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Cool Quotes - G


I hold him but a fool that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not.


The emperor was probably born in the province of Galatia, whose inhabitants, the Gallo-Grecians, were supposed to unite the vices of a savage and a corrupted people.
Edward Gibbon


In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.
Edmund Burke, on the Revolution in France


No gambler was ever yet a happy man.
William Cobbett


There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.
Mark Twain

[Gambling is] the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.
George Washington

A man may shuffle cards, or rattle dice, from noon to midnight, without tracing any new idea in his mind, or being able to recollect the day by any other token than his gain or loss, and a confused remembrance of agitated passions, and clamorous altercations.
Samuel Johnson

Whoever finds himself inclined to anticipate futurity, and exalt possibility to certainty, should avoid every kind of casual adventure, since his grief must be always proportionate to his hope.
Samuel Johnson, on gambling

Rouse from this lazy dream of fortuitous riches, which, if obtained, you could scarcely have enjoyed, because they could confer no consciousness of desert; return to rational and manly industry, and consider the mere gift of luck as below the care of a wise man.
Samuel Johnson


Calm soul of all things! make it mine
To feel, amid the city's jar,
That there abides a peace of thine,
Man did not make, and cannot mar.
Matthew Arnold

God Almighty first planted a garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.
Francis Bacon

The works of a person that builds begin immediately to decay; while those of him who plants begin directly to improve. In this, planting promises a more lasting pleasure than building.
William Shenstone

Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps,
Perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvests reaps.
Bronson Alcott

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Frances Gurney


The Gauls were endowed with all the advantages of art and nature; but as they wanted courage to defend them, they were justly condemned to obey, and even to flatter, the victorious Barbarians, by whose clemency they held their precarious fortunes and their lives.
Edward Gibbon


Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Ambrose Bierce


A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible.

Adversity reveals the genius of a general; good fortune conceals it.

There is only one great general in a century.
Baltasar Gracian

The Creator has not thought proper to mark those in the forehead who are of stuff to make good generals. We are first, therefore, to seek them blindfold, and let them learn the trade at the expense of great losses.
Thomas Jefferson

A general who sees with the eyes of others will never be able to command an army as it should be.
Napoleon I

I do not deserve more than half credit for the battles I have won. Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.
Napoleon I

General Motors

General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a sprawling retirement home with a small money-losing auto subsidiary.
Mark Steyn


Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.
Niccolò Machiavelli

To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit—general knowledges are those knowledges that idiots possess.
William Blake


What is called generosity is usually only the vanity of giving; we enjoy the vanity more than the thing given.
La Rochefoucauld

Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity of a man. The fair sex, who have commonly much more tenderness than ours, have seldom so much generosity.
Adam Smith

It is easy to be generous with other people's property.
Latin Proverb


The academic imperialism of some social scientists prevented much serious work being done on the lines Darwin's discoveries had suggested: that minds and mental attitudes evolved like bodies, and that behaviour could be studied like other organic properties, by means of comparative genealogies and evolutionary analysis.
Paul Johnson


Every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead.
Robert S. Lynd

Talent is that which is in a man's power; genius is that in whose power a man is.
James Russell Lowell

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

Sometimes men come by the name of genius in the same way that certain insects come by the name of centipede—not because they have a hundred feet, but because most people can't count above fourteen.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I have nothing to declare except my genius.
Oscar Wilde, Remark at the New York Customs

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Edison

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
Oscar Wilde

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered—either by themselves or by others.
Mark Twain

In the faculty of writing nonsense, stupidity is no match for genius.
Walter Bagehot

The aspiring efforts of genius, or virtue, either in active or speculative life, are measured, not so much by their real elevation, as by the height to which they ascend above the level of their age and country; and the same stature, which in a people of giants would pass unnoticed, must appear conspicuous in a race of pygmies.
Edward Gibbon

These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed …. Great necessities call out great virtues.
Abigail Adams

A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
Samuel Johnson

Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
John Dryden

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Jonathan Swift

Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.
Comte de Buffon (George-Louis Leclerc)

Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it, but they labor in it because they excel.
William Hazlitt

Since when was genius found respectable?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning


I can make a lord, but only God Almighty can make a gentleman.
James I of England

A thief passes for a gentleman when stealing has made him rich.
Thomas Fuller

A gentleman is a man who can disagree without being disagreeable.
Author unidentified

A gentleman is a man who never strikes a woman without provocation.
Author unidentified


God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
Mark Twain


Let no one enter here who is ignorant of geometry.
Plato, inscription over the door of the Academy at Athens


It is of the essence of geopolitics to be able to distinguish between different degrees of evil.
Paul Johnson

George Washington

The Great Spirit protects that man [George Washington], and guides his destinies—he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire!
Unidentified Indian, c. 1770

He [George Washington] was not pious. He drank whiskey whenever he felt chilly, and kept a jug of it handy. He knew far more profanity than Scripture, and used and enjoyed it more. He had no belief in the infallible wisdom of the lower classes, but regarded them as inflammatory dolts, and tried to save the republic from them. He took no interest in the private morals of his neighbors.
H. L. Mencken

George Washington, Commander of the American armies, who, like Joshua of old, commanded the sun and the moon to stand still, and they obeyed him.
Benjamin Franklin

To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.
Henry [Light-Horse Harry] Lee


She had exactly the German way: whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of the Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
Mark Twain

Christianity has somewhat softened the brutal Germanic lust of battle, but could not destroy it.
Heinrich Heine

Members of the German race look upon beer drinking as an essential element in man's social and moral nature, and think everybody a Puritan or fanatic who holds different views.
J. E. Stebbins

We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world.
Otto von Bismarck

German Language

Life is too short to learn German.
Ascribed to Richard Porson


[The] ferocious Germans, who have so often attempted, and who will always desire, to exchange the solitude of their woods and morasses for the wealth and fertility of Gaul.
Edward Gibbon

Truly, we Germans are jolly fellows; we eat, and drink, and game at our ease.
Martin Luther

Tacitus wrote, that by the ancient Germans it was held no shame at all to drink and swill four and twenty hours together. A gentleman of the court asked: How long ago it was since Tacitus wrote this? He was answered, about fifteen hundred years. Whereupon the gentleman said: Forasmuch as drunkenness has been so ancient a custom, and of such a long descent, let us not abolish it.
Martin Luther


Germany would be much richer than she is, if such store of velvets and silks were not worn, nor so much spice used, or so much beer drunk.
Martin Luther

Things are so nice here [in Germany], but everything is verboten.
Unnamed Spaniard living in Germany


There is no people, rude or learned, among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed.
Samuel Johnson

And still it is undecided whether or not there has ever been an instance of the spirit of any person appearing after death. All argument is against it, but all belief is for it.
Samuel Johnson

How many children, and how many men, are afraid of ghosts, who are not afraid of God!
T. B. Macaulay


Never look a gift horse in the mouth. (Noli equi dentes inspicere donati.)
Saint Jerome

A gift much expected is paid, not given.
George Herbert


Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.
J. W. Goethe


I had no intention of giving her my vital statistics. "Let me put it this way," I said. "According to my girth, I should be a ninety-foot redwood."
Erma Bombeck


He giveth twice that giveth quickly.
Richard Taverner


A man of gladness seldom falls into madness.
John Ray


Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Napoleon Bonaparte

True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier for our living in it.
Pliny The Elder

Look back, and remember yourself to be but [a] man.

