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Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. It is, Sir, the great grandfather of cuckoldom.
Music and dancing (the more's the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.
Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.
Listen, sister. I don't dance and I can't take time out now to learn.
There are those who dance to the rhythm that is played to them, those who only dance to their own rhythm, and those who don't dance at all.
How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!
Mr. Lincoln at least you're a man of honor. You said you wanted to dance with me in the worst way, and I must say that you've kept your word. That's the worst way I've ever seen.
Here be dragons.
The dark cloud, which had been cleared by the Phoenician discoveries, and finally dispelled by the arms of Caesar, again settled on the shores of the Atlantic, and a Roman province [Britain] was again lost among the fabulous Islands of the Ocean.
Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow! (Carpe diem, quàm minimùm credula postero.)
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
He was dying all his life.
It is the duty of a doctor to prolong life and it is not his duty to prolong the act of dying.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and terrified like his passengers.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Birth, copulation, and death.
That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks.
Nearby, a younger man was nursing a martini and a cigarette, slowly dying by his own hand.
The wailing of the newborn infant is mingled with the dirge for the dead.
Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.
Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
The late F. W. H. Myers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but, on being pressed, replied: "Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn't talk about such unpleasant subjects."
Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it.
I have had a number of threatening letters each week, some telling me the actual time and method of my death, and I don't like it.
After death there is nothing.
We begin to die at birth; the end flows from the beginning.
No one wept for the dead, because everyone expected death itself.
It was a time when only the dead smiled, happy in their peace.
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
For dust you are and to dust you will return.
All come from dust, and to dust all return.
And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
Naked a man comes from his mother's womb,
and as he comes, so he departs.
The King is dead! Long live the King!
[Sara and I] have parted forever, though my ashes will soon be mingling with hers. I'll have her in mind until thought and memory adjourn, but that is all … We were happy together, but all beautiful things must end.
The world is so ordered that we must, in a material sense, lose everything we have and love, one thing after another, until we ourselves close our eyes.
There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
He was released from the miseries of life …
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Death is not the worst than can happen to men.
[Pyrrhus] grieved greatly over the death of Aeropus; not so much because he was dead, for that, he said, was the common lot of mankind, but because he himself had delayed repaying him a kindness until it was too late. Debts of money, he said, can be paid to the heirs of a creditor, but men of honour are grieved at not being able to return a kindness during the lifetime of their benefactor.
[They] were leveled in the grave …
[The] groans of the dying excited only the envy of their surviving friends.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.
I guess that's how death works. It doesn't matter if we're ready or not. It just happens.
Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre.
Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it.
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first.
Death takes no bribes.
Death, be not proud …
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more. Death, thou shalt die.
When I die, I die. I could give a shit, 'cause it ain't my problem. I'd just rather not shit my pants on the way there.
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways—I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
A trail of tears and death …
"I will make you shorter by the head.
He has joined the great majority.
When you lose a parent, you lose your past; when you lose a spouse, you lose your present; when lose a child you lose your future.
Anyone's death always releases something like an aura of stupefaction, so difficult is it to grasp this irruption of nothingness and to believe that it has actually taken place.
Say not in grief, "He is no more," but live in thankfulness that he was.
I like not brains that can dispute on both sides, and yet conclude nothing certain.
Creditors have better memories than debtors.
It's the easiest Thing in the World for a Man to deceive himself.
Who has deceiv'd thee so oft as they self?
Make a decision, even if it's wrong.
Declaration of Independence
It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776 … and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter [the Declaration of Independence]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.
Let them grumble, that is how it is going to be (Ainsi sera, groigne qui groinge).
A delay is better than a disaster.
Deliberation, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed and are right.
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, if he be a tyrant.
It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Democracy is … a form of religion; it is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abused, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
But a wild democracy … too often disdains the essential principles of justice.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.
Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.
You can be right or you can be popular. And we live in a democracy.
I belong to no organized party—I am a Democrat.
The Democratic Party is like a mule—without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity.
Republicans raise dahlias, Dalmatians, and eyebrows. Democrats raise Airedales, kids, and taxes.
Republicans sleep in twin beds—some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats.
My Grandmother wouldn't even speak the word Democrat if there were children in the room, she'd say Bastards instead.
He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed.
Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
Depression manifests itself in a lack of will.
Some lawns have all the cheer of old cemeteries.
My daily routine is very simple. I wake up and I suffer. It's a simple life.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
[Job's] wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
Despair is a sin.
What if this is as good as it gets?
Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
Never flinch, never weary, never despair.
I'm so tired of trying …
Aside from my normal sense of despair, I feel fine.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
Tempt not a desperate man.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law, must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness.
Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.
The progress of despotism tends to disappoint its own purpose.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
Our life is frittered away by detail … Simplify, simplify!
It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
Great engines turn on small pivots.
Detroit's political leadership is a parasite that has outgrown its host.
Dictators ride to and for on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
Lexicographer. A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.
Defining what is unknown in terms of something equally unknown.
The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.
I'm on a whisky diet. I've lost three days already.
You'd never say to an alcoholic—have just one glass of wine—so don't [offer food] to people who are trying to lose weight.
I may eat a healthy selection, but I never leave anything on my plate. (I think it goes back to all those starving children overseas that my parents told me about. I always wondered how stuffing my face helped those starving kids, but who was I to question my parents?)
