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Cool Quotes - P

Pacifism


Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight
But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.
Hilaire Belloc

These [Judeo-Christian] codes and ideals, as well as common sense, hold that at times life must be sacrificed for the sake of morality. Pacifism, however, holds the direct opposite: Morality must be sacrificed for the sake of life.
Dennis Prager

Pacifist


Pacifists would do well to study the Siegfried and Maginot Lines, remembering that these defenses were forced; that Troy fell; that the walls of Hadrian succumbed; that the Great Wall of China was futile; and that, by the same token, the mighty seas which are alleged to defend us can also be circumvented by a resolute and ingenious opponent.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Pain


To each his suff'rings, all are men,
Condemned alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Thomas Gray

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
C. S. Lewis

Painting


Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don't they try to understand the singing of birds? People love the night, a flower, everything that surrounds them without trying to understand them. But painting—that they must understand.
Pablo Picasso

I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.
Salvador Dali

Pamphlet


It has been for a long time a very just complaint, among the learned, that a multitude of valuable productions, published in small pamphlets, or in single sheets, are in a short time, too often by accidents, or negligence, destroyed, and entirely lost; and that those authors, whose reverence for the public has hindered them from swelling their works with repetition, or encumbering them with superfluities, and who, therefore, deserve the praise and gratitude of posterity, are forgotten, for the very reason for which they might expect to be remembered.
Samuel Johnson

Panama Canal


We should keep the Panama Canal. After all we stole it fair and square.
S. I. Hayakawa

Papacy


The papacy is not other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.
Thomas Hobbes

Paradise


If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found the flower in his hand when he awoke—Aye! and what then?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Paradise Lost


Paradise Lost is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is. Its perusal is a duty rather than a pleasure.
Samuel Johnson

Parents


My father was frightened by his mother. I was frightened by my father, and I'm damned well going to make sure that my children are frightened of me.
George V

A Jewish man with parents alive is a 15-year-old boy, and will remain a 15-year-old boy until they die.
Philip Roth

Parents are sometimes a bit of a disappointment to their children. They don't fulfill the promise of their early years.
Anthony Powell

Always obey your parents, when they are present.
Mark Twain

Maternity is a matter of fact. Paternity is a matter of opinion.
Walter Bagehot

I'm still working. I need the money. Money, I've discovered, is the one thing keeping me in touch with my children.
Gyles Brandreth

Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.
Phyllis Diller

The regal and parental tyrant differ only in the extent of their dominions, and the number of their slaves.
Samuel Johnson

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears.
Francis Bacon

To have voluntarily become to any being the occasion of its existence, produces an obligation to make that existence happy.
Samuel Johnson

Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.
David Frost

Parents and Children


Children rarely want to know who their parents were before they were parents, and when age finally stirs their curiosity there is no parent left to tell them.
Russell Baker

He looked upon the time that had been my future in a disturbing way. My future was his past, and being young, he was indifferent to the past.
Russell Baker

Paris


If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
Ernest Hemingway

Parliament


The object of Parliament is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.
Winston Churchill

You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately …. Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
Oliver Cromwell, to the Rump Parliament

People must not do things for fun. We are not here for fun. There is no reference to fun in any Act of Parliament.
A. P. Herbert

Parting


Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
Shakespeare

Partisanship


The superior man is broadminded but not partisan; the inferior man is partisan but not broadminded.
Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)

Party


After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
P. J. O'Rourke

The sooner every party breaks up the better.
Jane Austen

The ruling passion, be it what it will,
The ruling passion conquers reason still.
Alexander Pope

You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come:
Knock as you please, there’s nobody at home.
Alexander Pope

The conduct of a losing party never appears right: at least it never can possess the only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar judgements—success.
Edmund Burke

Like other parties of the kind, it was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious, then unintelligible, then altogethery, then inarticulate, and then drunk.
Lord Byron

Party-Spirit


Party-spirit, which at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.
Alexander Pope

Passion


The Passions are like Fire and Water; good Servants, but bad Masters.
Thomas Fuller

How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, "How does love suit with age, Sophocles—are you still the man you were?" he replied, "Peace, most gladly have I escaped the thing of which you speak; I feel as if I had escaped from a mad and furious master."
Plato

We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Past


This only is denied to God: the power to undo the past.
Agathon

What's done cannot be undone.
William Shakespeare

While you have a future do not live too much in contemplation of your past: unless you are content to walk backward the mirror is a poor guide.
Ambrose Bierce

Let the dozing soul remember,
let the mind awake and revive by contemplating
how our life goes by so swiftly
and how our death comes near so silently;
how quickly pleasure fades,
and how when it is recalled it give us pain,
how we seem always to think
that times past must have been better than today.
Jorge Manrique

It's stupid the way people extrapolate the past. And not slightly stupid, but massively stupid.
Charlie Munger

Stop romanticizing the past.

You've always been miserable.

Dave Tarnowski

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
L. P. Hartley

Paternalism


The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that, while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people.
Grover Cleveland

There is no such thing as other people's children.
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Patience


Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

So long as Heaven has condemned us to suffer, patience is a virtue; but if we reject the proffered deliverance, it degenerates into blind and stupid despair.
Pharas

Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.
George Jackson

If what we suffer has been brought upon us by ourselves, it is observed by an ancient poet that patience is eminently our duty, since no one should be angry at feeling that which he has deserved.
Samuel Johnson

You tread upon my patience.
Shakespeare

I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient.
Shakespeare

For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently.
Shakespeare

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Shakespeare

Patriot


A patriot is he whose public conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has for himself neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment, but refers everything to the common interest.
Samuel Johnson

It ought to be deeply impressed on the minds of all who have voices in this national deliberation, that no man can deserve a seat in parliament, who is not a patriot. No other man will protect our rights: no other man can merit our confidence.
Samuel Johnson

Patriotism


Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Samuel Johnson

[A] country without a word to describe its love for what is best within it is a country ill-equipped to defend what is best within it.
Jonah Goldberg

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!
Nathan Hale

[There] is something fundamentally unpatriotic in the yearning to fundamentally transform your country.
Jonah Goldberg

He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion.
Samuel Johnson

We pause to … recall what our country has done for each of us and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Patron


Is not a Patron, my Lord [Chesterfield], one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it.
Samuel Johnson

If it be unhappy to have one patron, what is his misery who has many?
Samuel Johnson

Bow to no patron's insolence; rely
On no frail hopes, in freedom live and die.

(Mitte superba pati fastidia, spemque caducam
Despice; vive tibi, nam moriere tibi
.)

