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Cool Quotes - B
I am against the monopoly enjoyed by the BBC. For eleven years they kept me off the air. They prevented me from expressing views which have proved to be right. Their behaviour has been tyrannical. They are honeycombed with Socialists — probably with Communists.
A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
A man deposits seed in a womb and goes away, and then another cause takes it, and labors on it, and makes a baby. What a consummation from such a beginning!
Who would not tremble and rather choose to die than to be a baby again, if he were given such a choice?
An infant … is all gut and squall.
A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty.
A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
Cock's bones! now again I stand
The jolliest bachelor i' th' land.
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.
An old bachelor is a poor critter.
A bachelor is one who enjoys the chase but does not eat the game.
Praise all wives, but remain a bachelor.
So long as a man is without a wife he is only half a man.
Happy am I who have no wife.
When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard …
No man becomes bad all at once.
Nothing so bad but it might be worse.
A man once bad is assumed to be always bad. (Semel malus, semper presumitur esse malus.)
Fish, or cut bait.
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.
[The Balkans] produce more history than they can consume.
If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans.
Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets.
Where the banana grows man is sensual and cruel.
If you owe a bank enough money you own it.
A banker is a man who lends you an umbrella when the weather is fair, and takes it away from you when it rains.
If the nation is living within its income its credit is good. If in some crisis it lives beyond its income for a year or two it can usually borrow temporarily on reasonable terms. But if, like the spendthrift, it throws discretion to the winds, is willing to make no sacrifice at all in spending, extends its taxing up to the limit of the people's power to pay, and continues to pile up deficits, it is on the road to to bankruptcy.
I think the baptismal service almost perfect. I never could attend a christening without tears bursting fourth at the sight of the helpless innocent in a pious clergyman's arms.
[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.
It's a bad bargain where nobody gains.
No bargain without wine.
Bargain like a gypsy, but pay like a gentleman.
Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?
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.
To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside;
Who fears to ask doth teach to be deny'd.
Though modesty be a virtue, yet bashfulness is a vice.
The bashful always lose.
Bashfulness, however it may incommode for a moment, scarcely ever produces evils of long continuance; it may flush the cheek, flutter in the heart, deject the eyes, and enchain the tongue, but its mischiefs soon pass off without remembrance.
When the Devil himself tried to study Basque, he learned only three words in seven years.
Those born of sinful intercourse are not counted as children.
Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.
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.
To extraordinary circumstance we must apply extraordinary remedies.
In battle those who are most afraid are always in most danger.
The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
Battles, in these ages, are transacted by mechanism; men now even die, and kill one another, in an artificial manner.
Quid enim? Concurritur-horae
Momento cita mors venit, aut victoria laeta.
The battle joins, and, in a moment's flight,
Death, or a joyful conquest, ends the fight.
Well, well, General, bury these poor men, and let us say no more about it.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
On fame's eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.
Beware of women with beards and men without them.
A spaniel, a woman, and a walnut tree,
The more they're beaten the better they be.
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.
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.
Beauty and wisdom are seldom found together.
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.
A poor beauty finds more lovers than husbands.
Beauty and sadness always go together.
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.
It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.
It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.
Beauty is a good letter of introduction.
Beauty and chastity are always quarreling.
[Beauty is] an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
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.
She who is beautiful is more formidable than fire and iron.
Gaze not upon a maiden, lest her beauty be a stumbling-block to thee.
How rare a thing it is to match virginity with beauty.
Beauty in a good woman is like fire at a distance or a sharp sword: the one does not burn, or the other wound, those who come not too close.
Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
Whenever, at a party, I have been in the mood to study fools, I have always looked for a great beauty: they always gather round her like flies around a fruit-stall.
The fatal gift of beauty.
To marry a woman for her beauty is like buying a house for its paint.
These three soon pass away: the echo, the rainbow, and the beauty of a woman.
Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.
… you will find that there are other charms than those of beauty, and other joys than the praise of fools.
If you get simple beauty and naught else,
You get about the best thing God invents.
Loath to bed, and loath to rise.
No bed is big enough to hold three.
When one begins to turn in bed it is time to turn out.
A husband and wife who have separate bedrooms have either drifted apart — or found happiness.
The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.
The bee that hath honey in her mouth hath a sting in her tail.