(Apparent derivations: "Remember that all glory is fleeting" and "Remember that thou art mortal")

Tertullian, Apology XXXIII

Cattle die, kinsmen die,
the self must also die;
but glory never dies,
for the man who is able to achieve it.

(Deyr fé, deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr et sama;
en oröstirr deyr aldrigi
hveims sér góðar getr.

Anonymous, Old Norse

To conquer without risk is to triumph without glory.
Pierre Corneille

It is the brave man's part to live with glory, or with glory die.

Glory comes too late when it comes only to our ashes.

How quickly passes away the glory of this world. (O quam cito transit gloria mundi.)
Thomas À Kempis

Glories, like glow-worms, afar off shine bright,
But look'd too near have neither heat nor light.
John Webster

I make no haste to have my numbers read.
Seldom comes glory till a man be dead.
Robert Herrick

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Thomas Gray

Before this time tomorrow I shall have gained a peerage or Westminster Abbey.
Horatio Nelson, before the Battle of the Nile

Avoid shame, but do not seek glory—nothing so expensive as glory.
Sydney Smith

When there is no peril in the fight, there is no glory in the triumph. (A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.)
Pierre Corneille


More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.
J. K. Galbraith

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.
Orson Welles

Gluttony hinders chastity.
Pope Xystus I

Gluttony slays more than the sword.
English Proverb

Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great.
Henry IV of France

One must eat to live, and not live to eat.

How hard is it to persuade the belly, that hath no ears?
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Gluttony is not a secret vice.
Orson Welles

The meal isn't over when I'm full. The meal is over when I hate myself.
Louis CK

A lot of slimmer people can't even fathom why fat people can't eat a normal portion-size, or why people eat when they're lonely, depressed, happy, anxious, bored, or celebrating Lincoln's mother's birthday.
Stephen Furst

For many years, I would eat and feel bad and guilty about it. And then drown my sorrows by eating again. Food was a comfort to me when I was depressed. I would eat to celebrate some good news. I would eat to drown my sorrow about bad news. … and more often than not, the bad food made me feel worse, which made me depressed, which made me want to eat [more].
Stephen Furst

I had a doctor tell me once that I was committing slow suicide [from overeating and diabetes].
Stephen Furst

… and, with the usual weakness of men so diseased, eagerly snatched that temporary relief with which the table and the bottle flatter and seduce.
Samuel Johnson, of William Collins

Their god is their stomach.
Philippians 3:19 (NIV)

They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing.

Do not be greedy for every delicacy, and do not eat without restraint; for overeating brings sickness, and gluttony leads to nausea.
Ecclesiasticus 37:29-30

Many have died of gluttony, but the one who guards against it prolongs his life.
Ecclesiasticus 37:31

He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach.

By suppers more have been killed than Galen ever cured.
George Herbert

I told him … that we ate when we were not hungry, and drank without the provocation of thirst.
Jonathan Swift

Gluttony is the sin of England.
Thomas Fuller

Formidable is the state of an intemperate man whose employment is the same with the work of the sheep or the calf, always to eat.
Jeremy Taylor

More die by food than famine.
Thomas Fuller

Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
Benjamin Franklin

All gentlemen and ladies eat too much. I made a calculation, and found I must have consumed some wagon-loads too much in the course of my life.
Sydney Smith

Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.
Peter De Vries


It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
Arnold Toynbee

The things that haven't been done before
Are the tasks worthwhile today;
Are you one of the flock that follows, or
Are you one that shall lead the way?
Are you one of the timid souls that quail
At the jeers of doubting crew,
Or dare you, whether you with or fail,
Strike out for a goal that's new?
Edgar Guest


God is subtle but he is not malicious.
Albert Einstein

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.
Robert Frost

And almost everyone when age,
Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.
Arthur Hugh Clough

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
Susan B. Anthony

God and Religion

During the past ten years I have stolen 75 Bibles, perhaps the national record.
H. L. Mencken, who regularly sent Bibles to his friends in Baltimore elegantly inscribed, "With the regards of the author"

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16

God uses lust to impel men to marry, ambition to office, avarice to earning, and fear to faith. God led me like an old blind goat.
Martin Luther

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.
Woody Allen

Creator—A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
H. L. Mencken

God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
Pablo Picasso

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Winston Churchill

Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The Devil always builds a chapel there,
And 'twill be found upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.
Daniel Defoe

God will forgive me, it is his business.
Heinrich Heine, last words

Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism.
Thomas Jefferson

It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
Mark Twain

A Christian is a man who feels repentance on a Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday.
Thomas R. Ybarra

There cannot be a God because, if there were one, I would not believe that I was not He.
Friedrich Nietzshe

When a pious visitor inquired sweetly, "Henry, have you made your peace with God?" [Thoreau] replied, "We have never quarreled."
Brooks Atkinson

Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:5

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.
Paul Tillich

There can be no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.
Niccolò Machiavelli

It is conceivable that religion may be morally useful without being intellectually sustainable.
John Stuart Mill

The saints are the sinners who keep on going.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.
G. K. Chesterton

Archbishop, n. A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
H. L. Mencken

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
H. L. Mencken

The god I believe in isn't short of cash.

Puritanism, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken

Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Repentance, n. The faithful attendant and follower of Punishment. It is usually manifest in a degree of reformation that is not inconsistent with continuity of sin.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind—that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
H. L. Mencken

To attempt to be religious without practicing a specific religion is as possible as attempting to speak without a specific language.
George Santayana

All great religions, in order to escape absurdity, have to admit a dilution of agnosticism. It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely.
H. L. Mencken

There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.
Mark Twain

Religious insanity is very common in the United States.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.
2 Samuel 22:2

You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
Nehemiah 9:17

Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.
Job 1:21

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
Psalm 14:1

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NASB)

The LORD is my strength and my shield.
Psalm 28:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
Psalm 111:10

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.
Psalm 118:22

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10,11

"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."
Isaiah 57:21

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Author unidentified

But to have avoided [all religious fads] has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
G. K. Chesterton

Samuel Johnson enjoined the preachers of his time not to inveigh against those who were absent from church on Sundays by scolding those who were not absent.
William F. Buckley

Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:13

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
Mark Twain

Do not let your deeds belie your words, lest when you speak in church someone may say to himself, "Why do you not practice what you preach?"
Saint Jerome

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. … The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."

Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

John 19:19,21-22

In the preceding volumes of this History, I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.
Edward Gibbon

[The] Christian clergy … has claimed, in every age, the privilege of dispensing honors, both on earth and in heaven.
Edward Gibbon

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4

It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
Deuteronomy 32:35

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:13

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:21

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 3:16,17

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:7

In the hands of a popular preacher, an earthquake is an engine of admirable effect.
Edward Gibbon

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8,9

[Ennodius] adds weight to the narrative of Procopius, though we may doubt whether the devil actually contrived the siege of Pavia, to distress the bishop and his flock.
Edward Gibbon

Six years [after Severinus's death], his body, which scattered miracles as it passed, was transported by his disciples into Italy.
Edward Gibbon

[The Ascetics] seriously renounced the business, and the pleasures, of the age; abjured the use of wine, of flesh, and of marriage; chastised their body, mortified their affections, and embraced a life of misery, as the price of eternal happiness.
Edward Gibbon

A sanguinary and covetous mind is not the symptom of a sincere conversion [to Christianity]: let [Clovis, King of the Franks,] show his faith by his works.
Gundobald, King of the Bugundians

But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:68

The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity.
Edward Gibbon

[The] enthusiast who entered the dome of St. Sophia might be tempted to suppose that it was the residence, or even the workmanship, of the Deity. Yet how dull is the artifice, how insignificant is the labor, if it be compared with the formation of the vilest insect that crawls upon the surface of the temple!
Edward Gibbon

The Gothic arms were less fatal to the schools of Athens than the establishment of a new religion, whose ministers superseded the exercise of reason, resolved every question by an article of faith, and condemned the infidel or skeptic to eternal flames.
Edward Gibbon

[The Catholic church's] jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored.
Edward Gibbon

If a Christian power had been maintained in Arabia, [Muhammad] must have been crushed in his cradle, and Abyssinia would have prevented a revolution which has changed the civil and religious state of the world.
Edward Gibbon

[And] the ambiguous word [of God], which contains the precept of Christ [concerning divorce], is flexible to any interpretation that the wisdom of a legislator can demand.
Edward Gibbon

I know but of one religion in which the god and the victim [sacrifice] are the same.
Edward Gibbon

Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.
The Simpsons

Justinian might have learned, "that religious controversy is the offspring of arrogance and folly; that true piety is most laudably expressed by silence and submission; that man, ignorant of his own nature, should not presume to scrutinize the nature of his God; and that it is sufficient for us to know, that power and benevolence are the perfect attributes of the Deity."
Edward Gibbon, quoting Procopius

[Justinian] piously labored to establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith.
Edward Gibbon

[The] province which had been ruined by the bigotry of Justinian, was the same through which the [Muslims] penetrated into the empire.
Edward Gibbon

The desire of gaining souls for God and subjects for the church, has excited in every age the diligence of the Christian priests.
Edward Gibbon

[The Armenians] have often preferred the crown of martyrdom to the white turban of [Muhammad].
Edward Gibbon

If there is no God, everything is permitted.

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington

[The] fond alliance of the monks and females obtained a final victory over the reason and authority of man.
Edward Gibbon

[Muhammad], with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome.
Edward Gibbon

The most rational of the Arabs acknowledged [God's] power, though they neglected his worship.
Edward Gibbon

The moral attributes of Jehovah may not easily be reconciled with the standard of human virtue.
Edward Gibbon

A prophet may reveal the secrets of heaven and of futurity; but in his moral precepts he can only repeat the lessons of our own hearts.
Edward Gibbon

[Muhammad] has not specified the male companions of the female elect, lest he should either alarm the jealousy of their former husbands, or disturb their felicity, by the suspicion of an everlasting marriage.
Edward Gibbon

In the opinion of the [Saracens], the difference of religion is a reasonable ground of enmity and warfare.
Edward Gibbon

[The Arabs'] rapacious spirit was approved and animated by the precepts of the Koran.
Edward Gibbon

The successors of St. Peter appear to have followed, rather than guided, the impulse of manners and prejudice; without much foresight of the seasons, or cultivation of the soil, they gathered the ripe and spontaneous fruits of the superstition of the times.
Edward Gibbon

Utopian desires are part of the human condition, and the craving to create a heaven on earth is the inevitable consequence of a godless society.
Jonah Goldberg

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
Psalms 130:1

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
C. S. Lewis

Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
Martin Luther

I've been pope for nearly two years, a bishop for over twenty years, but for me the most important thing is still the fact that I am a priest.
Pope John Paul II

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson

Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.
Numbers 15:38-40

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:18

Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
Haggai 1:5-6

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

St. Paul, Galatians 5:19-23

A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
Deuteronomy 22:5

Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we render to him, is doing Good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this.
Benjamin Franklin

God helps those who help themselves.
Algernon Sidney

Think of three Things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.
Author unidentified

Many Princes sin with David, but few repent with him.
Author unidentified

Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden but it is forbidden because it's hurtful.
Author unidentified

If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.
Woody Allen

God is not dead but alive and working on a much less ambitious project.
Author unidentified

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa [Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault].
The Roman Missal, Confession of Sins

There is nothing to be feared but our own sin and sloth.
Oliver Cromwell

But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Exodus 21:23-25

What hath God wrought!
Numbers 23:23 (KJV)

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

If any man hopes to do a deed without God's knowledge, he errs.

It seems curious that personages intimately connected with the Holy Family always lived in grottoes—in Nazareth, in Bethlehem, in imperial Ephesus—and yet nobody else in their day and generation thought of doing any thing of the kind.
Mark Twain

When the Virgin fled from Herod's wrath, she hid in a grotto in Bethlehem, and the same is there to this day. The slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem was done in a grotto; the Saviour was born in a grotto—both are shown to pilgrims yet. It is exceedingly strange that these tremendous events all happened in grottoes—and exceedingly fortunate, likewise, because the strongest houses must crumble to ruin in time, but a grotto in the living rock will last forever.
Mark Twain

The world owes the Catholics its good will even for the happy rascality of hewing out these bogus grottoes in the rock; for it is infinitely more satisfactory to look at a grotto, where people have faithfully believed for centuries that the Virgin once lived, than to have to imagine a dwelling-place for her somewhere, any where, nowhere, loose and at large all over this town of Nazareth.
Mark Twain

History is full of this old Church of the Holy Sepulchre—full of blood that was shed because of the respect and the veneration in which men held the last resting-place of the meek and lowly, the mild and gentle, Prince of Peace!
Mark Twain

America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it's all right to keep asking if we're on His side.
Ronald Reagan

I thank you, living and enduring King, for you have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is your faithfulness.
Modeh Ani prayer

How few of the evils of life can justly be ascribed to God.
Samuel Johnson

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.
G. K. Chesterton

The response to religion-induced evil must therefore be religion-induced goodness, not no religion. There is no exclusively secular route to a good world.
Dennis Prager

In religion, as in politics, when there is no competition, there is corruption and intolerance.
Dennis Prager

What is hateful to you, do not do to others. This is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; now go and study.
Rabbi Hillel, when asked to summarize Judaism

