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Cabbage twice cooked is death.
You can’t eat your cake and have it. [Alternative version, "Wouldst thou both eat thy cake and have it?"]
To have been happy adds to the calamity.
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
California's like an artificial limb the rest of the country doesn't really need.
Keep calm and carry on.
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
A man calumniated is doubly injured — first by him who utters the calumny, and then by him who believes it.
Calumny disregarded is soon forgotten by the world, but if you get into a passion about it, it seems to have a foundation of truth about it.
As there is no mountain without mist, so there is no man of merit without calumniators.
Calumnies are answered best with silence.
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.
'Yes,' I answered you last night;
'No,' this morning, sir, I say.
Colours seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.
Choose not a woman nor a linen cloth by the candle.
Cannibals have the same notions of right and wrong that we have. They make war in the same anger and passion that move us, and the same crimes are committed everywhere. Eating fallen enemies is only an extra ceremonial. The wrong does not consist in roasting them, but in killing them.
Cannons and firearms are cruel and damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of the devil.
Capital must be propelled by self-interest; it cannot be enticed by benevolence.
Capital And Labor
Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital.
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 market is the only kind of collective which conforms to nature and actually works after a fashion, because it is based upon the voluntary principle and remains a free combination of individuals.
We may indeed ask ourselves how it is that capitalism and free enterprise enable the United States not only to support its vast and varied life and needs, but also to supply these enormous sums to lighten the burden of others in distress.
Capitalism And Socialism
It is one of history's great ironies that capitalists built decent and humane societies on the basis of an amoral approach to the economics of pricing, whereas socialists built exploitative and inhumane societies on the basis of a morally inflamed approach to economics.
When losses are made, under the present system those losses are borne by the individuals who sustained them and took the risk and judged things wrongly, whereas under State management all losses are quartered upon the taxpayers and the community as a whole. The elimination of the profit motive and of self-interest as a practical guide in the myriad transactions of daily life will restrict, paralyse and destroy British ingenuity, thrift, contrivance and good housekeeping at every stage in our life and production, and will reduce all our industries from a profit-making to a loss-making process.
When I see the present Socialist Government denouncing capitalism in all its forms, mocking with derision and contempt the tremendous free enterprise capitalist system on which the mighty production of the United States is founded, I cannot help feeling that as a nation we are not acting honourably or even honestly.
The choice is between two ways of life: between individual liberty and State domination; between concentrations of ownership in the hands of the State and the extension of ownership over the widest number of individuals; between the dead hand of monopoly and the stimulus of competition; between a policy of increasing restraint and a policy of liberating energy and ingenuity; between a policy of leveling down and a policy of opportunity for all to rise upwards from a basic standard.
The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.
It offends my eyes to see rome, france, caesar, henry the fourth, etc., begin with small letters; and I do not conceive there can be any reason for doing it half so strong as the reason of long usage is to the contrary
I am sorry I have not learned to play at cards. It is very useful in life: it generates kindness and consolidates society.
From such assemblies (card games), in whatever humour I happened to enter them, I was quickly forced to retire; they were too trifling for me, when I was grave, and too dull, when I was cheerful.
Small cares speak; great ones are dumb.
Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye,
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie.
It is a great mistake to suppose that all care is wakeful. People sometimes sleep, as well as wake, by reason of their sorrow.
What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
I am sure care’s an enemy to life.
If you can't be good be careful.
Be careful, and you will save many men from the sin of robbing you.
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.
Hard cases make bad law.
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.
When the cat's away the mice will play.
Cat mighty dignified till de dog come by.
Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched.
In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.
Luther, taking up a caterpillar, said: 'Tis an emblem of the devil in its crawling walk, and bears his colors in its changing hue.
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
The thorns which I have reap'd are of the tree I planted.
After this, therefore because of this. (Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.)
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind …
The most important events are often determined by trivial causes.
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.
Look before you leap.
