

Theory is when you know something, but it doesn't work. Practice is when something works, but you don't know why. Programmers combine theory and practice: Nothing works and they don't know why.
Author unidentified

When someone says, "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I want done," give him a lollipop.
Alan Perlis

That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
Fred Brooks, Jr.

PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil, perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.
Jon Ribbens

We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.
Donald Knuth

Correctness is clearly the prime quality. If a system does not do what it is supposed to do, then everything else about it matters little.
Bertrand Meyer

The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry.
Henry Petroski

To this very day, idiot software managers measure "programmer productivity" in terms of "lines of code produced," whereas the notion of "lines of code spent" is much more appropriate.

Generally, the length of a variable name should be inversely related to its scope.
Author unidentified

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
Gerald Weinberg (Attributed)

Con Man

[Con] men have long known … that their job is not to convince skeptics but to enable the gullible to continue to believe what they want to believe.
Thomas Sowell


Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
Proverbs 26:12

Conceit causes more conversation than wit.
La Rochefoucauld

I've never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them.
Marian Evans (George Eliot)


They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife.
Jeremiah 5:8


There is nothing more likely to betray a man into absurdity than condescension.
Samuel Johnson


Why do we have to have all these third-rate foreign conductors around-when we have so many second-rate ones of our own?
Thomas Beecham


What madness to confess by day what was concealed by the darkness of night, and to relate openly what thou hast done secretly.

We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
The Book of Common Prayer


We seldom confide in those who are better than ourselves. (Nous nous confions rarement à ceux qui sont meilleurs que nous.)
Albert Camus


Positive, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Rational confidence [is] the just result of knowledge and experience.
Edward Gibbon

Confidence comes from being prepared.
John Wooden

You need confidence to play a sport well. How do you get confidence? You get confidence from playing well.
Author unidentified

I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence.
Walt Disney

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.
Abraham Lincoln


Since it is now fashionable to laugh at the conservative French Academy, I have remained a rebel by joining it.
Jean Cocteau

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Author unknown

To think for himself! Oh, my God, teach him to think like other people!
Mary Godwin Shelley, On being advised to send her son to a school where he would be taught to think for himself

The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion.
R. W. Emerson


Confusion is always the most honest response.
Marty Indik


It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
Mark Twain

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain

Oh, I don't blame Congress. If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd be irresponsible, too.
Lichty and Wagner

Being elected to Congress, though I am very grateful to our friends for having done it, has not pleased me as much as I expected.
Abraham Lincoln

We do not elect our wisest and best men to represent us in the Senate and the Congress. In general, we elect men of the type that subscribes to only one principle — to get reelected.
Terry M. Townsend

Papers say: "Congress is deadlocked and can't act." I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this country.
Will Rogers

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
Will Rogers


You have no idea how destitute of talent are more than half of the members of Congress. Nine out of ten of your ordinary acquaintances are fully equal to them.
Sergeant S. Prentiss

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


What millions died — that Caesar might be great!
Thomas Campbell

The English conquered us, but they are far from being our equals.
Napoleon I

The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow.
Chinese Proverb


A philosopher may deplore the eternal discords of the human race, but he will confess, that the desire of spoil is a more rational provocation than the vanity of conquest.
Edward Gibbon

Resistance was fatal; flight was impracticable; and the patient submission of helpless innocence seldom found mercy from the Barbarian conqueror.
Edward Gibbon

To rejoice in conquest is to rejoice in murder.

If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.
Thomas Jefferson

By adverting to the dignity of this high calling our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire: and have made the most extensive, and the only honorable conquests, not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness of the human race.
Edmund Burke


The Anglo-Saxon conscience does not prevent the Anglo-Saxon from sinning, it merely prevents him from enjoying his sin.
Salvador De Madariaga

Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.
Author unidentified

Bachelors have consciences. Married men have wives.
H. L. Mencken

Cowardice asks: Is it safe? Expediency asks: Is it politic? But Conscience asks: Is it right?
William Punshon

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Author unidentified

First [a man facing temptation] sees difficulty, then he sees the danger, then he sees wrong.
H. L. Mencken

The laws of conscience, though we ascribe them to nature, actually come from custom.
Michel de Montaigne

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
English Proverb

Conscience does make cowards of us all.

I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities;
A still and quiet conscience.
Shakespeare and John Fletcher

A man that will enjoy a quiet conscience must lead a quiet life.
Lord Chesterfield

Conscience admonishes as a friend before punishing us as a judge.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

Conscience is, in most men, an anticipation of the opinion of others.
Henry Taylor

Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis’d at first to keep the strong in awe.

Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it.
Samuel Butler


Consensus is the absence of leadership.
Margaret Thatcher

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
Margaret Thatcher

To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.
Margaret Thatcher

The herd is usually wrong.
Author unidentified


A little still she strove, and much repented,
And whispering "I will ne'er consent" — consented.
Lord Byron


If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.
Author unidentified

Grief often treads upon the Heels of Pleasure, Marry'd in Haste, we oft repent at Leisure.
Author unidentified

The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.
Winston Churchill


Because we can expect future generations to be richer than we are, no matter what we do about resources, asking us to refrain from using resources now so that future generations can have them later is like asking the poor to make gifts to the rich.
Julian Simon


Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
Alexander Pope

What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?
Abraham Lincoln

Savages are the most conservative of human beings.
A. H. Sayce


I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.
Benjamin Disraeli

[Conservatives are inclined] to believe that old wisdom is plentiful while new wisdom is scarce and suspect.
William Voegeli

The facts of life are conservative.
Author unidentified

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
Ambrose Bierce


Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
Oscar Wilde

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
Bernard Berenson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
John Maynard Keynes

Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
W. Somerset Maugham


Before the affliction is digested consolation comes too soon, and after it is digested it comes too late.
Laurence Sterne

Do not try to console a man while the corpse is still in the house.
Hebrew Proverb


The wife seldom rambles till the husband shows her the way.
John Vanbrugh

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.


No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation.
Thomas Jefferson


I hope your committee will not permit doubts as to constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation.
F. D. Roosevelt

Constructive Criticism

Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for I had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone, but to set it, Sir.
Emily Dickinson


Well, one can always consult a man and ask him, "Would you like your head cut off tomorrow?" and after he has said "I would rather not," cut it off. "Consultation" is a vague and elastic term.
Winston Churchill


Many can bear adversity, but few contempt.
Thomas Fuller

Contempt is the sharpest reproof.
H. G. Bohn

Man is much more sensitive to the contempt of others than to self-contempt.
F. W. Nietzsche


Content and riches
Seldom meet together.
Riches take thou,
Contentment I had rather.
Benjamin Franklin

The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied.

Poor and content is rich and rich enough.

When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
La Rochefoucauld

Happy the man, of mortals happiest he,
Whose quiet mind from vain desires is free;
Whom neither hopes deceive, nor fears torment,
But lives at peace, within himself content.
George Granville

The utmost we can hope for in this world is contentment; if we aim at anything higher, we shall meet with nothing but grief and disappointment.
Joseph Addison

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
Benjamin Franklin

My motto is "contented with little, yet wishing for more."
Charles Lamb

No man is content with his lot. (Nemo sua sorte contentus.)
Latin Proverb


The important thing in life is not the victory but the contest; the essential thing is not to have won but to have fought well.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin


I guess the argument of contextuality is that anything is okay as long as it's done by people who are sufficiently unlike you.
P. J. O'Rourke


Continence is a greater good than marriage. But I am aware of some that murmur: if all men should abstain from intercourse, how will the human race exist? Would that all would abstain; much more speedily would the City of God be filled, and the end of the world hastened.
St. Augustine


When we risk no contradiction,
It prompts the tongue to deal in fiction.
John Gay


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

I love to mark sad faces in fair weather,
And hear a merry laugh amid the thunder.
John Keats


The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
Bertrand Russell


I like convents, but I wish they would not admit anyone under the age of fifty.
Napoleon I


A gossip talks about others, a bore talks about himself — and a brilliant conversationalist talks about you.
Author unidentified

Learned conversation is either the affectation of the ignorant or the profession of the mentally unemployed.
Oscar Wilde

Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you.
Oscar Wilde

I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.
Oscar Wilde

When I left the dining room from sitting next to Mr. Gladstone I thought he was the cleverest man in England, but after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.
Author unidentified, but sometimes attributed to Queen Victoria

Although there exist many thousand subjects for elegant conversation, there are persons who cannot meet a cripple without talking about feet.
Ernest Bramah

"Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on.

"I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least — at least I mean what I say — that's the same thing, you know."

"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "Why, you might just as well say that 'I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see!'"

Lewis Carroll

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
George Eliot

The more the bodily pleasures decrease, the greater grows the desire for the pleasure of conversation.

The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are eager to speak.
La Rochefoucauld

If the minds of men were laid open, we should see but little difference between that of the wise man and that of the fool. The great difference is that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by suppressing some and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words.
Joseph Addison

The pleasure which men are able to give in conversation holds no stated proportion to their knowledge or their virtue.
Samuel Johnson

The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression.
Samuel Johnson

A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books.
H. W. Longfellow


A man who is converted from Protestantism to popery parts with nothing; he is only superadding to what he already had. But a convert from popery to Protestantism gives up as much of what he has held sacred as anything that he retains.
Samuel Johnson


Convictions are more dangerous to truth than lies.
F. W. Nietzsche


Too many cooks spoil the broth.
English Proverb


Cooking is the most ancient of the arts, for Adam was born hungry.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


Many hands make light work.
English Proverb

The business of life is carried on by a general co-operation; in which the part of any single man can be no more distinguished, than the effect of a particular drop when the meadows are floated by a summer shower: yet every drop increases the inundation, and every hand adds to the happiness or misery of mankind.
Samuel Johnson


In fact, it is my opinion that co-ordination is a very much-misused word and its accomplishment is difficult.
George S. Patton, Jr.


Copernicus did not publish his book until he was on his deathbed. He knew how dangerous it is to be right when the rest of the world is wrong.
Thomas B. Reed


Coquetry is of advantage only to the beautiful.

Such is your cold coquette, who can't say "No,"
And won't say "Yes," and keeps you on and off-ing.

And what, after all, is the benefit which the gay coquette obtains by her flutters? … she has companions indeed, but no lovers; for love is respectful and timorous; and where among all her followers will she find a husband?
Samuel Johnson


Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
Edward Coke

Corporations … are many lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man.
Thomas Hobbes

Corruption's not of modern date;
It hath been tried in ev'ry state.
John Gay


He'd make a lovely corpse.
Charles Dickens


I want either less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.
Ashleigh Brilliant

The only way to reduce corruption in government is to reduce the size of government.
Paul Johnson

All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.
Edmund Burke

There is not, perhaps, in all the stores of ideal anguish, a thought more painful, than the consciousness of having propagated corruption by vitiating principles, of having not only drawn others from the paths of virtue, but blocked up the way by which they should return, of having blinded them to every beauty but the paint of pleasure, and deafened them to every call but the alluring voice of the syrens of destruction.
Samuel Johnson


Their prominent national character is never to forget a benefit or an injury. For the slightest insult in Corsica, a shot. Murders are consequently very common. At the same time, no people are more grateful for benefits conferred, and they will not scruple to sacrifice their lives for the person who bestowed them.
Napoleon I


She looks like an old coach newly painted.
William Wycherley


I don't set up for being a cosmopolite, which to my mind signifies being polite to every country except your own.
Thomas Hood


What costs little is less esteemed.
Thomas Fuller


Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it.
Italian Proverb

Who cannot give good counsel? 'tis cheap, it costs them nothing.
Robert Burton


My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
Senator Carl Schurz

Long before they slump into poverty, great powers succumb to a poverty of ambition.
Mark Steyn

[A London clubman's view of the country:] A damp sort of place where all sorts of birds fly about uncooked.
Joseph Wood Krutch

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Walter Scott

I, for one, do not call the sod under my feet my country. But language, religion, laws, government, blood-identity of these makes men of one country.
S. T. Coleridge

Every man loves his own country best, even though it be Hell.
Persian Proverb

He likes the country, but in truth must own,
Most likes it, when he studies it in town.
William Cowper

When I am in the country I wish to vegetate like the country.
William Hazlitt


Courage arises in a great measure from the consciousness of strength.
Edward Gibbon

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
C. S. Lewis

Do not take counsel of your fears.
George S. Patton, Jr.

No sane man is unafraid in battle, but discipline produces in him a form of vicarious courage which, with his manhood, makes for victory.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.

Courage is a virtue only so far as it is directed by prudence.
François Fénelon

I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.
W. T. Sherman

The Lacedemonians (Spartans) are not wont to ask how many the enemy are, but where they are.
Ascribed to Agis II, King of Sparta, c. 415 B.C.

Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice.
Samuel Johnson

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because, as has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others.
Winston Churchill

Courage And Cowardice

The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.
Mark Twain

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
Mark Twain

We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Benjamin Franklin

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
William Shakespeare

To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs.

The better part of valor is discretion.
William Shakespeare

There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.
Winston Churchill

Valor, n. A soldierly compound of vanity, duty, and the gambler's hope.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.
Mark Twain

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

There grows
No herb of help to heal a coward heart.
Algernon Charles Swinburne

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
Mark Twain

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
G. K. Chesterton

I scorned the sword of Catiline, I will not quail before yours.


Is not uncertainty and inconstancy in the highest degree disreputable to a court?
Samuel Johnson

When counsel addresses an argument on the ground of natural justice to a court of law, he addresses it to the wrong tribunal. It may be a good argument for inducing the legislature to alter the law; but in a court of law all that we can deal with is the law of the land as we find it.
Mr. Justice North


The more courtesy, the more craft.
John Clarke

He may freely receive courtesies who knows how to requite them.
John Ray

Where there is o'er mickle courtesy there is little kindness.
James Kelly

An excess of courtesy is discourtesy.
Japanese Proverb


Courtship to marriage is but as the music in the playhouse till the curtain's drawn.
William Congreve


In order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.
Mark Twain

The covetous man is full of fear; and he who lives in fear will ever be a bondman.

Riches have made more covetous men than covetousness hath made rich men.
Thomas Fuller

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Exodus 20:17

Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.
Arthur Hugh Clough


Instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct.
William Shakespeare

The coward calls himself cautious. (Timidus se vocat cautum.)
Publilius Syrus

It is the act of a coward to wish for death.

Cowards fight when they can fly no further;
As doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons.

Few cowards know the extent of their fear.
La Rochefoucauld

He who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain
Can never rise and fight again.
Oliver Goldsmith

Were one-half of mankind brave and one-half cowards, the brave would be always beating the cowards. Were all brave, they would lead a very uneasy life; all would be continually fighting; but being all cowards, we go on very well.
Samuel Johnson: Boswell's Life, 1778.

It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead the rest of your life.
Irish Proverb

He was just a coward and that was the worst luck any man could have.
Ernest Hemingway


To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.

A cowardly act! What do I care about that? You may be sure that I should never fear to commit one if it were to my advantage.
Napoleon I

A curse upon cowardice and covetousness.
They breed villainy and vice, and destroy all virtue.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.
Ernest Hemingway


I teach that all men are crazy. (Doceo insanire omnes.)


Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
Alfonso the Wise, on studying the Ptolemaic system (Attributed)


The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.
Eric Hoffer


The world is naturally averse
To all the truth it sees or hears,
But swallows nonsense, and a lie
With greediness and gluttony.
Samuel Butler

Better be too credulous than too skeptical.
Chinese Proverb

Credulity is the common failing of unexperienced virtue.
Samuel Johnson

Credulity is the man’s weakness, but the child’s strength.
Charles Lamb


Wrongdoing can only be avoided if those who are not wronged feel the same indignation at it as those who are.

The greatest crimes are caused by surfeit, not by want. Men do not become tyrants in order that they may not suffer cold.

All go free when multitudes offend. (Quicquid multis peccatur, inultum est.)

What man was ever content with one crime?

Providence sees to it that no man gets happiness out of crime.
Vittorio Alfieri

Crime And Punishment

Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what of it? The first one is at least disposed of.
H. L. Mencken

The argument that capital punishment degrades the state is moonshine, for if that were true then it would degrade the state to send men to war … The state, in truth, is degraded in its very nature: a few butcheries cannot do it any further damage.
H. L. Mencken

But I wonder where we will land if trial judges begin deciding that the fact that a man has committed an atrocious crime is proof sufficient that he is not responsible for his acts.
H. L. Mencken

[The] penalty of death was abolished in the Roman empire, a law of mercy most delightful to the humane theorist, but of which the practice, in a large and vicious community, is seldom consistent with the public safety.
Edward Gibbon

It is worse than a crime, it is a blunder.
Antoine [Jacques Claude Joseph] Boulay de la Meurthe, On the execution of the Duc d’Enghien [1804]

No man who commits a crime in secret can ever be sure that he will not be detected, even though he has escaped 10,000 times in the past.

It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.
Thomas Jefferson

And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?

To equal robbery with murder is to reduce murder to robbery; to confound in common minds the gradations of iniquity, and incite the commission of a greater crime to prevent the detection of a less.
Samuel Johnson

If only murder were punished with death, very few robbers would stain their hands in blood; but when, by the last act of cruelty, no new danger is incurred, and greater security may be obtained, upon what principle shall we bid them forbear?
Samuel Johnson

The gibbet, indeed, certainly disables those who die upon it from infesting the community; but their death seems not to contribute more to the reformation of their associates, than any other method of separation.
Samuel Johnson


The learned, the judicious, the pious Boerhaave relates that he never saw a criminal dragged to execution without asking himself, "Who knows whether this man is not less culpable than me?"
Samuel Johnson

The criminal of today is the hero of our old legends.
Author unidentified

Prisoner, God has given you good abilities, instead of which you go about the country stealing ducks.
William Arabin


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

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
Oscar Wilde

Critics, as they are birds of prey, have ever a natural inclination to carrion.
Alexander Pope

A fly, sir, may sting a stately horse, and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.
Samuel Johnson

A poet that fails in writing becomes often a morose critic. The weak and insipid white wine makes at length excellent vinegar.
William Shenstone

The man who is asked by an author what he thinks of his work is put to the torture, and is not obliged to speak the truth.
Samuel Johnson

Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics.
S. T. Coleridge

Nature fits all her children with something to do: He who would write and can't write can surely review.
J. R. Lowell

The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
Mark Twain

There are men to whom the satisfaction of throwing down a triumphant fallacy is as great as that which attends the discovery of a new truth.
T. H. Huxley

Insects sting, not in malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics: they desire our blood, not our pain.
F. W. Nietzsche

[A critic is] a man who writes about things he doesn't like.
Author unidentified

A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.
Joseph Addison

The critick’s purpose is to conquer, the author only hopes to escape.
Samuel Johnson

God knows, people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp-following eunuchs of literature. They won't even whore. They're all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they're all camp-followers.
Ernest Hemingway

Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own.
Benjamin Disraeli

You know who the critics are? The men who have failed in literature and art.
Benjamin Disraeli


Taking to pieces is the trade of those who cannot construct.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

The most worthless of mankind are not afraid to condemn in others the same disorders which they allow in themselves; and can readily discover some nice difference of age, character, or station, to justify the partial distinction.
Edward Gibbon

To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.

Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.
John Wooden

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Winston Churchill

Criticism is easy and art is difficult.
P. N. Destouches

Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense.
Samuel Johnson

You may abuse a tragedy though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.
Samuel Johnson

The duty of criticism is neither to depreciate, nor dignify by partial representations, but to hold out the light of reason, whatever it may discover; and to promulgate the determinations of truth, whatever she shall dictate.
Samuel Johnson

Others are furnished by criticism with a telescope. They see with great clearness whatever is too remote to be discovered by the rest of mankind, but are totally blind to all that lies immediately before them.
Samuel Johnson

Long experience has taught me that to be criticized is not always to be wrong.
Anthony Eden


How cheerfully he [the crocodile] seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
Lewis Carroll


Observe any meetings of people, and you will always find their eagerness and impetuosity rise or fall in proportion to their numbers: when the numbers are very great, all sense and reason seem to subside, and one sudden frenzy to seize on all, even the coolest of them.
Lord Chesterfield

Large bodies are far more likely to err than individuals. The passions are inflamed by sympathy; the fear of punishment and the sense of shame are diminished by partition.
T. B. Macaulay

The individuals in a crowd, by their numbers, acquire a feeling of power which gives rein to instincts that, alone, they would have been forced to keep in check.
Gustave Lebon

And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness. (Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.)


Every noble crown is, and on earth will forever be, a crown of thorns.
Thomas Carlyle


All cruelty springs from weakness.

I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
William Shakespeare

The sins to which the Devil of Christian tradition has tempted human beings are varied indeed: apostasy, idolatry, heresy, fornication, gluttony, vanity, using cosmetics, dressing luxuriously, going to the theater, gambling, avarice, quarreling, spiritual sloth have all, at times, figured in the list. … I have looked in vain for a single instance … of the Devil tempting a human being to cruelty.
Norman Cohn

Scarcely anything awakens attention like a tale of cruelty. The writer of news never fails to tell how the enemy murdered children and ravished virgins; and if the scene of action be somewhat distant, scalps half the inhabitants of a province.
Samuel Johnson

Man is little inferior to the tiger and hyena in cruelty and savagery.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Being cruel to be kind is just ordinary cruelty with an excuse made for it. And it is right that it should be more resented, as it is.
Ivy Compton-Burnett

Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside itself — it only requires opportunity.
George Eliot


A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.
Samuel Johnson


Culture is "to know the best that has been said and thought in the world."
Matthew Arnold

Hebraism and Hellenism — between these two points of influence moves our world.
Matthew Arnold

The great law of culture is: Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
Thomas Carlyle

Culture War

As a historian I have become increasingly fascinated by the perennial culture conflict … between radicals and conservatives: between, that is, those who believe the world can be reshaped by their own unaided intelligence and those who distrust reason in isolation and think it should be anchored in prescriptive wisdom, natural law and other restraints. … If you believe in the Hegelian dialectic, this is an example of its powerful spirit in action.
Paul Johnson


I dressed him; God cured him. (Je le pansay; Dieu le guarit.)
Ambrose Paré

The cure is worse than the disease.
Philip Massinger


I don't give a shit what time you get home, just don't wake me up. That's your curfew: not waking me up.
Samuel Halpern


Curiosity is a lust of the mind.
Thomas Hobbes

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only that the cat died nobly.
Arnold Edinborough

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristicks of a vigorous intellect.
Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish not to know, but to talk. We would not take a sea voyage for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever telling.
Blaise Pascal

Envy and idleness married together begot curiosity.
Thomas Fuller

A generous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity.
Samuel Johnson

Yet it is dangerous to discourage well-intended labours, or innocent curiosity.
Samuel Johnson

The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance, than delighted by instruction. Curiosity is the thirst of the soul; it inflames and torments us, and makes us taste every thing with joy, however otherwise insipid, by which it may be quenched.
Samuel Johnson


"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice.
Lewis Carroll


Too great a quantity of cash in circulation is a much greater evil than too small a quantity.
Noah Webster


May you live in interesting times.
Author unidentified, often described as a Chinese curse

Despair, and die!
William Shakespeare

To curse is to pray to the Devil.
German Proverb

Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost.
Robert Southey


Custom does often reason overrule
And only serves for reason to the fool.
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

You say that it is your [Hindu] custom to burn widows. Very well. We [British] also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
Sir Charles Napier

Just because you don’t know why we do something doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason for it.
Jonah Goldberg

Custom without reason is only ancient error.
English Proverb

Customs, even the most foolish and the most cruel, have always their source in the real or apparent utility of the public.
C. A. Helvétius

As the good writer forbears to depart from the common use of words, so the good citizen should avoid deviating too far from custom.
G. C. Lichtenberg

The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement.
J. S. Mill

Custom reconciles us to every thing.
Edmund Burke

When I am in Rome, I fast as the Romans do; when I am at Milan, I do not fast. So likewise you, whatever church you come to, observe the custom of the place.

(Cum Romanum venio, ieiuno Sabbato; cum hic sum, non ieiuno: sic etiam tu, ad quam forte ecclesiam veneris, eius morem serva, si cuiquam non vis esse scandalum nec quemquam tibi.)

St Ambrose

It ought to be the first endeavour of a writer to distinguish nature from custom; or that which is established because it is right, from that which is right only because it is established; that he may neither violate essential principles by a desire of novelty, nor debar himself from the attainment of beauties within his view, by a needless fear of breaking rules which no literary dictator had authority to enact.
Samuel Johnson


The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness, and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.
H. W. Beecher


Cynicism — the intellectual cripple's substitute for intelligence.
Russell Lynes

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
H. L. Mencken

Cynic — a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Oscar Wilde

Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Cynicism such as one finds very frequently among the most highly educated young men and women of the West results from the combination of comfort with powerlessness.
Bertrand Russell


The person who injures another must make good five kinds of damages: loss of bodily substance or function, pain, cost of healing, loss of income, and mental anguish.
The Talmud


Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. It is, Sir, the great grandfather of cuckoldom.
Henry Fielding

Music and dancing (the more's the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.
John Herschel

Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

Listen, sister. I don't dance and I can't take time out now to learn.
Frank W. Wead

There are those who dance to the rhythm that is played to them, those who only dance to their own rhythm, and those who don't dance at all.
José Bergamín

How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Mr. Lincoln at least you're a man of honor. You said you wanted to dance with me in the worst way, and I must say that you've kept your word. That's the worst way I've ever seen.
Lamar Trotti and John Ford

Through dancing many maidens have been un-maidened, whereby I may say it is the storehouse and nursery of bastardy.
John Northbrooke

You and I are past our dancing days.

'Twas surely the Devil that taught women to dance and asses to bray.
Thomas Fuller

The greater the fool the better the dancer.
Theodore Hook

We lift up a solemn note of warning and entreaty … against dancing.
The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Promiscuous dancing is a means of fostering the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. These things are not of the Father, but are of the world.
The Northern Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland


Here be dragons.
Author unidentified

A man's wisdom is most conspicuous where he is able to distinguish among dangers and make choice of the least.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The more the danger, the more the honor.
John Fletcher

We triumph without glory when we conquer without danger.
Pierre Corneille

The danger past, and God forgotten.
John Ray

Beware of a mule's hind foot, a dog's tooth, and a woman's tongue.
C. H. Spurgeon

We have scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.

Everything that's fun in life is dangerous. … And everything that isn't fun is dangerous too. It is impossible to be alive and safe.
P. J. O'Rourke

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Patrick Moynihan is the archetypal extremely smart person who went into politics anyway instead of doing something worthwhile for his country. So maybe he owes all of us an apology …
P. J. O'Rourke

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster struck me much like a steam engine in trousers.
Sydney Smith


The dark makes every woman beautiful.

Dark Ages

The dark cloud, which had been cleared by the Phoenician discoveries, and finally dispelled by the arms of Caesar, again settled on the shores of the Atlantic, and a Roman province [Britain] was again lost among the fabulous Islands of the Ocean.
Edward Gibbon


Marry your son when you will; your daughter when you can.
George Herbert

It is harder to marry a daughter well than to bring her up well.
Thomas Fuller

The younger your daughter, the more apt she is to love you.
E. W. Howe


Dawn, n. The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

[Dawn is] that single hour of the twenty-four, when crime ceases, debauchery is exhausted, and even desolation finds a shelter.
Benjamin Disraeli


Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow! (Carpe diem, quàm minimùm credula postero.)

The day is short and the work is long.
English Proverb

Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Wait till it is night before saying it has been a fine day.
French Proverb

We have seen better days.

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
William Blake

Day and Night

The day has eyes; the night has ears.
David Fergusson


Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops.


Deacons likewise must be dignified, not two-faced, not given to excessive drinking, not greedy for gain, holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 3:8-9 (NET)


The wailing of the newborn infant is mingled with the dirge for the dead.

No one wept for the dead, because everyone expected death itself.
Agnolo di Tura

It was a time when only the dead smiled, happy in their peace.
Anna Akhmatova

And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
Ecclesiastes 4:2

Say nothing but good of the dead. (De mortuis nil nisi bonum.)
Ascribed to Solon

There are no toils for the dead.

The dead have no tears, and forget all sorrow.

The life of the dead consists in being present in the minds of the living.

Mean and mighty, rotting
Together, have one dust.

Dead men tell no tales.
English Proverb

He is gone to Kingdom come.
Francis Grose

I do not amuse myself by thinking of dead people.
Napoleon I

How very little the world misses anybody! How soon the chasm left by the best and wisest men closes!
T. B. Macaulay

If a man was great while living, he becomes tenfold greater when dead.
Thomas Carlyle

Strange, is it not, that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the road,
Which to discover we must travel too?
Edward Fitzgerald

In the democracy of the dead, all men are equal. The poor man is as rich as the richest, and the rich man as poor as the pauper. The creditor loses his usury, and the debtor is acquitted of his obligation. There the proud man surrenders his dignity; the politician his honors; the worldling his pleasures; the invalid needs no physician; the laborer rests from toil. The wrongs of time are redressed; injustice is expiated, and the irony of fate is refuted.
Author unidentified

Time was I stood where thou dost now,
And view'd the dead, as thou dost me;
Ere long thou'lt be as low as I,
And others stand and look on thee.
Epitaph at Boughton, near Northampton, England

Be happy while y'er leevin, for y'er a lang time dead.
Scottish Proverb

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf
At his heels a stone.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
Revelation 14:13

How fares it with the happy dead?
Alfred, Lord Tennyson


The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain, cable from Europe to the Associated Press

I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1 Corinthians 15:55

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin

Birth, copulation, and death.
That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks.
T. S. Eliot

Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
H. L. Mencken

We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.
Baron de Montesquieu

Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
Johnny Carson

The late F. W. H. Myers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but, on being pressed, replied: "Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn't talk about such unpleasant subjects."
Bertrand Russell

I have had a number of threatening letters each week, some telling me the actual time and method of my death, and I don't like it.
Winston Churchill, during the partition of Ireland

After death there is nothing.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Algernon Charles Swinburne

For dust you are and to dust you will return.
Genesis 3:19

Naked a man comes from his mother's womb,
and as he comes, so he departs.
Ecclesiastes 5:15

[Sara and I] have parted forever, though my ashes will soon be mingling with hers. I'll have her in mind until thought and memory adjourn, but that is all … We were happy together, but all beautiful things must end.
H. L. Mencken

The world is so ordered that we must, in a material sense, lose everything we have and love, one thing after another, until we ourselves close our eyes.
George Santayana

There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
Brendan Behan

What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
Dave Barry

He was released from the miseries of life.
Edward Gibbon

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Isaac Asimov

Death is not the worst than can happen to men.
Author unidentified

[Pyrrhus] grieved greatly over the death of Aeropus; not so much because he was dead, for that, he said, was the common lot of mankind, but because he himself had delayed repaying him a kindness until it was too late. Debts of money, he said, can be paid to the heirs of a creditor, but men of honour are grieved at not being able to return a kindness during the lifetime of their benefactor.

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Leonardo da Vinci

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht

I guess that's how death works. It doesn't matter if we're ready or not. It just happens.
Randy K. Milholland

Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre.
Edward Gibbon

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Edmund Waller

Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Death takes no bribes.
Benjamin Franklin

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
John Donne

A trail of tears and death …
Unidentified Choctaw leader describing the Choctaw removal

I will make you shorter by the head.
Elizabeth I

He has joined the great majority.
Petronius Arbiter

When you lose a parent, you lose your past; when you lose a spouse, you lose your present; when lose a child you lose your future.
Author unidentified

Anyone's death always releases something like an aura of stupefaction, so difficult is it to grasp this irruption of nothingness and to believe that it has actually taken place.
Gustave Flaubert

Say not in grief, "He is no more," but live in thankfulness that he was.
Author unidentified, reputed to be a Hebrew Proverb

Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us everyday.
Author unidentified

For who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through Eternity,
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion?
John Milton

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Robert Oppenheimer, quoting (or misquoting) the Bhagavad-Gita

It is a sharp remedy, but a sure one for all ills.
Sir Walter Raleigh, feeling the axe edge before his execution.

When Edward [Gibbon] was three years old, a new baby was also christened Edward, in the obvious expectation that the first one would soon be dead.
Leo Damrosch

He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors.
Job 18:14

Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
Ecclesiastes 12:5

We end as a little heap of dust.

Death is not the greatest of ills; it is worse to want to die, and not be able to.

It is good to die before one has done anything deserving death.

No man can be ignorant that he must die, nor be sure that he may not this very day.

Wherever I look I see nothing but reminders of death.

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.
Revelation 6:8

Death is a punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.

It is a poor thing for anyone to fear that which is inevitable.

A good death does honor to a whole life.
Francesco Petrarch

Fear of death is worse than death itself. (Timor mortis morte pejor.)

Death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exit.
John Webster

Death devours lambs as well as sheep.

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

Death keeps no calendar.
George Herbert

He that fears death lives not.
George Herbert

We all labor against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases.
Thomas Browne

Old men go to death; death comes to young men.
George Herbert

Everything has been written which could by possibility persuade us that death is not an evil, and the weakest men as well as heroes have given a thousand celebrated examples to support this opinion. Nevertheless, I doubt whether any man of good sense ever believed it.
La Rochefoucauld

We shall never outwit nature: we shall all die as usual.
Bernard De Fontenelle

About midnight my dear wife expired to our great astonishment, especially mine.
Samuel Sewall

It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.
Jonathan Swift

Dogs, would you live forever? (Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben?)
Frederick the Great

He who fears death dies every time he thinks of it.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

Death is an eternal sleep.
Motto on the gates of French cemeteries

The certain end of all pain, and of all capacity to suffer pain, is death. Of all the things that man thinks of as evils, this is the least.
J. G. Fichte

Man grows old, and dwindles, and decays,
And countless generations of mankind
Depart, and leave no vestige where they trod.
William Wordsworth

Oh, well, no matter what happens, there's always death.
Napoleon I

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
C. C. Colton

Swing low, sweet chariot —
Comin' for to carry me home;
I looked over Jordan and what did I see?
A band of angels comin' after me —
Comin' for to carry me home.
American Negro spiritual

Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.
Mark Twain

When a man dies, and his kin are glad of it, they say, "He is better off."
E. W. Howe

Expect an early death — it will keep you busier.
Martin H. Fischer

We're here today and gone tomorrow.
American Proverb

Grim death took me without warning;
I was well at night, and dead in the morning.
Epitaph at Seven Oaks, Kent, England

Remember you must die. (Memento mori.)
Latin Motto

Do not rejoice over any one's death; remember that we must all die.
Ecclesiasticus 8:7

All living beings become old like a garment, for the decree from of old is, "You must die!"
Ecclesiasticus 14:17

Remember: it is not given to man to take his goods with him. No one goes away and then comes back.
The Song of the Harper

The best of all things for earthly men is not to be born and not to see the beams of the bright sun; but if born, then as quickly as possible to pass the gates of Hades, and to lie deep buried.

Think not disdainfully of death, but look on it with favor; for even death is one of the things that Nature wills.
Marcus Aurelius

And death makes equal the high and low.
John Heywood

First our pleasures die — and then
Our hopes, and then our fears — and when
These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust — and we die too.
P. B. Shelley

Of comfort no man speak:
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth;
Let’s choose executors and talk of wills.

A man can die but once; we owe God a death.

Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
Tho' now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no throbbing fiery pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.

Samuel Johnson, On the death of Robert Levet

Nothing is more evident than that the decays of age must terminate in death.
Samuel Johnson

O death, how welcome is your sentence to one who is needy and failing in strength, worn down by age and anxious about everything; to one who is contrary, and has lost all patience!
Ecclesiasticus 41:2

Do not fear death's decree for you; remember those who went before you and those who will come after.
Ecclesiasticus 41:3

Thou know’st ’tis common; all that live must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

In such a regime, I say, you died a good death if your life had inspired someone to come forward and shoot your murderer in the chest — without asking to be paid.
Chinua Achebe

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.

Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Our adventure is ended. The winter of this year is as dead as the grave. Perhaps when we come to die, death will provide the meaning and the sequel and the ending of this unsuccessful adventure. (Notre aventure est finie. L'hiver de cette année est mort comme la tombe. Peut-être quand nous mourrons, peut-être la mort seule nous donnera la clef et la suite et la fin de cette aventure manquée.)

But no frail man, however great or high,
Can be concluded blest before he die.
Ovid, translation by Addison

Duncan is in his grave;
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing
Can touch him further.

Tir’d with all these, for restful death I cry.

To neglect at any time preparation for death, is to sleep on our post at a siege, but to omit it in old age, is to sleep at an attack.
Samuel Johnson

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.
John Donne

When my mouth shall be filled with dust, and the worm shall feed, and feed sweetly upon me, when the ambitious man shall have no satisfaction if the poorest alive tread upon him, nor the poorest receive any contentment in being made equal to princes, for they shall be equal but in dust.
John Donne

But it pleased God to visit us then with death daily, and with so general a disease that the living were scarce able to bury the dead.
William Bradford, of Plymouth Plantation

The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.
W. H. Auden, 'In Memory of W. B. Yeats'

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,

But oh! as to embrace me she inclin’d,
I wak’d, she fled, and day brought back my night.
John Milton, On His Deceased Wife

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

Death … openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy.
Francis Bacon

Is there any room at your head, Sanders?
Is there any room at your feet?
Or any room at your twa sides,
Where fain, fain I would sleep?

There is na room at my head, Margaret,
There is na room at my feet;
My bed it is the cold, cold grave;
Among the hungry worms I sleep.

'Clerk Sanders' Ballad

We die only once, and for such a long time!

Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
H. L. Mencken

Now I am about to go the way of all the earth.
Joshua 23:14

Every instance of death may justly awaken our fears and quicken our vigilance; but its frequency so much weakens its effect, that we are seldom alarmed unless some close connexion is broken, some scheme frustrated, or some hope defeated.
Samuel Johnson

It has always appeared to me one of the most striking passages in the Visions of Quevedo, which stigmatises those as fools who complain that they failed of happiness by sudden death. "How," says he, "can death be sudden to a being who always knew that he must die, and that the time of his death was uncertain?"
Samuel Johnson, quoting the Visions of Quevedo by Dom Francisco de Quevedo

I am disappointed by that stroke of death [Garrick’s], which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.
Samuel Johnson

But death is not easily
escaped from by anyone:
all of us with souls, earth-dwellers
and children of men, must make our way
to a destination already ordained
where the body, after the banqueting,
sleeps on its deathbed.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
Romans 7:24

O Death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Robert Burns

Death gives meaning to life. Living in fear of death is living in denial. Actually, it's not really living at all, because there is no life without death. It's two sides of the one.
50 Cent and Kris Ex

The Fear of Death often proves Mortal, and sets People on Methods to save their Lives, which infallibly destroy them.
Joseph Addison

The bitter, yet merciful, lesson which death teaches us is to distinguish the gold from the tinsel, the true values from the worthless chaff.

