prev   -   next   -   home   -   no frames   -   frames

Cool Quotes - D


The person who injures another must make good five kinds of damages: loss of bodily substance or function, pain, cost of healing, loss of income, and mental anguish.
The Talmud


Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. It is, Sir, the great grandfather of cuckoldom.
Henry Fielding

Music and dancing (the more's the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.
John Herschel

Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

Listen, sister. I don't dance and I can't take time out now to learn.
Frank W. Wead

There are those who dance to the rhythm that is played to them, those who only dance to their own rhythm, and those who don't dance at all.
José Bergamín

How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Mr. Lincoln at least you're a man of honor. You said you wanted to dance with me in the worst way, and I must say that you've kept your word. That's the worst way I've ever seen.
Lamar Trotti and John Ford

Through dancing many maidens have been un-maidened, whereby I may say it is the storehouse and nursery of bastardy.
John Northbrooke

You and I are past our dancing days.

'Twas surely the Devil that taught women to dance and asses to bray.
Thomas Fuller

The greater the fool the better the dancer.
Theodore Hook

We lift up a solemn note of warning and entreaty … against dancing.
The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Promiscuous dancing is a means of fostering the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. These things are not of the Father, but are of the world.
The Northern Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland


Here be dragons.
Author unidentified

A man's wisdom is most conspicuous where he is able to distinguish among dangers and make choice of the least.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The more the danger, the more the honor.
John Fletcher

We triumph without glory when we conquer without danger.
Pierre Corneille

The danger past, and God forgotten.
John Ray

Beware of a mule's hind foot, a dog's tooth, and a woman's tongue.
C. H. Spurgeon

We have scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.

Everything that's fun in life is dangerous. … And everything that isn't fun is dangerous too. It is impossible to be alive and safe.
P. J. O'Rourke

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Patrick Moynihan is the archetypal extremely smart person who went into politics anyway instead of doing something worthwhile for his country. So maybe he owes all of us an apology …
P. J. O'Rourke

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster struck me much like a steam engine in trousers.
Sydney Smith


The dark makes every woman beautiful.

Dark Ages

The dark cloud, which had been cleared by the Phoenician discoveries, and finally dispelled by the arms of Caesar, again settled on the shores of the Atlantic, and a Roman province [Britain] was again lost among the fabulous Islands of the Ocean.
Edward Gibbon


Marry your son when you will; your daughter when you can.
George Herbert

It is harder to marry a daughter well than to bring her up well.
Thomas Fuller

The younger your daughter, the more apt she is to love you.
E. W. Howe


Dawn, n. The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

[Dawn is] that single hour of the twenty-four, when crime ceases, debauchery is exhausted, and even desolation finds a shelter.
Benjamin Disraeli


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

The day is short and the work is long.
English Proverb

Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Wait till it is night before saying it has been a fine day.
French Proverb

We have seen better days.

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
William Blake

Day and Night

The day has eyes; the night has ears.
David Fergusson


Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops.


Deacons likewise must be dignified, not two-faced, not given to excessive drinking, not greedy for gain, holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 3:8-9 (NET)


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

No one wept for the dead, because everyone expected death itself.
Agnolo di Tura

It was a time when only the dead smiled, happy in their peace.
Anna Akhmatova

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

Say nothing but good of the dead. (De mortuis nil nisi bonum.)
Ascribed to Solon

There are no toils for the dead.

The dead have no tears, and forget all sorrow.

The life of the dead consists in being present in the minds of the living.

Mean and mighty, rotting
Together, have one dust.

Dead men tell no tales.
English Proverb

He is gone to Kingdom come.
Francis Grose

I do not amuse myself by thinking of dead people.
Napoleon I

How very little the world misses anybody! How soon the chasm left by the best and wisest men closes!
T. B. Macaulay

If a man was great while living, he becomes tenfold greater when dead.
Thomas Carlyle

Strange, is it not, that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the road,
Which to discover we must travel too?
Edward Fitzgerald

In the democracy of the dead, all men are equal. The poor man is as rich as the richest, and the rich man as poor as the pauper. The creditor loses his usury, and the debtor is acquitted of his obligation. There the proud man surrenders his dignity; the politician his honors; the worldling his pleasures; the invalid needs no physician; the laborer rests from toil. The wrongs of time are redressed; injustice is expiated, and the irony of fate is refuted.
Author unidentified

Time was I stood where thou dost now,
And view'd the dead, as thou dost me;
Ere long thou'lt be as low as I,
And others stand and look on thee.
Epitaph at Boughton, near Northampton, England

Be happy while y'er leevin, for y'er a lang time dead.
Scottish Proverb

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf
At his heels a stone.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
Revelation 14:13

How fares it with the happy dead?
Alfred, Lord Tennyson


The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain, cable from Europe to the Associated Press

I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1 Corinthians 15:55

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin

Birth, copulation, and death.
That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks.
T. S. Eliot

Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
H. L. Mencken

We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.
Baron de Montesquieu

Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
Johnny Carson

The late F. W. H. Myers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but, on being pressed, replied: "Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn't talk about such unpleasant subjects."
Bertrand Russell

I have had a number of threatening letters each week, some telling me the actual time and method of my death, and I don't like it.
Winston Churchill, during the partition of Ireland

After death there is nothing.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Algernon Charles Swinburne

For dust you are and to dust you will return.
Genesis 3:19

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

[Sara and I] have parted forever, though my ashes will soon be mingling with hers. I'll have her in mind until thought and memory adjourn, but that is all … We were happy together, but all beautiful things must end.
H. L. Mencken

The world is so ordered that we must, in a material sense, lose everything we have and love, one thing after another, until we ourselves close our eyes.
George Santayana

There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
Brendan Behan

What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
Dave Barry

He was released from the miseries of life.
Edward Gibbon

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Isaac Asimov

Death is not the worst than can happen to men.
Author unidentified

[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.

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Leonardo da Vinci

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht

I guess that's how death works. It doesn't matter if we're ready or not. It just happens.
Randy K. Milholland

Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre.
Edward Gibbon

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Edmund Waller

Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Death takes no bribes.
Benjamin Franklin

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
John Donne

A trail of tears and death …
Unidentified Choctaw leader describing the Choctaw removal

I will make you shorter by the head.
Elizabeth I

He has joined the great majority.
Petronius Arbiter

When you lose a parent, you lose your past; when you lose a spouse, you lose your present; when lose a child you lose your future.
Author unidentified

Anyone's death always releases something like an aura of stupefaction, so difficult is it to grasp this irruption of nothingness and to believe that it has actually taken place.
Gustave Flaubert

Say not in grief, "He is no more," but live in thankfulness that he was.
Author unidentified, reputed to be a Hebrew Proverb

Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us everyday.
Author unidentified

For who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through Eternity,
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion?
John Milton

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Robert Oppenheimer, quoting (or misquoting) the Bhagavad-Gita

It is a sharp remedy, but a sure one for all ills.
Sir Walter Raleigh, feeling the axe edge before his execution.

When Edward [Gibbon] was three years old, a new baby was also christened Edward, in the obvious expectation that the first one would soon be dead.
Leo Damrosch

He is torn from the security of his tent and marched off to the king of terrors.
Job 18:14

Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
Ecclesiastes 12:5

We end as a little heap of dust.

Death is not the greatest of ills; it is worse to want to die, and not be able to.

It is good to die before one has done anything deserving death.

No man can be ignorant that he must die, nor be sure that he may not this very day.

Wherever I look I see nothing but reminders of death.

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.
Revelation 6:8

Death is a punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor.

It is a poor thing for anyone to fear that which is inevitable.

A good death does honor to a whole life.
Francesco Petrarch

Fear of death is worse than death itself. (Timor mortis morte pejor.)

Death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exit.
John Webster

Death devours lambs as well as sheep.

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
Francis Bacon

Death keeps no calendar.
George Herbert

He that fears death lives not.
George Herbert

We all labor against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases.
Thomas Browne

Old men go to death; death comes to young men.
George Herbert

Everything has been written which could by possibility persuade us that death is not an evil, and the weakest men as well as heroes have given a thousand celebrated examples to support this opinion. Nevertheless, I doubt whether any man of good sense ever believed it.
La Rochefoucauld

We shall never outwit nature: we shall all die as usual.
Bernard De Fontenelle

About midnight my dear wife expired to our great astonishment, especially mine.
Samuel Sewall

It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.
Jonathan Swift

Dogs, would you live forever? (Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben?)
Frederick the Great

He who fears death dies every time he thinks of it.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

Death is an eternal sleep.
Motto on the gates of French cemeteries

The certain end of all pain, and of all capacity to suffer pain, is death. Of all the things that man thinks of as evils, this is the least.
J. G. Fichte

Man grows old, and dwindles, and decays,
And countless generations of mankind
Depart, and leave no vestige where they trod.
William Wordsworth

Oh, well, no matter what happens, there's always death.
Napoleon I

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
C. C. Colton

Swing low, sweet chariot—
Comin' for to carry me home;
I looked over Jordan and what did I see?
A band of angels comin' after me—
Comin' for to carry me home.
American Negro spiritual

Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.
Mark Twain

When a man dies, and his kin are glad of it, they say, "He is better off."
E. W. Howe

Expect an early death—it will keep you busier.
Martin H. Fischer

We're here today and gone tomorrow.
American Proverb

Grim death took me without warning;
I was well at night, and dead in the morning.
Epitaph at Seven Oaks, Kent, England

Remember you must die. (Memento mori.)
Latin Motto

Do not rejoice over any one's death; remember that we must all die.
Ecclesiasticus 8:7

All living beings become old like a garment, for the decree from of old is, "You must die!"
Ecclesiasticus 14:17

Remember: it is not given to man to take his goods with him. No one goes away and then comes back.
The Song of the Harper

The best of all things for earthly men is not to be born and not to see the beams of the bright sun; but if born, then as quickly as possible to pass the gates of Hades, and to lie deep buried.

