Happy Onam

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Quotes

Posted by Rajesh Odayanchal | Posted in | Posted on 5:43 AM

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Ability


There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.
Robert Half


They are able because they think they are able.
Virgil


Absence



Speak no evil of an absent friend. (Non male loquare absenti amico.)
Plautus


Seldom seen, soon forgotten.
Richard Hilles


The pain without the peace of death.
Plautus, on absence


The absent are as good as dead.
Latin Proverb


The absent and the dead have no friends.
Spanish Proverb


Absence makes the heart go wander.
Author unidentified


Abstemiousness And Gluttony


More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.
J. K. Galbraith


My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.
Orson Welles


To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
Benjamin Franklin


Gluttony hinders chastity.
Pope Xystus I


Gluttony slays more than the sword.
English Proverb


Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great.
Henry IV of France


One must eat to live, and not live to eat.
Molière


How hard is it to persuade the belly, that hath no ears?
Cato the Elder


Accident



Nothing under the sun is ever accidental.
G. E. Lessing


Achievement



No man has lived to much purpose unless he has built a house, begotten a son, or written a book.
Italian Proverb


Acquaintance


The wisest man I have ever known once said to me: "Nine out of every ten people improve on acquaintance," and I have found his words true.
Frank Swinnerton


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to min'?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days o' lang syne?
Robert Burns


If a man is worth knowing at all, he is worth knowing well.
Alexander Smith

Acquaintance, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


A wise man knows everything; a shrewd one, everybody.
Author unidentified


Action


There are two kinds of people: those who don't do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven't done, and those who haven't time to write about it because they're out doing it.
Richard Flournoy and Lewis R. Foster


I plow, but I do not write about plowing.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


It seems to me that man is made to act rather than to know: the principles of things escape our most persevering researches.
Frederick The Great


Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.
Benjamin Disraeli


The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of moral crisis, do nothing.
Dante


To an active mind, indolence is more painful than labor.
Edward Gibbon


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt


"He means well" is useless unless he does well.
Plautus


The inactivity of a conqueror betrays the loss of strength and blood . . .
Edward Gibbon


No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of confusion by taking one little step toward solution. Do something.
George F. Nordenholt


Colonel Brighton: Look, sir, we can't just do nothing.

General Allenby: Why not? It's usually best.
David Lean


No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
Edmund Burke


Actor



Actors are a nuisance in the earth, the very offal of society.
Timothy Dwight


Adam



In the Garden of Eden sat Adam,

Massaging the bust of his madam,

He chuckled with mirth,

For he knew that on earth,

There were only two boobs and he had 'em.
Author unidentified


What could Adam have done to God that made Him put Eve in the garden?
Polish Proverb


Adjective



As to the adjective, when in doubt strike it out.
Mark Twain


The adjective is the enemy of the noun.
Author unidentified


Admiration



Admiration is a very short-lived passion, that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object.
Joseph Addison

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Admonition



Admonish your friends in private; praise them in public.
Publilius Syrus


Adultery



If a married woman shall be caught lying with another man, both shall be bound and thrown into the river.
The Code of the Hammurabi


But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment;

whoever does so destroys himself.
Proverbs 6:32


Between a man and his wife a husband's infidelity is nothing. The man imposes no bastards on his wife.
Samuel Johnson


Adverb



The adverb is the enemy of the verb.
Author unidentified


Adversity



In time of prosperity friends will be plenty;

In time of adversity not one in twenty.
James Howell


In prosperity, caution; in adversity, patience.
Dutch Proverb


By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
Mark Twain


While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.
Henry C. Link


Advertisement


Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
Stephen Leacock

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark: you know what you are doing, but nobody else does.
Edgar Watson Howe


Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson


Advice


When we ask advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.
Marquis de Lagrange


Whatever your advice, make it brief.
Horace


Advice is least heeded when most needed.
English Proverb


You may give him good advice, but who can give him wit to take it?
Thomas Fuller


The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
Oscar Wilde


Beware the advice of a poor man.
Spanish Proverb


Never advise anyone to go to war or to marry.
Spanish Proverb


My mother once said to me, "Elwood" -- she always called me Elwood -- "Elwood, in this world you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." For years I tried smart. I recommend pleasant.
Elwood P. Dowde (James Stewart), "Harvey"


Ask advice only of your equals.
Danish Proverb


Many receive advice, few profit by it.
Publilius Syrus


Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


[But] if the royal ear [of Theodoric] was open to the voice of truth, a saint and a philosopher are not always to be found at the ear of kings.
Edward Gibbon


Affectation



The qualities we have do not make us so ridiculous as those we affect to have.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


Age



One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell that would tell anything.
Oscar Wilde


I'm very pleased with each advancing year. It stems back to when I was forty. I was a bit upset about reaching that milestone, but an older friend consoled me. 'Don't complain about growing old -- many, many people do not have that privilege.'
Earl Warren


Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives.
Maurice Chevalier


As for me, except for an occasional heart attack, I feel as young as I ever did.
Robert Benchley


You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
Woody Allen


Aggression



Aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed.
Phaedrus


Agnostic



In every unbeliever's heart there is an uneasy feeling that, after all, he may awake after death and find himself immortal. This is his punishment for his unbelief. This is the agnostic's Hell.
H. L. Mencken


Alone



It is better to be alone than in ill company.
George Pettie


A man is never alone, not only because he is with himself and his own thoughts, but because he is with the Devil, who ever consorts with our solitude.
Thomas Browne


Ambition



Vain the ambition of kings

Who seek by trophies and dead things

To leave a living name behind,

And weave but nets to catch the wind.
John Webster


It seems that ambition makes most people wish to be loved rather than to love others.
Aristotle


Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.
Aesop


America


In England I would rather be a man, a horse, a dog, or a woman, in that order. In America I think the order would be reversed.
Bruce Gould

I regard England as my wife and America as my mistress.
Cedric Hardwicke

The European traveler in America -- at least if I may judge by myself -- is struck by two peculiarities: first, the extreme similarity of outlook in all parts of the United States (except the Old South), and secondly, the passionate desire of each locality to prove that it is peculiar and different from every other. The second of these is, of course, caused by the first.
Bertrand Russell


Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.
Unidentified Indian Immigrant when asked why he wants to come to America


The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
Frank Zappa


America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde


America is not what's wrong with the world.
Donald Rumsfeld


America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Attributed)


I'll start to worry about America's standing in the world when people from all corners of the earth cease to want to come here.
Ascribed to Paul Johnson


America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.
Bernard Lewis


American


No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
H. L. Mencken

The American people, taking one with another, constitute the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goosesteppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages.
H. L. Mencken


The Americans are the illegitimate children of the English.
H. L. Mencken


Americans are very smart about the things they care about, and ignorant about the things they don't.
Jonah Goldberg


Ammianus Marcellinus



Ammianus is so eloquent, that he writes nonsense.
Edward Gibbon


Ancestry


I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.
Abraham Lincoln

Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.
Van Wyck Brooks


It is certainly desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.
Plutarch


He who boasts of his descent praises another.
Seneca


A mule always boasts that its ancestors were horses.
German Proverb


Speak of the moderns without contempt and of the ancients without idolatry; judge them all by their merits and not by their age.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield


Anger



The best cure for anger is delay.
Seneca


How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Marcus Aurelius


Whate'er's begun in anger ends in shame.
Benjamin Franklin


When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
Thomas Jefferson


Anger is a vulgar passion directed to vulgar ends, and it always sinks to the level of its object.
Ernst Von Feuchtersleben


The size of a man can be measured by the size of the thing that makes him angry.
J. Kenfield Morley


He who is slow to anger is longer getting over it.
Hungarian Proverb


Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.
Henry Ward Beecher


An angry man [differs] from a madman only in the shorter time which his passion [endures].
Cato the Elder


"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:26,27


Animal


Odd things animals. All dogs look up to you. All cats look down to you. Only a pig looks at you as an equal.
Winston Churchill

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
Josh Billings

The pig, if I am not mistaken,

Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.

Let others say his heart is big --

I call it stupid of the pig.
Ogden Nash


If you have no trouble, buy a goat.
Persian Proverb


Our toil is lessened, and our wealth is increased, by our dominion over the useful animals . . .
Edward Gibbon


Answer



No answer is also an answer.
German Proverb


Antiquity



Let others praise ancient times; I am glad that I was born in these.
Ovid


Damn the age; I will write for antiquity.
Ascribed to Charles Lamb


Appearance



All is not gold that shines like gold. (Non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurum.)

Other translations:
  1. Everything that glitters is not gold.
  2. Do not hold as gold all that shines as gold.
Alanus De Insulis


Three-tenths of a good appearance are due to nature; seven-tenths to dress.
Chinese Proverb


Appeasement



I . . . smell the stench of appeasement in the air.
Margaret Thatcher


Appetite



All man's efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 6:7


Subdue your appetites, and you've conquered human nature.
Charles Dickens


Applause



When most the world applauds you, most beware:

'Tis often less a blessing than a snare.
Edward Young


Arab



Better the oppression of Turks than the justice of Arabs.
Arab Proverb


The life of a wandering Arab [in the time of Gibbon] is a life of danger and distress; and though sometimes, by rapine or exchange, he may appropriate the fruits of industry, a private citizen in Europe is in the possession of more solid and pleasing luxury than the proudest emir, who marches in the field at the head of ten thousand horse.
Edward Gibbon


[The] noblest of [Arabs] united the love of arms with the profession of merchandise.
Edward Gibbon


[Arabs are] a people, whom it is dangerous to provoke, and fruitless to attack.
Edward Gibbon


But [the Arabs'] friendship was venal, their faith inconstant, their enmity capricious: it was an easier task to excite than to disarm these roving barbarians; and, in the familiar intercourse of war, they learned to see, and to despise, the splendid weakness both of Rome and of Persia.
Edward Gibbon


The character of Hatem is the perfect model of Arabian virtue: he was brave and liberal, an eloquent poet, and a successful robber . . .
Edward Gibbon


Arms



The principal foundations of all states are good laws and good arms; and there cannot be good laws where there are not good arms.
Niccolò Machiavelli


Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.
Aristotle


Army



An army of stags led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a stag.
Ascribed to Chabrias


That's what an army is -- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers.
Mark Twain


Arrogance



[Their] minds were not yet humbled to their condition . . .
Edward Gibbon


Art


Art for art's sake makes no more sense than gin for gin's sake.
Somerset Maugham


Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult.
Hippocrates


Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is a sort of grandchild of God.
Dante


You must treat a work of art like a great man: stand before it and wait patiently till it deigns to speak.
Arthur Schopenhauer


No one can explain how the notes of a Mozart melody, or the folds of a piece of Titian's drapery, produce their essential effects. If you do not feel it, no one can by reasoning make you feel it.
John Ruskin


I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like.
American Proverb


Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.
Edith Wharton


By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.
G. K. Chesterton


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams


Artist



The gods that first taught artists their craft laid a great curse on mankind.
Antiphanes


Artists are on the average less happy than men of science.
Bertrand Russell


Asceticism



There is no virtue in penance and fasting which waste the body; they are only fanatical and monkish.
Immanuel Kant


A dominant religion is never ascetic.
T.B. Macaulay


Asceticism may be a mere expression of organic hardihood, disgusted with too much ease.
William James


Asking



He that asketh faintly beggeth a denial.
Thomas Fuller


The man who is afraid of asking is ashamed of learning.
Danish Proverb


Aspiration



Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Alexander Pope


Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,

Or what's Heaven for?
Robert Browning


The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life:

Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate.
Robert Browning


Hitch your wagon to a star.
R. W. Emerson


Assassination



Assassination is the last resource of cowards.
Edward Gibbon


Association



I am always longing to be with men more excellent than myself.
Charles Lamb


When a dove begins to associate with crows its feathers remain white but its heart grows black.
German Proverb