Beefsteaks and porter are gude belly mortar.
He that drinks strong beer,
And goes to bed mellow,
Lives as he ought to live,
And dies a hearty fellow.
I wish to see this beverage [beer] become common instead of the whisky which kills one-third of our citizens, and ruins their families.
With my beer
While golden moments flit:
And as they fly,
Sit, idly sipping here
There is no bad beer: some kinds are better than others.
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!
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.
Beer that is not drunk has missed its vocation.
Beer and bread make the cheeks red.
Bread is the staff of life, but beer is life itself.
I'm only here for the beer.
Beethoven can write music, thank God — but he can do nothing else on earth.
Keep your eyes on him [Beethoven]; he'll make the world talk of him some day.
Beethoven is not beautiful. He is dramatic, powerful, a maker of storms, a subduer of tempests; but his speech is the speech of a self-centered egotist. He is the father of all the modern melomaniacs, who, looking into their own souls, write what they see therein — misery, corruption, slighting selfishness, and ugliness.
Beggars should be abolished. It annoys one to give to them, and it annoys one not to give to them.
It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief.
The beggar fears no reverse of fortune.
He [the beggar] is not expected to become bail or surety for any one. No man troubleth him with questioning his religion or politics. He is the only free man in the universe.
What we are told about the great sums got by begging is not true: the trade is overstocked.
The beginning is half of the whole.
Every beginning is hard.
Well begun is half done.
"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked.
"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."
To be, or not to be: that is the question.
I believe it because it is absurd.
We believe nothing so firmly as what we least know.
He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.
Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
Never tell all that you know, or do all that you can, or believe all that you hear.
Belief forms behavior.
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.
We believe whatever we want to believe.
Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires.
We do everything by custom, even believe by it; our very axioms, let us boast of freethinking as we may, are oftenest simply such beliefs as we have never heard questioned.
What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.
Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.
Men are nearly always willing to believe what they wish.
The believer is happy; the doubter is wise.
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.
All the church-bells made a solemn din —
A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
A full belly neither fights nor flies well.
We naturally endear to ourselves those to whom we impart any kind of pleasure, because we imagine their affection and esteem secured to us by the benefits which they receive.
Cui bono? (to whose benefit?)
New benefits cannot obliterate old injuries.
There is a hook in every benefit, that sticks in his jaws that takes that benefit, and draws him whither the benefactor will.
To act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the benevolence of mankind does most good or harm.
Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.
The best smell is bread, the best savor salt, the best love that of children.
The best is the enemy of the good.
It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
You also, Brutus? (Et tu, Brute!, though what Caesar said, if anything, and in what language, is uncertain)
The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong — but that's the way to bet.
Most men (till by losing rendered sager)
Will back their own opinions by a wager.
Put up or shut up.
I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year. I usually devote to this reading the first hour after I rise every morning.
Bibliomania, or the collecting of an enormous heap of books without intelligent curiosity, has, since libraries have existed, infected weak minds.
… you cannot separate race, religion and culture. It will not work to say it is wrong and unlawful to insult a man's race but quite all right to spit on his god and insult the religious beliefs which form the biggest single element in his culture. In most societies the three are inextricably intermingled.
Bill Of Rights
The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. All the rest have been disposed of by judicial interpretation and legislative whittling.
To play billiards well is a sign of a misspent youth.
Our Grubstreet biographers … watch for the death of a great man, like so many undertakers, on purpose to make a penny of him.
Biography is one of the new terrors of death.
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
There has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful.
Biography is the only true history.
Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.
If a man is to write A Panegyrick, he may keep vices out of sight; but if he professes to write A Life, he must represent it as it was.
If we owe regard to the memory of the dead, there is yet more respect to be paid to knowledge, to virtue, and to truth.
Nobody likes being written about in their lifetime, it's as though the FBI and the CIA were suddenly to splash your files in the paper.
A well-written Life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
Birds of prey do not sing.
Birth, n. The first and direst of all disasters.
Man alone, at the moment of his birth, is cast naked upon the naked earth.
When we are born we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
The first breath is the beginning of death.
My mother groan’d! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud,
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.
Birth And Death
For no king has had a different beginning of existence; there is for all one entrance into life, and one way out.
