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Cool Quotes - I

IRS


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.
Dave Barry

Idea


There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.
Author unidentified

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.
Robert Heinlein

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
Linus Pauling

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Albert Einstein

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.
F. A. Hayek (Attributed)

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.
John Maynard Keynes

It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.
John Maynard Keynes

Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.
Ken Hakuta

The communication of ideas requires a similitude of thought and language.
Edward Gibbon

Great ideas often look identical to stupid ones right up until the moment they work.
Scott Adams

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
H. L. Mencken

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.
Paul Johnson

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.)
Alain (Émile-Auguste Chartier)

As there are misanthropists or haters of men, so also are there misologists or haters of ideas.
Plato

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.
Walter Bagehot

There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.
P. W. Bridgman

Mr Kremlin himself was distinguished for ignorance, for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.
Benjamin Disraeli

Christianity is an idea, and as such is indestructible and immortal, like every idea.
Heinrich Heine

Ideal


I looked for great men, but all I found were the apes of their ideals.
F. W. Nietzsche

Idealist


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!
Eric Hoffer

The idealist is incorrigible: if he be thrown out of his Heaven he makes an ideal of his Hell.
F. W. Nietzsche

Identity


I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

Idiot


Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.
Flaubert

There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.
Scott Adams

Idleness


An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
Author unidentified

[There] is no class so dangerous as the idle educated.
Anthony Daniels

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.
Benjamin Franklin

Be always asham'd to catch thy self idle.
Author unidentified

Idleness is a dangerous breeding ground.
Winston Churchill

And in idleness there is loss and dire poverty, because idleness is the mother of famine.
Tobit 4:13

Be not solitary, be not idle.
Robert Burton

If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.
Samuel Johnson

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.
Samuel Johnson

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield

There is always a strong case for doing nothing, especially for doing nothing yourself.
Winston Churchill

It is indeed easy to conceive why any fashion should become popular, by which idleness is favoured, and imbecility assisted.
Samuel Johnson

Idleness is disgrace.
Hesiod

Man (doubtless) was not created to be an idle fellow; he was not set in this universal orchard to stand still as a tree.
Thomas Dekker

Without business, debauchery,
George Herbert

An idle man is a kind of monster in the creation. All nature is busy about him; every animal he sees reproaches him.
Joseph Addison

If the Devil find a man idle he'll set him to work.
James Kelly

When we do ill the Devil tempteth us; when we do nothing, we tempt him.
Thomas Fuller

Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.
Samuel Johnson

Absence of occupation is not rest,
A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
William Cowper

Idle people have the least leisure.
English Proverb

One monster there is in the world: the idle man.
Thomas Carlyle

An idle person has the Devil for a playfellow.
Arab Proverb

Doing nothing is doing ill.
Japanese Proverb

Idleness is the cause of all the vices. (Otia omnia vitia parit.)
Latin Proverb

I do nothing, granted. But I see the hours pass — which is better than trying to fill them.
E. M. Cioran

Of all the enemies of idleness, want is the most formidable.
Samuel Johnson

The gloomy and the resentful are always found among those who have nothing to do, or who do nothing. We must be busy about good or evil, and he to whom the present offers nothing will often be looking backward on the past.
Samuel Johnson

Idler


The Idler is naturally censorious; those who attempt nothing themselves, think every thing easily performed, and consider the unsuccessful always as criminal.
Samuel Johnson

Idolatry


All men are idolaters, some of fame, others of self-interest, most of pleasure.
Baltasar Gracián

Ignorance


If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! Why compound ignorance with inaudibility?
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
Mark Twain

You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
Will Rogers

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.
Mark Twain

Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance.
Saint Jerome

So long as the mother, Ignorance, lives, it is not safe for Science, the offspring, to divulge the hidden causes of things.
Johannes Kepler

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
Thomas Jefferson

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
J. W. Goethe

Ignorance is not innocence but sin.
Robert Browning

You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not rightly understand.
Leonardo da Vinci

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.
Michel de Montaigne

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.
Michel de Montaigne

Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune.
Nicholas Ling

It is often the greatest wisdom to be ignorant.
Baltasar Gracian

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.
John Selden

Where ignorance is bliss
'Tis folly to be wise.
Thomas Gray

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.
Samuel Johnson

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.
Samuel Johnson

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.
William Cobbett

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
Benjamin Disraeli

There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.
R. W. Emerson

To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.
Amos Bronson Alcott

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
Charles Darwin

Illness


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.
Edmund Burke

A long illness between life and death makes death a comfort both to those who die and to those who remain.
Jean de la Bruyère