For a religious service is an extraordinary occasion when men and women come together for the sole purpose of honoring God, measuring themselves, not by the standards of success or failure, but by the yardstick of eternity.
Paul Johnson

If someone asks me, "Does it make sense to pray to a God in whom I do not believe?" I answer, "Yes, indeed it does." It is a matter not of intellectual theory but of simply turning in the right direction, a plea for help.
Paul Johnson

When you expel the priest, you do not inaugurate the age of reason—you get the witch doctor.
Paul Johnson

While writing Modern Times, I formed the unshakable conviction that man without God is a doomed creature. The history of the 20th century proves the view that as the vision of God fades, we first become mere clever monkeys; then we exterminate one another.
Paul Johnson

She somewhat disqualified herself for the duties of this life, by her perpetual aspirations after the next.
Samuel Johnson

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14

Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.
Genesis 9:6

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.
Mark 12:17

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Therefore, they that are rich, must yield a strict and great account; for to whom much is given, of him much will be required.
Martin Luther

If Moses had continued to work his miracles in Egypt but two or three years, the people would have become accustomed thereto, and heedless, as we who are accustomed to the sun and moon, hold them in no esteem.
Martin Luther

We ought not to criticize, explain, or judge the Scriptures by our mere reason, but diligently, with prayer, meditate thereon, and seek their meaning.
Martin Luther

The name Absalom, signifies father of peace. Such fair and glorious colors do the ungodly ever bear in this world, while in truth and deed they are condemners, scoffers, and rebels to the Word of God.
Martin Luther

God is not an angry God; if he were so, we were all utterly lost and undone.
Martin Luther

For God judges not according to outward works or kind of life, as men do, but views the heart; he judges hypocrites whom the church can neither judge nor punish; the church judges not what is hidden and invisible.
Martin Luther

The more we have the more we want. To serve God is for every one to remain in his vocation and calling, be it ever so mean and simple.
Martin Luther

Everyone ought to worship God according to his own inclinations, and not to be constrained by force.
Flavius Josephus

Man proposes, but God disposes.
Thomas à Kempis

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
Martin Luther

God’s mill grinds slow, but sure.
George Herbert

Claire: How do you know you're... God?
Earl of Gurney: Simple. When I pray to Him I find I'm talking to myself.
Peter Barnes

We can know what God is not, but we cannot know what He is.
St. Augustine

My reason tells me that God exists, but it also tells me that I can never know what he is.

It is the fool that saith in his heart there is no God. But what shall we call the man who tells us that with this sort of a world God bids us be content?
Henry George

To search for God and to find the Devil—that is what happened to me.
August Strindberg

God is slow in paying, but He always pays.
Dutch Proverb

He who leaves God out of his reckoning does not know how to count.
Italian Proverb

There are three things that only God knows: the beginning of things, the cause of things, and the end of things.
Welsh Proverb

Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1:18

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Isaiah 6:8

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
Isaiah 40:21

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.
Matthew 16:23

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Matthew 18:20

The God business is really quite simple. No sane man denies that the universe presents phenomena quite beyond human understanding, and so it is a fair assumption that they are directed by some understanding that is superhuman. But that is as far as sound thought can go. All religions pretend to go further. That is, they pretend to explain the unknowable …. Anyone who pretends to say what God wants or doesn’t want, and what the whole show is about, is simply an ass.
H. L. Mencken

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire.
Jonathan Edwards

And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."

But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?"

Luke 12:19-20

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Luke 14:11

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:31

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James 1:19-20

'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Revelation 21:4

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Matthew 10:30

From all evil and mischief; from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation, Good Lord, deliver us.
The Book of Common Prayer

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalms 116:8-9

If Jesus Christ were to come to-day, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.
Thomas Carlyle

As to Jesus of Nazareth, I think His system of morals and His religion, as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is like to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to His divinity.
Benjamin Franklin

Jesus astonishes and overpowers sensual people. They cannot unite Him to history or reconcile Him with themselves.
R. W. Emerson

Between 'God exists' and 'There is no God' lies a whole enormous field which a true sage has great difficulty in crossing. But a Russian knows only one of these two extremes and the middle between them doesn't interest him, which is why he knows nothing or very little … A good man's indifference is as good as any religion.
Anton Chekhov

Take short views, hope for the best, and trust in God.
Sydney Smith

If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.
Jewish Proverb

But if we bear continually in mind our relation to the Father of Being, by whom we are placed in the world, and who has allotted us the part which we are to bear in the general system of life, we shall be easily persuaded to resign our own inclinations to Unerring Wisdom, and do the work decreed for us with cheerfulness and diligence.
Samuel Johnson

I would rather believe that God did not exist than believe that He was indifferent.
George Sand

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
St Francis of Assisi


As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.

We serve the gods—whatever the gods may be.

In the history of the world there will not again be any man, never so great, whom his fellow-men will take for a god.
Thomas Carlyle

Two thousand years have come and gone—and not a single new god!
F. W. Nietzsche

There are some gods who abandon men; they are the gods who know men.
Japanese Proverb


Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.
Acts 3:6

Gold gives to even the ugliest a certain pleasing charm.
J. B. Molière

O cursed lust of gold! when, for thy sake,
The fool throws up his interest in both worlds;
First starved in this, then damned in that to come.
Robert Blair

The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless!
The last corruption of degenerate man.
Samuel Johnson

Like liberty, gold never stays where it is undervalued.
J. S. Morrill

Where gold is, there the Devil is.
German Proverb

It is observed of gold, by an old epigrammatist, that "To have it is to be in fear, and to want it is to be in sorrow."
Samuel Johnson

Golden Rule

I must always act in such a way that I can at the same time will that the maxim by which I act should become a universal law.
Immanuel Kant

Our conscience teaches us it is right, our reason teaches us it is useful, that men should live according to the Golden Rule.
W. Winwood Reade

He has observed the golden rule
Till he's become the golden fool.
William Blake


Golf is like a love affair: if you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.
Arnold Daly

The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.
Sam Snead

Golf is a good walk spoiled.
Mark Twain

You have to understand, I don't play golf for fun. It's my business. When the mailman starts delivering mail on his off day, that's when I'll start playing golf for the hell of it.
Lee Trevino

Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
Dave Barry


It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing—I used to be a good boy.
Mark Twain

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

The things which … are esteemed as the greatest good of all … can be reduced to these three headings: to wit, Riches, Fame, and Pleasure. With these three the mind is so engrossed that it cannot scarcely think of any other good.
John Locke

——How few
Know their own good; or, knowing it, pursue!
How void of reason are our hopes and fears!

(——Pauci dignoscere possunt
Vera bona, atque illis multum diversa, remotâ
Erroris nebula.

John Dryden, based on Juvenal

It is not goodness to be better than the worst.

A good man doubles the length of his existence. To have lived so as to look back with pleasure on life is to have lived twice.