For a bishop to preach, 'tis to do other folks' office, as if the steward of the house should execute the porter's or the cook's place. 'Tis his business to see that they and all other about the house perform their duties.
A bishop should not go to a house where he may meet a young fellow leading out a wench.
Blame is safer than praise.
It makes a difference whose ox is gored.
[Blasphemy is] denying the being or providence of God, contumelious reproaches of our Saviour Christ, profane scoffing at the Holy Scripture, or exposing it to contempt or ridicule.
Judge none blessed before his death.
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.
May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.
May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
May the Good Lord take a liking to you, … but not too soon!
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.
It may well be a blessing in disguise. At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.
The five blessings are long life, riches, serenity, the love of virtue, and the attainment of ambition.
My God! how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy.
Blessings never come in pairs; misfortunes never come alone.
In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
Why should I not submit with complacency to this loss of sight, which seems only withdrawn from the body without to increase the sight of the mind within?
Then had I not been thus exil'd from light;
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but O yet more miserable!
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.
All blood is alike ancient.
Not by speechifying and counting majorities are the great questions of our times to be solved — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood (Eisen und Blut).
I have always (at least from fifteen) thought the reputation of learning a misfortune to a woman.
Blushing is virtue's color.
One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.
The body of a man is not a home but an inn — and that only briefly.
The [body], for a time the unwilling sport
Of circumstances and passion, struggles on;
Fleets through its sad duration rapidly:
Then like an useless and worn-out machine,
Rots, perishes, and passes.
But my hatred of Bolshevism and Bolsheviks is not founded on their silly system of economics, or their absurd doctrine of an impossible equality. It arises from the bloody and devastating terrorism which they practice in every land into which they have broken, and by which alone their criminal regime can be maintained.
Reading all the good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
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.
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.
The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
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.
I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
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.
May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, or the Phoenicians, or whoever invented books.
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.
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.
A great [large] book is a great evil.
I keep to old books, for they teach me something; from the new I learn very little.
My books are friends that never fail me.
Books are a triviality. Life alone is great.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
I buy books at a geometric rate, but read only arithmetically.
Another damned, thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr Gibbon?
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Ignorant asses visiting stationers' shops, their use is not to inquire for good books, but new books.
There's no book so bad that something good may not be found in it.
Sometimes I read a book with pleasure, and detest the author.
I showed her that books were sweet unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.
Books with striking and ingenious titles are seldom worth reading.
The one fault of really good books is that they almost always produce a great prodigy of bad ones.
Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.
Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.
Books for general reading always smell badly; the odor of common people hangs about them.
I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.
The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known.
Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself.
A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
I have rather studied books than men.
Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't.
While a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well.
Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.
The ancient books are for authors; the new ones, for readers.
The grave puts an end to flattery and artifice, and the information that we receive from books is pure from interest, fear, or ambition.
We see that volumes [of books] may be perused, and perused with attention, to little effect; and that maxims of prudence, or principles of virtue, may be treasured in the memory without influencing the conduct.
They liked the book the better the more it made them cry.
A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is unlikely to look out.
We really only learn from books we cannot judge. The author of a book we could really judge ought surely to be learning from us.
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own.
"What is the use of a book", thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
Here lies a bookseller, the leaf of his life being finished, awaiting a new edition, augmented and corrected.
Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
A bore is one who, when you ask him, "How are you?," tells you.
When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.
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.
Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.
Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored.
There is nothing so insupportable to man as complete repose, without passion, occupation, amusement, care. Then it is that he feels his nothingness, his isolation, his insufficiency, his dependence, his impotence, his emptiness.
Borrowing And Lending
Borrowing is not much better than begging.
Neither borrow money of a friend; but of a mere stranger; where paying for it, thou shalt hear of it no more: otherwise thou shalt eclipse thy credit, lose thy friend, and yet pay as dear to another.
The human species is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow, and the men who lend.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Boxing's just show business with blood.
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."
One boy is more trouble than a dozen girls.
The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of remarkable Christian forbearance among men — were it not for a mawkish humanitarianism, coupled with imperfect digestive powers, we should devour our young, as Nature intended.
A boy is a cross between a god and a goat.
Boys are capital fellows in their own way, among their mates; but they are unwholesome companions for grown people.
We use our brains very little, and when we do, it is only to make excuses for our reflexes and instincts — only to make our acts appear more studied.
