prev - next - home - no frames - frames
Cool Quotes - S
Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.
Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.
Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you. (Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant).
… I observed he [Samuel Johnson] poured a large quantity of it [wine] into a glass, and swallowed it greedily. Everything about his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never was any moderation; many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously; when he did drink wine, it was copiously. He could practise abstinence, but not temperance.
[Samuel Johnson] was unsentimental about the past, disturbed by the present, and apprehensive for the future.
The vacuity of life had so struck upon the mind of Mr Johnson that it became by repeated impression his favourite hypothesis, and the general tenor of his reasonings commonly ended in that.
He has made a chasm, which not only nothing can fill up, but which nothing has a tendency to fill up. [Samuel] Johnson is dead. Let us go to the next best: — there is nobody; no man can be said to put you in mind of Johnson.
His [Samuel Johnson's] person was large, robust, I may say approaching to the gigantic, and grown unwieldy from corpulency.
There is no arguing with Johnson: for if his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.
[To Dr. Johnson:] If you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like whales.
The freedom with which Dr Johnson condemns whatever he disapproves is astonishing.
San Diego didn't look like the kind of town where people get born.
The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
San Francisco is a mad city — inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people, whose women are of a remarkable beauty.
Sanctions rarely work: they damage, infuriate and embitter but they do not deter or frustrate an act of aggression.
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
Satire should, like a polished razor keen,
Wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen.
I die without remorse, as I have lived without guilt.
Never find your delight in another's misfortune.
I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others.
But this interlude of school makes a sombre grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was an unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, of toil uncheered by fruition; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony.
All my contemporaries and even younger boys seemed in every way better adapted to the conditions of our little world [in school]. They were far better both at the games and at the lessons. It is not pleasant to feel oneself so completely outclassed and left behind at the very beginning of the race.
An old Jewish man reads about Einstein's theory of relativity in the newspaper and asks his scientist grandson to explain it to him.
"Well, Zayda, it's sort of like this. Einstein says that if you're having your teeth drilled without Novocain, a minute seems like an hour. But if you're sitting with a beautiful woman on your lap, an hour seems like a minute."
The old man considers this profound bit of thinking for a moment and says, "And from this he makes a living?"
Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work.
I can't believe that God plays dice with the universe.
If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German, and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it's only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it's two hours. That's relativity.
Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a pile of bricks is a house.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
There's a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good.
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
If I have been able to see farther than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants.
Perfection [in design] is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
The answer to unethical science is not to give up on ethics, but rather to pursue ethical science.
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
Post-Normal Science is where facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent.
The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.
[In] the post-Enlightenment world, science [has] taken the place of magic, miracles, and superstition.
… modern science and industry [can] turn the luxuries of one generation into the necessities of the next.
There is no democracy in physics. We can't say that some second-rate guy has as much right to opinion as Fermi.
Even those to whom Providence hath allotted greater strength of understanding, can expect only to improve a single science. In every other part of learning, they must be content to follow opinions, which they are not able to examine; and, even in that which they claim as peculiarly their own, can seldom add more than some small particle of knowledge, to the hereditary stock devolved to them from ancient times, the collective labour of a thousand intellects.
The Dark Ages may return, the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of Science, and what might now shower immeasurable material blessings upon mankind, may even bring about its total destruction. Beware, I say; time may be short.
Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
Mark all mathematical heads which be only and wholly bent on these sciences, how solitary they be themselves, how unfit to live with others, and how unapt to serve the world.
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
He had been earnestly exhorting them to come and listen to the Word of God: "Well," they said, "if you will tap a good barrel of beer for us, we'll come with all our hearts and hear you."
I am so great an enemy to the second book of the Maccabees, and to Esther, that I wish they had not come to us at all, for they have too many heathen unnaturalities. The Jews much more esteemed the book of Esther than any of the prophets; though they were forbidden to read it before they had attained the age of thirty, by reason of the mystic matters it contains.
There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea, and I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
Spring is the season of gaiety, and winter of terrour …
It is wise not to seek a Secret, and Honest not to reveal it.
Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead.
To tell our own secrets is generally folly, but that folly is without guilt; to communicate those with which we are intrusted is always treachery, and treachery for the most part combined with folly …
Without this limitation [on keeping a secret] confidence must run on without end, the second person may tell the secret to the third, upon the same principle as he received it from the first, and a third may hand it forward to a fourth, till at last it is told in the round of friendship to them from whom it was the first intention to conceal it.