Goodness and greatness go not always together.
John Clarke

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Be good, and you will be lonesome.
Mark Twain

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
John Wesley

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:9-10

They're only truly great who are truly good.
George Chapman

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
Charles Lamb

No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good.
Mandell Creighton

Good and Bad

None are known to be good until they have opportunity to be bad.
Benjamin Whichcote

He that is good will infallibly become better, and he that is bad will as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue, and time are three things that never stand still.
C. C. Colton

The usual choice is not between the good and the bad but between the bad and the worse.
French Proverb

Good and Evil

It is a public scandal that gives offense and it is no sin to sin in secret.

The world is a dangerous place to live—not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Albert Einstein

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

The word 'good' has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.
G. K. Chesterton

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Brooks Thomas

If I knew … that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
Henry David Thoreau

No man deserves to be praised for his goodness unless he has the strength of character to be wicked. All other goodness is generally nothing but indolence or impotence of will.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

My only policy is to profess evil and do good.
George Bernard Shaw

He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars;
General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer:
For art and science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars.
William Blake

If your morals make you dreary, depend on it they are wrong.
Robert Louis Stevenson

One murder makes a villain, millions a hero.
Bishop Beilby Porteus

Cruelties should be committed all at once.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
Albert Camus

The wicked man flees though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1

Of course heaven forbids certain pleasures, but one finds means of compromise.

Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us in consequence.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Don't worry about avoiding temptation—as you grow older, it starts avoiding you.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.
Ann Frank

For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Romans 7:19

Beware the fury of a patient man.
John Dryden

It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
H. L. Mencken

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
Mae West

I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
Margaret Thatcher

To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he is doing is good.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun.
P. J. O'Rourke

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund Burke

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
William Shakespeare

You have a choice in life very often whether you do good or you feel good.
Dennis Prager

It is not up to you to finish the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.
Rabbi Tarfon

Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Genesis 3:5

Every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.
Genesis 8:21

I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
Blaise Pascal

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Blaise Pascal

Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil.
G. K. Chesterton

Those who are kind to the cruel end up being cruel to the kind.
Kohelet Rabbah 7:16

And it is said of the greatest liar, that he tells more truth than falsehood; so it may be said of the worst man, that he does more good than evil.
Samuel Johnson

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to the good.
Edmund Burke

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20

It will never be possible to get rid of evil altogether, for there must always be something opposite to good.

Whoever imitates evil always goes beyond the example; whoever imitates good always falls short.
Francesco Guicciardini

We often do good in order that we may do evil with impunity.
La Rochefoucauld

Good and bad men are each less so than they seem.
S. T. Coleridge

He who does no good does evil enough.
R. C. Trench (Archbishop of Dublin)

Being against evil doesn't make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself.
Ernest Hemingway

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.
J. R. R. Tolkien


Nothing is rarer than true good nature; they who are reputed to have it are generally only pliant or weak.
La Rochefoucauld


The gospel belongs to the poor and sorrowful, and not to you princes, great persons and courtiers that live in continual joy and delight, in secureness, void of all tribulation.
Martin Luther


The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.
German Proverb

Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you.
Spanish Proverb

Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them.
Louis B. Nizer

There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
Oscar Wilde

Gossip [is] the sewer of malice and envy.
Richard Brookhiser

Hear no ill of a Friend, nor speak any of an Enemy.
Author unidentified

Gossip … trades in half-truth, exaggeration and downright falsehood, and it arouses some of our worst instincts: lack of charity and malice, Schadenfreude, a sneaking desire that calamity should strike those who are richer and more famous than us, and not least a propensity to pry into other people's private lives.
Paul Johnson

Have you heard something? Let it die with you. Be brave, it will not make you burst!
Ecclesiasticus 19:10

The wise man indulges himself not in gossip with women, not even his own wife.
The Talmud

Gossiping and lying go together.
Thomas Fuller

If what we see is doubtful, how can we believe what is spoken behind the back?
Chinese Proverb

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.
Henry Fielding

Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it: it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.
George Eliot

I believe they talked of me, for they laughed consumedly.
George Farquhar

The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.
Will Rogers


A gourmet is just a glutton with brains.
Phillip W. Haberman, Jr.

Gourmets dig their graves with their teeth.
French Proverb


What a very singular disease gout is! It seems as if the stomach fell down into the feet. The smallest deviation from right diet is immediately punished by limping and lameness, and the innocent ankle and blameless instep are tortured for the vices of the nobler organs.
Sydney Smith


A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw

I would rather be governed by the first three hundred names in the Boston telephone book than by the faculty of Harvard University.
William F. Buckley

The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away.
John S. Caldwell

No man should be in public office who can't make more money in private life.
Thomas E. Dewey

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
Will Rogers

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
Barry Goldwater

The state, it cannot too often be repeated, does nothing, and can give nothing, which it does not take from somebody.
George Henry

How can you govern a country with two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?
Charles de Gaulle

The supply of government exceeds the demand.
Lewis H. Lapham

Every nation has the government it deserves.
Joseph Marie de Maistre

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
H. L. Mencken

Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.
Orson Welles

The federal government has three duties. Print the money, deliver the mail, and declare war.
Florence King

There is very little to admire in bureaucracy, but you have got to hand it to the Internal Revenue Service.
James L. Rogers

No class of Americans, so far as I know, has ever objected … to any amount of governmental meddling if it appeared to benefit that particular class.
Carl Becker

Any doctrine that … weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action … helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
John Dewey

Today's rebel is tomorrow's tyrant.
Will and Ariel Durant

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
Oscar Ameringer

Why should any country continue, forever, to be "great"?
William F. Buckley

That government is best which governs least.
John Louis O’Sullivan

The wrong sort of people are always in power because they would not be in power if they were not the wrong sort of people.
Jon Wynne-Tyson

Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.
Calvin Coolidge

The office of President is such a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy, that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
Jimmy Breslin

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow

I have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it.
Abraham Lincoln

In all my years of public life I have never obstructed justice … Your President is no crook!
Richard M. Nixon

In America any boy may become President and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes.
Adlai Stevenson

What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.
Friedrich Hayek

Who shall guard the guardians themselves? (quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)

It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.
Niccolò Machiavelli

There is a homely adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
Theodore Roosevelt

Democracy, with its promise of international peace, has been no better guarantee against war than the old dynastic rule of kings.
Jan C. Smuts

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Will Rogers

This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish in Great Britain at the same time.
Aneurin Bevan

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
Milton Friedman

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers

At a banquet Caligula was suddenly seized with a fit of helpless laughter. The consuls reclining next to him asked if they might share in the imperial merriment. Caligula, wiping the tears from his eyes, managed to gasp, "You'll never guess! It suddenly occurred to me that I had only to give a single nod, and both your throats would be cut on the spot."