Think not disdainfully of death, but look on it with favor; for even death is one of the things that Nature wills.
Marcus Aurelius

And death makes equal the high and low.
John Heywood

First our pleasures die—and then
Our hopes, and then our fears—and when
These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust—and we die too.
P. B. Shelley

Of comfort no man speak:
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth;
Let’s choose executors and talk of wills.

A man can die but once; we owe God a death.

Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
Tho' now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no throbbing fiery pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.

Samuel Johnson, On the death of Robert Levet

Nothing is more evident than that the decays of age must terminate in death.
Samuel Johnson

O death, how welcome is your sentence to one who is needy and failing in strength, worn down by age and anxious about everything; to one who is contrary, and has lost all patience!
Ecclesiasticus 41:2

Do not fear death's decree for you; remember those who went before you and those who will come after.
Ecclesiasticus 41:3

Thou know’st ’tis common; all that live must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

In such a regime, I say, you died a good death if your life had inspired someone to come forward and shoot your murderer in the chest—without asking to be paid.
Chinua Achebe

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.

Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Our adventure is ended. The winter of this year is as dead as the grave. Perhaps when we come to die, death will provide the meaning and the sequel and the ending of this unsuccessful adventure. (Notre aventure est finie. L'hiver de cette année est mort comme la tombe. Peut-être quand nous mourrons, peut-être la mort seule nous donnera la clef et la suite et la fin de cette aventure manquée.)

But no frail man, however great or high,
Can be concluded blest before he die.
Ovid, translation by Addison

Duncan is in his grave;
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing
Can touch him further.

Tir’d with all these, for restful death I cry.

To neglect at any time preparation for death, is to sleep on our post at a siege, but to omit it in old age, is to sleep at an attack.
Samuel Johnson

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so,
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
John Donne

When my mouth shall be filled with dust, and the worm shall feed, and feed sweetly upon me, when the ambitious man shall have no satisfaction if the poorest alive tread upon him, nor the poorest receive any contentment in being made equal to princes, for they shall be equal but in dust.
John Donne

But it pleased God to visit us then with death daily, and with so general a disease that the living were scarce able to bury the dead.
William Bradford, of Plymouth Plantation

The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.
W. H. Auden, 'In Memory of W. B. Yeats'

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,

But oh! as to embrace me she inclin’d,
I wak’d, she fled, and day brought back my night.
John Milton, On His Deceased Wife

It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
Francis Bacon

Death … openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy.
Francis Bacon

Is there any room at your head, Sanders?
Is there any room at your feet?
Or any room at your twa sides,
Where fain, fain I would sleep?

There is na room at my head, Margaret,
There is na room at my feet;
My bed it is the cold, cold grave;
Among the hungry worms I sleep.

'Clerk Sanders' Ballad

We die only once, and for such a long time!

Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
H. L. Mencken

Now I am about to go the way of all the earth.
Joshua 23:14

Every instance of death may justly awaken our fears and quicken our vigilance; but its frequency so much weakens its effect, that we are seldom alarmed unless some close connexion is broken, some scheme frustrated, or some hope defeated.
Samuel Johnson

It has always appeared to me one of the most striking passages in the Visions of Quevedo, which stigmatises those as fools who complain that they failed of happiness by sudden death. "How," says he, "can death be sudden to a being who always knew that he must die, and that the time of his death was uncertain?"
Samuel Johnson, quoting the Visions of Quevedo by Dom Francisco de Quevedo

I am disappointed by that stroke of death [Garrick’s], which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.
Samuel Johnson

But death is not easily
escaped from by anyone:
all of us with souls, earth-dwellers
and children of men, must make our way
to a destination already ordained
where the body, after the banqueting,
sleeps on its deathbed.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
Romans 7:24

O Death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Robert Burns

Death gives meaning to life. Living in fear of death is living in denial. Actually, it's not really living at all, because there is no life without death. It's two sides of the one.
50 Cent and Kris Ex

The Fear of Death often proves Mortal, and sets People on Methods to save their Lives, which infallibly destroy them.
Joseph Addison

The bitter, yet merciful, lesson which death teaches us is to distinguish the gold from the tinsel, the true values from the worthless chaff.

The terrible events of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which habitually we try to ignore—namely, that really we have no claim on a long life; that we are each of us liable to be called off at any moment, and that the main point is not how long we live, but with what meaning we fill the short allotted span—for short it is at best.

Felix Adler

Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. But fear not. All flesh decays. Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul.
Darren Aronofsky

'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
Thomas Campbell

Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.
Francis Bacon

I have often thought upon death, and I find it the least of all evils.
Francis Bacon

The pomp of death alarms us more than death itself. (Pompa mortis magis terret quam mors ipsa.)
Francis Bacon

The problem of death or the art of dying. This is something which all seriously ill people must inevitably face, and for which those in good health should prepare themselves, through correct thinking and sane anticipation.
Alice Bailey

What a power has Death to awe and hush the voices of this earth! How mute we stand when that presence confronts us, and we look upon the silence he has wrought in a human life! We can only gaze, and bow our heads, and creep with our broken, stammering utterances under the shelter of some great word which God has spoken, and in which we see through the history of human sorrow the outstretching and overshadowing of the eternal arms.
Walton W. Battershall

And when no longer we can see Thee, may we reach out our hands, and find Thee leading us through death to immortality and glory.
Henry Ward Beecher

So we fall asleep in Jesus. We have played long enough at the games of life, and at last we feel the approach of death. We are tired out, and we lay our heads back on the bosom of Christ, and quietly fall asleep.
Henry Ward Beecher

Nature’s lessons are sharp, but in the long run they are merciful, for they lead to the evolution of the soul and guide it to the winning of its immortality.
Annie Besant

For certain is death for the born
And certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore over the inevitable
Thou shouldst not grieve.
Bhagavad Gita

Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul!
What a strange moment must it be, when, near
Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in view!
That awful gulf, no mortal e'er repass'd
To tell what's doing on the other side.
Robert Blair

But, oh! fell death's untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae early.
Robert Burns

If we consider hell and heaven to be states of mind instead of places, it is easy to see the reason for such ideas. For each man, in the course of his normal living, enters periodically into states of great happiness and great unhappiness, and further more, while he is in them, he is apt to forget everything else. The mind, in other words, builds its own world.
H.P. Blavatsky

When I lived, I provided for every thing but death; now I must die, and am unprepared.
Cesare Borgia

Oh! death will find me, long before I tire
Of watching you; and swing me suddenly
Into the shade and loneliness and mire
Of the last land!
Rupert Brooke

Heaven gives its favourites—early death.
Lord Byron

Oh, God! it is a fearful thing
To see the human soul take wing
In any shape, in any mood!
Lord Byron

Now he goes along the darksome road, thither whence they say no one returns. (Qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum Illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.)

When I hear it contended that the least sensitive are, on the whole, the most happy, I recall the Indian proverb: "It’s better to sit than to stand, it is better lie down than to sit, but death is best of all."
Nicolas Chamfort

The new scientific society definitely discourages men from thinking about death; it is a fact, but it is considered a morbid fact.
G. K. Chesterton

I do not wish to die: but I care not if I were dead. (Emori nolo: sed me esse mortuum nihil aestimo.)

Some men make a womanish complaint that it is a great misfortune to die before our time. I would ask what time? Is it that of Nature? But she, indeed, has lent us life, as we do a sum of money, only no certain day is fixed for payment. What reason then to complain if she demands it at pleasure, since it was on this condition that you received it?

Death levels all things. (Omnia mors aequat.)

How well he fell asleep!
Like some proud river, widening toward the sea;
Calmly and grandly, silently and deep,
Life joined eternity.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What argufies pride and ambition?
Soon or late death will take us in tow:
Each bullet has got its commission,
And when our time's come we must go.
Charles Dibdin

Living is an illness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It's a palliative. The remedy is death. (Vivre est une maladie dont le sommeil nous soulage toutes les 16 heures. C'est un palliatif. La mort est le remède.)
Nicolas-Sébastien Chamfort

If we could know
Which of us, darling, would be first to go,
Who would be first to breast the swelling tide
And step alone upon the other side—
If we could know!
Mrs. Foster Ely

Philosophy instructs us to pay homage to the gods, not through hope or fear, but from veneration of Their superior nature. It moreover enables us to conquer the fear of death, by teaching us that it is no proper object of terror; since, whilst we are, death is not, and when death arrives, we are not: so that it neither concerns the living nor the dead.