F. Lewis, based on Seneca

Peace


That they may have a little peace, even the best dogs are compelled to snarl occasionally.
William Feather

Peace, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

If you want peace, prepare for war. (Si vis pacem, para bellum. Alternatively, Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.)
Vegetius

The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the moderation of the emperors. They preserved the peace by a constant preparation for war.
Edward Gibbon

The name of peace is sweet, the thing itself is most salutary.
Cicero

[Peace] cannot be honorable or secure, if the sovereign betrays a pusillanimous aversion to war.
Edward Gibbon

If we desire to secure peace, … it must be known that we are, at all times, ready for war.
Andrew Jackson

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
George Washington (c.f. Vegetius)

I am a man of peace—God knows how I love peace. But I hope I shall never be such a coward as to mistake oppression for peace.
Lajos Kossuth

They made a wasteland and called it peace.
Tacitus

They who would make peace without a previous knowledge of the terms, make a surrender. They are conquered.
Edmund Burke

Peace with Germany and Japan on our terms will not bring much rest to you and me (if I am still responsible). As I observed last time, when the war of the giants is over, the war of the pygmies will begin.
Winston Churchill, to FDR.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Max Ehrmann

Peasant


Ill fares the land, to hast'ning ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay;
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroyed, can never be supplied.
Oliver Goldsmith

Pension


In England pensions used to be given to aristocrats, because aristocrats had political influence, in order to corrupt them. Here pensions are given to the great democratic mass, because they have political power, to corrupt them.
William Graham Sumner

People


If you want people to think well of you, do not speak well of yourself.
Blaise Pascal

It's too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
George Burns

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
T. S. Eliot

It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.
George Dennison Prentice

For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill.
Richard Clopton

The biggest gap in the world is the gap between the justice of a cause and the motives of the people pushing it.
John P. Grier

When the people applauded him wildly, [Phocion] turned to one of his friends and said, "Have I said something foolish?"
Diogenes Laertius

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I wouldn't want to join any club that would accept me as a member.
Groucho Marx

I am not a bit afraid of Siegfried Sassoon. That man can think. I am afraid only of people who cannot think.
Winston Churchill

We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glowworm.
Winston Churchill

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
George S. Patton, Jr.

We're all just superstitious natives.
Adam Carolla

Perception


If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.
George Eliot

Perfection


The pursuit of perfection prevents achievement of the satisfactory.
George F. Will

The desire of perfection became the ruling passion of their soul; and it is well known, that while reason embraces a cold mediocrity, our passions hurry us, with rapid violence, over the space which lies between the most opposite extremes.
Edward Gibbon

He that has abilities to conceive perfection, will not easily be content without it; and since perfection cannot be reached, will lose the opportunity of doing well in the vain hope of unattainable excellence.
Samuel Johnson

The maxim Nothing avails but perfection may be spelt shorter: 'Paralysis.'
Winston Churchill

Perfectionism


Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.
Shakespeare

Permanency


Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin

Persecution


First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller

Perseverance


One need not hope in order to undertake; nor succeed in order to persevere.
William the Silent

Fall down seven times, get up eight.
Japanese Proverb

[Let] us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

"Fight on, my men," says Sir Andrew Barton,
"I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I'll lay me down and bleed awhile,
And then I'll rise and fight again."
Author unidentified

Victory belongs to the most persevering.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance; yonder palace was raised by single stones, yet you see its height and spaciousness. He that shall walk with vigor three hours a day, will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.
Samuel Johnson

All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals.
Samuel Johnson

Every design in which the connexion is regularly traced from the first motion to the last, must be formed and executed by calm intrepidity, and requires not only courage which danger cannot turn aside, but constancy which fatigues cannot weary, and contrivance which impediments cannot exhaust.
Samuel Johnson

’Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause—and of obstinacy in a bad one.
Laurence Sterne

Persian


[The Persians] deliberate about the gravest matters when they are drunk.
Euripides

Persistence


It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Chinese Proverb

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden

Her parents suffered in the bewilderment of finding that they had forgotten how to oppose her gently resolute will through the lifelong habit of yielding to it.
Rudyard Kipling

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
Author unidentified

Many strokes overthrow the tallest oaks.
John Lyly

Our greatest glory is, not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Oliver Goldsmith

Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Winston Churchill

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Perspective


Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest.
Bion

One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.
G. K. Chesterton

Persuasion


Persuasion is the resource of the feeble; and the feeble can seldom persuade.
Edward Gibbon

We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.
Blaise Pascal

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not of Reason.
Author unidentified

Pessimism


My pessimism goes to the point of suspecting the sincerity of pessimists.
Jean Rostand

Cheer up! the worst is yet to come.
Philander Johnson

Pessimist


A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.
Laurence J. Peter

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.
Mark Twain

Philosopher


The philosopher is Nature's pilot—and there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.
George Bernard Shaw

There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it. ( Sed nescio quo modo nihil tam absurde dici potest quod non dicatur ab aliquo philosophorum.)
Cicero

I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
Oliver Edwards

Philosophy


I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The philosophers have only interpreted the world; the thing, however, is to change it.
Karl Marx

It is good that a philosopher should remind himself, now and then, that he is a particle pontificating on infinity.
Will and Ariel Durant

If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers.
Frederick the Great

Cartesian, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum—whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum—"I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Kant was probably the worst writer ever heard of on earth before Karl Marx. Some of his ideas were really quite simple, but he always managed to make them seem unintelligible. I hope he is in Hell.
H. L. Mencken

Feel deeply to think clearly.
Nathaniel Branden

It is best, it seems to me, to separate one's inner striving from one's trade as far as possible. It is not good when one's daily bread is tied to God's special blessing.
Albert Einstein

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Shakespeare

I think, therefore I am. (Je pense, donc je suis.)
René Descartes

Photography


Photography is truth. The cinema is truth 24 times per second.
Jean-Luc Godard

Phrase


The minute a phrase becomes current it becomes an apology for not thinking accurately to the end of the sentence.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Physician


He that sinneth before his Maker, let him fall into the hand of the physician.
Ecclesiasticus 38:15 (KJVAAE)

Pianist


Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.
Anonymous

Picasso, Pablo


His [Pablo Picasso's] ability to overawe and exploit both men and women—some of them highly intelligent and uneasily aware of what he was doing to them—was by far the most remarkable thing about him.
Paul Johnson

Picture


If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough.
Robert Capa

Pilot


In a calm sea every man is a pilot.
John Ray

Pipe


Every morning I wake up and think good, another 24 hours' pipe-smoking.
J. R. R. Tolkien

Pity


Pity costs nothin' and ain't worth nothin'.
Josh Billings

Some of you with Pilate wash your hands,
Showing an outward pity.
Shakespeare

Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.
William Blake

Plagiarist


Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from,—as pickpockets are observed commonly to walk with their hands in their breeches’ pockets.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Plan


Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
Mike Tyson

Strategic plans cause more dumb decisions than anything else in America.
Charlie Munger

No plan of operations reaches with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main force.
Helmuth von Moltke

Planning


Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
Seneca

The plans differ; the planners are all alike.
Frédéric Bastiat

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.
Publilius Syrus

I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight Eisenhower

The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The second best time is now.
Confucius

The point I am trying to bring out is that one does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Platitude