Physical ills are the taxes laid upon this wretched life; some are taxed higher, and some lower, but all pay something.
Lord Chesterfield

My bedfellows are cough and cramp; we sleep three in a bed.
Charles Lamb

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.
Lord Byron

Imagination


Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Lewis Carroll

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Imagination labors best in distant fields.
Mark Twain

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.
Richard Feynman

Imagination is the eye of the soul.
Joseph Joubert

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.
John Ruskin

A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
Jane Austen

Imitation


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.
Edmund Burke

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.
Quintilian

We all learn easily to imitate what is base and depraved.
Juvenal

No man ever yet became great by imitation.
Samuel Johnson

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.
Joshua Reynolds

Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.
Charles Caleb Colton

Immigrant


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.
George Washington

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.
Democratic National Platform, 1892

Immigration


I think it [immigration] is the most important subject facing this country, but I cannot get any of my ministers to take any notice.
Winston Churchill

Immodesty


Immodest words admit of no defence,
For want of decency is want of sense.
Wentworth Dillon (Earl of Roscommon)

Immortality


I don't want to achieve immortality through my work … I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Susan Ertz

As all people feel they must die, each seeks immortality here on earth, that he may be had in everlasting remembrance.
Martin Luther

I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
H. L. Mencken

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.
Antiphanes

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.
Cicero

Without the hope of immortality no one would ever face death for his country.
Cicero

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.
Charles Wesley

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.
Samuel Johnson

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.
John Adams

The thought of life that ne'er shall cease
Has something in it like despair.
H. W. Longfellow

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!
Alfred Tennyson

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.
T. H. Huxley

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.
William Osler

The voice of Nature loudly cries,
And many a message from the skies,
That something in us never dies.
Robert Burns

Impartiality


I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire.
Winston Churchill

Impatience


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.
Samuel Johnson

The cat always catches the impatient mouse.
Moroccan Proverb

Impatience is incurable.
Welsh Proverb

Imperialism


[It] is impossible to reduce, or, at least, to hold a distant country against the wishes and efforts of its inhabitants.
Edward Gibbon

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?"
Rudyard Kipling

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.
Edward Gibbon

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.
Edmund Burke

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.
H. W. Beecher

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it.
Joseph Conrad

Impermanence


All your better deeds
Shall be in water writ
Beaumont and Fletcher

Imponderable


In politics the influence of imponderables is often greater than that of either military power or money.
Otto von Bismarck

Importance


I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

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.
Samuel Johnson

Impossible


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 …
Terry Pratchett

God does not ask the impossible.
Decrees of the Council of Trent

Impossibilities are all equal, and admit no degrees.
Robert Howard

It is not a lucky word, this impossible; no good comes of those that have it often in their mouth.
Thomas Carlyle

By asking for the impossible we obtain the best possible.
Italian Proverb

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Arthur C. Clarke

Impotence


Anxiety, n. The first time you can't do it a second time.

Panic, n. The second time you can't do it the first time.

Author unidentified

"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."

Joseph Heller

Improvement


To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.
Winston Churchill

Improvidence


[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.
Edward Gibbon

Impulse


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.
H. L. Mencken

Impulse manages everything badly.
Statius

Impunity


Impunity encourages worse offences. (Impunitas semper ad deteriora invitat.)
Legal Maxim

Inclination


You should know, O man, that the greatest enemy you have in the world is your inclination.
Bahya ibn Paquda

Income


There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.
Logan Pearsall Smith

This only grant me, that my means may lie
Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
Abraham Cowley

Incompetence


[Laurence J. Peter] has devoted his life to discovering remedies for incompetence.
Back Cover of "Peter's Quotations"

Inconvenience


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

Incurable


Past cure, past care.
Michel Drayton

Incuriosity


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.
Samuel Johnson

Indecision


I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.
Mark Twain

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.
Winston Churchill

Independence


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.
H. D. Thoreau

To be independent is the business of a few only; it is the privilege of the strong.
F. W. Nietzsche

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.
Albert Einstein

Index


If you don't find it in the Index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., Consumer Guide (1897)

India


India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.
Winston Churchill

Indian


I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.
Winston Churchill

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.
Samuel Hearne

Indictment


I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.
Edmund Burke

Indifference


I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Nothing is so fatal to Religion as indifference which is, at least, half Infidelity.
Edmund Burke