The terrible events of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which habitually we try to ignore — namely, that really we have no claim on a long life; that we are each of us liable to be called off at any moment, and that the main point is not how long we live, but with what meaning we fill the short allotted span — for short it is at best.

Felix Adler

Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. But fear not. All flesh decays. Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul.
Darren Aronofsky

'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
Thomas Campbell

Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.
Francis Bacon

I have often thought upon death, and I find it the least of all evils.
Francis Bacon

The pomp of death alarms us more than death itself. (Pompa mortis magis terret quam mors ipsa.)
Francis Bacon

The problem of death or the art of dying. This is something which all seriously ill people must inevitably face, and for which those in good health should prepare themselves, through correct thinking and sane anticipation.
Alice Bailey

What a power has Death to awe and hush the voices of this earth! How mute we stand when that presence confronts us, and we look upon the silence he has wrought in a human life! We can only gaze, and bow our heads, and creep with our broken, stammering utterances under the shelter of some great word which God has spoken, and in which we see through the history of human sorrow the outstretching and overshadowing of the eternal arms.
Walton W. Battershall

And when no longer we can see Thee, may we reach out our hands, and find Thee leading us through death to immortality and glory.
Henry Ward Beecher

So we fall asleep in Jesus. We have played long enough at the games of life, and at last we feel the approach of death. We are tired out, and we lay our heads back on the bosom of Christ, and quietly fall asleep.
Henry Ward Beecher

Nature’s lessons are sharp, but in the long run they are merciful, for they lead to the evolution of the soul and guide it to the winning of its immortality.
Annie Besant

For certain is death for the born
And certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore over the inevitable
Thou shouldst not grieve.
Bhagavad Gita

Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul!
What a strange moment must it be, when, near
Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in view!
That awful gulf, no mortal e'er repass'd
To tell what's doing on the other side.
Robert Blair

But, oh! fell death's untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae early.
Robert Burns

If we consider hell and heaven to be states of mind instead of places, it is easy to see the reason for such ideas. For each man, in the course of his normal living, enters periodically into states of great happiness and great unhappiness, and further more, while he is in them, he is apt to forget everything else. The mind, in other words, builds its own world.
H.P. Blavatsky

When I lived, I provided for every thing but death; now I must die, and am unprepared.
Cesare Borgia

Oh! death will find me, long before I tire
Of watching you; and swing me suddenly
Into the shade and loneliness and mire
Of the last land!
Rupert Brooke

Heaven gives its favourites — early death.
Lord Byron

Oh, God! it is a fearful thing
To see the human soul take wing
In any shape, in any mood!
Lord Byron

Now he goes along the darksome road, thither whence they say no one returns. (Qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum Illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.)

When I hear it contended that the least sensitive are, on the whole, the most happy, I recall the Indian proverb: "It’s better to sit than to stand, it is better lie down than to sit, but death is best of all."
Nicolas Chamfort

The new scientific society definitely discourages men from thinking about death; it is a fact, but it is considered a morbid fact.
G. K. Chesterton

I do not wish to die: but I care not if I were dead. (Emori nolo: sed me esse mortuum nihil aestimo.)

Some men make a womanish complaint that it is a great misfortune to die before our time. I would ask what time? Is it that of Nature? But she, indeed, has lent us life, as we do a sum of money, only no certain day is fixed for payment. What reason then to complain if she demands it at pleasure, since it was on this condition that you received it?

Death levels all things. (Omnia mors aequat.)

How well he fell asleep!
Like some proud river, widening toward the sea;
Calmly and grandly, silently and deep,
Life joined eternity.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What argufies pride and ambition?
Soon or late death will take us in tow:
Each bullet has got its commission,
And when our time's come we must go.
Charles Dibdin

Living is an illness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It's a palliative. The remedy is death. (Vivre est une maladie dont le sommeil nous soulage toutes les 16 heures. C'est un palliatif. La mort est le remède.)
Nicolas-Sébastien Chamfort

If we could know
Which of us, darling, would be first to go,
Who would be first to breast the swelling tide
And step alone upon the other side —
If we could know!
Mrs. Foster Ely

Philosophy instructs us to pay homage to the gods, not through hope or fear, but from veneration of Their superior nature. It moreover enables us to conquer the fear of death, by teaching us that it is no proper object of terror; since, whilst we are, death is not, and when death arrives, we are not: so that it neither concerns the living nor the dead.

(Short variation: Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.)


Death hath so many doors to let out life.
John Fletcher and Philip Massinger

When you take the wires of the cage apart, you do not hurt the bird, but help it. You let it out of its prison. How do you know that death does not help me when it takes the wires of my cage down? — that it does not release me, and put me into some better place, and better condition of life?
Bishop Randolph S. Foster

If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
Viktor Frankl

This irrational fear of death results from the failure of having lived; it is the expression of our guilty conscience for having wasted our life and missed the chance of productive use of our capacities. To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.
Erich Fromm

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
Kahlil Gibran

When life is woe,
And hope is dumb,
The World says, "Go!"
The Grave says, "Come!"
Arthur Guiterman

And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but Death who comes at last.
Sir Walter Scott

For dying is not to be feared — it is the final comfort. As we all learn, eventually.
Robert A. Heinlein

I know thou art gone to the home of thy rest—
Then why should my soul be so sad?
Thomas Kibble Hervey

How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.
Eric Hoffer

It [death] seems perfectly simple and inevitable, like lying down after a long day's work.
Erskine Childers, shortly before his execution

Behold — not him we knew!
This was the prison which his soul looked through.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

One more unfortunate
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!
Thomas Hood

We watch'd her breathing thro' the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.
Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied;
We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when she died.
Thomas Hood

Swift death rushes upon us. (Cita mors ruit.)

Sweet and glorious it is to die for our country. (Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.)

In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.
John James Ingalls

Pale death, the grand physician, cures all pain;
The dead rest well who lived for joys in vain.
John Clare

Death alone discloses how insignificant are the puny bodies of men. (Mors sola fatetur Quantula sint hominum corpuscula.)

They say you only live once, but come to think of it — you only die once as well.
Eyran Katsenelenbogen

Despite the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise of an after-life of heavenly bliss, most of us will do anything to thwart the inevitable victory of biological death.
Jack Kevorkian

If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.
Stephen King

When I have folded up this tent
And laid the soiled thing by,
I shall go forth 'neath different stars,
Under an unknown sky.
Frederic L. Knowles

Gone before
To that unknown and silent shore.
Charles Lamb

One destin'd period men in common have,
The great, the base, the coward, and the brave,
All food alike for worms, companions in the grave.
Lord Lansdowne

Things of real worth, such as the mental life of the ant or the crab, fill psychological and scientific literature; but such a thing as death, which involves the whole human race more intimately than anything else possibly can — since all must die — is regarded as hardly worthy of serious discussion!
C. W. Leadbeater

The young may die, but the old must!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing.

This I ask, is it not madness to kill thyself in order to escape death? (Hic rogo non furor est ne moriare mori?)

When Life knocks at the door no one can wait,
When Death makes his arrest we have to go.
John Masefield

Death hath a thousand doors to let out life.
I shall find one.
Philip Massinger

There's nothing certain in man's life but this:
That he must lose it.
Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton)

How gladly would I meet
Mortality my sentence, and be earth
Insensible! how glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap!
John Milton

Rome can give no dispensation from death. (On n'a point pour la mort de dispense de Rome.)

If we are not yet able to serve man, how can we serve spiritual beings? … If we do not yet know about life how can we know about death?
Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)

Everybody dies. The obstetrician slaps you on the ass with one hand and hands you a postdated death certificate with the other.
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes

We are all bound thither; we are hastening to the same common goal. Black death calls all things under the sway of its laws. (Tendimus huc omnes; metam properamus ad unam. Omnia sub leges mors vocat atra suas.)

Thou fool, what is sleep but the image of death? Fate will give an eternal rest. (Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidae nisi mortis imago? Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt.)

Man should ever look to his last day, and no one should be called happy before his funeral. (Ultima semper Expectanda dies homini est, dicique beatus Ante obitum nemo et suprema funera debet.)

Death is not grievous to me, for I shall lay aside my pains by death. (Nec mihi mors gravis est posituro morte dolores.)

Wherever you look there is nothing but the image of death. (Quocunque adspicias, nihil est nisi mortis imago.)

Death is repose, but the thought of death disturbs all repose.
Cesare Pavese

He whom the gods love dies young, whilst he is full of health, perception, and judgment. (Quem dii diligunt, Adolescens moritur, dum valet, sentit, sapit.)

Concerning the dead nothing but good shall be spoken. (De mortuis nil nisi bonum.)

Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame.
Alexander Pope

A heap of dust remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
Alexander Pope

It was said that life was cheap in Ankh-Morpork. This was, of course, completely wrong. Life was often very expensive; you could get death for free.
Terry Pratchett

Teach him how to live,
And, oh! still harder lesson! how to die.
Beilby Porteus

The long sleep of death closes our scars, and the short sleep of life our wounds. (

Der lange Schlaf des Todes schliesst unsere Narben zu, und der kutze des Lebens unsere Wunden

Jean Paul Richter

And so, you see, simplicity
Requires that our lot
Be that we exit, when we must,
With only what we brought.
Bruce Holland Rogers

Death is the privilege of human nature,
And life without it were not worth our taking:
Thither the poor, the pris'ner, and the mourner
Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down.
Nicholas Rowe

Death must be an evil — and the gods agree;
for why else would they live for ever?

We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner or later, we push up flowers.
Tim Schafer

Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Morrie Schwartz

Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone, and for ever!
Walter Scott

What new thing then is it for a man to die, whose whole life is nothing else but a journey to death? (Quid est enim novi, hominem mori, cujus tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est?)
Seneca the Younger

It is an extreme evil to depart from the company of the living before you die. (Ultimum malorum est ex vivorum numero exire antequam moriaris.)
Seneca the Younger

For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death's hands. (In hoc enim fallimur, quod mortem prospicimus: magna pars eius iam praeterit; quidquid aetatis retro est mors tenet.)
Seneca the Younger

No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it. (Nulli potest secura vita contingere qui de producenda nimis cogitat.)
Seneca the Younger

They are not lost but sent before. (Non amittuntur sed praemittuntur.)
Seneca the Younger

It is uncertain in what place death may await thee; therefore expect it in any place. (Incertum est quo te loco mors expectet: itaque tu illam omni loco expecta.)
Seneca the Younger

This day, which thou fearest as thy last, is the birthday of eternity. (Dies iste, quem tamquam extremum reformidas, aeterni natalis est.)
Seneca the Younger

Sometimes death is a punishment; often a gift; it has been a favor to many.

(Interim paena est mori,
Sed saepe donum; pluribus veniae fuit

Seneca the Younger

Come, soon or late, death’s undetermin’d day,
This mortal being only can decay.

(Cum volet illa dies, quae nil nisi corporis hujus
Jus habet, incerti spatium mihi finiat avi

Welsted, based on Ovid

And when life's sweet fable ends,
Soul and body part like friends;
No quarrels, murmurs, no delay;
A kiss, a sigh, and so away.
Richard Crashaw

Any one may take life from man, but no one death; a thousand gates stand open to it.

(Eripere vitam nemo non homini potest;
At nemo mortem; mille ad hanc aditus patent

Seneca the Younger

To be, or not to be, — that is the question: —
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? — To die, — to sleep, —
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, — 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, — to sleep; —
To sleep! perchance to dream: — ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

The babe is at peace within the womb,
The corpse is at rest within the tomb.
We begin in what we end.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.
James Shirley

To our graves we walk
In the thick footprints of departed men.
Alexander Smith

Your death and my death are mainly of importance to ourselves. The black plumes will be stripped off our hearses within the hour; tears will dry, hurt hearts close again, our graves grow level with the church-yard, and although we are away, the world wags on. It does not miss us; and those who are near us, when the first strangeness of vacancy wears off, will not miss us much either.
Alexander Smith

Death! to the happy thou art terrible;
But how the wretched love to think of thee,
O thou true comforter! the friend of all
Who have no friend beside!
Robert Southey

A free man thinks of death least of all things; and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.
Baruch Spinoza

An honorable death is better than a dishonorable life. (Honesta mors turpi vita potior.)

As for myself, may the "sweet Muses," as Virgil says, bear me away to their holy places where sacred streams do flow, beyond the reach of anxiety and care, and free from the obligation of performing each day some task that goes against the grain.

No young man ever thinks he shall die.
William Hazlitt

God's finger touched him, and he slept.
Alfred Tennyson

Whatever crazy sorrow saith,
No life that breathes with human breath
Has ever truly long'd for death.
Alfred Tennyson

While there's life there’s hope, and only the dead have none. (τάχ᾽ αὔριον ἔσσετ᾽ ἄμεινον ἐλπίδες ἐν ζωοῖσιν, ἀνέλπιστοι δὲ θανόντες.)

Since every day a little of our life is taken from us — since we are dying every day — the final hour when we cease to exist does not of itself bring death; it merely completes the death process.
Paul Tillich

We live in a culture that is almost totally ignorant of death, as it is almost totally ignorant of anything that truly matters.
Eckhart Tolle

Memento mori — remember death! These are important words. If we kept in mind that we will soon inevitably die, our lives would be completely different. If a person knows that he will die in a half hour, he certainly will not bother doing trivial, stupid, or, especially, bad things during this half hour. Perhaps you have half a century before you die — what makes this any different from a half hour?
Leo Tolstoy

However many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead.
Richard Dawkins

It is today, my dear, that I take a perilous leap. (C'est demain, ma belle amie, que je fais le saut perilleux.)
Voltaire, last words

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
Randall Wallace (Braveheart)

Softly his fainting head he lay
Upon his Maker's breast;
His Maker kiss'd his soul away,
And laid his flesh to rest.
Isaac Watts

One may live as a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate; but he must die as a man.
Daniel Webster

And now she is like everyone else.
Charles de Gaulle, on the death of his daughter, who had Down's syndrome

I don't wanna die
But I ain't keen on living either
Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.
Lord Byron

He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, lik'd it not, and died.
Sir Henry Wotton

People don't die that easily, really. … As long as they've got something worth living for.
Phoenix Wright

Men drop so fast, ere life's mid stage we tread,
Few know so many friends alive, as dead.
Edward Young

I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees. (Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.)
Emiliano Zapata

At that time those slain by the Lord will be everywhere — from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.
Jeremiah 25:33

Every soul will know the taste of death.
Quran 21.35

Xerxes the great did die;
And so must you and I.

For thou mayst say this is the day [of one's death]
That no man living may 'scape away.

Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The Carriage held but just Ourselves —
And Immortality.
Emily Dickinson

Death is a sovereign remedy for all misfortunes.
Ernest Hemingway

There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
Ernest Hemingway

My spirit is too weak — mortality
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagin’d pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship, tells me I must die
Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.
John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain.
John Keats

Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home;
Thou art not my friend and I’m not thine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear,
To be we know not what, we know not where.
John Dryden

Like pilgrims to th'appointed place we tend;
The world's an inn, and death the journey's end.
John Dryden

The bodies of those that made such a noise and tumult when alive, when dead, lie as quietly among the graves of their neighbours as any others.
Jonathan Edwards

Webster was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin.
T. S. Eliot

The life which made my own life pleasant is at an end, and the gates of death are shut upon my prospects.
Samuel Johnson

The dead cannot return, and nothing is left us here but languishment and grief. Yet such is the course of nature, that whoever lives long must outlive those whom he loves and honours.
Samuel Johnson

Death Penalty

Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
Samuel Johnson

The heart of a good man cannot but recoil at the thought of punishing a slight injury with death.
Samuel Johnson


I like not brains that can dispute on both sides, and yet conclude nothing certain.
Martin Luther

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.
John Stuart Mill


Creditors have better memories than debtors.
Author unidentified

Debt is the slavery of the free.
Publilius Syrus

Sins and debts are always more than we think them to be.
Thomas Fuller

Debt is a preceptor whose lessons are needed most by those who suffer from it most.
R. W. Emerson

He is rich who owes nothing.
Hungarian Proverb

Better go without rice for a little than be in debt for long.
Japanese Proverb

Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound; great debts are like cannon, of loud noise but little danger.
Samuel Johnson

By no means run in debt: take thine own measure.
Who cannot live on twenty pound a year,
Cannot on forty.
George Herbert


All human things are subject to decay,
And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
John Dryden


We never deceive for a good purpose. Knavery always adds malice to falsehood.
Jean de la Bruyère

I defy any man to deceive me. He would have to be a real rogue to be as bad as imagine him.
Napoleon I

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.
Ascribed to Abraham Lincoln

It is more ignominious to mistrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
La Rochefoucauld


It's the easiest Thing in the World for a Man to deceive himself.
Author unidentified

Who has deceiv'd thee so oft as thy self?
Author unidentified

[Men] who cannot deceive others, are very often successful in deceiving themselves.
Samuel Johnson

The true way to be deceived is to think oneself more clever than others.
La Rochefoucauld


Give your decisions, never your reasons; your decisions may be right, your reasons are sure to be wrong.
Earl of Mansfield

Quick decisions are unsafe decisions.

Let men decide firmly what they will not do, and they will be free to do vigorously what they ought to do.


Make a decision, even if it's wrong.
Jarvis Klem

Declaration of Independence

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776 … and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter [the Declaration of Independence]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.
Calvin Coolidge

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


A people always ends by resembling its shadow.
Rudyard Kipling


The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration, as indeed we still see among the barbarous classes in civilized countries.
Thomas Carlyle


Deeds are masculine; words are feminine. (Fatti maschii; parole femine.)
Motto of Maryland


To sue for defamation merely draws attention to the charge.
Paul Johnson


It is the prerogative of great men to have great defects.
La Rochefoucauld


When the rights of the parties are obscure, the defendant is to be favored against the plaintiff. (Quum sunt partium jura obscura, reo potius favendum est quam auctori.)
Legal Maxim


Let them grumble, that is how it is going to be (Ainsi sera, groigne qui groinge).
Margaret of Austria (phrase made famous by Anne Boleyn, who learned it from Margaret)


A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
Samuel Johnson


[Delaware is a] state that has three counties when the tide is out, and two when it is in.
J. J. Ingalls


A delay is better than a disaster.
Author unidentified

Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends.

Do not delay: the golden moments fly!
H. W. Longfellow


Deliberation, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Think long when you may decide only once.
Publilius Syrus


The majority of men prefer delusion to truth. It soothes. It is easy to grasp. Above all, it fits more snugly than the truth into a universe of false appearances — of complex and irrational phenomena, defectively grasped.
H. L. Mencken


The qualities necessary to a demagogue are these: to be foul-mouthed, base-born, a low, mean fellow.