A platitude is simply a truth repeated until people get tired of hearing it.
Stanley Baldwin

Pleasure


Pleasure for an hour, a bottle of wine; pleasure for a year, marriage; pleasure for a lifetime, a garden.
Chinese saying

Pleasure is by no means an infallible guide, but it is the least fallible.
W. H. Auden

Pleasure is Nature's test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.
Oscar Wilde

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white—then melts for ever.
Robert Burns

No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home.
Kingsley Amis

Intend to live in continual mortification, and never to expect or desire any worldly ease or pleasure.
Jonathan Edwards

Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life; I have never found any occupation more important. Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite to mine, I have always loved it and done all I could to make myself loved by it.
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt

None are so hard to please, as those whom satiety of pleasure makes weary of themselves; nor any so readily provoked as those who have been always courted with an emulation of civility.
Samuel Johnson

All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
Samuel Butler

Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure.
Lord Byron

Plebeian


The great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge.
H. L. Mencken

Plot


A plot is like the bones of a person, not interesting like expression or signs of experience, but the support of the whole.
Ivy Compton-Burnett and M. Jourdain

Poem


I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase “a long poem” is simply a flat contradiction in terms.
Edgar Allan Poe

Poet


No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: he may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing.
T. S. Eliot

All poets are mad.
Robert Burton

Inside every man there is a poet who died young.
Stefan Kanfer

We poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.
Wordsworth

Many brave men lived before Agamemnon; but all are overwhelmed in eternal night, unwept, unknown, because they lack a sacred poet.
Horace

You puff the poets of other days,
The living you deplore.
Spare me the accolade: your praise
Is not worth dying for.
Martial

To a poet nothing can be useless.
Samuel Johnson

Different poets … would, without any communication of opinions, lament the deceitfulness of hope, the fugacity of pleasure, the fragility of beauty, and the frequency of calamity; and for palliatives of these incurable miseries, they would concur in recommending kindness, temperance, caution, and fortitude.
Samuel Johnson

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Chameleons feed on light and air:
Poets’ food is love and fame.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death.
John Keats

Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind.
Lord Macaulay

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.
T. S. Eliot

O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.
James Elroy Flecker

Poets should never marry. The world should thank me for not marrying you.
Maud Gonne, to W. B. Yeats

To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too.
Walt Whitman

Many brave men lived before Agamemnon's time; but they are all, unmourned and unknown, covered by the long night, because they lack their sacred poet.

(Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Multi; sed omnes illacrimabiles
Urgentur ignotique longa
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro
.)

Horace

Poets … though liars by profession, always endeavour to give an air of truth to their fictions.
David Hume

Poetry


I've written some poetry I don't understand myself.
Carl Sandburg

"Free verse'? You may as well call sleeping in a ditch 'free architecture'."
G. K. Chesterton

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water-drinkers.
Horace

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth, by calling imagination to the help of reason.
Samuel Johnson

He that thinks himself capable of astonishing may write blank verse: but those that hope only to please must condescend to rhyme.
Samuel Johnson

Works of imagination excel by their allurement and delight; by their power of attracting and detaining the attention.
Samuel Johnson

Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Prose = words in their best order;—poetry = the best words in the best order.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A poem of any length neither can be, or ought to be, all poetry.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us—and if we do not agree, seems to put its hand in its breeches pocket. Poetry should be great & unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.
John Keats

Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by Singularity—it should strike the Reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a Remembrance.
John Keats

I'd as soon write free verse as play tennis with the net down.
Robert Frost

Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so.
Oliver Goldsmith, of poetry

Point Of No Return


The die has been cast. (Alea iacta est.)
Julius Caesar

Police


I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse.
Brendan Behan

Political Scientist


Political scientists almost everywhere have promoted the expansion of government power. They have functioned as the clergy of oppression.
Rudolph Rummel

Politician


An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought.
Simon Cameron

You do not know, you cannot know, the difficulty of the life of a politician. It means every minute of the day or night, every ounce of your energy. There is no rest, no relaxation. Enjoyment? A politician does not know the meaning of the word.
Nikita Khrushchev

90% of the politicians give the other 10% a bad reputation.
Henry Kissinger

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges, even where there are no rivers.
Nikita Khrushchev

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Aesop

Politicians will always disappoint you.
William Rusher (Attributed)

I still believe in liberalism today as much as I ever did, but, oh, there was a happy time when I believed in liberals.
G. K. Chesterton

If I knew them [MPs], it might spoil the purity of my hatred.
Norman Shrapnel

If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
Harry S. Truman

The great human scourge of the twentieth century; the professional politician.
Paul Johnson

When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people.
Edmund Burke

Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness.
Aristotle

The main thing that every political campaign in the United States demonstrates is that the politicians of all parties, despite their superficial enmities, are really members of one great brotherhood. Their principal, and indeed their sole, object is to collar public office, with all the privileges and profits that go therewith. They achieve this collaring by buying votes with other people's money. No professional politician is ever actually in favor of public economy. It is his implacable enemy, and he knows it. All professional politicians are dedicated wholeheartedly to waste and corruption. They are the enemies of every decent man.
H. L. Mencken

For my own part I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities which he excites among his opponents. I have always set myself not merely to relish but to deserve thoroughly their censure.
Winston Churchill

I submit respectfully to the House as a general principle that our responsibility in this matter is directly proportionate to our power. Where there is great power there is great responsibility, where there is less power there is less responsibility, and where there is no power there can, I think, be no responsibility.
Winston Churchill

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.
Charles de Gaulle

It has been the great fault of our politicians that they have all wanted to do something.
Anthony Trollope

A politician's words reveal less about what he thinks about his subject than what he thinks about his audience.
George F. Will

A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.
Russell Baker

All politicians are humble, and seldom let you forget it. They go around the country boasting about their humility. They are proud of their humility. Many are downright arrogant about their humility and insist that it qualifies them to be President.
Russell Baker

Politics


[I feel] somewhat like the boy in Kentucky who stubbed his toe while running to see his sweetheart. The boy said he was too big to cry, and far too badly hurt to laugh.
Abraham Lincoln, when asked how he felt about the Democrats winning the N.Y. State elections

An eminent American is reported to have said to friends who wished to put him forward, "Gentlemen, let there be no mistake. I should make a good president, but a very bad candidate."
James Bryce

Seriously, I do not think I am fit for the presidency.
Abraham Lincoln

The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.
Henry Kissinger

Politics are almost as exciting as war, and—quite as dangerous … In war, you can only be killed once. But in politics many times.
Winston Churchill

In politics a community of hatred is almost always the foundation of friendships.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Politics is war without bloodshed, and war is politics with blood.
Mao Tse-Tung

In politics, a straight line is the shortest distance to disaster.
John P. Roche

The Labour Party is going about the country stirring up apathy.
William Whitelaw

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
Henry Kissinger

Politics, and the fate of mankind, are shaped by men without ideals and without greatness.
Albert Camus

I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy. "Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I am going to pay for a landslide."
John F. Kennedy

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Ronald Reagan

I gave 'em a sword. And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish. And I guess if I had been in their position, I'd have done the same.
Richard Nixon (1977)

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on office, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
Thomas Jefferson

In statesmanship get formalities right, never mind about the moralities.
Mark Twain

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
Abraham Lincoln

David Watkins: "I'm accountable for the firings. The first lady did not direct me to fire them … Did I feel pressure by the desires and wishes of others? Yes, I did."