Red wine for children, champagne for men, and brandy for soldiers.
Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
Women are partial to the brave, and they think every man handsome who is going to the [soldier's] camp or the gallows.
Bread and cheese is gude to eat when folk can get nae ither meat.
I advise all such as have plethorick and full bodies, especially living at rest, and which are of a phlegmatick temperament, that they not only eschew the use of breakfasts, but also oftentimes content themselves with one meal in a day.
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.
Cover that bosom that I must not see: souls are wounded by such things.
Birth's gude but breeding's better.
[Brendan Behan was] too young to die, but too drunk to live.
I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.
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.
That which is brief, if it be good, is good twice over.
It is not the burden but the overburden that kills the beast.
Brevity is the soul of wit.
Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words.
We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond dreams of avarice.
A bridegroom is a guy who has lost his liberty in the pursuit of happiness.
When the bride is in the cradle the bridegroom ought to be old enough to ride a horse.
In Britain, everything is policed except crime.
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.
[The Suez crisis] is often said to have dealt the final blow to Britain's status as a great world power. That is not true. The status had been lost in 1947. Suez simply made it plain for all the world to see.
Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role.
Socialism has been preached for so long, the British people no longer have any sense of personal responsibility.
I consider the British as our natural enemies, and as the only nation on earth who wish us ill from the bottom of their souls. And I am satisfied that, were out continent to be swallowed up the ocean, Great Britain would be in a bonfire from one end to the other.
We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
No good man is a Briton. (Nemo bonus Britto est.)
Am I my brother's keeper?
We tell the ladies that good wives make good husbands; I believe it is a more certain position that good brothers make good sisters.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother.
Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.
Buddhism is a hundred times as realistic as Christianity. It is part of its living heritage that it is able to face problems objectively and coolly. It is the product of long centuries of philosophical observation.
The Buddhist doctrine [is] that real riches consist not in abundance of goods but in the paucity of wants.
Build and borrow,
A sackful of sorrow.
(Bauen und Borgen,
Ein Sack voll Sorgen.)
The easiest road to poverty is to build many houses.
Light burdens, long borne, grow heavy.
None knows the weight of another’s burden.
The white man's burden.
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.
It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life.
If we do not halt this steady process of building commissions and regulatory bodies and special legislation like huge inverted pyramids over every one of the simple constitutional provisions, we shall soon be spending many billions of dollars more.
All I desire for my own burial is not to be buried alive.
And times without number it happened that two priests would be on their way to bury someone, holding a cross before them, only to find that bearers carrying three or four additional biers would fall in behind them; so that whereas the priests had thought they only had one burial to attend to, they in fact had six or eight, and sometimes more.
(E infinite volte avvenne che, andando due preti con una croce per alcuno, si misero tre o quatro bare, da'portatori portate, di dietro a quella: e, dove un morto credevano avere i preti a seppilire, n'avevano sei o otto e tal fiate pií.)
[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.
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.
If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.
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.
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.
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.
Planned Economy: Where everything is included in the plans except economy.
No matter what you think your job is, your job is to make your boss's life easier.
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
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.
It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, it's a depression when you lose your own.
He had talents equal to business, and aspired no higher.
Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.
If you owe the bank a million dollars, you have a problem; if you owe the bank a hundred million dollars, the bank has a problem.
[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.
To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.
The most sensible people to be met with in society are men of business and of the world, who argue from what they see and know, instead of spinning cobweb distinctions of what things ought to be.
My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.
In thousands of years there has been no advance in public morals, in philosophy, in religion or in politics, but the advance in business has been the greatest miracle the world has ever known.
When I hear artists or authors making fun of business men I think of a regiment in which the band makes fun of the cooks.
None are so busy as the fool and knave.
He that is busy is tempted by but one devil; he that is idle, by a legion.
The busiest men have the most leisure.
The busy have no time for tears.
Who is more busy than he that hath least to do?
The busier we are, the more acutely we feel that we live, the more conscious we are of life.
Those who have most to do, and are willing to work, will find the most time.
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.
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.
One butcher does not fear many sheep.
Let the buyer beware. (Caveat emptor.)
Buying And Selling
There are more fools among buyers than among sellers.
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Last updated: December 10, 2023