The demagogue, puffing up the people with, words, sways them to his interest. When calamity follows he escapes from justice.

The shortest way to ruin a country is to give power to demagogues.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

The people are sovereign, but they are in the position of a sovereign eternally under age, who must therefore remain under tutelage, and cannot exercise his rights without grave danger. Like all minors, he is the sport of crafty scoundrels. These we call demagogues.
Arthur Schopenhauer

In every age the vilest specimens of human nature are to be found among demagogues.
T. B. Macaulay

The honest man, whether rich or poor, who earns his own living and tries to deal justly by his fellows, has as much to fear from the insincere and unworthy demagogue, promising much and performing nothing, or else performing nothing but evil, who would set on the mob to plunder the rich, as from the crafty corruptionist who, for his own ends, would permit the common people to be exploited by the very wealthy.
Theodore Roosevelt

The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
H. L. Mencken


Demand is not a fixed quantity, that increases only as population increases. In each individual it rises with his power of getting the things demanded.
Henry George

If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed and are right.
H. L. Mencken

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, if he be a tyrant.
Benito Mussolini

Democracy is … a form of religion; it is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw

High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Oscar Wilde

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken

Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abused, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.
Edward Gibbon

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

But a wild democracy … too often disdains the essential principles of justice.
Edward Gibbon

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.
E. B. White

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.
Bertrand Russell

You can be right or you can be popular. And we live in a democracy.
Walter O'Brien

Every flaw in consumers is worse in voters.
Michael Munger

A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments.

A democracy, when put to the strain, grows weak, and is supplanted by oligarchy.

Public affairs ought to advance, and have a certain progress, neither too slow nor too quick. But the people have always too much action or too little. Sometimes, with 100,000 arms, they overturn everything; at other times, with 100,000 feet, they crawl like insects.
C. L. de Montesquieu

Democracy has two excesses to be wary of: the spirit of inequality, which leads it to aristocracy, and the spirit of extreme equality, which leads it to despotism.
C. L. de Montesquieu

In a democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region.
James Madison

[Democracy is] an aristocracy of blackguards.

The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.
J. Fenimore Cooper

Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them.
W. H. Seward

Ten million ignorances do not constitute one knowledge.
Clemens von Metternich

I do not deny the rights of democracy, but I have no illusions as to the uses that will be made of those rights so long as wisdom is rare and pride abundant.
H. F. Amiel

Even in the purest democracies, such as the United States and Switzerland, a privileged minority stands against the vast enslaved majority.
M. A. Bakunin

To put political power in the hands of men embittered and degraded by poverty is to tie firebrands to foxes and turn them loose amid the standing corn.
Henry George

I should be very sorry to find myself on board a ship in which the voices of the cook and the loblolly boys counted for as much as those of the officers upon a question of steering, or reefing topsails; or where the "great heart" of the crew was called upon to settle the ship's course.
T. H. Huxley

Those who bewail the loss of personal liberty have not learned one of the essentials of a democracy. They should know that no one has the personal liberty in a republic to do what the majority has properly declared shall not be done.
Wesley L. Jones

It would be folly to argue that the people cannot make political mistakes. They can and do make grave mistakes. They know it, they pay the penalty, but compared with the mistakes which have been made by every kind of autocracy they are unimportant.
Calvin Coolidge

Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.
Benito Mussolini

Envy is the basis of democracy.
Bertrand Russell

One of the weaknesses of a democracy, a system of which I am trying to make the best, is that until it is right up against it, it will never face the truth.
Stanley Baldwin

But I am thoroughly convinced, nonetheless, that the democratic nations are happier than any other. The United States today, indeed, is probably the happiest the world has ever seen.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy, in fact, is always inventing class distinctions, despite its theoretical abhorrence of them.
H. L. Mencken

One cannot observe it [democracy] objectively without being impressed by its curious distrust of itself — its apparently ineradicable tendency to abandon its whole philosophy at the first sign of strain. I need not point to what happens invariably in democratic states when the national safety is menaced. All the great tribunes of democracy, on such occasions, convert themselves, by a process as simple as taking a deep breath, into despots of an almost fabulous ferocity.
H. L. Mencken

I confess, for my part, that it greatly delights me. I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down.
H. L. Mencken

Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;
Winston Churchill


I belong to no organized party — I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers

Republicans raise dahlias, Dalmatians, and eyebrows. Democrats raise Airedales, kids, and taxes.
Will Stanton

Republicans sleep in twin beds — some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats.
Will Stanton

Grandmother: Pat, I've been worrying about you. You're not turning into a Democrat, are you?
P. J. O'Rourke: Grandma! Democrats and Republicans are both fascist pigs! LBJ is slaughtering helpless Vietcong and causing riots in America's inner cities and oppressing workers and ripping off the masses! I'm not a Democrat! I'm a Maoist!
Grandmother: Just so long as you're not a Democrat.
P. J. O'Rourke

[My grandmother] was given to statements such as, "No one's ever so poor they can't pick up their yard." And she wouldn't even speak the word "Democrat" if there were children in the room. She'd say "bastards" instead.
P. J. O'Rourke

I never said all Democrats were saloon keepers. What I said was that all saloon keepers were Democrats.
Horace Greeley

Democratic Party

The Democratic party is like a mule. It has neither pride of ancestry nor hope of posterity.
Ignatius Donnelly

That party [the Democratic party] never had but two objects — grand and petit larceny.
R. G. Ingersoll

[The Democratic party is a] hopeless assortment of discordant differences, as incapable of positive action as it is capable of infinite clamor.
Thomas B. Reed


If you turn on the television, you'll find the mothers of the most obvious criminals that man could ever diagnose, and they all think their sons are innocent. That's simple psychological denial. The reality is too painful to bear, so you just distort it until it's bearable. We all do that to some extent, and it's a common psychological misjudgment that causes terrible problems.
Charlie Munger


So he, who poverty with horror views,
Who sells his freedom in exchange for gold,
(Freedom for mines of wealth too cheaply sold)
Shall make eternal servitude his fate,
And feel a haughty master’s galling weight.
Francis, based on Horace

There is no state more contrary to the dignity of wisdom than perpetual and unlimited dependance, in which the understanding lies useless, and every motion is received from external impulse.
Samuel Johnson


He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed.
David Frost

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
Dodie Smith

Depression manifests itself in a lack of will.
Richard Brookhiser

Some lawns have all the cheer of old cemeteries.
Richard Brookhiser

My daily routine is very simple. I wake up and I suffer. It's a peaceful life.
Author unidentified

I inherited a vile melancholy from my father, which has made me mad all my life, at least not sober.
Samuel Johnson

I now live in cheerless solitude.
Samuel Johnson

I seek at midnight clubs the social band,
But midnight clubs, where wit with noise conspires,
Delight no more; I seek my lonely bed,
And call on sleep to soothe my languid head,
But sleep from these sad lids flies far away;
I mourn all night, and dread the coming day … .
A dreary void, where fears with grief combined
Waste all within, and desolate the mind.
Samuel Johnson

I would consent to have a limb amputated to recover my spirits.
Samuel Johnson

I don't like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible to get a pillar between me and the train. I don't like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second's action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.
Winston Churchill


Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
William Shakespeare


Dermatology is the best speciality. The patient never dies — and never gets well.
Author unidentified


Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
Samuel Johnson


Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?
William Shakespeare

We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means.

We desire most what we ought not to have.
Publilius Syrus

There is not a man in the world who doth not look at another's wife, if beautiful and young, with a degree of desire.
The Hitopadesa

He begins to die that quits his desires.
George Herbert

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.
Jonathan Swift

Every desire is a viper in the bosom, who, while he was chill, was harmless; but when warmth gave him strength, exerted it in poison.
Samuel Johnson

The fundamental principle of human action — the law that is to political economy what the law of gravitation is to physics — is that men seek to gratify their desires with the least exertion.
Henry George

Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments; any enlargement of wishes is therefore equally destructive to happiness with the diminution of possession, and he that teaches another to long for what he never shall obtain is no less an enemy to his quiet than if he had robbed him of part of his patrimony.
Samuel Johnson

The desires of mankind are much more numerous than their attainments, and the capacity of imagination much larger than actual enjoyment.
Samuel Johnson

Thus it comes to pass, that our desires always increase with our possessions; the knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed, impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.
Samuel Johnson

The desires of man increase with his acquisitions; every step which he advances brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with every thing that nature can demand, than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.
Samuel Johnson


I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 1:14

[Job's] wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
Job 2:9

Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
Attributed to Edmund Burke

Despair is a sin.
Author unidentified

What if this is as good as it gets?
Mark Andrus

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
Earl Wilson

Never flinch, never weary, never despair.
Winston Churchill

I'm so tired of trying.
Author unidentified

Aside from my normal sense of despair, I feel fine.
Author unidentified

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!
Edgar Allan Poe

All I do here is work in my cubicle and hope for death.
Dilbert cartoon

He who has resolved to conquer or die is seldom conquered; such noble despair perishes with difficulty.
Pierre Corneille

I will indulge my sorrows, and give way
To all the pangs and fury of despair.
Joseph Addison

Despair exaggerates not only our misery but also our weakness.
Luc de Vauvenargues

It was at length the same to me,
Fetter'd or fetterless to be,
I learn'd to love despair.

Past hope, past cure, past help!

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
Psalms 22:14

We must not despair, we must not for a moment pretend that we cannot face these things. Dangers come upon the world; other nations face them.
Winston Churchill

So much I feel my genial spirits droop,
My hopes all flat; Nature within me seems
In all her functions weary of herself;
My race of glory run, and race of shame,
And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
Samuel Johnson

Avaunt despair! (Nil desperandum.)


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Henry David Thoreau

Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
James Thurber

Tempt not a desperate man.
William Shakespeare

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
William Shakespeare

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
Pink Floyd

A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.
Guy Fawkes


From torpid despondency, can come no advantage; it is the frost of the soul, which binds up all its powers, and congeals life in perpetual sterility. He that has no hopes of success, will make no attempts; and where nothing is attempted, nothing can be done.
Samuel Johnson


A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law, must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness.
Edward Gibbon

There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the body. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul and body alike. The first is called the prince. The second is called the pope. The third is called the people.
Oscar Wilde


Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.
Oscar Wilde

The progress of despotism tends to disappoint its own purpose.
Edward Gibbon

Despotism has forever had a powerful hold upon the world. Autocratic government, not self-government, has been the prevailing state of mankind. The record of past history is the record, not of the success of republics, but of their failure.
Calvin Coolidge


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

'Tis vain to quarrel with our destiny.
Thomas Middleton

Often the prudent, far from making their destinies, succumb to them; it is destiny which makes them prudent.


To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
Winston Churchill

When a man takes the road to destruction, the gods help him along.

Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction.
Matthew 7:13


Our life is frittered away by detail … Simplify, simplify!
Henry David Thoreau

It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
John Wooden

Great engines turn on small pivots.
English proverb


We are little better than straws upon the water: we may flatter ourselves that we swim, when the current carries us along.
Mary Wortley Montagu


Detroit's political leadership is a parasite that has outgrown its host.
Kevin D. Williamson


Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV

The Devil can equivocate as well as a shopkeeper.
Ben Jonson

The heart of man is the place the Devil's in: I feel sometimes a Hell within myself.
Thomas Browne

Talk of the Devil, and he's presently at your elbow.
Giovanni Torriano

An apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
Samuel Butler

When the priest's away the Devil will play.
Russian Proverb

For, where God build a church there the devil would also build a chapel.
Martin Luther

Thus is the devil ever God's ape.
Martin Luther

The devil is like a fowler; of the birds he catches, he wrings most of their necks, but keeps a few alive, to allure other birds to his snare, by singing the song he will have in a cage. I hope he will not get me into his cage.
Martin Luther

Devils are not so black as they are painted.
Thomas Lodge

The prince of darkness is a gentleman.

The devil's most devilish when respectable.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
Fedor Dostoevsky


What is more dull than a discreet diary? One might just as well have a discreet soul.
Henry ('Chips') Channon


Dictators ride to and for on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
Winston Churchill

All mountebank dictators, from Napoleon III to Mussolini and Hitler, liked to be able to claim, with some plausibility, that they had been put in power by a "free vote," and that the people had, as it were, walked willingly into the dungeon before the portcullis slammed down for the last time.
Paul Johnson

We know as a people, as a nation, that we are at the cross-roads in America. Soon we must determine whether or not we are going to preserve Anglo-Saxon institutions in this country or join the other nations of the earth under a dictator.
Hatton W. Sumners


Defining what is unknown in terms of something equally unknown.
Flann O'Brien, on dictionaries

To make dictionaries is dull work.
Samuel Johnson

Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
Samuel Johnson


The die is cast. (Iacta alea est.)
Julius Caesar, at the crossing of the Rubicon


The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.
Julia Child (Attributed)

I'm on a whisky diet. I've lost three days already.
Tommy Cooper (Attributed)

You'd never say to an alcoholic — have just one glass of wine — so don't [offer food] to people who are trying to lose weight.
Stephen Furst

I may eat a healthy selection, but I never leave anything on my plate. (I think it goes back to all those starving children overseas that my parents told me about. I always wondered how stuffing my face helped those starving kids, but who was I to question my parents?)
Stephen Furst

I find something deeply corrupt and decadent in eating very expensive food especially designed to keep you slim. After all, the idea of the retributory coronary striking dead the self-indulgent patrician helps to persuade the poor that there is some justice in the world. A culinary system which mitigate this sanction is therefore antisocial.
Paul Johnson

Whatsoever was the father of a disease, an ill diet was the mother.
George Herbert

He that takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.
Chinese Proverb

The first law of dietetics seems to be: if it tastes good, it's bad for you.
Isaac Asimov (Attributed)


[The] difference of language, dress, and manners … severs and alienates the nations of the globe.
Edward Gibbon

One of the most common defects of half-instructed minds is to think much of that in which they differ from others, and little of that in which they agree with others.
Walter Bagehot


When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Will Rogers

There is no excellence without difficulty.

Three things are difficult: to know oneself, to conquer one's appetite, and to keep one's secret.
Welsh Proverb

Difficulty is a severe instructor, set over us by the supreme ordinance of a parental Guardian and Legislator, who knows us better than we know ourselves, as he loves us better too. Pater ipse colendi haud facilem esse viam voluit. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
Edmund Burke


It is base and unworthy to live below the dignity of our nature.
Benjamin Whichcote


Everything yields to diligence.

Make hay while the sun shines.
English Proverb

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.
Samuel Johnson

The certainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform. It is true, that no diligence can ascertain success; death may intercept the swiftest career; but he who is cut off in the execution of an honest undertaking, has at least the honour of falling in his rank, and has fought the battle though he missed the victory.
Samuel Johnson

Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never led to good intention's goal. (La diligencia es madre de la buena ventura y la pereza, su contrario, jamás llegó al término que pide un buen deseo.)


A dimple in the chin; a devil within.
Irish Proverb


We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf.

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.
Samuel Pepys

Oh, the pleasure of eating my dinner alone!
Charles Lamb


I liken the French/British relationship to a very old married couple who often think of killing each other but would never dream of divorce.
Denis MacShane

The French are masters of 'the dog ate my homework' school of diplomatic relations.
P. J. O'Rourke

An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.
Henry Wotton

To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.
Winston Churchill

What do you expect when I'm between two men of whom one [Lloyd George] thinks he is Napoleon and the other [Woodrow Wilson] thinks he is Jesus Christ?
Georges Clemenceau, when asked why he capitulated


I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I tell them the truth and they never believe me.
Camillo Di Cavour


If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.
Chinese Proverb


Poverty comes from God, but not dirt.
Hebrew Proverb


When you start off by telling those who disagree with you that they are not merely in error but in sin, how much of a dialogue do you expect?
Thomas Sowell

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
Oscar Wilde

Do not argue with the loud of mouth, and do not heap wood on their fire.
Ecclesiasticus 8:3


Like all the rest of mankind, she is every day mortified with the defeat of her schemes, and the disappointment of her hopes.
Samuel Johnson

If the good people, in their wisdom, shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.
Abraham Lincoln

We do not indeed so often disappoint others as ourselves.
Samuel Johnson


No man likes to live under the eye of perpetual disapprobation.
Samuel Johnson


He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24

[The] LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Hebrews 12:6

Boys have their ears on their backsides; they listen when they are beaten.
Egyptian proverb

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
George Washington

Diogenes struck the father when the son swore.
Robert Burton


Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
U.S. Navy SEALs Saying


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.


When two goats meet upon a narrow bridge over deep water, how do they behave? neither of them can turn back again, neither can pass the other, because the bridge is too narrow; if they should thrust one another, they might both fall into the water and be drowned; nature, then, has taught them, that if the one lays himself down and permits the other to go over him, both remain without hurt. Even so people should rather endure to be trod upon, than to fall into debate and discord one with another.
Martin Luther

The different apprehensions, the discordant passions, the jarring interests of men, will scarcely permit that many should unite in one undertaking.
Samuel Johnson


Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.


Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.
Samuel Johnson

Pneumonia is the old man's friend [because it offers a relatively quick and painless death to the aged].
Sir William Osler, paraphrased

There are more pernicious diseases of the soul than of the body.

A long disease doesn't lie. It always kills at last.
Irish Proverb

Cure the disease and kill the patient.
Francis Bacon

It was a principle among the ancients, that acute diseases are from heaven, and chronical from ourselves.
Samuel Johnson

There are many diseases both of the body and mind, which it is far easier to prevent than to cure.
Samuel Johnson

Truth is, indeed, not often welcome for its own sake; it is generally unpleasing, because contrary to our wishes and opposite to our practice; and as our attention naturally follows our interest, we hear unwillingly what we are afraid to know, and soon forget what we have no inclination to impress upon our memories.
Samuel Johnson

If a lot of cures are suggested for a disease, it means that the disease is incurable.
Anton Chekhov


Disgrace is immortal, and lives long after one thinks it is dead.

This was one of the heaviest blows I can recall during the war. … It was a bitter moment. Defeat is one thing; disgrace is another.
Winston Churchill, on The Fall of Tobruk


What is come by dishonestly vanishes in profligacy.


There is no death, however slow and painful, that I would not prefer to dishonor.
Napoleon I

No man, I suppose, ever admits to himself candidly that he gets his living in a dishonourable way.
H. L. Mencken


A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness.
Robert Herrick


The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.
Samuel Johnson


I never saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many, on their getting warm, becoming rude, and shooting one another.
Thomas Jefferson


O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!

Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love,
But why did you kick me downstairs?
Isaac Bickerstaffe


I hate as I hate the gates of Hell that man whose words conceal his thoughts.


Over there, where you are not — there is happiness.
G. P. Schmidt von Lübeck

’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
Thomas Campbell

It is better to be able neither to read nor write than to be able to do nothing else.
William Hazlitt


There lurks in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself.
Samuel Johnson


What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.
General George W. Casey Jr.