Questioner: "Could Hillary Rodham Clinton have suggested the firings?"

David Watkins: "Yes."

David Watkins

Would that … a sense of the true aim of life might elevate the tone of politics and trade till public and private honour became identical.
Margaret Fuller

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.
Margaret Thatcher

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny. They have only shifted it to another shoulder.
George Bernard Shaw

All socialism involves slavery.
Herbert Spencer

Outlawing all atomic weapons could be a magnificent gesture. However, it should be remembered that Gettysburg had a local ordinance forbidding the discharge of firearms.
Homer D. King

Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.
Lyndon B. Johnson

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. [popular interpretation: Capitalism is the unequal sharing of wealth; socialism is the equal sharing of poverty.]
Winston Churchill

A man who is not a Liberal at sixteen has no heart; a man who is not a Conservative at sixty has no head.
Benjamin Disraeli

If a politician murders his mother, the first response of the press or of his opponents will likely be not that it was a terrible thing to do, but rather that in a statement made six years before he had gone on record as being opposed to matricide.
Meg Greenfield

The average citizen expresses pride in the American Bill of Rights and then seeks to protect his real estate by restrictive covenants.
H. A. Overstreet

Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian.
Heywood Broun

The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself.
H. L. Mencken

I can remember way back when a liberal was one who was generous with his own money.
Will Rogers

Join the army, see the world, meet interesting, exciting people, and kill them.
Author unidentified

Diplomacy is the art of telling plain truths without giving offense. When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.
Winston Churchill

Revolutionary movements attract the best and worst elements in a given society.
George Bernard Shaw

If any demonstrator ever lays down in front of my car, it'll be the last car he'll ever lay down in front of.
George C. Wallace

The Italians … you can't find one who is honest.
Richard M. Nixon

I never dared be radical when young
For fear it would make me conservative when old.
Robert Frost

I do wish [Calvin Coolidge] did not look as if he had been weaned on a pickle.
Anonymous

[Calvin Coolidge] is the first president to discover that what the American people want is to be left alone.
Will Rogers

Diplomacy, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
Caskie Stinnett

There are no liberals behind steering wheels.
Russell Baker

He was a long-limbed farmer, a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism.
Joseph Heller

A year ago Gerald Ford was unknown throughout America. Now he's unknown throughout the world.
Author unidentified

When a dinner guest told him she liked neither his politics nor his mustache, Winston Churchill replied, "Madame, I see no earthly reason why you should come in contact with either."
Winston Churchill

In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; in peace, good-will.
Winston Churchill, describing the proper spirit for a great nation

[The politician] is asked to stand, he wants to sit, and he is expected to lie.
Winston Churchill

A ruling intelligentsia, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed, and wasted at will.
Eric Hoffer

There is hardly an enormity committed in the twentieth century that was not foreshadowed and even advocated by some noble "man of words" in the nineteenth.
Eric Hoffer

Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.
Eric Hoffer

A constitution whose meaning changes as our notions of what it ought to mean changes is not worth a whole lot. To keep government up-to-date with modern notions of what good government ought to be, we do not need a constitution but only a ballot-box and a legislature.
Antonin Scalia

Alas, how many have been persecuted for the wrong of having been right?
Jean-Baptiste Say

Nominee, n. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Ultimatum, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Sir Alec Douglas-Home, when he was British Foreign Secretary, said he received the following telegram from an irate citizen: "To hell with you. Offensive letter follows."
William Safire

He knows nothing and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
George Bernard Shaw

Prison is a Socialist's Paradise, where equality prevails, everything is supplied, and competition is eliminated.
Elbert Hubbard

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.
H. L. Mencken

It is [a politician's] business to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying, he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out, he will try to hold it by embracing new truths. His ear is ever close to the ground.
H. L. Mencken

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.
H. L. Mencken

I hear you have Abolitionists here. We have a few in Illinois, but we shot one the other day.
Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Worcester, Mass., 1848

It is dangerous to be right when your country is wrong.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

I gave the State of the Union and they didn't have a teleprompter. I had to stand up there and fake it for 15 minutes before a hundred million people. Some people think I faked it for eight years before a hundred million people.
Bill Clinton

Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces.
Henry Brooks Adams

My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office [the vice-presidency] that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
John Adams

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
William J. H. Boetcker

An uninformed and often irrational public cannot make sound political decisions.
Author unidentified

My experience has proved that a man who is running for office, and is not willing to make his honest opinions known to the public, either has no honest opinions or is not honest about them.
William Randolph Hearst

I do not think that any man should be attacked because of his race or religion, or that he should be immune from attack because of race or religion.
William Randolph Hearst

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard Feynman

You can achieve anything in politics provided that you let someone else take the credit.
Ronald Reagan

When a thing defies physical law, there's usually politics involved.
P. J. O'Rourke

People who are wise, good, smart, skillful, or hardworking don't need politics, they have jobs.
P. J. O'Rourke

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
Plato

Conservatives value economic liberty and moral security, while the liberal values economic security and moral liberty.
Jonah Goldberg

Almost all Reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.
Logan Pearsall Smith

Decent people should ignore politics, if only they could be confident that politics would ignore them.
William F. Buckley (Attributed)

Facts rarely change ideological attitudes.
Bing West

The reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied. They want villains to hate and heroes to cheer—and they don't want explanations that do not give them that.
Thomas Sowell

All conservatives are bilingual—we have to be. We speak both liberal and conservative. But liberals are monolingual—they don't have to be anything else. They speak liberal, and are completely ignorant of the conservative tongue.
John Podhoretz

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular—but one must take it simply because it is right.
Martin Luther King Jr.