(Short variation: Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.)


Death hath so many doors to let out life.
John Fletcher and Philip Massinger

When you take the wires of the cage apart, you do not hurt the bird, but help it. You let it out of its prison. How do you know that death does not help me when it takes the wires of my cage down?—that it does not release me, and put me into some better place, and better condition of life?
Bishop Randolph S. Foster

If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
Viktor Frankl

This irrational fear of death results from the failure of having lived; it is the expression of our guilty conscience for having wasted our life and missed the chance of productive use of our capacities. To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.
Erich Fromm

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
Kahlil Gibran

When life is woe,
And hope is dumb,
The World says, "Go!"
The Grave says, "Come!"
Arthur Guiterman

And come he slow, or come he fast,
It is but Death who comes at last.
Sir Walter Scott

For dying is not to be feared—it is the final comfort. As we all learn, eventually.
Robert A. Heinlein

I know thou art gone to the home of thy rest—
Then why should my soul be so sad?
Thomas Kibble Hervey

How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.
Eric Hoffer

It [death] seems perfectly simple and inevitable, like lying down after a long day's work.
Erskine Childers, shortly before his execution

Behold—not him we knew!
This was the prison which his soul looked through.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

One more unfortunate
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!
Thomas Hood

We watch'd her breathing thro' the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.
Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied;
We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when she died.
Thomas Hood

Swift death rushes upon us. (Cita mors ruit.)

Sweet and glorious it is to die for our country. (Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.)

In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.
John James Ingalls

Pale death, the grand physician, cures all pain;
The dead rest well who lived for joys in vain.
John Clare

Death alone discloses how insignificant are the puny bodies of men. (Mors sola fatetur Quantula sint hominum corpuscula.)

They say you only live once, but come to think of it—you only die once as well.
Eyran Katsenelenbogen

Despite the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise of an after-life of heavenly bliss, most of us will do anything to thwart the inevitable victory of biological death.
Jack Kevorkian

If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.
Stephen King

When I have folded up this tent
And laid the soiled thing by,
I shall go forth 'neath different stars,
Under an unknown sky.
Frederic L. Knowles

Gone before
To that unknown and silent shore.
Charles Lamb

One destin'd period men in common have,
The great, the base, the coward, and the brave,
All food alike for worms, companions in the grave.
Lord Lansdowne

Things of real worth, such as the mental life of the ant or the crab, fill psychological and scientific literature; but such a thing as death, which involves the whole human race more intimately than anything else possibly can—since all must die—is regarded as hardly worthy of serious discussion!
C. W. Leadbeater

The young may die, but the old must!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing.

This I ask, is it not madness to kill thyself in order to escape death? (Hic rogo non furor est ne moriare mori?)

When Life knocks at the door no one can wait,
When Death makes his arrest we have to go.
John Masefield

Death hath a thousand doors to let out life.
I shall find one.
Philip Massinger

There's nothing certain in man's life but this:
That he must lose it.
Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton)

How gladly would I meet
Mortality my sentence, and be earth
Insensible! how glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap!
John Milton

Rome can give no dispensation from death. (On n'a point pour la mort de dispense de Rome.)

If we are not yet able to serve man, how can we serve spiritual beings? … If we do not yet know about life how can we know about death?
Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)

Everybody dies. The obstetrician slaps you on the ass with one hand and hands you a postdated death certificate with the other.
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes

We are all bound thither; we are hastening to the same common goal. Black death calls all things under the sway of its laws. (Tendimus huc omnes; metam properamus ad unam. Omnia sub leges mors vocat atra suas.)

Thou fool, what is sleep but the image of death? Fate will give an eternal rest. (Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidae nisi mortis imago? Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt.)

Man should ever look to his last day, and no one should be called happy before his funeral. (Ultima semper Expectanda dies homini est, dicique beatus Ante obitum nemo et suprema funera debet.)

Death is not grievous to me, for I shall lay aside my pains by death. (Nec mihi mors gravis est posituro morte dolores.)

Wherever you look there is nothing but the image of death. (Quocunque adspicias, nihil est nisi mortis imago.)

Death is repose, but the thought of death disturbs all repose.
Cesare Pavese

He whom the gods love dies young, whilst he is full of health, perception, and judgment. (Quem dii diligunt, Adolescens moritur, dum valet, sentit, sapit.)

Concerning the dead nothing but good shall be spoken. (De mortuis nil nisi bonum.)

Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame.
Alexander Pope

A heap of dust remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
Alexander Pope

It was said that life was cheap in Ankh-Morpork. This was, of course, completely wrong. Life was often very expensive; you could get death for free.
Terry Pratchett

Teach him how to live,
And, oh! still harder lesson! how to die.
Beilby Porteus

The long sleep of death closes our scars, and the short sleep of life our wounds. (

Der lange Schlaf des Todes schliesst unsere Narben zu, und der kutze des Lebens unsere Wunden

Jean Paul Richter

And so, you see, simplicity
Requires that our lot
Be that we exit, when we must,
With only what we brought.
Bruce Holland Rogers

Death is the privilege of human nature,
And life without it were not worth our taking:
Thither the poor, the pris'ner, and the mourner
Fly for relief, and lay their burthens down.
Nicholas Rowe

Death must be an evil—and the gods agree;
for why else would they live for ever?

We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner or later, we push up flowers.
Tim Schafer

Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Morrie Schwartz

Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone, and for ever!
Walter Scott

What new thing then is it for a man to die, whose whole life is nothing else but a journey to death? (Quid est enim novi, hominem mori, cujus tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est?)
Seneca the Younger

It is an extreme evil to depart from the company of the living before you die. (Ultimum malorum est ex vivorum numero exire antequam moriaris.)
Seneca the Younger

For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death's hands. (In hoc enim fallimur, quod mortem prospicimus: magna pars eius iam praeterit; quidquid aetatis retro est mors tenet.)
Seneca the Younger

No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it. (Nulli potest secura vita contingere qui de producenda nimis cogitat.)
Seneca the Younger

They are not lost but sent before. (Non amittuntur sed praemittuntur.)
Seneca the Younger

It is uncertain in what place death may await thee; therefore expect it in any place. (Incertum est quo te loco mors expectet: itaque tu illam omni loco expecta.)
Seneca the Younger

This day, which thou fearest as thy last, is the birthday of eternity. (Dies iste, quem tamquam extremum reformidas, aeterni natalis est.)
Seneca the Younger

Sometimes death is a punishment; often a gift; it has been a favor to many.

(Interim paena est mori,
Sed saepe donum; pluribus veniae fuit

Seneca the Younger

Come, soon or late, death’s undetermin’d day,
This mortal being only can decay.

(Cum volet illa dies, quae nil nisi corporis hujus
Jus habet, incerti spatium mihi finiat avi

Welsted, based on Ovid

And when life's sweet fable ends,
Soul and body part like friends;
No quarrels, murmurs, no delay;
A kiss, a sigh, and so away.
Richard Crashaw

Any one may take life from man, but no one death; a thousand gates stand open to it.

(Eripere vitam nemo non homini potest;
At nemo mortem; mille ad hanc aditus patent

Seneca the Younger

To be, or not to be,—that is the question:—
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?—To die,—to sleep,—
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die,—to sleep;—
To sleep! perchance to dream:—ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

The babe is at peace within the womb,
The corpse is at rest within the tomb.
We begin in what we end.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.
James Shirley

To our graves we walk
In the thick footprints of departed men.
Alexander Smith

Your death and my death are mainly of importance to ourselves. The black plumes will be stripped off our hearses within the hour; tears will dry, hurt hearts close again, our graves grow level with the church-yard, and although we are away, the world wags on. It does not miss us; and those who are near us, when the first strangeness of vacancy wears off, will not miss us much either.
Alexander Smith

Death! to the happy thou art terrible;
But how the wretched love to think of thee,
O thou true comforter! the friend of all
Who have no friend beside!
Robert Southey

A free man thinks of death least of all things; and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.
Baruch Spinoza

An honorable death is better than a dishonorable life. (Honesta mors turpi vita potior.)

As for myself, may the "sweet Muses," as Virgil says, bear me away to their holy places where sacred streams do flow, beyond the reach of anxiety and care, and free from the obligation of performing each day some task that goes against the grain.

No young man ever thinks he shall die.
William Hazlitt

God's finger touched him, and he slept.
Alfred Tennyson

Whatever crazy sorrow saith,
No life that breathes with human breath
Has ever truly long'd for death.
Alfred Tennyson

While there's life there’s hope, and only the dead have none. (τάχ᾽ αὔριον ἔσσετ᾽ ἄμεινον ἐλπίδες ἐν ζωοῖσιν, ἀνέλπιστοι δὲ θανόντες.)