Divinity consists in use and practice, not in speculation and meditation.
Martin Luther


A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free.
Abraham Lincoln


Conrad Hilton was very generous to me in the divorce settlement. He gave me 5,000 Gideon Bibles.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Alimony is a system by which, when two people make a mistake, one of them continues to pay for it.
Peggy Joyce

Alimony is like buying oats for a dead horse.
Arthur 'Bugs' Baer

I heard from my cat's lawyer today. My cat wants $12,000 a week for Tender Vittles.
Johnny Carson

He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce, I keep the house.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, of her fifth husband

She cried — and the judge wiped her tears with my checkbook.
Tommy Manville

For a while we pondered whether to take a vacation or get a divorce. We decided that a trip to Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce is something you always have.
Woody Allen

The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.
Johnny Carson

The happiest time of anyone's life is just after the first divorce.
John Kenneth Galbraith

You don't know a woman till you've met her in court.
Norman Mailer

Alimony, n. The ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
H. L. Mencken

Whenever I date a guy, I think, "Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"
Rita Rudner

Passion, interest, or caprice, suggested daily motives for the dissolution of marriage; a word, a sign, a message, a letter, the mandate of a freedman, declared the separation; the most tender of human connections was degraded to a transient society of profit or pleasure.
Edward Gibbon

[The] liberty of divorce does not contribute to happiness and virtue. The facility of separation would destroy all mutual confidence, and inflame every trifling dispute.
Edward Gibbon

The husband was a teetotaller, there was no other woman, and the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife.
Arthur Conan Doyle

I don't think I'll get married again. I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house.
Lewis Grizzard (Attributed)

A TV host asked my wife, 'Have you ever considered divorce?' She replied: 'Divorce never, murder often.'
Charlton Heston

Well, we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.
Bruce Paltrow, when asked why his marriage lasted so long

Love the quest; marriage the conquest; divorce the inquest.
Helen Rowland

Divorce is born of perverted morals, and leads, as experience shows, to vicious habits in public and private life.
Pope Leo XIII


God heals, and the physician gets the thanks. [Benjamin Franklin's variant: God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.]
George Herbert

Our doctor would never really operate unless it was necessary. He was just that way. If he didn't need the money, he wouldn't lay a hand on you.
Herb Shriner

Doctors are busy playing God when so few of us have the qualifications. And besides, the job is taken.
Bernie S. Siegel, MD

Diaulus, once a doctor, is now an undertaker; what he does as an undertaker he used to do also as a doctor.

If the doctor cures the sun sees it; if he kills the earth hides it.
James Kelly

That patient is not like to recover who makes the doctor his heir.
Thomas Fuller

A single doctor like a sculler plies,
And all his art and all his physic tries;
But two physicians, like a pair of oars,
Conduct you soonest to the Stygian shores.
Author unidentified

Heaven defend me from a busy doctor.
Welsh Proverb

I have noticed that doctors who fail in the practice of medicine have a tendency to seek one another's company and aid in consultation. A doctor who cannot take out your appendix properly will recommend you to a doctor who will be unable to remove your tonsils with success.
Ernest Hemingway


The more one gets to know of men, the more one values dogs.
A. Toussenel

Let sleeping dogs lie.
English Proverb

It's a hard Winter when dogs eat dogs.
Thomas Fuller

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
Samuel Butler

A house without either a dog or a cat is the house of a scoundrel.
Portuguese Proverb


There's nothing within science per se that says medical researchers must not experiment on human subjects; it is the imposition of ethical dogma that constrains the scientist.
Jonah Goldberg


A man must do as he can when he cannot as he would.
Thomas Draxe

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces.


Each dollar is a soldier that does your bidding.
Ascribed to Vincent Astor


Everyone's death day is his Doomsday.
John Lyly


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.
Sir Francis Bacon

Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

When men are in doubt they always believe what is most agreeable.
Flavius Arrianus

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.

To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

What a state of society is this in which free-thinker is a term of abuse, and in which doubt is regarded as a sin!
W. Winwood Reade

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Wilson Mizner


He that is down, needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride.
John Bunyan


People who insist on telling their dreams are among the terrors of the breakfast table.
Max Beerbohm

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
J. K. Rowling

We see sleeping what we wish for waking.
George Pettie

All dreams, as in old Galen I have read,
Are from repletion and complexion bred,
From rising fumes of indigested food,
And noxious humors that infect the blood.
John Dryden

Dreams are excursions to the limbo of things, a semi-deliverance from the human prison.
H. F. Amiel

As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind, so is anyone who believes in dreams.
Ecclesiasticus 34:2


The desire to please by outward charms, which we know naturally invite lust, does not spring from a sound conscience. Why should you rouse an evil passion?

Singularity in dress is ridiculous; in fact, it is generally looked upon as a proof that the mind is somewhat deranged. The fashion of the country wherein one lives is the rule which should be followed in the choice and form of dress.
St. John Baptist de la Salle

I have always a sacred veneration for anyone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher.
Jonathan Swift

It is not every man that can afford to wear a shabby coat; worldly wisdom dictates to her disciples the propriety of dressing somewhat beyond their means, but of living within them; for every one sees how we dress, but none see how we live, except we choose to let them.
C. C. Colton

Eat what you will, but dress as others do.
Arab Proverb

A really rich man is careless of his dress.
Chinese Proverb


An Irish queer: a fellow who prefers women to drink.
Sean O'Faolain

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,
And wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Proverbs 31:6 (KJV)

And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions.
Isaiah 28:7

Fermented spirits please our common people because they banish care and all consideration of future or present evils.
Edmund Burke

When drink's in, wit's out.
Scottish Proverb

It [drink] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.


They talk of my drinking but never my thirst.
Old saying

The whole world is about three drinks behind.
Humphrey Bogart

The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I will walk carefully.
Russian Proverb

A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.
W. C. Fields

One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I'm having a good time.
Nancy Astor

Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
George Burns

I always keep a stimulant handy in case I see a snake — which I also keep handy.
W. C. Fields

What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?
W. C. Fields

I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
Oscar Levant

I drink to forget I drink.
Joe E. Lewis

One more drink and I'll be under the host.
Dorothy Parker

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
W. C. Fields

Not all men who drink are poets. Some of us drink because we aren't poets.
Author unidentified

Drink and be merry, for our time on earth is short, and death lasts forever.

Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.
Thomas Fuller

I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on.
Oscar Levant

I only take a drink on two occasions — when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.
Brendan Behan

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
Henny Youngman

One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.
James Thurber

I don't get hangovers. You have to stop drinking to get a hangover.

He that spills the Rum, loses that only; He that drinks it, often loses both that and himself.
Author unidentified

Drink does not drown Care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster.
Author unidentified

When I was younger I made it a rule never to take a strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.
Winston Churchill

I neither want it [brandy] nor need it but I think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.
Winston Churchill

Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
Samuel Johnson

I exercise strong self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.
W. C. Fields

As regards drink, I can only say that in Dublin during the Depression when I was growing up, drunkenness was not regarded as a social disgrace. To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement. To get drunk was a victory.
Brendan Behan

Remember: it’s not what you drink, or how much you drink, it’s how fast you drink it.

Kalsarikännit, n (Finnish). The feeling when you are going to get drunk home alone in your underwear — with no intention of going out.
Finnish word

While we sit bousin, at the nappy,
And gettin fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

(While we sit boozing strong ale,
And getting drunk and very happy,
We don’t think of the long Scots miles,
The marshes, waters, steps and stiles,
That lie between us and our home,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame [wife],
Gathering her brows like a gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath, to keep it warm.)

Robert Burns

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!

(Inspiring, bold John Barleycorn! [whisky]
What dangers you can make us scorn!
With ale, we fear no evil;
With whisky, we’ll face the Devil!)

Robert Burns

When men drink, then they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends.
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.

Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.

"Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better."
Isaiah 56:12

Long quaffing maketh a short life.
John Lyly

I drink when I have occasion for it, and sometimes when I have not.

Drink today, and drown all sorrow;
You shall perhaps not do it tomorrow;
Best, while you have it, use your breath;
There is no drinking after death.
John Fletcher and Ben Jonson

He bids the ruddy cup go round
Till sense and sorrow both are drowned.
Walter Scott

A thousand drink themselves to death before one dies of thirst. (Es trinken tausend sich den Tod Ehe einer stirbt vor Durstes Noth.)
German Proverb

One draught above heat makes him a fool, the second mads him, and a third drowns him.

If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine — a friend — or being dry —
Or lest we should be by and by —
Or any other reason why.
Henry Aldrich

Let’s have one other gaudy night.
Call to me
All my sad captains, fill our bowls once more;
Let’s mock the midnight bell.

Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame
When once it is within thee.
George Herbert

Where the drink goes in, there the wit goes out.
George Herbert

A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk.
Samuel Johnson

Mrs. Williams: I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves [by drinking].
Dr. Johnson: I wonder, Madam, that you have not penetration to see the strong inducement to this excess; for he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Samuel Johnson

Were I to prescribe a rule for drinking, it should be formed upon a saying quoted by Sir William Temple: the first glass for myself, the second for my friends, the third for good humor, and the fourth for mine enemies.
Joseph Addison

I have fed purely upon ale; I have eat my ale, and I always sleep upon ale.
George Farquhar

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Robert Burns

There's death in the cup — so beware!
Nay, more — there is danger in touching;
But who can avoid the fell snare,
The man and his wine's so bewitching!
Robert Burns

And drink when you're dry — but don't drink beyond reason
Or you will be the worse for it when you've work to do.
William Langland

I am sure the Americans can fix nothing without a drink. If you meet, you drink; if you part, you drink; if you make acquaintance, you drink … They commence it early in life, and they continue it, until they drop into the grave.
Frederick Marryat

I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure.
Ernest Hemingway

Drinking And Drugs

No use saying sorry, it's something that I enjoy.
Ozzy Osbourne

Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations — wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.
Edmund Burke

My father warned me about men and booze, but he never mentioned a word about women and cocaine.
Tallulah Bankhead

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do, nowhere to go-o-oh
I wanna be sedated
The Ramones


Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.


Uppers are no longer stylish, Methedrine is almost as rare as pure acid or DMT. "Consciousness Expansion" went out with LBJ and it is worth noting, historically, that downers came in with Nixon.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.
P. J. O'Rourke

Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
Lily Tomlin

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson

A fool who, after plain warning, persists in dosing himself with dangerous drugs should be free to do so, for his death is a benefit to the race in general.
H. L. Mencken

I'm a heroin addict. I need to have sex with women who have saved someone's life.
Mitch Hedberg

Charm … it's a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don't need to have anything else; and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have.
J. M. Barrie

Every generation finds the drug it needs.
P. J. O'Rourke


You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Dean Martin

"Mr. Churchill, you are drunk."
"Madame, you are ugly."
"Mr. Churchill, you are extremely drunk!"
"And you, Madame, are extremely ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober."
Winston Churchill (Attributed to Churchill and Bessie Braddock, but most likely apocryphal)

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Ernest Hemingway

My dad was the town drunk. Usually that's not so bad, but New York City?
Henny Youngman (Attributed)

He that killeth a man when he is drunk shall be hanged when he is sober.
John Heywood

Astute people, when they want to ascertain a man's true character, make him drunk.
Martin Luther

The variety of behavior in men that have drunk too much is the same with that of madmen: some of them being raging, others loving, others laughing, all extravagantly, but according to their several domineering passions.
Thomas Hobbes

Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
The best of life is but intoxication.

Not drunk is he who from the floor
Can rise alone and still drink more;
But drunk is he who prostrate lies,
Without the power to drink or rise.
Thomas Love Peacock

What a man says drunk he has thought sober.
Flemish Proverb

I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.
F. Scott Fitzgerald


[One] must not demand prudence from a man who is never sober.

Nothing more like a Fool, than a drunken Man.
Author unidentified

One evening in October, when I was one-third sober,
An' taking home a 'load' with manly pride;
My poor feet began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an' lay down by my side;
Then we sang 'It's all fair weather when good fellows get together,'
Till a lady passing by was heard to say:
'You can tell a man who "boozes" by the company he chooses'
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.
Benjamin Hapgood Burt

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 23:20-21

He is a drunkard who takes more than three glasses, though he be not drunk.

Sweet fellowship in shame!
One drunkard loves another of the name.

Drunkards have a fool's tongue and a knave's heart.
H. G. Bohn


You must allow that drunkenness, which is equally destructive to body and mind, is a fine pleasure.
Lord Chesterfield

Drunkenness is the vice … of a memory that recollects the pleasures of getting drunk, but forgets the pains of getting sober.
C. C. Colton

Drunkenness makes some men fools, some beasts, and some devils.
H. G. Bohn

Drunkenness is a joy reserved for the gods: so men do partake of it impiously, and so they are very properly punished for their audacity.
James Branch Cabell

Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
Bertrand Russell


What was said of Rome, adorned by Augustus, may be applied by an easy metaphor to English poetry embellished by Dryden, lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit, he found it brick, and he left it marble.
Samuel Johnson


I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Mark Twain

It is too bad that death often results from duelling, for duels otherwise help keep up politeness in society.
Napoleon I


He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Foote


Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection.
The Book of Common Prayer (The Burial of the Dead)


The Dutch are a stupid people.
Napoleon I

In matters of commerce, the fault of the Dutch
Is offering too little and asking too much.
George Canning


Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Winston Churchill

Duties are not performed for duties' sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty — the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
Mark Twain

Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Mark Twain

[It] is all wrong to preach to the Forgotten Man that it is his duty to go and remedy other people's neglect. It is not his duty … The exhortations ought to be expended on the negligent — that they take care of themselves.
William Graham Sumner

For it is a poor service to God and the kingdom to take their pay and to decline their work.
Thomas Rainsborough

It is better to begin doing our duty late than never.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven.
Pierre Corneille

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
Thomas Jefferson

England expects every officer and man to do his duty this day.
Horatio Nelson

There is no evil that we cannot either face or fly from, but the consciousness of duty disregarded. A sense of duty pursues us ever. It is omnipresent, like the Deity.
Daniel Webster

I slept and dreamed that life was beauty;
I woke and found that life was duty.

The path of duty lies in what is near, but men seek it in what is remote.
Chinese Proverb

Unhappy the child who forgets his duty to his parents, for his own children, in their turn, will repay him in the same coin.

That duty demands and requires, that what is right should not only be made known, but made prevalent; that what is evil should not only be detected, but defeated.
Edmund Burke

It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.
Edmund Burke

I am well aware, that men love to hear of their power, but have an extreme disrelish to be told of their duty.
Edmund Burke

If we owe to it [civil society] any duty, it is not subject to our will. Duties are not voluntary.
Edmund Burke

If we do our duty we shall not fail.
Rudyard Kipling

Every man may be certain that he has no time to waste. The duties of life are commensurate to its duration, and every day brings its task, which if neglected is doubled on the morrow.
Samuel Johnson

When I’m not thanked at all, I’m thanked enough;
I’ve done my duty, and I’ve done no more.
Henry Fielding

The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.
Andrew Jackson


The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
Thomas Browne

He was dying all his life.
Hector Berlioz (of Chopin)

It is the duty of a doctor to prolong life and it is not his duty to prolong the act of dying.
Thomas, Lord Horder

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and terrified like his passengers.
Author unidentified

Nearby, a younger man was nursing a martini and a cigarette, slowly dying by his own hand.
Herb Caen

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
W. Somerset Maughm

The dying man doesn't struggle much and he isn't much afraid. As his alkalies give out he succumbs to a blest stupidity. His mind fogs. His will power vanishes. He submits decently. He scarcely gives a damn.
H. L. Mencken

Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
Oscar Wilde, Last words as he lay dying in a drab Paris hotel room

We begin to die at birth; the end flows from the beginning.
Marcus Manilius

[The] groans of the dying excited only the envy of their surviving friends.
Mariana de Rebus Hispanicis

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:6

When I die, I die. I could give a shit, 'cause it ain't my problem. I'd just rather not shit my pants on the way there.
Samuel Halpern

I'm always angry when I'm dying
Clifford Mortimer, last words

Do you know the famous last words of the Fatted Calf? 'I hear the young master has returned.'
Monja Danischewsky

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.

To die will be an awfully big adventure.
J. M. Barrie

I know I have not long to live, for my head is like a knife, from which the steel is wholly whetted away, and which is become mere iron; the iron will cut no more, even so it is with my head. Now, loving Lord God, I hope my time is not for hence; God help me, and give me a happy hour; I desire to live no longer.
Martin Luther

Of all the boons that man asks of the gods, he prays most fervently for an easy death.

I end a life of consummate misery by a death the most revolting.

O wretched little soul of mine, imprisoned in an unworthy body, go forth, be free!

I have lived in doubt, I die in anxiety, I know not whither I go. (Vixi dubius, anxius morior, nescio quo vada.)
Author unidentified

I am going to seek a great perhaps. Draw the curtain: the farce is played out.
Ascribed to François Rabelais

'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
When men are unprepared and look not for it.

Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As one that had been studied in his death —
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
As 'twere a careless trifle.

My desire is to make what haste I may to be gone.
Oliver Cromwell: Last words, 1658.

Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
Thomas Hobbes: On his deathbed, Dec. 4, 1679.

I imagined it was more difficult to die. (J'avais cru plus difficile de mourir.)
Louis XIV of France: Last words, 1715.

He is miserable that dieth not before he desires to die.
Thomas Fuller

The conscience of the dying man calumniates his life.
Luc de Varvenargues

He left a world he was weary of with the cool indifference you quit a dirty inn, to continue your journey to a place where you hope for better accommodation.
Mary Wortley Montagu

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is of no importance, it lasts so short a time.
Samuel Johnson

No rational man can die without uneasy apprehensions.
Samuel Johnson

Perhaps nature wants us, at the end of our days, to be disgusted with life, so that we may leave this world with less regret.
Frederick the Great

I do not like the apparatus [of death] at all, and hope I shall know no more of my going out of the world than I did of my coming into it. Life is a farce, and should not end with a mourning scene.
Horace Walpole

Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.
George Washington: Last words, Dec. 14, 1799.

Soldiers, straight at my heart! (Soldats, droit au coeur!)
Michel Ney: Last words at his execution, Dec. 7, 1815.

I am ready at any time. Do not keep me waiting.
John Brown: Last words on the scaffold, 1859.

The best way to get praise is to die.
Italian Proverb

A plague o’ both your houses!
They have made worms’ meat of me.

How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry!

If it were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy.

I saw him now going the way of all flesh.
John Webster

I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.
Samuel Johnson, On his final illness

He had been, he said, an unconscionable time dying; he hoped that they would excuse it.
Charles II

"You're not going to die, are you sir?" he said.
"Of course I am. Everyone is. That's what being alive is all about."
Terry Pratchett

Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Alexander Pope

It hath been often said, that it is not death, but dying which is terrible.
Henry Fielding

Now, God be with you, my children: I have breakfasted with you and shall sup with my Jesus Christ this night.
Robert Bruce

Old man! 'tis not so difficult to die.
Lord Byron

I've said I'm not afraid of death, and that's true. Dying, though, is another matter. Dying slowly in great pain is something I actively try to avoid.
K. J. Parker

Dying is only bad when it takes a long time and hurts so much that it humiliates you.
Ernest Hemingway


I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character … like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy …. The turkey … is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.
Benjamin Franklin


Nature has given man one tongue, but two ears, that we may hear twice as much as we speak.
Diogenes Laertius

Earl of Chesterfield

This man I thought had been a lord among wits, but I find he is only a wit among lords. [His letters to his son] teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing-master.
Samuel Johnson


Earnestness is just stupidity sent to college.
P. J. O'Rourke


All things come from earth, and to earth they all return.