Astrology



[Astrology] is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeit of our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and teachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence.
William Shakespeare


Astronomy



[The] sublime science of astronomy . . . elevates the mind of man to disdain his diminutive planet and momentary existence.
Edward Gibbon


Atheism



It is atheism and blasphemy to dispute what God can do: good Christians content themselves with His will revealed in His Word.
James I


A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth a man's mind about to religion.
Francis Bacon


The three great apostles of practical atheism, that make converts without persecuting, and retain them without preaching, are wealth, health, and power.
C. C. Colton


Practical atheism, seeing no guidance for human affairs but its own limited foresight, endeavors itself to play the god, and decide what will be good for mankind and what bad.
Herbert Spencer


Atheist



The kingdom that is infested by atheists is beset by famine and disease and soon perishes.
The Code of Manu


To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
Woody Allen


Attitude



A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Herm Albright


Audience



The best audience is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk.
Alben W. Barkley


Author



The best part of every author is in general to be found in his book, I assure you.
Samuel Johnson


While an author is yet living we estimate his powers by his worst performance, and when he is dead we rate them by his best.
Samuel Johnson


An author is like a baker; it is for him to make the sweets, and others to buy and enjoy them.
Leigh Hunt


An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.
Charles de Montesquieu


Autobiography


Autobiography is now as common as adultery -- and hardly less reprehensible.
Lord Altrincham


Awkwardness



Men lose more conquests by their own awkwardness than by any virtue in the woman.
Ninon de Enclos


Baby


A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
Mark Twain


A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan


Bachelor


A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.
Don Quinn


Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
H. L. Mencken


Cock's bones! now again I stand

The jolliest bachelor i' th' land.
Ascribed to Henry VIII of England: On the beheading of Anne Boleyn, 1536


A single man has not nearly the value he would have in [a] state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.
Benjamin Franklin


An old bachelor is a poor critter.
C. F. Browne


A bachelor is one who enjoys the chase but does not eat the game.
Author unidentified


Praise all wives, but remain a bachelor.
Italian Proverb


So long as a man is without a wife he is only half a man.
Sanskrit Proverb


Backfire



For 'tis the sport to have the engineer

Hoist with his own petard . . .
William Shakespeare


Bad



No man becomes bad all at once.
Juvenal


Balance



One who is serious all day will never have a good time, while one who is frivolous all day will never establish a household.
Ptahhotpe


Bald



There is nothing more contemptible than a bald man who pretends to have hair.
Martial


Honest men grow gray; others grow bald.
Hungarian Proverb


Banana



Where the banana grows man is sensual and cruel.
R. W. Emerson


Banker



A banker is a man who lends you an umbrella when the weather is fair, and takes it away from you when it rains.
Author unidentified


Barbarian



[The Gauls] derided the hairy and gigantic savages of the North; their rustic manners, dissonant joy, voracious appetite, and their horrid appearance, equally disgusting to the sight and to the smell.
Edward Gibbon


Bashfulness



To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside;

Who fears to ask doth teach to be deny'd.
Robert Herrick


Though modesty be a virtue, yet bashfulness is a vice.
Thomas Fuller


The bashful always lose.
French Proverb


Bastard



Those born of sinful intercourse are not counted as children.
Legal Maxim


Battle



Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.
The Duke of Wellington: Despatch from the field of Waterloo, June, 1815


If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth.
M. I. Dragomiroff: Notes for Soldiers, c. 1890


Battlefield



Well, well, General, bury these poor men, and let us say no more about it.
R. E. Lee: To General A. P. Hill after the battle of Bristoe Station, Oct. 14, 1863


Beating



A spaniel, a woman, and a walnut tree,

The more they're beaten the better they be.
John Ray


Beauty


Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.
John Ruskin

Why is it that beautiful women never seem to have any curiosity?



Is it because they know they're classical? With classical things the Lord finished the job. Ordinary ugly people know they're deficient and they go on looking for the pieces.
Penelope Gilliatt


Beauty and wisdom are seldom found together.
Petronius Arbiter


A holy woman may be beautiful by the gift of nature, but she must not give occasion to lust. If beauty be hers, so far from setting it off she ought rather to obscure it.
Tertullian


Had she deigned to remove her veil, God Himself would have fallen in love with her.
Torquato Tasso


A poor beauty finds more lovers than husbands.
George Herbert


Beauty and sadness always go together.
George MacDonald


We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.
R. W. Emerson


It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.
Oscar Wilde


It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.
Chinese Proverb


Beauty is a good letter of introduction.
German Proverb


Beauty and chastity are always quarreling.
Spanish Proverb


[Beauty is] an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
Edward Gibbon


Bed



Loath to bed, and loath to rise.
John Clarke


No bed is big enough to hold three.
German Proverb


Bedroom



A husband and wife who have separate bedrooms have either drifted apart -- or found happiness.
Balzac


Beef



Beefsteaks and porter are gude belly mortar.
Scottish Proverb


Beer



He that drinks strong beer,

And goes to bed mellow,

Lives as he ought to live,

And dies a hearty fellow.
Author unidentified


I wish to see this beverage become common instead of the whisky which kills one-third of our citizens, and ruins their families.
Thomas Jefferson


Here

With my beer

I sit,

While golden moments flit:

Alas!

They pass

Unheeded by:

And as they fly,

I,

Being dry,

Sit, idly sipping here

My beer.
George Arnold


There is no bad beer: some kinds are better than others.
German Proverb


Beethoven



Beethoven can write music, thank God -- but he can do nothing else on earth.
Ludwig van Beethoven


Beggar



Beggars should be abolished. It annoys one to give to them, and it annoys one not to give to them.
F. W. Nietzsche


It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief.
Japanese Proverb


Beginning



The beginning is half of the whole.
Plato


Every beginning is hard.
German Proverb


Belief



I believe it because it is absurd.
Tertullian (ascribed)


We believe nothing so firmly as what we least know.
Michel de Montaigne


He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.
Thomas Fuller


Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
Dinah Mulock Craik


Never tell all that you know, or do all that you can, or believe all that you hear.
Portuguese Proverb


Belief forms behavior.
David Klinghoffer


I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
Bertrand Russell


Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
Bertrand Russell


Belisarius



The spectator and historian of [Belisarius's] exploits has observed, that amidst the perils of war, he was daring without rashness, prudent without fear, slow or rapid according to the exigencies of the moment; that in the deepest distress he was animated by real or apparent hope, but that he was modest and humble in the most prosperous fortune.
Edward Gibbon


Belly



A full belly neither fights nor flies well.
George Herbert


Betrayal



You also, Brutus my son. (Et tu, Brute!, though Caesar reportedly said this in Greek).
Julius Caesar


Betting



The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet.
Author unidentified


Biography


Biography is one of the new terrors of death.
John Arbuthnot

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man -- the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
Mark Twain


Birth



Birth, n. The first and direst of all disasters.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Blame



Blame is safer than praise.
R. W. Emerson


Blessing



Judge none blessed before his death.
Ecclesiasticus 11:28


May your glass be ever full.

May the roof over your head be always strong.

And may you be in heaven half an hour

Before the Devil knows you're dead.
Author unidentified


May you live as long as you want,

And never want as long as you live.
Author unidentified


May your neighbors respect you,

Trouble neglect you,

The angels protect you,

And heaven accept you.
Author unidentified


May the Good Lord take a liking to you, . . . but not too soon!
Author unidentified


The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26


Book


Reading all the good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
René Descartes

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.
G. K. Chesterton

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folk have lent me.
Anatole France

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
Oscar Wilde

I never can understand how two men can write a book together; to me that's like three people getting together to have a baby.
Evelyn Waugh

I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
Henry Kissinger, of his memoirs


If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or, as it were, fondle them -- peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on their shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you will at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances.
Winston Churchill


May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, or the Phoenicians, or whoever invented books.
Thomas Carlyle


The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing; every one must be an author; some out of vanity, to acquire celebrity and raise up a name, others for the sake of mere gain.
Martin Luther


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Francis Bacon


A great [large] book is a great evil.
Joseph Addison


I keep to old books, for they teach me something; from the new I learn very little.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


My books are friends that never fail me.
Thomas Carlyle


Books are a triviality. Life alone is great.
Thomas Carlyle


A room without books is like a body without a soul.
G. K. Chesterton


Bore



Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


Boredom



When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.
Eric Hoffer


Boredom is an evil that is not to be estimated lightly. It can come in the end to real despair. The public authority takes precautions against it everywhere, as against other universal calamities.
Arthur Schopenhauer


Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.
C. C. Colton


Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
Bertrand Russell


Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored.
George Saunders, last words


Borrowing And Lending



Borrowing is not much better than begging.
G. E. Lessing


Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
William Shakespeare


Boy



A boy is, of all wild beasts, the most difficult to manage.
Plato

The parent who could see his boy as he really is, would shake his head and say, "Willie is no good; I'll sell him."
Stephen Leacock


One boy is more trouble than a dozen girls.
English Proverb


The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of a remarkable Christian forbearance among men.
Ambrose Bierce


A boy is a cross between a god and a goat.
Author unidentified


Bravery



Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
Thomas Fuller


He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
Jonathan Swift


Breeding



Birth's gude but breeding's better.
Scottish Proverb


Brevity


I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.
Blaise Pascal


Do you wish to instruct? Be brief, that the mind may catch thy precepts and the more easily retain them.
Horace


In order to speak short upon any subject, think long.
H. H. Brackenridge


That which is brief, if it be good, is good twice over.
Spanish Proverb


It is not the burden but the overburden that kills the beast.
Spanish Proverb


Brevity is the soul of wit.
William Shakespeare


Bridegroom



A bridegroom is a guy who has lost his liberty in the pursuit of happiness.
Author unidentified


British


Socialism has been preached for so long, the British people no longer have any sense of personal responsibility.
Lord Thomson of Fleet


Building



Build and borrow,

A sackful of sorrow.

(Bauen und Borgen,

Ein Sack voll Sorgen.)
German Proverb


Burden



Light burdens, long borne, grow heavy.
George Herbert


Bureaucracy



I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Thomas Jefferson


The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
Eugene McCarthy


Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
Milton Friedman


The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.
Robert Conquest


It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life.
Alexis de Tocqueville


Business


The Peter Principle: In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to the level of his incompetence.
Laurence J. Peter


The basic concept of the Dilbert Principle is that the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management.
Scott Adams

If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.
Bertrand Russell

Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.
Winston Churchill

Businessmen are notable for a peculiarly stalwart character, which enables them to enjoy without loss of self-reliance the benefits of tariffs, franchises, and even outright government subsidies.
Herbert J. Muller

The egalitarianism of the present tax structure is thought to be seriously dampening individual effort, initiative, and inspiration . . . [it] destroys ambition, penalizes success, discourages investment to create new jobs, and may well turn a nation of risk-taking entrepreneurs into a nation of softies.
Fred Maytag II

It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice; I consider the real vice is making losses.
Winston Churchill

Planned Economy: Where everything is included in the plans except economy.
Carey McWilliams

No matter what you think your job is, your job is to make your boss's life easier.
Author unidentified

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
Northcote Parkinson ("Parkinson's Law")

A man's work is his dilemma: his job is his bondage, but it also gives him a fair share of his identity and keeps him from being a bystander in somebody else's world.
Melvin Maddocks


Committee: A group of the unfit appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.
Carl C. Byers

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, it's a depression when you lose your own.
Harry S. Truman


Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
J. K. Galbraith


He had talents equal to business, and aspired no higher.
Tacitus


Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.
John Maynard Keynes


If you owe the bank a thousand dollars, you have a problem; if you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank has a problem.
Author unidentified


[The] clamour and sophistry of merchants and manufacturers easily persuade [the people], that the private interest of a part, and of a subordinate part, of the society, is the general interest of the whole.
Adam Smith


Busy



None are so busy as the fool and knave.
John Dryden


He that is busy is tempted by but one devil; he that is idle, by a legion.
Thomas Fuller


The busiest men have the most leisure.
English Proverb


The busy have no time for tears.
Byron


Busybody



It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis


Buyer



Let the buyer beware. (Caveat emptor.)
Legal Maxim


Cabbage



Cabbage twice cooked is death.
Greek Proverb.