A good catchword can obscure analysis for 50 years.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

All movements go too far.
Bertrand Russell

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody believes the official spokesman … but everybody trusts an unidentified source.
Ron Nesen

The more dangerous temptation is not to pretend an opposing view does not exist, but to treat it as beneath notice in respectable deliberation by assuming it is ignorant or prejudiced or self-interested or based on insufficient contemplation of moral reality. Such an attitude embodies the idea that since truth in matters of justice, right, or policy is singular and consensus is its natural embodiment, some special explanation—some factor of deliberative pathology, such as the lingering taint of self-interest—is required to explain disagreement, which explanation can then be cited as a reason for putting the deviant view to one side.
Jeremy Waldron

In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organized against the productive but unorganized.
Joe Sobran

I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.
Lyndon B. Johnson, explaining his decision to keep Hoover in his administration

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.
Milton Friedman

[I'll] have them n*ggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.
Lyndon B. Johnson

These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days, and that's a problem for us, since they've got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this—we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.
Lyndon B. Johnson

All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.
Enoch Powell

Pragmatism is the disguise progressive and other ideologues do when they want to demonize competing ideologies.
Jonah Goldberg

The American values system—what I call the American Trinity— … are declared on every American coin: Liberty, "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust."
Dennis Prager

[The current governing judicial philosophy is:] If you want something passionately enough, it is guaranteed by the Constitution. No need to fiddle around gathering votes from recalcitrant citizens.
Robert Bork

[In politics,] when there is no reason to speak, there is a reason not to speak.
David Frum

Why don't you [on the Left] preach what you practice?
Dennis Prager

The education of this president [Obama] is a protracted and often amusing process … as he continues to alight upon the obvious with a sense of profound and original discovery.
George F. Will

I'm extremely moved by the loving, caring relationship the President always seems to have with his imaginary son.
Dennis Miller, of President Obama

Politics ought to be adjusted not to human reasonings but to human nature, of which reason is but a part and by no means the greatest part.
Edmund Burke

[A rephrasing of the precautionary principle.] If reducing fossil fuel use has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, in the absence of economic consensus that the reduction is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those advocating such a reduction
Dr. Roy Spencer

President Obama is a wartime president who doesn't seem to realize it.
Tom Cotton

If gun free zones save lives, why doesn't Obama just declare Iraq, Syria & Afghanistan one big gun free zone?
Wayne LaPierre

We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of citizens.
Mark Levin

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Henry Brooks Adams

I once said cynically of a politician, 'He'll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.'
Oscar Levant

He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important.
Eugene McCarthy

[The Clintons] are really sort of like tornadoes moving through people's lives. I'm just one of the people left in the wake of their passing by.
James McDougal

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.
Adlai Stevenson

The voters have spoken—the bastards!
Morris Udall

All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
Harry S. Truman

[The Vice Presidency is] a job no one campaigns for openly, no one turns down if offered, and no one emerges from unscathed.
Author unidentified

Father [Theodore Roosevelt] always had to be the center of attention. When he went to a wedding, he wanted to be the bridegroom. And when he went to a funeral, he wanted to be the corpse.
Unidentified son of Theodore Roosevelt

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.
Author unidentified

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.
Everett Dirksen

[Clement Attlee is] a modest man who has a good deal to be modest about.
Winston Churchill

An independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics.
Adlai Stevenson

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding, because I think, well, if they attack me personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
Margaret Thatcher

I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say.
Calvin Coolidge

If you don't say anything, you won't be called upon to repeat it.
Calvin Coolidge

The Democrats are in a real bind. They won't get elected unless things get worse—and things won't get worse unless they're elected.
Ronald Reagan

A liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.
Frank Rizzo

If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it.
Author unidentified

Who, whom? (кто кого?)
Lenin

For the first time in history, the human species as a whole has gone into politics. Everyone is in the act, and there is no telling what may come of it.
Saul Bellow

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats

The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.
Patrick Moynihan

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.
Thomas Sowell

The "right to choose" phrase, beloved by fierce women journalists and feminists generally, is peculiarly obnoxious because it associates having children (or not) with the notion of shopping and "consumer choice"; a child in the womb is "disposable," like panty-hose or plastic cartons.
Paul Johnson

For, as an incurable social democrat, I state with absolute conviction that anything to the Left of social democracy, as a political theory, must to a greater or lesser extent be totalitarian, and therefore traffic in violence. And the victims of violence must almost invariably be innocent.
Paul Johnson

The politics of pity, based on the notion of strengthening the weak by weakening the strong, must produce impoverishment.
Paul Johnson

Disastrous consequences … flow when men use the politics of force because they are too impatient for the politics of argument.
Paul Johnson

One of the great themes of the modern age is the way in which political emotions have replaced religious ones as the main driving force of the idealistic elite.
Paul Johnson

Even in its mildest forms, total politics has produced debilitating "welfare cultures," into which unfortunate millions are born, live, breed, and die.
Paul Johnson

And the trouble with political demonology is that, like odium theologicum [theological hatred], it is very catching. Those hate-words come so easily to hand—do they not?—and so easily obliterate shades of political discussion in favour of absolute good and absolute evil.
Paul Johnson

Isn't it about time we began to treat the second world war and the Nazi epoch as history, instead of as part of current affairs?
Paul Johnson

Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
Shakespeare

When the political columnists say 'Every thinking man' they mean themselves, and when candidates appeal to 'Every intelligent voter' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them.
Franlin P. Adams

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.
Henry Brooks Adams

I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all.
John Adams

Therefore, the good of man must be the end [i.e. objective] of the science of politics.
Aristotle

In every country the extreme party is most irritated against the party which comes nearest to itself, but does not go so far.
Walter Bagehot

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

Politics consists more in profiting from favorable circumstances than preparing them in advance.
Frederick the Great

Politics is the art of the possible.
Otto von Bismarck

Politics are usually the executive expression of human immaturity.
Vera Brittain

It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
Edmund Burke

Politics is the Art of the Possible. That is what these pages show I have tried to achieve—not more—and that is what I have called my book.
R.A. ('Rab') Butler

In politics, there is no use looking beyond the next fortnight.
Joseph Chamberlain

There are no true friends in politics. We are all sharks circling, and waiting, for traces of blood to appear in the water.
Alan Clark

In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

No man who ever held the office of President would congratulate a friend on obtaining it. He will make one man ungrateful, and a hundred men his enemies, for every office he can bestow.
John Adams

Politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
Charles de Gaulle

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.
Benjamin Disraeli

Damn your principles! Stick to your party.
Benjamin Disraeli, attributed

Never complain and never explain.
Benjamin Disraeli

Now a writer can make himself a nice career while he is alive by espousing a political cause, working for it, making a profession of believing in it, and if it wins he will be very well placed. All politics is a matter of working hard without reward, or with a living wage for a time, in the hope of booty later.
Ernest Hemingway

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
Ernest Hemingway

Of all kinds of credulity, the most obstinate and wonderful is that of political zealots; of men, who being numbered, they know not how or why, in any of the parties that divide a state, resign the use of their own eyes and ears, and resolve to believe nothing that does not favour those whom they profess to follow.
Samuel Johnson

Gays want to get married, have children, and go to church. Next they'll be advocating school vouchers, boycotting HBO, and voting Republican.
P. J. O'Rourke

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.
P. J. O'Rourke

I knew that the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election would be interesting times. I had no idea they would rise to the level of an ancient Chinese curse.
P. J. O'Rourke

I did not come to Washington to be loved, and I have not been disappointed.
Phil Gramm

The realistic way to reduce the amount of money in politics is to reduce the amount of politics in money—the importance of government in allocating wealth and opportunity.
George F. Will