Since every day a little of our life is taken from us—since we are dying every day—the final hour when we cease to exist does not of itself bring death; it merely completes the death process.
Paul Tillich

We live in a culture that is almost totally ignorant of death, as it is almost totally ignorant of anything that truly matters.
Eckhart Tolle

Memento mori—remember death! These are important words. If we kept in mind that we will soon inevitably die, our lives would be completely different. If a person knows that he will die in a half hour, he certainly will not bother doing trivial, stupid, or, especially, bad things during this half hour. Perhaps you have half a century before you die—what makes this any different from a half hour?
Leo Tolstoy

However many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead.
Richard Dawkins

It is today, my dear, that I take a perilous leap. (C'est demain, ma belle amie, que je fais le saut perilleux.)
Voltaire, last words

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
Randall Wallace (Braveheart)

Softly his fainting head he lay
Upon his Maker's breast;
His Maker kiss'd his soul away,
And laid his flesh to rest.
Isaac Watts

One may live as a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate; but he must die as a man.
Daniel Webster

And now she is like everyone else.
Charles de Gaulle, on the death of his daughter, who had Down's syndrome

I don't wanna die
But I ain't keen on living either
Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.
Lord Byron

He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, lik'd it not, and died.
Sir Henry Wotton

People don't die that easily, really. … As long as they've got something worth living for.
Phoenix Wright

Men drop so fast, ere life's mid stage we tread,
Few know so many friends alive, as dead.
Edward Young

I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees. (Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.)
Emiliano Zapata

At that time those slain by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.
Jeremiah 25:33

Every soul will know the taste of death.
Quran 21.35

Xerxes the great did die;
And so must you and I.

For thou mayst say this is the day [of one's death]
That no man living may 'scape away.

Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.
Emily Dickinson

Death is a sovereign remedy for all misfortunes.
Ernest Hemingway

There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
Ernest Hemingway

My spirit is too weak—mortality
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagin’d pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship, tells me I must die
Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.
John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain.
John Keats

Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home;
Thou art not my friend and I’m not thine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Death, in itself, is nothing; but we fear,
To be we know not what, we know not where.
John Dryden

Like pilgrims to th'appointed place we tend;
The world's an inn, and death the journey's end.
John Dryden

The bodies of those that made such a noise and tumult when alive, when dead, lie as quietly among the graves of their neighbours as any others.
Jonathan Edwards

Webster was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin.
T. S. Eliot

The life which made my own life pleasant is at an end, and the gates of death are shut upon my prospects.
Samuel Johnson

The dead cannot return, and nothing is left us here but languishment and grief. Yet such is the course of nature, that whoever lives long must outlive those whom he loves and honours.
Samuel Johnson

If you really come down to any large story that interests people – holds the attention for a considerable time … human stories are practically always about one thing, aren't they? Death. The inevitability of death.
J. R. R. Tolkien

And lastly there is the oldest and deepest desire, the Great Escape: the Escape from Death.
J. R. R. Tolkien

Deserves it [death]! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
J. R. R. Tolkien

The doctor found, when she was dead, —
Her last disorder mortal.
Oliver Goldsmith

Death is still working like a mole,
And digs my grave at each remove.
George Herbert

Death Penalty

Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
Samuel Johnson

The heart of a good man cannot but recoil at the thought of punishing a slight injury with death.
Samuel Johnson


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

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.
John Stuart Mill


Creditors have better memories than debtors.
Author unidentified

Debt is the slavery of the free.
Publilius Syrus

Sins and debts are always more than we think them to be.
Thomas Fuller

Debt is a preceptor whose lessons are needed most by those who suffer from it most.
R. W. Emerson

He is rich who owes nothing.
Hungarian Proverb

Better go without rice for a little than be in debt for long.
Japanese Proverb

Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound; great debts are like cannon, of loud noise but little danger.
Samuel Johnson

By no means run in debt: take thine own measure.
Who cannot live on twenty pound a year,
Cannot on forty.
George Herbert


All human things are subject to decay,
And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
John Dryden


We never deceive for a good purpose. Knavery always adds malice to falsehood.
Jean de la Bruyère

I defy any man to deceive me. He would have to be a real rogue to be as bad as imagine him.
Napoleon I

It is more ignominious to mistrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
La Rochefoucauld


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

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

[Men] who cannot deceive others, are very often successful in deceiving themselves.
Samuel Johnson

The true way to be deceived is to think oneself more clever than others.
La Rochefoucauld


Give your decisions, never your reasons; your decisions may be right, your reasons are sure to be wrong.
Earl of Mansfield

Quick decisions are unsafe decisions.

Let men decide firmly what they will not do, and they will be free to do vigorously what they ought to do.

A wrong decision isn't forever; it can always be reversed. The losses from a delayed decision are forever; they can never be retrieved.
J. K. Galbraith

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
J. K. Galbraith


Make a decision, even if it's wrong.
Jarvis Klem

Declaration of Independence

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776 … and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter [the Declaration of Independence]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.
Calvin Coolidge

Yesterday, the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.
John Adams


A people always ends by resembling its shadow.
Rudyard Kipling


The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration, as indeed we still see among the barbarous classes in civilized countries.
Thomas Carlyle


Deeds are masculine; words are feminine. (Fatti maschii; parole femine.)
Motto of Maryland


To sue for defamation merely draws attention to the charge.
Paul Johnson


It is the prerogative of great men to have great defects.
La Rochefoucauld


When the rights of the parties are obscure, the defendant is to be favored against the plaintiff. (Quum sunt partium jura obscura, reo potius favendum est quam auctori.)
Legal Maxim


Let them grumble, that is how it is going to be. (Ainsi sera, groigne qui groinge.)
Margaret of Austria (phrase made famous by Anne Boleyn, who learned it from Margaret)


A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
Samuel Johnson


[Delaware is a] state that has three counties when the tide is out, and two when it is in.
J. J. Ingalls


A delay is better than a disaster.
Author unidentified

Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends.

Do not delay: the golden moments fly!
H. W. Longfellow


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

Think long when you may decide only once.
Publilius Syrus


The majority of men prefer delusion to truth. It soothes. It is easy to grasp. Above all, it fits more snugly than the truth into a universe of false appearances—of complex and irrational phenomena, defectively grasped.
H. L. Mencken


The qualities necessary to a demagogue are these: to be foul-mouthed, base-born, a low, mean fellow.

The demagogue, puffing up the people with, words, sways them to his interest. When calamity follows he escapes from justice.

The shortest way to ruin a country is to give power to demagogues.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

The people are sovereign, but they are in the position of a sovereign eternally under age, who must therefore remain under tutelage, and cannot exercise his rights without grave danger. Like all minors, he is the sport of crafty scoundrels. These we call demagogues.
Arthur Schopenhauer

In every age the vilest specimens of human nature are to be found among demagogues.
T. B. Macaulay

The honest man, whether rich or poor, who earns his own living and tries to deal justly by his fellows, has as much to fear from the insincere and unworthy demagogue, promising much and performing nothing, or else performing nothing but evil, who would set on the mob to plunder the rich, as from the crafty corruptionist who, for his own ends, would permit the common people to be exploited by the very wealthy.
Theodore Roosevelt

The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
H. L. Mencken


Demand is not a fixed quantity, that increases only as population increases. In each individual it rises with his power of getting the things demanded.
Henry George

If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed and are right.
H. L. Mencken

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, if he be a tyrant.
Benito Mussolini

Democracy is … a form of religion; it is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw

High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Oscar Wilde

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken

Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abused, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.
Edward Gibbon

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John Adams

But a wild democracy … too often disdains the essential principles of justice.
Edward Gibbon

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.
E. B. White

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.
Bertrand Russell

You can be right or you can be popular. And we live in a democracy.
Walter O'Brien

Every flaw in consumers is worse in voters.
Michael Munger

A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments.

A democracy, when put to the strain, grows weak, and is supplanted by oligarchy.

Public affairs ought to advance, and have a certain progress, neither too slow nor too quick. But the people have always too much action or too little. Sometimes, with 100,000 arms, they overturn everything; at other times, with 100,000 feet, they crawl like insects.
C. L. de Montesquieu

Democracy has two excesses to be wary of: the spirit of inequality, which leads it to aristocracy, and the spirit of extreme equality, which leads it to despotism.
C. L. de Montesquieu

In a democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region.
James Madison

[Democracy is] an aristocracy of blackguards.

