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Cool Quotes - T


Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
Abraham Lincoln


They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.
Eric Hoffer

Hide not your Talents, they for Use were made. What's a Sun-Dial in the Shade!
Author unidentified

I am always grieved when a man of real talent dies. The world needs such men more than Heaven does.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
Arthur Conan Doyle

Had I followed my pleasure and followed what I plainly have a decided talent for: police spy, I should have been much happier than I afterwards became.
Søren Kierkegaard


It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them.
Dame Rose Macaulay

Great talkers, little doers.
Benjamin Franklin

He that speaks much, is much mistaken.
Benjamin Franklin

Talking too much, too soon, and with too much self-satisfaction has always seemed to me a sure way to court disaster.
Meg Greenfield

Talk uses up ideas … Once I have spoken them aloud, they are lost to me, dissipated into the noisy air like smoke. Only if I bury them, like bulbs, in the rich soil of silence do they grow.
Doris Grumbach

The evil tongue slays three, the slanderer, the slandered, and the listener.
Midrash Tehillim


Talkers are no good doers.

People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Every day brings its task, and often without bringing abilities to perform it: difficulties embarrass, uncertainty perplexes, opposition retards, censure exasperates, or neglect depresses.
Samuel Johnson

When we have diligently laboured for any purpose, we are willing to believe that we have attained it, and, because we have already done much, too suddenly conclude that no more is to be done.
Samuel Johnson


I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
Oscar Wilde


There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.
Samuel Johnson


Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
H. L. Mencken

The power to tax involves the power to destroy.
John Marshall

Prosperity of the middling and lower orders depends upon the fortunes and light taxes of the rich.
Andrew Mellon

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr.
Will Rogers

If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

Count the day won when, turning on its axis,
The earth imposes no additional taxes.
Franklin P. Adams

Taxes are going up so fast that the government is likely to price itself right out of the market.
Dan Bennett

I love to go to Washington—if only to be near my money.
Bob Hope

It seems a little silly now, but [the United States of America] was founded as a protest against taxation.
Author unidentified

The taxing power is especially something after which the reformer's finger always itches.
William Graham Sumner

The tax code is 10 times longer than the Bible, without the good news.
Dave Camp (Attributed)

When you're taxing bovine flatulence emissions, there's nothing left to tax.
Mark Steyn

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?
Peg Bracken

Logic and taxation are not always the best of friends.
James C. McReynolds

Taxation, gentlemen, is very much like dairy farming. The task is to extract the maximum amount of milk with the minimum of moo.
Sir Terry Pratchett

It should be known that at the beginning of a dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of a dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments.
Ibn Khaldun

Taxing is an easy business. Any projector can contrive new impositions, any bungler can add to the old.
Edmund Burke

The doctrines that by keeping out foreign goods more wealth, and consequently more employment, will be created at home, are either true or they are not true. We contend that they are not true. We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.
Winston Churchill

Taxes are an evil—a necessary evil, but still an evil, and the fewer of them we have the better.
Winston Churchill

We have pushed taxation of wealth to a point in Great Britain where in many cases the yield would be greater if the rate were less. The idea that prosperity can be wooed by chasing millionaires is one of the most common and most foolish of modern popular delusions.
Winston Churchill


[I am] a hardened and shameless tea drinker, who has, for twenty years, diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant, whose kettle has scarcely time to cool, who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnights, and with tea welcomes the morning.
Samuel Johnson

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea?—how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.
Sydney Smith


A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
Henry Brooks Adams


Let not women’s weapons, waterdrops,
Stain my man’s cheeks!