Six feet of earth make all men equal.
James Howell

He saw with his own eyes the moon was round,
Was also certain that the earth was square.
Because he had journey'd fifty miles, and found
No sign that it was circular anywhere.

Look round and survey the various beauties of the globe, which heaven has destined for the seat of the human race, and consider whether a world thus exquisitely framed could be meant for the abode of misery and pain.
Samuel Johnson

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.
Thomas Jefferson

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke


It is in vain, I perceive, to look for ease and happiness in a world of troubles.
George Washington

Honor and ease are seldom bedfellows.
John Clarke

Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting that you can do lying down.
Chinese Proverb

Ease, if it is not rising into pleasure, will be falling towards pain.
Samuel Johnson


Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
Rudyard Kipling


Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.


In general they [my children] refused to eat anything that hadn't danced on TV.
Erma Bombeck

"There's nothing like eating hay when you're faint" … "I didn't say there was nothing better," the King replied, "I said there was nothing like it."
Lewis Carroll

We each day dig our graves with our teeth.
Samuel Smiles

He found that a fork in his inexperienced hand was an instrument of chase rather than capture.
H. G. Wells

Don't graze — unless you are a cow or want to be the size of one.
Zoë Harcombe

We have the nature and manner of all wild beasts in eating. The wolves eat sheep; we also. The foxes eat hens, geese, etc.; we also. The hawks and kites eat fowl and birds; we also. Pikes eat other fish; we also. With oxen, horse, and kine, we also eat salads, grass, etc.
Martin Luther

A full gorged belly never produced a sprightly mind.
Jeremy Taylor

Lord, Madame, I have fed like a farmer, I shall grow as fat as a porpoise.
Jonathan Swift

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are. (Dismoi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.)
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

He that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well.
H. G. Bohn

In eating, a third of the stomach should be filled with food, a third with drink, and the rest left empty.
The Talmud

The choleric drinks, the melancholic eats, the phlegmatic sleeps.
George Herbert

Be the first to stop, as befits good manners, and do not be insatiable, or you will give offense.
Ecclesiasticus 31:17


And of all plagues with which mankind are curst,
Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.
Daniel Defoe


The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
Adam Smith

No nation was ever ruined by trade.
Benjamin Franklin

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.
Adam Smith

There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Author unidentified

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
John Maynard Keynes

Blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protectionism teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.
Henry George

It is impossible to understand the history of economic thought if one does not pay attention to the fact that economics as such is a challenge to the conceit of those in power.
Ludwig von Mises

At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment.
Thomas Sowell

[The] zero-sum caricature [applies] much more accurately to socialism, which stifles the creation of new wealth and thus fosters a dog-eat-dog struggle over existing material resources.
George Gilder

The active, insatiate principle of self-love can alone supply the arts of life and the wages of industry; and as soon as civil government and exclusive property have been introduced, they become necessary to the existence of the human race.
Edward Gibbon

The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government union-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system.
Milton Friedman

There is no such thing on this earth as something for nothing.
William Graham Sumner

There cannot be overproduction of anything which men and women want. And their wants are unlimited, except by the size of their stomachs.
Thomas Edison

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound nought and six, result misery.
Charles Dickens

Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking.
P. J. O'Rourke


An economist is someone who sees something working in practice and wonders if it will work in theory.
Ronald Reagan


The love of economy is the root of all virtue.
George Bernard Shaw

I would rather have my people laugh at my economies than weep for my extravagance.
King Oscar II of Sweden

I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
Adam Smith

There can be no economy where there is no efficiency.
Benjamin Disraeli


Edible, adj. Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Ambrose Bierce


[An editor is] person employed on a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
Elbert Hubbard

Edmund Burke

I believe in any body of men in England I should have been in the minority; I have always been in the minority.
Edmund Burke

You could not stand five minutes with that man beneath a shed while it rained, but you must be convinced you had been standing with the greatest man you had ever yet seen.
Samuel Johnson


I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Chinese Proverb

"Whom are you?" he asked, for he had attended business college.
George Ade

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats

I find the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.
Clark Kerr

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
Mark Twain

It takes me several days, after I get back to Boston, to realize that the reference "the president" refers to the president of Harvard and not to a minor official in Washington.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I've over-educated myself in all the things I shouldn't have known at all.
Noel Coward

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly
Michel de Montaigne

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Alexander Pope

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
George Bernard Shaw

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

The learned are seldom pretty fellows, and in many cases their appearance tends to discourage a love of study in the young.
H. L. Mencken

The trouble is not chiefly that our universities are unfit for students but that many present-day students are unfit for universities.
Eric Hoffer

I was a modest, good-humored boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.
Max Beerbohm

School teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers.
H. L. Mencken

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.
H. L. Mencken

More than any other class of blind leaders of the blind they are responsible for the degrading standardization which now afflicts the American people.
H. L. Mencken, on pedagogues

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
Carl Gustav Jung

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain

Give your ears, hear the sayings,
Give your heart to understand them;
It profits to put them in your heart.

The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.
Edward Gibbon

It is better to learn late than never.
Publilius Syrus

Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
Winston Churchill

When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.

[It] is not sufficiently considered, that men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.
Samuel Johnson

In the productions of the mind, as in those of the soil, the gifts of nature are excelled by industry and skill.
Edward Gibbon

Genius may anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised, before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded: nor may the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to imitate, the works of his predecessors.
Edward Gibbon

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
Mark Twain

The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library, a post office, or even a newsstand.
Louis L'Amour

If I am through learning, I am through.
John Wooden

One of the benefits of a bad education is the constant pleasure of discovery.
Richard Brookhiser

No other society in human history has placed such a strong and consistent emphasis on education at all levels as the United States has from its very inception. But there has been a failure somewhere. … There is a universal complaint in Europe and North America that the young emerge from high school (and often from university) with only tolerable literacy, unable to write their own language well, ignorant of other languages, knowing little of their country's history, literature, and culture — fitter candidates for a mob than for a citizenry.
Paul Johnson

The purpose of a college education is to give you the correct view of minorities, and the means to live as far away from them as possible.
Joseph Sobran

[Bilingual education:] a school system that can't teach its charges in one language has smoothly diversified into not teaching them in two.
Mark Steyn

In modern education, girls are treated as the gold standard, and boys are treated as "defective girls."
Dennis Prager

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
Author unidentified

Learn of [from] the skillful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master.
Author unidentified

[Authentic] education is not "value-neutral" but includes moral education that explains the standards for right and wrong.
The 1776 Report

[Education experts] have not completely killed the habit among children of reading worthwhile books but they have certainly had a go.
Paul Johnson

Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness, but lead them by what amuses them, so that they may better discover the bent of their minds.
Plato: The Republic, vII, c. 370 B.C.

Children should be led into the right paths, not by severity, but by persuasion.

The great secret of education is to direct vanity to proper objects.
Adam Smith

I have never thought a boy should undertake abstruse or difficult sciences, such as mathematics in general, till fifteen years of age at soonest. Before that time, they are best employed in learning the languages, which is merely a matter of memory.
Thomas Jefferson

Education, however indispensable in a cultivated age, produces nothing on the side of genius. When education ends, genius often begins.
Isaac D'Israeli

Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.
Edward Gibbon

Repetition is the mother of education.
Jean Paul Richter

The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education.
R. W. Emerson

No child under the age of fifteen should receive instruction in subjects which possibly be the vehicle of serious error, such as philosophy or religion, for wrong notions imbibed early can seldom be rooted out, and of all the intellectual faculties, judgment is the last to arrive at maturity. The child should give its attention either to subjects where no error is possible at all, such as mathematics, or to those in which there is no particular danger in making a mistake, such as languages, natural science, history, and so on.
Arthur Schopenhauer

No mother's mark is more permanent than the mental naevi and moles, and excrescences, and mutilations, that students carry with them out of the lecture room.
O. W. Holmes

Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
Benjamin Disraeli

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.
John Lubbock (Lord Avebury)

We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure.
O. W. Holmes II

The state has a right to insist that its citizens shall be educated.
Pastoral Letter of the American Roman Catholic hierarchy, Feb., 1920

The parents have a right to say that no teacher paid by their money shall rob their children of faith in God and send them back to their homes skeptical, or infidels, or agnostics, or atheists.
W. J. Bryan

The effects of infantile instruction are, like those of syphilis, never completely cured.
Robert Briffault

There is now less flogging in our great schools than formerly, but then less is learned there; so that what the boys get at one end they lose at the other.
Samuel Johnson

To spend too much time in studies is sloth.
Francis Bacon

Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.
Winston Churchill

Certainly the prolonged education indispensable to the progress of Society is not natural to mankind.
Winston Churchill

Why then should women be denied the benefits of instruction? If knowledge and understanding had been useless additions to the sex, God almighty would never have given them capacities.
Daniel Defoe


In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present, merely means that there has been stored-up effort in the past.
Theodore Roosevelt

He who does his best, however little, is always to be distinguished from him who does nothing.
Samuel Johnson


I don't let the hate go to my heart, and I don't let the praise go to my head.
Dennis Prager


If she think not well of me,
What care I how fair she be?
George Wither

I am clever; and make no scruple of declaring it; why should I?
La Rochefoucauld

We cannot possibly feel for others; it is solely for ourselves that we feel. It is not father or mother, wife or child, that we love, but the agreeable emotions that they set up in us — emotions of pride and self-love.
G. C. Lichtenberg


An egotist is a man who thinks that if he hadn't been born, people would have wondered why.
Dan Post

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.
George Eliot


The riches of Egypt all go to foreigners.
Arab Proverb


Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
Franklin P. Adams

Whatever one may think about democratic government, it is just as well to have practical experience of its rough and slatternly foundations. No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than the fighting of elections.
Winston Churchill


When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
Abraham Lincoln


Eloquent speakers are inclined to ambition; for eloquence seemeth wisdom, both to themselves and others.
Thomas Hobbes

Eloquence, smooth and cutting, is like a razor whetted with oil.
Jonathan Swift

Can there be a more horrible object in existence than an eloquent man not speaking the truth?
Thomas Carlyle

Who can speak well can also lie well.
Japanese Proverb


Emacs is a nice [operating system], but a weird editor.
M. J. Blom


A little daily embroidery had been a constant element in Mrs Transome's life; that soothing occupation of taking stitches to produce what neither she nor any one else wanted, was then the resource of many a well-born and unhappy woman.
George Eliot


Nearest the king, nearest the gallows.
Danish Proverb

Every man ought to endeavour at eminence, not by pulling others down, but by raising himself.
Samuel Johnson

It is no less a proof of eminence to have many enemies than many friends, and I look upon every letter, whether it contains encomiums or reproaches, as an equal attestation of rising credit.
Samuel Johnson

He who ascends to mountaintops, shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
He who surpasses or subdues mankind
Must look down on the hate of those below.
Lord Byron


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


Because I pillage with one little ship I am called a pirate; because you do it with a great navy you are called an emperor.
A captured pirate to Alexander of Macedon, c. 330 B.C.


[An] extensive empire must be supported by a refined system of policy and oppression; in the centre, an absolute power, prompt in action and rich in resources; a swift and easy communication with the extreme parts; fortifications to check the first effort of rebellion; a regular administration to protect and punish; and a well-disciplined army to inspire fear, without provoking discontent and despair.
Edward Gibbon

One reason empires fail is that they are too big to run; they are easier to create than to administer, consolidate and defend.
Paul Johnson

The Earth is littered with the ruins of empires that believed they were eternal.
Camille Paglia

I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.
Winston Churchill

Employee Retention

Train people well enough so they can leave, pay them well enough so they don't want to.
Richard Branson


A man who qualifies himself well for his calling never fails of employment in it.
Thomas Jefferson

Employment gives health, sobriety, and morals. Constant employment and well-paid labor produce, in a country like ours, general prosperity, content, and cheerfulness.
Daniel Webster

When men are employed, they are best contented; for on the days they worked they were good-natured and cheerful, and, with the consciousness of having done a good day’s work, they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were mutinous and quarrelsome.
Benjamin Franklin


Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston Churchill

All lovely things will have an ending,
All lovely things will fade and die,
All youth, that's now so bravely spending,
Will beg a penny by and by.
Conrad Aiken

The line, often adopted by strong men in controversy, of justifying the means by the end.
Saint Jerome

He who wills the end wills the means.
English Proverb

May God make our end better than our beginning.
Arab Saying


What can't be cured must be endured.
English Proverb


A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde

Whoever has his foe at his mercy, and does not kill him, is his own enemy.

He makes no friend who never made a foe.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

We should forgive our enemies, but only after they have been hanged first.
Heinrich Heine

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
Thomas Jones

The savage nations of the globe are the common enemies of civilized society; and we may inquire, with anxious curiosity, whether Europe is still threatened with a repetition of those calamities, which formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Rome.
Edward Gibbon

Yet this apparent security should not tempt us to forget, that new enemies, and unknown dangers, may possibly arise from some obscure people, scarcely visible in the map of the world. The Arabs or Saracens, who spread their conquests from India to Spain, had languished in poverty and contempt, till [Muhammad] breathed into those savage bodies the soul of enthusiasm.
Edward Gibbon

I have made plenty of enemies in my lifetime, but none has ever done me as much injury as I do myself.
Kathryn L. Nelson

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
Napoleon Bonaparte

You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea.
Victor Hugo

Wise men learn much from their enemies.

A man has no enemy worse than himself.

How pleasant it is to pity the fate of an enemy when we have nothing more to fear from him.
Pierre Corneille

The gifts of an enemy are justly to be dreaded.

If we are bound to forgive an enemy, we are not bound to trust him.
Thomas Fuller

There is not a more prudent maxim than to live with one's enemies as if they may one day become one's friends.
Lord Chesterfield

All things human have their ends, and some day England will lose its liberty, and perish. It will perish when its legislative power becomes more corrupt than its executive power.
C. L. de Montesquieu

When an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may easily be the outcome.
Winston Churchill


There are three principal ways to lose money: wine, women, and engineers. While the first two are more pleasant, the third is by far the more certain.
Baron Rothschild, ca. 1800

If you can write code and understand systems, you're a geek. If you can communicate, coordinate, and control — you're an engineer.
Author unidentified


To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.
W. Somerset Maugham

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.
Rupert Brooke

Industrialization came to England but has since left.
P. J. O'Rourke

England is the paradise of women, the purgatory of men, and the hell of horses.
John Florio

Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!

England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune.

England is a moon shone upon by France. France has all things within herself; and she possesses the power of recovering from the severest blows. England is an artificial country: take away her commerce, and what has she?
Ascribed to Edmund Burke

You cannot imagine, you say, that England will ever be ruined and conquered; and for no other reason that I can find, but because it seems so very odd it should be ruined and conquered. Alas! so reasoned, in their time, the Austrian, Russian and Prussian Plymleys. But the English are brave; so were all these nations.
Sydney Smith

I consider the government of England as totally without morality, insolent beyond bearing, inflated with vanity and ambition, aiming at the exclusive dominion of the sea, lost in corruption, of deep-rooted hatred towards us, hostile to liberty wherever it endeavors to show its head, and the eternal disturber of the peace of the world.
Thomas Jefferson

It was never good times in England since the poor began to speculate upon their condition.
Charles Lamb

Oh, England is a pleasant place for them that's rich and high,
But England is a cruel place for such poor folks as I.
Charles Kingsley

Bognor has always meant to me the quintessential English seaside experience (before all this global warming stuff): driving in the rain to get there, walking around in the rain looking for something to do when you're there, and driving home in the rain again.
Terry Pratchett

Be England what she will,
With all her faults she is my country still.
Charles Churchill

Our cloudy climate, and our chilly women.
Lord Byron

The English winter — ending in July,
To recommence in August.
Lord Byron

England a happy land we know,
Where follies naturally grow.
Charles Churchill

Our severest winter, commonly called the spring.
William Cowper

England's not a bad country … It's just a mean, cold, ugly, divided, tired, clapped-out, post-imperial, post-industrial slag-heap covered in polystyrene hamburger cartons.
Margaret Drabble

I feel in regard to this aged England … that she sees a little better on a cloudy day, and that, in storm of battle and calamity, she has a secret vigour and a pulse like a cannon.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


The difference between the vanity of a Frenchman and an Englishman seems to be this: The one thinks everything right that is French, the other thinks everything wrong that is not English.
William Hazlitt

The English instinctively admire any man who has no talent and is modest about it.
James Agee

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
George Bernard Shaw

The most dangerous thing in the world is to make a friend of an Englishman, because he'll come sleep in your closet rather than spend ten shillings on a hotel.
Truman Capote

The English find ill-health not only interesting but respectable and often experience death in the effort to avoid a fuss.
Pamela Frankau

The English are a huge force for good and evil.
Paul Johnson

The [Medieval] English thought war was a business, which should turn in a profit.
Paul Johnson

The English take their pleasures sadly.
Maximilien de Bethune

Raw meat makes animals fierce, and it has the same effect on man. The English, who eat their meat red and bloody, show the savagery that goes with such food.
J. O. de la Mettrie

The English are a busy people. They haven't the time to become polished.
C. L. Montesquieu

Though I love my country, I do not love my countrymen.

They doubt a man's sound judgment if he does not eat with appetite, and shake their heads if he is particularly chaste.
R. W. Emerson

Historians have noticed, all down the centuries, one peculiarity of the English people which has cost them dear. We have always thrown away after a victory the greater part of the advantages we gained in the struggle.
Winston Churchill

English And Irish

I could wish that the English kept history in mind more, that the Irish kept it in mind less.
Elizabeth Bowen

English Language

If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!
"Ma" Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

Naturally I am biased in favor of boys learning English. I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat. But the only thing I would whip them for is not knowing English, I would whip them hard for that.
Winston Churchill

I have labored to refine our language to grammatical purity, and to clear it from colloquial barbarisms, licentious idioms, and irregular combinations.
Samuel Johnson

Good English is plain, easy and smooth in the mouth of an unaffected English gentleman.
Samuel Johnson

It may be doubted whether a composite language like the English is not a happier instrument of expression than a homogeneous one like the German. We possess a wonderful richness and variety of modified meanings in our Saxon and Latin quasi-synonyms, which the Germans have not.
S. T. Coleridge

View'd freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all.
Walt Whitman

There is one expression that continually comes to my mind whenever I think of the English language and compare it with others: it seems to me positively and expressly masculine. It is the language of a grown-up man and has very little childish or feminine about it.
Otto Jespersen


How hard it is to make an Englishman acknowledge that he is happy.
W. M. Thackeray

An Englishman,
Being flattered, is a lamb; threatened, a lion.
George Chapman


The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.
Mark Twain

The poor have little, — beggars none;
The rich too much — enough not one.
Benjamin Franklin


Ennui: nothing is so intolerable to man as to be completely at rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without work. He then feels his nothingness, his abandonment, his insufficiency, his dependence, his powerlessness, his emptiness. Immediately from the depth of his heart will emerge ennui, gloom, sadness, resentment, vexation, despair.
Blaise Pascal


You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
William Blake


The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now concerns itself no more, and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses!