The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.
J. Fenimore Cooper

Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them.
W. H. Seward

Ten million ignorances do not constitute one knowledge.
Clemens von Metternich

I do not deny the rights of democracy, but I have no illusions as to the uses that will be made of those rights so long as wisdom is rare and pride abundant.
H. F. Amiel

Even in the purest democracies, such as the United States and Switzerland, a privileged minority stands against the vast enslaved majority.
M. A. Bakunin

To put political power in the hands of men embittered and degraded by poverty is to tie firebrands to foxes and turn them loose amid the standing corn.
Henry George

I should be very sorry to find myself on board a ship in which the voices of the cook and the loblolly boys counted for as much as those of the officers upon a question of steering, or reefing topsails; or where the "great heart" of the crew was called upon to settle the ship's course.
T. H. Huxley

Those who bewail the loss of personal liberty have not learned one of the essentials of a democracy. They should know that no one has the personal liberty in a republic to do what the majority has properly declared shall not be done.
Wesley L. Jones

It would be folly to argue that the people cannot make political mistakes. They can and do make grave mistakes. They know it, they pay the penalty, but compared with the mistakes which have been made by every kind of autocracy they are unimportant.
Calvin Coolidge

Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.
Benito Mussolini

Envy is the basis of democracy.
Bertrand Russell

One of the weaknesses of a democracy, a system of which I am trying to make the best, is that until it is right up against it, it will never face the truth.
Stanley Baldwin

But I am thoroughly convinced, nonetheless, that the democratic nations are happier than any other. The United States today, indeed, is probably the happiest the world has ever seen.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy, in fact, is always inventing class distinctions, despite its theoretical abhorrence of them.
H. L. Mencken

One cannot observe it [democracy] objectively without being impressed by its curious distrust of itself—its apparently ineradicable tendency to abandon its whole philosophy at the first sign of strain. I need not point to what happens invariably in democratic states when the national safety is menaced. All the great tribunes of democracy, on such occasions, convert themselves, by a process as simple as taking a deep breath, into despots of an almost fabulous ferocity.
H. L. Mencken

I confess, for my part, that it greatly delights me. I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down.
H. L. Mencken

Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;
Winston Churchill


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

Republicans raise dahlias, Dalmatians, and eyebrows. Democrats raise Airedales, kids, and taxes.
Will Stanton

Republicans sleep in twin beds—some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats.
Will Stanton

Grandmother: Pat, I've been worrying about you. You're not turning into a Democrat, are you?
P. J. O'Rourke: Grandma! Democrats and Republicans are both fascist pigs! LBJ is slaughtering helpless Vietcong and causing riots in America's inner cities and oppressing workers and ripping off the masses! I'm not a Democrat! I'm a Maoist!
Grandmother: Just so long as you're not a Democrat.
P. J. O'Rourke

[My grandmother] was given to statements such as, "No one's ever so poor they can't pick up their yard." And she wouldn't even speak the word "Democrat" if there were children in the room. She'd say "bastards" instead.
P. J. O'Rourke

I never said all Democrats were saloon keepers. What I said was that all saloon keepers were Democrats.
Horace Greeley

Democratic Party

The Democratic party is like a mule. It has neither pride of ancestry nor hope of posterity.
Ignatius Donnelly

That party [the Democratic party] never had but two objects—grand and petit larceny.
R. G. Ingersoll

[The Democratic party is a] hopeless assortment of discordant differences, as incapable of positive action as it is capable of infinite clamor.
Thomas B. Reed


If you turn on the television, you'll find the mothers of the most obvious criminals that man could ever diagnose, and they all think their sons are innocent. That's simple psychological denial. The reality is too painful to bear, so you just distort it until it's bearable. We all do that to some extent, and it's a common psychological misjudgment that causes terrible problems.
Charlie Munger


To go away is to die a little, it is to die to that which one loves: everywhere and always, one leaves behind a part of oneself.

(Partir c'est mourir un peu, C'est mourir à ce qu'on aime: On laisse un peu de soi-même En toute heure et dans tout lieu.)

Edmond Haraucourt


So he, who poverty with horror views,
Who sells his freedom in exchange for gold,
(Freedom for mines of wealth too cheaply sold)
Shall make eternal servitude his fate,
And feel a haughty master’s galling weight.
Francis, based on Horace

There is no state more contrary to the dignity of wisdom than perpetual and unlimited dependance, in which the understanding lies useless, and every motion is received from external impulse.
Samuel Johnson


He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed.
David Frost

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
Dodie Smith

Depression manifests itself in a lack of will.
Richard Brookhiser

Some lawns have all the cheer of old cemeteries.
Richard Brookhiser

My daily routine is very simple. I wake up and I suffer. It's a peaceful life.
Author unidentified

I inherited a vile melancholy from my father, which has made me mad all my life, at least not sober.
Samuel Johnson

I now live in cheerless solitude.
Samuel Johnson

I seek at midnight clubs the social band,
But midnight clubs, where wit with noise conspires,
Delight no more; I seek my lonely bed,
And call on sleep to soothe my languid head,
But sleep from these sad lids flies far away;
I mourn all night, and dread the coming day … .
A dreary void, where fears with grief combined
Waste all within, and desolate the mind.
Samuel Johnson

I would consent to have a limb amputated to recover my spirits.
Samuel Johnson

I don't like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible to get a pillar between me and the train. I don't like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second's action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.
Winston Churchill

Frozen anger.
Sigmund Freud, his definition of depression, attributed


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


Dermatology is the best speciality. The patient never dies—and never gets well.
Author unidentified


Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
Samuel Johnson


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

We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means.

We desire most what we ought not to have.
Publilius Syrus

There is not a man in the world who doth not look at another's wife, if beautiful and young, with a degree of desire.
The Hitopadesa

He begins to die that quits his desires.
George Herbert

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.
Jonathan Swift

Every desire is a viper in the bosom, who, while he was chill, was harmless; but when warmth gave him strength, exerted it in poison.
Samuel Johnson

The fundamental principle of human action—the law that is to political economy what the law of gravitation is to physics—is that men seek to gratify their desires with the least exertion.
Henry George

Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments; any enlargement of wishes is therefore equally destructive to happiness with the diminution of possession, and he that teaches another to long for what he never shall obtain is no less an enemy to his quiet than if he had robbed him of part of his patrimony.
Samuel Johnson

The desires of mankind are much more numerous than their attainments, and the capacity of imagination much larger than actual enjoyment.
Samuel Johnson

Thus it comes to pass, that our desires always increase with our possessions; the knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed, impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.
Samuel Johnson

The desires of man increase with his acquisitions; every step which he advances brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with every thing that nature can demand, than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.
Samuel Johnson


I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 1:14

[Job's] wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
Job 2:9

Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
Attributed to Edmund Burke

Despair is a sin.
Author unidentified

What if this is as good as it gets?
Mark Andrus

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
Earl Wilson

Never flinch, never weary, never despair.
Winston Churchill

I'm so tired of trying.
Author unidentified

Aside from my normal sense of despair, I feel fine.
Author unidentified

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Edgar Allan Poe

All I do here is work in my cubicle and hope for death.
Dilbert cartoon

He who has resolved to conquer or die is seldom conquered; such noble despair perishes with difficulty.
Pierre Corneille

I will indulge my sorrows, and give way
To all the pangs and fury of despair.
Joseph Addison

Despair exaggerates not only our misery but also our weakness.
Luc de Vauvenargues

It was at length the same to me,
Fetter'd or fetterless to be,
I learn'd to love despair.

Past hope, past cure, past help!

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
Psalms 22:14

We must not despair, we must not for a moment pretend that we cannot face these things. Dangers come upon the world; other nations face them.
Winston Churchill

So much I feel my genial spirits droop,
My hopes all flat; Nature within me seems
In all her functions weary of herself;
My race of glory run, and race of shame,
And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
Samuel Johnson

Avaunt despair! (Nil desperandum.)

Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.
J. R. R. Tolkien


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Henry David Thoreau

Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
James Thurber

Tempt not a desperate man.
William Shakespeare

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
William Shakespeare

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
Pink Floyd

A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.
Guy Fawkes


From torpid despondency, can come no advantage; it is the frost of the soul, which binds up all its powers, and congeals life in perpetual sterility. He that has no hopes of success, will make no attempts; and where nothing is attempted, nothing can be done.
Samuel Johnson


A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law, must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness.
Edward Gibbon

There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the body. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul and body alike. The first is called the prince. The second is called the pope. The third is called the people.
Oscar Wilde


Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.
Oscar Wilde

The progress of despotism tends to disappoint its own purpose.
Edward Gibbon

Despotism has forever had a powerful hold upon the world. Autocratic government, not self-government, has been the prevailing state of mankind. The record of past history is the record, not of the success of republics, but of their failure.
Calvin Coolidge

My people and I have come to an agreement which satisfies us both. They are to say what they please, and I am to do what I please.
Frederick the Great, his interpretation of benevolent despotism, attributed


Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
William Jennings Bryan

'Tis vain to quarrel with our destiny.
Thomas Middleton

Often the prudent, far from making their destinies, succumb to them; it is destiny which makes them prudent.


To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
Winston Churchill

When a man takes the road to destruction, the gods help him along.

Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction.
Matthew 7:13, KJV


Our life is frittered away by detail … Simplify, simplify!
Henry David Thoreau

It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
John Wooden

Great engines turn on small pivots.
English proverb


We are little better than straws upon the water: we may flatter ourselves that we swim, when the current carries us along.
Mary Wortley Montagu


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


Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV

The Devil can equivocate as well as a shopkeeper.
Ben Jonson

The heart of man is the place the Devil's in: I feel sometimes a Hell within myself.
Thomas Browne

Talk of the Devil, and he's presently at your elbow.
Giovanni Torriano

An apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
Samuel Butler

When the priest's away the Devil will play.
Russian Proverb

For, where God build a church there the devil would also build a chapel.
Martin Luther

Thus is the devil ever God's ape.
Martin Luther

The devil is like a fowler; of the birds he catches, he wrings most of their necks, but keeps a few alive, to allure other birds to his snare, by singing the song he will have in a cage. I hope he will not get me into his cage.
Martin Luther

Devils are not so black as they are painted.
Thomas Lodge

The prince of darkness is a gentleman.

The devil's most devilish when respectable.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky


What is more dull than a discreet diary? One might just as well have a discreet soul.
Henry ('Chips') Channon


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

All mountebank dictators, from Napoleon III to Mussolini and Hitler, liked to be able to claim, with some plausibility, that they had been put in power by a "free vote," and that the people had, as it were, walked willingly into the dungeon before the portcullis slammed down for the last time.
Paul Johnson

We know as a people, as a nation, that we are at the cross-roads in America. Soon we must determine whether or not we are going to preserve Anglo-Saxon institutions in this country or join the other nations of the earth under a dictator.
Hatton W. Sumners


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

To make dictionaries is dull work.
Samuel Johnson

Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
Samuel Johnson


The die is cast. (Iacta alea est.)
Julius Caesar, at the crossing of the Rubicon


The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.
Julia Child (Attributed)

I'm on a whisky diet. I've lost three days already.
Tommy Cooper (Attributed)

You'd never say to an alcoholic—have just one glass of wine—so don't [offer food] to people who are trying to lose weight.
Stephen Furst

I may eat a healthy selection, but I never leave anything on my plate. (I think it goes back to all those starving children overseas that my parents told me about. I always wondered how stuffing my face helped those starving kids, but who was I to question my parents?)
Stephen Furst

I find something deeply corrupt and decadent in eating very expensive food especially designed to keep you slim. After all, the idea of the retributory coronary striking dead the self-indulgent patrician helps to persuade the poor that there is some justice in the world. A culinary system which mitigate this sanction is therefore antisocial.
Paul Johnson

Whatsoever was the father of a disease, an ill diet was the mother.
George Herbert

He that takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.
Chinese Proverb

The first law of dietetics seems to be: if it tastes good, it's bad for you.
Isaac Asimov (Attributed)


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

One of the most common defects of half-instructed minds is to think much of that in which they differ from others, and little of that in which they agree with others.
Walter Bagehot


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

There is no excellence without difficulty.

Three things are difficult: to know oneself, to conquer one's appetite, and to keep one's secret.
Welsh Proverb

Difficulty is a severe instructor, set over us by the supreme ordinance of a parental Guardian and Legislator, who knows us better than we know ourselves, as he loves us better too. Pater ipse colendi haud facilem esse viam voluit. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
Edmund Burke


It is base and unworthy to live below the dignity of our nature.
Benjamin Whichcote


Everything yields to diligence.

Make hay while the sun shines.
English Proverb

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.
Samuel Johnson

The certainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform. It is true, that no diligence can ascertain success; death may intercept the swiftest career; but he who is cut off in the execution of an honest undertaking, has at least the honour of falling in his rank, and has fought the battle though he missed the victory.
Samuel Johnson

Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never led to good intention's goal. (La diligencia es madre de la buena ventura y la pereza, su contrario, jamás llegó al término que pide un buen deseo.)


A dimple in the chin; a devil within.
Irish Proverb


We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf.

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.
Samuel Pepys

Oh, the pleasure of eating my dinner alone!
Charles Lamb


I liken the French/British relationship to a very old married couple who often think of killing each other but would never dream of divorce.
Denis MacShane

The French are masters of 'the dog ate my homework' school of diplomatic relations.
P. J. O'Rourke

An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.
Henry Wotton

To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.
Winston Churchill

What do you expect when I'm between two men of whom one [Lloyd George] thinks he is Napoleon and the other [Woodrow Wilson] thinks he is Jesus Christ?
Georges Clemenceau, when asked why he capitulated

Diplomacy is to do and say
The nastiest thing in the nicest way.
Isaac Goldberg


I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I tell them the truth and they never believe me.
Camillo Di Cavour


If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.
Chinese Proverb


Poverty comes from God, but not dirt.
Hebrew Proverb


When you start off by telling those who disagree with you that they are not merely in error but in sin, how much of a dialogue do you expect?
Thomas Sowell

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
Oscar Wilde

Do not argue with the loud of mouth, and do not heap wood on their fire.
Ecclesiasticus 8:3


Like all the rest of mankind, she is every day mortified with the defeat of her schemes, and the disappointment of her hopes.
Samuel Johnson

If the good people, in their wisdom, shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.
Abraham Lincoln

We do not indeed so often disappoint others as ourselves.
Samuel Johnson


No man likes to live under the eye of perpetual disapprobation.
Samuel Johnson


He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24

[The] LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Hebrews 12:6

Boys have their ears on their backsides; they listen when they are beaten.
Egyptian proverb

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
George Washington

Diogenes struck the father when the son swore.
Robert Burton


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


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.


When two goats meet upon a narrow bridge over deep water, how do they behave? neither of them can turn back again, neither can pass the other, because the bridge is too narrow; if they should thrust one another, they might both fall into the water and be drowned; nature, then, has taught them, that if the one lays himself down and permits the other to go over him, both remain without hurt. Even so people should rather endure to be trod upon, than to fall into debate and discord one with another.
Martin Luther

The different apprehensions, the discordant passions, the jarring interests of men, will scarcely permit that many should unite in one undertaking.
Samuel Johnson


Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.


Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.
Samuel Johnson

Pneumonia is the old man's friend [because it offers a relatively quick and painless death to the aged].
Sir William Osler, paraphrased

There are more pernicious diseases of the soul than of the body.

A long disease doesn't lie. It always kills at last.
Irish Proverb

Cure the disease and kill the patient.
Francis Bacon

It was a principle among the ancients, that acute diseases are from heaven, and chronical from ourselves.
Samuel Johnson

There are many diseases both of the body and mind, which it is far easier to prevent than to cure.
Samuel Johnson

Truth is, indeed, not often welcome for its own sake; it is generally unpleasing, because contrary to our wishes and opposite to our practice; and as our attention naturally follows our interest, we hear unwillingly what we are afraid to know, and soon forget what we have no inclination to impress upon our memories.
Samuel Johnson

If a lot of cures are suggested for a disease, it means that the disease is incurable.
Anton Chekhov


Disgrace is immortal, and lives long after one thinks it is dead.

This was one of the heaviest blows I can recall during the war. … It was a bitter moment. Defeat is one thing; disgrace is another.
Winston Churchill, on The Fall of Tobruk


What is come by dishonestly vanishes in profligacy.


There is no death, however slow and painful, that I would not prefer to dishonor.
Napoleon I

No man, I suppose, ever admits to himself candidly that he gets his living in a dishonourable way.
H. L. Mencken


A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness.
Robert Herrick


The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.
Samuel Johnson


I never saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many, on their getting warm, becoming rude, and shooting one another.
Thomas Jefferson


O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!

Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love,
But why did you kick me downstairs?
Isaac Bickerstaffe


I hate as I hate the gates of Hell that man whose words conceal his thoughts.


Over there, where you are not—there is happiness.
G. P. Schmidt von Lübeck

’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
Thomas Campbell

It is better to be able neither to read nor write than to be able to do nothing else.
William Hazlitt


There lurks in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself.
Samuel Johnson


What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.
General George W. Casey Jr.

