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Cool Quotes


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


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.
Plautus, on absence

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

Abstemiousness And Gluttony

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
Benjamin Franklin

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The adverb is the enemy of the verb.
Author unidentified


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


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


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

We may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct.
Author unidentified


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


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


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

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


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


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


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 United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.
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.

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. 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


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

Ammianus Marcellinus

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


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

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


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)


Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.
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


No answer is also an answer.
German Proverb


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Assassination is the last resource of cowards.
Edward Gibbon


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


It is atheism and blasphemy to dispute what God can do: good Christians content themselves with His will revealed in His Word.
James I

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
Mark Twain

A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan


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


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


No man becomes bad all at once.


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


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


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


[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


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


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

To extraordinary circumstance we must apply extraordinary remedies.
Napoleon Bonaparte


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


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


Loath to bed, and loath to rise.
John Clarke

No bed is big enough to hold three.
German Proverb


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


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 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


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


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 beginning is half of the whole.

Every beginning is hard.
German Proverb


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 that 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)


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


A full belly neither fights nor flies well.
George Herbert


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


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


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


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


Blame is safer than praise.
R. W. Emerson


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


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


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)


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

Borrowing And Lending

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

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
William Shakespeare


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 a remarkable Christian forbearance among men.
Ambrose Bierce

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Light burdens, long borne, grow heavy.
George Herbert


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


[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

It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice; I consider the real vice is making losses.
Winston Churchill

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

Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
J. K. Galbraith

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 thousand dollars, you have a problem; if you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank has a problem.
Author unidentified

[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


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.


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


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


Cabbage twice cooked is death.
Greek Proverb.


If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then it's possible that you don't fully understand the situation.
Author unidentified

Keep calm and carry on.
Author unidentified. 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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

Cause And Effect

For want of a nail the shoe is lost; for want of a shoe the horse is lost; and for want of a horse the rider is lost.
George Herbert

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)


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


Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horsepond.
Thomas Love Peacock


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


If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption.
Thomas Jefferson


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 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


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


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

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
George Eliot

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.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Author unidentified

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


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

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

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


Be cheerful while you are alive.


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

Small child, small problems. Big child, big problems.
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


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 childless escape much misery.


I am married to Beatrice Salkeld, a painter. We have no children, except me.
Brendan Behan

Children enjoy the present because they have neither a past nor a future.
Jean de La Bruyère

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


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


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'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
Steve McQueen


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


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


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


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


Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain


Oh, no doubt the cod is a splendid swimmer—admirable for swimming purposes but not for eating.
Oscar Wilde


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


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

Any color—so long as it's black.
Henry Ford, on the choice of color for the Model T Ford


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


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.


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.


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

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


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)

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


We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink …
Attributed to Epicurus


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


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


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


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

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


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


Since it is now fashionable to laugh at the conservative French Academy, I have remained a rebel by joining it.
Jean Cocteau


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


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


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.
Steven Wright

First [a man facing temptation] sees difficulty, then he sees the danger, then he sees wrong.
H. L. Mencken


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


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


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


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


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.
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


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


Content and riches
Seldom meet together.
Riches take thou,
Contentment I had rather.
Benjamin Franklin


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


The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
Bertrand Russell


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


In fact, it is my opinion that co-ordination is a very much-misused word and its accomplishment is difficult.
George S. Patton, Jr.


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


[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.

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.
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

[William Strunk Jr.] scorned the vague, the tame, the colorless, the irresolute. He felt it was worse to be irresolute than to be wrong.
E. B. White

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.


I was a coward on instinct.
William Shakespeare


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

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]


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


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


All cruelty springs from weakness.

I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
William Shakespeare


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 characteristics of a vigorous mind.
Samuel Johnson


May you live in interesting times.
Author unidentified, often described as a Chinese curse

Despair, and die!
William Shakespeare


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


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


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


Here be dragons.
Author unidentified

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


Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow! (Carpe diem, quàm minimùm credula postero.)


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

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

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

Nearby, a younger man was nursing a martini and a cigarette, slowly dying by his own hand.
Herb Caen

The wailing of the newborn infant is mingled with the dirge for the dead.

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

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
Benjamin Franklin

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Susan Ertz

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
W. Somerset Maughm

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

Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
Tom Stoppard

I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it.
Mark Twain, of a deceased politician

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.

We begin to die at birth; the end flows from the beginning.
Marcus Manilius

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

Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
Mark Twain

Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

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

All come from dust, and to dust all return.
Ecclesiastes 3:20

And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
Ecclesiastes 4:2

Naked a man comes from his mother's womb,
and as he comes, so he departs.
Ecclesiastes 5:15

The King is dead! Long live the King!
Author unidentified

[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.

[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.

[They] were leveled in the grave …
Edward Gibbon

[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

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

Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it.
William Shakespeare

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

If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first.
The Talmud

Death takes no bribes.
Benjamin Franklin

Death, be not proud …
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more. Death, thou shalt die.
John Donne

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

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways—I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.

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


I like not brains that can dispute on both sides, and yet conclude nothing certain.
Martin Luther


Creditors have better memories than debtors.
Author unidentified


It's the easiest Thing in the World for a Man to deceive himself.
Author unidentified

Who has deceiv'd thee so oft as they self?
Author unidentified


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


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 delay is better than a disaster.
Author unidentified


Deliberation, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


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

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

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


I belong to no organized party—I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers

The Democratic Party is like a mule—without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity.
Emory Speer

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

My Grandmother wouldn't even speak the word Democrat if there were children in the room, she'd say Bastards instead.
P. J. O'Rourke


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 simple life.
Author unidentified


Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
William Shakespeare


Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?
William Shakespeare


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

Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Alexander Pope

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


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 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


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

Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.
John Stuart Mill


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


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


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


Detroit's political leadership is a parasite that has outgrown its host.
Kevin D. Williamson


Dictators ride to and for on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
Winston Churchill


Lexicographer. A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.
Samuel Johnson

Defining what is unknown in terms of something equally unknown.
Flann O'Brien, on dictionaries


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


[The] difference of language, dress, and manners … severs and alienates the nations of the globe.
Edward Gibbon


When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Will Rogers


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


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


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


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


Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
U.S. Navy SEALs Saying


Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich men poor.
Author unidentified


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


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.


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


God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.
Benjamin Franklin

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


The more one gets to know of men, the more one values dogs.
A. Toussenel


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


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)


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

Drinking And Drugs

They talk of my drinking but never my thirst.
Old saying

You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Dean Martin

An Irish queer: a fellow who prefers women to drink.
Sean O'Faolain

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

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

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

A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.
W. C. Fields

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.
Mark Twain

"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

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

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

Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.
Robin Williams

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
W. C. Fields

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

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

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Ernest Hemingway

I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on.
Oscar Levant

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

I only take a drink on two occasions—when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.
Brendan Behan

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

[One] must not demand prudence from a man who is never sober.

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.

My dad was the town drunk. Usually that's not so bad, but New York City?
Henny Youngman (Attributed)

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

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

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

Good cognac is like a woman. Do not assault it. Coddle and warm it in your hands before you sip it.
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

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

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

Kalsarikännit, n (Finnish). Getting drunk in one's underpants at home, usually alone.
Author unidentified

No use saying sorry, it's something that I enjoy.
Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, and Lee Kerslake

I'm a heroin addict. I need to have sex with women who have saved someone's life.
Mitch Hedberg

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

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,
And wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Proverbs 31:6 (KJV)


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


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


The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
Thomas Browne

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

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


What a blessing it would be if we could open and shut our ears as easily as we open and shut our eyes!
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


Earnestness is just stupidity sent to college.
P. J. O'Rourke


It is in vain, I perceive, to look for ease and happiness in a world of troubles.
George Washington


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


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.
Milton Friedman

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

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

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


An economist is someone who sees something working in practice and wonders if it will work in theory.
Ronald Reagan


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.
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

Repetition is the mother of pedagogy.
Dennis Prager

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


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


I don't let the hate go to my heart, and I don't let the praise go to my head.
Dennis Prager


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


Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
Franklin P. Adams


Emacs is a nice [operating system], but a weird editor.
M. J. Blom


[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


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


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.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Arabic proverb

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


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


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

If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!
"Ma" Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

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

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


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

Worshiping the earth is more fun than going to church. It's also closer.
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


Truly environmentalism has displaced economics as the dismal science.
Steven Hayward


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


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.


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

Here lies my wife: here let her lie!
Now she's at rest, and so am I.
John Dryden

Once I was not. Now I am not. I know nothing about it, and it is no concern of mine.
Author unidentified


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 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

Where error is irretrievable, repentance is useless.
Edward Gibbon


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


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

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


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


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Mark Twain

[Example] is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Edmund Burke


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Will Durant


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


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


Many people do not realize that the real adversary of extremism is not its opposite, but moderation.
Dennis Prager


A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.
Oscar Wilde


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


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


[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


"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


Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
G. K. Chesterton


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


… 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)


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


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


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


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


When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.
Saint Jerome


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


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


Never let your inferiors do you a favor. It will be extremely costly.
H. L. Mencken


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


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


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

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

[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'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


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.
Samuel Johnson (Attributed)


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


You know the oxygen masks on airplanes? I don't think there's really any oxygen. They're just to muffler 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


The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when had the opportunity.
Helen Rowland


… 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


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.
Author unidentified

The learned Fool writes his Nonsense in better Language than the unlearned; but still 'tis Nonsense.
Author unidentified

Wise Men learn by other's harms; Fools by their own.
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


The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.
Edgar R. Fiedler

Foreign Aid

Foreign aid is the transfer of wealth from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
Lord Bauer, paraphrased


Tis easy to see, hard to foresee.
Author unidentified

Dangers which are warded off by effective precaution and foresight are never even remembered.
Winston Churchill


Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.


Fortune is fickle and soon asks back what he has given.
Latin Proverb

I never admired another's fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.

The fortune of nations has often depended on accidents …
Edward Gibbon


France though armed to the teeth is pacifist to the core.
Winston Churchill

Free Market

If you destroy a free market, you create a black market.
Winston Churchill

Economists may not know much. But we know one thing very well: how to produce surpluses and shortages. Do you want a surplus? Have the government legislate a minimum price that is above the price that would otherwise prevail.… Do you want a shortage? Have the government legislate a maximum price that is below the price that would otherwise prevail.
Milton Friedman

Free Speech

We forbid any course that says we restrict free speech.
Dr. Kathleen Dixon, Director of Women's Studies at Bowling Green State University

The American people, I am convinced, really detest free speech. At the slightest alarm they are ready and eager to put it down.
H. L. Mencken

Some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.
Winston Churchill


If people have to choose between freedom and sandwiches they will take sandwiches.
Lord Boyd-Orr

When the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and never was free again.
Edith Hamilton, paraphrased

The middle class prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire.
Hermann Hesse

There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
Eric Hoffer

A nation may lose its liberties in a day, and not miss them for a century.
Baron de Montesquieu

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas Jefferson

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
Malcolm X

I believe that the heaviest blow ever dealt at liberty's head will be dealt by [the United States] in the ultimate failure of its example to the earth.
Charles Dickens

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
George Bernard Shaw

The average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe.
H. L. Mencken

It seems to me that society usually wins. There are, to be sure, free spirits in the world, but their freedom, in the last analysis, is not much greater than that of a canary in a cage. They may leap from perch to perch; they may bathe and guzzle at their will; they may flap their wings and sing. But they are still in the cage, and soon or late it conquers them.
H. L. Mencken

We hear about constitutional rights, free speech and the free press. Every time I hear those words I say to myself, "That man is a Red, that man is a Communist." You never heard a real American talk in that manner.
Frank Hague

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
Mark Twain

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
Eric Hoffer

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
Robert Louis Stevenson

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric Hoffer

[The] vain, inconstant, rebellious disposition of the people [of Armorica], was incompatible either with freedom or servitude.
Edward Gibbon

[The] love of freedom, so often invigorated and disgraced by private ambition, was reduced, among the licentious Franks, to the contempt of order, and the desire of impunity.
Edward Gibbon

Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils.
General John Stark

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.
Jacob Hornberger

If [the fact that people make poor decisions] is reason enough for the government to second-guess their decisions about dangerous activities such as smoking cigarettes and riding motorcycles, why on earth should the government let people make their own choices when it comes to such consequential matters as where to live, how much education to get, whom to marry, whether to have children, which job to take, or what religion to practice?
Jacob Sullum

Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart Mill

The thing to remember about freedom is that it's not given, it's taken.
Scott Adams

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson

Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson

I am not a warrior, but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.
Oscar van den Boogaard

Freedom is the silence of the law.
George F. Will

I defy anybody to say what are the rights of a citizen, if they do not include the control of his own diet in relation to his own health.
G. K. Chesterton

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
Ronald Reagan

Here we are, then, once more back at the old doctrine—Laissez faire. Let us translate it into blunt English, and it will read, Mind your own business. It is nothing but the doctrine of liberty. Let every man be happy in his own way.
William Graham Sumner

Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks—drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it's the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.
Mark Steyn

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
Milton Friedman

England's [Liberty] bell has fallen silent. Americans would do well to ensure that the crack in theirs grows no larger.
Charles C. W. Cooke

To live in freedom one must grow used to a life full of agitation, change, and danger.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
Ronald Reagan


The French have a passion for revolution but an abhorrence of change.
Old saying

The French drink to get loosened up for an event, to celebrate an event, and even to recover from an event.
Geneviève Guérin

In Paris, they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
Mark Twain

I prefer to travel on French ships because there is none of that 'women and children first' nonsense.
Noel Coward


After eighty years' experience, his [Freud's] methods of therapy have proved, on the whole, costly failures, more suited to cosset the unhappy than cure the sick.
Paul Johnson


[A] friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

An open Foe may prove a curse; But a pretended friend is worse.
Author unidentified

Be slow in choosing a Friend, slower in changing.
Author unidentified

I have plague enough with my adversaries, therefore my brethren should not vex me.
Martin Luther


Of my friends I am the only one I have left.

It's important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to friendship that we are not.
Mignon McLaughlin

In life it is difficult to say who do you the most mischief, enemies with the worst intentions, or friends with the best.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Don't tell your friends their social faults; they will cure the fault and never forgive you.
Logan Pearsall Smith

Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
Chinese Proverb

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
Elbert Hubbard

A man of active and resilient mind outwears his friendships just as certainly as he outwears his love affairs, his politics, and his epistemology.
H. L. Mencken

A friend in need is a friend to be avoided.
Lord Samuel

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
Gore Vidal

George Bernard Shaw: Am reserving two tickets for you for my premiere. Come and bring a friend—if you have one.
Winston Churchill: Impossible to be present for the first performance. Will attend the second—if there is one.
Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw

Misfortune tests the sincerity of friendship.

Friendship cheers the faint and weary,
Makes the timid spirit brave,
Warns the erring, lights the dreary,
Smooths the passage to the grave.
Author unidentified

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.
Ruth 1:16,17

If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.
Samuel Johnson

For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die;
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast—
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
Author unidentified


He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon a little.


Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Proverbs 27:1

[The] future belongs to those who show up for it.
Mark Steyn

A week ago, I had no idea what the future would bring, which, I guess, is always true of everyone all the time.
The Simpsons

There's many a slip twixt cup and lip.
Author unidentified

I have no fear of the future. Let us go forward into its mysteries, let us tear aside the veils which hide it from our eyes and let us move onward with confidence and courage
Winston Churchill


The emperor was probably born in the province of Galatia, whose inhabitants, the Gallo-Grecians, were supposed to unite the vices of a savage and a corrupted people.
Edward Gibbon


There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.
Mark Twain


The Gauls were endowed with all the advantages of art and nature; but as they wanted courage to defend them, they were justly condemned to obey, and even to flatter, the victorious Barbarians, by whose clemency they held their precarious fortunes and their lives.
Edward Gibbon

General Motors

General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a sprawling retirement home with a small money-losing auto subsidiary.
Mark Steyn


Every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead.
Robert S. Lynd

Talent is that which is in a man's power; genius is that in whose power a man is.
James Russell Lowell

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

Sometimes men come by the name of genius in the same way that certain insects come by the name of centipede—not because they have a hundred feet, but because most people can't count above fourteen.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I have nothing to declare except my genius.
Oscar Wilde, Remark at the New York Customs

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Edison

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
Oscar Wilde

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered—either by themselves or by others.
Mark Twain

In the faculty of writing nonsense, stupidity is no match for genius.
Walter Bagehot

The aspiring efforts of genius, or virtue, either in active or speculative life, are measured, not so much by their real elevation, as by the height to which they ascend above the level of their age and country; and the same stature, which in a people of giants would pass unnoticed, must appear conspicuous in a race of pygmies.
Edward Gibbon

These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed…. Great necessities call out great virtues.
Abigail Adams


God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
Mark Twain


It is of the essence of geopolitics to be able to distinguish between different degrees of evil.
Paul Johnson

George Washington

The Great Spirit protects that man [George Washington], and guides his destinies—he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire!
Unidentified Indian, c. 1770


She had exactly the German way: whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of the Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
Mark Twain


[The] ferocious Germans, who have so often attempted, and who will always desire, to exchange the solitude of their woods and morasses for the wealth and fertility of Gaul.
Edward Gibbon


I had no intention of giving her my vital statistics. "Let me put it this way," I said. "According to my girth, I should be a ninety-foot redwood."
Erma Bombeck


Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Napoleon Bonaparte

True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier for our living in it.
Pliny The Elder

Look back, and remember yourself to be but [a] man.

(Apparent derivations: "Remember that all glory is fleeting" and "Remember that thou art mortal")

Tertullian, Apology XXXIII


More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.
J. K. Galbraith

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.
Orson Welles

Gluttony hinders chastity.
Pope Xystus I

Gluttony slays more than the sword.
English Proverb

Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great.
Henry IV of France

One must eat to live, and not live to eat.

How hard is it to persuade the belly, that hath no ears?
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Gluttony is not a secret vice.
Orson Welles

The meal isn't over when I'm full. The meal is over when I hate myself.
Louis CK

A lot of slimmer people can't even fathom why fat people can't eat a normal portion-size, or why people eat when they're lonely, depressed, happy, anxious, bored, or celebrating Lincoln's mother's birthday.
Stephen Furst

For many years, I would eat and feel bad and guilty about it. And then drown my sorrows by eating again. Food was a comfort to me when I was depressed. I would eat to celebrate some good news. I would eat to drown my sorrow about bad news. … and more often than not, the bad food made me feel worse, which made me depressed, which made me want to eat [more].
Stephen Furst

I had a doctor tell me once that I was committing slow suicide [from overeating and diabetes].
Stephen Furst


It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
Arnold Toynbee

The things that haven't been done before
Are the tasks worthwhile today;
Are you one of the flock that follows, or
Are you one that shall lead the way?
Are you one of the timid souls that quail
At the jeers of doubting crew,
Or dare you, whether you with or fail,
Strike out for a goal that's new?
Edgar Guest

God And Religion

During the past ten years I have stolen 75 Bibles, perhaps the national record.
H. L. Mencken, who regularly sent Bibles to his friends in Baltimore elegantly inscribed, "With the regards of the author"

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.
Eric Hoffer

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16

God uses lust to impel men to marry, ambition to office, avarice to earning, and fear to faith. God led me like an old blind goat.
Martin Luther

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.
Woody Allen

Creator—A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
H. L. Mencken

God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
Pablo Picasso

Pray as though everything depended on the Lord and then go out and work as if it all depended on you.
Martin Luther

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Winston Churchill

Bart: How would I go about creating a half-man, half-monkey-type creature?
Teacher: I'm sorry, that would be playing God.
Bart: God, shmod, I want my monkey-man!
The Simpsons

Doctors are busy playing God when so few of us have the qualifications. And besides, the job is taken.
Bernie S. Siegel, MD

Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The Devil always builds a chapel there,
And 'twill be found upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.
Daniel Defoe

God will forgive me, it is his business.
Heinrich Heine, last words

Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism.
Thomas Jefferson

It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
Mark Twain

A Christian is a man who feels repentance on a Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday.
Thomas R. Ybarra

There cannot be a God because, if there were one, I would not believe that I was not He.
Friedrich Nietzshe

When a pious visitor inquired sweetly, "Henry, have you made your peace with God?" [Thoreau] replied, "We have never quarreled."
Brooks Atkinson

Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:5

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.
Paul Tillich

There can be no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.
Niccolò Machiavelli

It is conceivable that religion may be morally useful without being intellectually sustainable.
John Stuart Mill

The saints are the sinners who keep on going.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.
G. K. Chesterton

Archbishop, n. A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
H. L. Mencken

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
H. L. Mencken

The god I believe in isn't short of cash.

Puritanism, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken

Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Repentance, n. The faithful attendant and follower of Punishment. It is usually manifest in a degree of reformation that is not inconsistent with continuity of sin.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind—that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
H. L. Mencken

To attempt to be religious without practicing a specific religion is as possible as attempting to speak without a specific language.
George Santayana

All great religions, in order to escape absurdity, have to admit a dilution of agnosticism. It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely.
H. L. Mencken

There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.
Mark Twain

Religious insanity is very common in the United States.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.
2 Samuel 22:2

You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
Nehemiah 9:17

Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.
Job 1:21

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
Psalm 14:1

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NASB)

The LORD is my strength and my shield.
Psalm 28:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
Psalm 111:10

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.
Psalm 118:22

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10,11

"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."
Isaiah 57:21

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Author unidentified

But to have avoided [all religious fads] has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
G. K. Chesterton

Samuel Johnson enjoined the preachers of his time not to inveigh against those who were absent from church on Sundays by scolding those who were not absent.
William F. Buckley

Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:13

The gods help them that help themselves.

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
Mark Twain

Do not let your deeds belie your words, lest when you speak in church someone may say to himself, "Why do you not practice what you preach?"
Saint Jerome

The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."

Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

John 19:21,22

In the preceding volumes of this History, I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion …
Edward Gibbon

[The] Christian clergy … has claimed, in every age, the privilege of dispensing honors, both on earth and in heaven.
Edward Gibbon

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4

It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
Deuteronomy 32:35

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:13

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:21

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 3:16,17

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:7

In the hands of a popular preacher, an earthquake is an engine of admirable effect.
Edward Gibbon

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8,9

[Ennodius] adds weight to the narrative of Procopius, though we may doubt whether the devil actually contrived the siege of Pavia, to distress the bishop and his flock.
Edward Gibbon

Six years [after Severinus's death], his body, which scattered miracles as it passed, was transported by his disciples into Italy.
Edward Gibbon

[The Ascetics] seriously renounced the business, and the pleasures, of the age; abjured the use of wine, of flesh, and of marriage; chastised their body, mortified their affections, and embraced a life of misery, as the price of eternal happiness.
Edward Gibbon

A sanguinary and covetous mind is not the symptom of a sincere conversion [to Christianity]: let [Clovis, King of the Franks,] show his faith by his works.
Gundobald, King of the Bugundians

But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:68

The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity …
Edward Gibbon

[The] enthusiast who entered the dome of St. Sophia might be tempted to suppose that it was the residence, or even the workmanship, of the Deity. Yet how dull is the artifice, how insignificant is the labor, if it be compared with the formation of the vilest insect that crawls upon the surface of the temple!
Edward Gibbon

The Gothic arms were less fatal to the schools of Athens than the establishment of a new religion, whose ministers superseded the exercise of reason, resolved every question by an article of faith, and condemned the infidel or skeptic to eternal flames.
Edward Gibbon

[The Catholic church's] jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored …
Edward Gibbon

If a Christian power had been maintained in Arabia, [Muhammad] must have been crushed in his cradle, and Abyssinia would have prevented a revolution which has changed the civil and religious state of the world.
Edward Gibbon

[And] the ambiguous word [of God], which contains the precept of Christ [concerning divorce], is flexible to any interpretation that the wisdom of a legislator can demand.
Edward Gibbon

I know but of one religion in which the god and the victim [sacrifice] are the same.
Edward Gibbon

Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.
The Simpsons

Justinian might have learned, "that religious controversy is the offspring of arrogance and folly; that true piety is most laudably expressed by silence and submission; that man, ignorant of his own nature, should not presume to scrutinize the nature of his God; and that it is sufficient for us to know, that power and benevolence are the perfect attributes of the Deity."
Edward Gibbon, quoting Procopius

[Justinian] piously labored to establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith.
Edward Gibbon

[The] province which had been ruined by the bigotry of Justinian, was the same through which the [Muslims] penetrated into the empire.
Edward Gibbon

The desire of gaining souls for God and subjects for the church, has excited in every age the diligence of the Christian priests.
Edward Gibbon

[The Armenians] have often preferred the crown of martyrdom to the white turban of [Muhammad] …
Edward Gibbon

If there is no God, everything is permitted.

Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington

[The] fond alliance of the monks and females obtained a final victory over the reason and authority of man.
Edward Gibbon

[Muhammad], with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome.
Edward Gibbon

The Koran divides the world into two parts: the House of Islam (the part of the world controlled by Muslims) and the House of War (that part not yet controlled by Muslims).
Mario Loyola

The most rational of the Arabs acknowledged [God's] power, though they neglected his worship …
Edward Gibbon

The moral attributes of Jehovah may not easily be reconciled with the standard of human virtue …
Edward Gibbon

A prophet may reveal the secrets of heaven and of futurity; but in his moral precepts he can only repeat the lessons of our own hearts.
Edward Gibbon

[Muhammad] has not specified the male companions of the female elect, lest he should either alarm the jealousy of their former husbands, or disturb their felicity, by the suspicion of an everlasting marriage.
Edward Gibbon

Ye Christian dogs, you know your option; the Koran, the tribute, or the sword. We are a people whose delight is in war, rather than in peace; and we despise your pitiful alms, since we shall be speedily masters of your wealth, your families, and your persons.

In the opinion of the [Saracens], the difference of religion is a reasonable ground of enmity and warfare.
Edward Gibbon

[The Arabs'] rapacious spirit was approved and animated by the precepts of the Koran.
Edward Gibbon

The successors of St. Peter appear to have followed, rather than guided, the impulse of manners and prejudice; without much foresight of the seasons, or cultivation of the soil, they gathered the ripe and spontaneous fruits of the superstition of the times.
Edward Gibbon

Utopian desires are part of the human condition, and the craving to create a heaven on earth is the inevitable consequence of a godless society.
Jonah Goldberg

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
William Shakespeare

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
Psalms 130:1

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
C. S. Lewis

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion … Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington

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

Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
Martin Luther

I've been pope for nearly two years, a bishop for over twenty years, but for me the most important thing is still the fact that I am a priest.
Pope John Paul II

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson

Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.
Numbers 15:38-40

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:18

Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
Haggai 1:5-6

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

St. Paul, Galatians 5:19-23

Taken literally, Islamophobia means 'fear of Islam.' OK, well, there are many Muslims who have gone to great lengths to convince us to fear it. So what if I finally oblige them?
Matt Walsh

A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
Deuteronomy 22:5

Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we render to him, is doing Good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this …
Benjamin Franklin

God helps them that help themselves.
Author unidentified

Think of three Things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.
Author unidentified

Many Princes sin with David, but few repent with him.
Author unidentified

Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden but it is forbidden because it's hurtful.
Author unidentified

The worst that you can say about Him (God) is that basically He's an underachiever.
Woody Allen

God is not dead but alive and working on a much less ambitious project.
Author unidentified

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa [Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault].
The Roman Missal, Confession of Sins

Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return. (Memento, homo … quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.)
Genesis 3:19, paraphrased

There is nothing to be feared but our own sin and sloth …
Oliver Cromwell

But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Exodus 21:23-25

What hath God wrought!
Numbers 23:23 (KJV)

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

If any man hopes to do a deed without God's knowledge, he errs.

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war…
2 Samuel 11:1 (NIV)

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

It seems curious that personages intimately connected with the Holy Family always lived in grottoes—in Nazareth, in Bethlehem, in imperial Ephesus—and yet nobody else in their day and generation thought of doing any thing of the kind.
Mark Twain

When the Virgin fled from Herod's wrath, she hid in a grotto in Bethlehem, and the same is there to this day. The slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem was done in a grotto; the Saviour was born in a grotto—both are shown to pilgrims yet. It is exceedingly strange that these tremendous events all happened in grottoes—and exceedingly fortunate, likewise, because the strongest houses must crumble to ruin in time, but a grotto in the living rock will last forever.
Mark Twain

The world owes the Catholics its good will even for the happy rascality of hewing out these bogus grottoes in the rock; for it is infinitely more satisfactory to look at a grotto, where people have faithfully believed for centuries that the Virgin once lived, than to have to imagine a dwelling-place for her somewhere, any where, nowhere, loose and at large all over this town of Nazareth.
Mark Twain

History is full of this old Church of the Holy Sepulchre—full of blood that was shed because of the respect and the veneration in which men held the last resting-place of the meek and lowly, the mild and gentle, Prince of Peace!
Mark Twain

America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it's all right to keep asking if we're on His side.
Ronald Reagan

I thank you, living and enduring King, for you have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is your faithfulness.
Modeh Ani prayer

How few of the evils of life can justly be ascribed to God.
Samuel Johnson

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.
G. K. Chesterton

The response to religion-induced evil must therefore be religion-induced goodness, not no religion. There is no exclusively secular route to a good world.
Dennis Prager


Golf is like a love affair: if you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.
Arnold Daly

The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.
Sam Snead

Golf is a good walk spoiled.
Mark Twain

You have to understand, I don't play golf for fun. It's my business. When the mailman starts delivering mail on his off day, that's when I'll start playing golf for the hell of it.
Lee Trevino


It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing—I used to be a good boy.
Mark Twain

Good And Evil

It is a public scandal that gives offense and it is no sin to sin in secret.

The world is a dangerous place to live—not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Albert Einstein

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

The word 'good' has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.
G. K. Chesterton

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Brooks Thomas

If I knew … that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
Henry David Thoreau

No man deserves to be praised for his goodness unless he has the strength of character to be wicked. All other goodness is generally nothing but indolence or impotence of will.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

My only policy is to profess evil and do good.
George Bernard Shaw

He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars: general good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer. For art and science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars.
William Blake

If your morals make you dreary, depend on it they are wrong.
Robert Louis Stevenson

One murder makes a villain, millions a hero.
Bishop Beilby Porteus

Cruelties should be committed all at once.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
Albert Camus

The wicked man flees though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1

Of course heaven forbids certain pleasures, but one finds means of compromise.

Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us in consequence.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Don't worry about avoiding temptation—as you grow older, it starts avoiding you.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.
Ann Frank

For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Romans 7:19

Beware the fury of a patient man.
John Dryden

It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
H. L. Mencken

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
Mae West

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Joseph Conrad

I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
Margaret Thatcher

To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he is doing is good …
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun.
P. J. O'Rourke

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund Burke

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
William Shakespeare

You have a choice in life very often whether you do good or you feel good.
Dennis Prager

It is not up to you to finish the task, but neither are you free to desist [from trying].
Rabbi Tarfon

… every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.
Genesis 8:21

I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
Blaise Pascal

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Blaise Pascal

Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil.
G. K. Chesterton


The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.
German Proverb

Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you.
Spanish Proverb

Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them.
Louis B. Nizer

There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
Oscar Wilde

Gossip [is] the sewer of malice and envy …
Richard Brookhiser

Hear no ill of a Friend, nor speak any of an Enemy.
Author unidentified


A gourmet is just a glutton with brains.
Phillip W. Haberman, Jr.


A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw

I would rather be governed by the first three hundred names in the Boston telephone book than by the faculty of Harvard University.
William F. Buckley

The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away.
John S. Caldwell

No man should be in public office who can't make more money in private life.
Thomas E. Dewey

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
Will Rogers

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
Barry Goldwater

The state, it cannot too often be repeated, does nothing, and can give nothing, which it does not take from somebody
George Henry

How can you govern a country with two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?
Charles de Gaulle

The supply of government exceeds the demand.
Lewis H. Lapham

Every nation has the government it deserves.
Joseph Marie de Maistre

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
H. L. Mencken

Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.
Orson Welles

The federal government has three duties. Print the money, deliver the mail, and declare war.
Florence King

There is very little to admire in bureaucracy, but you have got to hand it to the Internal Revenue Service.
James L. Rogers

No class of Americans, so far as I know, has ever objected … to any amount of governmental meddling if it appeared to benefit that particular class.
Carl Becker

Any doctrine that … weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action … helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
John Dewey

Today's rebel is tomorrow's tyrant.
Will and Ariel Durant

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
Oscar Ameringer

Why should any country continue, forever, to be "great"?
William F. Buckley

That government is best which governs least.
Henry David Thoreau

The wrong sort of people are always in power because they would not be in power if they were not the wrong sort of people.
Jon Wynne-Tyson

Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.
Calvin Coolidge

The office of President is such a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy, that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
Jimmy Breslin

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow

I have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it.
Abraham Lincoln

In all my years of public life I have never obstructed justice … Your President is no crook!
Richard M. Nixon

In America any boy may become President and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes.
Adlai Stevenson

What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.
Friedrich Hayek

Who shall guard the guardians themselves? (quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)

It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.
Niccolò Machiavelli

There is a homely adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
Theodore Roosevelt

Democracy, with its promise of international peace, has been no better guarantee against war than the old dynastic rule of kings.
Jan C. Smuts

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Will Rogers

This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish in Great Britain at the same time.
Aneurin Bevan

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
Milton Friedman

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers

At a banquet Caligula was suddenly seized with a fit of helpless laughter. The consuls reclining next to him asked if they might share in the imperial merriment. Caligula, wiping the tears from his eyes, managed to gasp, "You'll never guess! It suddenly occurred to me that I had only to give a single nod, and both your throats would be cut on the spot."

The Labour Party Marxists see the consequences of their own folly all around them and call it the collapse of capitalism.
Jon Akass

The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.
Linda Bowles

Everybody has asked the question … "What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!
Frederick Douglass

In all sorts of government man is made to believe himself free, and to be in chains.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

[Government] is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting the population for the benefit of its own members.
H. L. Mencken

When a private citizen is robbed, a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed, the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before.
H. L. Mencken

The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse—that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.
H. L. Mencken

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war on liberty, and that the democratic government is at least as bad as any of the other forms.
H. L. Mencken

The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.
H. L. Mencken

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
Ayn Rand

Only government can cause inflation, preserve monopoly, and punish enterprise.
William F. Buckley

You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.
Mario Cuomo

The most valuable function performed by the federal government is entertainment.
Dave Barry

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
P. J. O'Rourke

[Government's modus operandi:] If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan

The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. How far that, or any other, consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice, is a doctrine of which I still desire to remain ignorant.
Edward Gibbon, regarding the duplicitous Roman massacre of unarmed Goths

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

[We] hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

He [is] the worst governor who [cannot] govern himself.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Governors ought to gain nothing by their governments but honor.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

But the desire of obtaining the advantages, and of escaping the burdens, of political society, is a perpetual and inexhaustible source of discord.
Edward Gibbon

[The one in authority] does not bear the sword for nothing.
St. Paul, Romans 13:4

[The] Roman government appeared every day less formidable to its enemies, more odious and oppressive to its subjects.
Edward Gibbon

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George Washington

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
Mark Twain

The whole idea of government is this: if enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.
P. J. O'Rourke

Government conspiracy? They can't even deliver our mail and it's got our address on it and everything!
P. J. O'Rourke

Government subsidies can be critically analyzed according to a simple principle: You are smarter than the government, so when the government pays you to do something you wouldn't do on your own, it is almost always paying you to do something stupid.
P. J. O'Rourke

For the people in government … Washington is an early-rising, hard-working city. It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.
P. J. O'Rourke

Bureaucrats want bigger bureaus. Special interests are interested in whatever [is] special to them. These two groups bring great pressure to bear upon politicians who have another agenda yet: to cater to the temporary whims and fads of the public and the press.
P. J. O'Rourke

When a private entity does not produce the desired results, it [is] done away with. But a public entity gets bigger.
P. J. O'Rourke

How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
Samuel Johnson

The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.
Frank Herbert

Expanded unemployment benefits … expand unemployment.
Author unidentified

[East German's] were brought up to identify totally with the state; they may be slow to realize the extent to which they were victimized by the state.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Attributed)

The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.
H. L. Mencken

Government doesn't solve problems; it subsidizes them.
Ronald Reagan

Public spending expands to absorb all available tax revenues. … Public borrowing expands to absorb all available means of finance.
Lewis E. Lehrman & John D. Mueller (variation on Parkinson's Law)

[The government is] now in a position to do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression of the 1930s—use a crisis of the times to create new institutions that will last for generations. To this day, we are still subsidizing millionaires in agriculture because farmers were having a tough time in the 1930s.
Thomas Sowell

If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.
Friedrich von Hayek

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
P. J. O'Rourke

Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Edmund Burke

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
James Madison

We have far more to fear from swift than from torpid government.
George F. Will

Take any three letters from the alphabet, put them in any order you want, and you will have an acronym designating a federal agency we could do without.
Milton Friedman (Attributed)

The history of the human race is one long story of attempts by certain persons and classes to obtain control of the power of the State, so as to win earthly gratifications at the expense of others.
William Graham Sumner

[The] State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man.
William Graham Sumner

The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.
Abraham Lincoln

Big government makes small citizens.
Mark Steyn

The societies of antiquity were frequently destroyed by the growth of the state and its parasites. The process continues to our own day, changing only its outward form. It is one of the central themes of Smith's The Wealth of Nations that private individuals create wealth, and governments consume it. The more the government consumes, the less the private sector has to invest; so wealth accumulates more slowly, or not at all, or even declines.
Paul Johnson

Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of [Muslim] rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound.
Mark Twain

A man's admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
Alexis de Tocqueville

… with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
Thomas Jefferson

Oderint dum metuant.
Let them hate, so long as they fear.
Lucius Accius

[Food activists] like to talk about market failures but are apparently blind to the abundance of government failures. If the process is so corruptible by corporate interests and mega farms, as they claim it is, then Uncle Sam is incapable of working in our food interests, and all the preaching of hope and change is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Jayson Lusk

The great scandal of American life is that we pay for German levels of government without enjoying the related benefits.
Kevin D. Williamson

If we'd had government on [today's] scale in the 1840s, the stagecoaches would have hired lobbyists to get a bill passed that railroads could not travel faster than a horse because it would be an unfair competitive advantage.
Newt Gingrich

As a broad generalization, big businesses have no moral objections to being whores. Getting into bed with Uncle Sam is all a question of price, not principle.
Jonah Goldberg

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
Everett Dirksen

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.
Winston Churchill


They're celebrating you graduating from eighth grade? We just went to your sixth-grade graduation two goddamned years ago! Jesus Christ, why don't they just throw a fucking party every time you properly wipe your ass?
Samuel Halpern


He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestow should never remember it.
Pierre Charron

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Eric Hoffer

[Where] gratitude is felt, resentment can never be very far behind.
James W. Ceaser

[The] act of gratitude is nowadays is probably more often neglected than overdone.
William F. Buckley

God, Parents, and Instructors, can never be requited.
Author unidentified

He is Governor that governs his Passions, and he a Servant that serves them.
Author unidentified

Lend Money to an Enemy, and thou'lt gain him, to a Friend and thou'lt lose him.
Author unidentified


I will gradually drop this subject of graveyards. I have been trying all I could to get down to the sentimental part of it, but I cannot accomplish it. I think there is no genuinely sentimental part to it. It is all grotesque, ghastly, horrible.
Mark Twain


A great ship asks deep water.
George Herbert

The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor the great scholars great men.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I'm against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.
Robert Frost

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

But be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare


Greece is a bleak, unsmiling desert, without agriculture, manufactures or commerce, apparently. What supports its poverty-stricken people or its Government, is a mystery.
Mark Twain


Grief is the agony of an instant, the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.
Benjamin Disraeli

Well, everyone can master a grief but he that has it.
William Shakespeare


The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
William Shakespeare


You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.
Al Capone


If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.
Edward Gibbon


Coming down with something? Please. You reek of booze and bullshit. Don't lie to a Kentuckian about drinking or horses, son.
Samuel Halpern


Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
Bertrand Russell

We are never so happy nor so unhappy as we imagine.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?
Charles M. Schulz

Happiness? That's nothing more than health and a poor memory.
Albert Schweitzer

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
Agnes Repplier

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Anne Frank

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy

The conviction of the rich that the poor are happy is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.
Laurence J. Peter

The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
H. L. Mencken

A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.
George Bernard Shaw

When I was young, I used to think that wealth and power would bring me happiness … I was right.
Gahan Wilson

Hollywood is where, if you don't have happiness, you send out for it.
Rex Reed

Boethius might have been styled happy, if that precarious epithet could be safely applied before the last term of the life of man.
Edward Gibbon

There is no device whatever to be invented for securing happiness without industry, economy, and virtue.
William Graham Sumner

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
Bertrand Russell

The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good.
Bertrand Russell

The only happy people I know are people I don't know well.
Helen Telushkin

Happiness is a serious problem.
Dennis Prager, title of his book on happiness


Haste is of the devil. Slowness is of God.
H. L. Mencken

If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
John Wooden

Make haste slowly
Author unidentified


Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
Eric Hoffer

We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right.
Don Lemon


Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.

If a man thinks about his physical or moral state, he nearly always discovers that he is ill.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.
Paul Dudley White

What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease.
George Dennison Prentice

I'm not sick, but I'm not well.
Harvey Danger

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; and do not outlive yourself.
George Bernard Shaw

Nearly all men die of their medicines, and not of their illnesses.

Sugar and alcohol are sweet poisons.
Author unidentified

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
Author unidentified

Leave the table hungry.
Leave the bed sleepy.
Leave the table thirsty.
Irish Recipe for Longevity, Author unidentified

Be not slow to visit the sick.
Ecclesiasticus 7:39

Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Health is not simply the absence of sickness.
Hannah Green

It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like.
Jackie Mason

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
Mark Twain

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Redd Foxx

Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away.
Robert Orben

People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.
Wendell Berry

In the face of such overwhelming statistical possibilities, hypochondria has always seemed to me to be the only rational position to take on life.
John Diamond


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
Theodore Roosevelt

The head never rules the heart, but just becomes its partner in crime.
Mignon McLaughlin

As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
H. L. Mencken

Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.
Proverbs 14:10

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and joy may end in grief.
Proverbs 14:13

Let not your heart be troubled …
John 14:1 (KJV)

Heaven And Hell

Heaven for climate, hell for company.
James M. Barrie

Everyone who has ever built anywhere a "new heaven" first found the power thereto in his own hell.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
John Milton

What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Mark 8:36

Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Mark Twain

May you get to Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead.
Irish Proverb

It is Hell, of course, that makes priests powerful, not Heaven, for after thousands of years of so-called civilization fear remains the one common denominator of mankind.
H. L. Mencken

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 devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
William Shakespeare

Who finds heaven on earth will end in hell.
Daniel Mark Epstein

According to the faith and mercy of his Christian enemies, [Chosroes] sunk without hope into a still deeper abyss [Hell]; and it will not be denied, that tyrants of every age and sect are the best entitled to such infernal abodes.
Edward Gibbon

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
Dante Alighieri

I always say, as you know, that if my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It's my job.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

I have friends in both places [Heaven and Hell].
Mark Twain

How do you know that the earth isn’t some other planet’s hell?
Aldous Huxley

Henry III

Like Jesus Christ himself, Henry [III] was as wise on the day of his birth as he would ever be.
Author unidentified


We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
Will Rogers (Attributed)

But heroes are not reckless or foolhardy. … A sensible hero fights bravely when he needs to do so; but first he fights prudently in order to avoid fighting bravely.
John O'Sullivan

No man's a hero to himself.
Ray Bradbury


Even a fool may be wise after the event.


The revolution of ages may bring round the same calamities; but ages may revolve without producing a Tacitus to describe them.
Edward Gibbon

History does not have sides, although historians do.
Jay Nordlinger


Don't brood on what's past, but never forget it either.
Thomas H. Raddall

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

History, n. An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

History … is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
Edward Gibbon

[The] Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire …
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

History's lessons are no more enlightening than the wisdom of those who interpret them.
David Schoenbrun

History repeats itself; historians repeat one other.
Rupert Brooke

The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false. It is sobering, too, to find huge and frightening errors constantly repeated; lessons painfully learnt forgotten in the space of a generation; and the accumulated wisdom of the past heedlessly ignored in every society, and at all times.
Paul Johnson

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
Oscar Wilde

One of the lessons of history is that Nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. [emphasis added]
Will Durant

The voice of history [is] often little more than the organ of hatred or flattery.
Edward Gibbon

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill

The interpretation of history is forever in flux, as much reflection of the present as window on the past.
Andrew Stuttaford

From the paths of blood (and such is the history of nations) I cannot refuse to turn aside to gather some flowers of science or virtue.
Edward Gibbon

So obscure are the greatest events, as some take for granted any hearsay, whatever its source, others turn truth into falsehood, and both errors find encouragement with posterity.

[We should] suspend our belief of every tale that deviates from the laws of nature and the character of man.
Edward Gibbon

History is a pack of tricks the living play upon the dead.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

There are no inevitabilities in history.
Paul Johnson

… there is no logic or justice in history. It is all a matter of chronology.
Paul Johnson

There is no such person as History. It is human beings who decree.
Paul Johnson

… reality cannot for long be banished from history. Facts have a way of making their presence felt.
Paul Johnson

What is important in history is not only the events that occur but the events that obstinately do not occur.
Paul Johnson

… the historian of the modern world is sometimes tempted to reach the depressing conclusion that progress is destructive of certitude. In the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries the Western elites were confident that men and progress were governed by reason. A prime discovery of modern times is that reason plays little part in our affairs.
Paul Johnson

History isn't like that. History unravels gently, like an old sweater. It has been patched and darned many times, reknitted to suit different people, shoved in a box under the sink of censorship to be cut up for the dusters of propaganda, yet it always—eventually—manages to spring back into its old familiar shape. History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it. History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It's been around a long time.
Terry Pratchett

If one but tell a thing well, it moves on with undying voice, and over the fruitful earth and across the sea goes the bright gleam of noble deeds ever unquenchable.

Unsung, the noblest deed will die.


Better than the rest of us, they [the Jews] sensed what was ahead for their people.
H. L. Mencken


'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
John Howard Payne


After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.
André Gide

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.
Mark Twain

It was no longer esteemed infamous for a Roman to survive his honor and independence.
Edward Gibbon

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach; once we have left it, we can never return.
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux

Let us honour if we can
The vertical man
Though we value none
But the horizontal one.
W. H. Auden


He had that rare weird electricity about him—that extremely wild and heavy presence that you only see in a person who has abandoned all hope of ever behaving "normally."
Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing '72"

Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

So farewell hope, and with hope, farewell fear,
Farewell remorse; all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good …
John Milton

Abandon all hope, you who enter here (Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate).