For a successful technology, honesty must take precedence over public relations for nature cannot be fooled.
Richard Feynman

Putt's Law: Technology is dominated by two types of people: Those who understand what they do not manage. Those who manage what they do not understand.
Author unidentified

Technology … the knack of so arranging the world that we need not experience it.
Max Frisch


I hate television. I hate it as much as I hate peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.
Orson Welles

Television is bear-led by its visuals, not to speak of the neuroses of the people who work for this irrational and self-corrupting medium. … in wartime, truth is hard to come by but you are more likely to find it in newspapers than in the flickering images and babble of the box.
Paul Johnson

If everyone agrees that television has unrivaled efficiency at selling goods, services, culture, music, God, politics and fashion, why does the industry continue to claim that the one thing it cannot sell is violence?
Paul Johnson

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
Hunter S. Thompson

Television is for appearing on, not looking at.
Noël Coward

Television thrives on unreason, and unreason thrives on television … [Television] strikes at the emotions rather than the intellect.
Robin Day

Let's face it, there are no plain women on television.
Anna Ford

Why should people go out and pay to see bad movies when they can stay at home and see bad television for nothing?
Sam Goldwyn


I can resist everything except temptation.
Oscar Wilde

Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. … You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. … We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.
C. S. Lewis

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
Oscar Wilde

God delights in our temptations, and yet hates them; he delights in them when they drive us to prayer; he hates them when they drive us to despair.
Martin Luther

I am not over-fond of resisting temptation.
William Beckford

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

"Temptations can be got rid of."
"By yielding to them."
Honoré de Balzac


Terror has its inspiration, as well as competition.
Benjamin Disraeli


Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
Margaret Thatcher

Ought we not to ask the media to agree among themselves a voluntary code of conduct, under which they would not say or show anything which could assist the terrorists' morale or their cause while the hijack lasted.
Margaret Thatcher

But, as frightening as terrorism is, it's the weapon of losers. … Winners don't need to hijack airplanes. Winners have an Air Force.
P. J. O'Rourke


Murder will never be in my eyes an object of admiration and an argument for freedom; I know nothing more servile, more despicable, more cowardly, more narrow-minded than a terrorist.
François René de Chateaubriand


My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving … the holiday that is solely based on stuffing your face until you have to be rolled away from the table so you start the exhausting task of sitting in front of the TV watching football all day.
Stephen Furst


I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare.
Harriet Martineau


Sloppy writing reflects sloppy thinking.
Author unidentified

People calculate too much and think too little.
Charlie Munger

We [Munger and Warren Buffet] both insist on a lot of time being available almost every day to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. We read and think.
Charlie Munger

But far more numerous was the herd of such
Who think too little and who talk too much.
John Dryden

Yet, how great is the number of those in whose minds no source of thought has ever been opened, in whose life no consequence of thought is ever discovered; who have learned nothing upon which they can reflect; who have neither seen nor felt anything which could leave its traces on the memory; who neither foresee nor desire any change of their condition, and have therefore neither fear, hope, nor design, and yet are supposed to be thinking beings.
Samuel Johnson

Third World

Cuba illustrated the gap between words and reality which was to become the most striking characteristic of the Third World. Everyone in politics talked revolution and practiced graft.
Paul Johnson

[The term "Third World"] satisfied the human longing for simple moral distinctions. There were "good" nations (the poor ones) and "bad" nations (the rich ones). Nations were rich precisely because they were bad, and poor because they were innocent.
Paul Johnson

Thomas Carlyle

I lead a most dyspeptic, solitary, self-shrouded life: consuming, if possible in silence, my considerable daily allotment of pain; glad when any strength is left in me for working, which is the only use I can see in myself.
Thomas Carlyle

Carlyle is a poet to whom nature has denied the faculty of verse.
Alfred Tennyson

Carlyle’s eye was a terrible organ: he saw everything.
Augustine Birrell

Thomas Jefferson

[Thomas Jefferson is] a man of profound ambition and violent passions.
Alexander Hamilton

If not an absolute atheist, he [Thomas Jefferson] had no belief in a future existence. All his ideas of obligation or retribution were bounded by the present life. His duties to his neighbor were under no stronger guarantee than the laws of the land and the opinions of the world. The tendency of this condition upon a mind of great compass and powerful resources is to produce insincerity and duplicity, which were his besetting sins through life.
John Quincy Adams

The moral character of Jefferson was repulsive. Continually puling about liberty, equality, and the degrading curse of slavery, he brought his own children to the hammer, and made money of his debaucheries.
Thomas Hamilton

Thompson, Hunter S.

