prev   -   next   -   home   -   no frames   -   frames

Cool Quotes - L


In a state of nature, it is an invariable law, that a man's acquisitions are in proportion to his labours.
Edmund Burke

The labor we delight in physics (alleviates) pain.


But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
George Orwell

I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.
Samuel Johnson

Language [is] the leading principle which unites or separates the tribes of mankind …
Edward Gibbon

[Greek is] doubtless the most perfect [language] that has been contrived by the art of man.
Edward Gibbon

Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.
Mark Twain

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
George Orwell

[Greek is] a musical and prolific language, that gives a soul to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of philosophy.
Edward Gibbon

He [Churchill] mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.
Edward R. Murrow

Don't swear, boy. It shows a lack of vocabulary.
Alan Bennett

If Miss means respectably unmarried, and Mrs respectably married, then Ms means nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Angela Carter

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.
Mark Twain

Waiting for the German verb is surely the ultimate thrill.
Flann O'Brien

When I survey the Plan [of a Dictionary of the English Language] which I have laid before you, I cannot, my Lord, but confess, that I am frightened at its extent, and, like the soldiers of Cæsar, look on Britain as a new world, which it is almost madness to invade. But I hope, that though I should not complete the conquest, I shall at least discover the coast, civilize part of the inhabitants, and make it easy for some other adventurer to proceed farther, to reduce them wholly to subjection, and settle them under laws.
Samuel Johnson

For language is the framework of reason; unless it is ordered and related to truth, reason cannot express itself.
Paul Johnson

A man who deliberately inflicts violence on the language will almost certainly inflict violence on human beings if he acquires the power. Those who treasure the meaning of words will treasure truth, and those who bend words to their purposes are very likely in pursuit of anti-social ones.
Paul Johnson

… we are trying to unravel the Mighty Infinite using a language which was designed to tell one another where the fresh fruit was.
Terry Pratchett

Last Words

Let us cross over the river and sit under the shade of the trees.
T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson, last words, 1863.


But let me laugh awhile, I've mickle time to grieve.
John Keats

Life does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw

I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilised music in the world.
Peter Ustinov

If we may believe our logicians, man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter.
Joseph Addison


When I came back to Dublin I was court-martialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in by absence.
Brendan Behan

Justice delayed is justice denied.
William Ewart Gladstone

This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Courtroom, n. A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be equals, with betting odds in favor of Judas.
H. L. Mencken

The people can change Congress but only God can change the Supreme Court.
George W. Norris

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Robert Frost

… mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent …
Adam Smith

I am further of opinion that it would be better for us to have [no laws] at all than to have them in so prodigious numbers as we have.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judiciary to say what the law is, not what the law should be.
Author unidentified

[Whenever] the offense inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigor of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.
Edward Gibbon

[The] operation of the wisest laws is imperfect and precarious. They seldom inspire virtue, they cannot always restrain vice.
Edward Gibbon

There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
Alexis de Tocqueville

But the wisdom and authority of the legislator are seldom victorious in a contest with the vigilant dexterity of private interest.
Edward Gibbon

Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.
Otto von Bismarck

[It] is the interest as well as duty of a sovereign to maintain the authority of the laws.
Edward Gibbon

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.
Thomas B. Reed

A Locrian, who proposed any new law, stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled.
Edward Gibbon

A jurisdiction thus vague and arbitrary was exposed to the most dangerous abuse: the substance, as well as the form, of justice were often sacrificed to the prejudices of virtue, the bias of laudable affection, and the grosser seductions of interest or resentment.
Edward Gibbon

With the utmost deference for these excellent civilians, I cannot but consider this confusion of the judicial and legislative authority as a very perilous constitutional precedent.
Rev. H. H. Milman

The science of the laws is the slow growth of time and experience …
Edward Gibbon

The books of jurisprudence were interesting to few, and entertaining to none: their value was connected with present use, and they sunk forever as soon as that use was superseded by the innovations of fashion, superior merit, or public authority.
Edward Gibbon