He that lives upon Hope will die fasting.
Author unidentified


When any man is more stupidly vain and outrageously egotistic than his fellows, he will hide his hideousness in humanitarianism.
George Moore

The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. … I call C the Forgotten Man.
William Graham Sumner


Shamus, n. [Yiddish]: A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks around the temple, and makes sure everything is in working order. A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of synagogue functionaries, and there's a joke about that: A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the middle of a service, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The cantor, not to be bested, also cries out, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, "Look who thinks he's nobody!"
Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.
Rick Warren


Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.
Will Rogers

Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast-beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.
Mel Brooks

Humour can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.
E. B. White

Humour is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him.
Romain Gary

The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
Mark Twain

Comedy, like sodomy, is an unnatural act.
Marty Feldman

There is no reason why a joke should not be appreciated more than once. Imagine how little good music there would be if, for example, a conductor refused to play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the ground that his audience might have heard it before.
A. P. Herbert

Humorous Quotations

Ginsberg's Theorem:
  1. You can't win.
  2. You can't break even.
  3. You can't even quit the game.
Author unidentified

You know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs then you lean too far and you almost fall over but at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time.
Stephen Wright

I filled out an application that said, "In Case Of Emergency Notify". I wrote "Doctor" … What's my mother going to do?
Stephen Wright

Reverend Lovejoy: Oh, come on, Lisa, now you're here for a reason. Is your father stealing bread?
Lisa: Maybe. I don't watch him every minute.
The Simpsons

Boy, life takes a long time to live.
Stephen Wright

For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
Stephen Wright

I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
Dave Barry

The other day I … uh, no, that wasn't me.
Stephen Wright

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
Woody Allen

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, "Well, what do you need?"
Stephen Wright

When I woke up this morning, my girlfriend asked if I had slept well. I said, "No, I made a few mistakes."
Stephen Wright

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
Stephen Wright

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.
Woody Allen

If you don't go to people's funerals, they won't come to yours.
Author unidentified

It is illegal to make liquor privately or water publicly.
Lord Birkett

Good night to spend with family, but avoid arguments with your mate's new lover.
Author unidentified

My boyfriend and I broke up. He wanted to get married, and I didn't want him to.
Rita Rudner

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous—everyone hasn't met me yet.
Rodney Dangerfield

Prostitution gives her an opportunity to meet people. It provides fresh air and wholesome exercise, and it keeps her out of trouble.
Joseph Heller

It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
Author unidentified

Paul's Law: You can't fall off the floor.
Author unidentified

Lowery's Law: If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
Author unidentified

Chaos, panic, and disorder. My work here is done.
Author unidentified

Homer: You know, Marge, that Bart is a little miracle—his winning smile, his button nose, his fat little stomach, his face alight with wholesome mischief. He reminds me of me before the weight of the world crushed my spirit.
The Simpsons

Don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love.
Woody Allen

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
Woody Allen

There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Author unidentified

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
Doug Larson

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
Rodney Dangerfield

Homer: Marge, I'm going to miss you so much. And it's not just the sex. It's also the food preparation.
The Simpsons

Homer: Trying is the first step toward failure.
The Simpsons

Grandpa: I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.
The Simpsons

Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be.
Rita Rudner

My husband gave me a necklace. It's fake. I requested fake. Maybe I'm paranoid, but in this day and age, I don't want something around my neck that's worth more than my head.
Rita Rudner

Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.
William Safire

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
George Carlin

When I have a kid, I wanna put him in one of those strollers for twins, then run around the mall looking frantic.
Stephen Wright

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
Charles M. Schulz

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
Steven Wright

After handing him a report card filled with F's, the boy asked his father, "Do you think the problem is my heredity or my upbringing?"
Author unidentified

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Terry Pratchett

If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
Samuel Goldwyn

Success didn't spoil me, I've always been insufferable.
Fran Lebowitz

When I was a little kid, we had a quicksand box. I was an only child … eventually.
Steven Wright

A friend is someone who will help you move. A real friend is someone who will help you move a body.
Author unidentified

My theory is that all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.
Mike Myers

They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days.
Garrison Keillor

I ask for so little. And boy do I get it.
Dilbert (Scott Adams)

I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?
Ronnie Shakes

Marge: Growing up means giving up everything that makes you happy.
The Simpsons

Lisa: I still stand by my beliefs. But I can't defend what I did …
Homer: I understand honey. I used to believe in things when I was a kid.
The Simpsons

As a matter of principle, I never attend the first annual anything.
George Carlin

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to [himself], "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."
George Carlin

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?
George Carlin

Lenny: Date night, it's the embalming fluid that keeps the mummy of a marriage fresh after the heart and brain have been pulled out through the nose.
Carl: I never should have given you that Egyptology book.
The Simpsons

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
Author unidentified

Homer: Sometimes, Marge, you just have to go with your gut.
Marge: You always go with your gut. How about for once you listen to your brain?
The Simpsons

Homer: Son, when a woman says nothing's wrong, it means everything's wrong. When a woman says everything's wrong, it means everything's wrong. And when a woman says that something isn't funny, you'd better not laugh your ass off!
The Simpsons

Homer: Kids, just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.
The Simpsons

Homer: I don't know how you put up with all these kids, Toohey [the daycare director]. If I were you, there'd be a lot of strangled babies.
The Simpsons

Mindy: Homer, you don't have to do anything you don't want to.
Homer: Well, maybe I want to [have sex]. Then I think about Marge and the kids … well, not the boy. He drives me nuts. Sometimes I'd just like to [makes strangling motion] …
The Simpsons

Homer: That's a problem for future Homer. Man, I don't envy that guy.
The Simpsons

You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
Dave Barry

You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
Dave Barry

Stress is caused by suppressing the urge to beat the crap out of someone who desperately needs it.
Author unidentified

Homer: Girls are easy. Girls love daddy. Girls make birthday cards with glitter on them. Girls can marry a hockey player and get me seats to hockey games. Girls don't steal my knives. And I don't have to tell girls how their bodies work 'cause I don't know.
Bart: You never told me how my body works.
Homer: Point and shoot.
The Simpsons

Bart: You don't look like a mom. You look happy.
The Simpsons

Bode: What's up. I'm Bode. Do you surf?
Milhouse: No. My parents took me to Hawaii once, but I was intimidated by the physiques of the local kids. So I just stayed in the hotel room.
Bode: That's cool.
Milhouse: No … it's not cool.
The Simpsons

He's a 17-year-old boy … He doesn't have any innermost thoughts, and if he did, you wouldn't want to know what they [are] and neither would I.
Andrew Ferguson

Everything's perfect about the past except how it led to the present.
The Simpsons

Lisa: Dad, no! We're trying to conserve energy.
Homer: Lisa, if we start conserving, the environmentalists win.
The Simpsons

I drove [to the airport] like an old man drives through a farmer's market, ignoring all laws of man, nature, and God.
Adam Carolla

[Somehow] free food at the workplace turns everyone into a bear at Yellowstone Park.
Adam Carolla

Life is just the time between crapping yourself.
Adam Carolla

Possum played chicken
with a car
Not playing dead now.
Jack Kerouac

For dads, a family vacation is a 24-hour a day baby sitting job.
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Breaking news from the Middle East: Bearded men throwing rocks, yelling.
Author unidentified

You've learned a very valuable life lesson, boy, which is that love doesn't exist except briefly between a man and a woman before marriage. After that it's hanging out with someone who kinda hates you, but you can't get it together to leave.
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life. Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying.
George Carlin

Penny: Okay, that's fine, but let's try and get you out of your comfort zone.
Sheldon: Why would we want to do that? It's called the comfort zone for a reason.
The Big Bang Theory

[The] majority of the girls working there had major emotional problems. And not cries-too-much emotional problems; more like stabs-her-boyfriend-with-a-steak-knife-then-falls-into-a-corner-and-starts-whispering-to-herself emotional problems.
Justin Halpern

In my father's time they hanged you for it [homosexuality]. When I was a lad they put you in prison for it. Now it's legal. I hope I die before they make it compulsory.
Author unidentified

I had to leave. They were having fun wrong.
Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)

Nut tightening stages: Loose, tight, tighter, very tight, over tight, loose.
Author unidentified

I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.
Author unidentified

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you're stupid and make bad choices.
Author unidentified

Lisa: (explaining to Homer) Oedipus killed his father and married his mother!
Homer: God! Who pays for that wedding?!
The Simpsons

Ralphie: Daddy, how come you're not at work?
Wiggum: I don't know. How come you're not at school?
Ralphie: My teacher says she's tired of trying.
Wiggum: Yeah, well, so am I, Ralphie, so am I.
The Simpsons

I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.
Mitch Hedberg

You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.
Mitch Hedberg

When someone hands you a flyer, it's like they're saying here you throw this away.
Mitch Hedberg

An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.
Mitch Hedberg

If I had nine of my fingers missing I wouldn't type any slower.
Mitch Hedberg

Fettuccine Alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults.
Mitch Hedberg

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall.
Mitch Hedberg

Rice is great if you're really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.
Mitch Hedberg

I don't have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who'd be mad at me for saying that.
Mitch Hedberg

I wish I could play little league now. I'd be way better than before.
Mitch Hedberg

I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
Mitch Hedberg

I'm gonna fix that last joke by taking out all the words and adding new ones.
Mitch Hedberg

I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, 'You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit.' As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.
Mitch Hedberg

I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.
Mitch Hedberg

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
Steven Wright

I installed a skylight in my apartment … the people who live above me are furious!
Steven Wright

Right now I'm having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
Steven Wright

Anything worth doing has a slight risk of decapitation.
Nick Offerman (when talking about working with a dangerous saw)

Always be yourself …
Unless you can be Batman—then always be Batman.
Author unidentified

I just spent my day playing a toy, in a movie about toys who do horrible things to each other.
Orson Welles, on his role as Unicorn in "The Transformers: The Movie"

Homer: I'm feeling kind of low, Apu. Got any of that beer with candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrau.
Apu: Such a product does not exist, sir. I think you must have dreamed it.
Homer: Oh … well, then just give me a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.
The Simpsons

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise—surprise and fear … fear and surprise … our two weapons are fear and surprise—and ruthless efficiency … our three weapons are fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope … our four … no … Amongst our weapons—amongst our weaponry—are such elements as fear, surprise … I'll come in again.
Graham Chapman and John Cleese

No sex, please—we're British.
Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot

Homer: My name is Homer and I'm just here [the AA meeting] because the court made me come.
Reverend Lovejoy: Homer, with our help, you'll never touch a beer again.
Homer: [screams and jumps through the window]
The Simpsons

In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol. It was the worst 20 minutes of my life.
George Best

This is why we can't have nice things …
Author unidentified

Carl: Homer, you should see a doctor. I don't think a healthy man can make that kind of smell.
The Simpsons

Student 1: Do you think most students on campus are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual?
Student 2: I think most students are autosexual.
Author unidentified

I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too.
Mitch Hedberg

I love my fed-ex guy cause he's a drug dealer and he don't even know it…and he's always on time.
Mitch Hedberg

It takes forever to cook a baked potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes I'll just throw one in there even if I don't want one. By the time it's done, Who knows?
Mitch Hedberg

[Homer is eating from a bag of flour]
Marge: Oh honey, don’t eat that. Wouldn’t you rather have your sugar bag?
Homer: No. I don’t deserve sugar.
The Simpsons

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!
Dr. Strangelove movie

Asok: Alice, do you have any valuable career advice?
Alice: Work so hard that it destroys your health and crowds out any chance of having a personal life.
Asok: Wouldn't that make me … unhappy?
Alice: You didn't ask for happiness advice.
Scott Adams, Dilbert Cartoon 2012-12-06

lockdown, n. Middle-class people hiding while working-class people bring them things.
Author unidentified, referring to the 2020/2021 pandemic lockdown

Ralph: The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nosebleeds if I kept my finger out of there.
The Simpsons

Why are you the way that you are?
The Office

As I was going up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish, he'd stay away.
William Mearns

Plant Counselor: What you need is a good, long rest. I suggest Florida.
Homer: Florida? But that's America's wang!
Plant Counselor: They prefer the Sunshine State.
The Simpsons

Don't wait till your deathbed to tell people how you feel. Tell them to fuck off now.
Author unidentified


To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
Whenever you're right, shut up.
Ogden Nash

He would grab me in his arms, hold me close—and tell me how wonderful he was.
Shelley Winters, of her ex-husband Vittorio Gassman

Husbands are not adults. They are people who pay for things but are still somehow burdens.
Family Guy


Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person hypocrisy begins. We parry and fend the approach of our fellow man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements, by affairs. We cover up our thought from him under a hundred folds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't like hypocrisy, but I fear a world without it. As long as it continues to exist, it means that standards continue to exist. You can only have hypocrisy when you have standards.
Dennis Prager


If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it if you do. Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait.
Robert Heinlein

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
Linus Pauling

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Albert Einstein

Society's course will be changed only by a change in ideas. First you must reach the intellectuals, the teachers and writers, with reasoned argument. It will be their influence on society which will prevail, and the politicians will follow.
F. A. Hayek (Attributed)

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
John Maynard Keynes

It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.
John Maynard Keynes

Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.
Ken Hakuta

The communication of ideas requires a similitude of thought and language …
Edward Gibbon

Great ideas often look identical to stupid ones right up until the moment they work.
Scott Adams

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
H. L. Mencken

Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.
Paul Johnson


The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power. How naive the cliche that money is the root of evil!
Eric Hoffer


I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin


Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.

There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.
Scott Adams


An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
Author unidentified

Be not solitary, be not idle.
Robert Burton

[There] is no class so dangerous as the idle educated.
Anthony Daniels

But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing.
Benjamin Franklin

Be always asham'd to catch thy self idle.
Author unidentified

Idleness is a dangerous breeding ground.
Winston Churchill


It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance.
Saint Jerome


Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Lewis Carroll

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Imagination labors best in distant fields.
Mark Twain

Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.
Richard Feynman


It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.
Edmund Burke


I don't want to achieve immortality through my work … I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen


[It] is impossible to reduce, or, at least, to hold a distant country against the wishes and efforts of its inhabitants.
Edward Gibbon

Take up the White Man's burden—
The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden—
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"
Rudyard Kipling

There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign nations, in opposition to their inclination and interest.
Edward Gibbon


Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.
Dwight D. Eisenhower


Anxiety, n. The first time you can't do it a second time.

Panic, n. The second time you can't do it the first time.
Author unidentified

"Hasn't it ever occurred to you that in your promiscuous pursuit of women you are merely trying to assuage your subconscious fears of sexual impotence?"

"Yes, sir, it has."

"Then why do you do it?"

"To assuage my fears of sexual impotence."

Joseph Heller

Decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.
Winston Churchill


[The Goths'] poverty was incurable; since the most liberal donatives were soon dissipated in wasteful luxury, and the most fertile estates became barren in their hands …
Edward Gibbon


There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.
Logan Pearsall Smith


[Laurence J. Peter] has devoted his life to discovering remedies for incompetence …
Back Cover of "Peter's Quotations"


I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.
Mark Twain


If you don't find it in the Index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., Consumer Guide (1897)


India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.
Winston Churchill


I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion.
Robert Louis Stevenson


Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.


Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
Milton Friedman


Most People return small Favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude.
Author unidentified


Why does my Muse only speak when she is unhappy?
She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy
When I am happy I live and despise writing
For my Muse this cannot but be dispiriting.
Stevie Smith


A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.


Now it is a characteristic of such intellectuals that they see no incongruity in moving from their own discipline, where they are acknowledged masters, to public affairs, where they might be supposed to have no more right to a hearing than anyone else.
Paul Johnson

Nothing appeals to intellectuals more than the feeling that they represent "the people." Nothing, as a rule, is further from the truth.
Paul Johnson


Intelligence has much less practical application than you'd think.
Scott Adams

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Men of intemperate mind never can be free; their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke


The only intuitive interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
Bruce Ediger


If the Library of Alexandria was the emblem of our ambition of omniscience, the Web is the emblem of our ambition of omnipresence; the library that contained everything has become the library that contains anything.
Alberto Manguel

[On the Internet,] if you're not paying for the product, you're the product.
Author unidentified


Don't interrupt me when I'm interrupting!
Winston Churchill


Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.
Warren Buffett


… in Ireland no man visits where he cannot drink.
Samuel Johnson


The Irish people do not gladly suffer common sense.
Oliver St. John Gogarty

We Irish are too poetical to be poets; we are a nation of brilliant failures, but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.
Oscar Wilde

It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.
Brendan Behan


MOSQUES are plenty [in Istanbul], churches are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but morals and whiskey are scarce. The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to drink. Their natural instincts do not permit them to be moral.
Mark Twain


Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
H. G. Wells

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
William Shakespeare

[Jealousy] arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
Proverbs 6:34


In America, they [American Jews] may feel they are Jews. But in Israel, they feel they are Americans.
Ernest van den Haag


A joke never gains over an enemy, but often loses a friend.
Thomas Fuller


Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.
Frank Zappa

Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
G. K. Chesterton

Exaggeration of every kind is as essential to journalism as it is to the dramatic art, for the object of journalism is to make events go as far as possible.
Arthur Schopenhauer

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable, and literature is not read.
Oscar Wilde

Journalism possesses in itself the potentiality of becoming one of the most frightful monstrosities and delusions that have ever cursed mankind. This horrible transformation will occur at the exact instant at which journalists realise that they can become an aristocracy.
G. K. Chesterton


There is no such thing as an independent press. You know it, and I know it. I [as a journalist] am paid $150 a week for keeping honest opinions out of the paper. We are intellectual prostitutes, and our time and our talents are the property of other men.
An unidentified New York editor, 1917


Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
Mark Twain

The man from whom the joys of life have departed is living no more, but should be counted with the dead.

Great joys, like griefs, are silent.
Shakerley Marmion


There must always be a goodly number of judges, for few will always do the will of the few.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Judges ought to remember that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare—to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law.
Francis Bacon


We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.
Harold Nicholson

State a moral case to a plowman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.
Thomas Jefferson

Many complain of their Memory, few of their Judgment.
Author unidentified


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
H. L. Mencken

Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
George W. Bush

I like my wine French, my beer German, my vodka Russian, and my judicial system American.
Chief Justice John Roberts

Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.
Exodus 23:2-3

Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good.
Author unidentified

Keynes, John Maynard

It is important to get clear that Keynes was never a socialist … At heart he believed in liberal capitalism not only because he thought it more likely to produce the goods than any other imaginable system, but for moral reasons: he thought the destruction of economic freedom must, in practice, lead to a progressive diminution of political freedom.
Paul Johnson

Keynes was an empiricist and an original who had no attachment to theory—hated theory in fact. His method was to look at new facts squarely, and then seek to explain them, and devise methods to cope with them. The only trouble with Keynesianism in the later 1970s was that Keynes was dead, and so unable to bring his uniquely creative mind to bear on its problems.
Paul Johnson


I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Attributed to Stephen Grellet

One kind word can warm three winter months.
Japanese saying

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.
Sir Arthur Helps


It is not a sign of arrogance for the king to rule. That is what he is there for.
William F. Buckley

This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.
1 Samuel 8:11-18


When Knaves betray each other, one can scarce be blamed, or the other pitied.
Author unidentified

The honest Man takes Pains, and then enjoys Pleasures; the Knave takes Pleasure, and then suffers Pains.
Author unidentified

Knowledge And Ignorance

If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! Why compound ignorance with inaudibility?
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
Mark Twain

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The first step to knowledge is to know that we are ignorant.
Lord David Cecil

Try to know everything of something, and something of everything.
Henry Peter, Lord Brougham

Tain't what a man don't know that hurts him; it's what he knows that just ain't so!
Frank McKinney Hubbard ("Kin Hubbard")

As soon as any man says of the affairs of state, What does it matter to me? the state may be given up as lost.
Jean Jacques Rousseau

The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.
Elbert Hubbard

You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
Will Rogers

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.
Mark Twain

Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird … So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing—that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
Richard Feynman

Not being a liberal, I have very little grasp of things that I know nothing about.
P. J. O'Rourke

Learned foolishness, is more egregiously foolish than the folly of ignorance. It is wayward, positive, and imperious; too conceited and indocile to be informed, and too obstinate to forsake error.
Ezra Sampson

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
Pablo Picasso

Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.
Franklin P. Adams

And it's a necessity [for journalists] to pretend to be competent on every subject, some of which they really do not understand. They are under that necessity, I regret; I'm sorry for them. But to pretend to understand all the things you write about, and habitually to write about things you do not understand, is a very corrupting thing.
Friedrich von Hayek

Those who know don't talk.
Those who talk don't know.
Lao Tzu

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Thomas Jefferson

Apart from the known and the unknown, what else is there?
Harold Pinter

Do not be arrogant because of your knowledge, but confer with the ignorant man as with the learned …

… your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Genesis 3:5

What you have learned is a mere handful; What you haven't learned is the size of the world.


But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
George Orwell

I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.
Samuel Johnson

Language [is] the leading principle which unites or separates the tribes of mankind …
Edward Gibbon

[Greek is] doubtless the most perfect [language] that has been contrived by the art of man.
Edward Gibbon

Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.
Mark Twain

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
George Orwell

[Greek is] a musical and prolific language, that gives a soul to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of philosophy.
Edward Gibbon

He [Churchill] mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.
Edward R. Murrow

Don't swear, boy. It shows a lack of vocabulary.
Alan Bennett

If Miss means respectably unmarried, and Mrs respectably married, then Ms means nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Angela Carter

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.
Mark Twain

Waiting for the German verb is surely the ultimate thrill.
Flann O'Brien

When I survey the Plan [of a Dictionary of the English Language] which I have laid before you, I cannot, my Lord, but confess, that I am frightened at its extent, and, like the soldiers of Cæsar, look on Britain as a new world, which it is almost madness to invade. But I hope, that though I should not complete the conquest, I shall at least discover the coast, civilize part of the inhabitants, and make it easy for some other adventurer to proceed farther, to reduce them wholly to subjection, and settle them under laws.
Samuel Johnson


But let me laugh awhile, I've mickle time to grieve.
John Keats

Life does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw

I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilised music in the world.
Peter Ustinov


When I came back to Dublin I was court-martialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in by absence.
Brendan Behan

Justice delayed is justice denied.
William Ewart Gladstone

This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Courtroom, n. A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be equals, with betting odds in favor of Judas.
H. L. Mencken

The people can change Congress but only God can change the Supreme Court.
George W. Norris

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Robert Frost

… mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent …
Adam Smith

I am further of opinion that it would be better for us to have [no laws] at all than to have them in so prodigious numbers as we have.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judiciary to say what the law is, not what the law should be.
Author unidentified

[Whenever] the offense inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigor of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.
Edward Gibbon

[The] operation of the wisest laws is imperfect and precarious. They seldom inspire virtue, they cannot always restrain vice.
Edward Gibbon

There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
Alexis de Tocqueville

But the wisdom and authority of the legislator are seldom victorious in a contest with the vigilant dexterity of private interest.
Edward Gibbon

Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.
Otto von Bismarck

[It] is the interest as well as duty of a sovereign to maintain the authority of the laws.
Edward Gibbon

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.
Thomas B. Reed

A Locrian, who proposed any new law, stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled.
Edward Gibbon

A jurisdiction thus vague and arbitrary was exposed to the most dangerous abuse: the substance, as well as the form, of justice were often sacrificed to the prejudices of virtue, the bias of laudable affection, and the grosser seductions of interest or resentment.
Edward Gibbon

With the utmost deference for these excellent civilians, I cannot but consider this confusion of the judicial and legislative authority as a very perilous constitutional precedent.
Rev. H. H. Milman

The science of the laws is the slow growth of time and experience …
Edward Gibbon

The books of jurisprudence were interesting to few, and entertaining to none: their value was connected with present use, and they sunk forever as soon as that use was superseded by the innovations of fashion, superior merit, or public authority.
Edward Gibbon

Whatever is secret must be doubtful, and our natural horror of vice may be abused as an engine of tyranny.
Attributed by Gibbon to Montesquieu

A sentence of death and infamy was often founded on the slight and suspicious evidence of a child or a servant: the guilt [of the defendant] was presumed by the judges [due to the nature of the charge], and paederasty became the crime of those to whom no crime could be imputed.
Edward Gibbon

[The] discretion of the judge is the first engine of tyranny …
Edward Gibbon

But a law, however venerable be the sanction, cannot suddenly transform the temper of the times …
Edward Gibbon

[A] thousand quarrels must arise under a law, and among men, whose sole umpire [is] the sword.
Edward Gibbon

Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.
Bertrand Russell

The law functions as formal embodiment of a moral code, not as free-standing substitute for it.
Mark Steyn

To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Author unidentified

Law And Order

Rape and violence occur not because of patriarchal conditioning but because of the opposite, a breakdown of social controls.
Camille Paglia


No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets truth.
Jean Giraudoux

I don't want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do; I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do.
J. Pierpont Morgan

Every Federal Judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizen has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mahjong factory, we'd all be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by half.
H. L. Mencken

A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
Benjamin Franklin


Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
Author unidentified

A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:10,11

Lazy hands make a man poor,
but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 10:4

That indolent but agreeable condition of doing nothing.
Pliny the Younger

I understand there's a guy inside me who wants to lay in bed, smoke weed all day, and watch cartoons and old movies. My whole life is a series of stratagems to avoid, and outwit, that guy.
Anthony Bourdain


All leaders strive to turn their followers into children.
Eric Hoffer


It is hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground.
James H. Boren

It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs; they expect too much of ordinary men.