Thompson, if he is to be believed, has sampled the entire rainbow of legal and illegal drugs in heroic efforts to feel better than he does.

As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about it. I am told that he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily sane. But we will be doing what he wants us to do, I think, if we consider his exterior a sort of Dorian Gray facade. Inwardly, he is being eaten alive by tinhorn politicians.

The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can do for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor. From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease. I don't have it this morning. It comes and goes. This morning I don't have Hunter Thompson's disease.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Excerpt from "A Political Disease", Vonnegut's review of "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72"


The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame or blame.
Thomas Hobbes

All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
J. W. Goethe

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
Victor Hugo


November, n. The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think.
Robert W. Service

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
Albert Einstein

Methinks I see the wanton hours flee,
And as they pass, turn back and laugh at me.
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham

Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is the allotted span for all we must cram into it!
Winston Churchill

Once, adv. Enough.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Twice, adv. Once too often.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Tempus edax rerum.
Time, the devourer of all things.

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.
Jean de La Bruyère

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Bertrand Russell

There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.
George Carlin

Ah simple man!
When a boy two precious jewels were given thee,
Time and good advice;
One thou hast lost, and the other thrown away.
Benjamin Franklin

Dost thou love life?
then do not squander time;
For that's the stuff
life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
William Shakespeare

I do love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go past.
Douglas Adams

The trouble with being punctual is that there is no-one there to appreciate it.
Author unidentified

Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre

What then is time? Provided that no one asks me, I know. If I want to explain it to an inquirer, I do not know.
St. Augustine

Give me today, and take tomorrow.
Author unidentified

The time of life is short;
To spend that shortness basely were too long.

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end.

Time, which strengthens friendship, weakens love.
Jean de La Bruyère

Time obliterates the fictions of opinion, and confirms the decisions of nature. (Opinionum commenta delet dies, natura judicia Confirmat.)

He told me … that it was the stated and established method of computing time. It was not, indeed, likely that I should understand him; for I never yet knew time computed in my life, nor can imagine why we should be at so much trouble to count what we cannot keep.
Samuel Johnson

We never consider ourselves as possessed at once of time sufficient for any great design, and therefore indulge ourselves, in fortuitous amusements.
Samuel Johnson

He that hopes to look back hereafter with satisfaction upon past years, must learn to know the present value of single minutes, and endeavour to let no particle of time fall useless to the ground.
Samuel Johnson

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.
Dion Boucicault

What's not destroyed by Time's devouring hand?
Where's Troy, and where's the Maypole in the Strand?
James Bramston

I recommend to you to take care of minutes: for hours will take care of themselves.
Lord Chesterfield

Time will rust the sharpest sword,
Time will consume the strongest cord;
That which molders hemp and steel,
Mortal arm and nerve must feel.
Sir Walter Scott

Time has too much credit It is not a great healer. It is an indifferent and perfunctory one. Sometimes it does not heal at all. And sometimes when it seems to, no healing has been necessary.
Ivy Compton-Burnett

Time … puts an end to all human pleasures and sorrows.
Samuel Johnson

Time is the great physician.
Benjamin Disraeli

Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
Henry Austin Dobson

It is well known, that time once passed never returns; and that the moment which is lost, is lost for ever. Time therefore ought, above all other kinds of property, to be free from invasion; and yet there is no man who does not claim the power of wasting that time which is the right of others.
Samuel Johnson

Whoever pays a visit that is not desired, or talks longer than the hearer is willing to attend, is guilty of an injury which he cannot repair, and takes away that which he cannot give.
Samuel Johnson

Time, with all its celerity, moves slowly to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight.
Samuel Johnson