Enthusiasm is that temper of the mind in which the imagination has got the better of the judgment.
William Warburton

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


No wild enthusiast ever yet could rest,
Till half mankind were like himself possess'd.
William Cowper

Opposition always inflames the enthusiast, never converts him.
J. C. F. Schiller


People are easily anesthetized by overstatement, and there is a danger that the environmental movement will fall flat on its face when it is most needed, simply because it has pitched its tale too strongly.
John Maddox

Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
P. J. O'Rourke

A pleasant natural environment is a good — a luxury good, philosophical good, a moral goody-good, a good time for all. Whatever, we want it. If we want something, we should pay for it, with our labor or our cash. We shouldn't beg it, steal it, sit around wishing for it, or euchre the government into taking it by force.
P. J. O'Rourke

[The land] was then covered with morasses and forests, which spread to a boundless extent, whenever man has ceased to exercise his dominion over the earth.
Edward Gibbon

Once ecology became a fashionable good cause, as it did in the late 1960s, reason, logic and proportion flew out of the window. It became a campaign not against pollution, but against growth itself, and especially against free enterprise growth — totalitarian communist growth was somehow less morally offensive.
Paul Johnson

Generally speaking, [climate] skeptics are not skeptical of any human influence. We are skeptical of (1) the size of the influence, (2) whether it presents any substantial danger, and (3) whether doing something about it with current alternative energy technologies would do more good than harm.
Roy Spencer

The [climate] models are what are being relied upon for proposed changes in energy policy; the observations are, apparently, a mere curiosity.
Roy Spencer

Wherever the material condition of the laboring classes has been improved, improvement in their personal qualities has followed, and wherever their material condition has been depressed, deterioration in these qualities has been the result.
Henry George


Worshiping the earth is more fun than going to church. It's also closer.
P. J. O'Rourke

Truly, environmentalism has displaced economics as the dismal science.
Steven Hayward

One should never underestimate the ruthlessness of the men and women possessed with the transcendental notion that only their acts can save the human race from imminent destruction.
Paul Johnson

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.
P. J. O'Rourke


Benign environmentalists are opposed to pollution, as all sensible people are; malign environmentalists are opposed to energy and most of what it enables.
Kevin D. Williamson

The collegiate idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.
P. J. O'Rourke


Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead.
Mark Twain

Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.
Job 5:2

[They] saw, they envied.
Edward Gibbon

The covetous man is ever in want.

Few men have the strength of character to rejoice in a friend's success without a touch of envy.

It is a nobler fate to be envied than to be pitied.

Envy is to be overcome only by death.

Every other sin hath some pleasure annexed to it, or will admit of an excuse: envy alone wants both.
Robert Burton

A man shall never be enriched by envy.
Thomas Draxe

Envy not greatness, for thou mak'st thereby Thyself the worse, and so the distance greater.
George Herbert

The envious man shall never want woe.
William Camden

Envy is more irreconcilable than hatred.
La Rochefoucauld

Honor is always attended on by envy.
William Winstanley

There is but one man who can believe himself free from envy, and it is he who has never examined his own heart.
C. A. Helvétius

Envy, among other ingredients, has a mixture of the love of justice in it. We are more angry at undeserved than at deserved good fortune.
William Hazlitt

All kinds of enmity are curable save that which flows out of envy.
Hebrew Proverb

Envy and anger shorten life.
Hebrew Proverb

The dullard's envy of brilliant men is always assuaged by the suspicion that they will come to a bad end.
Max Beerbohm

Such is the state of every age, every sex, and every condition: all have their cares, either from nature or from folly: and whoever therefore finds himself inclined to envy another, should remember that he knows not the real condition which he desires to obtain.
Samuel Johnson

There is not a passion so strongly rooted in the human heart as envy.
Richard Sheridan

Envy is, indeed, a stubborn weed of the mind, and seldom yields to the culture of philosophy.
Samuel Johnson


What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole,
Its body brevity, and wit its soul.
S. T. Coleridge

Short, it is easily retained in the memory; pithy, it contains in the compass of a few lines the sum of an argument; and the result of experience it often expresses the wisdom of ages.
H. P. Dodd


If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
H. L. Mencken

Pause, stranger, when you pass me by.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be.
So prepare for death and follow me.
Author unidentified

Here lies W. C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.
W. C. Fields

Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here;
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
William Shakespeare's epitaph

Once I was not. Now I am not. I know nothing about it, and it is no concern of mine.
Author unidentified

Here halt, I pray you, make a little stay,
O wayfarer, to read what I have writ,
And know by my fate what thy fate shall be.
What thou art now, wayfarer, world renowned,
I was: what I am now, so shall thou be.
The world’s delight I followed with a heart
Unsatisfied: ashes am I, and dust.

Go tell the Spartans, thou that passeth by,
That here, obedient to the laws, we lie.

Alternative translation:
Go, tell the Spartans
stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to Spartan law,
we dead of Sparta lie.

Simonides: Epitaph for the Spartans who fell at Thermopylae, 480 B.C.

Here, lapped in hallowed slumber, Saon lies,
Asleep, not dead; a good man never dies.

May the earth lie light upon thee. (Sit tibi terra levis.)
Epitaph common on Roman tombs

All hope of never dying here lies dead.
Richard Crashaw

The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stript of its lettering and gilding), lies here, food for worms; but the work shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.
Benjamin Franklin

Let my epitaph be, "Here lies Joseph, who failed in everything he undertook."
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor: Last words

And when I lie in the green kirkyard,
With the mold upon my breast,
Say not that she did well, or ill,
Only, She did her best.
Dinah Mulock Craik: Epitaph for herself

Epitaph, n. An inscription on a tomb, showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect.
Ambrose Bierce

This turf has drank
A widow's tear;
Three of her husbands
Slumber here.
Epitaph in a churchyard in Staffordshire England

Here lies our sovereign lord the King,
Whose promise none relies on;
He never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.
John Wilmot, of Charles II

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of Man, without his vices.
Lord Byron, Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog

Good to the poor, to kindred dear,
To servants kind, to friendship clear,
To nothing but herself severe.
Thomas Carew, epitaph for Lady Mary Wentworth

If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
Robert Burns, epitaph on William Muir

By many lands and over many a wave
I come, my brother, to your piteous grave,
To bring you the last offering in death
And o'er dumb dust expend an idle breath
Yet take these gifts, brought as our fathers bade
For sorrow's tribute to the passing shade;
A brother's tears have wet them o'er and o'er;
And so, my brother, hail, and farewell evermore!

(Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
Advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
Ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
Et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem …
Nunc tamen interea haec prisco quae more parentum
Tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
Accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale


O, lift one thought in prayer for S. T. C.;
That he who many a year with toil of breath
Found death in life, may here find life in death.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, epitaph for himself

Toll for the brave —
The brave! that are no more:
All sunk beneath the wave,
Fast by their native shore.
William Cowper


If I wish to walk with my equals, I have to go to the Capuchin crypt.
Joseph II


The Romans had aspired to be equal; they were leveled by the equality of servitude.
Edward Gibbon

The yearning after equality [in economic outcome] is the offspring of envy and covetousness, and there is no possible plan for satisfying that yearning which can do aught else than rob A to give to B; consequently all such plans nourish some of the meanest vices of human nature, waste capital, and overthrow civilization.
William Graham Sumner

The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.

It is not true that equality is a law of nature. Nature knows no equality. Its sovereign law is subordination and dependence.
Luc de Varvenargues

It is better that some should be unhappy than that none should be happy, which would be the case in a general state of equality.
Samuel Johnson

A musical instrument composed of chords, keys or pipes, all perfectly equal in size and power, might as well be expected to produce harmony as a society composed of members all perfectly equal to be productive of peace and order.
Jonathan Boucher

The best way to make every one poor is to insist on equality of wealth.
Napoleon I

Equality, in a social sense, may be divided into that of condition and that of rights. Equality of condition is incompatible with civilization, and is found only to exist in those communities that are but slightly removed from the savage state. In practice, it can only mean a common misery.
J. Fenimore Cooper

The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors.
Henry Becque

The only real equality is in the cemetery.
German Proverb


Law and equity are two things which God hath joined, but which man hath put asunder.
C. C. Colton


Equivocation is half way to lying, as lying is the whole way to Hell.
William Penn


Erasmus of Rotterdam is the vilest miscreant that ever disgraced the earth. He made several attempts to draw me into his snares, and I should have been in danger, but that God lent me special aid.
Martin Luther

Whenever I pray, I pray for a curse upon Erasmus.
Martin Luther

I hold Erasmus of Rotterdam to be Christ's most bitter enemy.
Martin Luther

Ernest Hemingway

He [Hemingway] has never been known to use a word that might cause the reader to check with a dictionary to see if it is properly used.
William Faulkner


The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of the truth — that error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
H. L. Mencken

Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson

Where error is irretrievable, repentance is useless.
Edward Gibbon

It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance.
C. C. Colton

An old error is always more popular than a new truth.
German Proverb

It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of truth.
John Locke

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
John Dryden


It may be laid down as a position which will seldom deceive, that when a man cannot bear his own company, there is something wrong. He must fly from himself, either because he feels a tediousness in life from the equipoise of an empty mind, which, having no tendency to one motion more than another, but as it is impelled by some external power, must always have recourse to foreign objects; or he must be afraid of the intrusion of some unpleasing ideas, and perhaps is struggling to escape from the remembrance of a loss, the fear of a calamity, or some other thought of greater horrour.
Samuel Johnson

Men, not having been able to cure death, misery, and ignorance, have imagined to make themselves happy by not thinking of these things.
Blaise Pascal


[Every] man desires to be most esteemed by those whom he loves.
Samuel Johnson

We are usually mistaken in esteeming men too much; rarely in esteeming them too little.
Stanislaus Leszcynski


Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
Tom Stoppard

Like a drop of water from the sea and a grain of sand, so are a few years among the days of eternity.
Ecclesiasticus 18:10


Our whole dignity consists in thought. Let us endeavor, then, to think well: this is the principle of ethics.
Blaise Pascal

In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.
Immanuel Kant


Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Go through the towns and ask yourselves whether these people should reproduce! Let them go to their whores!
Friedrich Nietzsche

The best of either sex should be united with the best as often, and the inferior with the inferior as seldom, as possible.


[Euphemism is] … a human device to conceal the horrors of reality.
Paul Johnson


Europe is secure from any future irruptions of Barbarians; since, before they can conquer, they must cease to be barbarous.
Edward Gibbon

When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do, ideas of greatness become an irritant. Such is the nature of the Europe syndrome.
Charles Murray

In Europe, nothing is certain except death and welfare, and why let the former get in the way of the latter?
Mark Steyn

Europe, as an entity, was the offspring of the marriage between the culture of ancient Greece and Rome and the morality of Judeo Christianity.
Paul Johnson


Wherever the European has trod, death seems to pursue the aboriginal.
Charles Darwin

European Union

The world is already drifting into three huge trading systems — the Americas, East Asia, and Europe. There is no doubt that the French, and the bulk of the Brussels machine, see the EC as an internal free-trading area, surrounded by a high protective wall — Fortress Europe. If the French determine the European pattern, then the Big Three will emerge as fiercely antagonistic, repelling one another's trade and fostering their own. The scene would be set for the greatest trade wars the world has ever known — and history teaches that trade wars lead to real ones. We could well face the nightmare of that tripartite world, engaged in perpetual warfare, foreseen in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Paul Johnson


Every evening we are poorer by a day.
Arthur Schopenhauer


The beginning of evil is the assault on truth. The first sin, of Adam, was preceded by the first lie, Satan's, and its unthinking repetition by Eve. The metaphor of Genesis teaches that anti-truth is the cause of active evil. Lying is the prolegomenon, the foreword, to the encyclopaedia of evil.
Paul Johnson

[Back] in Sudan, the killing went on: hundreds of thousands of people were murdered. With machetes … The mound of corpses piled up around the world at the turn of the century was not from high-tech nuclear states but from low-tech psycho states.
Mark Steyn

Instead of learning to fight evil, the Germans learned that fighting is evil.
Dennis Prager (paraphrased)

Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 97:10

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 8:13

There are very few true monsters in the world. Most evil is committed by banal men holding evil beliefs.
Dennis Prager

It is characteristic of the accretive subtlety of Christianity that it ascribes evil in the world to a multiplicity of causes. Marx, by contrast, has a single-cause theory: all the evils of society arise from private property; abolish that, and they will disappear. But the result is not happiness. It is the Gulag.
Paul Johnson

He who is bent on doing evil can never want occasion.

Submit to the present evil, lest a greater one befall you.

I would rather live with a lion and a dragon than live with an evil woman.
Ecclesiasticus 25:16

For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good?
St. Augustine

And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol’n forth of holy writ,
And seem a saint when most I play the devil.

An event has happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent.
Edmund Burke

The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, then they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?

God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.
St. Augustine

Of two evils we should always choose the less.
Thomas à Kempis

A beast is but like itself, but an evil man is half a beast and half a devil.
Joseph Hall (Bishop of Norwich)

There are men of whom we can never believe evil without having seen it. Yet there are few in whom we should be surprised to see it.
La Rochefoucauld

The three evils are the sea, fire, and woman.
Greek Proverb

Whenever God prepares evil for a man, He first damages his mind, with which he deliberates.

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
W. H. Auden

We believe no evil till the evil’s done.
Jean de La Fontaine

Shame be to the man who has evil in his mind. (Hony soyt qui mal pence.)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Joseph Conrad

As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
Christopher Dawson

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
John 3:20

Evil Doing

No man is clever enough to know all the evil he does.
La Rochefoucauld

Who would do ill ne’er wants occasion.
George Herbert


It is an error to imagine that evolution signifies a constant tendency to increased perfection. That process undoubtedly involves a constant remodeling of the organism in adaptation to new conditions; but it depends on the nature of those conditions whether the direction of the modifications effected shall be upward or downward.
T. H. Huxley

Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? To my juvenile eyes Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn't take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.
Terry Pratchett

Nature does not proceed by leaps.
Linnaeus [Carl von Linné]


Delusive exactness is a source of fallacy throughout the law.
Mr. Justice O. W. Holmes

Exactness is the sublimity of fools.
Author unidentified


Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.
C. C. Colton


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Mark Twain

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Makes ill deeds done!

Example is better than precept.
English Proverb

Example is a dangerous lure: where the wasp got through the gnat is stuck.
Jean de la Fontaine

Example is always more efficacious than precept.
Samuel Johnson

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Edmund Burke

He who will not be warned by the example of others shall become an example to others.
Author unidentified

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
Catherine Aird


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Will Durant

By different methods different men excel,
But where is he who can do all things well?
Charles Churchill

I trust a good deal to common fame, as we all must. If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.
R. W. Emerson


Nothing in excess.
Ascribed to Thales (and others)

Even nectar is poison if taken to excess.
Hindu Proverb


From the year of our Lord 1518, to the present time, every Maundy Thursday, at Rome, I have been by the pope excommunicated and cast into hell; yet I still live.
Martin Luther


And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.


Sir, executions are intended to draw spectators. If they do not draw spectators they don't answer their purpose.
Samuel Johnson

Thou wilt show my head to the people: it is worth showing.
Georges Jacques Danton, to his executioner


We must be on guard against giving interpretations of Scripture that are far-fetched or opposed to science, and so exposing the word of God to the ridicule of unbelievers.
St. Augustine


Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise.
Thomas Jefferson

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.
The Earl of Derby

Whenever I feel like exercise I lie down until the feeling passes.
Ascribed to Robert M. Hutchins


There is nothing in the essence of man which makes his existence necessary; it may equally well happen that this or that man does or does not exist.
Baruch Spinoza

Mere existence is so much better than nothing that one would rather exist even in pain than not exist.
Samuel Johnson


Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Alexander Pope

It is generally allowed, that no man ever found the happiness of possession proportionate to that expectation which incited his desire, and invigorated his pursuit; nor has any man found the evils of life so formidable in reality, as they were described to him by his own imagination: every species of distress brings with it some peculiar supports, some unforeseen means of resisting, or power of enduring.
Samuel Johnson

For the pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it, and the completion of almost every wish is found a disappointment.
Samuel Johnson

To whom nothing is given, of him can nothing be required.
Henry Fielding


It may, however, be laid down as a rule never to be broken, that a man's voluntary expense should not exceed his revenue.
Samuel Johnson


Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test before presenting the lesson.
Vernon Law

Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.
Oscar Wilde

Even brute beasts and wandering birds do not fall into the same traps or nets twice.
Saint Jerome

I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad.

The reward of suffering is experience.

It is costly wisdom that is bought by experience. … Learning teacheth more in one year than experience in twenty.
Roger Ascham

Man really knows nothing save what he has learned by his own experience.
C. M. Wieland

To most men, experience is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed.
S. T. Coleridge

Experience is of no ethical value; it is simply the name we give our mistakes. It demonstrates that the future will be the same as the past.
Oscar Wilde

If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced — Even a proverb is no Proverb to you till your Life has illustrated it.
John Keats


The true worth of an experimenter consists in his pursuing not only what he seeks in his experiment, but also what he did not seek.
Claude Bernard


An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.
Nicholas Murray Butler


Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.
H. L. Mencken


A few strike out, without map or chart,
Where never a man has been,
From the beaten paths they draw apart
To see what no man has seen.
Edgar Guest


Whatever we conceive well we express clearly, and words flow with ease.
Nicolas Boileau


Many people do not realize that the real adversary of extremism is not its opposite, but moderation.
Dennis Prager

Because extremes, as we all know, in every point which relates either to our duties or satisfactions in life, are destructive both to virtue and enjoyment.
Edmund Burke


The error of our eye directs our mind.

He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two.
Charles Dickens

Eye And Ear

That which is conveyed through the ear affects us less than what the eye receives.

What a mercy it would be if we were able to open and close our ears as easily as we open and close our eyes!
G. C. Lichtenberg


A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.
Oscar Wilde

God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.