There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

He who thinks he leads, and has no one following him is only taking a walk.
Author unidentified

"Cheshire-Puss," she began, "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't care much where—" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
Lewis Carroll

When I want to know what France thinks, I ask myself.
Charles de Gaulle

I must follow them. I am their leader.
Andrew Bonar Law

You have lost a useful commander, and you have made a very wretched emperor.
Saturninus, when his troops put him forward as a contender to the Roman Emperor.


Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.
William Shakespeare


It has been sagaciously conjectured, that the artful legislator indulged the stubborn prejudices of his countrymen.
Edward Gibbon


There is nothing but that frail breastwork of earth between the people and destruction.
Mark Twain


It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward.

Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries; whom mankind have considered, not as the pupil, but the slave of science, the pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths of Learning and Genius, who press forward to conquest and glory, without bestowing a smile on the humble drudge that facilitates their progress. Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach and even this negative recompense has been yet granted to very few.

Samuel Johnson

Lexicographer, n. A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
Samuel Johnson


The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilised being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
Oscar Wilde


Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.
William F. Buckley, Jr.


So much of contemporary liberalism seems to be never having grown up.
Jay Nordlinger

[Liberalism] is hostile to law [and has a preference for] policy without law.
Theodore Lowi

The search for a moral equivalent of war continues to define American liberalism to this day.
Jonah Goldberg

You can't go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal.
Robert Downey Jr.


Liberality is not giving much but giving wisely.
Author unidentified


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations.
Edmund Burke

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
Alexis de Tocqueville

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.
Margaret Thatcher

There's only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
P. J. O'Rourke

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.
Charles Austin Beard

It is in the township that the strength of free peoples resides. Municipal institutions are for liberty what primary schools are for science; they place it within reach of the people … Without municipal institutions, a nation is able to give itself a free government, but it lacks the spirit of liberty.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick Henry

Liberty is, to the lowest rank of every nation, little more than the choice of working or starving; and this choice is, I suppose, equally allowed in every counter.
Samuel Johnson

Libius Severus

History has scarcely deigned to notice [Libius Severus's] birth, his elevation, his character, or his death.
Edward Gibbon


A man said to the Universe, "Sir, I exist!"

"However," replied the Universe, "the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation."

Stephen Crane

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore.
H. L. Mencken

Men fear silence as they fear solitude, because both give them a glimpse of the terror of life's nothingness.
André Maurois

[The Forgotten Man] is the clean, quiet, virtuous domestic citizen who pays his debts and his taxes and is never heard of out of his little circle. … [He] works and votes—generally he prays—but his chief business in life is to pay.
William Graham Sumner

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
Alfred Korzybski

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker is sorry.
Mark Twain

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.
Thomas La Mance

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.
Clarence Darrow

The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.
H. T. Leslie

What the meaning of human life may be I don't know; I incline to suspect that it has none.
H. L. Mencken

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
Elbert Hubbard

Do not despair of life. You have no doubt force enough to overcome your obstacles. Think of the fox prowling through wood and field in a winter night for something to satisfy his hunger. Notwithstanding cold and hounds and traps, his race survives. I do not believe any of them ever committed suicide.
Henry David Thoreau

If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
Author unidentified

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.
Oscar Wilde

Never abandon life. There is a way out of everything except death.
Winston Churchill

Fancy living in one of these streets, never seeing anything beautiful, never eating anything savoury, never saying anything clever!
Winston Churchill, when touring the slums

We are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed.
Attributed to Thomas Fuller

The act of self-denial seems to confer on us the right to be harsh and merciless toward others.
Eric Hoffer

Men of thought seldom work well together, whereas between men of action there is usually an easy camaraderie.
Eric Hoffer

How little can we foresee the consequences either of wise or unwise action, of virtue or of malice! Without this measureless and perpetual uncertainty the drama of human life would be destroyed.
Winston Churchill

… men work simply in order to escape the depressing agony of contemplating life—that their work, like their play, is a mumbo-jumbo that serves them by permitting them to escape from reality.
H. L. Mencken

Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.
H. L. Mencken

Life is short, but death lasts forever.
Author unidentified

How little it takes to make life unbearable … A pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
H. L. Mencken

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde

Life is a hideous thing.
H. P. Lovecraft

At the door of life, by the gate of breath,
There are worse things waiting for men than death.
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Don't believe the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
R. J. Burdette

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

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

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?
Rose Kennedy

I value kindness to human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don't respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and old men and women warmer in the winter, and happier in the summer.
Brendan Behan

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Douglas Adams

Life is a long lesson in humility.
James M. Barrie

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out—it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
Robert Service

A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it's an undo-it-yourself project.
Abigail Van Buren

Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.
George Santayana

Music is essentially useless, as life is.
George Santayana

If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tallulah Bankhead

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost

I think you should live your life so that the maximum number of people will attend your funeral.
Scott Adams

The Europeans … are less unhappy than we, but they are not happy. Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.
Samuel Johnson, Rasselas

[All] of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
Dale Carnegie

If thou wouldst live long, live well;
For folly and wickedness shorten life.
Benjamin Franklin

The unexamined life is not worth living.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling

You can never begin to live
Until you dare to die.
Henry van Dyke

A stout heart, a clear conscience, and never despair.
John Quincy Adams

Life is subject to change without notice.
Author unidentified

Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
Benjamin Franklin

You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad news for you about the rest of life.
Samuel Halpern

No, you can't go getting mad at people because they're shitty. Life will get mad at them, don't worry.
Samuel Halpern

Just worry about living, dying is the easy part.
Samuel Halpern

Life is pain … Anyone who says differently is selling something.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

Wish not so much to live long as to live well.
Author unidentified

The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.
Henry David Thoreau

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.
Douglas Adams

Don't be so hard on yourself; don't put pressure on yourself; life is just a chain of experiments and results … you'll be perfect when you're dead.
Dan Harmon

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
National Lampoon's Animal House movie

Life is short. Why make it any shorter by not taking care of yourself?
Author unidentified

So large a part of human life passes in a state contrary to our natural desires that one of the principal topics of moral instruction is the art of bearing calamities. And such is the certainty of evil that it is the duty of every man to furnish his mind with those principles that may enable him to act under it with decency and propriety.
Samuel Johnson

I long ago come [sic] to the conclusion that all life is six to five against.
Damon Runyon


No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.
Mignon McLaughlin

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.
Wilson Mizner


When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such a lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence

The cruelest thing that has happened to Lincoln since he was shot by Booth was to fall into the hands of Carl Sandburg.
Edmund Wilson

H. L. Mencken suffers from the hallucination that he is H. L. Mencken—there is no cure for a disease of that magnitude.
Maxwell Bodenheim

Nobody can read Freud without realizing that he was the scientific equivalent of another nuisance, George Bernard Shaw.
Robert Maynard Hutchins

The trouble with the publishing business is that too many people who have half a mind to write a book do so.
William Targ

No author is a man of genius to his publisher.
Heinrich Heine

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
George Bernard Shaw

When a thing has been said and well said, have no scruple; take it and copy it.
Anatole France

I suppose every old scholar has had the experience of reading something in a book which was significant to him, but which he could never find again. Sure he is that he read it there, but no one else ever read it, nor can he find it again, though he buy the book and ransack every page.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.
William Faulkner

I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.
Samuel Johnson

When told not to end a sentence with a preposition, Churchill replied, "This is nonsense up with which I will not put."
Winston Churchill

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Mark Twain

I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who would call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.
Oscar Wilde

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde

He that I am reading seems always to have the most force.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne


Liverpool, though not very delightful as a place of residence, is a most convenient and admirable point to get away from.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Lloyd George

[Lloyd George] did not seem to care which way he travelled providing he was in the driver's seat.
Lord Beaverbrook


I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.
Daniel Boone


The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.
Eric Hoffer


When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Samuel Johnson


You should have seen her face then. Gratitude? Lord, what do you want with words to express that? Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself. She gave that look, and carried it away to the treasury of heaven, where all things that are divine belong.
Mark Twain

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is like San Diego's older, uglier sister that has herpes.
Samuel Halpern


People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.
Bob Hope

The greater love is a mother's; then comes a dog's; then a sweetheart's.
Polish proverb

It has been wisely said that we cannot really love anybody at whom we never laugh.
Agnes Repplier

If I'm such a legend, then why am I so lonely? Let me tell you, legends are all very well if you've got somebody around who loves you.
Judy Garland

The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim he would not have chosen a suit by it.
Maurice Chevalier

Let there be spaces in your Togetherness.
Kahil Gibran

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
Mae West

As soon as you cannot keep anything from a woman, you love her.
Paul Géraldy

Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
Oscar Wilde

Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
H. L. Mencken

The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love.

The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other fellow married her.
H. L. Mencken

Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.
Russian Proverb

The most disgusting cad in the world is the man who, on grounds of decorum and morality, avoids the game of love. He is one who puts his own ease and security above the most laudable of philanthropies.
H. L. Mencken

A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness. But after that he begins to bunch them.
H. L. Mencken

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
Oscar Wilde

There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.
Oscar Wilde

Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
Samuel Johnson

It is easier to love humanity as a whole that to love one's neighbor.
Eric Hoffer

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Peter Ustinov

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.
Bertrand Russell

Then fly betimes, for only they
Conquer love that run away.
Thomas Carew

Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.
Author unidentified


"You are the greatest lover I have ever had."

"Well, I practice a lot when I'm alone."

Woody Allen

I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.
Edward Gibbon

One minute is a lover high atop a tree, the next minute down among the briars is he, now up, now down, as a bucket in a well.
Geoffrey Chaucer (Modern translation by Gerald J. Davis)


There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent.
George S. Patton, Jr.


Of course not, but I am told it works even if you don't believe in it.
Niels Bohr, when asked if he believed a horseshoe above the door would bring good luck


Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
Proverbs 6:25


It is idle to play the lyre for an ass.
Saint Jerome


There's a pinch of the madman in every great man.
French Proverb

I suppose it is much more comfortable to be mad and not know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.
G. B. Burgin

[Imagination] does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess players do. Mathematicians go mad … but creative artists very seldom.
G. K. Chesterton

Great wits are sure to madness near allied.
John Dryden

Oh, that way madness lies. Let me shun that.
William Shakespeare


[Majorian] presents the welcome discovery of a great and heroic character, such as sometimes arise, in a degenerate age, to vindicate the honor of the human species.
Edward Gibbon


Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
Mark Twain


Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers heaven.
Alphonse de Lamartine

That man is an aggressive creature will hardly be disputed. With the exception of certain rodents, no other vertebrate habitually destroys members of its own species.
Anthony Storr

God must love the common man, he made so many of them.
Abraham Lincoln

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Mark Twain

Man is a beautiful machine that works very badly.
H. L. Mencken

Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable.
Oscar Wilde

Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Mark Twain

Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse.
Miguel de Cervantes

Man differs from the animal only by a little; most men throw that little away.

Mortals, born of woman,
are of few days and full of trouble.
They springs up like flowers and wither away;
like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
Job 14:1-2

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain

I know in my heart that man is good.
That what is right will always eventually triumph.
And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.
Ronald Reagan

Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves.
Gene Fowler

Man has much more to fear from the passions of his fellow-creatures, than from the convulsions of the elements.
Edward Gibbon

Neither conservatives nor humorists believe man is good. But left-wingers do.
P. J. O'Rourke

In this primitive and abject state [of hunters and gatherers], which ill deserves the name of society, the human brute, without arts or laws, almost without sense or language, is poorly distinguished from the rest of the animal creation.
Edward Gibbon

For this is the tragedy of man—circumstances change, but he does not.
Niccolò Machiavelli

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
George Bernard Shaw

[But] the man who dares not expose his life in the defence of his children and his property, has lost in society the first and most active energies of nature.
Edward Gibbon

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
Bertrand Russell

I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
William Shakespeare

Every man naturally persuades himself that he can keep his resolutions, nor is he convinced of his imbecility but by length of time and frequency of experiment.
Samuel Johnson

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne

With man, most of his misfortunes are occasioned by man.
Pliny the Elder

Man is neither angel nor beast; and the misfortune is that he who would act the angel acts the beast.
Blaise Pascal


Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this—that you are dreadfully like other people.
James Russell Lowell

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Abba Eban

Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Aldous Huxley

We should expect the best and the worst from mankind, as from the weather.

One of the laws of paleontology is that an animal which must protect itself with thick armour is degenerate. It is usually a sign that the species is on the road to extinction.
John Steinbeck

Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.
Mark Twain

To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The fall of man stands a lie before Beethoven, a truth before Hitler.
Gregory Corso

At very best, a person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

Cursed is every one who places his hope in man.
Saint Augustine

[The] vain and transitory scenes of human greatness are unworthy of a serious thought.
Edward Gibbon

Human kind cannot bear very much reality.
T. S. Eliot


Dear Miss Manners: Please list some tactful ways of removing a man's saliva from your face.
Gentle Reader: Please list some decent ways of acquiring a man's saliva on your face …
Miss Manners

Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide the lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them. No matter how "pure" their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.
Robert A. Heinlein


The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
John Maynard Keynes

The markets are moved by animal spirits, and not by reason.
John Maynard Keynes (paraphrased)

Markets are too complex to manipulate beneficially.
John Stossel


No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not.
H. L. Mencken

Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
Joseph Barth

Nothing flatters a man as much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the source of it.
Samuel Johnson

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell; it is simply purgatory.
Abraham Lincoln

When there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
Benjamin Franklin

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

When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one.
Helen Rowland

Marriage is a mistake every man should make.
George Jessel

As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent.
Socrates (Attributed)

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and deaf husband.
Michel de Montaigne

A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

By all means marry: If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

Choose in marriage only a woman whom you would choose as a friend if she were a man.

When should a man marry? A young man, not yet; an elder man, not at all.
Sir Francis Bacon

I like being single. I'm always there when I need me.
Art Leo

Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
Benjamin Franklin

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.
Oscar Wilde

The average woman must inevitably view her actual husband with a certain disdain; he is anything but her ideal. In consequence, she cannot help feeling that her children are cruelly handicapped by the fact that he is their father.
H. L. Mencken

'Tis more blessed to give than receive; for example, wedding presents.
H. L. Mencken

We were happily married for eight months. Unfortunately, we were married for four and a half years.
Nick Faldo

What nonsense people talk about happy marriages! A man can be happy with any woman so long as he doesn't love her.
Oscar Wilde

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
Sacha Guitry

When I was a young man, I vowed never to marry until I found the ideal woman. Well, I found her—but alas, she was waiting for the ideal man.
Robert Schuman

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
George Bernard Shaw

I belong to Bridegrooms Anonymous. Whenever I feel like getting married, they send over a lady in a housecoat and hair curlers to burn my toast for me.
Dick Martin

The hardest task in a girl's life is to prove to a man that his intentions are serious.
Helen Rowland

It is assumed that the woman must wait, motionless, until she is wooed. That is how the spider waits for the fly.
George Bernard Shaw

A husband is what is left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted.
Helen Rowland

Men are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.
Oscar Wilde

Marriage is the price men pay for sex, sex is the price women pay for marriage.
Author unidentified

I think of my wife, and I think of Lot,
And I think of the lucky break he got.
William Cole

We sleep in separate rooms, we have dinner apart, we take separate vacations—we're doing everything we can to keep our marriage together.
Rodney Dangerfield

Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
Phyllis Diller

I never knew what real happiness was until I got married. And by then it was too late.
Max Kauffmann

When a man brings his wife flowers for no reason—there's a reason.
Molly McGee

Take my wife … please!
Henny Youngman

Bride, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

If I ever marry, it will be on a sudden impulse, as a man shoots himself.
H. L. Mencken

I respect the institution of marriage. I have always thought that every woman should marry—and no man.
Benjamin Disraeli

A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage.
Samuel Butler

I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many men happy.
Ellyn Mustard

Marriage is the death of hope.
Woody Allen

Sex alleviates tension. Marriage causes it.
Woody Allen

It should be a very happy marriage; they are both so much in love with him.
Irene Thomas

There's nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about.
Oscar Wilde

Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
Oscar Wilde

I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
Rita Rudner

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
Rita Rudner

When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
Oscar Wilde

Metellus Numidicus, the censor, acknowledged to the Roman people, in a public oration, that had kind nature allowed us to exist without the help of women, we should be delivered from a very troublesome companion; and he could recommend matrimony only as the sacrifice of private pleasure to public duty.
Edward Gibbon

But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:28

But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:33,34

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24

In the most rigorous [Roman] laws, a wife was condemned to support a gamester, a drunkard, or a libertine, unless he were guilty of homicide, poison, or sacrilege, in which cases the marriage, as it should seem, might have been dissolved by the hand of the executioner.
Edward Gibbon

A society in which marriage is encouraged and industry prevails soon repairs the accidental losses of pestilence and war …
Edward Gibbon

My wife doesn't care what I do when I'm away, as long as I don't have a good time.
Lee Trevino

I've traveled the world and been about everywhere you can imagine. There's not anything I'm scared of except my wife.
Lee Trevino

A man may be a fool and not know it—but not if he is married.
H. L. Mencken

What's the secret to a happy marriage? Lots of square feet [i.e. a big house] and 2 Tivos.
Adam Carolla (paraphrased)

You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns,
Nor enjoy fair wife without danger of horns.
Author unidentified

My wife and I tried two or three times in the last few years to have breakfast together but it was so disagreeable we had to stop.
Winston Churchill

I am about to be married–and am of course in all the misery of a man in pursuit of happiness.
Lord Byron

The desire to get married is a basic and primal instinct in women. It's followed by another basic and primal instinct: the desire to be single again.
Nora Ephron

The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his cheque book open.
Groucho Marx (Attributed)

… gosh, maybe that's what true marriage is: two people who want each other to die.
Family Guy

[All] whom I have mentioned failed to obtain happiness, for want of considering that marriage is the strictest tie of perpetual friendship; that there can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity; and that he must expect to be wretched who pays to beauty, riches, or politeness that regard which only virtue and piety can claim.
Samuel Johnson

That old saying which the peasants call the bachelors' prayer: "I pray thee, good Lord, that I may not be married. But if I am to be married, that I may not be a cuckold. But if I am to be a cuckold, that I may not know. But if I am to know, that I may not mind."
Isak Dinesen

Marriage is a duel to the death, which no man of honour should decline.
G. K. Chesterton


The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins.
Søren Kierkegaard

To die for an idea is to set a rather high price upon conjecture.
Anatole France

Although always prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it should be postponed.
Winston Churchill

Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.


All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
Karl Marx


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Oscar Wilde


Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.
Bertrand Russell


Remember, son, many a good story has been ruined by over-verification.
James Gordon Bennett

The sports page records people's accomplishments, the front page usually records nothing but man's failures.
Earl Warren

For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.
Gloria Borger

To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.
Aleister Crowley

An editor is one who separates the wheat from the chaff and prints the chaff.
Adlai Stevenson


The true aim of medicine is not to make men virtuous; it is to safeguard and rescue them from the consequences of their vices. The physician does not preach repentance; he offers absolution.
H. L. Mencken


Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.
Joseph Heller

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.
Somerset Maugham

Perseverance, n. A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


God gave us memory that we might have roses in December.
James M. Barrie

I never forgive, but I always forget.
Arthur James Balfour

It isn't so astonishing, the number of things that I can remember, as the number of things I can remember that aren't so.
Mark Twain

Our memories are independent of our wills. It is not so easy to forget.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan


Men become old, but they never become good.
Oscar Wilde

A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.
Samuel Johnson

Some men are alive only because it is illegal to kill them.
Author unidentified

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.
Kin Hubbard

Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.
Oscar Wilde

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Frederick Douglass

Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
Sir Ernest Shackleton

… any that pisseth against the wall.
1 Samuel 25:22, example of how the KJV refers to men

Men And Women

Like the ski resort of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.
Alan McKay

I dress for women—and I undress for men.
Angie Dickinson

The average girl would rather have beauty than brains because she knows the average man can see much better than he can think.
Ladies' Home Journal

She was not a woman likely to settle for equality when sex gave her an advantage.
Anthony Delano

Men have a much better time of it than women; for one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
H. L. Mencken

A man is a person who will pay two dollars for a one-dollar item he wants. A woman will pay one dollar for a two-dollar item she doesn't want.
William Binger

I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

A woman wants a man who will satisfy her every want and need. A man wants every woman to satisfy his one want and need.
Author unidentified

I married beneath me–all women do.
Lady Nancy Astor

A wise woman will always let her husband have her way.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan

When a man opens the car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.
Prince Philip

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
William Congreve

Disguise our bondage as we will,
'Tis woman, woman, rules us still.
Thomas Moore

'Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.
William Thackeray

A woman is a woman until the day she dies, but a man's a man only as long as he can.
Moms Mabley

Brigands will demand your money or your life, but a woman will demand both.
Samuel Butler

Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee."
Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."
Lady Nancy Astor and Winston Churchill

Let thy maidservant be faithful, strong, and homely.
Benjamin Franklin

Men's magazines often feature pictures of naked ladies. Women's magazines also often feature pictures of naked ladies. This is because the female body is a beautiful work of art, while the male body is hairy and lumpy and should not be seen by the light of day.
Richard Roeper

Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.

To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girl friends.
Benjamin Franklin

Women sometimes forgive a man who forces the opportunity, but never a man who misses one.
Charles De Talleyrand-Perigord

I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since the war.
Robert Mueller

I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it.
Marilyn Monroe

Whether women are better than men I cannot say—but I can say they are certainly no worse.
Golda Meir

A man's womenfolk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity.
H. L. Mencken

Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
Charlotte Whitton

George Moore unexpectedly pinched my behind. I felt rather honored that my behind should have drawn the attention of the great master of English prose.
Ilka Chase

She plucked from my lapel the invisible strand of lint—the universal act of women to proclaim ownership.
O. Henry

I've been in love with the same woman for forty-one years. If my wife finds out, she'll kill me.
Henny Youngman

Most women set out to try to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him.
Marlene Dietrich (Attributed)

On one issue at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.
H. L. Mencken (Attributed)

Women do not like timid men. Cats do not like prudent rats.
H. L. Mencken

Misogynist, n. A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.
H. L. Mencken

The gods have sent medicines for the venom of serpents, but there is no medicine for a bad woman. She is more noxious than the viper, or than fire itself.