The Labour Party Marxists see the consequences of their own folly all around them and call it the collapse of capitalism.
Jon Akass

The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.
Linda Bowles

Everybody has asked the question … "What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!
Frederick Douglass

In all sorts of government man is made to believe himself free, and to be in chains.
Stanislaus Leszcynski

[Government] is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting the population for the benefit of its own members.
H. L. Mencken

When a private citizen is robbed, a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed, the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before.
H. L. Mencken

The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse—that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.
H. L. Mencken

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war on liberty, and that the democratic government is at least as bad as any of the other forms.
H. L. Mencken

The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.
H. L. Mencken

Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
Ayn Rand

Only government can cause inflation, preserve monopoly, and punish enterprise.
William F. Buckley

You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.
Mario Cuomo

The most valuable function performed by the federal government is entertainment.
Dave Barry

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
P. J. O'Rourke

[Government's modus operandi:] If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan

The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. How far that, or any other, consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice, is a doctrine of which I still desire to remain ignorant.
Edward Gibbon, regarding the duplicitous Roman massacre of unarmed Goths

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

[We] hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

He [is] the worst governor who [cannot] govern himself.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

Governors ought to gain nothing by their governments but honor.
Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato)

But the desire of obtaining the advantages, and of escaping the burdens, of political society, is a perpetual and inexhaustible source of discord.
Edward Gibbon

[The one in authority] does not bear the sword for nothing.
St. Paul, Romans 13:4

[The] Roman government appeared every day less formidable to its enemies, more odious and oppressive to its subjects.
Edward Gibbon

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George Washington

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
Mark Twain

The whole idea of government is this: if enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.
P. J. O'Rourke

Government conspiracy? They can't even deliver our mail and it's got our address on it and everything!
P. J. O'Rourke

Government subsidies can be critically analyzed according to a simple principle: You are smarter than the government, so when the government pays you to do something you wouldn't do on your own, it is almost always paying you to do something stupid.
P. J. O'Rourke

For the people in government … Washington is an early-rising, hard-working city. It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.
P. J. O'Rourke

Bureaucrats want bigger bureaus. Special interests are interested in whatever [is] special to them. These two groups bring great pressure to bear upon politicians who have another agenda yet: to cater to the temporary whims and fads of the public and the press.
P. J. O'Rourke

When a private entity does not produce the desired results, it [is] done away with. But a public entity gets bigger.
P. J. O'Rourke

The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.
Frank Herbert

Expanded unemployment benefits … expand unemployment.
Author unidentified

[East Germans] were brought up to identify totally with the state; they may be slow to realize the extent to which they were victimized by the state.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Attributed)

The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.
H. L. Mencken

Government doesn't solve problems; it subsidizes them.
Ronald Reagan

Public spending expands to absorb all available tax revenues. … Public borrowing expands to absorb all available means of finance.
Lewis E. Lehrman & John D. Mueller (variation on Parkinson's Law)

[The government is] now in a position to do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression of the 1930s—use a crisis of the times to create new institutions that will last for generations. To this day, we are still subsidizing millionaires in agriculture because farmers were having a tough time in the 1930s.
Thomas Sowell

If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.
Friedrich von Hayek

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
P. J. O'Rourke

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
James Madison

We have far more to fear from swift than from torpid government.
George F. Will

Take any three letters from the alphabet, put them in any order you want, and you will have an acronym designating a federal agency we could do without.
Milton Friedman (Attributed)

The history of the human race is one long story of attempts by certain persons and classes to obtain control of the power of the State, so as to win earthly gratifications at the expense of others.
William Graham Sumner

[The] State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man.
William Graham Sumner

The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.
Abraham Lincoln

Big government makes small citizens.
Mark Steyn

The societies of antiquity were frequently destroyed by the growth of the state and its parasites. The process continues to our own day, changing only its outward form. It is one of the central themes of Smith's The Wealth of Nations that private individuals create wealth, and governments consume it. The more the government consumes, the less the private sector has to invest; so wealth accumulates more slowly, or not at all, or even declines.
Paul Johnson

Nothing is more senseless than to base so many expectations on the state, that is, to assume the existence of collective wisdom and foresight after taking for granted the existence of individual imbecility and improvidence.
Frédéric Bastiat

Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of [Muslim] rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound.
Mark Twain

A man's admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
Alexis de Tocqueville

With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
Thomas Jefferson

[Food activists] like to talk about market failures but are apparently blind to the abundance of government failures. If the process is so corruptible by corporate interests and mega farms, as they claim it is, then Uncle Sam is incapable of working in our food interests, and all the preaching of hope and change is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Jayson Lusk

The great scandal of American life is that we pay for German levels of government without enjoying the related benefits.
Kevin D. Williamson

If we'd had government on [today's] scale in the 1840s, the stagecoaches would have hired lobbyists to get a bill passed that railroads could not travel faster than a horse because it would be an unfair competitive advantage.
Newt Gingrich

As a broad generalization, big businesses have no moral objections to being whores. Getting into bed with Uncle Sam is all a question of price, not principle.
Jonah Goldberg

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
Everett Dirksen

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.
Winston Churchill

We are slipping towards a Leviathan state, in which organised force, violence or compulsion is the prime determinant of politics.
Paul Johnson

We must always remember that, as Americans, we all have a common enemy —an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government.
Dave Barry

When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.
Niccolò Machiavelli

It was observed that men had ungovernable passions, which made it necessary to guard against the violence they might offer to each other. They appointed governors over them for this reason! But a worse and more perplexing difficulty arises, how to be defended against the governors? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? In vain they change from a single person to a few. These few have the passions of the one; and they unite to strengthen themselves, and to secure the gratification of their lawless passions at the expense of the general good. In vain do we fly to the many. The case is worse; their passions are less under the government of reason, they are augmented by the contagion, and defended against all attacks by their multitude.
Edmund Burke

Kings are ambitious; the nobility haughty; and the populace tumultuous and ungovernable. … The government is, one day, arbitrary power in a single person; another, a juggling confederacy of a few to cheat the prince and enslave the people; and the third, a frantic and unmanageable democracy.
Edmund Burke

Consider the ravages committed in the bowels of all commonwealths by ambition, by avarice, envy, fraud, open injustice, and pretended friendship; vices which could draw little support from a state of nature, but which blossom and flourish in the rankness of political society.
Edmund Burke

People must be governed in a manner agreeable to their temper and disposition; and men of free character and spirit must be ruled with, at least, some condescension to this spirit and this character.
Edmund Burke

All government—indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act—is founded on compromise and barter.
Edmund Burke

Fear is the foundation of most governments.
John Adams

[The War Office kept three sets of figures:] one to mislead the public, another to mislead the Cabinet, and the third to mislead itself.
Herbert Asquith

Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.
H. L. Mencken

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. Mencken

No government is ever really in favor of so-called civil rights. It always tries to whittle them down.
H. L. Mencken

Government, like any other organism, refuses to acquiesce in its own extinction. This refusal, of course, involves the resistance to any effort to diminish its powers and prerogatives. There has been no organized effort to keep government down since Jefferson's day. Ever since then the American people have been bolstering up its powers and giving it more and more jurisdiction over their affairs. They pay for that folly in increased taxes and diminished liberties. No government as such is ever in favor of the freedom of the individual. It invariably seeks to limit that freedom, if not by overt denial, then by seeking constantly to widen its own functions.
H. L. Mencken

In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country, badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.