Whatever is secret must be doubtful, and our natural horror of vice may be abused as an engine of tyranny.
Attributed by Gibbon to Montesquieu

A sentence of death and infamy was often founded on the slight and suspicious evidence of a child or a servant: the guilt [of the defendant] was presumed by the judges [due to the nature of the charge], and paederasty became the crime of those to whom no crime could be imputed.
Edward Gibbon

[The] discretion of the judge is the first engine of tyranny …
Edward Gibbon

But a law, however venerable be the sanction, cannot suddenly transform the temper of the times …
Edward Gibbon

[A] thousand quarrels must arise under a law, and among men, whose sole umpire [is] the sword.
Edward Gibbon

Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.
Bertrand Russell

The law functions as formal embodiment of a moral code, not as free-standing substitute for it.
Mark Steyn

To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Author unidentified

Others are hardened, obstinate, stiff-necked, rebel-hearted; these must be affrighted by the law, by examples of God's wrath: as the fires of Elijah, the deluge, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the downfall of Jerusalem.
Martin Luther

People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.
Edmund Burke

In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.
Abigail Adams

We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.

It is the function of a judge not to make but to declare the law, according to the golden mete-wand of the law and not by the crooked cord of discretion.
Edmund Burke

Written laws are like spiders' webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.

Wherever Law ends,
Tyranny begins.
John Locke

The strange American ardor for passing laws, the insane belief in regulation and punishment, plays into the hands of the reformers, most of them quacks themselves. Their efforts, even when honest, seldom accomplish any appreciable good.
H. L. Mencken

One of the main purposes of laws in a democratic society is to put burdens upon intelligence and reduce it to impotence. Ostensibly, their aim is to penalize anti-social acts; actually their aim is to penalize heretical opinions.
H. L. Mencken

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
Jonathan Swift

Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner.
H. L. Mencken

Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.
Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu

Law And Order

Rape and violence occur not because of patriarchal conditioning but because of the opposite, a breakdown of social controls.
Camille Paglia


No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets truth.
Jean Giraudoux

I don't want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do; I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do.
J. Pierpont Morgan

Every Federal Judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizen has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mahjong factory, we'd all be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by half.
H. L. Mencken

A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
Benjamin Franklin

A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.
Author unidentified


Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
Author unidentified

A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest —
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:10,11

Lazy hands make a man poor,
but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 10:4

That indolent but agreeable condition of doing nothing.
Pliny the Younger

I understand there's a guy inside me who wants to lay in bed, smoke weed all day, and watch cartoons and old movies. My whole life is a series of stratagems to avoid, and outwit, that guy.
Anthony Bourdain


All leaders strive to turn their followers into children.
Eric Hoffer


It is hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground.
James H. Boren

It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs; they expect too much of ordinary men.

There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

He who thinks he leads, and has no one following him is only taking a walk.
Author unidentified

"Cheshire-Puss," she began, "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't care much where —" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
Lewis Carroll

When I want to know what France thinks, I ask myself.
Charles de Gaulle

I must follow them. I am their leader.
Andrew Bonar Law

You have lost a useful commander, and you have made a very wretched emperor.
Saturninus, when his troops put him forward as a contender to the Roman Emperor.

For my part, I would rather be the chief man in this [poor] village than the second man in Rome.
Julius Caesar

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.


Such is often the folly of men, whom nature has enabled to obtain skill and knowledge, on terms so easy, that they have no sense of the value of the acquisition; they are qualified to make such speedy progress in learning, that they think themselves at liberty to loiter in the way, and by turning aside after every new object, lose the race, like Atalanta, to slower competitors, who press diligently forward, and whose force is directed to a single point.
Samuel Johnson

Left Wing

The left-wing movement … has pretty well killed intelligent criticism in this country. Books are judged not by their worth as works of art, but by their political content …
H. L. Mencken


Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.
William Shakespeare


It has been sagaciously conjectured, that the artful legislator indulged the stubborn prejudices of his countrymen.
Edward Gibbon

Leonardo da Vinci

The Medici created and destroyed me.
Leonardo da Vinci


There is nothing but that frail breastwork of earth between the people and destruction.
Mark Twain


It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward.

Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries; whom mankind have considered, not as the pupil, but the slave of science, the pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths of Learning and Genius, who press forward to conquest and glory, without bestowing a smile on the humble drudge that facilitates their progress. Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach and even this negative recompense has been yet granted to very few.

Samuel Johnson

Lexicographer, n. A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
Samuel Johnson


The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilised being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
Oscar Wilde

A liar's way leads to disgrace, and his shame is ever with him.
Ecclesiasticus 20:26

A liar is far worse, and does greater mischief, than a murderer on the highway; for a liar and false teacher deceives people, seduces souls, and destroys them under the color of God's Word.
Martin Luther

A liar is always lavish of oaths.
Pierre Corneille


Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.
William F. Buckley, Jr.


So much of contemporary liberalism seems to be never having grown up.
Jay Nordlinger

[Liberalism] is hostile to law [and has a preference for] policy without law.
Theodore Lowi

The search for a moral equivalent of war continues to define American liberalism to this day.
Jonah Goldberg

You can't go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal.
Robert Downey Jr.


Liberality is not giving much but giving wisely.
Author unidentified


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations.
Edmund Burke

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
Alexis de Tocqueville

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.
Margaret Thatcher

There's only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
P. J. O'Rourke

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.
Charles Austin Beard

It is in the township that the strength of free peoples resides. Municipal institutions are for liberty what primary schools are for science; they place it within reach of the people … Without municipal institutions, a nation is able to give itself a free government, but it lacks the spirit of liberty.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick Henry

Liberty is, to the lowest rank of every nation, little more than the choice of working or starving; and this choice is, I suppose, equally allowed in every country.
Samuel Johnson

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves.
Edmund Burke

Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found.
Edmund Burke

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
Lord Acton

But the true danger is, when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.
Edmund Burke

For liberty is a good to be improved, and not an evil to be lessened.
Edmund Burke

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Edmund Burke

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
Edmund Burke

It is a strange desire to seek power and to lose liberty.
Francis Bacon

Only reason can convince us of those three fundamental truths without a recognition of which there can be no effective liberty: that what we believe is not necessarily true; that what we like is not necessarily good; and that all questions are open.
Clive Bell

Liberty is liberty, not equality or fairness or justice or human happiness or a quiet conscience.
Isaiah Berlin

It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty — and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.
H. L. Mencken

Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter.
H. L. Mencken

They [classical Liberals] themselves, as a practical matter, advocate only certain narrow kinds of liberty — liberty, that is, for the persons they happen to favor. The rights of other persons do not seem to interest them.
H. L. Mencken

I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say.
H. L. Mencken

Libius Severus

History has scarcely deigned to notice [Libius Severus's] birth, his elevation, his character, or his death.
Edward Gibbon


Human beings can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.
Saul Bellow

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.
Samuel Johnson


When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies.

Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie— …
Rudyard Kipling


A man said to the Universe, "Sir, I exist!"

"However," replied the Universe, "the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation."

Stephen Crane

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore.
H. L. Mencken

Men fear silence as they fear solitude, because both give them a glimpse of the terror of life's nothingness.
André Maurois

[The Forgotten Man] is the clean, quiet, virtuous domestic citizen who pays his debts and his taxes and is never heard of out of his little circle. … [He] works and votes — generally he prays — but his chief business in life is to pay.
William Graham Sumner

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
Alfred Korzybski

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker is sorry.
Mark Twain

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.
Thomas La Mance

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.
Clarence Darrow

The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.
H. T. Leslie

What the meaning of human life may be I don't know; I incline to suspect that it has none.
H. L. Mencken

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
Elbert Hubbard

Do not despair of life. You have no doubt force enough to overcome your obstacles. Think of the fox prowling through wood and field in a winter night for something to satisfy his hunger. Notwithstanding cold and hounds and traps, his race survives. I do not believe any of them ever committed suicide.
Henry David Thoreau