Woman, like good wine, is a sweet poison.
French Proverb

Women are like death: they pursue those who flee from them, and flee from those who pursue them.
German Proverb

A thousand men can easily live together in peace, but two women, even if they be sisters, can never do so.
Hindu Proverb

A man always blames the woman who fools him. In the same way he blames the door he walks into in the dark.
H. L. Mencken

To attract men, I wear a perfume called "New Car Interior."
Rita Rudner

Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man.
H. L. Mencken

Women have simple tastes. They can get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
H. L. Mencken

The allurement that women hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating. To the average man, doomed to some banal drudgery all his life long, they offer the only grand hazard that he ever encounters. Take them away, and his existence would be as flat and secure as that of a moo-cow.
H. L. Mencken

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.
Oscar Wilde

Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
Oscar Wilde

King Solomon loved many strange women.
1 Kings 11:1 (KJV)

On Valentine's Day, millions of men give millions of women flowers, cards and candy as a heartfelt expression of the emotion that also motivates men to observe anniversaries and birthdays: fear.
Dave Barry

Women in general seem to me to be appreciably more intelligent than men. A great many of them suffer in silence from the imbecilities of their husbands.
H. L. Mencken

In every age and country, the wiser, or at least the stronger, of the two sexes, has usurped the powers of the state, and confined the other to the cares and pleasures of domestic life.
Edward Gibbon

All other men govern their wives; but we command all other men, and our wives us.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Women [in ancient Rome] were condemned to the perpetual tutelage of parents, husbands, or guardians; a sex created to please and obey was never supposed to have attained the age of reason and experience. Such, at least, was the stern and haughty spirit of the ancient law …
Edward Gibbon

[Thales] thanked fortune for three things: first of all, that he had been born a man and not a beast; secondly, that he was a man and not a woman; and thirdly, that he was a Greek and not a barbarian.
Diogenes Laertius

Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think—in a deeper voice.
Bill Cosby

No one attached to the traditional image of authoritarian patriarchy could imagine the consternation men endure. They have suffered an unexpected blow to the emotional quality of their lives. Its gravity has not been calculated. They have far fewer reliable links than women to the classic currents of family life. They are alienated not only, as Marx said, from the means of production but also from the means of reproduction.
Lionel Tiger

I noticed that the greatest changes observable were with the women, not the men. I saw men whom thirty years had changed but slightly; but their wives had grown old. These were good women; it is very wearing to be good.
Mark Twain

God created men and critics.
Author unidentified

Only the stupefying ignorance of young women prevents them from comprehending the stupefying emptiness of the men who cluster round them.
Richard Brookhiser

The young women who attract so much attention never change: They are all stupid. They have at best only the crudest notions of their own power, and never calculate motives or consequences. Giving a young woman a young woman's body makes as much sense as giving ten teenagers Lamborghinis and telling them to drive in figure 8s around a parking lot.
Richard Brookhiser

That is the really great thing about being an adult male, once you get married and have children the whole decision-making process is taken out of your hands, and I for one am extremely grateful.
P. J. O'Rourke

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Rudyard Kipling

My husband said he needed more space, so I locked him outside.
Rosanne Barr

Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he'll end up hating you.
Jill Bennett

I've never yet met a man who could look after me. I don't need a husband. What I need is a wife.
Joan Collins

Follow a shadow, it still flies you,
Seem to fly it, it will pursue:
So court a mistress, she denies you;
Let her alone, she will court you.
Say are not women truly, then,
Styl'd but the shadows of us men?
Ben Jonson

I finally figured out what men want. Men want a woman they can be incredibly intimate with … who will leave them alone.
Author unidentified

Man is the one who desires, woman the one who is desired. This is woman's entire but decisive advantage. Through his passion nature has given man into woman's hands, and the woman who does not know how to make him her subject, her slave, her toy, and how to betray him with a smile in the end is not wise.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and is confirmed only by other men. Feminist fantasies about the ideal “sensitive” male have failed. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.
Camille Paglia

Men are looking for maternal solace in women, and that's the nature of heterosexuality. Now you tell me, who really has all the power?
Camille Paglia

It is in the best interests of the human race, and of women themselves, for men to be strong.
Camille Paglia

Mencken, H. L.

He [Mencken] was an autodidact, with all the misplaced confidence and all the astonishing gaps that characterize that breed. Not many of us would venture to write a book about democracy without ever having read de Tocqueville, nor embark on a translation of Nietzsche with only a sketchy knowledge of German.
John Derbyshire


Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Howell M. Forgy

Veni, vidi, vici.
I came, I saw, I conquered.
Julius Caesar

I dropped an aerial torpedo right in the center, and the group opened up like a flowering rose. It was most entertaining.
Vittorio Mussolini

War hath no fury like a non-combatant.
C. E. Montague

They told me it would disrupt my life less if I got killed sooner.
Joseph Heller

In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable.
W. Churchill, on General Montgomery

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Thomas Paine

As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
Edward Gibbon

The progress of manufactures and commerce insensibly collects a large multitude within the walls of a city: but these citizens are no longer soldiers; and the arts which adorn and improve the state of civil society, corrupt the habits of the military life.
Edward Gibbon

[A] military force was collected in Europe, formidable by their arms and numbers, if the generals had understood the science of command, and the soldiers the duty of obedience.
Edward Gibbon


I am not absent-minded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.
G. K. Chesterton

Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.
G. K. Chesterton

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.
John Milton

[Riemann] had the type of mind that could hold only those things it found interesting, mathematics mostly.
John Derbyshire


Everything is miraculous. It is miraculous that one does not melt in one's bath.
Pablo Picasso


"Are you lost daddy," I asked tenderly.
"Shut up," he explained.
Ring Lardner

He looked at me as if I were a side dish he hadn't ordered.
Ring Lardner


Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.
Russell Baker


We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery there never is any recourse to the mention of it.
Samuel Johnson

What man ever blamed himself for his misfortune?
William Graham Sumner

Kings have long arms, but Misfortune longer:
Let none think themselves out of her reach.
Benjamin Franklin


Most people are stupid. Nothing seems like a mistake until it's a mistake.
Samuel Halpern


In the field of controversy I always pity the moderate party, who stand on the open middle ground exposed to the fire of both sides.
Edward Gibbon


I have not been afraid of excess: excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
W. Somerset Maugham

Moderation is a fatal thing … Nothing succeeds like excess.
Oscar Wilde

Total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.
St. Augustine

Constantly practise abstinence and temperance, so that you may be as wakeful after eating as before.
E. L. Gruber

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.

… and the practice of exercise and temperance had entitled him to a healthy old age.
Edward Gibbon


Don't be so humble. You're not that great.
Golda Meir

I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.
Mark Twain

I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.
Leonardo da Vinci

Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise.
G. K. Chesterton

When you're as great as I am, it's hard to be humble.
Muhammed Ali

If only I had a little humility, I would be perfect.
Ted Turner


He neither drank, smoked, nor rode a bicycle. Living frugally, saving his money, he died early, surrounded by greedy relatives. It was a great lesson to me.
John Barrymore

You can't force anyone to love you or to lend you money.
Jewish proverb

Money is the most egalitarian force in society. It confers power on whoever holds it.
Roger Starr

Make money and the whole world will conspire to call you a gentleman.
Mark Twain

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing.
Billy Rose

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
G. K. Chesterton

Money swore an oath that nobody who did not love it should ever have it.
Irish Proverb

I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don't want to buy things they don't need to impress people they dislike.
Emile Henry Gauvreay

The holy passion of friendship is so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring in nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.
Mark Twain

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money.
Frank McKinney Hubbard ("Kin Hubbard")

When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
Oscar Wilde

Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.
P. T. Barnum

The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
H. L. Mencken

It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, as long as you've got money.
Joe E. Lewis

Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.
Groucho Marx

The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any.
Katharine Whitehorn

There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.
John Maynard Keynes

He [Thomas Edison] considered [money] as a raw material, like metal, to be used rather than amassed, and so he kept plowing his funds into new projects. Several times he was all but bankrupt. But he refused to let dollar signs govern his actions.
Charles Edison

Gentlemen, if the man who invented compound interest had secured a patent on his idea he would have had without any doubt the greatest invention the world has ever produced.
Author unidentified


The peace of the Eastern church was invaded by a swarm of fanatics [monks], incapable of fear, or reason, or humanity; and the Imperial troops acknowledged, without shame, that they were much less apprehensive of an encounter with the fiercest Barbarians.
Edward Gibbon

Pleasure and guilt are synonymous terms in the language of the monks, and they discovered, by experience, that rigid fasts, and abstemious diet, are the most effectual preservatives against the impure desires of the flesh.
Edward Gibbon

The monastic studies have tended, for the most part, to darken, rather than to dispel, the cloud of superstition.
Edward Gibbon

I have somewhere heard or read the frank confession of a Benedictine abbot: "My vow of poverty has given me a hundred thousand crowns a year; my vow of obedience has raised me to the rank of a sovereign prince."—I forget the consequences of his vow of chastity.
Edward Gibbon

[The monks'] credulity debased and vitiated the faculties of the mind: they corrupted the evidence of history; and superstition gradually extinguished the hostile light of philosophy and science.
Edward Gibbon

[All] the manly virtues were oppressed by the servile and pusillanimous reign of the monks.
Edward Gibbon

[The monks'] minds were inaccessible to reason or mercy …
Edward Gibbon


If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
Lau Tzu


When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.
Richard Nixon

It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.
Mrs. Patrick Campbell, on homosexuality

[It] seems as if anything I like is either illegal or immoral or fattening.
Frank Rand

I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.
William F. Buckley

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
H. L. Mencken

Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, forty-eight percent indignation, and fifty percent envy.
Vittorio de Sica

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.
Erich Fromm

In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
Thomas Jefferson

Any of us can achieve virtue, if by virtue we merely mean the avoidance of the vices that do not attract us.
Robert S. Lynd

[Sir Stafford Cripps] has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
Winston Churchill

I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.
G. K. Chesterton

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
G. K. Chesterton

He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.

We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions which are unbridled by morality and true religion.
John Adams

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
John Adams

Not everything that is legal is reputable.
William F. Buckley

I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.
Theodore Parker

A society can survive the collapse of its economy, but not of its citizens' morality.
Dennis Prager

Our society is obsessed with personal rights, but it will survive only if we each adopt personal obligations.
Dennis Prager

People do bad things to other people because they do not have good values [not because of poverty or other societal problems].
Dennis Prager

The difference between moral people and immoral people is not that moral people don't have rage; it is that moral people control their rage, and immoral people don't.
Dennis Prager

Those who are merciful when they must be cruel, will, in the end, be cruel to those who deserve mercy.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?


Nature abhors a moron.
H. L. Mencken


No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.
Florida Scott-Maxwell

My mother had a good deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Mark Twain

Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.
W. Somerset Maugham


Become the person you know you should be.
Author unidentified

You can't do anything about what you've done, but you can do something about what you're going to do.
Author unidentified


I would have been more successful if I had left movies immediately. Stayed in the theater, gone into politics, written; anything. I've wasted a greater part of my life looking for money and trying to get along. Trying to make my work from this terribly expensive paint box, which is a movie. And I've spent too much energy on things that have nothing to do with making a movie. It's about 2 percent movie making and 98 percent hustling. That's no way to spend a life.
Orson Welles


If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together, who would escape hanging?
Mark Twain

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one!
Author unidentified

English law does not permit good persons, as such, to strangle bad persons, as such.
T. H. Huxley


The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides!
Artur Schnabel

Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.
Igor Stravinsky

She said, "I know you … you cannot sing". I said, "That's nothing, you should hear me play piano."

When one woman was asked how long she had been going to symphony concerts, she paused to calculate and replied, "Forty-seven years—and I find I mind it less and less."
Louise Andrews Kent

I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to.
Elvis Presley (Attributed)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach


If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
Bertrand Russell


A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.
Tennessee Williams

Is dishwater dull? Naturalists with microscopes have told me that it teems with quiet fun.
G. K. Chesterton

The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent.
John Hughes Holmes

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—there are consequences.
Robert G. Ingersoll

In such condition [Nature with every man against every man], there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently … no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes

But the works of man are impotent against the assaults of nature …
Edward Gibbon

The law of nature instructs most animals to cherish and educate their infant progeny. The law of reason inculcates to the human species the returns of filial piety.
Edward Gibbon

I am at two with nature.
Woody Allen

Charlie Allnut: A man takes a drop too much once in a while, it's only human nature.
Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
African Queen movie


Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Winston Churchill


The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
Charles de Gaulle

There is no such thing as a necessary man.
French Proverb

Very few of us are irreplaceable in our professional lives, but all of us are irreplaceable to those who love us.
Dennis Prager (paraphrased)


[Yet] the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention. [Often quoted as "necessity is the mother of invention"].


A little neglect may breed great mischief … for the want of a nail the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost.
Benjamin Franklin


Have you told them it bothers you? … Are they bigger than you? … Are you afraid of getting your ass kicked? … Ah, okay, I probably should have asked that question first, woulda saved time. Yeah, you're just gonna have to deal with the noise [from the neighbor], son.
Samuel Halpern

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.
G. K. Chesterton

New Orleans

Many of the cemeteries are beautiful, and are kept in perfect order. When one goes from the levee or the business streets [of New Orleans] to it, to a cemetery, he observes to himself that if those people down there would live as neatly while they are alive as they do after they are dead, they would find many advantages in it; and besides, their quarter would be the wonder and admiration of the business world.
Mark Twain

New York

A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.
Mignon McLaughlin


I tell people that if it's in the news, don't worry about it. The very definition of "news" is "something that hardly ever happens." It's when something isn't in the news, when it's so common that it's no longer news—car crashes, domestic violence—that you should start worrying.
Bruce Schneier


I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
Thomas Jefferson

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.
Author unidentified


Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
Mark Twain


If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
Bill Vaughan

Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.
Eric Hoffer

Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?
James Thurber


A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
G. K. Chesterton

Nuclear Holocaust

Wouldn't this nucleus of [nuclear holocaust] survivors be so grief-stricken and anguished that they'd, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living?
Dr. Strangelove movie


When you get there [Oakland], there isn't any there there.
Gertrude Stein

The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there it's there!
Herb Caen


The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
Napoleon Bonaparte


A General Officer who will invariably assume the responsibility for failure, whether he deserves it or not, and invariably give the credit for success to others, whether they deserve it or not, will achieve outstanding success.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Old Age

I want a house that has got over all its troubles; I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.
Jerome K. Jerome

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother.
G. Norman Collie

Who knows whether in retirement I shall be tempted to the last infirmity of mundane minds, which is to write a book.
Geoffrey Fisher

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
H. L. Mencken

If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Leon Eldred

A man is only as old as the woman he feels.
Groucho Marx

"Next year? Peter, at my age I don't even buy green bananas."
Arnold Palmer, responding to Peter Jacobsen's request to play in his golf tournament

When death comes near the old find that age is no longer burdensome.

When our vices quit us we flatter ourselves with the belief that it is we who quit them.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
Thomas Jefferson

It is not the end of joy that makes old age so sad, but the end of hope.
Jean Paul Richter

It is the common calamity of old age, to lose whatever might have rendered it desirable.
Edward Gibbon

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare

[But] age, the common enemy of mankind, has laid his hand upon you; would that it had fallen upon some other, and that you were still young.

I am able to say that while I am not ruggedly well, I am not ill enough to excite an undertaker.
Mark Twain

It takes some little time to accept and realize the fact that while you have been growing old, your friends have not been standing still, in that matter.
Mark Twain

… at the wrong end of life …
Alice Munro

All would live long, but none would be old.
Author unidentified

Everybody my age should be issued with a 2 lb fresh salmon. If you see someone young, beautiful and happy, you should slap them as hard as you can with it.
Richard Griffiths

Old age, by blanching the seat of reason, may cut off the fear of death even in a once imaginative mind, or it may, on the other hand, undermine fortitude, softening the will.
Winston Churchill


Because he spills his seed on the ground.
Dorothy Parker, on why she had named her canary 'Onan'


How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.
Gioacchino Rossini

No good opera plot can be sensible … People do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
W. H. Auden


He who says what he likes shall hear what he does not like.
English proverb

Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs.
Robert Peel

Too often we … enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy

You've no idea what a poor opinion I have of myself—and how little I deserve it.
W. S. Gilbert

Absurdity, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.
Herbert Spencer

Opinions are the cheapest commodities in the world.
Author unidentified

We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Mark Twain

What the historian Elie Kedourie called "the Chatham House Version"—that toxic amalgam of smugness, moral relativism, and cherished feelings of guilt about the achievements of Western civilization—everywhere nurtured the catechism of established opinion.
Roger Kimball

You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
Olin Miller

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
Bertrand Russell

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
Bertrand Russell


What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?
Logan Pearsall Smith

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

Delay not; swift the flight of fortune's greatest favours.


It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power—power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.
Eric Hoffer

In [Nazi] Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;
And then … they came for me …
And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
Martin Niemöller (Attributed)

Optimism And Pessimism

The optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell

If one truly has lost hope, one would not be on hand to say so.
Eric Bentley

He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.
Albert Camus

There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.
Edward Gibbon

What fresh hell is this?
Dorothy Parker, on hearing the doorbell or a ringing telephone

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
George F. Will


He can best be described as one of those orators who, before they get up, do not know what they are going to say; when they are speaking, do not know what they are saying; and when they have sat down, do not know what they have said.
Winston Churchill, of a fellow Member of Parliament


The object of oratory is not truth but persuasion.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

They talk most who have the least to say.
Matthew Prior

The thoughtless are rarely wordless.
Howard W. Newton


What a good thing Adam had—when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
Mark Twain

There is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.
Samuel Johnson

My guess is that well over 80 percent of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought.
H. L. Mencken


Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight
But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.
Hilaire Belloc

These [Judeo-Christian] codes and ideals, as well as common sense, hold that at times life must be sacrificed for the sake of morality. Pacifism, however, holds the direct opposite: Morality must be sacrificed for the sake of life.
Dennis Prager


Pacifists would do well to study the Siegfried and Maginot Lines, remembering that these defenses were forced; that Troy fell; that the walls of Hadrian succumbed; that the Great Wall of China was futile; and that, by the same token, the mighty seas which are alleged to defend us can also be circumvented by a resolute and ingenious opponent.
George S. Patton, Jr.


Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don't they try to understand the singing of birds? People love the night, a flower, everything that surrounds them without trying to understand them. But painting—that they must understand.
Pablo Picasso

I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.
Salvador Dali


It has been for a long time a very just complaint, among the learned, that a multitude of valuable productions, published in small pamphlets, or in single sheets, are in a short time, too often by accidents, or negligence, destroyed, and entirely lost; and that those authors, whose reverence for the public has hindered them from swelling their works with repetition, or encumbering them with superfluities, and who, therefore, deserve the praise and gratitude of posterity, are forgotten, for the very reason for which they might expect to be remembered.
Samuel Johnson

Panama Canal

We should keep the Panama Canal. After all we stole it fair and square.
S. I. Hayakawa


My father was frightened by his mother. I was frightened by my father, and I'm damned well going to make sure that my children are frightened of me.
George V

A Jewish man with parents alive is a 15-year-old boy, and will remain a 15-year-old boy until they die.
Philip Roth

Parents are sometimes a bit of a disappointment to their children. They don't fulfill the promise of their early years.
Anthony Powell

Always obey your parents, when they are present.
Mark Twain

Maternity is a matter of fact. Paternity is a matter of opinion.
Walter Bagehot

I'm still working. I need the money. Money, I've discovered, is the one thing keeping me in touch with my children.
Gyles Brandreth

Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.
Phyllis Diller

The regal and parental tyrant differ only in the extent of their dominions, and the number of their slaves.
Samuel Johnson


The object of Parliament is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.
Winston Churchill


After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
P. J. O'Rourke


It is with our passions as it is with fire and water—they are good servants, but bad masters.

How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, "How does love suit with age, Sophocles—are you still the man you were?" he replied, "Peace, most gladly have I escaped the thing of which you speak; I feel as if I had escaped from a mad and furious master."


This only is denied to God: the power to undo the past.

What's done cannot be undone.
William Shakespeare


Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

So long as Heaven has condemned us to suffer, patience is a virtue; but if we reject the proffered deliverance, it degenerates into blind and stupid despair.

Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.
George Jackson

If what we suffer has been brought upon us by ourselves, it is observed by an ancient poet that patience is eminently our duty, since no one should be angry at feeling that which he has deserved.
Samuel Johnson


Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Samuel Johnson

[A] country without a word to describe its love for what is best within it is a country ill-equipped to defend what is best within it.
Jonah Goldberg

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!
Nathan Hale

[There] is something fundamentally unpatriotic in the yearning to fundamentally transform your country.
Jonah Goldberg


Is not a Patron, my Lord [Chesterfield], one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it.
Samuel Johnson


That they may have a little peace, even the best dogs are compelled to snarl occasionally.
William Feather

Peace, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

If you want peace, prepare for war. (Si vis pacem, para bellum. Alternatively, Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.)

The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the moderation of the emperors. They preserved the peace by a constant preparation for war.
Edward Gibbon

The name of peace is sweet, the thing itself is most salutary.

[Peace] cannot be honorable or secure, if the sovereign betrays a pusillanimous aversion to war.
Edward Gibbon

If we desire to secure peace, … it must be known that we are, at all times, ready for war.
Andrew Jackson

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
George Washington (c.f. Vegetius)

I am a man of peace—God knows how I love peace. But I hope I shall never be such a coward as to mistake oppression for peace.
Lajos Kossuth

They made a wasteland and called it peace.


In England pensions used to be given to aristocrats, because aristocrats had political influence, in order to corrupt them. Here pensions are given to the great democratic mass, because they have political power, to corrupt them.
William Graham Sumner


If you want people to think well of you, do not speak well of yourself.
Blaise Pascal

Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
George Burns

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
T. S. Eliot

It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.
George Dennison Prentice

For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill.
Richard Clopton

The biggest gap in the world is the gap between the justice of a cause and the motives of the people pushing it.
John P. Grier

When the people applauded him wildly, [Phocion] turned to one of his friends and said, "Have I said something foolish?"
Diogenes Laertius

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I wouldn't want to join any club that would accept me as a member.
Groucho Marx

I am not a bit afraid of Siegfried Sassoon. That man can think. I am afraid only of people who cannot think.
Winston Churchill

We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glowworm.
Winston Churchill

Es mejor estar solo que mal acompañado. (It is better to be alone than in bad company).
Author unidentified

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
George S. Patton, Jr.

We're all just superstitious natives.
Adam Carolla


The pursuit of perfection prevents achievement of the satisfactory.
George F. Will

The desire of perfection became the ruling passion of their soul; and it is well known, that while reason embraces a cold mediocrity, our passions hurry us, with rapid violence, over the space which lies between the most opposite extremes.
Edward Gibbon


First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller


One need not hope in order to undertake; nor succeed in order to persevere.
William the Silent

Fall down seven times, get up eight.
Japanese Proverb

[Let] us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

"Fight on, my men," says Sir Andrew Barton,
"I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I'll lay me down and bleed awhile,
And then I'll rise and fight again."
Author unidentified

Victory belongs to the most persevering.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance; yonder palace was raised by single stones, yet you see its height and spaciousness. He that shall walk with vigor three hours a day, will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.
Samuel Johnson


It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Chinese Proverb

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden

… and this her parents suffered in the bewilderment of finding that they had forgotten how to oppose her gently resolute will through the lifelong habit of yielding to it.
Rudyard Kipling

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Than quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
W. C. Fields


Persuasion is the resource of the feeble; and the feeble can seldom persuade …
Edward Gibbon

We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.
Blaise Pascal

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not of Reason.
Author unidentified


My pessimism goes to the point of suspecting the sincerity of pessimists.
Jean Rostand

Cheer up! the worst is yet to come.
Philander Johnson


A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.
Laurence J. Peter

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.
Mark Twain


The philosopher is Nature's pilot—and there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.
George Bernard Shaw


I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The philosophers have only interpreted the world; the thing, however, is to change it.
Karl Marx

It is good that a philosopher should remind himself, now and then, that he is a particle pontificating on infinity.
Will and Ariel Durant

If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers.
Frederick the Great

Cartesian, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum—whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum—"I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Kant was probably the worst writer ever heard of on earth before Karl Marx. Some of his ideas were really quite simple, but he always managed to make them seem unintelligible. I hope he is in Hell.
H. L. Mencken

Feel deeply to think clearly.
Nathaniel Branden

It is best, it seems to me, to separate one's inner striving from one's trade as far as possible. It is not good when one's daily bread is tied to God's special blessing.
Albert Einstein


Pity costs nothin' and ain't worth nothin'.
Josh Billings


Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

The plans differ; the planners are all alike …
Frédéric Bastiat

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.
Publilius Syrus

I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight Eisenhower

The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The second best time is now.

