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Cool Quotes - I
I'm sure that this year we'll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.
If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it if you do. Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait.
The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Society's course will be changed only by a change in ideas. First you must reach the intellectuals, the teachers and writers, with reasoned argument. It will be their influence on society which will prevail, and the politicians will follow.
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.
Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.
The communication of ideas requires a similitude of thought and language …
Great ideas often look identical to stupid ones right up until the moment they work.
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you have only one idea. (Rien n'est plus dangereux qu'une idée, quand on n'a qu'une idée.)
As there are misanthropists or haters of men, so also are there misologists or haters of ideas.
One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.
There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.
I looked for great men, but all I found were the apes of their ideals.
The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power. How naive the cliche that money is the root of evil!
The idealist is incorrigible: if he be thrown out of his Heaven he makes an ideal of his Hell.
I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.
Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.
There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.
An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
[There] is no class so dangerous as the idle educated.
But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing.
Be always asham'd to catch thy self idle.
Idleness is a dangerous breeding ground.
And in idleness there is loss and dire poverty, because idleness is the mother of famine.
Be not solitary, be not idle.
If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.
It is certain that any wild wish or vain imagination never takes such firm possession of the mind, as when it is found empty and unoccupied.
Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.
There is always a strong case for doing nothing, especially for doing nothing yourself.
It is indeed easy to conceive why any fashion should become popular, by which idleness is favoured, and imbecility assisted …
Idleness is disgrace.
Man (doubtless) was not created to be an idle fellow; he was not set in this universal orchard to stand still as a tree.
Without business, debauchery,
An idle man is a kind of monster in the creation. All nature is busy about him; every animal he sees reproaches him.
If the Devil find a man idle he'll set him to work.
When we do ill the Devil tempteth us; when we do nothing, we tempt him.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.
Absence of occupation is not rest,
A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
Idle people have the least leisure.
One monster there is in the world: the idle man.
An idle person has the Devil for a playfellow.
Doing nothing is doing ill.
Idleness is the cause of all the vices. (Otia omnia vitia parit.)
All men are idolaters, some of fame, others of self-interest, most of pleasure.
If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! Why compound ignorance with inaudibility?
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.
Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance.
So long as the mother, Ignorance, lives, it is not safe for Science, the offspring, to divulge the hidden causes of things.
Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
Ignorance is not innocence but sin.
You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not rightly understand.
There is an abecedarian ignorance that precedes knowledge, and a doctoral ignorance that comes after it; an ignorance which ( knowledge creates and begets, as she dispatches and destroys the first.
Many abuses are engendered into the world; or, to speak more boldly, all the abuses of the world are engendered upon this, that we are taught to fear to make profession of our I ignorance, and are bound to accept and allow all that we cannot refute.
Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune.
It is often the greatest wisdom to be ignorant.
Ignorance of the law excuses no man: not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse everyone will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.
Where ignorance is bliss
'Tis folly to be wise.
Ignorance is mere privation by which nothing can be produced: it is a vacuity in which the soul sits motionless and torpid for want of attraction; and, without knowing why, we always rejoice when we learn, and grieve when we forget.
Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
A plowman is not an ignorant man because he does not know how to read; if he knows how to plow he is not to be called an ignorant man.
To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.
The storm has gone over me and I lie like one of those old oaks which the late hurricane has scattered about me. I am stripped of all my honours, I am torn up by the roots, and lie prostrate on the earth.
A long illness between life and death makes death a comfort both to those who die and to those who remain.
Physical ills are the taxes laid upon this wretched life; some are taxed higher, and some lower, but all pay something.
My bedfellows are cough and cramp; we sleep three in a bed.
It is not in the storm nor in the strife
We feel benumbed, and wish to be no more,
But in the after-silence on the shore,
When all is lost, except a little life.
Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Imagination labors best in distant fields.
Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.
Imagination is the eye of the soul.
The virtue of the imagination is its reaching, by intuition and intensity of gaze (not by reasoning, but by its authoritative opening and revealing power), a more essential truth than is seen at the surface of things.
It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.
A great part of art consists in imitation. For the whole conduct of life is based on this: that what we admire in others we want to do ourselves.
We all learn easily to imitate what is base and depraved.
No man ever yet became great by imitation.
He who confines himself to the imitation of an individual, as he never proposes to surpass, so he is not likely to equal, the object of his imitation. He professes only to follow; and he that follows must necessarily be behind.
My opinion with respect to immigration is that, except of useful mechanics and some particular descriptions of men or professions, there is no need of encouragement, while the policy or advantage of its taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the language, habits and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them.
We heartily approve all legitimate efforts to prevent the United States from being used as the dumping ground for the known criminals and professional paupers of Europe.
I think it [immigration] is the most important subject facing this country, but I cannot get any of my ministers to take any notice.
Immodest words admit of no defence,
For want of decency is want of sense.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work … I want to achieve it through not dying.