Calm



If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then it's possible that you don't fully understand the situation.
Author unidentified


Calumny



Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
William Shakespeare


Canada


I wish the British Government would give you Canada at once. It is fit for nothing but to breed quarrels.
Lord Ashburton

Canada could have enjoyed:

English government,

French culture,

and American know-how.

Instead it ended up with:

English know-how,

French government,

and American culture.
John Robert Colombo


England would be better off without Canada; it keeps her in a prepared state for war at a great expense and constant irritation.
Napoleon I


Canadian



Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States.
J. Bartlet Brebner


Capitalist



The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.
Willi Schlamm


Carefulness



If you can't be good be careful.
American Proverb


Carelessness



The wife of a careless man is almost a widow.
Hungarian Proverb


Caroline of England



Most gracious queen, we thee implore

To go away and sin no more,

But if that effort be too great,

To go away at any rate.
Anonymous: Verse circulated in London on the trial of Queen Caroline for adultery, 1820.


Cartel



People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
Adam Smith


In a free trade, an effectual combination cannot be established but by the unanimous consent of every single trader, and it cannot last longer than every single trader continues of the same mind. The majority of a corporation can enact a bye-law, with proper penalties, which will limit the competition more effectually and more durably than any voluntary combination whatever.
Adam Smith


Carthage



That country [Carthage] was rapidly sinking into the state of barbarism from whence it had been raised by the Phoenician colonies and Roman laws; and every step of intestine discord was marked by some deplorable victory of savage man over civilized society.
Edward Gibbon


Cash



In God we trust; all others must pay cash.
American Saying


Casuist



There is a demand today for men who can make wrong appear right.
Terrence, c. 160 B.C.


Cat



When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne


Stately, kindly, lordly friend

Condescend

Here to sit by me.
Algernon Charles Swinburne, To a Cat.


Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of £10. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat.
Rule 46, Oxford Union Society (circa 1997)


Cause And Effect



For want of a nail the shoe is lost; for want of a shoe the horse is lost; and for want of a horse the rider is lost.
George Herbert


The thorns which I have reap'd are of the tree I planted.
Byron


After this, therefore because of this. (Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.)
Latin Phrase (A familiar logical fallacy)


Caution



The cautious seldom make mistakes.
Confucius


Think much and often, speak little, and write less.
Italian Proverb


If not chastely, then at least cautiously. (Nisi caste, saltem caute.)
Latin Proverb


Drive carefully. We have two cemeteries [but] no hospital.
Billboard outside of Branxton, New South Wales


Celibacy



Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horsepond.
Thomas Love Peacock


Cemetery



The fence around a cemetery is foolish, for those inside can't get out and those outside don't want to get in.
Arthur Brisbane


He who seeks equality should go to a cemetery.
German Proverb


Centralization



If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruption.
Thomas Jefferson


Certainty



The public, with its mob yearning to be instructed, edified and pulled by the nose, demands certainties; it must be told definitely and a bit raucously that this is true and that is false. But there are no certainties.
H. L. Mencken


If you forsake a certainty and depend on an uncertainty, you will lose both the certainty and the uncertainty.
Sanskrit Proverb


In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Bertrand Russell


Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.
Bertrand Russell


Chance



The race is not to the swift

or the battle to the strong,

nor does food come to the wise

or wealth to the brilliant

or favor to the learned;

but time and chance happen to them all.
Ecclesiastes 9:11


Change



Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.
Socrates


There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new . . .
Niccolò Machiavelli


Everything changes but the avant-garde.
Paul Valéry


Character


There are things about me you wouldn't understand, things you couldn't understand, things you shouldn't understand.
Pee Wee Herman

The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
George Eliot


A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's.
Jean Paul Richter

If I keep my good character, I shall be rich enough.
Platonicus


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Abraham Lincoln


There is something even more valuable to civilization than wisdom, and that is character.
H. L. Mencken


The older I grow the less I esteem mere ideas. In politics, particularly, they are transient and unimportant. . . . There are only men who have character and men who lack it.
H. L. Mencken


Mankind is made up of inconsistencies, and no man acts invariably up to his predominant character. The wisest man sometimes acts weakly, and the weakest sometimes wisely.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield


When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;

When health is lost, something is lost;

When character is lost, all is lost!
Author unidentified


But the human character, however it may be exalted or depressed by a temporary enthusiasm, will return by degrees to its proper and natural level, and will resume those passions that seem the most adapted to its present condition.
Edward Gibbon


Charity



With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln


Charity and pride have different aims, yet both feed the poor.
Thomas Fuller


He gives twice that gives soon; i.e., he will soon be called to give again.
Benjamin Franklin


I cannot describe to you the despairing sensation of trying to do something for a man who seems incapable or unwilling to do anything further for himself.
Byron


Do not tell me of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
R. W. Emerson


With one hand I take thousands of rubles from the poor, and with the other I hand back a few kopecks.
Leo Tolstoy


The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.
William Hutton


Charm


Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world will let them.
Logan Pearsall Smith


All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.
Oscar Wilde


Chastity



Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.
Saint Augustine


Chaste makes waste.
Author unidentified


An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne


Although the progress of civilization has undoubtedly contributed to assuage the fiercer passions of human nature, it seems to have been less favorable to the virtue of chastity . . . The refinements of life corrupt while they polish the intercourse of the sexes.
Edward Gibbon


A reputation for chastity is necessary to a woman. Chastity itself is also sometimes useful.
Author unidentified


Cheapness



What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
Thomas Paine


Cheating



He that cheats me once, shame on him; he that cheats me twice, shame on me. (He that cheats me ance, shame fa' him; he that cheats me twice; shame fa' me.)
Scottish Proverb


Cheerfulness



Be cheerful while you are alive.
Ptahhotpe


Chicago


Chicago has a strange metaphysical elegance of death about it.
Claes Oldenburg


Child



The child is not the mere creature of the state.
U.S. Supreme Court, 1925


A child is a lifetime of worry.
Author unidentified


Small child, small problems. Big child, big problems.
Author unidentified


Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
P. J. O'Rourke


Childhood


Grow up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.
F. Scott Fitzgerald


Childless



The childless escape much misery.
Euripides


Children


I am married to Beatrice Salkeld, a painter. We have no children, except me.
Brendan Behan

Children enjoy the present because they have neither a past nor a future.
Jean de La Bruyère

Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children.
Author unidentified

Anybody who hates children and dogs can't be all bad.
W. C. Fields


Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
Oscar Wilde


Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
Author unidentified


I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
Robert Orben


My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
Rita Rudner


Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mark 10:14


He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises.
Francis Bacon


When children stand quiet they have done some ill.
George Herbert


We are given children to test us and make us more spiritual.
George F. Will


Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.
Robert Byrne


Every generation faces a barbarian invasion in the form of its own children, who need to be civilized.
Ascribed to Irving Kristol


Christianity



To be mistaken in believing that the Christian religion is true is no great loss to anyone; but how dreadful to be mistaken in believing it to be false!
Blaise Pascal


City


I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
Steve McQueen


Civilization



Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.
Arnold Toynbee


Yet the experience of four thousand years should enlarge our hopes, and diminish our apprehensions: we cannot determine to what height the human species may aspire in their advances towards perfection; but it may safely be presumed, that no people, unless the face of nature is changed, will relapse into their original barbarism.
Edward Gibbon


Civilization is an enormous improvement on the lack thereof.
P. J. O'Rourke


A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.
Will Durant


Civilization is not an evolution of mankind but the imposition of human good on human evil. It is not a historical inevitability. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, because evil doesn't recede willingly before the wheels of progress.
Andrew McCarthy


Clarity



A charlatan makes obscure what is clear; a thinker makes clear what is obscure.
Hugh Kingsmill


Cleanliness


There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.
Quentin Crisp


Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.
Benjamin Disraeli


Clothes



Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain


Common Sense



Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Communism


The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
The Communist Manifesto

Communism requires of its adherents that they arise early and participate in a strenuous round of calisthenics. To someone who wishes that cigarettes came already lit the thought of such exertion at an hour when decent people are just nodding off is thoroughly abhorrent.
Fran Lebowitz

Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals.
Clare Booth Luce


I sometimes think that the entire [Communist movement] was just a front for the cement industry.
Author unidentified


Losing you is not a loss, and keeping you is no specific gain.
Khmer Rouge slogan


Community Organizer



Like most people, I have no wish to live in a community organized by community organizers.
Mark Steyn


Competence



Of all the human qualities, the one I admire the most is competence. A tailor who is really able to cut and fit a coat seems to me an admirable man, and by the same token a university professor who knows little or nothing of the thing he presumes to teach seems to me to be a fraud and a rascal.
H. L. Mencken


Complexity



Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication, which is baffling -- the incomprehensible should cause suspicion rather than admiration. Possibly this trend results from a mistaken belief that using a somewhat mysterious device confers an aura of power on the user.
Niklaus Wirth


Compliment



There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me -- I always feel that they have not said enough.
Mark Twain


Composer


The good composer is slowly discovered, the bad composer is slowly found out.
Ernest Newman

The public doesn't want new music; the main thing that it demands of a composer is that he be dead.
Arthur Honegger


Computer


Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Author unidentified


Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random numbers is, of course, in a state of sin.
John von Neumann


Computer Programming



Real programmers don't comment their code. It was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
Author unidentified.


A good programmer can overcome a poor language or a clumsy operating system, but even a great programming environment will not rescue a bad programmer.
Kernighan and Pike


[The C programming language] is a razor-sharp tool, with which one can create an elegant and efficient program or a bloody mess.
Kernighan and Pike


Sometimes a programmer confronted with a problem thinks, "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now he has two problems.
Jamie Zawinski, paraphrased


Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs. Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to to, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do.
Donald Knuth


Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
Bill Gates


As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs.
Maurice Wilkes, who discovered debugging c. 1949


[The C programming language] makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows your whole leg off.
Bjarne Stroustrup


Theory is when you know something, but it doesn't work. Practice is when something works, but you don't know why. Programmers combine theory and practice: Nothing works and they don't know why.
Author unidentified


When someone says, "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I want done," give him a lollipop.
Alan Perlis


That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers.
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle


Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
Fred Brooks, Jr.


PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil, perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.
Jon Ribbens


We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.
Donald Knuth


Correctness is clearly the prime quality. If a system does not do what it is supposed to do, then everything else about it matters little.
Bertrand Meyer


The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry.
Henry Petroski


To this very day, idiot software managers measure "programmer productivity" in terms of "lines of code produced," whereas the notion of "lines of code spent" is much more appropriate.
Dijkstra


Con Man



[Con] men have long known . . . that their job is not to convince skeptics but to enable the gullible to continue to believe what they want to believe.
Thomas Sowell


Confidence



Positive, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Rational confidence [is] the just result of knowledge and experience.
Edward Gibbon


Conformity


Since it is now fashionable to laugh at the conservative French Academy, I have remained a rebel by joining it.
Jean Cocteau


Congress



It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
Mark Twain

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain


Oh, I don't blame Congress. If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd be irresponsible, too.
Lichty and Wagner


Conquest



A philosopher may deplore the eternal discords of the human race, but he will confess, that the desire of spoil is a more rational provocation than the vanity of conquest.
Edward Gibbon


Resistance was fatal; flight was impracticable; and the patient submission of helpless innocence seldom found mercy from the Barbarian conqueror.
Edward Gibbon


Conscience



The Anglo-Saxon conscience does not prevent the Anglo-Saxon from sinning, it merely prevents him from enjoying his sin.
Salvador De Madariaga


Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.
Author unidentified


Bachelors have consciences. Married men have wives.
H. L. Mencken


Cowardice asks: Is it safe? Expediency asks: Is it politic? But Conscience asks: Is it right?
William Punshon


Consensus



Consensus is the absence of leadership.
Margaret Thatcher


Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
Margaret Thatcher


To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.
Margaret Thatcher


Conservation



Because we can expect future generations to be richer than we are, no matter what we do about resources, asking us to refrain from using resources now so that future generations can have them later is like asking the poor to make gifts to the rich.
Julian Simon


Conservative



I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.
Benjamin Disraeli


Consistency



Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
Oscar Wilde


Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
Bernard Berenson


A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
John Maynard Keynes


Controversy



The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
Bertrand Russell


Conversation


A gossip talks about others, a bore talks about himself -- and a brilliant conversationalist talks about you.
Author unidentified

Learned conversation is either the affectation of the ignorant or the profession of the mentally unemployed.
Oscar Wilde


Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you . . .
Oscar Wilde


I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.
Oscar Wilde


Courage



[Courage] arises in a great measure from the consciousness of strength . . .
Edward Gibbon


Courage And Cowardice


The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.
Mark Twain


There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
Mark Twain

We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Benjamin Franklin


Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.
William Shakespeare

To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs.
Eurpides


The better part of valor is discretion.
William Shakespeare


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


There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.
Winston Churchill


Valor, n. A soldierly compound of vanity, duty, and the gambler's hope.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear.
Mark Twain


Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


There grows

No herb of help to heal a coward heart.
Algernon Charles Swinburne


It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
Mark Twain


Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
G. K. Chesterton


I scorned the sword of Catiline, I will not quail before yours.
Cicero


Coward



I was a coward on instinct.
William Shakespeare


Creation



Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
Alfonso the Wise, on studying the Ptolemaic system (attributed)


Creativity



The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.
Eric Hoffer


Crime And Punishment



Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what of it? The first one is at least disposed of.
H. L. Mencken


The argument that capital punishment degrades the state is moonshine, for if that were true then it would degrade the state to send men to war. . . . The state, in truth, is degraded in its very nature: a few butcheries cannot do it any further damage.
H. L. Mencken


But I wonder where we will land if trial judges begin deciding that the fact that a man has committed an atrocious crime is proof sufficient that he is not responsible for his acts.
H. L. Mencken


[The] penalty of death was abolished in the Roman empire, a law of mercy most delightful to the humane theorist, but of which the practice, in a large and vicious community, is seldom consistent with the public safety.
Edward Gibbon


Critic



Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.
Brendan Behan


The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
Oscar Wilde


Criticism


Taking to pieces is the trade of those who cannot construct.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard


The most worthless of mankind are not afraid to condemn in others the same disorders which they allow in themselves; and can readily discover some nice difference of age, character, or station, to justify the partial distinction.
Edward Gibbon


To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
Plutarch


Cruelty


All cruelty springs from weakness.
Seneca


Curiosity


Curiosity is a lust of the mind.
Thomas Hobbes


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker


Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only that the cat died nobly.
Arnold Edinborough


Curse



May you live in interesting times.
Author unidentified, often described as a Chinese curse


Custom


Custom does often reason overrule

And only serves for reason to the fool.
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


You say that it is your [Hindu] custom to burn widows. Very well. We [British] also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
Sir Charles Napier


Cynicism


Cynicism -- the intellectual cripple's substitute for intelligence.
Russell Lynes

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
H. L. Mencken


Cynic -- a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Oscar Wilde


Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Dancing



Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. It is, Sir, the great grandfather of cuckoldom.
Henry Fielding


Music and dancing (the more's the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.
John Herschel


Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield


Listen, sister. I don't dance and I can't take time out now to learn.
Frank W. Wead


There are those who dance to the rhythm that is played to them, those who only dance to their own rhythm, and those who don't dance at all.
José Bergamín


How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Mr. Lincoln at least you're a man of honor. You said you wanted to dance with me in the worst way, and I must say that you've kept your word. That's the worst way I've ever seen.
Lamar Trotti and John Ford


Dark Ages



The dark cloud, which had been cleared by the Phoenician discoveries, and finally dispelled by the arms of Caesar, again settled on the shores of the Atlantic, and a Roman province [Britain] was again lost among the fabulous Islands of the Ocean.
Edward Gibbon


Day



Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow! (Carpe diem, quàm minimùm credula postero.)
Horace


Deadpan Humor



Ginsberg's Theorem:

  1. You can't win.
  2. You can't break even.
  3. You can't even quit the game.
Author unidentified

You know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs then you lean too far and you almost fall over but at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time.
Stephen Wright


I filled out an application that said, "In Case Of Emergency Notify". I wrote "Doctor" . . . What's my mother going to do?
Stephen Wright


Reverend Lovejoy: Oh, come on, Lisa, now you're here for a reason. Is your father stealing bread?

Lisa: Maybe. I don't watch him every minute.
The Simpsons

Boy, life takes a long time to live.
Stephen Wright

For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
Stephen Wright


I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
Dave Barry

The other day I . . . uh, no, that wasn't me.
Stephen Wright

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
Woody Allen

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, "Well, what do you need?"
Stephen Wright

When I woke up this morning, my girlfriend asked if I had slept well. I said, "No, I made a few mistakes."
Stephen Wright


You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
Stephen Wright

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.
Woody Allen

If you don't go to people's funerals, they won't come to yours.
Author unidentified

It is illegal to make liquor privately or water publicly.
Lord Birkett


Good night to spend with family, but avoid arguments with your mate's new lover.
Author unidentified


My boyfriend and I broke up. He wanted to get married, and I didn't want him to.
Rita Rudner


I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous -- everyone hasn't met me yet.
Rodney Dangerfield


Prostitution gives her an opportunity to meet people. It provides fresh air and wholesome exercise, and it keeps her out of trouble.
Joseph Heller


It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
Author unidentified


Paul's Law: You can't fall off the floor.
Author unidentified


Lowery's Law: If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
Author unidentified

Chaos, panic, and disorder. My work here is done.
Author unidentified


Homer: You know, Marge, that Bart is a little miracle -- his winning smile, his button nose, his fat little stomach, his face alight with wholesome mischief. He reminds me of me before the weight of the world crushed my spirit.
The Simpsons


Don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love.
Woody Allen


More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
Woody Allen


There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Author unidentified


Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
Doug Larson


My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
Rodney Dangerfield


Homer: Marge, I'm going to miss you so much. And it's not just the sex. It's also the food preparation.
The Simpsons


Homer: Trying is the first step toward failure.
The Simpsons


Grandpa: I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.
The Simpsons


Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be.
Rita Rudner


My husband gave me a necklace. It's fake. I requested fake. Maybe I'm paranoid, but in this day and age, I don't want something around my neck that's worth more than my head.
Rita Rudner


Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.
William Safire


Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
George Carlin


When I have a kid, I wanna put him in one of those strollers for twins, then run around the mall looking frantic.
Stephen Wright


Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
Charles M. Schulz


I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
Steven Wright


After handing him a report card filled with F's, the boy asked his father, "Do you think the problem is my heredity or my upbringing?"
Author unidentified


Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
James Thurber


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Terry Pratchett


If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
Samuel Goldwyn


Success didn't spoil me, I've always been insufferable.
Fran Lebowitz


When I was a little kid, we had a quicksand box. I was an only child . . . eventually.
Steven Wright


A friend is someone who will help you move. A real friend is someone who will help you move a body.
Author unidentified


My theory is that all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.
Mike Myers


They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days.
Garrison Keillor


I ask for so little. And boy do I get it.
Dilbert (Scott Adams)


I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?
Ronnie Shakes


Marge: Growing up means giving up everything that makes you happy.
The Simpsons


Death


The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain, cable from Europe to the Associated Press

I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen

He was dying all his life.
Hector Berlioz (of Chopin)

It is the duty of a doctor to prolong life and it is not his duty to prolong the act of dying.
Thomas, Lord Horder

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and terrified like his passengers.
Author unidentified

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1 Corinthians 15:55

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin

Birth, copulation, and death.

That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks.
T. S. Eliot


Nearby, a younger man was nursing a martini and a cigarette, slowly dying by his own hand.
Herb Caen

The wailing of the newborn infant is mingled with the dirge for the dead.
Lucretius

Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
H. L. Mencken

We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.
Baron de Montesquieu

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
Benjamin Franklin

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

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
W. Somerset Maughm

Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
Graffito

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
Johnny Carson


The late F. W. H. Myers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but, on being pressed, replied: "Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn't talk about such unpleasant subjects."
Bertrand Russell


Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
Tom Stoppard

I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it.
Mark Twain, of a deceased politician


I have had a number of threatening letters each week, some telling me the actual time and method of my death, and I don't like it.
Winston Churchill, during the partition of Ireland


After death there is nothing.
Seneca


We begin to die at birth; the end flows from the beginning.
Marcus Manilius


No one wept for the dead, because everyone expected death itself.
Agnolo di Tura


It was a time when only the dead smiled, happy in their peace.
Anna Akhmatova


Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
Mark Twain


Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.
Epicurus


From too much love of living,

From hope and fear set free,

We thank with brief thanksgiving

Whatever gods may be

That no man lives forever,

That dead men rise up never;

That even the weariest river

Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Algernon Charles Swinburne


All come from dust, and to dust all return.
Ecclesiastes 3:20


And I declared that the dead,

who had already died,

are happier than the living,

who are still alive.
Ecclesiastes 4:2


Naked a man comes from his mother's womb,

and as he comes, so he departs.
Ecclesiastes 5:15

The King is dead! Long live the King!
Author unidentified


[Sara and I] have parted forever, though my ashes will soon be mingling with hers. I'll have her in mind until thought and memory adjourn, but that is all . . . We were happy together, but all beautiful things must end.
H. L. Mencken


The world is so ordered that we must, in a material sense, lose everything we have and love, one thing after another, until we ourselves close our eyes.
George Santayana


There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
Brendan Behan


. . . for dust you are and to dust you will return.
Genesis 3:19


What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
Dave Barry


He was released from the miseries of life . . .
Edward Gibbon


Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Isaac Asimov


Death is not the worst than can happen to men.
Plato


[Pyrrhus] grieved greatly over the death of Aeropus; not so much because he was dead, for that, he said, was the common lot of mankind, but because he himself had delayed repaying him a kindness until it was too late. Debts of money, he said, can be paid to the heirs of a creditor, but men of honour are grieved at not being able to return a kindness during the lifetime of their benefactor.
Plutarch


[They] were leveled in the grave . . .
Edward Gibbon


[The] groans of the dying excited only the envy of their surviving friends.
Mariana de Rebus Hispanicis


For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:6


As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Leonardo da Vinci


Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht


I guess that's how death works. It doesn't matter if we're ready or not. It just happens.
Randy K. Milholland


Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre.
Edward Gibbon


Nothing in his life

Became him like the leaving it.
William Shakespeare


Decisiveness



Make a decision, even if it's wrong.
Jarvis Klem


Deliberation



Deliberation, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Democracy


Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed and are right.
H. L. Mencken

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, if he be a tyrant.
Benito Mussolini

It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Winston Churchill

Democracy is . . . a form of religion; it is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw


High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Oscar Wilde


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken


Under a democratical government, the citizens exercise the powers of sovereignty; and those powers will be first abused, and afterwards lost, if they are committed to an unwieldy multitude.
Edward Gibbon


Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John Adams


But a wild democracy . . . too often disdains the essential principles of justice.
Edward Gibbon


The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson


Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.
E. B. White


Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.
Bertrand Russell


Democrat


I belong to no organized party -- I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers

The Democratic Party is like a mule -- without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity.
Emory Speer

Republicans raise dahlias, Dalmatians, and eyebrows. Democrats raise Airedales, kids, and taxes.
Will Stanton