So little do we accustom ourselves to consider the effects of time, that things necessary and certain often surprise us like unexpected contingencies. We leave the beauty in her bloom, and, after an absence of twenty years, wonder, at our return, to find her faded.
Samuel Johnson

There's an experienced rebel, Time,
And in his squadrons Poverty;
There's Age that brings along with him
A terrible artillery:
And if against all these thou keep'st thy crown,
Th'usurper Death will make thee lay it down.
Thomas Flatman

He hath shook hands with time.
John Ford


Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold, and philosopher’s stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases … but as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul.
Robert Burton

Pernicious weed [tobacco]! whose scent the fair annoys,
Unfriendly to society's chief joys.
William Cowper


Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d today.
John Dryden, Imitation of Horace

It's not perfect, but to me on balance Right Now is a lot better than the Good Old Days.
Maeve Binchy


Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.

(Zwei Seelen und ein Gedanke,
Zwei Herzen und ein Schlag!

Friedrich Halm Der Sohn der Wildnis


I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Tolkien, J. R. R.

I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.
J. R. R. Tolkien


After all, tomorrow is another day.
Margaret Mitchell


Man is a tool-using animal … . Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
Thomas Carlyle


I tried so hard, I never knew still waters.
Violent Femmes, Country Death Song


Toronto is a kind of New York operated by the Swiss.
Peter Ustinov


What an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home, and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile attempt to recapture the comforts that you wouldn't have lost if you hadn't left home in the first place.
Bill Bryson


Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Mark Twain


Loveliest of lovely things are they,
On earth, that soonest pass away.
The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
William Cullen Bryant


However excellent the verses, it is impossible to translate them from one language into another without losing much of their beauty and dignity.


It would be undoubtedly best, if we could see and hear every thing as it is, that nothing might be too anxiously dreaded, or too ardently pursued
Samuel Johnson


Those who go overseas find a change of climate, not a change of soul.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
Oscar Wilde

Doc Daneeka hated to fly. He felt imprisoned in an airplane. In an airplane there was absolutely no place in the world to go except to another part of the airplane.
Joseph Heller

A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.
J. B. Priestley

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
Mark Twain

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
Mark Twain

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.
Mark Twain

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
Samuel Johnson

Boswell: Is not the Giant's-Causeway worth seeing?
Johnson: Worth seeing? yes; but not worth going to see.
James Boswell and Samuel Johnson

The mind is a kind of theatre, where several perceptions successively make their appearance; pass, repass, glide away, and mingle in an infinite variety of postures and situations.
David Hume

Travelling is the ruin of all happiness! There's no looking at a building here after seeing Italy.
Fanny Burney

Why do people so love to wander? I think the civilized parts of the world will suffice for me in the future.
Mary Cassatt

A man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher; but he who goes from country to country, guided by a blind impulse of curiosity, is a vagabond.
Oliver Goldsmith


The treacherous are ever distrustful.
J. R. R. Tolkien


[Treason], Sire, is a question of date.
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
Sir John Harington

Princes in this case
Do hate the traitor, though they love the treason.
Samuel Daniel


I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
Willa Cather


I against my brother; I and my brother against our cousin; my brother and our cousin against the neighbors; all of us against the strangers.
Bedouin Proverb


Trifles make the sum of life.
Charles Dickens


He sickened at all triumphs but his own.
Charles Churchill, of Thomas Franklin


There is no snare more dangerous to busy and excursive minds, than the cobwebs of petty inquisitiveness, which entangle them in trivial employments and minute studies.
Samuel Johnson


It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.
G. K. Chesterton

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it is just possible you haven't grasped the situation.
Jean Kerr

Extreme distress, which unites the virtue of a free people, imbitters the factions of a declining monarchy.
Edward Gibbon

This too shall pass.
Author unidentified

He that seekes trouble never misses.
George Herbert


When a public quarrel is envenomed by private injuries, a blow that is not mortal or decisive can be productive only of a short truce, which allows the unsuccessful combatant to sharpen his arms for a new encounter.
Edward Gibbon


He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.