If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
Author unidentified

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.
Oscar Wilde

Never abandon life. There is a way out of everything except death.
Winston Churchill

Fancy living in one of these streets, never seeing anything beautiful, never eating anything savoury, never saying anything clever!
Winston Churchill, when touring the slums

We are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed.
Attributed to Thomas Fuller

The act of self-denial seems to confer on us the right to be harsh and merciless toward others.
Eric Hoffer

Men of thought seldom work well together, whereas between men of action there is usually an easy camaraderie.
Eric Hoffer

How little can we foresee the consequences either of wise or unwise action, of virtue or of malice! Without this measureless and perpetual uncertainty the drama of human life would be destroyed.
Winston Churchill

… men work simply in order to escape the depressing agony of contemplating life — that their work, like their play, is a mumbo-jumbo that serves them by permitting them to escape from reality.
H. L. Mencken

Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.
H. L. Mencken

Life is short, but death lasts forever.
Author unidentified

How little it takes to make life unbearable … A pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
H. L. Mencken

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde

Life is a hideous thing.
H. P. Lovecraft

At the door of life, by the gate of breath,
There are worse things waiting for men than death.
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Don't believe the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
R. J. Burdette

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
Abraham Lincoln

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?
Rose Kennedy

I value kindness to human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don't respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and old men and women warmer in the winter, and happier in the summer.
Brendan Behan

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Douglas Adams

Life is a long lesson in humility.
James M. Barrie

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out — it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
Robert Service

A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it's an undo-it-yourself project.
Abigail Van Buren

Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.
George Santayana

Music is essentially useless, as life is.
George Santayana

If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tallulah Bankhead

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost

I think you should live your life so that the maximum number of people will attend your funeral.
Scott Adams

The Europeans … are less unhappy than we, but they are not happy. Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.
Samuel Johnson, Rasselas

[All] of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon — instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
Dale Carnegie

If thou wouldst live long, live well;
For folly and wickedness shorten life.
Benjamin Franklin

The unexamined life is not worth living.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And — which is more — you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling

You can never begin to live
Until you dare to die.
Henry van Dyke

A stout heart, a clear conscience, and never despair.
John Quincy Adams

Life is subject to change without notice.
Author unidentified

Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
Benjamin Franklin

You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad news for you about the rest of life.
Samuel Halpern

No, you can't go getting mad at people because they're shitty. Life will get mad at them, don't worry.
Samuel Halpern

Just worry about living, dying is the easy part.
Samuel Halpern

Life is pain … Anyone who says differently is selling something.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

Wish not so much to live long as to live well.
Author unidentified

The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.
Henry David Thoreau

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.
Douglas Adams

Don't be so hard on yourself; don't put pressure on yourself; life is just a chain of experiments and results … you'll be perfect when you're dead.
Dan Harmon

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
National Lampoon's Animal House movie

Life is short. Why make it any shorter by not taking care of yourself?
Author unidentified

So large a part of human life passes in a state contrary to our natural desires that one of the principal topics of moral instruction is the art of bearing calamities. And such is the certainty of evil that it is the duty of every man to furnish his mind with those principles that may enable him to act under it with decency and propriety.
Samuel Johnson

I long ago come [sic] to the conclusion that all life is six to five against.
Damon Runyon

The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.
Rabindranath Tagore

There is a big difference between thinking … "This is a bad chapter" and "This is the last chapter" [of one's life].
Dr. Stephen Viars

Yet hope not Life from Grief or Danger free,
Nor think the Doom of Man revers’d for thee.
Samuel Johnson

Tomorrow is promised to no man.
Author unidentified

When I survey my past life, I discover nothing but a barren waste of time with some disorders of the body, and disturbances of the mind very near to madness.
Samuel Johnson

What is the prime of life? May it not be defined as a period of about twenty years in a woman's life, and thirty in a man's?

We rarely find anyone who can say he has lived a happy life, and who, content with his life, can retire from the world like a satisfied guest.