The point I am trying to bring out is that one does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances.
George S. Patton, Jr.


Pleasure for an hour, a bottle of wine; pleasure for a year, marriage; pleasure for a lifetime, a garden.
Chinese saying

Pleasure is by no means an infallible guide, but it is the least fallible.
W. H. Auden

Pleasure is Nature's test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.
Oscar Wilde


No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: he may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing.
T. S. Eliot

All poets are mad.
Robert Burton

Inside every man there is a poet who died young.
Stefan Kanfer

We poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.

Many brave men lived before Agamemnon; but all are overwhelmed in eternal night, unwept, unknown, because they lack a sacred poet.


I've written some poetry I don't understand myself.
Carl Sandburg

"Free verse'? You may as well call sleeping in a ditch 'free architecture'."
G. K. Chesterton

Point Of No Return

The die has been cast. (Alea iacta est.)
Julius Caesar


I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse.
Brendan Behan

Political Scientist

Political scientists almost everywhere have promoted the expansion of government power. They have functioned as the clergy of oppression.
Rudolph Rummel


An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought.
Simon Cameron

You do not know, you cannot know, the difficulty of the life of a politician. It means every minute of the day or night, every ounce of your energy. There is no rest, no relaxation. Enjoyment? A politician does not know the meaning of the word.
Nikita Khrushchev

90% of the politicians give the other 10% a bad reputation.
Henry Kissinger

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges, even where there are no rivers.
Nikita Khrushchev

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

Politicians will always disappoint you.
William Rusher (Attributed)

I still believe in liberalism today as much as I ever did, but, oh, there was a happy time when I believed in liberals …
G. K. Chesterton

If I knew them [MPs], it might spoil the purity of my hatred.
Norman Shrapnel

If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
Harry S. Truman


[I feel] somewhat like the boy in Kentucky who stubbed his toe while running to see his sweetheart. The boy said he was too big to cry, and far too badly hurt to laugh.
Abraham Lincoln, when asked how he felt about the Democrats winning the N.Y. State elections

An eminent American is reported to have said to friends who wished to put him forward, "Gentlemen, let there be no mistake. I should make a good president, but a very bad candidate."
James Bryce

Seriously, I do not think I am fit for the presidency.
Abraham Lincoln

The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.
Henry Kissinger

Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once.
Winston Churchill

In politics a community of hatred is almost always the foundation of friendships.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Politics is war without bloodshed, and war is politics with blood.
Mao Tse-Tung

In politics, a straight line is the shortest distance to disaster.
John P. Roche

The Labour Party is going about the country stirring up apathy.
William Whitelaw

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
Henry Kissinger

Politics, and the fate of mankind, are shaped by men without ideals and without greatness.
Albert Camus

I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy. "Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I am going to pay for a landslide."
John F. Kennedy

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Ronald Reagan

I gave 'em a sword. And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish. And I guess if I had been in their position, I'd have done the same.
Richard Nixon (1977)

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on office, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
Thomas Jefferson

In statesmanship get formalities right, never mind about the moralities.
Mark Twain

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
Abraham Lincoln

David Watkins: "I'm accountable for the firings. The first lady did not direct me to fire them … Did I feel pressure by the desires and wishes of others? Yes, I did."

Questioner: "Could Hillary Rodham Clinton have suggested the firings?"

David Watkins: "Yes."
David Watkins

Would that … a sense of the true aim of life might elevate the tone of politics and trade till public and private honour became identical.
Margaret Fuller

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.
Margaret Thatcher

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny. They have only shifted it to another shoulder.
George Bernard Shaw

All socialism involves slavery.
Herbert Spencer

Outlawing all atomic weapons could be a magnificent gesture. However, it should be remembered that Gettysburg had a local ordinance forbidding the discharge of firearms.
Homer D. King

Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.
Lyndon B. Johnson

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. [popular interpretation: Capitalism is the unequal sharing of wealth; socialism is the equal sharing of poverty.]
Winston Churchill

A man who is not a Liberal at sixteen has no heart; a man who is not a Conservative at sixty has no head.
Benjamin Disraeli

If a politician murders his mother, the first response of the press or of his opponents will likely be not that it was a terrible thing to do, but rather that in a statement made six years before he had gone on record as being opposed to matricide.
Meg Greenfield

The average citizen expresses pride in the American Bill of Rights and then seeks to protect his real estate by restrictive covenants.
H. A. Overstreet

Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian.
Heywood Broun

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.
Victor Hugo

The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself.
H. L. Mencken

I can remember way back when a liberal was one who was generous with his own money.
Will Rogers

Join the army, see the world, meet interesting, exciting people, and kill them.
Author unidentified

Diplomacy is the art of telling plain truths without giving offense. When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.
Winston Churchill

Revolutionary movements attract the best and worst elements in a given society.
George Bernard Shaw

If any demonstrator ever lays down in front of my car, it'll be the last car he'll ever lay down in front of.
George C. Wallace

The Italians … you can't find one who is honest.
Richard M. Nixon

I never dared be radical when young
For fear it would make me conservative when old.
Robert Frost

I do wish [Calvin Coolidge] did not look as if he had been weaned on a pickle.
Author unidentified

[Calvin Coolidge] is the first president to discover that what the American people want is to be left alone.
Will Rogers

Diplomacy, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
Caskie Stinnett

There are no liberals behind steering wheels.
Russell Baker

He was a long-limbed farmer, a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism.
Joseph Heller

A year ago Gerald Ford was unknown throughout America. Now he's unknown throughout the world.
Author unidentified

When a dinner guest told him she liked neither his politics nor his mustache, Winston Churchill replied, "Madame, I see no earthly reason why you should come in contact with either."
Winston Churchill

In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; in peace, good-will.
Winston Churchill, describing the proper spirit for a great nation

[The politician] is asked to stand, he wants to sit, and he is expected to lie.
Winston Churchill

A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will.
Eric Hoffer

There is hardly an enormity committed in the twentieth century that was not foreshadowed and even advocated by some noble "man of words" in the nineteenth.
Eric Hoffer

Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.
Eric Hoffer

… a constitution whose meaning changes as our notions of what it ought to mean changes is not worth a whole lot. To keep government up-to-date with modern notions of what good government ought to be, we do not need a constitution but only a ballot-box and a legislature.
Antonin Scalia

Alas, how many have been persecuted for the wrong of having been right?
Jean-Baptiste Say

Nominee, n. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Ultimatum, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Sir Alec Douglas-Home, when he was British Foreign Secretary, said he received the following telegram from an irate citizen: "To hell with you. Offensive letter follows."
William Safire

He knows nothing and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
George Bernard Shaw

Prison is a Socialist's Paradise, where equality prevails, everything is supplied, and competition is eliminated.
Elbert Hubbard

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.
H. L. Mencken

Insurrection, n. an unsuccessful revolution.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

It is [a politician's] business to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying, he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out, he will try to hold it by embracing new truths. His ear is ever close to the ground.
H. L. Mencken

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.
H. L. Mencken

I hear you have Abolitionists here. We have a few in Illinois, but we shot one the other day.
Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Worcester, Mass., 1848

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

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

It is dangerous to be right when your country is wrong.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

I gave the State of the Union and they didn't have a teleprompter. I had to stand up there and fake it for 15 minutes before a hundred million people. Some people think I faked it for eight years before a hundred million people.
Bill Clinton

Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces.
Henry Brooks Adams

My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office [the vice-presidency] that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
John Adams

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
William J. H. Boetcker

An uninformed and often irrational public cannot make sound political decisions.
Author unidentified

My experience has proved that a man who is running for office, and is not willing to make his honest opinions known to the public, either has no honest opinions or is not honest about them.
William Randolph Hearst

I do not think that any man should be attacked because of his race or religion, or that he should be immune from attack because of race or religion.
William Randolph Hearst

Any excuse will serve a tyrant.

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard Feynman

You can achieve anything in politics provided that you let someone else take the credit.
Ronald Reagan

The principle feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things—war and hunger and date rape—liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things … It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
P. J. O'Rourke

When a thing defies physical law, there's usually politics involved.
P. J. O'Rourke

People who are wise, good, smart, skillful, or hardworking don't need politics, they have jobs.
P. J. O'Rourke

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

Conservatives value economic liberty and moral security, while the liberal values economic security and moral liberty.
Jonah Goldberg

Almost all Reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.
Logan Pearsall Smith

Decent people should ignore politics, if only they could be confident that politics would ignore them.
William F. Buckley (Attributed)

Facts rarely change ideological attitudes.
Bing West

The reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied. They want villains to hate and heroes to cheer—and they don't want explanations that do not give them that.
Thomas Sowell

All conservatives are bilingual—we have to be. We speak both liberal and conservative. But liberals are monolingual—they don't have to be anything else. They speak liberal, and are completely ignorant of the conservative tongue.
John Podhoretz

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular—but one must take it simply because it is right.
Martin Luther King Jr.

A good catchword can obscure analysis for 50 years.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

All movements go too far.
Bertrand Russell

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody believes the official spokesman … but everybody trusts an unidentified source.
Ron Nesen

The more dangerous temptation is not to pretend an opposing view does not exist, but to treat it as beneath notice in respectable deliberation by assuming it is ignorant or prejudiced or self-interested or based on insufficient contemplation of moral reality. Such an attitude embodies the idea that since truth in matters of justice, right, or policy is singular and consensus is its natural embodiment, some special explanation—some factor of deliberative pathology, such as the lingering taint of self-interest—is required to explain disagreement, which explanation can then be cited as a reason for putting the deviant view to one side.
Jeremy Waldron

In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organized against the productive but unorganized.
Joe Sobran

I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.
Lyndon B. Johnson, explaining his decision to keep Hoover in his administration

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.
Milton Friedman

[I'll] have them n*ggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.
Lyndon B. Johnson

These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days, and that's a problem for us, since they've got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this—we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.
Lyndon B. Johnson

All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.
Enoch Powell

Pragmatism is the disguise progressive and other ideologues do when they want to demonize competing ideologies.
Jonah Goldberg

The American values system—what I call the American Trinity— … are declared on every American coin: Liberty, "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust."
Dennis Prager

[The current governing judicial philosophy is:] If you want something passionately enough, it is guaranteed by the Constitution. No need to fiddle around gathering votes from recalcitrant citizens.
Robert Bork

[In politics,] when there is no reason to speak, there is a reason not to speak.
David Frum

[Libertarianism] is about curbing state power to let people be and do what they want. Liberalism is about using state power to make people do and be what liberals want. And that makes all the difference in the world.
Jonah Goldberg

Why don't you [on the Left] preach what you practice?
Dennis Prager

The education of this president [Obama] is a protracted and often amusing process … as he continues to alight upon the obvious with a sense of profound and original discovery.
George F. Will

I'm extremely moved by the loving, caring relationship the President always seems to have with his imaginary son.
Dennis Miller, of President Obama

Politics ought to be adjusted not to human reasonings but to human nature, of which reason is but a part and by no means the greatest part.
Edmund Burke

[A rephrasing of the precautionary principle.] If reducing fossil fuel use has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, in the absence of economic consensus that the reduction is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those advocating such a reduction
Dr. Roy Spencer

President Obama is a wartime president who doesn't seem to realize it.
Tom Cotton

If gun free zones save lives, why doesn't Obama just declare Iraq, Syria & Afghanistan one big gun free zone?
Wayne LaPierre

We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of citizens.
Mark Levin

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Henry Brooks Adams

I once said cynically of a politician, 'He'll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.'
Oscar Levant

He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important.
Eugene McCarthy

[The Clintons] are really sort of like tornadoes moving through people's lives. I'm just one of the people left in the wake of their passing by.
James McDougal

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.
Adlai Stevenson

The voters have spoken—the bastards!
Morris Udall

All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
Harry S. Truman

[The Vice Presidency is] a job no one campaigns for openly, no one turns down if offered, and no one emerges from unscathed.
Author unidentified

Father [Theodore Roosevelt] always had to be the center of attention. When he went to a wedding, he wanted to be the bridegroom. And when he went to a funeral, he wanted to be the corpse.
Unidentified son of Theodore Roosevelt

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.
Author unidentified

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.
Everett Dirksen

[Clement Attlee is] a modest man who has a good deal to be modest about.
Winston Churchill

An independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics.
Adlai Stevenson

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding, because I think, well, if they attack me personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
Margaret Thatcher

I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say.
Calvin Coolidge

If you don't say anything, you won't be called upon to repeat it.
Calvin Coolidge

The Democrats are in a real bind. They won't get elected unless things get worse—and things won't get worse unless they're elected.
Ronald Reagan

A liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.
Frank Rizzo

If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it.
Author unidentified

Who, whom? (кто кого?)


[We're] told cars cause pollution. A 100 years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine?
P. J. O'Rourke


If the pope be not Antichrist, he is in bad luck to be so like him.
Author unidentified (The gibe appears often in the Lutheran literature of the Reformation period)

Since the primitive times, the wealth of the popes was exposed to envy, their powers to opposition, and their persons to violence.
Edward Gibbon


The best of us would rather be popular than right.
Mark Twain


American children grow up to be valuable citizens. Bangladeshi children grow up to be part of the world population problem. … Fretting about overpopulation, is a perfect guilt-free—indeed, sanctimonious—way for "progressives" to be racists.
P. J. O'Rourke

Crowded as [Bangladesh] is, is overcrowding even its main problem? Hong Kong and Singapore both have greater population densities [than] Bangladesh, and they're called success stories. The same goes for Monaco. In fact, the whole Riviera is packed in August, and neither Malthus nor Ehrlich have complained about the topless beaches of St. Tropez.
P. J. O'Rourke


And women aren't going to screw you in all those crazy ways, either. You got it? They don't look like that and they don't screw crazy. That's what you're taking away from this, okay?
Samuel Halpern


The community is eminently Portuguese—that is to say, it is slow, poor, shiftless, sleepy, and lazy.
Mark Twain


We must like what we have when we don't have what we like.
Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry loose is not nailed down.
Attributed to Collis P. Huntington

Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


What has posterity ever done for me?
Groucho Marks

If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
Or do things worth the writing.
Benjamin Franklin


Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising.
Cyril Connolly


Poverty is no disgrace to a man, but it is profoundly inconvenient.
Reverend Sydney Smith

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.
Willem de Kooning

[T]he best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.
Benjamin Franklin

He who has nothing and wants something is less frustrated than he who has something and wants more.
Eric Hoffer

In comparative terms, there's no poverty in America by a long shot. Heritage Foundation political scientist Robert Rector has worked up figures showing that when the official U.S. measure of poverty was developed in 1963, a poor American family had an income twenty-nine times greater than the average per capita income in the rest of the world.
P. J. O'Rourke

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
Adam Smith

Many of my contemporaries in the developed world see subsistence farming as soulful and organic, but it is a poverty trap and an environmental disaster.
Stewart Brand

[As] for poverty, the admission of it is no disgrace to a man; not to forge one's way out of it is the real disgrace.

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Benjamin Franklin


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
Eric Hoffer

You shall have joy or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
Margaret Thatcher

All history is only one long story to this effect: men have struggled for power over their fellow-men in order that they might win the joys of earth at the expense of others and might shift the burdens of life from their own shoulders upon those of others.
William Graham Sumner

[Of his son:] The boy is the most powerful of all the Hellenes; for the Hellenes are commanded by the Athenians, the Athenians by myself, myself by the boy’s mother, and the mother by her boy.

God, these old men! How they pray for death! How heavy they find this life in the slow drag of days! And yet, when Death comes near them, you will not find one who will rise and walk with him, not one whose years are still a burden to him

He pays the piper calls the tune.
Author unidentified


The more I practice, the luckier I get.
Author unidentified

Practice makes permanent.
Bobby Robson (Attributed)


It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.
Eric Hoffer

If you would reap Praise you must sow the Seeds, Gentle Words and useful Deeds.
Author unidentified


Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Oscar Wilde


A precedent embalms a principle.
Benjamin Disraeli


I am free of all prejudices. I hate every one equally.
W. C. Fields

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
William James

One may no more live in the world without picking up the moral prejudices of the world than one will be able to go to hell without perspiring.
H. L. Mencken


Beware the Ides of March.
William Shakespeare


Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

[His pride] had not yet sunk to the level of his fortune.
Edward Gibbon


We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.
Author unidentified


What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
H. L. Mencken


An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
Robert A. Humphrey

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller

When there is food on the table there are many problems. When there is no food, there is only one problem.
Chinese proverb

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities—brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
John Gardner


The procreation of mankind is a great marvel and mystery. Had God consulted me in the matter, I should have advised him to continue the generation of the species by fashioning them of clay, in the way Adam was fashioned.
Martin Luther


The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
Samuel Gompers


All progress is based upon the universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
Samuel Butler

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw

There's always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.
H. L. Mencken

[All] that is human must retrograde if it do not advance.
Edward Gibbon

We may therefore acquiesce in the pleasing conclusion, that every age of the world has increased, and still increases, the real wealth, the happiness, the knowledge, and perhaps the virtue, of the human race.
Edward Gibbon

Things will get better despite our efforts to improve them.
Will Rogers

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.
Benjamin Disraeli

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.
Thomas Sowell

In general, life is better than it has ever been, and if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word : "Dentistry".
P. J. O'Rourke

If you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
C. S. Lewis

[We] assume that social progress is like technological progress: one cannot uninvent the internal combustion engine, so how could one uninvent liberty?
Mark Steyn

Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
Russell Baker


By the end of the 20th century, "liberals" had again discredited themselves, to the point where they went back to calling themselves "progressives" to escape their past, much as people do when they declare bankruptcy.
Thomas Sowell

[To] the progressive mind, the very concept of "the enemy" is obsolescent: there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet accommodated.
Mark Steyn

[Progressives] think the Constitution is like Felix the Cat's magic bag: Look in there long enough and hard enough, and you can find anything.
Jonah Goldberg

So-called "progressives" actively wage war on progress. … Ultimately, progressives are at war with mass prosperity.
Mark Steyn

And in the minds of progressives you are free to live anyway you want so long as it's progressive.
Jonah Goldberg


But alas! I never could keep a promise. I do not blame myself for this weakness, because the fault must lie in my physical organization. It is likely that such a very liberal amount of space was given to the organ which enables me to make promises, that the organ which should enable me to keep them was crowded out.
Mark Twain


Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.
Eric Hoffer


Of all forms of human error, prophesy is the most avoidable.
George Eliot


Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Genesis 1:28


When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.
African saying

The nail that sticks out is hammered down.
Japanese proverb

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.
Who is powerful? He that governs his passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody.
Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Benjamin Franklin

Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat in a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
Nelson Algren

The wise make proverbs and fools repeat them.
Isaac D'Israeli

[Proverbs are] short sentences drawn from long experiences.
Miguel de Cervantes

A penny saved is a penny earned.
Author unidentified

He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.
Author unidentified

Well done is better than well said.
Author unidentified

Little strokes fell great oaks.
Author unidentified

If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.
Author unidentified

Act uprightly, and despise Calumny; Dirt may stick to a Mud Wall, but not to polish'd Marble.
Author unidentified

Speak little, do much.
Author unidentified

Haste makes waste.
Author unidentified

A slip of the foot you may soon recover; But a slip of the Tongue you may never get over.
Author unidentified

When the Well's dry, we know the Worth of Water.
Author unidentified

Do not do what you would not have known.
Author unidentified


Follow your heart. Follow your principles. And leave the rest to Providence.
Author unidentified


In these honorable contests his spirit soared above the consideration of danger, and perhaps of prudence …
Edward Gibbon


A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
Jerome Lawrence

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Sigmund Freud


The world needs your book, just not many copies of it.
Derek Brewer, to an author


Puns are little "plays on words" that a certain breed of person loves to spring on you and then look at you in a certain self-satisfied way to indicate that he thinks that you must think that he is by far the cleverest person on Earth now that Benjamin Franklin is dead, when in fact what you are thinking is that if this person ever ends up in a lifeboat, the other passengers will hurl him overboard by the end of the first day even if they have plenty of food and water.
Dave Barry


But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Friedrich Nietzsche


The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
Thomas Babington Macaulay


You will never possess what you are unwilling to pursue.
Mike Murdock


Scott Buchanan … taught me that the questions that can be answered are not worth asking.
Milton Mayer

The great questions are those an intelligent child asks and, getting no answers, stops asking.
George Wald


It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
Winston Churchill

A short saying oft contains much wisdom.

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation.
Benjamin Disraeli

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
Marlene Dietrich

I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.

A quotation, like a pun, should come unsought, and then be welcomed only for some propriety of felicity justifying the intrusion.
Robert Chapman

A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
Joseph Roux


There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs—partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.
Booker T. Washington

Why do black people need white people to tell them that their lives matter?
Author unidentified


The soft bigotry of low expectations …
Michael Gerson

Assume there's a vaccine against white racism. Would 70% of black kids STILL be raised in fatherless homes? Would 50% of blacks STILL dropout of many urban high schools? Would 25% of young black urban men STILL have criminal records? Would blacks STILL kill 7,000 blacks every year?
Larry Elder


Conquest's Law: Everyone is a reactionary about subjects he understands. (Alternatively, "Everyone is a conservative in his own field of expertise").
Robert Conquest


Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein

A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Samuel Johnson

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
Mark Twain

In reading, observe the course of your thoughts rather than of your books. Sometimes your reading will give occasion to a thought, not connected with the subject which your book treats of; and in such a case, drop the course of your reading, and follow the course of the thought that has been started.
Author unidentified

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
Logan Pearsall Smith


Reason—the Devil's harlot.
Martin Luther

Reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
David Hume

A man cannot be reasoned out of a position he did not reason himself into.
Attributed to Thomas Sowell


It is the first care of a reformer to prevent any future reformation.
Edward Gibbon

A reformer should be exempt from the suspicion of interest, and he must possess the confidence and esteem of those whom he proposes to reclaim.
Edward Gibbon

It generally troubles them [the reformers] not a whit that their remedy implies a complete reconstruction of society, or even a reconstitution of human nature.
William Graham Sumner


[Experience] seems to shew that law can never regulate them [wages] properly, though it has often pretended to do so.
Adam Smith


The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people. The hardest is with one.
Joan Baez


We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. Presumably the plans for our employment were being changed. I was to learn later in life that, perhaps because we are so good at organizing, we tend as a nation to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.
Charlton Ogburn


The Sting of a Reproach, is the Truth of it.
Author unidentified


The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then gets elected and proves it.
P. J. O'Rourke

"Moderate" Republicans such as Arnold Schwarzenegger like to boast that they're fiscal conservatives and social liberals. But the social liberalism always ends up burying the fiscal conservatism.
Mark Steyn


Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.
Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford


Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.
Marston Bates


I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a child-like trust in God.
Bishop John H. Vincent


It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.
Peter Ustinov

We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
C. S. Lewis

Son, you came in the house yesterday with shit on your hands. Human shit. I don't know how that happened, but if someone has shit on their hands, it's an indicator that maybe the whole responsibility thing isn't for them.
Samuel Halpern

Would you live with ease, Do what you ought, not what you please.
Author unidentified


The revenge of a guilty woman is implacable …
Edward Gibbon

Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge—and has to content oneself with dreaming.
Paul Gauguin

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war …
William Shakespeare


All gentle cant and philosophizing to the contrary notwithstanding, no people in this world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed, must begin in blood.
Mark Twain


The fact is, that there is no right whatever inherited by man which has not an equivalent and corresponding duty by the side of it, as the price of it … Something for nothing is not to be found on earth.
William Graham Sumner


The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Proverbs 4:18


Pearls before swine
Dorothy Parker to Clare Boothe Luce, who had stood aside for her saying, "Age before Beauty"


Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world, knowing they're going to light the bottom, and doesn't get a little worried, does not fully understand the situation.
John Young, astronaut, when asked about the risks of space flight


The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight.
Edward Gibbon

[Instead] of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long.
Edward Gibbon

Ignorant of the arts of luxury, the primitive Romans had improved the science of government and war …
Edward Gibbon


Routine is supposed to be the great deadener of souls; how much worse is the half-completed task, the broken round, the unfulfilled routine?
Richard Brookhiser


When the Quaker Penn kept his hat on in the royal presence, Charles (King Charles II) politely removed his, explaining that it was the custom in that place for only one person at a time to remain covered.
Arthur Bryant


Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
Eric Hoffer


There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.
Adam Smith


Nobody wants to intervene in Russian affairs. Russia is a very large country, a very old country, a very disagreeable country inhabited by immense numbers of ignorant people largely possessed of lethal weapons and in a state of extreme disorder. Also Russia is a long way off.
Winston Churchill

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Winston Churchill

Both Moscow and [Kiev], the modern and the ancient capitals, were reduced to ashes [by the Tartars]; a temporary ruin, less fatal than the deep, and perhaps indelible, mark, which a servitude of two hundred years has imprinted on the character of the Russians.
Edward Gibbon


Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you. (Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant).
Author unidentified, (reportedly said before a mock naval battle in AD 52)

Samuel Johnson

… I observed he [Samuel Johnson] poured a large quantity of it [wine] into a glass, and swallowed it greedily. Everything about his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never was any moderation; many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously; when he did drink wine, it was copiously. He could practise abstinence, but not temperance.
James Boswell

San Diego

San Diego didn't look like the kind of town where people get born.
Steve Ellman

San Francisco

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
Mark Twain


Satire should, like a polished razor keen,
Wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


I die without remorse, as I have lived without guilt.
Julian, Emperor of Rome


An old Jewish man reads about Einstein's theory of relativity in the newspaper and asks his scientist grandson to explain it to him.