When a politician, on a subject implicating science—hard science, economic science, social science—says, "The debate is over," you may be sure of two things. It’s that the debate is raging and he’s losing it.
George F. Will

Conservatives think leftists are mistaken. Leftists think conservatives are evil.
Author unidentified

Taking offense has become America’s national pastime; being theatrically offended supposedly signifies the exquisitely refined moral delicacy of people who feel entitled to pass through life without encountering ideas or practices that annoy them.
George F. Will

Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Charles Dudley Warner

So Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong.
Kamala Harris

Pollution


[We're] told cars cause pollution. A 100 years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine?
P. J. O'Rourke

Polygamy


In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin,
Before polygamy was made a sin.
John Dryden

Poor


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
Herman Melville

Pope


If the pope be not Antichrist, he is in bad luck to be so like him.
Author unidentified (The gibe appears often in the Lutheran literature of the Reformation period)

Since the primitive times, the wealth of the popes was exposed to envy, their powers to opposition, and their persons to violence.
Edward Gibbon

Seeing the pope is antichrist, I believe him to be a devil incarnate.
Martin Luther

Popularity


The best of us would rather be popular than right.
Mark Twain

Population


American children grow up to be valuable citizens. Bangladeshi children grow up to be part of the world population problem. … Fretting about overpopulation, is a perfect guilt-free—indeed, sanctimonious—way for "progressives" to be racists.
P. J. O'Rourke

Crowded as [Bangladesh] is, is overcrowding even its main problem? Hong Kong and Singapore both have greater population densities [than] Bangladesh, and they're called success stories. The same goes for Monaco. In fact, the whole Riviera is packed in August, and neither Malthus nor Ehrlich have complained about the topless beaches of St. Tropez.
P. J. O'Rourke

Pornography


And women aren't going to screw you in all those crazy ways, either. You got it? They don't look like that and they don't screw crazy. That's what you're taking away from this, okay?
Samuel Halpern

Portrait


One is never satisfied with a portrait of a person that one knows.
J. W. Goethe

Portuguese


The community is eminently Portuguese—that is to say, it is slow, poor, shiftless, sleepy, and lazy.
Mark Twain

Possession


We must like what we have when we don't have what we like.
Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry loose is not nailed down.
Attributed to Collis P. Huntington

Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

The more flesh, the more worms.
The more possessions, the more worry.
Hillel

Post Chaise


When a man has fairly set out in the post chaise, he is somehow flying, separated from the world and its cares, and everything appears to him in a better light than usual. There is a snugness and cheerfulness together which delight me.
Samuel Johnson

Posterity


What has posterity ever done for me?
Groucho Marks

If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
Or do things worth the writing.
Benjamin Franklin

"We are always doing", says he, "something for Posterity, but I would fain see Posterity do something for us."
Joseph Addison

What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?
Winston Churchill

When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
Thomas Paine

Posterity is as likely to be wrong as anybody else.
Heywood Broun

Yet meet we shall, and part, and meet again
Where dead men meet, on lips of living men.
Samuel Butler

The ocean and the sun will last our time, and we may leave posterity to shift for themselves.
Samuel Johnson

Strange Delusion! that can confine all their Thoughts to a Race of Men [posterity] whom they neither know, nor can know; from whom nothing is to be feared, nor any Thing expected.
Samuel Johnson

To evoke posterity
Is to weep on your own grave,
Ventriloquizing for the unborn.
Robert Graves

Postscript


I knew one that when he wrote a letter he would put that which was most material in the postscript, as if it had been a bymatter.
Francis Bacon

Potential


Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising.
Cyril Connolly

God knows, I’m no the thing I should be,
Nor am I even the thing I could be.
Robert Burns

Poverty


Poverty is no disgrace to a man, but it is profoundly inconvenient.
Reverend Sydney Smith

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.
Willem de Kooning

He who has nothing and wants something is less frustrated than he who has something and wants more.
Eric Hoffer

In comparative terms, there's no poverty in America by a long shot. Heritage Foundation political scientist Robert Rector has worked up figures showing that when the official U.S. measure of poverty was developed in 1963, a poor American family had an income twenty-nine times greater than the average per capita income in the rest of the world.
P. J. O'Rourke

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
Adam Smith

Many of my contemporaries in the developed world see subsistence farming as soulful and organic, but it is a poverty trap and an environmental disaster.
Stewart Brand

[As] for poverty, the admission of it is no disgrace to a man; not to forge one's way out of it is the real disgrace.
Thucydides

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Benjamin Franklin

This mournful truth is ev'rywhere confessed—
Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed.
Samuel Johnson

Poverty is an evil always in our view, an evil complicated with so many circumstances of uneasiness and vexation, that every man is studious to avoid it.
Samuel Johnson

Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.
Samuel Johnson

But in the prospect of poverty, there is nothing but gloom and melancholy; the mind and body suffer together; its miseries bring no alleviations; it is a state in which every virtue is obscured, and in which no conduct can avoid reproach: a state in which cheerfulness is insensibility, and dejection sullenness, of which the hardships are without honour, and the labours without reward.
Samuel Johnson

To give aid to every poor man is far beyond the reach and power of every man …. Care of the poor is incumbent on society as a whole.
John Locke

To one ineradicable prejudice I freely confess, and that is a prejudice against poverty. I never have anything to do, if it is possible, with anyone who is in financial difficulties … Such persons do not excite my compassion; they excite my aversion … The blame, so far as my experience runs, always lies within.
H. L. Mencken

The poor are Europe's blacks. (Les pauvres sont les nègres de l'Europe.)
Nicolas-Sébastien Chamfort

People don't resent having nothing nearly as much as too little.
Ivy Compton-Burnett

He [the burglar] found it inconvenient to be poor.
William Cowper

It has been remarked, that death, though often defied in the field, seldom fails to terrify when it approaches the bed of sickness in its natural horrour; so poverty may easily be endured, while associated with dignity and reputation, but will always be shunned and dreaded, when it is accompanied with ignominy and contempt.
Samuel Johnson

Poorly (poor man) he lived; poorly (poor man) he died.
Phineas Fletcher

Power


Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
Eric Hoffer

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
Margaret Thatcher

All history is only one long story to this effect: men have struggled for power over their fellow-men in order that they might win the joys of earth at the expense of others and might shift the burdens of life from their own shoulders upon those of others.
William Graham Sumner

[Of his son:] The boy is the most powerful of all the Hellenes; for the Hellenes are commanded by the Athenians, the Athenians by myself, myself by the boy’s mother, and the mother by her boy.
Themistocles

God, these old men! How they pray for death! How heavy they find this life in the slow drag of days! And yet, when Death comes near them, you will not find one who will rise and walk with him, not one whose years are still a burden to him
Euripides

He who pays the piper calls the tune.
Author unidentified

Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue. Pity, benevolence, friendship, are things almost unknown in high stations.
Edmund Burke

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
John Adams

The jaws of power are always opened to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
John Adams