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares;
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain;
My crop of corn is but a field of tares;
And all my good is but vain hope of gain:
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun;
And now I live, and now my life is done.
Chidiock Tichborne

You are, my Lord, but just entering into the world; I am going out of it. I have played long enough to be heartily tired of the drama. Whether I have acted my part in it well or ill, posterity will judge with more candour than I, or than the present age, with our present passions, can possibly pretend to. For my part, I quit it without a sigh, and submit to the sovereign order without murmuring.
Edmund Burke

The Answer to the Great Question Of … Life, the Universe and Everything … [is] Forty-two.
Douglas Adams

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.
Samuel Johnson

Life, in which nothing has been done or suffered to distinguish one day from another, is to him that has passed it, as if it had never been, except that he is conscious how ill he has husbanded the great deposit of his Creator.
Samuel Johnson

Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv’st
Live well; how long or short permit to Heaven.
John Milton

Life is an incurable disease.
Abraham Cowley

It is natural for every man uninstructed to murmur at his condition, because, in the general infelicity of life, he feels his own miseries, without knowing that they are common to all the rest of the species …
Samuel Johnson

There are but three events in a man’s life: birth, life and death. He is not conscious of being born, he dies in pain, and he forgets to live.
Jean de La Bruyère

Do not men die fast enough without being destroyed by each other? Can any man be insensible of the brevity of life? and can he who knows it, think life too long?
François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon

Thus, not only in the slumber of sloth, but in the dissipation of ill-directed industry, is the shortness of life generally forgotten.
Samuel Johnson

… few and evil have the days of the years of my life been …
Genesis 47:9 (KJV)

Life is a jest; and all things show it.
I thought so once; but now I know it.
John Gay

Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator …
H. L. Mencken


No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.
Mignon McLaughlin

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.
Wilson Mizner


When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such a lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence

The cruelest thing that has happened to Lincoln since he was shot by Booth was to fall into the hands of Carl Sandburg.
Edmund Wilson

H. L. Mencken suffers from the hallucination that he is H. L. Mencken — there is no cure for a disease of that magnitude.
Maxwell Bodenheim

Nobody can read Freud without realizing that he was the scientific equivalent of another nuisance, George Bernard Shaw.
Robert Maynard Hutchins

The trouble with the publishing business is that too many people who have half a mind to write a book do so.
William Targ

No author is a man of genius to his publisher.
Heinrich Heine

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
George Bernard Shaw

When a thing has been said and well said, have no scruple; take it and copy it.
Anatole France

I suppose every old scholar has had the experience of reading something in a book which was significant to him, but which he could never find again. Sure he is that he read it there, but no one else ever read it, nor can he find it again, though he buy the book and ransack every page.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.
William Faulkner

I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.
Samuel Johnson

When told not to end a sentence with a preposition, Churchill replied, "This is nonsense up with which I will not put."
Winston Churchill

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Mark Twain

I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who would call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.
Oscar Wilde

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde

He that I am reading seems always to have the most force.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne

Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I'd be happy to read them.
Saul Bellow

The only reward to be expected from literature is contempt if one fails and hatred if one succeeds.


Liverpool, though not very delightful as a place of residence, is a most convenient and admirable point to get away from.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Lloyd George

He [Lloyd George] did not seem to care which way he travelled providing he was in the driver's seat.
Lord Beaverbrook


I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.
Daniel Boone


The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.
Eric Hoffer


When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Samuel Johnson

The different departments of life are jumbled together. … Actuated by the demons of profligacy and licentiousness, they are seen everywhere rambling, riding, rolling, rushing, justling, mixing, bouncing, cracking, and crashing, in one vile ferment of stupidity and corruption.
Tobias Smollett, of Charing Cross in the 18th century


"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Edgar Allan Poe

Long Life

"Enlarge my life with multitude of days!"
In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays:
Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know
That life protracted is protracted woe.
Samuel Johnson


You should have seen her face then. Gratitude? Lord, what do you want with words to express that? Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself. She gave that look, and carried it away to the treasury of heaven, where all things that are divine belong.
Mark Twain