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
As all people feel they must die, each seeks immortality here on earth, that he may be had in everlasting remembrance.
I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
Let us not lament too much the passing of our friends. They are not dead, but simply gone before us along the road which all must travel.
If I err in my belief that the souls of men are immortal, I err gladly, and I do not wish to lose so delightful an error.
Without the hope of immortality no one would ever face death for his country.
This day, which thou fearest as thy last, is the birthday of eternity.
As shipwrecked mariners desire
With eager grasp to reach the shore,
As hirelings long to obtain their hire,
And veterans wish their warfare o'er,
I languish from this earth to flee,
And gasp for immortality.
The belief of immortality is impressed upon all men, and all men act under an impression of it, however they may talk, and though, perhaps, they may be scarcely sensible of it.
I cannot conceive that [God] could make such a species as the human merely to live and die on this earth. If I did not believe in a future state, I should believe in no God.
The thought of life that ne'er shall cease
Has something in it like despair.
Ah, Christ, that it were possible
For one short hour to see
The souls we loved, that they might tell us
What and where they be!
I neither deny nor affirm the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing in it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it.
The desire for immortality seems never to have had a very strong hold upon mankind, and the belief is less widely held than is usually stated.
The voice of Nature loudly cries,
And many a message from the skies,
That something in us never dies.
I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire.
In all evils which admit a remedy, impatience is to be avoided, because it wastes that time and attention in complaints, that, if properly applied, might remove the cause …
The cat always catches the impatient mouse.
Impatience is incurable.
[It] is impossible to reduce, or, at least, to hold a distant country against the wishes and efforts of its inhabitants.
Take up the White Man's burden —
The savage wars of peace —
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hope to nought.
Take up the White Man's burden —
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard —
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light: —
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"
There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign nations, in opposition to their inclination and interest.
The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.
The great nations, like lions roused from their lairs, are roaring and springing upon the prey, and the little nations, like packs of hungry wolves, are standing by, licking their jaws, and waiting for their share of the spoils.
All your better deeds
Shall be in water writ
In politics the influence of imponderables is often greater than that of either military power or money.
I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.
It was, perhaps, ordained by Providence, to hinder us from tyrannizing over one another, that no individual should be of such importance, as to cause, by his retirement or death, any chasm in the world.
The way to deal with an impossible task was to chop it down into a number of merely very difficult tasks, and break each one of them into a group of horribly hard tasks, and each of them into tricky jobs, and each of them …
God does not ask the impossible.
Impossibilities are all equal, and admit no degrees.
It is not a lucky word, this impossible; no good comes of those that have it often in their mouth.
By asking for the impossible we obtain the best possible.
. The first time you can't do it a second time.
Panic, n. The second time you can't do it the first time.
"Hasn't it ever occurred to you that in your promiscuous pursuit of women you are merely trying to assuage your subconscious fears of sexual impotence?"
"Yes, sir, it has."
"Then why do you do it?"
"To assuage my fears of sexual impotence."
To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.
[The Goths'] poverty was incurable; since the most liberal donatives were soon dissipated in wasteful luxury, and the most fertile estates became barren in their hands …
A man who has throttled a bad impulse has at least some consolation in his agonies, but a man who has throttled a good one is in a bad way indeed.
Impulse manages everything badly.
Impunity encourages worse offences. (Impunitas semper ad deteriora invitat.)
You should know, O man, that the greatest enemy you have in the world is your inclination.
There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.
[Laurence J. Peter] has devoted his life to discovering remedies for incompetence …
Past cure, past care.
There are, indeed, beings in the form of men, who appear satisfied with their intellectual possessions, and seem to live without desire of enlarging their conceptions; before whom the world passes without notice, and who are equally unmoved by nature or by art.
I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.
Anyone can see what the position is. The Government simply cannot make up their mind, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.
I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. … If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.
To be independent is the business of a few only; it is the privilege of the strong.
If you don't find it in the Index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue.
India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.
I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.
Ask a Northern Indian what is beauty, and he will answer: a broad, flat face; small eyes, high cheek-bones, three or four broad black lines across each cheek; a low forehead, a large, broad chin; a clumsy hook nose, a tawny hide, and breasts hanging down to the belt.
I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.
I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion.
Nothing is so fatal to Religion as indifference which is, at least, half Infidelity.
At length the morn and cold indifference came.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
The real antithesis to National Socialism was individualism, a society where private arrangements took priority over public, where the family was the favoured social unit and where the voluntary principle was paramount. A society in which the family, as opposed to the political party and the ideological programme, was the starting-point for reconstruction, was the answer to totalitarian evil.
Nature never rhymes her children, nor makes two men alike.
When the war closed … we were challenged with a peacetime choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of … paternalism and State Socialism.
