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Cool Quotes - C
Cabbage twice cooked is death.
California's like an artificial limb the rest of the country doesn't really need.
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.
Keep calm and carry on.
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
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.
I wish the British Government would give you Canada at once. It is fit for nothing but to breed quarrels.
Canada could have enjoyed:
and American know-how.
Instead it ended up with:
and American culture.
England would be better off without Canada; it keeps her in a prepared state for war at a great expense and constant irritation.
Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States.
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.
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.
Industrial capitalism simply evolved, from the free and uncoordinated transactions and unimpeded movements of countless unknown individuals. It was not a political creation at all.
Industrial capitalism has done more to promote content among mankind than any other man-made phenomenon in history.
The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.
If you can't be good be careful.
The wife of a careless man is almost a widow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In God we trust; all others must pay cash.
There is a demand today for men who can make wrong appear right.
When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?
Stately, kindly, lordly friend
Here to sit by me.
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.
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.
If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
Cats are cleverer than we think, but less clever than they think.
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.
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.
The thorns which I have reap'd are of the tree I planted.
After this, therefore because of this. (Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.)
The cautious seldom make mistakes.
Think much and often, speak little, and write less.
If not chastely, then at least cautiously. (Nisi caste, saltem caute.)
Drive carefully. We have two cemeteries [but] no hospital.
Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horsepond.
The fence around a cemetery is foolish, for those inside can't get out and those outside don't want to get in.
He who seeks equality should go to a cemetery.
If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption.
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.
If you forsake a certainty and depend on an uncertainty, you will lose both the certainty and the uncertainty.
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.
Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.
Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.
If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused.
A mind [David Howell's] not so much open as permanently vulnerable to a succession of opposing certainties.
Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.
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.
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 …
Everything changes but the avant-garde.
The more that things change, the more we need to depend upon those things that never change.
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.
There are things about me you wouldn't understand, things you couldn't understand, things you shouldn't understand.
The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's.
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.
There is something even more valuable to civilization than wisdom, and that is character.
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.
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.
When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
When health is lost, something is lost;
When character is lost, all is lost!
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.
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.
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.
Tell me with whom you consort and I will tell you who you are; if I know how you spend your time, then I know what might become of you.
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.
Charity and pride have different aims, yet both feed the poor.
He gives twice that gives soon; i.e., he will soon be called to give again.
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.
With one hand I take thousands of rubles from the poor, and with the other I hand back a few kopecks.
The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.
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.
Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world will let them.
All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.
Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.
Chaste makes waste.
An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.
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.
A reputation for chastity is necessary to a woman. Chastity itself is also sometimes useful.
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.
What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
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.)
Be cheerful while you are alive.
Chicago has a strange metaphysical elegance of death about it.
The child is not the mere creature of the state.
A child is a lifetime of worry.
Small child, small problems. Big child, big problems.
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.
Teach your child to hold his tongue, he'll learn fast enough to speak.
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.
The childless escape much misery.
I am married to Beatrice Salkeld, a painter. We have no children, except me.
Children enjoy the present because they have neither a past nor a future.
Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children.
Anybody who hates children and dogs can't be all bad.
Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
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.
Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises.
When children stand quiet they have done some ill.
We are given children to test us and make us more spiritual.
Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.
Every generation faces a barbarian invasion in the form of its own children, who need to be civilized.
It was no wonder that people were so horrible when they started life as children.
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.
Children's tongues are filled with questions,
Children cannot speak in wisdom, …
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.
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!
It is no fault of Christianity that a hypocrite falls into sin.
I discovered that the calamities of mankind during the Christian centuries occurred not because men and women practiced Christianity but because they failed to do so. Bad as it was with religion, mankind would be infinitely worse without it.
I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.
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.
Civilization is an enormous improvement on the lack thereof.
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.
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.
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 …
Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.
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.
A charlatan makes obscure what is clear; a thinker makes clear what is obscure.
I prefer clarity to agreement.
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.
There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.
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.
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.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Oh, no doubt the cod is a splendid swimmer—admirable for swimming purposes but not for eating.
Coffee, because adulting is hard.
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.
The colonial powers did not conspire against the natives. They conspired against each other. Each colonial power hated all the rest, despised their methods, rejoiced in their misfortunes and happily aggravated them when convenient. They would not cooperate even when imperative self-interest demanded it.
I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.
Any color—so long as it's black.
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.
They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian … They're not laughing now.
He that cannot obey, cannot command.
[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.
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.
Committee: A group of the unfit appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.
I've searched all the parks in all the cities — and found no statues of Committees.
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
[As] a rule, only very learned and clever men deny what is obviously true; common men have less brains, but more sense.
The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it.
The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
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.
Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals.