If your lips would keep from slips
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak, of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
The most cautious woman gets the reputation of being the most chaste.
A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horsepond.
The interdiction of marriage to priests was an act of impious tyranny, not only contrary to the word of God, but at war with every principle of justice.
They that have grown old in a single state are generally found to be morose, fretful and captious, tenacious of their own practices and maxims.
The Church of Rome have an idea that the pope is St. Peter's successor, and that the clergy ought not to marry. But I would ask, if it was lawful for St. Peter to have a wife, why not lawful for a priest or other preacher to have one?
The Celts or Sidonides are an old family, of whose beginning there is no memory, and their end is likely to be still more remote in the future; for they have endurance and productiveness.
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.
The first thing will be to establish a censorship of fiction. Let the censors accept any tale that is good, and reject any that is bad.
If there had been a censorship of the press in Rome we should have had today neither Horace nor Juvenal, nor the philosophical writings of Cicero.
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question like this can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion?
There is no time in history [when] the people who were censoring speech were the good guys.
In order to keep any coherence in the governmental process, to prevent the wildest anarchy in thought and act, the government must put limits upon the free play of opinion. In part, it can reach that end by mere propaganda, by the bald force of its authority — that is, by making certain doctrines officially infamous.
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.
I am now too old to be much pained by hasty censure …
If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption.
To bring about government by oligarchy, masquerading as democracy, it is fundamentally essential that practically all authority and control be centralized in our national government. The individual sovereignty of our states must first be destroyed.
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.
The hound of hell, in Greek, is called Cerberus; in Hebrew, Scorphur: he has three throats — sin, the law, and death.
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 world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.
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.
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.
A wise man turns chance into good fortune.
A man, thus cut off from the prospect of that port to which his address and fortitude had been employed to steer him, often abandons himself to chance and to the wind, and glides careless and idle down the current of life, without resolution to make another effort, till he is swallowed up by the gulph of mortality.
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.
Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spots?
All things are changed, and we change with them. (Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis.)
Times change and men deteriorate. (Tempora mutantur et homines deteriorantur.)
Woman, wind, and luck soon change.
When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
Such is the state of life that none are happy but by the anticipation of change. The change itself is nothing: when we have made it the next wish is to change again.
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
Life doesn't happen in chapters — at least, not regular ones. Nor do movies. Homer didn't write in chapters. I can see what their purpose is in children's books ("I'll read to the end of the chapter, and then you must go to sleep") but I'm blessed if I know what function they serve in books for adults.
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.
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.
It is in trifles, and when he is off his guard, that a man best shows his character.
Your character depends largely upon what the public doesn't know about you.
One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works.
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.
It was his doctrine that the poor
Were always able, never willing;
And so the beggar at the door
Had first abuse and then a shilling.
Whatever capital you divert to the support of to a shiftless and good-for-nothing person is so much diverted from some other employment, and that means from somebody else.
I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.
Charity begins at hame, but shouldna end there.
Charity cannot take the place of justice unfairly withheld.
But how shall we expect charity towards others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves? Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world; yet is every man his greatest enemy, and, as it were, his own executioner.
"To wipe all tears from off all faces," is a task too hard for mortals; but to alleviate misfortunes is often within the most limited power: yet the opportunities which every day affords of relieving the most wretched of human beings are overlooked and neglected, with equal disregard of policy and goodness.
Mr. Dickens writes too often and too fast …. If he persists much longer in this course, it requires no gift of prophecy to foretell his fate he has risen like a rocket, and he will come down like a stick.
Dickens was the incarnation of cockneydom, a caricaturist who aped the moralist; he should have kept to short stories. If his novels are read at all in the future people will wonder what we saw in him.
He [Charles Dickens] describes London like a special correspondent for posterity.
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.
It is possible to meet with women who have never had an affair of gallantry; but it is rare to find any who have had only one.
Your women of honor, as you call 'em, are only chary of their reputations, not their persons; and 'tis scandal that they would avoid, not men.