They that govern most make the least noise.
John Selden

But no man’s power can be equal to his will.
Samuel Johnson

The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks a victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments.
Henry Clay

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
William Hazlitt

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.
Lord Acton

Power is always gradually stealing away from the many to the few, because the few are more vigilant and consistent; it still contracts to a smaller number, till in time it centres in a single person.
Samuel Johnson

You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.
J. R. R. Tolkien

The most hateful torment for men is to have knowledge of everything but power over nothing.
Herodotus

I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.
Thomas Hobbes

Being a democrat, I am opposed to all very drastic and sudden changes of society (in whatever direction) because they never in fact take place except by a particular technique. That technique involves the seizure of power by a small, highly disciplined group of people; the terror and the secret police follow, it would seem, automatically.
C. S. Lewis

Power and Riches


Power pleases the violent and proud: wealth delights the placid and the timorous. Youth therefore flies at power, and age grovels after riches.
Samuel Johnson

Practice


The more I practice, the luckier I get.
Author unidentified

Practice makes permanent.
Bobby Robson (Attributed)

There are men who always confound the praise of goodness with the practice.
Samuel Johnson

Praise


It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.
Eric Hoffer

If you would reap Praise you must sow the Seeds, Gentle Words and useful Deeds.
Author unidentified

Usually we praise only to be praised.
La Rochefoucauld

To praise us for actions or dispositions which deserve praise, is not to confer a benefit, but to pay a tribute.
Samuel Johnson

Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity. It becomes cheap as it becomes vulgar, and will no longer raise expectation, or animate enterprise.
Samuel Johnson

Praising all alike, is praising none.
John Gay

Prayer


Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Pray as though everything depended on the Lord and then go out and work as if it all depended on you.
Martin Luther

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Oscar Wilde

Prayer indeed is good, but while calling on the gods a man should himself lend a hand.
Hippocrates

We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
Shakespeare

O Lord! thou knowest how busy I must be this day: if I forget thee, do not thou forget me.
Jacob Astley

Preaching


Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.
Samuel Johnson

Precedent


A precedent embalms a principle.
Benjamin Disraeli

The faults of a writer of acknowledged excellence are more dangerous, because the influence of his example is more extensive; and the interest of learning requires that they should be discovered and stigmatized, before they have the sanction of antiquity conferred upon them, and become precedents of indisputable authority.
Samuel Johnson

Prejudice


I am free of all prejudices. I hate every one equally.
W. C. Fields

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
William James

One may no more live in the world without picking up the moral prejudices of the world than one will be able to go to hell without perspiring.
H. L. Mencken

Premonition


Beware the Ides of March.
William Shakespeare

Present


Indeed, almost all that we can be said to enjoy is past or future; the present is in perpetual motion, leaves us as soon as it arrives, ceases to be present before its presence is well perceived, and is only known to have existed by the effects which it leaves behind.
Samuel Johnson

Pretension


The pretension is nothing; the performance every thing. A good apple is better than an insipid peach.
Leigh Hunt

Price


For what is worth in anything
But so much money as ’twill bring?
Samuel Butler

A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.
Charlie Munger

Pride


Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

[His pride] had not yet sunk to the level of his fortune.
Edward Gibbon

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

My pride fell with my fortunes.
Shakespeare

It may easily come to pass that a vain man may become proud and imagine himself pleasing to all when he is in reality a universal nuisance.
John Locke

Many who could have conquered their anger, are unable to combat pride, and pursue offences to extremity of vengeance, lest they should be insulted by the triumph of an enemy.
Samuel Johnson

Priest


In all ages of the world, priests have been enemies of liberty.
David Hume

Prince


We scarce ever had a prince, who by fraud, or violence, had not made some infringement on the constitution.
Edmund Burke

Principle


We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.
Author unidentified

Printing


He who first shortened the labor of copyists by device of movable types was disbanding hired armies, and cashiering most kings and senates, and creating a whole new democratic world: he had invented the art of printing.
Thomas Carlyle

Privacy


I give the fight up: let there be an end,
A privacy, an obscure nook for me.
I want to be forgotten even by God.
Robert Browning

Privilege


Equality before the law is probably forever [unattainable]. It is a noble ideal, but it can never be realized, for what men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
H. L. Mencken

Probability


The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus.
Pierre Simon de Laplace

Problem


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

An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
Robert A. Humphrey

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller

When there is food on the table there are many problems. When there is no food, there is only one problem.
Chinese proverb

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities—brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
John Gardner

Human problems are complex. If something isn't complex it doesn't qualify as problematic. Very simple bad things are not worth troubling ourselves about.
P. J. O'Rourke

Problem-Solving


To extraordinary circumstance we must apply extraordinary remedies.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Procrastination


The folly of allowing ourselves to delay what we know cannot be finally escaped, is one of the general weaknesses, which, in spite of the instruction of moralists, and the remonstrances of reason, prevail to a greater or less degree in every mind.
Samuel Johnson

Thus life is languished away in the gloom of anxiety, and consumed in collecting resolutions which the next morning dissipates; in forming purposes which we scarcely hope to keep, and reconciling ourselves to our own cowardice by excuses, which, while we admit them, we know to be absurd.
Samuel Johnson

Idleness is often covered by turbulence and hurry. He that neglects his known duty and real employment, naturally endeavours to crowd his mind with something that may bar out the remembrance of his own folly, and does any thing but what he ought to do with eager diligence, that he may keep himself in his own favour.
Samuel Johnson

What may be done at all times with equal propriety, is deferred from day to day, till the mind is gradually reconciled to the omission, and the attention is turned to other objects.
Samuel Johnson

It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.
J. R. R. Tolkien

Procreation


The procreation of mankind is a great marvel and mystery. Had God consulted me in the matter, I should have advised him to continue the generation of the species by fashioning them of clay, in the way Adam was fashioned.
Martin Luther

Prodigality


These men are advancing towards misery by soft approaches, and destroying themselves, not by the violence of a blow, which, when once given, can never be recalled, but by a slow poison, hourly repeated, and obstinately continued.
Samuel Johnson

Professor


It [the writing of the Hobbit] all began when I was reading exam papers to earn a bit of extra money. That was agony. One of the tragedies of the underpaid professor is that he has to do menial jobs.
J. R. R. Tolkien

Profit


The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
Samuel Gompers

I know that it is the Socialist idea that making profits is a vice, and that making large profits is something of which a man ought to be ashamed. I hold the other view. I consider that the real vice is making losses.
Winston Churchill

Civilization and profits go hand in hand.
Calvin Coolidge

Progress


All progress is based upon the universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
Samuel Butler

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw

[All] that is human must retrograde if it do not advance.
Edward Gibbon

We may therefore acquiesce in the pleasing conclusion, that every age of the world has increased, and still increases, the real wealth, the happiness, the knowledge, and perhaps the virtue, of the human race.
Edward Gibbon