"Well, Zayda, it's sort of like this. Einstein says that if you're having your teeth drilled without Novocain, a minute seems like an hour. But if you're sitting with a beautiful woman on your lap, an hour seems like a minute."

The old man considers this profound bit of thinking for a moment and says, "And from this he makes a living?"

Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"

Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

I can't believe that God plays dice with the universe.
Albert Einstein

If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German, and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
Albert Einstein

When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it's only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it's two hours. That's relativity.
Albert Einstein

Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
Albert Einstein

Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
Albert Einstein

Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a pile of bricks is a house.
Henri Poincaré

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein (Attributed)

There's a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good.
Burton Hillis

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Albert Einstein

If I have been able to see farther than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants.
Sir Isaac Newton

Perfection [in design] is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
Donald Knuth

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Mark Twain

The great tragedy of Science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas H. Huxley

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Albert Einstein

The answer to unethical science is not to give up on ethics, but rather to pursue ethical science.
Author unidentified

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
Bertrand Russell

Post-Normal Science is where facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent.
Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
Stephen Jay Gould

This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.
Wolfgang Pauli

[In] the post-Enlightenment world, science [has] taken the place of magic, miracles, and superstition.
Jonah Goldberg


There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea, and I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates.
James Russell Lowell


To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
George Santayana


It is wise not to seek a Secret, and Honest not to reveal it.
Author unidentified

Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead.
Author unidentified


Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature.
Helen Keller


But seduction … isn't making someone do what they don't want to do. Seduction is enticing someone into doing what they secretly want to do already.
Waiter Rant Weblog (2005-11-29)


There is nothing noble about being superior to some other men. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.
Hindustani proverb

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Aldous Huxley

To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
Albert Camus

There is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.

Only the shallow know themselves.
Oscar Wilde

There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.
Salvador Dali

We run fastest and farthest when we run from ourselves.
Eric Hoffer

The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
Eric Hoffer


Every observer, however superficial, has remarked that in many men the love of pleasures is the Ruling Passion of their youth, and the love of money that of their advanced years. However this be, it is not proper to dwell too long on the resistless power and despotic authority of this tyrant of the soul, lest the reader should, as it is very natural, take the present inclination, however destructive to society or himself, for the Ruling Passion, and forbear to struggle when he despairs to conquer.
Samuel Johnson


I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good … Maybe you're not the best, so you should work a little harder.
Jay Leno


Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it—what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.
Carlos Castaneda


Be at war with your vices,
At peace with your neighbors,
And let every New Year,
find you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin


No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.
George Bernard Shaw


They [selfies] are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation.
Karl Lagerfeld


Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar Wilde


Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves.
Lewis Carroll

Where sense is wanting,
Everything is wanting.
Benjamin Franklin


A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.
Oscar Wilde


They that [are] serious in ridiculous matters [will] be ridiculous in serious affairs.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)


The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.
Brendan Francis

There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.
Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior

The daughter-in-law of Pythagoras said that a woman who goes to bed with a man ought to lay aside her modesty with her skirt, and put it on again with her petticoat.

Of all sexual aberrations, chastity is the strangest.
Anatole France

Marriage has many pains but celibacy has no pleasures.
Samuel Johnson

They made love as though they were an endangered species.
Peter De Vries

The physical union of the sexes … only intensifies man's sense of solitude.
Nicolas Berdyaev

As a child of eight Mr. Trout had once kissed a girl of six under the mistletoe at a Christmas party, but there his sex life had come to abrupt halt.
P. G. Wodehouse

Ducking for apples—change one letter and it's the story of my life.
Dorothy Parker

Women complain about sex more often than men. Their gripes fall into two major categories: (1) Not enough. (2) Too much.
Ann Landers

Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way around.
David Lodge

Women can sleep with whoever they want;
Men have to sleep with whoever will let them.
Author unidentified

A man on a date wonders if he'll get lucky. The woman already knows.
Monica Piper

You don't get married to get sex. Getting married to get sex is like buying a 747 to get free peanuts.
Jeff Foxworthy

I know nothing about sex because I was always married.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at.
Jimmy Demaret

Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.
Billy Crystal

Men want sex. If men ruled the world, they could get sex anywhere, anytime. Restaurants would give you sex instead of breath mints on the way out. Gas stations would give sex with every fill-up. Banks would give sex to anyone who opened a checking account.
Scott Adams

Lie back and think of England.
Author unidentified. There is an apocryphal story that Queen Victoria offered this advice on her daughter's wedding night.

After all, [female genital mutilation is] a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure. True, a lot of us hapless western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don't demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.
Mark Steyn

I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late start without me.
Tallulah Bankhead

You'll have to ask somebody older than me.
Eubie Blake, when asked at the age of 97 at what age the sex drive goes

What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
Is much more common where the climate's sultry.
Lord Byron

She broke her marriage vows; she tried to sleep with me
Tom Driberg, a homosexual who had married a widow

He may be the best lover in the world, but what do you do the other twenty-two hours of the day?
Zsa Zsa Gabor, on her boyfriend Porfirio Rubirosa

Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.
Lowell Ganz

Men don't realize that if we're sleeping with them on the first date, we're probably not interested in seeing them again either.
Chelsea Handler

I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.
J. Edgar Hoover

What's the worst thing about oral sex? The view.
Maureen Lipman

What's a promiscuous person? It's usually someone who is getting more sex than you are.
Victor Lownes

Many years ago I chased a woman for almost two years, only to discover that her tastes were exactly like mine: we both were crazy about girls.
Groucho Marx

It's so long since I've had sex I've forgotten who ties up whom.
Joan Rivers

Why don't you come up sometime, and see me?
Mae West

Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right.
Woody Allen

A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me and she said 'no'.
Woody Allen

On bisexuality: It immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.
Woody Allen


Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Proverbs 17:28

Silence is the virtue of fools.
Sir Francis Bacon

I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.
Alan Perlis


A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
Oscar Wilde


Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.
George Santayana


Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.
Benjamin Franklin

When… you have succeeded in dehumanizing the Negro; when you have put him down and made it forever impossible for him to be but as the beasts of the field; when you have extinguished his soul and placed him where the ray of hope is blown out in darkness like that which broods over the spirits of the damned, are you quite sure that the demon you have roused will not turn and rend you?
Abraham Lincoln


Diligence overcomes Difficulties, Sloth makes them.
Author unidentified


I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.
Mark Twain

Social Darwinism

[Social Darwinism] is the most influential misconception in history, since it produced the Marxism of Capital, the imperialism of Joe Chamberlain, and the racialism of Adolf Hitler.
Paul Johnson

Social Engineering

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area—crime, education, housing, race relations—the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.
Thomas Sowell

My point is that you cannot force social change at a speed that it cannot go. Social change is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Deep social change takes time.
Camille Paglia

Social Science

If any student of social science comes to appreciate the case of the Forgotten Man, he will become an unflinching advocate of strict scientific thinking in sociology, and a hard-hearted skeptic as regards any scheme of social amelioration. He will always want to know, Who and where is the Forgotten Man in this case, who will have to pay for it all?
William Graham Sumner


To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches.
Margaret Thatcher

Marxian Socialism must always remain a portent to the historians of Opinion—how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can have exercised so powerful and enduring an influence over the minds of men, and, through them, the events of history.
John Maynard Keynes

[In the Soviet Union,] they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.
Author unidentified

Give people plenty and security, and they will fall into spiritual torpor.
Charles Murray

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money.
Margaret Thatcher

[Socialists claim] that we reject fraternity, solidarity, organization, and association; and they brand us with the name of individualists. We can assure them that what we repudiate is not natural organization, but forced organization. It is not free association, but the forms of association that they would impose upon us. It is not spontaneous fraternity, but legal fraternity. It is not providential solidarity, but artificial solidarity, which is only an unjust displacement of responsibility. Socialism … confounds Government and society.
Frédéric Bastiat


Society in its full sense … is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it.
Ruth Benedict

There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.
Margaret Thatcher

But a society that has nothing to die for has nothing to live for …
Mark Steyn

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquires too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily7 the first principle of association—'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'
Thomas Jefferson

The form was still the same, but the animating health and vigor were fled.
Edward Gibbon

Stop chasing [Facebook] likes and start doing more likable things.
Peter Shankman


The patient and active virtues of a soldier are insensibly nursed in the habits and discipline of a pastoral life.
Edward Gibbon


Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone…
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

How did you enjoy yourself with these people? Answer: very much, almost as much as I do when alone.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Man may indeed preserve his existence in solitude, but can enjoy it only in society…
Samuel Johnson


He who causes his father's heart to bleed
Will one day have a son to avenge the deed.
Author unidentified

Beat your son every day; you may not know why, but he will.
Author unidentified


But for sorrow there is no remedy provided by nature; it is often occasioned by accidents irreparable, and dwells upon objects that have lost or changed their existence; it requires what it cannot hope, that the laws of the universe should be repealed; that the dead should return, or the past should be recalled.
Samuel Johnson

Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.
Samuel Johnson


Coddle the body and you harm the soul.
Polish proverb


If there is but little water in the stream, it is the fault, not of the channel, but of the source.
Saint Jerome

Noli equi dentes inspicere donati. [Never look a gift horse in the mouth.]
Saint Jerome


Such was the unhappy condition of the Roman emperors, that, whatever might be their conduct, their fate was commonly the same. A life of pleasure or virtue, of severity or mildness, of indolence or glory, alike led to an untimely grave; and almost every reign is closed by the same disgusting repetition of treason and murder.
Edward Gibbon

Alas! the republic has lost a useful servant, and the rashness of an hour has destroyed the services of many years. You know not, the misery of sovereign power; a sword is perpetually suspended over our head. We dread our very guards, we distrust our companions. The choice of action or of repose is no longer in our disposition, nor is there any age, or character, or conduct, that can protect us from the censure of envy. In thus exalting me to the throne, you have doomed me to a life of cares, and to an untimely fate.
Saturninus, when his troops put him forward as a contender to the Roman Emperor.

[If] the exercise of justice is the most important duty, the indulgence of mercy is the most exquisite pleasure, of a sovereign.
Theodosius I

The usual disease of princes, grasping covetousness, had made them suspicious and quarrelsome neighbors.

Pyrrhus revived this image [of Alexander the Great] by the fire and vigor of his movements in the field of battle; the rest only mimicked the hero, whose title they assumed, in their demeanor, and in the trappings and state of royalty.

[The] day of his inauguration was the last day of his happiness.
Edward Gibbon

The Romans derided [Marius's] indolence; they soon bewailed his activity.
Edward Gibbon

For my own part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity, that the throne is a glorious sepulchre.

To maintain the harmony of authority and obedience, to chastise the proud, to protect the weak, to reward the deserving, to banish vice and idleness from his dominions, to secure the traveller and merchant, to restrain the depredations of the soldier, to cherish the labors of the husbandman, to encourage industry and learning, and, by an equal and moderate assessment, to increase the revenue, without increasing the taxes, are indeed the duties of a prince …
Edward Gibbon

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
William Shakespeare


Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.
Fred Hoyle

Space … is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.
Douglas Adams


Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon after the weather turned cold, the sparrow changed his mind and reluctantly started to fly south. After a short time, ice began to form his on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on this little bird and the sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy the little sparrow began to sing. Just then, a large Tom cat came by and, hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds. As Old Tom cleared away the manure, he found the chirping bird and promptly ate him.

There are three morals to this story:
  1. Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
  2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
  3. If you are warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.
Author unidentified


It is a great misfortune neither to have enough wit to talk well nor enough judgment to be silent.
Jean de la Bruyere

10 persons who speak make more noise than 10,000 who are silent.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
Robert Benchley

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
Publilius Syrus

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Mark Twain.

Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.
Dionysus the Elder

[He] possessed that vehemence of speech, which seldom fails to impart the persuasion of the soul.
Edward Gibbon

Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.

Most men with any convictions in a confused and complicated age have had the almost uncanny sensation of shouting at people that a mad dog is loose or the house is on fire, to be met merely with puzzled and painfully respectful expressions, as if the remark were a learned citation in Greek or Hebrew.
G. K. Chesterton


I am ignorant, sir, of your motives or provocations; I only know, that you have acted like a man who cuts off his right hand with his left.
Author unidentified


Some [soccer] players suffer four or five fatal injuries per game. That's how tough they are.
Dave Barry

Rockne wanted nothing but "bad losers." Good losers get into the habit of losing.
George E. Allen

It's never just a game when you're winning.
George Carlin


What I admire most in any man is a serene spirit, a steady freedom from moral indignation, and all-embracing tolerance—in brief, what is commonly called sportsmanship.
H. L. Mencken


Spouse, n. Someone who'll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have had if you'd stayed single.
Author unidentified

I don't like those men who claim that their wife is their best friend. … I think spouses should tolerate each other and occasionally have sex.
Adam Carolla (paraphrased)

I don't like those men who claim that their wife is their best friend. My wife doesn't even crack the top 25.
Adam Carolla (paraphrased)

St. Jerom

The stories of Paul, Hilarion, and Malchus, by [St. Jerom], are admirably told: and the only defect of these pleasing compositions is the want of truth and common sense.
Edward Gibbon


There is this special biologist word we use for 'stable'. It is 'dead'.
Jack Cohen


Arrest, try, shoot!
Central Committee's response to Stalin's mere mention of internal enemies

Stanley Baldwin

It was the voice of the new England: uncomfortable with greatness, wary of excellence, indifferent to challenges abroad … an appropriate debut for this evangelist of political mediocrity.
William Manchester, on Stanley Baldwin


I don't want to be a star—most of the ones I know are too unhappy.
Vivian Vance


The end-game for statists is very obvious. If you expand the bureaucratic class and you expand the dependent class, you can put together a permanent electoral majority.
Mark Steyn


Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Mark Twain


Noblesse oblige [Rank has its obligations].
Gaston Pierre Marc, Duc de Lévis


Never tell a story because it is true: tell it because it is a good story.
John Pentland Mahaffy


The separation of the Arabs from the rest of mankind has accustomed them to confound the ideas of stranger and enemy …
Edward Gibbon

Listen up, if someone is being nice to you, and you don't know them, run away. No one is nice to you just to be nice to you, and if they are, well, they can go take their pleasant ass somewhere else.
Samuel Halpern


Short-term thinking drives out long-term strategy.
Herbert Simon


Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
Author unidentified

A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Bertrand Russell

Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.
Author unidentified

Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is painful only for others. The same applies when you are stupid.
Philippe Geluck (paraphrased)


Orders can be benign or malign, but the habit of obeying them can become ingrained.
Theodore Dalrymple


It is not enough to succeed, a friend must fail.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

What is success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
That is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lose as if you like it; win as if you were used to it.
Tommy Hitchcock

Success is a journey, not a destination.
Ben Sweetland

Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.
Oscar Wilde

Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Woody Allen

Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Woody Allen

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
Bill Gates

It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.
Tom Lehrer

The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.
H. L. Mencken

Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet 'em on your way down.
Wilson Mizner

The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There's far less competition.
Dwight Morrow

It is difficult to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.
Helen Osborne

It matters not whether you win or lose: what matters is whether I win or lose.
Darin Weinberg (Attributed)

There are two kinds of success: initial and ultimate. To act by half-measures, with a lack of conviction miscalled "caution," is to run the greatest risks and lose the prize.
Winston Churchill

In the real world, very smart people fail and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ.
Camille Paglia


The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.
Author unidentified

If there is a 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.
Viktor Frankl


When we have lost everything, including hope, life becomes a disgrace and death a duty.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Unhappy men! If you are thus weary of your lives, is it so difficult for you to find ropes and precipices?
Antoninus Pius (Attributed), to zealous Christians who apparently provoked the authorities in order to become martyrs

The criminal penalties [for suicide] are the production of a later and darker age.
Edward Gibbon

Yet the civilians have always respected the natural right of a citizen to dispose of his life …
Edward Gibbon


The superfluous is very necessary.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time.
George Iles

Fear has been the original parent of superstition, and every new calamity urges trembling mortals to deprecate the wrath of their invisible enemies.
Edward Gibbon


Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words
Since I first call'd my brother's father dad.
William Shakespeare


The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
Oscar Wilde


The Swiss are not a people so much as a neat, clean, quiet solvent business.
William Faulkner


Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
Edward Gibbon


Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
Abraham Lincoln


They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.
Eric Hoffer

Hide not your Talents, they for Use were made. What's a Sun-Dial in the Shade!
Author unidentified

I am always grieved when a man of real talent dies. The world needs such men more than Heaven does.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them.
Dame Rose Macaulay

Great talkers, little doers.
Benjamin Franklin

He that speaks much, is much mistaken.
Benjamin Franklin

Talking too much, too soon, and with too much self-satisfaction has always seemed to me a sure way to court disaster.
Meg Greenfield

Talk uses up ideas … Once I have spoken them aloud, they are lost to me, dissipated into the noisy air like smoke. Only if I bury them, like bulbs, in the rich soil of silence do they grow.
Doris Grumbach


I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
Oscar Wilde


Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
H. L. Mencken

The power to tax involves the power to destroy.
John Marshall

Prosperity of the middling and lower orders depends upon the fortunes and light taxes of the rich.
Andrew Mellon

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr.
Will Rogers

If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

Count the day won when, turning on its axis,
The earth imposes no additional taxes.
Franklin P. Adams

Taxes are going up so fast that the government is likely to price itself right out of the market.
Dan Bennett

I love to go to Washington—if only to be near my money.
Bob Hope

It seems a little silly now, but [the United States of America] was founded as a protest against taxation.
Author unidentified

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin

The taxing power is especially something after which the reformer's finger always itches.
William Graham Sumner

The tax code is 10 times longer than the Bible, without the good news.
Dave Camp (Attributed)

When you're taxing bovine flatulence emissions, there's nothing left to tax.
Mark Steyn

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?
Peg Bracken

Logic and taxation are not always the best of friends.
James C. McReynolds

Taxation, gentlemen, is very much like dairy farming. The task is to extract the maximum amount of milk with the minimum of moo.
Terry Pratchett


For a successful technology, honesty must take precedence over public relations for nature cannot be fooled.
Richard Feynman

Putt's Law: Technology is dominated by two types of people: Those who understand what they do not manage. Those who manage what they do not understand.
Author unidentified


I hate television. I hate it as much as I hate peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.
Orson Welles

Television is bear-led by its visuals, not to speak of the neuroses of the people who work for this irrational and self-corrupting medium. … in wartime, truth is hard to come by but you are more likely to find it in newspapers than in the flickering images and babble of the box.
Paul Johnson


I can resist everything except temptation.
Oscar Wilde

Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. … You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. … We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it …
C. S. Lewis


Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
Margaret Thatcher

Ought we not to ask the media to agree among themselves a voluntary code of conduct, under which they would not say or show anything which could assist the terrorists' morale or their cause while the hijack lasted.
Margaret Thatcher


My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving … the holiday that is solely based on stuffing your face until you have to be rolled away from the table so you start the exhausting task of sitting in front of the TV watching football all day.
Stephen Furst


I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare.
Harriet Martineau


Sloppy writing reflects sloppy thinking.
Author unidentified

Thompson, Hunter S.

Thompson, if he is to be believed, has sampled the entire rainbow of legal and illegal drugs in heroic efforts to feel better than he does.

As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about it. I am told that he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily sane. But we will be doing what he wants us to do, I think, if we consider his exterior a sort of Dorian Gray facade. Inwardly, he is being eaten alive by tinhorn politicians.

The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can do for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor. From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease. I don't have it this morning. It comes and goes. This morning I don't have Hunter Thompson's disease.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Excerpt from "A Political Disease", Vonnegut's review of "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"


November, n. The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think.
Robert W. Service

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
Albert Einstein

Methinks I see the wanton hours flee,
And as they pass, turn back and laugh at me.
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham

Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is the allotted span for all we must cram into it!
Winston Churchill

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

Once, adv. Enough.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Twice, adv. Once too often.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Tempus edax rerum.
Time, the devourer of all things.

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.
Jean de La Bruysre

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Bertrand Russell

There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.
George Carlin

Ah simple man!
When a boy two precious jewels were given thee,
Time and good advice;
One thou hast lost, and the other thrown away.
Benjamin Franklin

Dost thou love life?
then do not squander time;
For that's the stuff
life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me …
William Shakespeare

I do love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go past.
Douglas Adams

The trouble with being punctual is that there is no-one there to appreciate it.
Author unidentified

Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.
Robert Burton


I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Toronto is a kind of New York operated by the Swiss.
Peter Ustinov


Those who go overseas find a change of climate, not a change of soul.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
Oscar Wilde

Doc Daneeka hated to fly. He felt imprisoned in an airplane. In an airplane there was absolutely no place in the world to go except to another part of the airplane.
Joseph Heller

A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.
J. B. Priestley

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
Mark Twain

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
Mark Twain

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.
Mark Twain


[Treason], Sire, is a question of date.
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand


I against my brother; I and my brother against our cousin; my brother and our cousin against the neighbors; all of us against the strangers.
Bedouin Proverb


It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.
G. K. Chesterton

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it is just possible you haven't grasped the situation.
Jean Kerr

Extreme distress, which unites the virtue of a free people, imbitters the factions of a declining monarchy.
Edward Gibbon

This too shall pass.
Author unidentified


When a public quarrel is envenomed by private injuries, a blow that is not mortal or decisive can be productive only of a short truce, which allows the unsuccessful combatant to sharpen his arms for a new encounter.
Edward Gibbon


The truth is rarely pure, and never simple
Oscar Wilde

Truth And Deception

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Deceive not thy physician, confessor, nor lawyer.
George Herbert

It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest the most violently are those who try to tell the truth.
H. L. Mencken

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Mark Twain

Hope deceives more men than cunning can.
Marquis Vauvenargues

If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
René Descartes

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
Denis Diderot

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so.
Mark Twain

Why abandon a belief merely because it ceases to be true? Cling to it long enough and … it will turn true again, for so it goes. Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.
Robert Frost

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
Samuel Butler

And after all what is a lie? 'Tis but the truth in masquerade.
George Gordon, Lord Byron

A lie is halfway around the world before truth has got its boots on. (Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius alium)

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.
George Bernard Shaw

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
Adolf Hitler

The great masses of the people … will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one.
Adolf Hitler

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli

Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.
Mark Twain

It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The truth is what is; what should be is a dirty lie.
Lenny Bruce

These Macedonians are a rude and clownish people; they call a spade a spade.