Monarchy degenerates into tyranny, aristocracy into oligarchy, and democracy into savage violence and anarchy.

A good government produces citizens distinguished for courage, love of justice, and every other good quality; a bad government makes them cowardly, rapacious, and the slaves of every foul desire.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

In a change of government, the poor seldom change anything except the name of their master.

All well-governed states and wise princes have taken care not to reduce the nobility to despair, nor the people to discontent.
Niccolò Machiavelli

I will govern according to the common weal, but not according to the common will.
James I of England

You do not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed. (An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur.)
Bishop Axel Oxen-Stjerna (Ascribed)

The great and chief end of men, putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.
John Locke

No system of government was ever so ill devised that, under proper men, it wouldn't work well enough.
William Penn

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.
David Hume

When a government lasts a long while it deteriorates by insensible degrees.
C. L. de Montesquieu

Republics end through luxury; monarchies through poverty.
C. L. de Montesquieu

The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
C. L. de Montesquieu

In every government, though terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain,
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! Still to ourselves in every place consign’d,
Our own felicity we make or find.
Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Johnson

Tis a political maxim that all government tends to despotism, and like the human frame brings at its birth the latent seed which finally shall destroy the constitution. This is a melancholy truth—but such is the lot of humanity.
Josiah Quincy, Jr.

The operations of government have little influence upon the private happiness of private men.
Samuel Johnson

Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.
Alexander Hamilton

Government can have no more than two legitimate purposes the suppression of injustice against individuals within the community, and the common defense against external invasion.
William Godwin

Government is, abstractedly taken, an evil, a usurpation upon the private judgment and individual conscience of mankind.
William Godwin

While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill—little better understood, little better practised now than three or four thousand years ago.
John Adams

No government can be maintained without the principle of fear as well as of duty. Good men will obey the last, but bad ones the former only. If our government ever fails it will be from this weakness.
Thomas Jefferson

Governments connive at many things which they ought to correct, and correct many things at which they ought to connive.
C. C. Colton

Government must be framed for man as he is, and not for man as he should be if he were free from vice.
James Kent

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to the other.

The necessity for external government to man is in an inverse ratio to the vigor of his self-government. Where the last is most complete, the first is least wanted. Hence, the more virtue the more liberty.
S. T. Coleridge

Whatever government is not a government of laws is a despotism, let it be called what it may.
Daniel Webster

The object of the state is always the same: to limit the individual, to tame him, to subordinate him, to subjugate him.
Max Stirner

The best government is that in which the law speaks instead of the lawyer.
M. L. Byrn

Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?
Abraham Lincoln

Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.
Lyof N. Tolstoy

The firm basis of government is justice, not pity.
Woodrow Wilson

In relation to society and government it may be repeated that new ideas are rare; in regard to the latter, perhaps not more than two really large and new ideas have been developed in as many millenniums.
H. C. Lodge

The cost of government will continue to increase, I care not what party is in power.
Reed Smoot

The government is mainly an expensive organization to regulate evildoers, and tax those who behave: government does little for fairly respectable people except annoy them.
E. W. Howe

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent.
Mr. Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Today the nations of the world may be divided into two classes—the nations in which the government fears the people, and the nations in which the people fear the government.
Amos R. E. Pinchot

Fire, water and government know nothing of mercy.
Albanian Proverb

Only fools are glad when governments change.
Romanian Proverb

Governments create nothing and have nothing to give but what they have first taken away—you may put money in the pockets of one set of Englishmen, but it will be money taken from the pockets of another set of Englishmen, and the greater part will be spilled on the way. Every vote given for Protection is a vote to give Governments the right of robbing Peter to pay Paul and charging the public a handsome commission on the job.
Winston Churchill

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
Bertolt Brecht

There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.
Andrew Jackson

A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged.
William Henry Harrison

The transportation bill had over $5 billion worth of special local projects and favors attached to it, lamprey-like, by various congresspersons. But this is good, because these projects will CREATE JOBS. See, when the GOVERNMENT spends money, it creates jobs; whereas when the money is left in the hands of TAXPAYERS, God only knows what they do with it. Bake it into pies, probably. Anything to avoid creating jobs.
Dave Barry

Within these limits the power vested in the American courts of justice of pronouncing a statute to be unconstitutional forms one of the most powerful barriers that have ever been devised against the tyranny of political assemblies.
Alexis de Tocqueville

"A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.
Abraham Lincoln

While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.
Abraham Lincoln

There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself.
P. J. O'Rourke

Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.
P. J. O'Rourke

Remember, FDA employees are serious about fear. We pay these people to panic about an iota of rodent hair in our chili, even when the recipe calls for it. FDA employees are first-class agonizers, world champions at losing sleep.
P. J. O'Rourke

When a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state … This violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.
P. J. O'Rourke

Our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a Government of laws and not of men.
Gerald Ford

Thank heavens we do not get all of the government that we are made to pay for.
Milton Friedman

Never believe governments, not any of them, not a word they say; keep an untrusting eye on all they do.
Martha Gellhorn

In corrupted governments the place is given for the sake of the man; in good ones the man is chosen for the sake of the place.
Lord Halifax

The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel, and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education.
John Ruskin

His [Senator Byrd's] career has become a caricature of a particularly crass and cynical theory of representation. The theory is that election to Congress is tantamount to being dispatched to Washington on a looting raid for the enrichment of your state or district, and no other ethic need inhibit the feeding frenzy.
George F. Will

The Government, of course, commonly leaks classified documents when it deems publication convenient to manipulate public opinion to its advantage. Only the Government, it seems, has a legal right to manipulate opinion with hot documents.
Russell Baker

Government Ownership

I do not believe in government ownership or anything which can with propriety be left in private hands, and in particular I should most strenuously object to government ownership of railroads.
Theodore Roosevelt


The custom of saying grace at meals had, probably, its origin in the early times of the world, and the hunter-state of man, when dinners were precarious things, and a full meal was something more than a common blessing; when a bellyful was a windfall, and looked like a special providence.
Charles Lamb


They're celebrating you graduating from eighth grade? We just went to your sixth-grade graduation two goddamned years ago! Jesus Christ, why don't they just throw a fucking party every time you properly wipe your ass?
Samuel Halpern


A man's grammar, like Caesar's wife, must not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.
E. A. Poe

Morals and manners will rise or decline with our attention to grammar.
Jason Chamberlain

The English speaking world may be divided into (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; (2) those who do not know, but care very much; (3) those who know and condemn; (4) those who know and approve; and (5) those who know and distinguish. Those who neither know nor care are the vast majority and are a happy folk, to be envied by most of the minority classes.
H. W. Fowler


Saving only the doctors, there are none more stupid than the grammarians.