Things will get better despite our efforts to improve them.
Will Rogers

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.
Benjamin Disraeli

In general, life is better than it has ever been, and if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word : "Dentistry".
P. J. O'Rourke

If you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
C. S. Lewis

[We] assume that social progress is like technological progress: one cannot uninvent the internal combustion engine, so how could one uninvent liberty?
Mark Steyn

Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
Russell Baker

He that is not handsome at twenty, nor strong at thirty, nor rich at forty, nor wise at fifty, will never be handsome, strong, rich, or wise.
George Herbert

Every step in human progress, from the first feeble stirrings in the abyss of time, has been opposed by the great majority of men. Every valuable thing that has been added to the store of man's possessions has been derided by them when it was new, and destroyed by them when they had power. They have fought every new truth ever heard of, and they have killed every truth-seeker who got into their hands.
H. L. Mencken

I wonder whether any other generation has seen such astounding revolutions of data and values as those through which we have lived. Scarcely anything material or established which I was brought up to believe was permanent and vital, has lasted. Everything I was sure or taught to be sure was impossible, has happened.
Winston Churchill

The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

What we call 'progress' is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.
Havelock Ellis

For 80 per cent of humanity the Middle Ages ended suddenly in the 1950s; or perhaps better still, they were felt to end in the 1960s.
Eric Hobsbawm

Alteration though it be from worse to better hath in it inconveniences, and those weighty.
Richard Hooker

Progressive


By the end of the 20th century, "liberals" had again discredited themselves, to the point where they went back to calling themselves "progressives" to escape their past, much as people do when they declare bankruptcy.
Thomas Sowell

[To] the progressive mind, the very concept of "the enemy" is obsolescent: there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet accommodated.
Mark Steyn

[Progressives] think the Constitution is like Felix the Cat's magic bag: Look in there long enough and hard enough, and you can find anything.
Jonah Goldberg

So-called "progressives" actively wage war on progress. … Ultimately, progressives are at war with mass prosperity.
Mark Steyn

And in the minds of progressives you are free to live anyway you want so long as it's progressive.
Jonah Goldberg

Progressivism


Progressivism's aim is the modification of [other people's] behavior To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.
George F. Will

Progressives understand that their program for a government-centered society becomes more plausible the more people believe that work—individual striving—is unavailing. Government grows as fatalism grows, and fatalism grows as progressivism inculcates in people the demoralizing—make that de-moralizing—belief that they are victims of circumstances.
George F. Will

Promiscuity


A light (promiscuous) wife doth make a heavy (sad) husband.
Shakespeare

Promise


But alas! I never could keep a promise. I do not blame myself for this weakness, because the fault must lie in my physical organization. It is likely that such a very liberal amount of space was given to the organ which enables me to make promises, that the organ which should enable me to keep them was crowded out.
Mark Twain

Proof


I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain. (Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet.)
Pierre de Fermat

Propaganda


Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.
Eric Hoffer

Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.
Samuel Johnson

I ran the paper [Daily Express] purely for propaganda, and with no other purpose.
Lord Beaverbrook

That branch of the art of lying which consists in very nearly deceiving your friends without quite deceiving your enemies.
Propaganda M. Cornford, of propaganda

Propensity


All men that are ruined are ruined on the side of their natural propensities.
Edmund Burke

Prophesy


Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.
George Eliot

Prophet


Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky

Prose


Good Heavens! For more than forty years I have been speaking prose without knowing it.
Molière

Prosperity


Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Genesis 1:28

He that is warm thinks all so.
George Herbert

Our loving Lord God wills that we eat, drink, and be merry, making use of his creatures, for therefore he created them.
Martin Luther

In the time of plenty think of the time of hunger; in days of wealth think of poverty and need.
Ecclesiasticus 18:25

When you don't have any money, the problem is food. When you have money, it's sex. When you have both it's health.
J. P. Donleavy

Proverb


When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.
African saying

The nail that sticks out is hammered down.
Japanese proverb

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.
Who is powerful? He that governs his passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody.
Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Benjamin Franklin

Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat in a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
Nelson Algren

The wise make proverbs and fools repeat them.
Isaac D'Israeli

[Proverbs are] short sentences drawn from long experiences.
Miguel de Cervantes

A penny saved is a penny earned.
Author unidentified

He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.
Author unidentified

Well done is better than well said.
Author unidentified

If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.
Author unidentified

Act uprightly, and despise Calumny; Dirt may stick to a Mud Wall, but not to polish'd Marble.
Author unidentified

Speak little, do much.
Author unidentified

A slip of the foot you may soon recover;
But a slip of the Tongue you may never get over.
Author unidentified

When the Well's dry, we know the Worth of Water.
Author unidentified

Do not do what you would not have known.
Author unidentified

Don't get furious, get curious.
Author unidentified

To rise at six, to dine at ten,
To sup at six, to sleep at ten,
Makes a man live for ten times ten.
Victor Hugo, inscription over the door of his study

Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.
Benjamin Disraeli

If a man, sitting all alone, cannot dream strange things, and make them look like truth, he need never try to write romances.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Providence


Follow your heart. Follow your principles. And leave the rest to Providence.
Author unidentified

Provision


The first years of man must make provision for the last.
Samuel Johnson

Prudence


In these honorable contests his spirit soared above the consideration of danger, and perhaps of prudence.
Edward Gibbon

Prudence is of more frequent use than any other intellectual quality; it is exerted on slight occasions, and called into act by the cursory business of common life.
Samuel Johnson

Psychiatrist


Any man who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
Sam Goldwyn

Psychiatry


A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
Jerome Lawrence

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Sigmund Freud

Public Debt


The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Thomas Jefferson

I desire to go on record as predicting that we will never pay our public debt in full.
Lewis H. Haney

Public School


Public schools are the nurseries of all vice and immorality.
Henry Fielding

Publishing


The world needs your book, just not many copies of it.
Derek Brewer, to an author

Pun


Puns are little "plays on words" that a certain breed of person loves to spring on you and then look at you in a certain self-satisfied way to indicate that he thinks that you must think that he is by far the cleverest person on Earth now that Benjamin Franklin is dead, when in fact what you are thinking is that if this person ever ends up in a lifeboat, the other passengers will hurl him overboard by the end of the first day even if they have plenty of food and water.
Dave Barry

Punctuality


If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late.
Author unidentified

I do think unpunctuality is a vile habit, and all my life I have tried to break myself of it.
Winston Churchill

Punctuation


My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.
Ernest Hemingway

Punishment


But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Friedrich Nietzsche

Often a whole city is paid punishment for one bad man.
Hesiod

Puritan


The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

At the bottom of Puritanism one finds envy of the fellow who is having a better time in the world, and hence hatred of him. At the bottom of democracy one finds the same thing. This is why all Puritans are democrats and all democrats are Puritans.
H. L. Mencken

Pursuit


You will never possess what you are unwilling to pursue.
Mike Murdock

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Last updated: July 12, 2024