[Stanley Baldwin] occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
Winston Churchill

I was brought up in a clergyman's household so I am a first-class liar.
Dame Sybil Thorndike

No totalitarian censor can approach the implacability of the censor who controls the line of communication between the outer world and our consciousness. Nothing is allowed to reach us which might weaken our confidence and lower our morale. To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth.
Eric Hoffer

Truthful, adj. Dumb and illiterate.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

A woman may tell ninety-nine lies, but the hundredth will betray her.
Haussa Proverb

One lie draws ten after it.
Italian Proverb

Tell a lie and you will hear the truth.
Spanish Proverb

O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive.
Sir Walter Scott

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
H. L. Mencken

Truth, n. Something somehow discreditable to someone.
H. L. Mencken

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
Mark Twain

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
Eric Hoffer

The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.
Mark Twain

Truth does not blush. (Veritas non erubescit).

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
William Shakespeare

What I tell you three times is true.
Lewis Carroll

Is honesty always the best policy? Not when it does unnecessary harm or gets in the way of doing good.
Dennis Prager

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.

By the time you say you're his,
Shivering and sighing
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
Dorothy Parker


They [Americans] augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.
Edmund Burke

U. S. Constitution

[Let any modification of the constitutional powers be done] by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
George Washington

It is surely only a matter of time before some federal judge finds the Constitution unconstitutional.
Mark Steyn

Nothing is more senseless than to base so many expectations on the state, that is, to assume the existence of collective wisdom and foresight after taking for granted the existence of individual imbecility and improvidence.
Frédéric Bastiat

Unintended Consequence

But we have inherited a vast number of social ills which never came from Nature. They are the complicated products of all the tinkering, muddling, and blundering of social doctors in the past.
William Graham Sumner


Unionism seldom, if ever, uses such power as it has to insure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguarding bad work.
H. L. Mencken

Unions may have existed to serve workers' interests at one time. These days, they exist to serve liberalism.
Stephen Spruiell

When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.
Al Shanker, former American Federation of Teachers president


In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
Douglas Adams

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
Douglas Adams

I'm astounded by people who want to "know" the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.
Woody Allen


A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.
John Ciardi

San Diego State University [is] Harvard, without all the smart people.
Samuel Halpern


Utopian movements produce dystopias.
Dennis Prager

What begins as a Utopian vision, always—always—ends in bloodshed. Because you have to force a utopia on a free people. Free people want to pursue their own happiness, but a one-size-fits-all approach requires herding the free, against their will, into the state's idea of what's right. Then it's not utopia.
Greg Gutfeld


It doesn't matter where I go, just as long as no one goes with me. I could vacation in my own home if everyone would leave me the fuck alone.
Samuel Halpern

No, I'm gonna stay home. You can take a family vacation, and I'll take a vacation from the family. Trust me, it'll make both of our time more enjoyable.
Samuel Halpern


[The] emperor of the West, the feeble and dissolute Valentinian, [had] reached his thirty-fifth year without attaining the age of reason or courage.
Edward Gibbon


The invariable laws of nature [have] connected peace with innocence, plenty with industry, and safety with valor.
Edward Gibbon


Vanity makes us do more things against inclination than reason.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


The joy of life is variety; the tenderest love requires to be rekindled by intervals of absence.
Samuel Johnson


The truth is that cupidity, selfishness, envy, malice, lust, vindictiveness, are constant vices of human nature.
William Graham Sumner

Nine-tenths of our measures for preventing vice are really protective towards it, because they ward off the penalty.
William Graham Sumner

Moral vices prosper by dressing themselves as virtues.
Kenneth Minogue

The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to plague us.
William Shakespeare

If this be a world of vice and woe, I'll take the vice and you take the woe.
Winston Churchill


[We] live in an age where victimhood is the new currency, victims a new kind of aristocracy, and pity a cardinal virtue.
Jonah Goldberg


The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
Winston Churchill

Vidal, Gore

His self-love is well requited.
Joseph Rago, of Gore Vidal


In Japan people drive on the left. In China people drive on the right. In Vietnam it doesn't matter.
P. J. O'Rourke

Virtue And Vice

I find that the best virtue I have has in it some tincture of vice.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

I prefer an accommodating vice to an obstinate virtue.

Perhaps it would not be easy, within the same historical space, to find more vice and less virtue. We are continually shocked by the union of savage [Barbarian] and corrupt [Roman] manners.
Edward Gibbon

It was [Totila's] constant theme, that national vice and ruin are inseparably connected; that victory is the fruit of moral as well as military virtue; and that the prince, and even the people, are responsible for the crimes which they neglect to punish.
Edward Gibbon

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
Elizabeth Taylor

[Only] a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
Benjamin Franklin

Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.
Author unidentified


Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.
Arthur Schopenhauer

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau (Attributed)


Visits always give pleasure—if not the arrival, the departure.
Portuguese proverb

Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house—
too much of you, and he will hate you.
Proverbs 25:17


Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
Mark Twain

Wagner had some wonderful moments but awful half hours.
Gioacchino Rossini

One cannot judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin from a first hearing, and I certainly do not intend to hear it a second time.
Gioacchino Rossini


Hang yourself, brave Crillon; we fought at Arques and you were not there.
William Shakespeare

A general and a bit of shooting makes you forget your troubles … it takes your mind off the cost of living.
Brendan Behan

War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
George Orwell

Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.

It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
William Ralph Inge

There must be some good in the life of battle, for so many good men have enjoyed being soldiers.
G. K. Chesterton

In war, truth is the first casualty.

I reverence the field of battle, stained with their blood, and the blood of the Barbarians. Those honorable marks have been already washed away by the rains; but the lofty monuments of their bones, the bones of generals, of centurions, and of valiant warriors, claim a longer period of duration.

If you are a god, we shall not be harmed by you, for we have done no wrong; but if you are a man, you may meet with a stronger man than yourself.
Mandrokleides, a Spartan envoy, to Pyrrhus

If we win one more such victory over the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.
Pyrrhus, when congratulated on his victory

Carthage must be destroyed! (Carthago delenda est!)
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
Attributed to Leon Trotsky

I have given two cousins to war and I stand ready to sacrifice my wife's brother.
Artemus Ward

Not those alone who make the war must feel the war!
George Alfred Townsend

For what fortress, what city, in the wide extent of the Roman empire, can hope to exist, secure and impregnable, if it is our pleasure that it should be erased from the earth?
Attila the Hun

The conflict was obstinate; the slaughter was mutual.
Edward Gibbon

We make war that we may live in peace.

[Whole] generations may be swept away by the madness of kings in the space of a single hour.
Edward Gibbon

A bloody and complete victory has sometimes yielded no more than the possession of the field and the loss of ten thousand men has sometimes been sufficient to destroy, in a single day, the work of ages.
Edward Gibbon

[Every age], however destitute of science or virtue, sufficiently abounds with acts of blood and military renown.
Edward Gibbon

[To] the vanquished, death [is] a relief, life a burden, and infamy the only object of terror.
Gelimer, King of the Vandals (Attributed)

[It is a melancholy truth] that the first and most cruel sufferings [in war] must be the lot of the innocent and helpless …
Edward Gibbon

[The] events by which the fate of nations is not materially changed, leave a faint impression on the page of history, and the patience of the reader would be exhausted by the repetition of the same hostilities [between Rome and Persia], undertaken without cause, prosecuted without glory, and terminated without effect.
Edward Gibbon

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
Sir Winston Churchill

Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.
Sir Winston Churchill

Don't Delay: The best is the enemy of the good [emphasis added]. By this I mean that a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week. War is a very simple thing, and the determining characteristics are self-confidence, speed, and audacity. None of these things can ever be perfect, but they can be good.
George S. Patton, Jr.

[In] the national and religious conflict of the [Byzantine and Saracen] empires, peace was without confidence, and war without mercy.
Edward Gibbon

The great questions of our time will be decided not by resolutions and majority votes, but by blood and iron.
Otto von Bismarck

So familiar, and as it were so natural to man, is the practice of violence, that our indulgence allows the slightest provocation, the most disputable right, as a sufficient ground of national hostility.
Edward Gibbon

[Every] hour of delay abates the fame and force of the invader, and multiplies the resources of defensive war.
Edward Gibbon

War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies.

The single combats of the heroes of history or fable amuse our fancy and engage our affections: the skillful evolutions of war may inform the mind, and improve a necessary, though pernicious, science. But in the uniform and odious pictures of a general assault, all is blood, and horror, and confusion …
Edward Gibbon

Weakness is a provocation.
Donald Rumsfeld

[Much] as war attracts me and fascinates my mind with its tremendous situations, I feel more deeply every year … what vile and wicked folly and barbarism it all is.
Winston Churchill

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.
Joseph Heller

It is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.
William T. Sherman

War is Hell!
William T. Sherman

War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it …
William T. Sherman

For Christ's sake men—come on! Do you want to live forever?
Daniel Daly

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

If we clear the air of the fog of catchwords which surround the conduct of war, and grasp that in the human will lies the source and mainspring of all conflict, as of all other activities of man's life, it becomes clear that our object in war can only be attained by the subjugation of the opposing will. All acts, such as defeat in the field, propaganda, blockade, diplomacy, or attack on the centres of government and population, are seen to be but means to that end.
Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart

War, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has become cruel and squalid.
Winston Churchill

Don't give up the ship!
Captain James Lawrence

I believe in fighting until lack of supplies forces you to stop—then digging in.
George S. Patton, Jr.

I maintained my contention that it is better to attack with a small force at once, and attain surprise, than it is to wait and lose it.
George S. Patton, Jr.

One continues to learn about war by practicing war.
George S. Patton, Jr.

It always made me mad to have to beg for opportunities to win battles.
George S. Patton, Jr.

The acid test of battle brings out the pure metal.
George S. Patton, Jr.

In war, the only sure defense is offense, and the efficiency of offense depends on the warlike souls of those conducting it.
George S. Patton, Jr.

When we got to the far side [of the Rhine], I also deliberately stubbed my toe and fell, picking up a handful of German soil, in emulation of Scipio Africanus and William the Conqueror, who both stumbled and both made a joke of it, saying, "I see in my hands the soil of Africa" or "… the soil of England." I saw in my hands the soil of Germany.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Here again we took advantage of a theory of our own, that the impossible place is usually the least well defended.
George S. Patton, Jr.

It is an unfortunate fact that few commanders, and no politicians, realize the individuality of units and the necessity of playing on human emotion.
George S. Patton, Jr.

It is an unfortunate and, to me, tragic fact that, in our attempts to prevent war, we have taught our people to belittle the heroic qualities of the soldier.
George S. Patton, Jr.

If you want to know when a war might be coming, you just watch the United States and see when it starts cutting down on its defenses. It's the surest barometer in the world.
Will Rogers

The best armor (and the best defense) is a rapid and well-directed fire.
David Farragut

When soldiers are caught in a barrage, either from mortars, rockets, or artillery, the surest way to get out of it is to go forward fast, because it is almost the invariable practice of the enemy to increase rather than decrease his range.
George S. Patton, Jr.

In small operations, as in large, speed is the essential element of success.
George S. Patton, Jr.

It is much better to go over difficult ground where you are not expected than it is over good ground where you are expected.
George S. Patton, Jr.

The Americans, as a race, are the foremost mechanics in the world. America, as a nation, has the greatest ability for mass production of machines. It therefore behooves us to devise methods of war which exploit our inherent superiority.
George S. Patton, Jr.

As war is one of the heaviest of national evils, a calamity in which every species of misery is involved; as it sets the general safety to hazard, suspends commerce, and desolates the country; as it exposes great numbers to hardships, dangers, captivity, and death; no man, who desires public prosperity, will inflame general resentment …
Samuel Johnson


Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.
John F. Kennedy


Feeble and timid minds … consider the use of dilatory and ambiguous measures as the most admirable efforts of consummate prudence.
Edward Gibbon


I've been rich and I've been poor; rich is better.
Sophie Tucker

I have no complex about wealth. I have worked hard for my money, producing things people need. I believe that the able industrial leader who creates wealth and employment is more worthy of historical notice than politicians or soldiers.
J. Paul Getty

It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people.
Logan Pearsall Smith

[We've] been guided by [an] administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth.
Jim Moran

He does not possess wealth, it possesses him.
Benjamin Franklin

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.
W. C. Fields

Wealth And Money

A rich man's joke is always funny.
Thomas Edward Brown

The rich rob the poor and the poor rob one another.
Sojourner Truth

One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greeds.
Don Robinson

Not he who has little, but he who wishes more, is poor.

Citizens of rich countries often fret about the occasional harm that corporations do, yet take for granted the prosperity they create. People in developing countries do not have that luxury.
Author unidentified (The Economist Editors)

Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?
Matthew 20:15

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.
W. C. Fields


Ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon—so long as there is no answer to it—gives claws to the weak.
George Orwell


Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
Mark Twain

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
Patrick Young


The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of a sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

[Giving welfare to poor people] is the equivalent of the government sending [fat people] a jumbo bag of Bugles in the mail twice a month.
Adam Carolla

Western World

Everything great in western culture has come from the quarrel with nature.
Camille Paglia


Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Proverbs 19:14

Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 21:9

Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
Proverbs 21:19

A quarrelsome wife is like
a constant dripping on a rainy day;
restraining her is like restraining the wind
or grasping oil with the hand.
Proverbs 27:15,16

Many a man owes his success to his first wife and his second wife to his success.
Jim Backus, (Attributed)

Here lies my wife; here let her lie!
Now she's at peace and so am I.
John Dryden

The comfortable estate of widowhood, is the only hope that keeps up a wife's spirits.
John Gay

When you marry your mistress you create a job vacancy.
James Goldsmith

Only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. One is to let her think she is having her own way, and the other, to let her have it.
Lyndon B. Johnson

Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
She ain't no lady; she's my wife.
Joe Weber and Lew Fields

Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses.
Francis Bacon

Happy wife, happy life.
Author unidentified


Take counsel in wine, but resolve afterwards in water.
Benjamin Franklin

In vino veritas. (In wine [there is the] truth.)
Pliny the Elder

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to food.
W. C. Fields

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!
Benjamin Franklin

The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken.


Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is.
Vince Lombardi


We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again—and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
Mark Twain

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes 1:18

I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.
Anatole France

Give your decisions, never your reasons; your decisions may be right, your reasons are sure to be wrong.
Earl of Mansfield

He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom.
James Gibbons Huneker

He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.
Lao Tsu

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Great men are not always wise.
Job 32:9 (KJV)

[It is] better [to] be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.

Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
George Orwell

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell

A sadder and a wiser man He rose the morrow morn.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
Samuel Johnson

Tis sometimes the height of wisdom to feign stupidity.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Even brute beasts and wandering birds do not fall into the same traps or nets twice.
Saint Jerome

The doors of wisdom are never shut.
Benjamin Franklin

Wisdom comes from context.
Author unidentified

The easily embarrassed are unable to learn.
Author unidentified

A proud person talks about all he has done, a foolish person talks about all he will do, and a wise man does it, and says nothing.
Keith Harmon

Wisdom is the accumulation of insights into how the world actually works—as opposed to how we would like it to work.
Jonah Goldberg

Horse sense is the good judgement which keeps people from betting on horses.
W. C. Fields


We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.


Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It Might Have Been.
John Greenleaf Whittier


The nations, and the sects, of the Roman world, admitted with equal credulity, and similar abhorrence, the reality of that infernal art [witchcraft], which was able to control the eternal order of the planets, and the voluntary operations of the human mind. … They believed, with the wildest inconsistency, that this preternatural dominion of the air, of earth, and of hell, was exercised, from the vilest motives of malice or gain, by some wrinkled hags and itinerant sorcerers, who passed their obscure lives in penury and contempt.
Edward Gibbon


Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
J. R. R. Tolkien


The great question which I have not been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does woman want?"
Sigmund Freud

If a woman likes another woman, she's cordial. If she doesn't like her, she's very cordial.
Irvin S. Cobb

Women are like elephants. They are interesting to look at, but I wouldn't want to own one.
W. C. Fields

If I were asked … to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of [Americans] ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: to the superiority of their women.
Alexis de Tocqueville

When women kiss it always reminds me of prize-fighters shaking hands.
H. L. Mencken

She strode like a grenadier, was strong and upright like an obelisk, had a beautiful face, a candid brow, and not a thought of her own in her head.
Joseph Conrad

A beautiful woman is a blessing from Heaven, but a good cigar is a smoke.

When there is an old maid in the house, a watch dog is unnecessary.
Honoré de Balzac

She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
Oscar Wilde

Most women are not as young as they are painted.
Max Beerbohm

No trust is to be placed in women.

There is no fouler fiend than a woman when her mind is bent to evil.

I trust only one thing in a woman: that she will not come to life again after she is dead. In all other things I distrust her.

In point of morals, the average woman is, even for business, too crooked.
Stephen Leacock

Never trust a woman, even though she has given you ten sons.
Chinese Proverb

Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
H. L. Mencken

If a woman has "It," she doesn't need anything else; but if she doesn't have "It," it doesn't matter what else she has.
Winston Churchill

But I'm not here to give you some bullshit talk about women. There are three billion of them, and to generalize that many people with some blanket statement is the definition of being an asshole. Women are all different, so I don't have any advice on them.
Samuel Halpern

Um, when a woman talks, she just wants to be heard.
Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons

Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month I can be myself.
Roseanne Barr

You know that look women get when they want to have sex? Me neither.
Steve Martin

Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour … which is probably more than she ever did.
Bret Kalmar

The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
George Bernard Shaw

Her mother grieved in secret with the grim, philosophic, almost cheerful hopelessness of women whose lives have taught them always to expect the worst
Rudyard Kipling


"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,'" Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"

"But glory doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice objected.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

Lewis Carroll

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
Edward Thorndike

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met.
Abraham Lincoln

The more the words,
the less the meaning,
and how does that profit anyone?
Ecclesiastes 6:11

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.
Winston Churchill

The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.
George Orwell

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
C. S. Lewis

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
Mark Twain

It ain't how many words you know, it's how you use them.
Samuel Halpern

By hard, honest labour I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary … I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same money for city. I never write policeman, because I can get the same money for Cop.
Mark Twain

Words have a longer life than deeds.

One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called "weasel words." When a weasel sucks eggs it sucks the meat out of the egg and leaves it an empty shell. If you use a "weasel word" after another there is nothing left of the other.
Theodore Roosevelt


I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
Winston Churchill, first speech as prime minister

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.
Henry J. Kaiser

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:11

So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:17

What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 2:22,23

In populous cities, which are the seat of commerce and manufactures, the middle ranks of inhabitants, who derive their subsistence from the dexterity or labor of their hands, are commonly the most prolific, the most useful, and, in that sense, the most respectable part of the community.
Edward Gibbon

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
Sam Ewing

[Personal] industry must be faint and languid, which is not excited by the sense of personal interest.
Edward Gibbon

If a man will not work, he shall not eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
Robert Benchley

The things are mighty few on earth
That wishes can attain.
Whate'er we want of any worth
We've got to work to gain.
Edgar Guest

For great and low there's but one test:
'Tis that each man shall do his best.
Who works with all the strength he can
Shall never die in debt to man.
Edgar Guest

Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, [and] Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
Mark Twain

There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.
Thomas Edison

I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease but the doctrine of the strenuous life; the life of toil and effort …
Theodore Roosevelt

If a task is once begun
Never leave it till it's done.
Be the labor great or small
Do it well or not at all.
Author unidentified

Train people well enough so they can leave, pay them well enough so they don't want to.
Richard Branson

I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.
Margaret Thatcher

A professional is a man who can do his job when he doesn't feel like it. An amateur is a man who can't do his job when he does feel like it.
James Agate

Oh you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY and they meet at the bar.
Drew Carey

It is allowed that vocations and employments of least dignity are of the most apparent use; that the meanest artisan or manufacturer contributes more to the accommodation of life than the profound scholar and argumentative theorist; and that the public would suffer less present inconvenience from the banishment of philosophers than from the extinction of any common trade.
Samuel Johnson

It is not hard to work; it is hard to begin to work.
Constantin Brancusi (Attributed)


The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.
Horace Walpole


If evils come not, then our fears are vain: And if they do, Fear but augments the pain.
Author unidentified

Worry is a misuse of imagination.
Dan Zadra


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof—KJV)
Matthew 6:34

When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.
Winston Churchill

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.
Mary Hemingway


What's not worth doing is not worth doing well.
Don Hebb


The wretch, concentrated all in self
Living, shall forfeit fair renown
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.
Sir Walter Scott


In Ireland, a writer is looked upon as a failed conversationalist.
Author unidentified

I suppose most editors are failed writers—but so are most writers.
T. S. Eliot

The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
Russell Baker


Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

Vigorous writing is concise. Omit needless words.
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
Samuel Johnson

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert Benchley

[Writing a book] is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
Winston Churchill

And, like every other ink-stained wretch, he could never be certain of future income.
William Manchester, on writing

Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Mark Twain

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vain.
Red Smith

Just as the sentence contains one idea in all its fullness, so the paragraph should embrace a distinct episode; and as sentences should follow one another in harmonious sequence, so paragraphs must fit into another like the automatic couplings of railway carriages.
Winston Churchill

If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Journalist" is a term of contempt employed by writers who are not read to refer to writers who are read.
Ernest Newman (Attributed)

When I want to read a novel, I write one.
Benjamin Disraeli

Of writing well the source and fountainhead is wise thinking.

In matters editorial, I am a believer in totalitarian despotism. Most writers are lazy, difficult, selfish, thoughtless, and unreliable.
John Derbyshire

If you write for the critics, only the critics will read you.
Jonah Goldberg

Start. Don't look back. If at the end it doesn't meet your hopes, start again. Now you know more about your hopes.
Roger Ebert, on Writing

After being turned down by numerous publishers, he had decided to write for posterity.
George Ade

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
E. L. Doctorow

Anyone could write a novel given six weeks, pen, paper, and no telephone or wife.
Evelyn Waugh

If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that's read by persons who move their lips when reading.
Don Marquis


In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
Oscar Wilde


Whom the gods love dies young.

Whom the gods love, die young, no matter how long they live.
Elbert Hubbard

When the Greeks said, "Whom the gods love die young," they probably meant, as Lord Sankey suggested, that those favored by the gods stay young till the day they die; young and playful.
Eric Hoffer

It takes a long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Mark Twain

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.
Mark Twain

Oh, to be only half as wonderful as my child thought I was when he was small, and only half as stupid as my teenager now thinks I am.
Rebecca Richards

It is only an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.
W. Somerset Maugham

The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.
Duke of Windsor

Every child should have an occasional pat on the back as long as it is applied low enough and hard enough
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves.
J. B. Priestley

The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened.
H. H. Munro (Saki)

I am not young enough to know everything.
James M. Barrie

Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
Sydney Harris

There's not a man in America who at one time or another hasn't had a secret desire to boot a child in the ass.
W. C. Fields

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
Phyllis Diller

Never have the young taken themselves so seriously, and the calamity is that they are listened to and deferred to by so many adults.
Eric Hoffer

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
George Bernard Shaw

The contempt of risk, and the presumptuous hope of success, are in no period of life more active than at the age at which young people choose their professions.
Adam Smith

Youth doesn't take advice.
Thomas Edison


You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.
Zen saying

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Last updated: September 10, 2021