At length the morn and cold indifference came.
Nicholas Rowe

Individual


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.
Rudyard Kipling

Individualism


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.
Paul Johnson

Nature never rhymes her children, nor makes two men alike.
R. W. Emerson

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.
Herbert Hoover

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.
Albert Einstein

Individuality


Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.
John Stuart Mill

Indolence


Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

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.
La Rochefoucauld

The greater part of human misery is caused by indolence.
G. C. Lichtenberg

The love of indolence is universal, or next to it.
S. T. Coleridge

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.
Samuel Johnson

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.
Samuel Johnson

Industry


It is the fate of industry to be equally endangered by miscarriage and success, by confidence and despondency.
Samuel Johnson

Industry is fortune's right hand, and frugality her left.
John Ray

Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Benjamin Franklin

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.
Lord Chesterfield

If have great talents industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities industry will supply their deficiency.
Joshua Reynolds

Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.
H. W, Longfellow

In the ordinary business of life industry can do anything which genius can do, and very many things which it cannot.
H. W. Beecher

The most unskilful hand and unenlightened mind have sufficient incitements to industry; for he that is resolutely busy, can scarcely be in want.
Samuel Johnson

Inequality


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
Aristotle

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?
Samuel Johnson

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?
Mencius

Though all men were made of one metal, yet they were not cast all in the same mold.
Thomas Fuller

Inevitable


What will be, will be. (Che sarà, sarà.)
Italian Proverb

Infamy


He that could withstand conscience is frighted at infamy, and shame prevails when reason is defeated.
Samuel Johnson

Infatuation


Authors and lovers always suffer some infatuation, from which only absence can set them free.
Samuel Johnson

Infelicity


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.
Samuel Johnson

Infidel


There may be salvation for a virtuous infidel.
Joseph Addison

He is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject.
Samuel Johnson

Infidelity


Infidelity has emanated chiefly from the learned.
Emanuel Swedenborg

Infinite


If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake

Infinity


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.
Thomas Hobbes

Infirmity


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.
Samuel Johnson

To be sick, and to see nothing but sickness and death is but a gloomy state.
Samuel Johnson

Wherever I turn the dead or the dying meet my notice, and force my attention upon misery and mortality.
Samuel Johnson

Inflation


Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
Milton Friedman

Influence


Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
H. W. Longfellow

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.
H. W. Longfellow

Ingratitude


Most People return small Favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude.
Author unidentified

I hate ingratitude more in a man
Than lying, vainness, babbling drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood.
Shakespeare

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.
Samuel Johnson

The earth produces nothing worse than an ingrate.
Ausonius

This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart.
Shakespeare

We seldom find people ungrateful as long as we are in a condition to render them further services.
La Rochefoucauld

We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us.
Edmund Burke

Do no good — and you will suffer no ingratitude.
Arab Proverb

Do a man a good turn, and he'll never forgie you.
Scottish Proverb

Inheritance


I'll leave enough [money] for my kids to do anything but not enough to do nothing.
Dave Fishwick, paraphrased

We must recognise that we have a great treasure to guard; that the inheritance in our possession represents the prolonged achievement of the centuries.
Winston Churchill

Say not you know another entirely, till you have divided an inheritance with him.
Johann Kaspar Lavater

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.
Niccolò Machiavelli

Iniquity


For while we lived and committed iniquity we did not consider what we should suffer after death.
2 Esdras 7:126

Injunction


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.
Democratic National Platform, 1896

Injury


The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scales.
Aesop

It is better to suffer an injury than to do one.
Aesop

He who injured you was either stronger or weaker. If he was weaker, spare him; if he was stronger, spare yourself.
Seneca

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
Niccolò Machiavelli

An injury engraves itself on metal; a benefit is written on the waves.
Jean Bertaut

Injustice


People without much difficulty admit the entrance of that injustice of which they are not to be the immediate victims.
Edmund Burke

The hungry judges soon the sentence sign,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
Alexander Pope

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit injustices.
Voltaire

Whoever does injustice does injustice to himself, for to that extent he makes himself bad.
Marcus Aurelius

In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice.
Charles Dickens

Inn


If die I must, let me die drinking in an inn.
Walter Map

Innovation


Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.
Thomas Jefferson

Inquiry


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.
Samuel Johnson

Insanity


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.
Joseph Addison

In individuals, insanity is rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.
F. W. Nietzsche