Republicans sleep in twin beds -- some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats.
Will Stanton


My Grandmother wouldn't even speak the word Democrat if there were children in the room, she'd say Bastards instead.
P. J. O'Rourke


Depth



Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
William Shakespeare


Despair


I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 1:14


[Job's] wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
Job 2:9


Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
Edmund Burke


Desperation



The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
Henry David Thoreau


Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
James Thurber


Despot



A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law, must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness.
Edward Gibbon


Despotism



Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.
Oscar Wilde


The progress of despotism tends to disappoint its own purpose.
Edward Gibbon


Destiny



Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
William Jennings Bryan


Destruction



To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
Winston Churchill


Detail



Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplify, simplify!
Henry David Thoreau


Dictator


Dictators ride to and for on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
Winston Churchill


Difference



[The] difference of language, dress, and manners . . . severs and alienates the nations of the globe.
Edward Gibbon


Difficulty



When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Will Rogers


Diplomat



I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I tell them the truth and they never believe me.
Camillo Di Cavour


Direction



If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.
Chinese Proverb


Disagreement



When you start off by telling those who disagree with you that they are not merely in error but in sin, how much of a dialogue do you expect?
Thomas Sowell


Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
Oscar Wilde


Discipline



He who spares the rod hates his son,

but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24


[The] LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Hebrews 12:6


Disease



Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.
Samuel Johnson


Divorce


Conrad Hilton was very generous to me in the divorce settlement. He gave me 5,000 Gideon Bibles.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Alimony is a system by which, when two people make a mistake, one of them continues to pay for it.
Peggy Joyce

Alimony is like buying oats for a dead horse.
Arthur 'Bugs' Baer

I heard from my cat's lawyer today. My cat wants $12,000 a week for Tender Vittles.
Johnny Carson

Zsa Zsa Gabor is an expert housekeeper. Every time she gets divorced, she keeps the house.
Henny Youngman

She cried -- and the judge wiped her tears with my checkbook.
Tommy Manville

For a while we pondered whether to take a vacation or get a divorce. We decided that a trip to Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce is something you always have.
Woody Allen

The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.
Johnny Carson

The happiest time of anyone's life is just after the first divorce.
John Kenneth Galbraith

You don't know a woman till you've met her in court.
Norman Mailer


Alimony, n. The ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
H. L. Mencken


Whenever I date a guy, I think, "Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"
Rita Rudner


Passion, interest, or caprice, suggested daily motives for the dissolution of marriage; a word, a sign, a message, a letter, the mandate of a freedman, declared the separation; the most tender of human connections was degraded to a transient society of profit or pleasure.
Edward Gibbon


[The] liberty of divorce does not contribute to happiness and virtue.
Edward Gibbon


[The] liberty of divorce does not contribute to happiness and virtue. The facility of separation would destroy all mutual confidence, and inflame every trifling dispute . . .
Edward Gibbon


Doctor


God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.
Benjamin Franklin

Our doctor would never really operate unless it was necessary. He was just that way. If he didn't need the money, he wouldn't lay a hand on you.
Herb Shriner


Doubt



If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.
Sir Francis Bacon


Dream


People who insist on telling their dreams are among the terrors of the breakfast table.
Max Beerbohm


It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
J. K. Rowling


Drinking And Drugs


They talk of my drinking but never my thirst.
Old saying

You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Dean Martin

An Irish queer: a fellow who prefers women to drink.
Sean O'Faolain

The whole world is about three drinks behind.
Humphrey Bogart

The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I will walk carefully.
Russian Proverb

Uppers are no longer stylish, Methedrine is almost as rare as pure acid or DMT. "Consciousness Expansion" went out with LBJ and it is worth noting, historically, that downers came in with Nixon.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

I have taken more good from alcohol than alcohol has taken from me.
Winston Churchill

A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.
W. C. Fields

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.
Mark Twain


"Mr. Churchill, you are drunk."

"Madame, you are ugly."

"Mr. Churchill, you are extremely drunk!"

"And you, Madame, are extremely ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober."
Winston Churchill

One reason I don't drink is that I want to known when I'm having a good time.
Nancy Astor

Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
George Burns

I always keep a stimulant handy in case I see a snake -- which I also keep handy.
W. C. Fields

What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?
W. C. Fields

I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
Oscar Levant

I drink to forget I drink.
Joe E. Lewis

One more drink and I'll be under the host.
Dorothy Parker


Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.
P. J. O'Rourke

Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
Lily Tomlin

Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.
Robin Williams

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson


Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
W. C. Fields


A fool who, after plain warning, persists in dosing himself with dangerous drugs should be free to do so, for his death is a benefit to the race in general.
H. L. Mencken


Not all men who drink are poets. Some of us drink because we aren't poets.
Author unidentified


Drink and be merry, for our time on earth is short, and death lasts forever.
Amphis


Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.
Thomas Fuller


Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Ernest Hemingway


I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on.
Oscar Levant


[Brendan Behan was] too young to die, but too drunk to live.
Rene MacColl


I only take a drink on two occasions -- when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.
Brendan Behan


To alcohol! The cause of -- and solution to -- all of life's problems.
The Simpsons


[One] must not demand prudence from a man who is never sober.
Cicero


Duel



I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Mark Twain


Duty



Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Winston Churchill


Duties are not performed for duties' sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty -- the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
Mark Twain


Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Mark Twain


Dying


The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
Thomas Browne


The dying man doesn't struggle much and he isn't much afraid. As his alkalies give out he succumbs to a blest stupidity. His mind fogs. His will power vanishes. He submits decently. He scarcely gives a damn.
H. L. Mencken


Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
Oscar Wilde, Last words as he lay dying in a drab Paris hotel room


Ear



What a blessing it would be if we could open and shut our ears as easily as we open and shut our eyes!
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


Earnestness



Earnestness is just stupidity sent to college.
P. J. O'Rourke


Economics



The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
Adam Smith

No nation was ever ruined by trade.
Benjamin Franklin


It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.
Adam Smith

There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Milton Friedman


The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
John Maynard Keynes


Blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protectionism teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.
Henry George


It is impossible to understand the history of economic thought if one does not pay attention to the fact that economics as such is a challenge to the conceit of those in power.
Ludwig von Mises


At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment.
Thomas Sowell


[The] zero-sum caricature [applies] much more accurately to socialism, which stifles the creation of new wealth and thus fosters a dog-eat-dog struggle over existing material resources.
George Gilder


The active, insatiate principle of self-love can alone supply the arts of life and the wages of industry; and as soon as civil government and exclusive property have been introduced, they become necessary to the existence of the human race.
Edward Gibbon


The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government union-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system.
Milton Friedman


There is no such thing on this earth as something for nothing.
William Graham Sumner


Economist



An economist is someone who sees something working in practice and wonders if it will work in theory.
Ronald Reagan


Education


I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Chinese Proverb


"Whom are you?" he asked, for he had attended business college.
George Ade

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats

I find the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.
Clark Kerr

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
Mark Twain

It takes me several days, after I get back to Boston, to realize that the reference "the president" refers to the president of Harvard and not to a minor official in Washington.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I've over-educated myself in all the things I shouldn't have known at all.
Noel Coward

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly
Michel de Montaigne

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

A little learning is a dangerous thing;

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
Alexander Pope

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
George Bernard Shaw


Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

The learned are seldom pretty fellows, and in many cases their appearance tends to discourage a love of study in the young.
H. L. Mencken


The trouble is not chiefly that our universities are unfit for students but that many present-day students are unfit for universities.
Eric Hoffer


I was a modest, good-humored boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.
Max Beerbohm


. . . school teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers.
H. L. Mencken


The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.
H. L. Mencken


More than any other class of blind leaders of the blind they are responsible for the degrading standardization which now afflicts the American people.
H. L. Mencken, on pedagogues


Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
Carl Gustav Jung


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain


Give your ears, hear the sayings,

Give your heart to understand them;

It profits to put them in your heart.
Amenemope


The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.
Edward Gibbon


It is better to learn late than never.
Publilius Syrus


Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
Winston Churchill


When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
Cicero


[It] is not sufficiently considered, that men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.
Samuel Johnson


In the productions of the mind, as in those of the soil, the gifts of nature are excelled by industry and skill . . .
Edward Gibbon


Genius may anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised, before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded: nor may the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to imitate, the works of his predecessors.
Edward Gibbon


Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
Mark Twain


The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library, a post office, or even a newsstand.
Louis L'Amour


Egotist


An egotist is a man who thinks that if he hadn't been born, people would have wondered why.
Dan Post

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Election



Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
Franklin P. Adams


Emacs



Emacs is a nice [operating system], but a weird editor.
M. J. Blom


Empire



[An] extensive empire must be supported by a refined system of policy and oppression; in the centre, an absolute power, prompt in action and rich in resources; a swift and easy communication with the extreme parts; fortifications to check the first effort of rebellion; a regular administration to protect and punish; and a well-disciplined army to inspire fear, without provoking discontent and despair.
Edward Gibbon


End



Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston Churchill


All lovely things will have an ending,

All lovely things will fade and die,

All youth, that's now so bravely spending,

Will beg a penny by and by.
Conrad Aiken


Enemy



A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde

Whoever has his foe at his mercy, and does not kill him, is his own enemy.
Sa'di

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Arabic proverb

He makes no friend who never made a foe.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

We should forgive our enemies, but only after they have been hanged first.
Heinrich Heine


Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
Thomas Jones


The savage nations of the globe are the common enemies of civilized society; and we may inquire, with anxious curiosity, whether Europe is still threatened with a repetition of those calamities, which formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Rome.
Edward Gibbon


Yet this apparent security should not tempt us to forget, that new enemies, and unknown dangers, may possibly arise from some obscure people, scarcely visible in the map of the world. The Arabs or Saracens, who spread their conquests from India to Spain, had languished in poverty and contempt, till [Muhammad] breathed into those savage bodies the soul of enthusiasm.
Edward Gibbon


Engineer


There are three principal ways to lose money: wine, women, and engineers. While the first two are more pleasant, the third is by far the more certain.
Baron Rothschild, ca. 1800


England


To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.
W. Somerset Maugham


If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England.
Rupert Brooke


Industrialization came to England but has since left.
P. J. O'Rourke


English


The difference between the vanity of a Frenchman and an Englishman seems to be this: The one thinks everything right that is French, the other thinks everything wrong that is not English.
William Hazlitt

The English instinctively admire any man who has no talent and is modest about it.
James Agee

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
George Bernard Shaw

If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!
"Ma" Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

The most dangerous thing in the world is to make a friend of an Englishman, because he'll come sleep in your closet rather than spend ten shillings on a hotel.
Truman Capote

The English find ill-health not only interesting but respectable and often experience death in the effort to avoid a fuss.
Pamela Frankau


Environment


People are easily anesthetized by overstatement, and there is a danger that the environmental movement will fall flat on its face when it is most needed, simply because it has pitched its tale too strongly.
John Maddox


Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
P. J. O'Rourke


Worshiping the earth is more fun than going to church. It's also closer.
P. J. O'Rourke


A pleasant natural environment is a good -- a luxury good, philosophical good, a moral goody-good, a good time for all. Whatever, we want it. If we want something, we should pay for it, with our labor or our cash. We shouldn't beg it, steal it, sit around wishing for it, or euchre the government into taking it by force.
P. J. O'Rourke


[The land] was then covered with morasses and forests, which spread to a boundless extent, whenever man has ceased to exercise his dominion over the earth.
Edward Gibbon


Envy



Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead.
Mark Twain


Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.
Job 5:2


[They] saw, they envied . . .
Edward Gibbon


The covetous man is ever in want.
Horace


Epitaph


If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
H. L. Mencken


Pause, stranger, when you pass me by.

As you are now, so once was I.

As I am now, so you will be.