A woman's resistance is no proof of her virtue; it is much more likely to be a proof of her experience. If we spoke sincerely, we should have to confess that our first impulse is to yield; we only resist on reflection.
Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality; it strikes at the root of all domestic happiness, and consigns more than half of the human race to misery.
The most virtuous woman always has something within her that is not quite chaste.
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.)
'Tis no sin to cheat a cheater. (Fallere fallentem non est fraus.)
And while a rightful claim to pleasure or to affluence must be procured either by slow industry or uncertain hazard, there will always be multitudes whom cowardice or impatience incite to more safe and more speedy methods, who strive to pluck the fruit without cultivating the tree, and to share the advantages of victory without partaking the danger of the battle.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
Be cheerful while you are alive.
Health and cheerfulness mutually beget each other.
Life's too short for chess.
[Chess is a] foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time.
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.
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.
A child tells in the street what its father and mother say at home.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
A naughty child is better sick than whole.
The fundamental theory of liberty upon which governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state.
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 childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day.
It is customary, but I think it is a mistake, to speak of happy childhood. Children are often overanxious and acutely sensitive. Man ought to be man and master of his fate; but children are at the mercy of those around them.
The childless escape much misery.
It is horrible to see oneself die without children.
I am married to Beatrice Salkeld, a painter. We have no children, except me.
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, …
It is a great happiness to see our children rising round us, but from that good fortune spring the bitterest woes of man.
What greater grief can there be for mortals than to see their children dead?
Children and chickens would ever be eating.
Children are poor men's riches.
Children are certain cares and uncertain comforts.
Late children, early orphans.
Children have neither a past nor a future. Thus they enjoy the present — which seldom happens to us.
Children should be seen and not heard.
All children are by nature evil, and while they have none but the natural evil principle to guide them, pious and prudent parents must check their naughty passions in any way that they have in their power, and force them into decent and proper behavior and into what are called good habits.
Children need models more than they need critics.
Children are never too tender to be whipped: — like tough beefsteaks, the more you beat them the more tender they become.
Children are a torment, and nothing else.
There are many loving parents in the world, but no loving children.
A house without children is only a cemetery.
The dearest child of all is the dead one.
Little children, little sorrows; big children, great sorrows. (Variation: Small child, small problems. Big child, big problems.)
Is it not a fundamental error to consider children as innocent beings, whose little weaknesses may perhaps want some correction, rather than as beings who bring into the world a corrupt nature and evil dispositions, which it should be the great end of education to rectify?
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.
The Christians are unhappy men who are persuaded that they will survive death and live forever; in consequence, they despise death and are willing to sacrifice their lives to their faith.
Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian.
To make one a complete Christian he must have the works of a papist, the words of a Puritan, and the faith of a Protestant.
I have sent for you that you may see how a Christian can die.
A very heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a sad, good Christian at her heart.
I think all Christians, whether papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
That all the Apostles would have done as they did.
Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens.
Christianity is the bastard progeny of Judaism. It is the basest of all national religions.
The Christian religion teaches me two points — that there is a God whom men can know, and that their nature is so corrupt that they are unworthy of Him.
I would believe in Christianity if it dated from the beginning of the world.
Offences by Christians are far more abominable than those by the heathen.
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.
A shipwrecked sailor, landing on a lonely beach, observed a gallows. "Thank God," he exclaimed, "I am in a Christian country!
Christianity teaches a man to spend the best part of his life preparing for the worst.
The man who gave them their name, Christus, had been executed during the rule of Tiberius by the [prefect] Pontius Pilatus. The pernicious superstition had been temporarily suppressed, but it was starting to break out again, not just in Judaea, the starting point of the curse, but in Rome as well, where all that is abominable and shameful in the world flows together and gains popularity. And so, at first, those who confessed were apprehended, and subsequently, on the disclosures they made, a huge number were found guilty — more because of their hatred of mankind than because they were arsonists.