[The] difference of language, dress, and manners … severs and alienates the nations of the globe.
When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
I liken the French/British relationship to a very old married couple who often think of killing each other but would never dream of divorce.
The French are masters of 'the dog ate my homework' school of diplomatic relations.
An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.
I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I tell them the truth and they never believe me.
If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.
When you start off by telling those who disagree with you that they are not merely in error but in sin, how much of a dialogue do you expect?
Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
[The] LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich men poor.
Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.
Pneumonia is the old man's friend [because it offers a relatively quick and painless death to the aged].
What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.
Conrad Hilton was very generous to me in the divorce settlement. He gave me 5,000 Gideon Bibles.
Alimony is a system by which, when two people make a mistake, one of them continues to pay for it.
Alimony is like buying oats for a dead horse.
I heard from my cat's lawyer today. My cat wants $12,000 a week for Tender Vittles.
He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce, I keep the house.
She cried—and the judge wiped her tears with my checkbook.
For a while we pondered whether to take a vacation or get a divorce. We decided that a trip to Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce is something you always have.
The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.
The happiest time of anyone's life is just after the first divorce.
You don't know a woman till you've met her in court.
Alimony, n. The ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
Whenever I date a guy, I think, "Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"
Passion, interest, or caprice, suggested daily motives for the dissolution of marriage; a word, a sign, a message, a letter, the mandate of a freedman, declared the separation; the most tender of human connections was degraded to a transient society of profit or pleasure.
[The] liberty of divorce does not contribute to happiness and virtue. The facility of separation would destroy all mutual confidence, and inflame every trifling dispute …
The husband was a teetotaller, there was no other woman, and the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife.
I don't think I'll get married again. I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house.
A TV host asked my wife, 'Have you ever considered divorce?' She replied: 'Divorce never, murder often.'
Well, we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.
Love the quest; marriage the conquest; divorce the inquest.
God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.
Our doctor would never really operate unless it was necessary. He was just that way. If he didn't need the money, he wouldn't lay a hand on you.
The more one gets to know of men, the more one values dogs.
There's nothing within science per se that says medical researchers must not experiment on human subjects; it is the imposition of ethical dogma that constrains the scientist.
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.
Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
People who insist on telling their dreams are among the terrors of the breakfast table.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
Drinking And Drugs
They talk of my drinking but never my thirst.
You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
An Irish queer: a fellow who prefers women to drink.
The whole world is about three drinks behind.
The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I will walk carefully.
Uppers are no longer stylish, Methedrine is almost as rare as pure acid or DMT. "Consciousness Expansion" went out with LBJ and it is worth noting, historically, that downers came in with Nixon.
All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than it has taken out of me.
A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.
To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.
"Mr. Churchill, you are drunk."
"Madame, you are ugly."
"Mr. Churchill, you are extremely drunk!"
"And you, Madame, are extremely ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober."
One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I'm having a good time.
Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
I always keep a stimulant handy in case I see a snake—which I also keep handy.
What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?
I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
I drink to forget I drink.
One more drink and I'll be under the host.
Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.
Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
A fool who, after plain warning, persists in dosing himself with dangerous drugs should be free to do so, for his death is a benefit to the race in general.
Not all men who drink are poets. Some of us drink because we aren't poets.
Drink and be merry, for our time on earth is short, and death lasts forever.
Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on.
[Brendan Behan was] too young to die, but too drunk to live.
I only take a drink on two occasions—when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.
To alcohol! The cause of—and solution to—all of life's problems.
[One] must not demand prudence from a man who is never sober.
When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.
I don't get hangovers. You have to stop drinking to get a hangover.
My dad was the town drunk. Usually that's not so bad, but New York City?
He that spills the Rum, loses that only; He that drinks it, often loses both that and himself.
Drink does not drown Care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster.
Nothing more like a Fool, than a drunken Man.
One evening in October, when I was one-third sober,
An' taking home a 'load' with manly pride;
My poor feet began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an' lay down by my side;
Then we sang 'It's all fair weather when good fellows get together,'
Till a lady passing by was heard to say:
'You can tell a man who "boozes" by the company he chooses'
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.
When I was younger I made it a rule never to take a strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.
Good cognac is like a woman. Do not assault it. Coddle and warm it in your hands before you sip it.
I neither want it [brandy] nor need it but I think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.
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.
Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
I exercise strong self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.
Kalsarikännit, n (Finnish). Getting drunk in one's underpants at home, usually alone.
No use saying sorry, it's something that I enjoy.
I'm a heroin addict. I need to have sex with women who have saved someone's life.
As regards drink, I can only say that in Dublin during the Depression when I was growing up, drunkenness was not regarded as a social disgrace. To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement. To get drunk was a victory.
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Duties are not performed for duties' sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty—the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
[It] is all wrong to preach to the Forgotten Man that it is his duty to go and remedy other people's neglect. It is not his duty … The exhortations ought to be expended on the negligent—that they take care of themselves.
For it is a poor service to God and the kingdom to take their pay and to decline their work.
The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
The dying man doesn't struggle much and he isn't much afraid. As his alkalies give out he succumbs to a blest stupidity. His mind fogs. His will power vanishes. He submits decently. He scarcely gives a damn.
Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
I'm always angry when I'm dying
Do you know the famous last words of the Fatted Calf? 'I hear the young master has returned.'
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Last updated: February 25, 2021