If it was the fashion to go naked, the face would be hardly observed.
Mary Wortley Montagu

A man of fifty is responsible for his face.
Edwin M. Stanton


I don't invest in what I don't understand. And I don't want to understand Facebook.
Charlie Munger


Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
John Adams

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts.
Patrick Moynihan

I never ponder counterfactuals.
John Derbyshire

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.
Galileo Galilei

I grow daily to honor facts more and more, and theory less and less. A fact, it seems to me, is a great thing — a sentence printed, if not by God, then at least by the Devil.
Thomas Carlyle

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
T. H. Huxley


Old religious factions are volcanoes burnt out.
Edmund Burke

This sanguinary fury [regular warfare] at length subsides, and nations are divided into factions, by controversies about points that will never be decided.
Samuel Johnson


Mistakes are often the stepping stones to utter failure.
Author unidentified

In your code, never check for an error condition you don't know how to handle.
Author unidentified

Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.
Thomas Alva Edison

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure — which is: Try to please everybody.
Herbert Bayard Swope

The doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright (Attributed)

[After an appendectomy and a devastating electoral loss, Churchill found himself] without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix.
Winston Churchill

Experience, n. A series of failures. Every failure teaches a man something, to wit, that he will probably fail again next time.
H. L. Mencken

Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end results of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.
Eric Hoffer

Three failures denote uncommon strength. A weakling has not enough grit to fail thrice.
Minna Thomas Antrim

The most basic of conservative principles is that if you reward bad behavior you get more of it.
Mark Steyn

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
John Wooden

It is hard to fail; but is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.
George Orwell

In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.
J. C. and A. W. Hare

Failure in a great enterprise is at least a noble fault.
Greek Proverb

I regard it as very unfair. But capitalism without failure is like religion without hell.
Charlie Munger

I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.
John Keats


[Tests] are not unfair. Life is unfair and tests measure the results.
David Riesman (Attributed)


Those of little faith are of little hatred.
Eric Hoffer

Failure of faith almost always arises from lack of humility. Pride destroys faith, and pride is the déformation professionnelle of the theologian.
Paul Johnson

He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic.
Kingsley Amis

Faith has to do with things that are not seen, and hope with things that are not in hand.
Thomas Aquinas

Faith is a knowledge of the benevolence of God toward us, and a certain persuasion of His veracity.
John Calvin

How many things that were articles of faith yesterday are fables today.
Michel de Montaigne

To believe only possibilities is not faith, but mere philosophy.
Thomas Browne

'Twas an unhappy division that has been made between faith and works. Tho' in my intellect I may divide them, just as in the candle I know there is both light and heat; but yet put out the candle, and they are both gone; one remains not without the other: So 'tis betwixt faith and works. Nay, in a right conception, fides est opus; if I believe a thing because I am commanded, that is opus.
John Selden

I hear the message well enough; what I lack is faith.
J. W. Goethe

All tragedies are finished by a death,
All comedies are ended by a marriage;
The future states of both are left to faith.
Lord Byron

People in those old times had convictions; we moderns only have opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral.
Heinrich Heine


"Do you cheat on your wife?" asked the psychiatrist.

"Who else?" answered the patient.

Author unidentified

"Before we get married," said the young woman to her fiance, "I want to confess some affairs that I've had in the past."

"But you told me all about those a few weeks ago," her young man replied.

"Yes, darling," she explained, "but that was a few weeks ago."

Author unidentified

Semper fidelis [Ever faithful].
Author unidentified

I will follow the good side right to the fire, but not into it if I can help it.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne


He that lies upon the ground can fall no lower.
English Proverb

He that is fallen cannot help him that is down.
George Herbert


Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
G. K. Chesterton


False views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.
Charles Darwin


Now when I bore people at a party, they think it's their fault.
Henry Kissinger, on fame

In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.
Andy Warhol

Fame may last a minute, but infamy lasts a lifetime.
Author unidentified

Fame due to the achievements of the mind never perishes.

I do not like the man who squanders life for fame.

If fame is to come only after death, I am in no hurry for it.

The desire for fame tempts even noble minds.
St. Augustine

For my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations, and to the next ages.
Francis Bacon

The fame of men ought always to be estimated by the means used to acquire it.
La Rochefoucauld

What a heavy burden is a name that becomes famous too soon.

All fame is dangerous: good bringeth envy; bad, shame.
Thomas Fuller

From fame to infamy is a beaten road.
Thomas Fuller

If we look back into past times, we find innumerable names of authors once in high reputation, read perhaps by the beautiful, quoted by the witty, and commented on by the grave; but of whom we now know only that they once existed.
Samuel Johnson

I awoke one morning and found myself famous.

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.
E. G. Bulwer-Lytton

Fame is the beauty-parlor of the dead.
Benjamin Decasseres

Fame sometimes hath created something of nothing.
Thomas Fuller

As he that once miscarries does not easily persuade mankind to favour another attempt, an ineffectual struggle for fame is often followed by perpetual obscurity.
Samuel Johnson

Fame cannot spread wide or endure long that is not rooted in nature, and matured by art.
Samuel Johnson

Fame is a food that dead men eat, —
I have no stomach for such meat.
Henry Austin Dobson

Whatever may be the success of my stories, I shall be resolute in preserving my incognito, having observed that a nom de plume secures all the advantages without the disagreeables of reputation.
George Eliot

Of many writers who filled their age with wonder, and whose names we find celebrated in the books of their contemporaries, the works are now no longer to be seen, or are seen only amidst the lumber of libraries which are seldom visited, where they lie only to show the deceitfulness of hope, and the uncertainty of honour.
Samuel Johnson


Few men have been admired by their own households.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne


The threat to the family posed by modern radical collectivism is in the long run no less grave, and far more stealthy and difficult to fight. Nor is it a theoretical or distant threat. It is real and imminent, especially in the America of the 1980s. I can sum it up in one sentence: the United States is in the process of establishing a social and legal system in which marriage has no legitimate status and the family no natural role.
Paul Johnson

If the family structure breaks down, you'll need the government welfare state to expand to take care of the women and children, and you'll need the police state to expand to take care of the young men.
George Gilder (paraphrased from Dennis Prager Show, 10/3/2012)

There's no family but there's a whore or a knave of it.
James Howell

The larger your family, the more disgrace is in store for you.
Hindu Proverb

The worst families are those in which the members never really speak their minds to one another; they maintain an atmosphere of unreality, and everyone always lives in an atmosphere of suppressed ill-feeling.
Walter Bagehot


African famine is not a visitation of fate. It is largely man-made, and the men who made it are largely Africans.
P. J. O'Rourke


A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
Winston Churchill

Recluse fanatics have few ideas or sentiments to communicate.
Edward Gibbon

The fiercest fanatics are often selfish people who were forced, by innate shortcomings or external circumstances, to lose faith in their own selves. They separate the excellent instrument of their selfishness from their ineffectual selves and attach it to the service of some holy cause.
Eric Hoffer


Goose pimples rose all over me, my hair stood on end, my eyes filled with tears of love and gratitude for this greatest of all conquerors of human misery and shame, and my breath came in little gasps. If I had not known that the Leader would have scorned such adulation, I might have fallen to my knees in unashamed worship, but instead I drew myself to attention, raised my arm in the eternal salute of the ancient Roman Legions and repeated the holy words, "Heil Hitler!"
George Lincoln Rockwell

Whenever the spirit of fanaticism, at once so credulous and so crafty, has insinuated itself into a noble mind, it insensibly corrodes the vital principles of virtue and veracity.
Edward Gibbon

[Fanaticism] obliterates the feelings of humanity.
Edward Gibbon

There is only one step from fanaticism to barbarism.
Denis Diderot

We know the crimes that fanaticism in religion has caused; let us be careful not to introduce fanaticism in philosophy.
Frederick the Great


All farewells should be sudden, when forever.


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.
W. J. Bryan

A farm is like a man — however great the income, if there is extravagance but little is left.
Cato the Elder


The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything he produces at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.
John F. Kennedy

It is from the tillers of the soil that spring the best citizens, the staunchest soldiers. Farmers are, of all men, the least given to vice.

A plain country fellow is one that manures his ground well, but lets himself lie fallow and untilled. He has reason enough to do his business, and not enough to be idle or melancholy.
John Earle (Bishop of Salisbury)

Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
Jonathan Swift

When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.
Daniel Webster

Even if a farmer intends to loaf, he gets up in time to get an early start.
E. W. Howe

Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.
Thomas Jefferson


Fascism, before being a party, is a religion.
Benito Mussolini


Every generation laughs at the old fashions but religiously follows the new.
Henry David Thoreau

Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
Jean Cocteau

And by my grave you'd pray to have me back
So I could see how well you look in black.
Marco Carson

Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.
Karl Lagerfeld

Old fashions please me best.

Fools may invent fashions that wise men will, wear.
Thomas Fuller

What has been the fashion once will come into fashion again.
Japanese Proverb

The sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.
Miss C. F. Forbes


When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.
Saint Jerome

Fasting is a medicine.
St. John Chrysostom


Fat men are more likely to die suddenly than the slender.

I cannot but bless the memory of Julius Caesar, for the great esteem he expressed for fat men, and his aversion to lean ones.
David Hume


Fate gives the Wound, and Man is born to bear.
Alexander Pope

The nobly born must nobly meet his fate.

The best of men cannot suspend their fate:
The good die early, and the bad die late.
Daniel Defoe

But transient is the smile of fate:
A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter's day,
Is all the proud and mighty have
Between the cradle and the grave.
John Dyer


When asked why he did not become a father, Thales answered, "Because I am fond of children."
Diogenes Laertius

No man is responsible for his father. That was entirely his mother's affair.
Maraget Turnbull

Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.
Oscar Wilde

With the growth of modern civilization the role of the father is being increasingly taken over by the state, and there is reason to think that a father may cease before long to be biologically advantageous, at any rate in the wage-earning class.
Bertrand Russell

Becoming a father isn't difficult,
But it's very difficult to be a father.

(Vater werden ist nicht schwer
Vater sein dagegen sehr

Wilhelm Busch

My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, "You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don't make no difference to me, I'll make another one look just like you."
Bill Cosby


If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Be to her virtues very kind. Be to her faults a little blind.
Matthew Prior

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Neglect mending a small Fault, and 'twill soon be a great one.
Author unidentified

He who overlooks one fault invites another.
Publilius Syrus

If a friend tell thee a fault, imagine always that he telleth thee not the whole.
Thomas Fuller

No weakness of the human mind has more frequently incurred animadversion, than the negligence with which men overlook their own faults, however flagrant, and the easiness with which they pardon them, however frequently repeated.
Samuel Johnson


Never let your inferiors do you a favor. It will be extremely costly.
H. L. Mencken

Accept a favor, and you sell your liberty.
Publilius Syrus

Almost everyone takes pleasure in repaying small favors, and many people are grateful also for moderate ones, but hardly anyone fails to show ingratitude for great ones.
La Rochefoucauld

The feelings of men looking for favors are very different from those of the same men after obtaining them.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Favours of every kind are doubled when they are speedily conferred.
Samuel Johnson

You’ve told me, Maro, whilst you live,
You’d not a single penny give,
But that whene’er you chance to die,
You’d leave a handsome legacy:
You must be mad beyond redress,
If my next wish you cannot guess.

(Nil mihi das vivus: dicis, post fata daturum. Si non es stultus, scis, Maro, quid cupiam.)

F. Lewis, based on Martial


I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T. S. Eliot

[It] was fear that was then making you a good citizen, which is never a lasting teacher of duty.

[The] sentiment of fear is nearly allied to that of hatred.
Edward Gibbon

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
Edmund Burke

I'm saying, if something's scaring you out, don't run from it. Find out everything you can about it. Then it ain't the unknown anymore and it ain't scary … Or I guess it could be a shitload scarier. Mostly the former, though.
Samuel Halpern

I just mean that every time you're uncomfortable and you get the option to sit something out, you sit it out. So all I was saying to you was: when your asshole gets tight, don't listen to your gut, 'cause you've filled it with shit.
Samuel Halpern

When it's asshole-tightening time, that's when you see what people are made of. Or at least what their asshole is made of.
Samuel Halpern

I was scared then, I'm not now. How long do you want me to be scared?
Elmore Leonard and Scott Frank [from Get Shorty]

Every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.
George S. Patton, Jr.

All men [in war] are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Extreme fear can neither fight nor fly.
William Shakespeare

Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.
Edmund Burke

When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.

He who is feared by many must fear many.
Publilius Syrus

But fear depends upon an apprehension of punishment, which is never to be dispelled.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The souls of men are full of dread.

There is no medicine for fear.
David Fergusson

How often the fear of one evil leads us into a worse!
Nicolas Boileau

The first duty of man is that of subduing fear. We must get rid of fear; we cannot act at all till then. A man's acts are slavish, not true but specious; his very thoughts are false, he thinks too as a slave and coward, till he have got fear under his feet.
Thomas Carlyle

To be always afraid of losing life is, indeed, scarcely to enjoy a life that can deserve the care of preservation. He that once indulges idle fears will never be at rest.
Samuel Johnson

Whatever we ardently wish to gain, we must in the same degree be afraid to lose, and fear and pleasure cannot dwell together.
Samuel Johnson

And feels a thousand deaths, in fearing one.
Edward Young

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, 'Always do what you are afraid to do.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson


We're used to saying, "I'm fine," but it's rarely true. I often joke, "If a woman says she's fine, call 911."
Ruchi Koval


What men call good fellowship is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter, which lie close together to keep each other warm.
H. D. Thoreau


Feminism has betrayed women, alienated men and women, replaced dialogue with political correctness.
Camille Paglia

Feminism was always wrong to pretend that women could "have it all." It is not male society but mother nature who lays the heaviest burden on woman.
Camille Paglia

Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.
Camille Paglia


Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
G. K. Chesterton


Fetters of gold are still fetters, and the softest lining can never make them so easy as liberty.
Mary Astell


I hate things all fiction … there should always be some foundation of fact for the most airy fabric and pure invention is but the talent of a liar.
Lord Byron


Fiddlers, dogs and flies come to feasts uncalled.
David Fergusson

He was a fiddler, and consequently a rogue.
Jonathan Swift


Fidelity that is bought with money may be overcome by money.


Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You'll never get out of the jungle that way.
Arthur Miller

The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.
Author unidentified

[If] a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.
Horatio Nelson

Have fun and don't screw with anyone bigger than you.
Samuel Halpern

It is fighting at great disadvantage to fight those who have nothing to lose.
Francesco Guicciardini

There is a time to pray and a time to fight. This is the time to fight.
John P. G. Muhlenberg

We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Winston Churchill


It's over, and can't be helped, and that's one consolation, as they always say in Turkey, when they cut the wrong man's head off.
Charles Dickens


If lust and wanton eyes are the death of the soul, can any women think themselves innocent who, with naked breasts, patched faces, and every ornament of dress, invite the eye to offend?
William Law


Finland is the country of the Devil.
Russian Proverb


Occasionally we passed grim and taciturn men, huddled from the wind under wide green umbrellas, working the waters with every conceivable device of piscatorial ingenuity, in the pursuit of bream, tench, gudgeon and other inedible creatures. What pleasure did they derive from this dank and unrewarding pastime? Was it, perhaps, the negative comfort of escaping from wives, mothers, girlfriends, into one of the last bastions of unreformed masculinity?
Paul Johnson

Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.
Author unidentified, though attributed to Samuel Johnson in 1824

Anglers boast of the innocence of their pastime; yet it puts fellow-creatures to the torture. They pique themselves on their meditative faculties; and yet their only excuse is a want of thought.
Leigh Hunt

As the lone Angler, patient man,
At Mewry-Water, or the Banne,
Leaves off, against his placid wish,
Impaling worms to torture fish.
George Colman, the Younger


The land and the people and the flag — the land a continent, the people of every race, the flag a symbol of what humanity may aspire to when the wars are over and the barriers are down; to these each generation must be dedicated and consecrated anew, to defend with life itself, if need be, but, above all, in friendliness, in hope, in courage, to live for.
Author unidentified


'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery's the food of fools —
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.
Jonathan Swift

Flattery is a foolish suicide; she destroys herself with her own hands.
Edward Gibbon

[Flattery] adheres to power, and envy to superior merit.
Edward Gibbon

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.
Edmund Burke

Crows pick out the eyes of the dead, when they are no longer of any use. But flatterers destroy the souls of the living by blinding their eyes.

Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs.
George Chapman

If we did not flatter ourselves, the flattery of others would not hurt us.
La Rochefoucauld

When a woman thinks she can't be flattered, tell her it's true; that flatters her.
Author unidentified

Flatterers, like cats, lick and then scratch.
German Proverb

Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.
Samuel Johnson


The flea, though he kill none, he does all the harm he can.
John Donne

Well washed and combed domestic pets grow dull; they miss the stimulus of fleas.
Francis Galton


The flute is not an instrument with a good moral effect. It is too exciting.


Some men are more vexed with a fly than with a wound.
Jeremy Taylor


You know the oxygen masks on airplanes? I don't think there's really any oxygen. They're just to muffle the screams.
Rita Rudner

The air [flying] is an extremely dangerous mistress. Once under the spell most lovers are faithful to the end, which is not always old age.
Winston Churchill


A man who tries to surpass another may perhaps succeed in equalling if not actually surpassing him, but one who merely follows can never quite come up with him: a follower, necessarily, is always behind.


The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when had the opportunity.
Helen Rowland

The common curse of mankind, — folly and ignorance.

The chief disease that reigns this year is folly.
George Herbert

He who lives without folly is not so wise as he thinks.
La Rochefoucauld

The follies of the fathers are no warning to the children.
Bernard de Fontenelle

I enjoy vast delight in the folly of mankind: and, God be praised, that is an inexhaustible source of entertainment.
Mary Wortley Montagu

The first degree of folly is to conceit one's self wise; the second to profess it; the third to despise counsel.
Benjamin Franklin

The follies of the fool are known to the world, but are hidden from himself; the follies of the wise are known to himself, but hidden from the world.
C. C. Colton

Each age has its own follies, as its majority is made up of foolish young people.
R. W. Emerson

… a man advanced in years and no less advanced in folly.
2 Maccabees 4:40


Nobody really likes capers no matter what you do with them. Some people pretend to like capers, but the truth is that any dish that tastes good with capers in it, tastes even better with capers not in it.
Nora Ephorn

I am an epicure; you are a gourmand; he has both feet in the trough.
Competition, New Statesman

The best number for a dinner party is two — myself and a damn good head waiter.
Nubar Gulbenkian

I don't even butter my bread. I consider that cooking.
Katherine Cebrian

[Cheese is] milk's leap toward immortality.
Clifton Fadiman

I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead — not sick, not wounded — dead.
Woody Allen

Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
Satchel Paige

I don't think of myself as a "foodie." I'm more of an "eatie."
Jim Gaffigan, paraphrased

The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a star.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
Mark Twain

It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority for any town?
Mark Twain

'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

Who loves not wine, women, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.
Author unidentified

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Alexander Pope

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.
Author unidentified

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
Herbert Spencer

Wise men store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Proverbs 10:14

A fool's lips bring him strife,
and his mouth invites a beating.
Proverbs 18:6

A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one.

Experience keeps a dear School, but Fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that.
Author unidentified

It is Ill-Manners to silence a Fool, and Cruelty to let him go on.
Benjamin Franklin

The learned Fool writes his Nonsense in better Language than the unlearned; but still 'tis Nonsense.
Author unidentified

Most Fools think they are only ignorant.
Author unidentified

Half Wits talk much but say little.
Author unidentified

The World is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet every one has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the Affairs of his neighbor.
Author unidentified

Tricks and treachery are the Practice of Fools, that have not Wit enough to be honest.
Author unidentified

Fools multiply folly.
Author unidentified

What fools these mortals be.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

This fellow’s wise enough to play the fool,
And to do that well craves a kind of wit.

When I was a little boy, I had but a little wit,
'Tis a long time ago, and I have no more yet;
Nor ever ever shall, until that I die,
For the longer I live the more fool am I.

Whoever brings a fool into the world does so to his grief, and the father of a fool has no joy.
Proverbs 17:21 (NET)

A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him.
Proverbs 17:25

There is always a majority of fools.
Heraclitus (Ascribed)

Who is not a fool? (Qui non stultus?)

A fool and his money are soon parted.
English Proverb

There is in human nature, generally more of the fool than of the wise.
Francis Bacon

None is a fool always; everyone sometimes.
George Herbert

Some fools have wit, but none have discretion.
La Rochefoucauld

Wise men learn by other men's harms; fools by their own.
Thomas Fuller

The fool is happy that he knows no more.
Alexander Pope