I sometimes think that the entire [Communist movement] was just a front for the cement industry.
Losing you is not a loss, and keeping you is no specific gain.
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 …
Like most people, I have no wish to live in a community organized by community organizers.
The thirteenth rule of radical tactics: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink …
If we wish to feel good, compassion is excellent. But if we want to do good, our compassion must be guided by moral standards.
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.
The best competition I have is against myself to become better.
Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others …
Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.
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.
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.
The good composer is slowly discovered, the bad composer is slowly found out.
The public doesn't want new music; the main thing that it demands of a composer is that he be dead.
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.
But they [computers] are useless. They can only give you answers.
To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random numbers is, of course, in a state of sin.
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.
Whenever I'm on my computer, I don't type 'lol'. I type 'lqtm': 'laugh quietly to myself'. It's more honest.
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
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.
Real programmers don't comment their code. It was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
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.
[The C programming language] is a razor-sharp tool, with which one can create an elegant and efficient program or a bloody mess.
Sometimes a programmer confronted with a problem thinks, "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now he has two problems.
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.
Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
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.
[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.
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.
When someone says, "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I want done," give him a lollipop.
That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers.
Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
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.
We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.
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.
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.
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.
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
[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.
Positive, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Rational confidence [is] the just result of knowledge and experience.
Confidence comes from being prepared.
You need confidence to play a sport well. How do you get confidence? You get confidence from playing well.
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.
Since it is now fashionable to laugh at the conservative French Academy, I have remained a rebel by joining it.
Confusion is always the most honest response.
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Oh, I don't blame Congress. If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd be irresponsible, too.
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.
Resistance was fatal; flight was impracticable; and the patient submission of helpless innocence seldom found mercy from the Barbarian conqueror.
The Anglo-Saxon conscience does not prevent the Anglo-Saxon from sinning, it merely prevents him from enjoying his sin.
Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.
Bachelors have consciences. Married men have wives.
Cowardice asks: Is it safe? Expediency asks: Is it politic? But Conscience asks: Is it right?
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
First [a man facing temptation] sees difficulty, then he sees the danger, then he sees wrong.
Consensus is the absence of leadership.
Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
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.
The herd is usually wrong.
If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.
Grief often treads upon the Heels of Pleasure, Marry'd in Haste, we oft repent at Leisure …
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.
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.
[Conservatives are inclined] to believe that old wisdom is plentiful while new wisdom is scarce and suspect.
The facts of life are conservative.
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
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.
Content and riches
Seldom meet together.
Riches take thou,
Contentment I had rather.
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.
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
A gossip talks about others, a bore talks about himself—and a brilliant conversationalist talks about you.
Learned conversation is either the affectation of the ignorant or the profession of the mentally unemployed.
Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you …
I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.
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.
Although there exist many thousand subjects for elegant conversation, there are persons who cannot meet a cripple without talking about feet.
'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!"'
Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
In fact, it is my opinion that co-ordination is a very much-misused word and its accomplishment is difficult.
I want either less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.
… the only way to reduce corruption in government is to reduce the size of government.
My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
Long before they slump into poverty, great powers succumb to a poverty of ambition.
[A London clubman's view of the country:] A damp sort of place where all sorts of birds fly about uncooked.
[Courage] arises in a great measure from the consciousness of strength …
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
Do not take counsel of your fears.
No sane man is unafraid in battle, but discipline produces in him a form of vicarious courage which, with his manhood, makes for victory.
Courage And Cowardice
The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.
There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs.
The better part of valor is discretion.
[William Strunk Jr.] scorned the vague, the tame, the colorless, the irresolute. He felt it was worse to be irresolute than to be wrong.
There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.
Valor, n. A soldierly compound of vanity, duty, and the gambler's hope.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
No herb of help to heal a coward heart.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
I scorned the sword of Catiline, I will not quail before yours.
I was a coward on instinct.
Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[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.
It is worse than a crime, it is a blunder.
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.
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
Taking to pieces is the trade of those who cannot construct.
To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
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.
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.
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.
All cruelty springs from weakness.
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
As a historian I have become increasingly fascinated by the perennial culture conflict … between radicals and conservatives: between, that is, those who believe the world can be reshaped by their own unaided intelligence and those who distrust reason in isolation and think it should be anchored in prescriptive wisdom, natural law and other restraints. … If you believe in the Hegelian dialectic, this is an example of its powerful spirit in action.
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.
Curiosity is a lust of the mind.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
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.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
May you live in interesting times.
Despair, and die!
Custom does often reason overrule
And only serves for reason to the fool.
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.
Just because you don’t know why we do something doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason for it.
Cynicism—the intellectual cripple's substitute for intelligence.
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
Cynic—a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
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.
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Last updated: December 2, 2022