Of all the religions ever devised by the great practical jokers of the race, [Christianity] is the one that offers most for the least money, so to speak, to the inferior man. It starts out by denying his inferiority in plain terms: all men are equal in the sight of God. It ends by erecting that inferiority into a sort of actual superiority: it is a merit to be stupid, and miserable, and sorely put upon — of such are the celestial elect.
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat;
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you.
When he [Christopher Columbus] started out he didn't know where he was going, when he got there he didn't know where he was, and when he got back he didn't know where he had been.
Dear mother, dear mother, the church is cold,
But the ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm.
We must recall that the Church is always 'one generation away from extinction.'
Church and State
Christianity, with its doctrine of humility, of forgiveness, of love, is incompatible with the state, with its haughtiness, its violence, its punishments, its wars.
Sublime tobacco! which from East to West,
Cheers the tar's labor or the Turkman's rest;
Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Like other charmers wooing the caress,
More dazzling when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more adore by far
Thy naked beauties — Give me a cigar!
And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.
Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.
A good circus is an oasis of Hellenism in a world that reads too much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful.
Civis, the most honorable name among the Romans; a citizen, a word of contempt among us.
I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
I was rear'd
In the great city, pent mid cloisters dim,
And saw naught lovely but the sky and stars.
If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; if you would know, and not be known, live in a city.
A great city, a great solitude. (Magna civitas, magna solitudo.)
The business of the Civil Service is the orderly management of decline.
Thus ended the great American Civil War, which upon the whole must be considered the noblest and least avoidable of all the great mass conflicts of which till then there was record.
Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
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.
We think our civilization near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star.
Civilization is carried on by superior men, and not by people in the mass; if nature sends no such men, civilization declines.
All the civilizations we know have been created and directed by small intellectual aristocracies, never by people in the mass. The power of crowds is only to destroy.
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
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.
The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend when the wind blows over it.
That some men are poorer than others ever was and ever will be; and that many are naturally querulous and envious is an evil as old as the world.
Many faint with toil,
That few may know the cares and woe of sloth.
Why is one man richer than another? Because he is more industrious, more persevering, and more sagacious.
It is the tendency of all social burdens to crush out the middle class, and to force society into an organization of only two classes, one at each social extreme.
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.
Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.
To a philosophic eye the vices of the clergy are far less dangerous than their virtues.
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.
In northern climates you will find people who have few vices, many virtues, and much sincerity and frankness. Go southward, and you will think that you have removed altogether from morality.
I wonder that any human being should remain in a cold country who could find room in a warm one.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on her with a pitchfork.
A little whiskey to make it strong,
A little water to make it weak,
A little lemon to make it sour,
A little sugar to make it sweet.
Oh, no doubt the cod is a splendid swimmer — admirable for swimming purposes but not for eating.
Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.
Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power.
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.
Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.
Good cognac is like a woman. Do not assault it. Coddle and warm it in your hands before you sip it.
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.
The Europeans have scarcely visited any coast but to gratify avarice and extend corruption; to arrogate dominion without right, and practice cruelty without incentive.
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.
Comedy is tragedy that happens to other people.
The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
The man who expects comfort in this life must be born deaf, dumb and blind.
Human comfort and divine comfort are of different natures: human comfort consists in external, visible help, which a man may see, hold, and feel; divine comfort only in words and promises, where there is neither seeing, hearing, nor feeling.
I do not ask you much: I beg cold comfort.
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.
No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.
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.
I think 'No Comment' is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.
As the sun of civilisation rose above the hills, the fair flowers of commerce unfolded, and the streams of supply and demand, hitherto congealed by the frost of barbarism, were thawed …
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.
Committee — a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
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.
Common sense is not so common.
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 …
Were it possible to have a community of property, it would soon be found that no one would toil, but that men would be disposed to be satisfied with barely enough for the supply of their physical wants, since none would exert themselves to obtain advantages solely for the use of others.