The whole doctrine, as well as practice of secrecy, is so perplexing and dangerous, that next to him who is compelled to trust, I think him unhappy who is chosen to be trusted; for he is often involved in scruples without the liberty of calling in the help of any other understanding …
As every one is pleased with imagining that he knows something not yet commonly divulged, secret history easily gains credit; but it is for the most part believed only while it circulates in whispers; and when once it is openly told, is openly confuted.
Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature.
But seduction … isn't making someone do what they don't want to do. Seduction is enticing someone into doing what they secretly want to do already.
There is nothing noble about being superior to some other men. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
There is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
Only the shallow know themselves.
There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.
We run fastest and farthest when we run from ourselves.
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
My life is one long escape from myself.
There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good.
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
Every observer, however superficial, has remarked that in many men the love of pleasures is the Ruling Passion of their youth, and the love of money that of their advanced years. However this be, it is not proper to dwell too long on the resistless power and despotic authority of this tyrant of the soul, lest the reader should, as it is very natural, take the present inclination, however destructive to society or himself, for the Ruling Passion, and forbear to struggle when he despairs to conquer.
There is another man within me that's angry with me, rebukes, commands, and dastards me.
He that would govern others, first should be
The master of himself.
I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good … Maybe you're not the best, so you should work a little harder.
Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it — what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.
Be at war with your vices,
At peace with your neighbors,
And let every New Year,
find you a better man.
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. But I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my country. When I found I couldn't change my country, I began to focus on my town. However, I discovered that I couldn't change the town, and so as I grew older, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only one I can change is myself, but I've come to recognize that if long ago I had started with myself, then I could have made an impact on my family. And my family and I could have made an impact on our town. And that, in turn, could have changed the country and we could all, indeed, have changed the world.
I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.
[Every] errour in human conduct must arise from ignorance in ourselves, either perpetual or temporary; and happen either because we do not know what is best and fittest, or because our knowledge is at the time of action not present to the mind.
He knows the universe, and himself he does not know.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
How little do we know that which we are!
How less what we may be!
Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers.
Self-love is often rather arrogant than blind; it does not hide our faults from ourselves, but persuades us that they escape the notice of others, and disposes us to resent censures lest we should confess them to be just.
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Must I hold a candle to my shames?
For such is the inequality of our corporeal to our intellectual faculties, that we contrive in minutes what we execute in years, and the soul often stands an idle spectator of the labour of the hands, and expedition of the feet.
It [self-reflection] is, indeed, of so great use, that without it we should always be to begin life, be seduced for ever by the same allurements, and misled by the same fallacies.
Let not sleep fall upon thy eyes till thou hast thrice reviewed the transactions of the past day. Where have I turned aside from rectitude? What have I been doing? What have I left undone, which I ought to have done?
Goe not for every griefe to the physitian, nor for every quarrell to the lawyer, nor for every thirst to the pot.
No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.
They [selfies] are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation.
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves.
Where sense is wanting,
Everything is wanting.
We rarely find that people have good sense unless they agree with us.
A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.
Better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait till it begins to abolish itself from below.
They that [are] serious in ridiculous matters [will] be ridiculous in serious affairs.
I would not have preachers torment their hearers, and detain them with long and tedious preaching, for the delight of hearing vanishes therewith, and the preachers hurt themselves.
It was precisely because the serpent, at that time, was the most beautiful of creatures, that Satan selected it for his work, for the devil likes beauty, knowing that beauty attracts men unto evil.
The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.
There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.
The daughter-in-law of Pythagoras said that a woman who goes to bed with a man ought to lay aside her modesty with her skirt, and put it on again with her petticoat.
Of all sexual aberrations, chastity is the strangest.
Marriage has many pains but celibacy has no pleasures.
They made love as though they were an endangered species.
The physical union of the sexes … only intensifies man's sense of solitude.
As a child of eight Mr. Trout had once kissed a girl of six under the mistletoe at a Christmas party, but there his sex life had come to abrupt halt.
Ducking for apples — change one letter and it's the story of my life.
Women complain about sex more often than men. Their gripes fall into two major categories: (1) Not enough. (2) Too much.
Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way around.
Women can sleep with whoever they want;
Men have to sleep with whoever will let them.