Any power must be the enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by terror and force, whether it arises under a Fascist or Communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual.
Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
Of all our faults, that which we most readily admit is indolence. We persuade ourselves that it cherishes all the peaceful virtues; and that, without entirely destroying the others, it merely suspends their functions.
The greater part of human misery is caused by indolence.
The love of indolence is universal, or next to it.
Indolence is therefore one of the vices from which those whom it once infects are seldom reformed. Every other species of luxury operates upon some appetite that is quickly satiated, and requires some concurrence of art or accident which every place will not supply; but the desire of ease acts equally at all hours, and the longer it is indulged is the more increased.
To do nothing is in every man's power; we can never want an opportunity of omitting duties. The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible, because it is only a mere cessation of activity; but the return to diligence is difficult, because it implies a change from rest to motion, from privation to reality …
It is the fate of industry to be equally endangered by miscarriage and success, by confidence and despondency.
Industry is fortune's right hand, and frugality her left.
Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, or procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
If have great talents industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities industry will supply their deficiency.
Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.
In the ordinary business of life industry can do anything which genius can do, and very many things which it cannot.
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
Sir, your levelers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear leveling up to themselves. They would all have some people under them; why not then have some people above them?
It is the nature of things to be unequal. One is worth twice, or five times, or ten, or a hundred, or a thousand, or ten thousand times as much as another. To think of them as equal is to upset the whole scheme of things. Who would make shoes if big ones were of the same price as small ones?
Though all men were made of one metal, yet they were not cast all in the same mold.
What will be, will be. (Che sarà, sarà.)
He that could withstand conscience is frighted at infamy, and shame prevails when reason is defeated.
Infelicity is involved in corporeal nature, and interwoven with our being; all attempts therefore to decline it wholly are useless and vain: the armies of pain send their arrows against us on every side, the choice is only between those which are more or less sharp, or tinged with poison of greater or less malignity; and the strongest armour which reason can supply, will only blunt their points, but cannot repel them.
There may be salvation for a virtuous infidel.
He is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject.
Infidelity has emanated chiefly from the learned.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
Whatsoever we imagine is finite. Therefore, there is no idea, or conception of any thing we call infinite. No man can have in his mind an image of infinite magnitude; nor conceive infinite swiftness, infinite time, infinite force, or infinite power. When we say anything is infinite, we signify only that we are not able to conceive the ends and bounds of the thing named; having no conception of the thing, but of our own inability.
I have struggled through this year with so much infirmity of body and such strong impressions of the fragility of life, that death, wherever it appears, fills me with melancholy.
To be sick, and to see nothing but sickness and death is but a gloomy state.
… wherever I turn the dead or the dying meet my notice, and force my attention upon misery and mortality.
Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I know not where
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
Most People return small Favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude.
I hate ingratitude more in a man
Than lying, vainness, babbling drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood.
No depravity of the mind has been more frequently or justly censured than ingratitude. There is indeed sufficient reason for looking on those that can return evil for good, and repay kindness and assistance with hatred or neglect, as corrupted beyond the common degrees of wickedness …
The earth produces nothing worse than an ingrate.
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart.
We seldom find people ungrateful as long as we are in a condition to render them further services.
We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us.
Do no good — and you will suffer no ingratitude.
Do a man a good turn, and he'll never forgie you.
I'll leave enough [money] for my kids to do anything but not enough to do nothing.
We must recognise that we have a great treasure to guard; that the inheritance in our possession represents the prolonged achievement of the centuries …
Say not you know another entirely, till you have divided an inheritance with him.
A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.
For while we lived and committed iniquity we did not consider what we should suffer after death.
We object to government by injunction as a new and highly dangerous form of oppression by which Federal judges, in contempt of the laws of the states and rights of citizens, become at once legislators, judges, and executioners.
The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scales.
It is better to suffer an injury than to do one.
He who injured you was either stronger or weaker. If he was weaker, spare him; if he was stronger, spare yourself.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
An injury engraves itself on metal; a benefit is written on the waves.
People without much difficulty admit the entrance of that injustice of which they are not to be the immediate victims.
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit injustices.
Whoever does injustice does injustice to himself, for to that extent he makes himself bad.
If die I must, let me die drinking in an inn.
Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.
It is impossible to determine the limits of inquiry, or to foresee what consequences a new discovery may produce. He who suffers not his faculties to lie torpid, has a chance, whatever be his employment, of doing good to his fellow creatures.
There is not a sight in nature so mortifying as that of a distracted person, when his imagination is troubled, and his whole soul disordered and confused. Babylon in ruins is not so melancholy a spectacle.
In individuals, insanity is rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.
In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
He that thinks in his bed has a day without a night.
Why does my Muse only speak when she is unhappy?
She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy
When I am happy I live and despise writing
For my Muse this cannot but be dispiriting.