All men have an equal right to the free development of their faculties; they have an equal right to the impartial protection of the state; but it is not true, it is against all the laws of reason and equity, it is against the eternal nature of things, that the indolent man and the laborious man, the spendthrift and the economist, the imprudent and the wise, should obtain and enjoy an equal amount of goods.
Institutions grounded on Communism always have brilliant beginnings, for Communism involves a great exaltation; but they decline rapidly, for Communism is in conflict with human nature.
When two friends have a common purse, one sings and the other weeps.
Everyone can see how communism rots the soul of a nation. How it makes it abject in peace and proves it abominable in war.
A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. … From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
I think the day will come when it will be recognized without doubt, not only on one side of the House, but throughout the civilized world, that the strangling of Bolshevism at its birth would have been an untold blessing to the human race.
If I had been properly supported in 1919, I think we might have strangled Bolshevism in its cradle, but everybody turned up their hands and said, 'How shocking!'
Fascism was the shadow or ugly child of communism … As Fascism sprang from Communism, so Nazism developed from Fascism. Thus were set on foot those kindred movements which were destined soon to plunge the world into more hideous strife, which none can say has ended with their destruction.
[A communist is] one who has nothing, and is eager to share it with others.
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.
The companion of an evening and the companion for life, require very different qualifications.
The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better than himself.
He that goeth to bed with dogs ariseth with fleas.
A man is known by the company he keeps.
Keep not ill company lest you increase the number.
Company in distress
Makes the sorrow less.
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
Lay aside the best book whenever you can go into the best company; and depend upon it, you change for the better.
Bad company corrupts good character.
Take thou heed that thou make no comparisons, and if any body happen to be praised for some brave act, or virtue, praise not another for the same virtue in his presence, for every comparison is odious.
But how can it avail the man who languishes in the gloom of sorrow, without prospect of emerging into the sunshine of cheerfulness, to hear that others are sunk yet deeper in the dungeon of misery, shackled with heavier chains, and surrounded with darker desperation?
If we wish to feel good, compassion is excellent. But if we want to do good, our compassion must be guided by moral standards.
We should only affect compassion, and carefully avoid having any.
Since I must be old and have the gout, I have long turned those disadvantages to my own account, and plead them to the utmost when they will save me from doing anything I dislike.
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.
To complain of the age we live in, to murmur at the present possessors of power, to lament the past, to conceive extravagant hopes of the future, are the common dispositions of the greatest part of mankind.
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.
Women are never disarmed by compliments; men always are.
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.
You can't stop. Composing's not voluntary, you know. There's no choice, you're not free. You're landed with an idea and you have responsibility to that idea.
The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
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.
Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
Conceit causes more conversation than wit.
I've never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them.
They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife.
There is nothing more likely to betray a man into absurdity than condescension.
Why do we have to have all these third-rate foreign conductors around-when we have so many second-rate ones of our own?
What madness to confess by day what was concealed by the darkness of night, and to relate openly what thou hast done secretly.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
We seldom confide in those who are better than ourselves. (Nous nous confions rarement à ceux qui sont meilleurs que nous.)
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.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
To think for himself! Oh, my God, teach him to think like other people!
The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion.
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.
Being elected to Congress, though I am very grateful to our friends for having done it, has not pleased me as much as I expected.
We do not elect our wisest and best men to represent us in the Senate and the Congress. In general, we elect men of the type that subscribes to only one principle — to get reelected.
You have no idea how destitute of talent are more than half of the members of Congress. Nine out of ten of your ordinary acquaintances are fully equal to them.
You can't use tact with a Congressman. A Congressman is a hog. You must take a stick and hit him on the snout.
What millions died — that Caesar might be great!
The English conquered us, but they are far from being our equals.
The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow.
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.
To rejoice in conquest is to rejoice in murder.
If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.