A man on a date wonders if he'll get lucky. The woman already knows.
You don't get married to get sex. Getting married to get sex is like buying a 747 to get free peanuts.
I know nothing about sex because I was always married.
Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at.
Men want sex. If men ruled the world, they could get sex anywhere, anytime. Restaurants would give you sex instead of breath mints on the way out. Gas stations would give sex with every fill-up. Banks would give sex to anyone who opened a checking account.
Lie back and think of England.
After all, [female genital mutilation is] a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure. True, a lot of us hapless western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don't demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.
I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late start without me.
You'll have to ask somebody older than me.
What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
Is much more common where the climate's sultry.
She broke her marriage vows; she tried to sleep with me.
He may be the best lover in the world, but what do you do the other twenty-two hours of the day?
Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.
Men don't realize that if we're sleeping with them on the first date, we're probably not interested in seeing them again either.
I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.
What's the worst thing about oral sex? The view.
What's a promiscuous person? It's usually someone who is getting more sex than you are.
Many years ago I chased a woman for almost two years, only to discover that her tastes were exactly like mine: we both were crazy about girls.
It's so long since I've had sex I've forgotten who ties up whom.
Why don't you come up sometime, and see me?
Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right.
A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me and she said 'no'.
On bisexuality: It immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.
Every creature is sad after coitus. (Post coitum omne animal triste.)
Your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
I could be content that we might procreate like trees, without conjunction, or that there were any way to perpetuate the World without this trivial and vulgar way of coition.
Shame, above any other passion, propagates itself.
… no man will be a sailor who has contrivance to get himself into a jail …. There is, in a gaol, better air, better company, better conveniency of every kind; and a ship has the additional disadvantage of being in danger …. Being in a ship is being in a jail with the chance of being drowned.
'Tis always better to see with one's own eyes than with those of other people.
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue.
I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
It is always observable that silence propagates itself, and that the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find any thing to say.
Silence is the virtue of fools. (Silentium, stultorum virtus.)
The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.
All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: Freedom; Justice; Honour; Duty; Mercy; Hope.
Few love to hear the sins they love to act.
All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation.
With love for mankind and hatred of sins. [Often quoted as 'Love the sinner but hate the sin.']
(Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum.)
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
Sir Isaac Newton
Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.
Never praise a sister to a sister, in the hope of your compliments reaching the proper ears, and so preparing the way for you later on. Sisters are women first, and sisters afterwards; and you will find that you do yourself harm.
Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.
Whatever is done skilfully appears to be done with ease …
I am tired of ruling over slaves.
Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.
When … you have succeeded in dehumanizing the Negro; when you have put him down and made it forever impossible for him to be but as the beasts of the field; when you have extinguished his soul and placed him where the ray of hope is blown out in darkness like that which broods over the spirits of the damned, are you quite sure that the demon you have roused will not turn and rend you?
Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil.
Slavery is now no where more patiently endured, than in countries once inhabited by the zealots of liberty.
It must be agreed that in most ages many countries have had part of their inhabitants in a state of slavery; yet it may be doubted whether slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition of man. It is impossible not to conceive that men in their original state were equal; and very difficult to imagine how one would be subjected to another but by violent compulsion. An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime; but he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his children.
That execrable sum of all villainies, commonly called the Slave Trade.
Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit.
Whilst Adam slept, Eve from his side arose:
Strange his first sleep should be his last repose.
You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk-dancing.
The world is full of fools, and he who would see none should live alone and smash his mirror. (Le monde est plein de fous, et qui n'en veut pas voir Doit se tenir tout seul, et casser son miroir.)
Sleep is sweet to the labouring man.
Diligence overcomes Difficulties, Sloth makes them.
… almost every occupation, however inconvenient or formidable, is happier and safer than a life of sloth.
I am overcome by my own amazing sloth … Can you please forgive me and believe that it is really because I want to do something well that I don't do it at all?
I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.
To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.
A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.
[Social Darwinism] is the most influential misconception in history, since it produced the Marxism of Capital, the imperialism of Joe Chamberlain, and the racialism of Adolf Hitler.
Darwin's notion of the survival of the fittest was a key element both in the Marxist concept of class warfare and of the racial philosophies which shaped Hitlerism.
Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area — crime, education, housing, race relations — the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.
My point is that you cannot force social change at a speed that it cannot go. Social change is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Deep social change takes time.