The way to learn whether a person is trustworthy is to trust him.
Ernest Hemingway

To trust people is a luxury in which only the wealthy can indulge; the poor cannot afford it.
E. M. Forster


The truth is rarely pure, and never simple
Oscar Wilde

It is one of the most fundamental fallacies of the post-Sixties Left that there is no such thing as objective truth.
Paul Johnson

Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy, have ample wages, but truth goes a begging.
Martin Luther

It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world.
Samuel Johnson

The dignity of truth is lost with much protesting.
Ben Johnson

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.
Matthew Arnold

Truth … never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her forth.
John Milton

It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world, that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth.
Arthur James Balfour

Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie:
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
George Herbert

Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers.
William Penn

In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it; for no species of falsehood is more frequent than flattery, to which the coward is betrayed by fear, the dependant by interest, and the friend by tenderness.
Samuel Johnson

Great is truth, and it prevails. (Magna est veritas, et praevalet.)
III Esdras 4:41 (Vulgate, 1 Esdras 4:41 in modern translations)

One of the favourite maxims of my father was the distinction between the two sorts of truths, profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd.
Niels Bohr

Soothsayers make a better living in the world than truthsayers.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson

Truth will ultimately prevail where pains [are] taken to bring it to light.
George Washington

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
Arthur Conan Doyle

Truth and Deception

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Deceive not thy physician, confessor, nor lawyer.
George Herbert

It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest the most violently are those who try to tell the truth.
H. L. Mencken

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Mark Twain

Hope deceives more men than cunning can.
Marquis Vauvenargues

If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
René Descartes

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
Denis Diderot

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so.
Mark Twain

Why abandon a belief merely because it ceases to be true? Cling to it long enough and … it will turn true again, for so it goes. Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.
Robert Frost

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
Samuel Butler

And after all what is a lie? 'Tis but the truth in masquerade.
George Gordon, Lord Byron

A lie is halfway around the world before truth has got its boots on. (Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius alium)

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.
George Bernard Shaw

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
Adolf Hitler

The great masses of the people … will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one.
Adolf Hitler

Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.
Mark Twain

The truth is what is; what should be is a dirty lie.
Lenny Bruce

These Macedonians are a rude and clownish people; they call a spade a spade.

[Stanley Baldwin] occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
Winston Churchill

I was brought up in a clergyman's household so I am a first-class liar.
Dame Sybil Thorndike

No totalitarian censor can approach the implacability of the censor who controls the line of communication between the outer world and our consciousness. Nothing is allowed to reach us which might weaken our confidence and lower our morale. To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth.
Eric Hoffer

Truthful, adj. Dumb and illiterate.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

A woman may tell ninety-nine lies, but the hundredth will betray her.
Haussa Proverb

One lie draws ten after it.
Italian Proverb

Tell a lie and you will hear the truth.
Spanish Proverb

O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive.
Sir Walter Scott

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
H. L. Mencken

Truth, n. Something somehow discreditable to someone.
H. L. Mencken

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
Mark Twain

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
Eric Hoffer

The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.
Mark Twain

Truth does not blush. (Veritas non erubescit).

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

What I tell you three times is true.
Lewis Carroll

Is honesty always the best policy? Not when it does unnecessary harm or gets in the way of doing good.
Dennis Prager

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.

By the time you say you're his,
Shivering and sighing
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
Dorothy Parker


They [Americans] augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.
Edmund Burke

The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
Edmund Burke

The power of the Executive to cast a man in prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government, whether Nazi or Communist.
Winston Churchill

The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit Tyranny tyranny.
Winston Churchill


Any excuse will serve a tyrant.

Sic semper tyrannis [Thus always to tyrants].
Author unidentified

Tyrants seldom want pretexts.
Edmund Burke

Nature has left this tincture in the blood,
That all men would be tyrants if they could.
Daniel Defoe

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Last updated: May 23, 2024