By adverting to the dignity of this high calling our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire: and have made the most extensive, and the only honorable conquests, not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness of the human race.
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.
The laws of conscience, though we ascribe them to nature, actually come from custom.
A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
Conscience does make cowards of us all.
I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities;
A still and quiet conscience.
A man that will enjoy a quiet conscience must lead a quiet life.
Conscience admonishes as a friend before punishing us as a judge.
Conscience is, in most men, an anticipation of the opinion of others.
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis’d at first to keep the strong in awe.
Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it.
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.
A little still she strove, and much repented,
And whispering "I will ne'er consent" — consented.
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 …
The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.
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.
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?
Savages are the most conservative of human beings.
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.
Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
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. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
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.
Before the affliction is digested consolation comes too soon, and after it is digested it comes too late.
Do not try to console a man while the corpse is still in the house.
The wife seldom rambles till the husband shows her the way.
It is as absurd to say that a man can't love one woman all the time as it is to say that a violinist needs several violins to play the same piece of music.
No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation.
I hope your committee will not permit doubts as to constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation.
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.
Many can bear adversity, but few contempt.
Contempt is the sharpest reproof.
Man is much more sensitive to the contempt of others than to self-contempt.
Content and riches
Seldom meet together.
Riches take thou,
Contentment I had rather.
The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied.
Poor and content is rich and rich enough.
When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
Happy the man, of mortals happiest he,
Whose quiet mind from vain desires is free;
Whom neither hopes deceive, nor fears torment,
But lives at peace, within himself content.
The utmost we can hope for in this world is contentment; if we aim at anything higher, we shall meet with nothing but grief and disappointment.
Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
My motto is "contented with little, yet wishing for more."
No man is content with his lot. (Nemo sua sorte contentus.)
Continence is a greater good than marriage. But I am aware of some that murmur: if all men should abstain from intercourse, how will the human race exist? Would that all would abstain; much more speedily would the City of God be filled, and the end of the world hastened.
When we risk no contradiction,
It prompts the tongue to deal in fiction.
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.
I love to mark sad faces in fair weather,
And hear a merry laugh amid the thunder.
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
I like convents, but I wish they would not admit anyone under the age of fifty.
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.
The more the bodily pleasures decrease, the greater grows the desire for the pleasure of conversation.
The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are eager to speak.
If the minds of men were laid open, we should see but little difference between that of the wise man and that of the fool. The great difference is that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by suppressing some and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words.
The pleasure which men are able to give in conversation holds no stated proportion to their knowledge or their virtue.
The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression.
A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books.
A man who is converted from Protestantism to popery parts with nothing; he is only superadding to what he already had. But a convert from popery to Protestantism gives up as much of what he has held sacred as anything that he retains.
Convictions are more dangerous to truth than lies.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Cooking is the most ancient of the arts, for Adam was born hungry.
Many hands make light work.
In fact, it is my opinion that co-ordination is a very much-misused word and its accomplishment is difficult.
Copernicus did not publish his book until he was on his deathbed. He knew how dangerous it is to be right when the rest of the world is wrong.
Coquetry is of advantage only to the beautiful.
Such is your cold coquette, who can't say "No,"
And won't say "Yes," and keeps you on and off-ing.
And what, after all, is the benefit which the gay coquette obtains by her flutters? … she has companions indeed, but no lovers; for love is respectful and timorous; and where among all her followers will she find a husband?
Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
Corporations … are many lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man.
Corruption's not of modern date;
It hath been tried in ev'ry state.
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.
All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.
There is not, perhaps, in all the stores of ideal anguish, a thought more painful, than the consciousness of having propagated corruption by vitiating principles, of having not only drawn others from the paths of virtue, but blocked up the way by which they should return, of having blinded them to every beauty but the paint of pleasure, and deafened them to every call but the alluring voice of the syrens of destruction.