Lord Byron

Lord Byron is an exceedingly interesting person, and as such is it not to be regretted that he is a slave to the vilest and most vulgar prejudices, and as mad as the winds?
P. B. Shelley

I have a thorough aversion to his [Lord Byron’s] character, and a very moderate admiration of his genius; he is great in so little a way.
Charles Lamb

I never heard a single expression of fondness for him [Lord Byron] fall from the lips of any of those who knew him well.
T. B. Macaulay

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is like San Diego's older, uglier sister that has herpes.
Samuel Halpern


People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.
Bob Hope

The greater love is a mother's; then comes a dog's; then a sweetheart's.
Polish proverb

It has been wisely said that we cannot really love anybody at whom we never laugh.
Agnes Repplier

If I'm such a legend, then why am I so lonely? Let me tell you, legends are all very well if you've got somebody around who loves you.
Judy Garland

The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim he would not have chosen a suit by it.
Maurice Chevalier

Let there be spaces in your Togetherness.
Kahil Gibran

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
Mae West

As soon as you cannot keep anything from a woman, you love her.
Paul Géraldy

Those who are faithless know the pleasures of love; it is the faithful who know love's tragedies.
Oscar Wilde

Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
H. L. Mencken

The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love.

The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other fellow married her.
H. L. Mencken

Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.
Russian Proverb

The most disgusting cad in the world is the man who, on grounds of decorum and morality, avoids the game of love. He is one who puts his own ease and security above the most laudable of philanthropies.
H. L. Mencken

A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness. But after that he begins to bunch them.
H. L. Mencken

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
Oscar Wilde

There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.
Oscar Wilde

Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
Samuel Johnson

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
Eric Hoffer

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Peter Ustinov

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.
Bertrand Russell

Then fly betimes, for only they
Conquer love that run away.
Thomas Carew

Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.
Author unidentified

[What] some guys mean when they say "I love you" is what I mean when I say, "I love turkey."
Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Infatuation is effortless. Love takes work.
Chana Levitan

Love is the fart Of every heart;
It pains a man when ’tis kept close,
And others doth offend when ’tis let loose.
Sir John Suckling

You've been good to me, baby,
Better than I've been to myself.
O'Kelly Isley, Rudolph Isley, and Ronald Isley

For [passionate] love is strong as death; Jealousy is cruel as the grave …
Song of Solomon 8:6 (KJV)

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.

The wounds invisible
That love’s keen arrows make.

Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better.

There is no disguise which can for long conceal love where it exists or simulate it where it does not.
La Rochefoucauld

Love is just a system for getting someone to call you darling after sex.
Julian Barnes

But say what you will, ’tis better to be left, than never to have been loved. To pass our youth in dull indifference, to refuse the sweets of life because they once must leave us, is as preposterous as to wish to have been born old, because we one day must be old.
William Congreve


"You are the greatest lover I have ever had."

"Well, I practice a lot when I'm alone."

Woody Allen

I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.
Edward Gibbon

One minute is a lover high atop a tree, the next minute down among the briars is he, now up, now down, as a bucket in a well.
Geoffrey Chaucer (Modern translation by Gerald J. Davis)


There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent.
George S. Patton, Jr.


Of course not, but I am told it works even if you don't believe in it.
Niels Bohr, when asked if he believed a horseshoe above the door would bring good luck


Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
Proverbs 6:25

Turn away your eyes from a shapely woman, and do not gaze at beauty belonging to another; many have been seduced by a woman's beauty, and by it passion is kindled like a fire.
Ecclesiasticus 9:8

She [Elizabeth I] hath abused her body, against God's laws, to the disgrace of princely majesty and the whole nation's reproach, by unspeakable and incredible variety of lust, which modesty suffereth not to be remembered.
William Cardinal Allen

I'll come no more behind your scenes, David [Garrick]; for the silk stockings and white bosoms of your actresses excite my amorous propensities.
Samuel Johnson


It is idle to play the lyre for an ass.
Saint Jerome

prev   -   next   -   home   -   no frames   -   frames

Last updated: September 28, 2023