Yet, aren't equality and diversity antonyms? And why are the lucky few who have clawed their way to the top so insistent that the rest of us worship diversity?
Steve Sailer

Orwellian is an overused adjective, but here it applies. In 1948 Orwell said watch the language because it becomes turned inside out. In Nineteen Eighty-Four love meant hate, war meant peace and on campus today diversity means enforced conformity.
George F. Will


Divinity consists in use and practice, not in speculation and meditation.
Martin Luther


A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free.
Abraham Lincoln


Conrad Hilton was very generous to me in the divorce settlement. He gave me 5,000 Gideon Bibles.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Alimony is a system by which, when two people make a mistake, one of them continues to pay for it.
Peggy Joyce

Alimony is like buying oats for a dead horse.
Arthur 'Bugs' Baer

I heard from my cat's lawyer today. My cat wants $12,000 a week for Tender Vittles.
Johnny Carson

He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce, I keep the house.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, of her fifth husband

She cried—and the judge wiped her tears with my checkbook.
Tommy Manville

For a while we pondered whether to take a vacation or get a divorce. We decided that a trip to Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce is something you always have.
Woody Allen

The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.
Johnny Carson

The happiest time of anyone's life is just after the first divorce.
John Kenneth Galbraith

You don't know a woman till you've met her in court.
Norman Mailer

Alimony, n. The ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
H. L. Mencken

Whenever I date a guy, I think, "Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"
Rita Rudner

Passion, interest, or caprice, suggested daily motives for the dissolution of marriage; a word, a sign, a message, a letter, the mandate of a freedman, declared the separation; the most tender of human connections was degraded to a transient society of profit or pleasure.
Edward Gibbon

[The] liberty of divorce does not contribute to happiness and virtue. The facility of separation would destroy all mutual confidence, and inflame every trifling dispute.
Edward Gibbon

The husband was a teetotaller, there was no other woman, and the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife.
Arthur Conan Doyle

I don't think I'll get married again. I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house.
Lewis Grizzard (Attributed)

A TV host asked my wife, 'Have you ever considered divorce?' She replied: 'Divorce never, murder often.'
Charlton Heston

Well, we never wanted to get divorced at the same time.
Bruce Paltrow, when asked why his marriage lasted so long

Love the quest; marriage the conquest; divorce the inquest.
Helen Rowland

Divorce is born of perverted morals, and leads, as experience shows, to vicious habits in public and private life.
Pope Leo XIII


God heals, and the physician gets the thanks. [Benjamin Franklin's variant: God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.]
George Herbert

Our doctor would never really operate unless it was necessary. He was just that way. If he didn't need the money, he wouldn't lay a hand on you.
Herb Shriner

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

Diaulus, once a doctor, is now an undertaker; what he does as an undertaker he used to do also as a doctor.

If the doctor cures the sun sees it; if he kills the earth hides it.
James Kelly

That patient is not like to recover who makes the doctor his heir.
Thomas Fuller

A single doctor like a sculler plies,
And all his art and all his physic tries;
But two physicians, like a pair of oars,
Conduct you soonest to the Stygian shores.
Author unidentified

Heaven defend me from a busy doctor.
Welsh Proverb

I have noticed that doctors who fail in the practice of medicine have a tendency to seek one another's company and aid in consultation. A doctor who cannot take out your appendix properly will recommend you to a doctor who will be unable to remove your tonsils with success.
Ernest Hemingway


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

Let sleeping dogs lie.
English Proverb

It's a hard Winter when dogs eat dogs.
Thomas Fuller

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
Samuel Butler

A house without either a dog or a cat is the house of a scoundrel.
Portuguese Proverb


There's nothing within science per se that says medical researchers must not experiment on human subjects; it is the imposition of ethical dogma that constrains the scientist.
Jonah Goldberg


A man must do as he can when he cannot as he would.
Thomas Draxe

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces.


Each dollar is a soldier that does your bidding.
Ascribed to Vincent Astor


Everyone's death day is his Doomsday.
John Lyly


If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.
Sir Francis Bacon

Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

When men are in doubt they always believe what is most agreeable.
Flavius Arrianus

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.

To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

What a state of society is this in which free-thinker is a term of abuse, and in which doubt is regarded as a sin!
W. Winwood Reade

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Wilson Mizner


He that is down, needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride.
John Bunyan


People who insist on telling their dreams are among the terrors of the breakfast table.
Max Beerbohm

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
J. K. Rowling

We see sleeping what we wish for waking.
George Pettie

All dreams, as in old Galen I have read,
Are from repletion and complexion bred,
From rising fumes of indigested food,
And noxious humors that infect the blood.
John Dryden

Dreams are excursions to the limbo of things, a semi-deliverance from the human prison.
H. F. Amiel

As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind, so is anyone who believes in dreams.
Ecclesiasticus 34:2


The desire to please by outward charms, which we know naturally invite lust, does not spring from a sound conscience. Why should you rouse an evil passion?

Singularity in dress is ridiculous; in fact, it is generally looked upon as a proof that the mind is somewhat deranged. The fashion of the country wherein one lives is the rule which should be followed in the choice and form of dress.
St. John Baptist de la Salle

I have always a sacred veneration for anyone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher.
Jonathan Swift

It is not every man that can afford to wear a shabby coat; worldly wisdom dictates to her disciples the propriety of dressing somewhat beyond their means, but of living within them; for every one sees how we dress, but none see how we live, except we choose to let them.
C. C. Colton

Eat what you will, but dress as others do.
Arab Proverb

A really rich man is careless of his dress.
Chinese Proverb


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

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

And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions.
Isaiah 28:7

Fermented spirits please our common people because they banish care and all consideration of future or present evils.
Edmund Burke

When drink's in, wit's out.
Scottish Proverb

It [drink] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.


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

The whole world is about three drinks behind.
Humphrey Bogart

The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I will walk carefully.
Russian Proverb

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

One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I'm having a good time.
Nancy Astor

Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
George Burns

I always keep a stimulant handy in case I see a snake—which I also keep handy.
W. C. Fields

What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?
W. C. Fields

I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
Oscar Levant

I drink to forget I drink.
Joe E. Lewis

One more drink and I'll be under the host.
Dorothy Parker

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

Not all men who drink are poets. Some of us drink because we aren't poets.
Author unidentified

Drink and be merry, for our time on earth is short, and death lasts forever.

Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.
Thomas Fuller

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

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

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
Henny Youngman

One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.
James Thurber

I don't get hangovers. You have to stop drinking to get a hangover.

He that spills the Rum, loses that only; He that drinks it, often loses both that and himself.
Author unidentified

Drink does not drown Care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster.
Author unidentified

When I was younger I made it a rule never to take a strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.
Winston Churchill

I neither want it [brandy] nor need it but I think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.
Winston Churchill

Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
Samuel Johnson

I exercise strong self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.
W. C. Fields

As regards drink, I can only say that in Dublin during the Depression when I was growing up, drunkenness was not regarded as a social disgrace. To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement. To get drunk was a victory.
Brendan Behan

Remember: it’s not what you drink, or how much you drink, it’s how fast you drink it.

Kalsarikännit, n (Finnish). The feeling when you are going to get drunk home alone in your underwear—with no intention of going out.
Finnish word

While we sit bousin, at the nappy,
And gettin fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

(While we sit boozing strong ale,
And getting drunk and very happy,
We don’t think of the long Scots miles,
The marshes, waters, steps and stiles,
That lie between us and our home,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame [wife],
Gathering her brows like a gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath, to keep it warm.)

Robert Burns

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!

(Inspiring, bold John Barleycorn! [whisky]
What dangers you can make us scorn!
With ale, we fear no evil;
With whisky, we’ll face the Devil!)

Robert Burns

When men drink, then they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends.
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.

Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.

"Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better."
Isaiah 56:12

Long quaffing maketh a short life.
John Lyly

I drink when I have occasion for it, and sometimes when I have not.

Drink today, and drown all sorrow;
You shall perhaps not do it tomorrow;
Best, while you have it, use your breath;
There is no drinking after death.
John Fletcher and Ben Jonson

He bids the ruddy cup go round
Till sense and sorrow both are drowned.
Walter Scott

A thousand drink themselves to death before one dies of thirst. (Es trinken tausend sich den Tod Ehe einer stirbt vor Durstes Noth.)
German Proverb

One draught above heat makes him a fool, the second mads him, and a third drowns him.

If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine—a friend—or being dry—
Or lest we should be by and by—
Or any other reason why.
Henry Aldrich

Let’s have one other gaudy night.
Call to me
All my sad captains, fill our bowls once more;
Let’s mock the midnight bell.

Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame
When once it is within thee.
George Herbert

Where the drink goes in, there the wit goes out.
George Herbert

A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk.
Samuel Johnson

Mrs. Williams: I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves [by drinking].
Dr. Johnson: I wonder, Madam, that you have not penetration to see the strong inducement to this excess; for he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Samuel Johnson

Were I to prescribe a rule for drinking, it should be formed upon a saying quoted by Sir William Temple: the first glass for myself, the second for my friends, the third for good humor, and the fourth for mine enemies.
Joseph Addison

I have fed purely upon ale; I have eat my ale, and I always sleep upon ale.
George Farquhar

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Robert Burns

There's death in the cup—so beware!
Nay, more—there is danger in touching;
But who can avoid the fell snare,
The man and his wine's so bewitching!
Robert Burns

And drink when you're dry—but don't drink beyond reason
Or you will be the worse for it when you've work to do.
William Langland

I am sure the Americans can fix nothing without a drink. If you meet, you drink; if you part, you drink; if you make acquaintance, you drink … They commence it early in life, and they continue it, until they drop into the grave.
Frederick Marryat

I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure.
Ernest Hemingway

Drinking and Drugs

No use saying sorry, it's something that I enjoy.
Ozzy Osbourne

Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations—wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.
Edmund Burke

My father warned me about men and booze, but he never mentioned a word about women and cocaine.
Tallulah Bankhead

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do, nowhere to go-o-oh
I wanna be sedated
The Ramones


Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.