At Canterbury I hope the remembrance of Chaucer will set me forward like a billiard ball.
The instigator is more guilty than the doer. (Plus peccat auctor quam actor.)
Let him make use of instinct who cannot make use of reason.
As the intelligence improves, the instincts decay.
Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.
All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man; as, the Reformation, of Luther; Quakerism, of Fox; Methodism, of Wesley, Abolition, of Clarkson.
A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.
Thou hast added insult to injury.
An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.
Insurrection, n. an unsuccessful revolution.
Men who take up arms against the State must expect at any moment to be fired upon. Men who take up arms unlawfully cannot expect that the troops will wait until they are quite ready to begin the conflict.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Integrity is praised, and starves.
Now it is a characteristic of such intellectuals that they see no incongruity in moving from their own discipline, where they are acknowledged masters, to public affairs, where they might be supposed to have no more right to a hearing than anyone else.
Nothing appeals to intellectuals more than the feeling that they represent "the people." Nothing, as a rule, is further from the truth.
We mustn't forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.
It is further evidence of the curious paradox that intellectuals, who ought to teach men and women to trust their reason, usually encourage them to follow their emotions; and, instead of urging debate and reconciliation on humanity, all too often spur it towards the arbitration of force.
Taken as a group, they [intellectuals] are often ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value. That is what makes them, en masse, so dangerous, for it enables them to create climates of opinion and prevailing orthodoxies, which themselves often generate irrational and destructive courses of action.
Our [English] difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias?
Intelligence has much less practical application than you'd think.
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
[S]uch is the delight of mental superiority, that none on whom nature or study have conferred it, would purchase the gifts of fortune by its loss.
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
To mean well is nothing without to do well.
The only intuitive interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife.
Internationalism is a luxury which only the upper classes can afford; the common people are hopelessly bound to their native shores.
If the Library of Alexandria was the emblem of our ambition of omniscience, the Web is the emblem of our ambition of omnipresence; the library that contained everything has become the library that contains anything.
[On the Internet,] if you're not paying for the product, you are the product.
Don't interrupt me when I'm interrupting!
For sleep, health and wealth to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted.
The study of history suggests that the sum total of intolerance in society does not vary much. What changes is the object against which it is directed. Those who shape the conventional wisdom at the top are always anxious to censor unorthodoxy, thus demonstrating their power and consolidating their grip.
Undoubtedly a certain amount of truth, and hence a certain utility, lies at the bottom of religious intolerance. Our philosophers talk of it as if it could be reasoned away, but that it assuredly cannot be.
So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise, and their conscience that it is wrong.
It has been asked: Is an offence, committed in a moment of intoxication, therefore excusable? Most assuredly not; on the contrary, drunkenness aggravates the fault.
Hidden sins unveil themselves when a man's self-possession goes from him; that which the sober man keeps in his breast, the drunken man lets out at the lips.
The inventions dictated by necessity are older than those suggested by pleasure.
Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.
Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business, and a third let him keep by him in reserve.
… in Ireland no man visits where he cannot drink.
No reptiles are found there [in Ireland], and no snake can live there; for, though often carried thither out of Britain, as soon as the ship comes near the shore, and the scent of the air reaches them, they die.
The Irish people do not gladly suffer common sense.
We Irish are too poetical to be poets; we are a nation of brilliant failures, but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.
It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.
This savage manner of incivility amongst the Irish is bred in the bone; they have it by nature, and so I think of their inhuman cruelty, that are so apt to run into rebellion, and so ready to attempt any other kind of mischief.
The Irish are a fair people; they never speak well of one another.
The Irish are irascible, prone to debt, and to fight, and very impatient of the restraints of law.
[William Strunk Jr.] scorned the vague, the tame, the colorless, the irresolute. He felt it was worse to be irresolute than to be wrong.
The Koran divides the world into two parts: the House of Islam (the part of the world controlled by Muslims) and the House of War (that part not yet controlled by Muslims).
Ye Christian dogs, you know your option; the Koran, the tribute, or the sword. We are a people whose delight is in war, rather than in peace; and we despise your pitiful alms, since we shall be speedily masters of your wealth, your families, and your persons.
Taken literally, Islamophobia means 'fear of Islam.' OK, well, there are many Muslims who have gone to great lengths to convince us to fear it. So what if I finally oblige them?
Mosques are plenty [in Istanbul], churches are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but morals and whiskey are scarce. The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to drink. Their natural instincts do not permit them to be moral.
The kingdom of Mohammed is a kingdom of revenge, of wrath, and desolation.
That religion [Islam], which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword — the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men — stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism.
But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! … Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
[On the possibility of an Arab victory at Poitiers:] Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.
I yield so easily, not because I am not intensely interested, but because I long since came to the conclusion that it is wholly impossible for one human being to understand another's point of view. Each of us is eternally isolated.
Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
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Last updated: December 10, 2023