… social engineering has been the salient delusion and the greatest curse of the modern age.
Social engineering is the creation of millenarian intellectuals who believe they can refashion the universe by the light of their unaided reason.
I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
If any student of social science comes to appreciate the case of the Forgotten Man, he will become an unflinching advocate of strict scientific thinking in sociology, and a hard-hearted skeptic as regards any scheme of social amelioration. He will always want to know, Who and where is the Forgotten Man in this case, who will have to pay for it all?
I say we scrap the current [Social Security] system and replace it with a system wherein you add your name to the bottom of a list, and the you send some money to the person at the top of the list, and then you … Oh, wait that IS our current system.
To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches.
Marxian Socialism must always remain a portent to the historians of Opinion — how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can have exercised so powerful and enduring an influence over the minds of men, and, through them, the events of history.
[In the Soviet Union,] they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.
Give people plenty and security, and they will fall into spiritual torpor.
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money.
[Socialists claim] that we reject fraternity, solidarity, organization, and association; and they brand us with the name of individualists. We can assure them that what we repudiate is not natural organization, but forced organization. It is not free association, but the forms of association that they would impose upon us. It is not spontaneous fraternity, but legal fraternity. It is not providential solidarity, but artificial solidarity, which is only an unjust displacement of responsibility. Socialism … confounds Government and society.
… socialism is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals.
The chief difference between free capitalism and State socialism seems to be this: that under the former a man pursues his own advantage openly, frankly and honestly, whereas under the latter he does so hypocritically and under false pretenses.
Let them [Socialists] abandon the utter fallacy, the grotesque, erroneous, fatal blunder of believing that by limiting the enterprise of man, by riveting the shackles of a false equality … they will increase the well-being of the world.
… there can be no doubt that Socialism is inseparably interwoven with Totalitarianism and the abject worship of the State. It is not alone that property, in all its form, is struck at, but that liberty, in all its form, is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of Socialism.
You may try to destroy wealth, and find that all you have done is to increase poverty.
Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.
Society in its full sense … is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it.
There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.
But a society that has nothing to die for has nothing to live for …
To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquires too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily7 the first principle of association — 'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'
The form was still the same, but the animating health and vigor were fled.
Stop chasing [Facebook] likes and start doing more likable things.
Society cannot subsist but by the power, first of making laws, and then of enforcing them.
'Tis in cells and corners that the wicked wretches, the monks and nuns, lead shameful lives. But openly, and among people, a man must live decently and honestly.
Society is no comfort
To one not sociable.
He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
Every state of society is as luxurious as it can be. Men always take the best they can get.
The Socratic manner is not a game at which two can play.
The patient and active virtues of a soldier are insensibly nursed in the habits and discipline of a pastoral life.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone …
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all —
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
How did you enjoy yourself with these people? Answer: very much, almost as much as I do when alone.
Man may indeed preserve his existence in solitude, but can enjoy it only in society …
When Eve, in paradise, walked by herself, the devil deceived her. In solitary places are committed murders, robberies, adulteries, etc.; for in solitude the devil has place and occasion to mislead people.
He forgot, in the vehemence of desire, that solitude and quiet owe their pleasures to those miseries (vexations), which he was so studious to obviate.
He who causes his father's heart to bleed
Will one day have a son to avenge the deed.
Beat your son every day; you may not know why, but he will.
But for sorrow there is no remedy provided by nature; it is often occasioned by accidents irreparable, and dwells upon objects that have lost or changed their existence; it requires what it cannot hope, that the laws of the universe should be repealed; that the dead should return, or the past should be recalled.
Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.
I have much need of entertainment, spiritless, infirm, sleepless, and solitary, looking back with sorrow and forward with terrour.
There is no greater sorrow
Than to be mindful of the happy time
Sorrow is properly that state of the mind in which our desires are fixed upon the past, without looking forward to the future, an incessant wish that something were otherwise than it has been, a tormenting and harassing want of some enjoyment or possession which we have lost, and which no endeavours can possibly regain.
An habitual sadness seizes upon the soul …
The safe and general antidote against sorrow is employment.
How oft in vain the son of Theseus said,
The stormy sorrows be with patience laid;
Nor are thy fortunes to be wept alone;
Weigh others’ woes, and learn to bear thy own.