Their prominent national character is never to forget a benefit or an injury. For the slightest insult in Corsica, a shot. Murders are consequently very common. At the same time, no people are more grateful for benefits conferred, and they will not scruple to sacrifice their lives for the person who bestowed them.
She looks like an old coach newly painted.
I don't set up for being a cosmopolite, which to my mind signifies being polite to every country except your own.
What costs little is less esteemed.
Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it.
Who cannot give good counsel? 'tis cheap, it costs them nothing.
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.
Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
I, for one, do not call the sod under my feet my country. But language, religion, laws, government, blood-identity of these makes men of one country.
Every man loves his own country best, even though it be Hell.
[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.
Screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.
Courage is a virtue only so far as it is directed by prudence.
I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.
The Lacedemonians (Spartans) are not wont to ask how many the enemy are, but where they are.
Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice.
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because, as has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others.
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.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs.
The better part of valor is discretion.
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.
Is not uncertainty and inconstancy in the highest degree disreputable to a court?
When counsel addresses an argument on the ground of natural justice to a court of law, he addresses it to the wrong tribunal. It may be a good argument for inducing the legislature to alter the law; but in a court of law all that we can deal with is the law of the land as we find it.
The more courtesy, the more craft.
He may freely receive courtesies who knows how to requite them.
Where there is o'er mickle courtesy there is little kindness.
An excess of courtesy is discourtesy.
Courtship to marriage is but as the music in the playhouse till the curtain's drawn.
The covetous man is full of fear; and he who lives in fear will ever be a bondman.
Riches have made more covetous men than covetousness hath made rich men.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct.
The coward calls himself cautious. (Timidus se vocat cautum.)
It is the act of a coward to wish for death.
Cowards fight when they can fly no further;
As doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons.
Few cowards know the extent of their fear.
He who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain
Can never rise and fight again.
Were one-half of mankind brave and one-half cowards, the brave would be always beating the cowards. Were all brave, they would lead a very uneasy life; all would be continually fighting; but being all cowards, we go on very well.
It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead the rest of your life.
To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.
A cowardly act! What do I care about that? You may be sure that I should never fear to commit one if it were to my advantage.
A curse upon cowardice and covetousness.
They breed villainy and vice, and destroy all virtue.
I teach that all men are crazy. (Doceo insanire omnes.)
Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
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.
The world is naturally averse
To all the truth it sees or hears,
But swallows nonsense, and a lie
With greediness and gluttony.
Better be too credulous than too skeptical.
Wrongdoing can only be avoided if those who are not wronged feel the same indignation at it as those who are.
The greatest crimes are caused by surfeit, not by want. Men do not become tyrants in order that they may not suffer cold.
All go free when multitudes offend. (Quicquid multis peccatur, inultum est.)
What man was ever content with one crime?
Providence sees to it that no man gets happiness out of crime.
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.
No man who commits a crime in secret can ever be sure that he will not be detected, even though he has escaped 10,000 times in the past.
It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.
And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
To equal robbery with murder is to reduce murder to robbery; to confound in common minds the gradations of iniquity, and incite the commission of a greater crime to prevent the detection of a less.
If only murder were punished with death, very few robbers would stain their hands in blood; but when, by the last act of cruelty, no new danger is incurred, and greater security may be obtained, upon what principle shall we bid them forbear?
The gibbet, indeed, certainly disables those who die upon it from infesting the community; but their death seems not to contribute more to the reformation of their associates, than any other method of separation.
The learned, the judicious, the pious Boerhaave relates that he never saw a criminal dragged to execution without asking himself, "Who knows whether this man is not less culpable than me?"
The criminal of today is the hero of our old legends.
Prisoner, God has given you good abilities, instead of which you go about the country stealing ducks.
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.
Critics, as they are birds of prey, have ever a natural inclination to carrion.
A fly, sir, may sting a stately horse, and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.
A poet that fails in writing becomes often a morose critic. The weak and insipid white wine makes at length excellent vinegar.
The man who is asked by an author what he thinks of his work is put to the torture, and is not obliged to speak the truth.
Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics.
Nature fits all her children with something to do: He who would write and can't write can surely review.
The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
There are men to whom the satisfaction of throwing down a triumphant fallacy is as great as that which attends the discovery of a new truth.
Insects sting, not in malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics: they desire our blood, not our pain.
[A critic is] a man who writes about things he doesn't like.
A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.
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.
Criticism is easy and art is difficult.
Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense.
You may abuse a tragedy though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.
… for the duty of criticism is neither to depreciate, nor dignify by partial representations, but to hold out the light of reason, whatever it may discover; and to promulgate the determinations of truth, whatever she shall dictate.
How cheerfully he [the crocodile] seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
Observe any meetings of people, and you will always find their eagerness and impetuosity rise or fall in proportion to their numbers: when the numbers are very great, all sense and reason seem to subside, and one sudden frenzy to seize on all, even the coolest of them.
Large bodies are far more likely to err than individuals. The passions are inflamed by sympathy; the fear of punishment and the sense of shame are diminished by partition.
The individuals in a crowd, by their numbers, acquire a feeling of power which gives rein to instincts that, alone, they would have been forced to keep in check.
And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness. (Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.)
Every noble crown is, and on earth will forever be, a crown of thorns.
All cruelty springs from weakness.
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
The sins to which the Devil of Christian tradition has tempted human beings are varied indeed: apostasy, idolatry, heresy, fornication, gluttony, vanity, using cosmetics, dressing luxuriously, going to the theater, gambling, avarice, quarreling, spiritual sloth have all, at times, figured in the list. … I have looked in vain for a single instance … of the Devil tempting a human being to cruelty.
Scarcely anything awakens attention like a tale of cruelty. The writer of news never fails to tell how the enemy murdered children and ravished virgins; and if the scene of action be somewhat distant, scalps half the inhabitants of a province.
Man is little inferior to the tiger and hyena in cruelty and savagery.
A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.
Culture is "to know the best that has been said and thought in the world."
Hebraism and Hellenism — between these two points of influence moves our world.
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 dressed him; God cured him. (Je le pansay; Dieu le guarit.)
The cure is worse than the disease.
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 characteristicks of a vigorous intellect.
Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish not to know, but to talk. We would not take a sea voyage for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever telling.
Envy and idleness married together begot curiosity.
A generous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity.
Yet it is dangerous to discourage well-intended labours, or innocent curiosity …
The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance, than delighted by instruction. Curiosity is the thirst of the soul; it inflames and torments us, and makes us taste every thing with joy, however otherwise insipid, by which it may be quenched.
"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice.
Too great a quantity of cash in circulation is a much greater evil than too small a quantity.
May you live in interesting times.
Despair, and die!
To curse is to pray to the Devil.
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.
Custom without reason is only ancient error.
Customs, even the most foolish and the most cruel, have always their source in the real or apparent utility of the public.
As the good writer forbears to depart from the common use of words, so the good citizen should avoid deviating too far from custom.
The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement.
Custom reconciles us to every thing.
When I am in Rome, I fast as the Romans do; when I am at Milan, I do not fast. So likewise you, whatever church you come to, observe the custom of the place.
(Cum Romanum venio, ieiuno Sabbato; cum hic sum, non ieiuno: sic etiam tu, ad quam forte ecclesiam veneris, eius morem serva, si cuiquam non vis esse scandalum nec quemquam tibi.)
It ought to be the first endeavour of a writer to distinguish nature from custom; or that which is established because it is right, from that which is right only because it is established; that he may neither violate essential principles by a desire of novelty, nor debar himself from the attainment of beauties within his view, by a needless fear of breaking rules which no literary dictator had authority to enact.
The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness, and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.
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.
Cynicism such as one finds very frequently among the most highly educated young men and women of the West results from the combination of comfort with powerlessness.
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Last updated: December 10, 2023