So prepare for death and follow me.
Author unidentified


Equality



The Romans had aspired to be equal; they were leveled by the equality of servitude . . .
Edward Gibbon


Error


The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of the truth -- that error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
H. L. Mencken


Where error is irretrievable, repentance is useless.
Edward Gibbon


Europe



Europe is secure from any future irruptions of Barbarians; since, before they can conquer, they must cease to be barbarous.
Edward Gibbon


When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do, ideas of greatness become an irritant. Such is the nature of the Europe syndrome.
Charles Murray


In Europe, nothing is certain except death and welfare, and why let the former get in the way of the latter?
Mark Steyn


Example


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Mark Twain


[Example] is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Edmund Burke


Experience


Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test before presenting the lesson.
Vernon Law


Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.
Oscar Wilde


Face



A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.
Oscar Wilde


Fact



Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts.
Patrick Moynihan


Failure



Mistakes are often the stepping stones to utter failure.
Author unidentified


In your code, never check for an error condition you don't know how to handle.
Author unidentified

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man -- and I will show you a failure.
Thomas Alva Edison

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure -- which is: Try to please everybody.
Herbert Bayard Swope

The doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright (attributed)


[After an appendectomy and a devastating electoral loss, Churchill found himself] without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix.
Winston Churchill


Experience, n. A series of failures. Every failure teaches a man something, to wit, that he will probably fail again next time.
H. L. Mencken


Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end results of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.
Eric Hoffer


Three failures denote uncommon strength. A weakling has not enough grit to fail thrice.
Minna Thomas Antrim


The most basic of conservative principles is that if you reward bad behavior you get more of it.
Mark Steyn


Faith



Those of little faith are of little hatred.
Eric Hoffer


Faithfulness



"Do you cheat on your wife?" asked the psychiatrist.



"Who else?" answered the patient.
Author unidentified


"Before we get married," said the young woman to her fiance, "I want to confess some affairs that I've had in the past."



"But you told me all about those a few weeks ago," her young man replied.



"Yes, darling," she explained, "but that was a few weeks ago."
Author unidentified


Fallacy



Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
G. K. Chesterton


Fame


Now when I bore people at a party, they think it's their fault.
Henry Kissinger, on fame

In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.
Andy Warhol


Fame may last a minute, but infamy lasts a lifetime.
Author unidentified


Famine



African famine is not a visitation of fate. It is largely man-made, and the men who made it are largely Africans.
P. J. O'Rourke


Fanatic



A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
Winston Churchill


Recluse fanatics have few ideas or sentiments to communicate . . .
Edward Gibbon


Fanaticism


Goose pimples rose all over me, my hair stood on end, my eyes filled with tears of love and gratitude for this greatest of all conquerors of human misery and shame, and my breath came in little gasps. If I had not known that the Leader would have scorned such adulation, I might have fallen to my knees in unashamed worship, but instead I drew myself to attention, raised my arm in the eternal salute of the ancient Roman Legions and repeated the holy words, "Heil Hitler!"
George Lincoln Rockwell


Whenever the spirit of fanaticism, at once so credulous and so crafty, has insinuated itself into a noble mind, it insensibly corrodes the vital principles of virtue and veracity.
Edward Gibbon


[Fanaticism] obliterates the feelings of humanity.
Edward Gibbon


Fashion


Every generation laughs at the old fashions but religiously follows the new.
Henry David Thoreau

Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
Jean Cocteau

And by my grave you'd pray to have me back

So I could see how well you look in black.
Marco Carson


Father



When asked why he did not become a father, Thales answered, "Because I am fond of children."
Diogenes Laertius


No man is responsible for his father. That was entirely his mother's affair.
Maraget Turnbull


Fault



If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


Be to her virtues very kind. Be to her faults a little blind.
Matthew Prior


We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


Favor



Never let your inferiors do you a favor. It will be extremely costly.
H. L. Mencken


Fear


I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T. S. Eliot


[It] was fear that was then making you a good citizen, which is never a lasting teacher of duty.
Cicero


[The] sentiment of fear is nearly allied to that of hatred.
Edward Gibbon


Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell


No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
Edmund Burke


Fence



Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
G. K. Chesterton


Fighting


Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You'll never get out of the jungle that way.
Arthur Miller

The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.
Author unidentified


We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Winston Churchill


Finality


It's over, and can't be helped, and that's one consolation, as they always say in Turkey, when they cut the wrong man's head off.
Charles Dickens


Flattery


'Tis an old maxim in the schools,

That flattery's the food of fools --

Yet now and then your men of wit

Will condescend to take a bit.
Jonathan Swift


Flattery is a foolish suicide; she destroys herself with her own hands.
Edward Gibbon


[Flattery] adheres to power, and envy to superior merit.
Edward Gibbon


Folly


The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when had the opportunity.
Helen Rowland


Food


. . . nobody really likes capers no matter what you do with them. Some people pretend to like capers, but the truth is that any dish that tastes good with capers in it, tastes even better with capers not in it.
Nora Ephorn

I am an epicure; you are a gourmand; he has both feet in the trough.
Competition, New Statesman

The best number for a dinner party is two -- myself and a damn good head waiter.
Nubar Gulbenkian

Oh, no doubt the cod is a splendid swimmer -- admirable for swimming purposes but not for eating.
Oscar Wilde


I don't even butter my bread. I consider that cooking.
Katherine Cebrian


Fool



Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
Mark Twain

It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority for any town?
Mark Twain

'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

Who loves not wine, women, and song

Remains a fool his whole life long.
Author unidentified

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Alexander Pope


Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.
Author unidentified


The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
Herbert Spencer


Wise men store up knowledge,

but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Proverbs 10:14


A fool's lips bring him strife,

and his mouth invites a beating.
Proverbs 18:6


A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one.
Molière


Forecaster



The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.
Edgar R. Fiedler


Forgiveness



Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.
Aesop


Fortune


Fortune is fickle and soon asks back what he has given.
Latin Proverb

I never admired another's fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.
Cicero


The fortune of nations has often depended on accidents . . .
Edward Gibbon


Free Speech



We forbid any course that says we restrict free speech.
Dr. Kathleen Dixon, Director of Women's Studies at Bowling Green State University


The American people, I am convinced, really detest free speech. At the slightest alarm they are ready and eager to put it down.
H. L. Mencken


Freedom


If people have to choose between freedom and sandwiches they will take sandwiches.
Lord Boyd-Orr


When the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and never was free again.
Edith Hamilton, paraphrased

The middle class prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire.
Hermann Hesse

There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
Eric Hoffer

A nation may lose its liberties in a day, and not miss them for a century.
Baron de Montesquieu


The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas Jefferson

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
Malcolm X

I believe that the heaviest blow ever dealt at liberty's head will be dealt by [the United States] in the ultimate failure of its example to the earth.
Charles Dickens

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
George Bernard Shaw


The average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe.
H. L. Mencken


It seems to me that society usually wins. There are, to be sure, free spirits in the world, but their freedom, in the last analysis, is not much greater than that of a canary in a cage. They may leap from perch to perch; they may bathe and guzzle at their will; they may flap their wings and sing. But they are still in the cage, and soon or late it conquers them.
H. L. Mencken


We hear about constitutional rights, free speech and the free press. Every time I hear those words I say to myself, "That man is a Red, that man is a Communist." You never heard a real American talk in that manner.
Frank Hague


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson


It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
Mark Twain


The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
Eric Hoffer


To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
Robert Louis Stevenson


When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric Hoffer


[The] vain, inconstant, rebellious disposition of the people [of Armorica], was incompatible either with freedom or servitude.
Edward Gibbon


[The] love of freedom, so often invigorated and disgraced by private ambition, was reduced, among the licentious Franks, to the contempt of order, and the desire of impunity.
Edward Gibbon


Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils.
General John Stark


If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.
Jacob Hornberger


If [the fact that people make poor decisions] is reason enough for the government to second-guess their decisions about dangerous activities such as smoking cigarettes and riding motorcycles, why on earth should the government let people make their own choices when it comes to such consequential matters as where to live, how much education to get, whom to marry, whether to have children, which job to take, or what religion to practice?
Jacob Sullum


Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart Mill


The thing to remember about freedom is that it's not given, it's taken.
Scott Adams


I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson


Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson


I am not a warrior, but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.
Oscar van den Boogaard


Freedom is the silence of the law.
George F. Will


I defy anybody to say what are the rights of a citizen, if they do not include the control of his own diet in relation to his own health.
G. K. Chesterton


French


The French have a passion for revolution but an abhorrence of change.
Old saying

The French drink to get loosened up for an event, to celebrate an event, and even to recover from an event.
Geneviève Guérin


Friendship


Of my friends I am the only one I have left.
Terence

It's important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to friendship that we are not.
Mignon McLaughlin

In life it is difficult to say who do you the most mischief, enemies with the worst intentions, or friends with the best.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Don't tell your friends their social faults; they will cure the fault and never forgive you.
Logan Pearsall Smith

Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
Chinese Proverb

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
Elbert Hubbard

A man of active and resilient mind outwears his friendships just as certainly as he outwears his love affairs, his politics, and his epistemology.
H. L. Mencken

A friend in need is a friend to be avoided.
Lord Samuel

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
Gore Vidal


George Bernard Shaw: Am reserving two tickets for you for my premiere. Come and bring a friend -- if you have one.

Winston Churchill: Impossible to be present for the first performance. Will attend the second -- if there is one.
Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw


Frugality



He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon a little.
Horace


Future



Do not boast about tomorrow,

for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Proverbs 27:1


[The] future belongs to those who show up for it.
Mark Steyn


Gallo-Grecians



The emperor was probably born in the province of Galatia, whose inhabitants, the Gallo-Grecians, were supposed to unite the vices of a savage and a corrupted people.
Edward Gibbon


Gambling


There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.
Mark Twain


Gauls



The Gauls were endowed with all the advantages of art and nature; but as they wanted courage to defend them, they were justly condemned to obey, and even to flatter, the victorious Barbarians, by whose clemency they held their precarious fortunes and their lives.
Edward Gibbon


Genius


Every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead.
Robert S. Lynd

Talent is that which is in a man's power; genius is that in whose power a man is.
James Russell Lowell

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

Sometimes men come by the name of genius in the same way that certain insects come by the name of centipede -- not because they have a hundred feet, but because most people can't count above fourteen.
G. C. Lichtenberg


I have nothing to declare except my genius.
Oscar Wilde, Remark at the New York Customs

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Edison

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
Oscar Wilde


Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered -- either by themselves or by others.
Mark Twain


In the faculty of writing nonsense, stupidity is no match for genius.
Walter Bagehot


The aspiring efforts of genius, or virtue, either in active or speculative life, are measured, not so much by their real elevation, as by the height to which they ascend above the level of their age and country; and the same stature, which in a people of giants would pass unnoticed, must appear conspicuous in a race of pygmies.
Edward Gibbon


German



She had exactly the German way: whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of the Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
Mark Twain


Germans



[The] ferocious Germans, who have so often attempted, and who will always desire, to exchange the solitude of their woods and morasses for the wealth and fertility of Gaul.
Edward Gibbon


Girth


I had no intention of giving her my vital statistics. "Let me put it this way," I said. "According to my girth, I should be a ninety-foot redwood."
Erma Bombeck


Glory


Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Napoleon Bonaparte


True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier for our living in it.
Pliny The Elder


Goal



It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
Arnold Toynbee


God And Religion



During the past ten years I have stolen 75 Bibles, perhaps the national record.
H. L. Mencken, who regularly sent Bibles to his friends in Baltimore elegantly inscribed, "With the regards of the author"

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.
Eric Hoffer

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16

God uses lust to impel men to marry, ambition to office, avarice to earning, and fear to faith. God led me like an old blind goat.
Martin Luther

The worst that you can say about Him (God) is that basically He's an underachiever.
Woody Allen


Creator -- A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
H. L. Mencken

God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
Pablo Picasso

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

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Winston Churchill


Bart: How would I go about creating a half-man, half-monkey-type creature?