Grammarians dispute, and the question is still undecided.


A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is, any more than he.
Walt Whitman


He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestow should never remember it.
Pierre Charron

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Eric Hoffer

[Where] gratitude is felt, resentment can never be very far behind.
James W. Ceaser

[The] act of gratitude nowadays is probably more often neglected than overdone.
William F. Buckley

God, Parents, and Instructors, can never be requited.
Author unidentified

He is Governor that governs his Passions, and he a Servant that serves them.
Author unidentified

Lend Money to an Enemy, and thou'lt gain him, to a Friend and thou'lt lose him.
Author unidentified

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.
Samuel Johnson

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.
Samuel Johnson

Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.
H. W. Beecher

One can put some trust in the gratitude of a sovereign, and also in that of his family; under certain conditions, one can even rely upon it; but one can never expect anything from the gratitude of a nation.
Otto von Bismarck

Gratitude preserves auld friendships and begets new.
Scottish Proverb

If the means of thy support in life be measured out scantily to thee, remember that thou hast to be thankful and grateful even for the mere privilege to breathe, and that thou must look upon that suffering as a test of thy piety and a preparation for better things.
Eleazar of Worms


Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
Benjamin Franklin

[They] were leveled in the grave.
Edward Gibbon

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
R. L. Stevenson

What a jolly life a corpse must lead
In the grave so calm and cool,
Scorning the trifles that mortals most heed
And pitying the sage and fool.
Author unidentified

… the grave continues to be filled by the victims of sorrow.
Samuel Johnson


I will gradually drop this subject of graveyards. I have been trying all I could to get down to the sentimental part of it, but I cannot accomplish it. I think there is no genuinely sentimental part to it. It is all grotesque, ghastly, horrible.
Mark Twain

Gray Hair

Gray hairs are death's blossoms.
English Proverb

Gray hair is a sign of age, not of wisdom.
Greek Proverb


A great ship asks deep water.
George Herbert

The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor the great scholars great men.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I'm against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.
Robert Frost

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

But be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.

He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

Idleness, women, disorder, a foolish partiality for one's own native place, discontent and timidity are six obstructions to greatness.
The Hitopadesa

The nearer we come to great men the more clearly we see that they are only men. They rarely seem great to their valets.
Jean de la Bruyère

It is dangerous for mean minds to venture themselves within the sphere of greatness. Stupidity is soon blinded by the splendour of wealth, and cowardice is easily fettered in the shackles of dependence.
Samuel Johnson

If I am a great man, then all great men are frauds.
Andrew Bonar Law

To be great is to be misunderstood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great powers cannot be exerted, but when great exigencies make them necessary. Great exigencies can happen but seldom, and, therefore, those qualities which have a claim to the veneration of mankind, lie hid, for the most part, like subterranean treasures, over which the foot passes as on common ground, till necessity breaks open the golden cavern.
Samuel Johnson


Greece is a bleak, unsmiling desert, without agriculture, manufactures or commerce, apparently. What supports its poverty-stricken people or its Government, is a mystery.
Mark Twain


Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."
Luke 12:15


I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts. (Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.)


Grief is the agony of an instant, the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.
Benjamin Disraeli

Well, everyone can master a grief but he that has it.
William Shakespeare

Many long for the day when they will be over their grief, as if it's something we can recover from. In reality we don't recover. We grieve for the rest of our lives when we lose a loved one. In the years to come, it doesn't hurt less, just less often.
David Kessler

The business of life summons us away from useless grief …. There is no wisdom in useless and hopeless sorrow.
Samuel Johnson

I know that such a loss [death of a child] is a laceration of the mind. I know that the whole system of hopes, and designs, and expectations is swept away at once, and nothing left but bottomless vacuity.
Samuel Johnson

Cry when you have to, laugh when you can.
Author unidentified

Do not give your heart to grief; drive it away, and remember your own end. Do not forget, there is no coming back; you do the dead no good, and you injure yourself. Remember his fate, for yours is like it; yesterday it was his, and today it is yours.
Ecclesiasticus 38:20-22

The person who grieves, suffers his passion to grow upon him; he indulges it, he loves it; but this never happens in the case of actual pain, which no man ever willingly endured for any considerable time.
Edmund Burke

Patch griefs with proverbs.

What’s gone and what’s past help
Should be past grief.

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.
Samuel Johnson

My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.
Psalms 31:10

Grief is a tree that has tears for its fruit.
Philemon: Fragment, c. 300 B.C.

Grief conquers the unconquered man.

That is a light grief which can take counsel.

Mighty griefs are dumb.
Samuel Daniel

Alas, I am nothing but a multitude
Of walking griefs.
Beaumont and Fletcher

I ran from grief; grief ran and overtook me.
Beaumont and Fletcher

No day passeth without some grief.
John Ray

The only cure for grief is action.
G. H. Lewes

The more you grieve the greater your loss.
Persian Proverb

The doctor came and gave her pills and medicines. She'd take them and become calmer, but her grief just collected under the drugs like a thrombosis.
Seamus Deane

Ah woe is me!
Winter is come and gone,
But grief returns with the revolving year.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

The blameless life, the artless tenderness, the pious simplicity, the modest resignation, the patient sickness, and the quiet death, are remembered only to add value to the loss, to aggravate regret for what cannot be amended, to deepen sorrow for what cannot be recalled.
Samuel Johnson

I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

In all the silent manliness of grief.
Oliver Goldsmith


There is nothing perhaps so generally consoling to a man as a well-established grievance; a feeling of having been injured, on which his mind can brood.
Anthony Trollope


The groves were God’s first temples.
William Cullen Bryant


Growth [is] the only evidence of life.
John Henry Cardinal Newman


Unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.

No one can be so welcome a guest that he will not annoy his host after three days.

The greater the kindness of my host, the greater my anxiety not to impose on it.

After three days men grow weary of a wench, a guest, and rainy weather.
Benjamin Franklin

The master of the house is the servant of the guest.
Persian Proverb

Hail, guest, we ask not what thou art;
If friend, we greet thee, hand and heart;
If stranger, such no longer be;
If foe, our love shall conquer thee.
Welsh Rhyme


[The] guillotine … served as it were to terminate awkward arguments in a thoroughly rationalistic manner.
Paul Johnson

My machine [the guillotine] will take off a head in a twinkling, and the victim will feel nothing but a sense of refreshing coolness. We cannot make too much haste, gentlemen, to allow the nation to enjoy this advantage.
J. I. Guillotin


The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
William Shakespeare

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can.
Jane Austen

Alas! how difficult it is not to betray guilt by our countenance!

Nobody becomes guilty by fate.

In former days, everyone found the assumption of innocence so easy; today we find fatally easy the assumption of guilt.
Amanda Cross


You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.
Al Capone


If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.
Edward Gibbon

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Last updated: June 20, 2024