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Inscription


In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
Samuel Johnson

Insincerity


No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Insomnia


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?
Shakespeare

He that thinks in his bed has a day without a night.
Scottish Proverb

Inspiration


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.
Stevie Smith

At Canterbury I hope the remembrance of Chaucer will set me forward like a billiard ball.
John Keats

Instigator


The instigator is more guilty than the doer. (Plus peccat auctor quam actor.)
Legal Maxim

Instinct


Let him make use of instinct who cannot make use of reason.
John Ray

As the intelligence improves, the instincts decay.
Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.
J. O. de la Mettrie

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.
R. W. Emerson

Institution


A man Caesar is born, and for ages after we have a Roman Empire. Christ is born, and millions of minds so grow and cleave to His genius, that He is confounded with virtue and the possible of man. An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man; as, Monachism, of the Hermit Antony; the Reformation, of Luther; Quakerism, of Fox; Methodism, of Wesley; Abolition, of Clarkson.
R. W. Emerson

Instruction


A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.
Cicero

Insufficiency


The good want power, but to weep barren tears.
The powerful goodness want: worse need for them.
The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom;
And all best things are thus confused with ill.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Insult


Thou hast added insult to injury.
Phaedrus

An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.
Lord Chesterfield

Insurrection


Insurrection, n. an unsuccessful revolution.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

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.
Winston Churchill

Integrity


Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Samuel Johnson

Integrity is praised, and starves.
Juvenal

Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets, and can be lost in a heartbeat.
Charlie Munger

Intellectual


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.
Paul Johnson

Nothing appeals to intellectuals more than the feeling that they represent "the people." Nothing, as a rule, is further from the truth.
Paul Johnson

We mustn't forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.
Saul Bellow

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.
Paul Johnson

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.
Paul Johnson

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?
Winston Churchill

Intelligence


Intelligence has much less practical application than you'd think.
Scott Adams

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

[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.
Samuel Johnson

Intemperance


It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke

Intention


To mean well is nothing without to do well.
Plautus

Interest


Intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you're really going to excel in it.
Charlie Munger

Interface


The only intuitive interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
Bruce Ediger

Internationalism


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.
Theodore Roosevelt

Internationalism is a luxury which only the upper classes can afford; the common people are hopelessly bound to their native shores.
Benito Mussolini

Internet


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.
Alberto Manguel

[On the Internet,] if you're not paying for the product, you are the product.
Author unidentified

Interruption


Don't interrupt me when I'm interrupting!
Winston Churchill

For sleep, health and wealth to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted.
Jean Paul Richter

Intolerance


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.
Paul Johnson

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.
G. C. Lichtenberg

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.
Walter Bagehot

Intoxication


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.
Martin Luther

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.
Martin Luther

Invention


The inventions dictated by necessity are older than those suggested by pleasure.
Cicero

Investment


Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.
Warren Buffett

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.
Hebrew Proverb

Ireland


In Ireland no man visits where he cannot drink.
Samuel Johnson

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.
Bede

Think — what I have got for Ireland? Something which she has wanted these past seven hundred years. Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this — early this morning I signed my death warrant. I thought at the time how odd, how ridiculous — a bullet may just as well have done the job five years ago.
Michael Collins, on signing the treaty establishing the Irish Free State

And then I prayed I yet might see
Our fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland, long a province, be
A Nation once again.
Thomas Davis

Irish


The Irish people do not gladly suffer common sense.
Oliver St. John Gogarty

We Irish are too poetical to be poets; we are a nation of brilliant failures, but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.
Oscar Wilde

It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.
Brendan Behan

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.
Barnabe Rich

The Irish are a fair people; they never speak well of one another.
Samuel Johnson

The Irish are irascible, prone to debt, and to fight, and very impatient of the restraints of law.
Sydney Smith

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.
G. K. Chesterton

Irresolution


[William Strunk Jr.] scorned the vague, the tame, the colorless, the irresolute. He felt it was worse to be irresolute than to be wrong.
E. B. White

Islam


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).
Mario Loyola

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.
Caled

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?
Matt Walsh

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.
Mark Twain

The kingdom of Mohammed is a kingdom of revenge, of wrath, and desolation.
Martin Luther

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.
Winston Churchill

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.
Winston Churchill

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.
Winston Churchill

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.
Winston Churchill

[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.
Edward Gibbon

Isolation


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.
H. L. Mencken

Israel


Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
Psalms 25:22

Italy


Italy is not technically part of the Third World, but no one has told the Italians.
P. J. O'Rourke

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Last updated: April 20, 2024