Teacher: I'm sorry, that would be playing God.

Bart: God, shmod, I want my monkey-man!
The Simpsons

Doctors are busy playing God when so few of us have the qualifications. And besides, the job is taken.
Bernie S. Siegel, MD

Wherever God erects a house of prayer,

The Devil always builds a chapel there,

And 'twill be found upon examination,

The latter has the largest congregation.
Daniel Defoe

God will forgive me, it is his business.
Heinrich Heine, last words


I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
Thomas Jefferson

It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
Mark Twain

A Christian is a man who feels repentance on a Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday.
Thomas R. Ybarra

There cannot be a God because, if there were one, I would not believe that I was not He.
Friedrich Nietzshe

When a pious visitor inquired sweetly, "Henry, have you made your peace with God?" [Thoreau] replied, "We have never quarreled."
Brooks Atkinson


Cursed is the one who trusts in man,

who depends on flesh for his strength

and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:5

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.
Paul Tillich

There can be no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.
Niccolò Machiavelli

It is conceivable that religion may be morally useful without being intellectually sustainable.
John Stuart Mill

The saints are the sinners who keep on going.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.
G. K. Chesterton


Archbishop, n. A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
H. L. Mencken

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
H. L. Mencken

The god I believe in isn't short of cash.
Bono


Puritanism, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken


Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Repentance, n. The faithful attendant and follower of Punishment. It is usually manifest in a degree of reformation that is not inconsistent with continuity of sin.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind -- that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
H. L. Mencken


To attempt to be religious without practicing a specific religion is as possible as attempting to speak without a specific language.
George Santayana


All great religions, in order to escape absurdity, have to admit a dilution of agnosticism. It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely.
H. L. Mencken


There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.
Mark Twain


Religious insanity is very common in the United States.
Alexis de Tocqueville


Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne


The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.
2 Samuel 22:2


You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
Nehemiah 9:17


Naked I came from my mother's womb,

and naked I will depart.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;

may the name of the LORD be praised.
Job 1:21


The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
Psalm 14:1


The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1


The LORD is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name's sake.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NASB)


The LORD is my strength and my shield.
Psalm 28:7


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
Psalm 111:10


The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.
Psalm 118:22


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105


As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10,11


"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."
Isaiah 57:21


God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.
Author unidentified


But to have avoided [all religious fads] has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
G. K. Chesterton


Samuel Johnson enjoined the preachers of his time not to inveigh against those who were absent from church on Sundays by scolding those who were not absent.
William F. Buckley


Return to the LORD your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love,

and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:13


The gods help them that help themselves.
Aesop


In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
Mark Twain


Do not let your deeds belie your words, lest when you speak in church someone may say to himself, "Why do you not practice what you preach?"
Saint Jerome


The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."

Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

John 19:21,22


In the preceding volumes of this History, I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion . . .
Edward Gibbon


[The] Christian clergy . . . has claimed, in every age, the privilege of dispensing honors, both on earth and in heaven.
Edward Gibbon


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8


For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23


If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31


Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4


It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
Deuteronomy 32:35


Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:13


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:21


All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 3:16,17


I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4:7


In the hands of a popular preacher, an earthquake is an engine of admirable effect.
Edward Gibbon


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8,9


[Ennodius] adds weight to the narrative of Procopius, though we may doubt whether the devil actually contrived the siege of Pavia, to distress the bishop and his flock.
Edward Gibbon


Six years [after Severinus's death], his body, which scattered miracles as it passed, was transported by his disciples into Italy.
Edward Gibbon


[The Ascetics] seriously renounced the business, and the pleasures, of the age; abjured the use of wine, of flesh, and of marriage; chastised their body, mortified their affections, and embraced a life of misery, as the price of eternal happiness.
Edward Gibbon


A sanguinary and covetous mind is not the symptom of a sincere conversion [to Christianity]: let [Clovis, King of the Franks,] show his faith by his works.
Gundobald, King of the Bugundians


But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15


Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:68


The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity . . .
Edward Gibbon


[The] enthusiast who entered the dome of St. Sophia might be tempted to suppose that it was the residence, or even the workmanship, of the Deity. Yet how dull is the artifice, how insignificant is the labor, if it be compared with the formation of the vilest insect that crawls upon the surface of the temple!
Edward Gibbon


The Gothic arms were less fatal to the schools of Athens than the establishment of a new religion, whose ministers superseded the exercise of reason, resolved every question by an article of faith, and condemned the infidel or skeptic to eternal flames.
Edward Gibbon


[The Catholic church's] jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored . . .
Edward Gibbon


If a Christian power had been maintained in Arabia, [Muhammad] must have been crushed in his cradle, and Abyssinia would have prevented a revolution which has changed the civil and religious state of the world.
Edward Gibbon


[And] the ambiguous word [of God], which contains the precept of Christ [concerning divorce], is flexible to any interpretation that the wisdom of a legislator can demand.
Edward Gibbon


I know but of one religion in which the god and the victim [sacrifice] are the same.
Edward Gibbon


Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.
The Simpsons


Justinian might have learned, "that religious controversy is the offspring of arrogance and folly; that true piety is most laudably expressed by silence and submission; that man, ignorant of his own nature, should not presume to scrutinize the nature of his God; and that it is sufficient for us to know, that power and benevolence are the perfect attributes of the Deity."
Edward Gibbon, quoting Procopius


[Justinian] piously labored to establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith.
Edward Gibbon


[The] province which had been ruined by the bigotry of Justinian, was the same through which the [Muslims] penetrated into the empire.
Edward Gibbon


The desire of gaining souls for God and subjects for the church, has excited in every age the diligence of the Christian priests.
Edward Gibbon


[The Armenians] have often preferred the crown of martyrdom to the white turban of [Muhammad] . . .
Edward Gibbon


If there is no God, everything is permitted.
Dostoevsky


Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington


[The] fond alliance of the monks and females obtained a final victory over the reason and authority of man.
Edward Gibbon


[Muhammad], with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome.
Edward Gibbon


The Koran divides the world into two parts: the House of Islam (the part of the world controlled by Muslims) and the House of War (that part not yet controlled by Muslims).
Mario Loyola


The most rational of the Arabs acknowledged [God's] power, though they neglected his worship . . .
Edward Gibbon


The moral attributes of Jehovah may not easily be reconciled with the standard of human virtue . . .
Edward Gibbon


A prophet may reveal the secrets of heaven and of futurity; but in his moral precepts he can only repeat the lessons of our own hearts.
Edward Gibbon


[Muhammad] has not specified the male companions of the female elect, lest he should either alarm the jealousy of their former husbands, or disturb their felicity, by the suspicion of an everlasting marriage.
Edward Gibbon


Ye Christian dogs, you know your option; the Koran, the tribute, or the sword. We are a people whose delight is in war, rather than in peace; and we despise your pitiful alms, since we shall be speedily masters of your wealth, your families, and your persons.
Caled


In the opinion of the [Saracens], the difference of religion is a reasonable ground of enmity and warfare.
Edward Gibbon


[The Arabs'] rapacious spirit was approved and animated by the precepts of the Koran.
Edward Gibbon


The successors of St. Peter appear to have followed, rather than guided, the impulse of manners and prejudice; without much foresight of the seasons, or cultivation of the soil, they gathered the ripe and spontaneous fruits of the superstition of the times.
Edward Gibbon


Utopian desires are part of the human condition, and the craving to create a heaven on earth is the inevitable consequence of a godless society.
Jonah Goldberg


Golf


Golf is like a love affair: if you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.
Arnold Daly

The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.
Sam Snead


Golf is a good walk spoiled.
Mark Twain


You have to understand, I don't play golf for fun. It's my business. When the mailman starts delivering mail on his off day, that's when I'll start playing golf for the hell of it.
Lee Trevino


Good And Evil


It is a public scandal that gives offense and it is no sin to sin in secret.
Molière

The world is a dangerous place to live -- not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Albert Einstein


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

The word 'good' has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.
G. K. Chesterton

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Brooks Thomas

If I knew . . . that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
Henry David Thoreau

No man deserves to be praised for his goodness unless he has the strength of character to be wicked. All other goodness is generally nothing but indolence or impotence of will.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

My only policy is to profess evil and do good.
George Bernard Shaw

He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars: general good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer. For art and science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars.
William Blake

If your morals make you dreary, depend on it they are wrong.
Robert Louis Stevenson


Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
H. G. Wells


One murder makes a villain, millions a hero.
Bishop Beilby Porteus

Cruelties should be committed all at once.
Niccolò Machiavelli

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
Albert Camus


The wicked man flees though no one pursues,

but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1

Of course heaven forbids certain pleasures, but one finds means of compromise.
Molière


Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us in consequence.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Don't worry about avoiding temptation -- as you grow older, it starts avoiding you.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.
Ann Frank


For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing.
Romans 7:19

Beware the fury of a patient man.
John Dryden


It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
H. L. Mencken

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
Mae West


The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Joseph Conrad


I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
Margaret Thatcher


To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he is doing is good . . .
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun.
P. J. O'Rourke


When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund Burke


By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.
William Shakespeare


Gossip


The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.
German Proverb

Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you.
Spanish Proverb

Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them.
Louis B. Nizer


There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
Oscar Wilde


Gourmet


A gourmet is just a glutton with brains.
Phillip W. Haberman, Jr.


Government



A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw

I would rather be governed by the first three hundred names in the Boston telephone book than by the faculty of Harvard University.
William F. Buckley

The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away.
John S. Caldwell

No man should be in public office who can't make more money in private life.
Thomas E. Dewey

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
Will Rogers

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
Barry Goldwater


The state, it cannot too often be repeated, does nothing, and can give nothing, which it does not take from somebody
George Henry

How can you govern a country with two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?
Charles de Gaulle

The supply of government exceeds the demand.
Lewis H. Lapham

Every nation has the government it deserves.
Joseph Marie de Maistre

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
H. L. Mencken


Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.
Orson Welles

The federal government has three duties. Print the money, deliver the mail, and declare war.
Florence King

There is very little to admire in bureaucracy, but you have got to hand it to the Internal Revenue Service.
James L. Rogers

No class of Americans, so far as I know, has ever objected . . . to any amount of governmental meddling if it appeared to benefit that particular class.
Carl Becker

Any doctrine that . . . weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action . . . helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
John Dewey

Today's rebel is tomorrow's tyrant.
Will and Ariel Durant

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
Oscar Ameringer

Why should any country continue, forever, to be "great"?
William F. Buckley

That government is best which governs least, because its people discipline themselves.
Thomas Jefferson

The wrong sort of people are always in power because they would not be in power if they were not the wrong sort of people.
Jon Wynne-Tyson

Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.
Calvin Coolidge

The office of President is such a bastardized thing, half royalty and half democracy, that nobody knows whether to genuflect or spit.
Jimmy Breslin

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow

I have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it.
Abraham Lincoln

In all my years of public life I have never obstructed justice . . . Your President is no crook!
Richard M. Nixon

In America any boy may become President and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes.
Adlai Stevenson

What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.
Friedrich Hayek


Who shall guard the guardians themselves? (quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
Juvenal

It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.
Niccolò Machiavelli

There is a homely adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
Theodore Roosevelt

Democracy, with its promise of international peace, has been no better guarantee against war than the old dynastic rule of kings.
Jan C. Smuts

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Will Rogers

This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish in Great Britain at the same time.
Aneurin Bevan

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
Milton Friedman

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers

At a banquet Caligula was suddenly seized with a fit of helpless laughter. The consuls reclining next to him asked if they might share in the imperial merriment. Caligula, wiping the tears from his eyes, managed to gasp, "You'll never guess! It suddenly occurred to me that I had only to give a single nod, and both your throats would be cut on the spot."
The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, Clifton Fadiman, General Editor


The Labour Party Marxists see the consequences of their own folly all around them and call it the collapse of capitalism.
Jon Akass


The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.
Linda Bowles


Everybody has asked the question . . . "What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!
Frederick Douglass


In all sorts of government man is made to believe himself free, and to be in chains.
Stanislaus Leszcynski


[Government] is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting the population for the benefit of its own members.
H. L. Mencken


When a private citizen is robbed, a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed, the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before.
H. L. Mencken


The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse -- that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.
H. L. Mencken


I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war on liberty, and that the democratic government is at least as bad as any of the other forms.
H. L. Mencken


The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.
H. L. Mencken


Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan


When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson


Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson


Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
Ayn Rand


Only government can cause inflation, preserve monopoly, and punish enterprise.
William F. Buckley


You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.
Mario Cuomo


The most valuable function performed by the federal government is entertainment.
Dave Barry


The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
P. J. O'Rourke


[Government's modus operandi:] If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan


The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. How far that, or any other, consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice, is a doctrine of which I still desire to remain ignorant.
Edward Gibbon, regarding the duplicitous Roman massacre of unarmed Goths


He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.