Uppers are no longer stylish, Methedrine is almost as rare as pure acid or DMT. "Consciousness Expansion" went out with LBJ and it is worth noting, historically, that downers came in with Nixon.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.
P. J. O'Rourke

Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
Lily Tomlin

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

A fool who, after plain warning, persists in dosing himself with dangerous drugs should be free to do so, for his death is a benefit to the race in general.
H. L. Mencken

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

Charm … it's a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don't need to have anything else; and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have.
J. M. Barrie

Every generation finds the drug it needs.
P. J. O'Rourke


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

"Mr. Churchill, you are drunk."
"Madame, you are ugly."
"Mr. Churchill, you are extremely drunk!"
"And you, Madame, are extremely ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober."
Winston Churchill (Attributed to Churchill and Bessie Braddock, but most likely apocryphal)

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

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

He that killeth a man when he is drunk shall be hanged when he is sober.
John Heywood

Astute people, when they want to ascertain a man's true character, make him drunk.
Martin Luther

The variety of behavior in men that have drunk too much is the same with that of madmen: some of them being raging, others loving, others laughing, all extravagantly, but according to their several domineering passions.
Thomas Hobbes

Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
The best of life is but intoxication.

Not drunk is he who from the floor
Can rise alone and still drink more;
But drunk is he who prostrate lies,
Without the power to drink or rise.
Thomas Love Peacock

What a man says drunk he has thought sober.
Flemish Proverb

I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.
Herman Melville


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

Nothing more like a Fool, than a drunken Man.
Author unidentified

One evening in October, when I was one-third sober,
An' taking home a 'load' with manly pride;
My poor feet began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an' lay down by my side;
Then we sang 'It's all fair weather when good fellows get together,'
Till a lady passing by was heard to say:
'You can tell a man who "boozes" by the company he chooses'
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.
Benjamin Hapgood Burt

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 23:20-21

He is a drunkard who takes more than three glasses, though he be not drunk.

Sweet fellowship in shame!
One drunkard loves another of the name.

Drunkards have a fool's tongue and a knave's heart.
H. G. Bohn


You must allow that drunkenness, which is equally destructive to body and mind, is a fine pleasure.
Lord Chesterfield

Drunkenness is the vice … of a memory that recollects the pleasures of getting drunk, but forgets the pains of getting sober.
C. C. Colton

Drunkenness makes some men fools, some beasts, and some devils.
H. G. Bohn

Drunkenness is a joy reserved for the gods: so men do partake of it impiously, and so they are very properly punished for their audacity.
James Branch Cabell

Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
Bertrand Russell


What was said of Rome, adorned by Augustus, may be applied by an easy metaphor to English poetry embellished by Dryden, lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit, he found it brick, and he left it marble.
Samuel Johnson


I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Mark Twain

It is too bad that death often results from duelling, for duels otherwise help keep up politeness in society.
Napoleon I


He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Foote


Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection.
The Book of Common Prayer (The Burial of the Dead)


The Dutch are a stupid people.
Napoleon I

In matters of commerce, the fault of the Dutch
Is offering too little and asking too much.
George Canning


Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Winston Churchill

Duties are not performed for duties' sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty—the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
Mark Twain

Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Mark Twain

[It] is all wrong to preach to the Forgotten Man that it is his duty to go and remedy other people's neglect. It is not his duty … The exhortations ought to be expended on the negligent—that they take care of themselves.
William Graham Sumner

For it is a poor service to God and the kingdom to take their pay and to decline their work.
Thomas Rainsborough

It is better to begin doing our duty late than never.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven.
Pierre Corneille

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
Thomas Jefferson

England expects every officer and man to do his duty this day.
Horatio Nelson

There is no evil that we cannot either face or fly from, but the consciousness of duty disregarded. A sense of duty pursues us ever. It is omnipresent, like the Deity.
Daniel Webster

The path of duty lies in what is near, but men seek it in what is remote.
Chinese Proverb

Unhappy the child who forgets his duty to his parents, for his own children, in their turn, will repay him in the same coin.

That duty demands and requires, that what is right should not only be made known, but made prevalent; that what is evil should not only be detected, but defeated.
Edmund Burke

It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.
Edmund Burke

I am well aware, that men love to hear of their power, but have an extreme disrelish to be told of their duty.
Edmund Burke

If we owe to it [civil society] any duty, it is not subject to our will. Duties are not voluntary.
Edmund Burke

If we do our duty we shall not fail.
Rudyard Kipling

Every man may be certain that he has no time to waste. The duties of life are commensurate to its duration, and every day brings its task, which if neglected is doubled on the morrow.
Samuel Johnson

When I’m not thanked at all, I’m thanked enough;
I’ve done my duty, and I’ve done no more.
Henry Fielding

The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.
Andrew Jackson

I slept and dreamed that life was beauty.
I woke—and found that life was duty.
Ellen Sturgis Hooper


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

He was dying all his life.
Hector Berlioz (of Chopin)

It is the duty of a doctor to prolong life and it is not his duty to prolong the act of dying.
Thomas, Lord Horder

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and terrified like his passengers.
Author unidentified

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

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

The dying man doesn't struggle much and he isn't much afraid. As his alkalies give out he succumbs to a blest stupidity. His mind fogs. His will power vanishes. He submits decently. He scarcely gives a damn.
H. L. Mencken

Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
Oscar Wilde, Last words as he lay dying in a drab Paris hotel room

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

[The] groans of the dying excited only the envy of their surviving friends.
Mariana de Rebus Hispanicis

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:6

When I die, I die. I could give a shit, 'cause it ain't my problem. I'd just rather not shit my pants on the way there.
Samuel Halpern

I'm always angry when I'm dying
Clifford Mortimer, last words

Do you know the famous last words of the Fatted Calf? 'I hear the young master has returned.'
Monja Danischewsky

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

To die will be an awfully big adventure.
J. M. Barrie

I know I have not long to live, for my head is like a knife, from which the steel is wholly whetted away, and which is become mere iron; the iron will cut no more, even so it is with my head. Now, loving Lord God, I hope my time is not for hence; God help me, and give me a happy hour; I desire to live no longer.
Martin Luther

Of all the boons that man asks of the gods, he prays most fervently for an easy death.

I end a life of consummate misery by a death the most revolting.

O wretched little soul of mine, imprisoned in an unworthy body, go forth, be free!

I have lived in doubt, I die in anxiety, I know not whither I go. (Vixi dubius, anxius morior, nescio quo vada.)
Author unidentified

I am going to seek a great perhaps. Draw the curtain: the farce is played out.
Ascribed to François Rabelais

'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
When men are unprepared and look not for it.

Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As one that had been studied in his death—
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
As 'twere a careless trifle.

My desire is to make what haste I may to be gone.
Oliver Cromwell: Last words, 1658.

Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
Thomas Hobbes: On his deathbed, Dec. 4, 1679.

I imagined it was more difficult to die. (J'avais cru plus difficile de mourir.)
Louis XIV of France: Last words, 1715.

He is miserable that dieth not before he desires to die.
Thomas Fuller

The conscience of the dying man calumniates his life.
Luc de Varvenargues

He left a world he was weary of with the cool indifference you quit a dirty inn, to continue your journey to a place where you hope for better accommodation.
Mary Wortley Montagu

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is of no importance, it lasts so short a time.
Samuel Johnson

No rational man can die without uneasy apprehensions.
Samuel Johnson

Perhaps nature wants us, at the end of our days, to be disgusted with life, so that we may leave this world with less regret.
Frederick the Great

I do not like the apparatus [of death] at all, and hope I shall know no more of my going out of the world than I did of my coming into it. Life is a farce, and should not end with a mourning scene.
Horace Walpole

Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.
George Washington: Last words, Dec. 14, 1799.

Soldiers, straight at my heart! (Soldats, droit au coeur!)
Michel Ney: Last words at his execution, Dec. 7, 1815.

I am ready at any time. Do not keep me waiting.
John Brown: Last words on the scaffold, 1859.

The best way to get praise is to die.
Italian Proverb

A plague o’ both your houses!
They have made worms’ meat of me.

How oft when men are at the point of death
Have they been merry!

If it were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy.

I saw him now going the way of all flesh.
John Webster

I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.
Samuel Johnson, On his final illness

He had been, he said, an unconscionable time dying; he hoped that they would excuse it.
Charles II

"You're not going to die, are you sir?" he said.
"Of course I am. Everyone is. That's what being alive is all about."
Terry Pratchett

Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Alexander Pope

It hath been often said, that it is not death, but dying which is terrible.
Henry Fielding

Now, God be with you, my children: I have breakfasted with you and shall sup with my Jesus Christ this night.
Robert Bruce

Old man! 'tis not so difficult to die.
Lord Byron

I've said I'm not afraid of death, and that's true. Dying, though, is another matter. Dying slowly in great pain is something I actively try to avoid.
K. J. Parker

Dying is only bad when it takes a long time and hurts so much that it humiliates you.
Ernest Hemingway

prev   -   next   -   home   -   no frames   -   frames

Last updated: June 20, 2024