(Quoties flenti Theseius heros
Siste modum, dixit, neque enim fortuna querenda
Sola tua est, similes aliorum respice casus,
Mitius ista feres.)
One acquainted with pain understands how cruel a traveling companion sorrow is for someone with few friends at his side.
Pleasure of love lasts only a moment, sorrow of love lasts all life long.
Coddle the body and you harm the soul.
The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold …. The same reason that makes us bicker with a neighbor creates a war between princes.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
If there is but little water in the stream, it is the fault, not of the channel, but of the source.
Such was the unhappy condition of the Roman emperors, that, whatever might be their conduct, their fate was commonly the same. A life of pleasure or virtue, of severity or mildness, of indolence or glory, alike led to an untimely grave; and almost every reign is closed by the same disgusting repetition of treason and murder.
Alas! the republic has lost a useful servant, and the rashness of an hour has destroyed the services of many years. You know not, the misery of sovereign power; a sword is perpetually suspended over our head. We dread our very guards, we distrust our companions. The choice of action or of repose is no longer in our disposition, nor is there any age, or character, or conduct, that can protect us from the censure of envy. In thus exalting me to the throne, you have doomed me to a life of cares, and to an untimely fate.
[If] the exercise of justice is the most important duty, the indulgence of mercy is the most exquisite pleasure, of a sovereign.
The usual disease of princes, grasping covetousness, had made them suspicious and quarrelsome neighbors.
Pyrrhus revived this image [of Alexander the Great] by the fire and vigor of his movements in the field of battle; the rest only mimicked the hero, whose title they assumed, in their demeanor, and in the trappings and state of royalty.
[The] day of his inauguration was the last day of his happiness.
The Romans derided [Marius's] indolence; they soon bewailed his activity.
For my own part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity, that the throne is a glorious sepulchre.
To maintain the harmony of authority and obedience, to chastise the proud, to protect the weak, to reward the deserving, to banish vice and idleness from his dominions, to secure the traveller and merchant, to restrain the depredations of the soldier, to cherish the labors of the husbandman, to encourage industry and learning, and, by an equal and moderate assessment, to increase the revenue, without increasing the taxes, are indeed the duties of a prince …
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.
Space … is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.
Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon after the weather turned cold, the sparrow changed his mind and reluctantly started to fly south. After a short time, ice began to form his on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on this little bird and the sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy the little sparrow began to sing. Just then, a large Tom cat came by and, hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds. As Old Tom cleared away the manure, he found the chirping bird and promptly ate him.
There are three morals to this story:
- Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
- Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
- If you are warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.
It is the preservation of the species, not of individuals, which appears to be the design of Deity throughout the whole of nature.
It is a great misfortune neither to have enough wit to talk well nor enough judgment to be silent.
10 persons who speak make more noise than 10,000 who are silent.
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.
[He] possessed that vehemence of speech, which seldom fails to impart the persuasion of the soul.
Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.
Most men with any convictions in a confused and complicated age have had the almost uncanny sensation of shouting at people that a mad dog is loose or the house is on fire, to be met merely with puzzled and painfully respectful expressions, as if the remark were a learned citation in Greek or Hebrew.
Do not praise anyone before he speaks, for this is the way people are tested.
More have repented speech then silence.
Surely human affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as that to speak. But experience more than sufficiently teaches that men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues.
Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?
I am ignorant, sir, of your motives or provocations; I only know, that you have acted like a man who cuts off his right hand with his left.
Some [soccer] players suffer four or five fatal injuries per game. That's how tough they are.
Rockne wanted nothing but "bad losers." Good losers get into the habit of losing.
It's never just a game when you're winning.
What I admire most in any man is a serene spirit, a steady freedom from moral indignation, and all-embracing tolerance — in brief, what is commonly called sportsmanship.
Spouse, n. Someone who'll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have had if you'd stayed single.
I don't like those men who claim that their wife is their best friend. … I think spouses should tolerate each other and occasionally have sex.
I don't like those men who claim that their wife is their best friend. My wife doesn't even crack the top 25.
The variegated verdure of the fields and woods, the succession of grateful odours, the voice of pleasure pouring out its notes on every side, with the gladness apparently conceived by every animal, from the growth of his food, and the clemency of the weather, throw over the whole earth an air of gaiety, significantly expressed by the smile of nature.
The stories of Paul, Hilarion, and Malchus, by [St. Jerom], are admirably told: and the only defect of these pleasing compositions is the want of truth and common sense.
It is a thing not to be believed that St Peter ever was at Rome.
There is this special biologist word we use for 'stable'. It is 'dead'.
Arrest, try, shoot!
It was the voice of the new England: uncomfortable with greatness, wary of excellence, indifferent to challenges abroad … an appropriate debut for this evangelist of political mediocrity.
I don't want to be a star — most of the ones I know are too unhappy.
A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
For every state, from the smallest to the largest, the principle of enlargement is the fundamental law of life.
The body politic, like the human body, begins to die from its birth, and bears in itself the causes of its destruction.
The first requirement of a statesman is that he be dull.
The end-game for statists is very obvious. If you expand the bureaucratic class and you expand the dependent class, you can put together a permanent electoral majority.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Noblesse oblige [Rank has its obligations].
Never tell a story because it is true: tell it because it is a good story.
The separation of the Arabs from the rest of mankind has accustomed them to confound the ideas of stranger and enemy …
Listen up, if someone is being nice to you, and you don't know them, run away. No one is nice to you just to be nice to you, and if they are, well, they can go take their pleasant ass somewhere else.
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know, because they have never deceived us.
Short-term thinking drives out long-term strategy.
The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.
This, she says, is the consequence of female study: girls grow too wise to be advised, and too stubborn to be commanded …
Thus the man of learning is often resigned, almost by his own consent, to languor and pain; and while in the prosecution of his studies he suffers the weariness of labour, is subject by his course of life to the maladies of idleness.
Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain.
Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is painful only for others. The same applies when you are stupid.
Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such an excess of stupidity, Sir, is not in Nature.
Orders can be benign or malign, but the habit of obeying them can become ingrained.
It is not enough to succeed, a friend must fail.
What is success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
That is to have succeeded.
Lose as if you like it; win as if you were used to it.
Success is a journey, not a destination.
Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.
Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet 'em on your way down.
The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There's far less competition.
It is difficult to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.
It matters not whether you win or lose: what matters is whether I win or lose.
There are two kinds of success: initial and ultimate. To act by half-measures, with a lack of conviction miscalled "caution," is to run the greatest risks and lose the prize.
In the real world, very smart people fail and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ.
'Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it.
It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.
Success And Failure
The theory seems to be that so long as a man is a failure he is one of God's chillun, but that as soon as he has any luck he owes it to the Devil.
The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage.
To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.
If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.
Great souls suffer in silence.
When we have lost everything, including hope, life becomes a disgrace and death a duty.
Unhappy men! If you are thus weary of your lives, is it so difficult for you to find ropes and precipices?
The criminal penalties [for suicide] are the production of a later and darker age.
Yet the civilians have always respected the natural right of a citizen to dispose of his life …
If I had the use of my body I would throw it out of the window.
[Sunday] should be different from another day. People may walk, but not throw stones at birds. There may be relaxation, but there should be no levity.
The writers who have undertaken the task of reconciling mankind to their present state, … frequently remind us that we judge too hastily of good and evil, that we view only the superfices of life, and determine of the whole by a very small part; and that in the condition of men it frequently happens, that grief and anxiety lie hid under the golden robes of prosperity, and the gloom of calamity is cheered by secret radiations of hope and comfort; as in the works of nature the bog is sometimes covered with flowers, and the mine concealed in the barren crags.
The superfluous is very necessary.
A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time.
Fear has been the original parent of superstition, and every new calamity urges trembling mortals to deprecate the wrath of their invisible enemies.
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.
Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words
Since I first call'd my brother's father dad.
Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.
There are animals that borrow their colour from the neighbouring body, and consequently vary their hue as they happen to change their place. In like manner it ought to be the endeavour of every man to derive his reflections from the objects about him; for it is to no purpose that he alters his position, if his attention continues fixed to the same point. The mind should be kept open to the access of every new idea, and so far disengaged from the predominance of particular thoughts, as easily to accommodate itself to occasional entertainment.
The fox knows many things — the hedgehog one big one.
The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
As it is necessary not to invite robbery by supineness, so it is our duty not to suppress tenderness by suspicion; it is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.
Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness; he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly be corrupt.
The Swiss are not a people so much as a neat, clean, quiet solvent business.
Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
prev - next - home - no frames - frames
Last updated: December 10, 2023