He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.


[We] hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.


He [is] the worst governor who [cannot] govern himself.
Cato the Elder


Governors ought to gain nothing by their governments but honor.
Cato the Elder


But the desire of obtaining the advantages, and of escaping the burdens, of political society, is a perpetual and inexhaustible source of discord.
Edward Gibbon


[The one in authority] does not bear the sword for nothing.
St. Paul, Romans 13:4


[The] Roman government appeared every day less formidable to its enemies, more odious and oppressive to its subjects.
Edward Gibbon


Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George Washington


No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
Mark Twain


The whole idea of government is this: if enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.
P. J. O'Rourke


Government conspiracy? They can't even deliver our mail and it's got our address on it and everything!
P. J. O'Rourke


Government subsidies can be critically analyzed according to a simple principle: You are smarter than the government, so when the government pays you to do something you wouldn't do on your own, it is almost always paying you to do something stupid.
P. J. O'Rourke


For the people in government . . . Washington is an early-rising, hard-working city. It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.
P. J. O'Rourke


Bureaucrats want bigger bureaus. Special interests are interested in whatever [is] special to them. These two groups bring great pressure to bear upon politicians who have another agenda yet: to cater to the temporary whims and fads of the public and the press.
P. J. O'Rourke


When a private entity does not produce the desired results, it [is] done away with. But a public entity gets bigger.
P. J. O'Rourke


How small, of all that human hearts endure,

That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
Samuel Johnson


The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.
Frank Herbert


Expanded unemployment benefits . . . expand unemployment.
Author unidentified


[East German's] were brought up to identify totally with the state; they may be slow to realize the extent to which they were victimized by the state.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Attributed)


The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.
H. L. Mencken


Government doesn't solve problems; it subsidizes them.
Ronald Reagan


Public spending expands to absorb all available tax revenues. . . . Public borrowing expands to absorb all available means of finance.
Lewis E. Lehrman & John D. Mueller (variation on Parkinson's Law)


[The government is] now in a position to do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression of the 1930s -- use a crisis of the times to create new institutions that will last for generations. To this day, we are still subsidizing millionaires in agriculture because farmers were having a tough time in the 1930s.
Thomas Sowell


If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.
Friedrich von Hayek


A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
P. J. O'Rourke


Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Edmund Burke


Gratitude



He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestow should never remember it.
Pierre Charron


The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Eric Hoffer


[Where] gratitude is felt, resentment can never be very far behind.
James W. Ceaser


[The] act of gratitude is nowadays is probably more often neglected than overdone.
William F. Buckley


Greatness


A great ship asks deep water.
George Herbert

The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor the great scholars great men.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I'm against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.
Robert Frost

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt


Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain


Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare


Grief



Grief is the agony of an instant, the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.
Benjamin Disraeli


Guilt



The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
William Shakespeare


Gun



You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.
Al Capone


Gunpowder



If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.
Edward Gibbon


Happiness



Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
Bertrand Russell

We are never so happy nor so unhappy as we imagine.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
Epictetus

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?
Charles M. Schulz

Happiness? That's nothing more than health and a poor memory.
Albert Schweitzer

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
Agnes Repplier

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Anne Frank

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy

The conviction of the rich that the poor are happy is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.
Laurence J. Peter


The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
H. L. Mencken

He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed.
David Frost

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
Dodie Smith

A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.
George Bernard Shaw

When I was young, I used to think that wealth and power would bring me happiness . . . I was right.
Gahan Wilson

Hollywood is where, if you don't have happiness, you send out for it.
Rex Reed


Boethius might have been styled happy, if that precarious epithet could be safely applied before the last term of the life of man.
Edward Gibbon


There is no device whatever to be invented for securing happiness without industry, economy, and virtue.
William Graham Sumner


If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
Bertrand Russell


The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good.
Bertrand Russell


Haste



Haste is of the devil. Slowness is of God.
H. L. Mencken


Hatred



Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
Eric Hoffer


Health


Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.
Proverb


If a man thinks about his physical or moral state, he nearly always discovers that he is ill.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.
Paul Dudley White


What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease.
George Dennison Prentice


I'm not sick, but I'm not well.
Harvey Danger

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; and do not outlive yourself.
George Bernard Shaw


Nearly all men die of their medicines, and not of their illnesses.
Molière


"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
Author unidentified


Leave the table hungry.

Leave the bed sleepy.

Leave the table thirsty.
Irish Recipe for Longevity, Author unidentified


Be not slow to visit the sick.
Ecclesiasticus 7:39


Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


Health is not simply the absence of sickness.
Hannah Green


It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like.
Jackie Mason


Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
Mark Twain


Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Redd Foxx


Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away.
Robert Orben


Heart


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
Theodore Roosevelt


The head never rules the heart, but just becomes its partner in crime.
Mignon McLaughlin


As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
H. L. Mencken


Each heart knows its own bitterness,

and no one else can share its joy.
Proverbs 14:10


Even in laughter the heart may ache,

and joy may end in grief.
Proverbs 14:13


Let not your heart be troubled . . .
John 14:1 (KJV)


Heaven And Hell


Heaven for climate, hell for company.
James M. Barrie

Everyone who has ever built anywhere a "new heaven" first found the power thereto in his own hell.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
John Milton

What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Mark 8:36

Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Mark Twain

May you get to Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead.
Irish Proverb


It is Hell, of course, that makes priests powerful, not Heaven, for after thousands of years of so-called civilization fear remains the one common denominator of mankind.
H. L. Mencken


Cerberus, n. The watch-dog of Hades, whose duty it was to guard the entrance -- against whom or what does not clearly appear; everybody, sooner or later, had to go there, and nobody wanted to carry off the entrance.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
William Shakespeare


Who finds heaven on earth will end in hell.
Daniel Mark Epstein


According to the faith and mercy of his Christian enemies, [Chosroes] sunk without hope into a still deeper abyss [Hell]; and it will not be denied, that tyrants of every age and sect are the best entitled to such infernal abodes.
Edward Gibbon


Hero


We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
Will Rogers


But heroes are not reckless or foolhardy. . . . A sensible hero fights bravely when he needs to do so; but first he fights prudently in order to avoid fighting bravely.
John O'Sullivan


Historian



The revolution of ages may bring round the same calamities; but ages may revolve without producing a Tacitus to describe them.
Edward Gibbon


History


Don't brood on what's past, but never forget it either.
Thomas H. Raddall


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

History, n. An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


History . . . is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
Edward Gibbon

[The] Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire . . .
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

History's lessons are no more enlightening than the wisdom of those who interpret them.
David Schoenbrun


The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.
Paul Johnson


Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
Oscar Wilde


One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. [emphasis added]
Will Durant


The voice of history [is] often little more than the organ of hatred or flattery.
Edward Gibbon


History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill


The interpretation of history is forever in flux, as much reflection of the present as window on the past.
Andrew Stuttaford


From the paths of blood (and such is the history of nations) I cannot refuse to turn aside to gather some flowers of science or virtue.
Edward Gibbon


So obscure are the greatest events, as some take for granted any hearsay, whatever its source, others turn truth into falsehood, and both errors find encouragement with posterity.
Tacitus


[We should] suspend our belief of every tale that deviates from the laws of nature and the character of man.
Edward Gibbon


Holocaust



Better than the rest of us, they [the Jews] sensed what was ahead for their people.
H. L. Mencken


Honor



After I am dead, I would rather have men ask why Cato has no monument than why he has one.
Cato the Elder

It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.
André Gide


It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.
Mark Twain


It was no longer esteemed infamous for a Roman to survive his honor and independence.
Edward Gibbon


And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Thomas Jefferson, et al.


Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach; once we have left it, we can never return.
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux


Hope


He had that rare weird electricity about him -- that extremely wild and heavy presence that you only see in a person who has abandoned all hope of ever behaving "normally."
Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing '72"


Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.


Humanitarianism


When any man is more stupidly vain and outrageously egotistic than his fellows, he will hide his hideousness in humanitarianism.
George Moore


Humility



Shamus, n. [Yiddish]: A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks around the temple, and makes sure everything is in working order. A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of synagogue functionaries, and there's a joke about that: A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the middle of a service, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The cantor, not to be bested, also cries out, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, "Look who thinks he's nobody!"
Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Humor



Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.
Will Rogers

Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast-beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.
Mel Brooks

Humour can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.
E. B. White

Humour is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him.
Romain Gary


The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
Mark Twain

Comedy, like sodomy, is an unnatural act.
Marty Feldman

There is no reason why a joke should not be appreciated more than once. Imagine how little good music there would be if, for example, a conductor refused to play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the ground that his audience might have heard it before.
A. P. Herbert


Hunter S. Thompson


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"


Idea



If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it if you do. Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait.
Robert Heinlein


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


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


Society's course will be changed only by a change in ideas. First you must reach the intellectuals, the teachers and writers, with reasoned argument. It will be their influence on society which will prevail, and the politicians will follow.
F. A. Hayek (Attributed)


The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
John Maynard Keynes


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


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


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


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


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


Idealist



The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power. How naive the cliche that money is the root of evil!
Eric Hoffer


Identity



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


Idiot


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


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


Idleness



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


Be not solitary, be not idle.
Robert Burton


Imagination


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


Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein


Imitation



It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.
Edmund Burke


Immortality



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


Imperialism



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


Take up the White Man's burden--

The savage wars of peace--

Fill full the mouth of Famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch Sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hope to nought.
Rudyard Kipling


There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign nations, in opposition to their inclination and interest.
Edward Gibbon


Impotence



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



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


"Has it ever occurred to you that in your promiscuous pursuit of women you are merely trying to assuage your subconscious fears of sexual impotence?"



"Yes, sir, it has."



"Then why do you do it?"



"To assuage my fears of sexual impotence."
Joseph Heller


Improvidence



[The Goths'] poverty was incurable; since the most liberal donatives were soon dissipated in wasteful luxury, and the most fertile estates became barren in their hands . . .
Edward Gibbon


Incompetence


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


Index



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


India



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


Indifference


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


Inequality


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


Inflation


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


Instruction



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


Intelligence



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


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


Interface



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


Internet



If the Library of Alexandria was the emblem of our ambition of omniscience, the Web is the emblem of our ambition of omnipresence; the library that contained everything has become the library that contains anything.
Alberto Manguel


Interruption



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


Investment



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


Irish


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


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


Joy



Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
Mark Twain


Judgment


We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.
Harold Nicholson


Justice



Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
H. L. Mencken


Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
George W. Bush


Kindness


I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Attributed to Stephen Grellet

One kind word can warm three winter months.
Japanese saying

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.
Sir Arthur Helps


King



It is not a sign of arrogance for the king to rule. That is what he is there for.
William F. Buckley


Knowledge And Ignorance



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

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

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The first step to knowledge is to know that we are ignorant.
Lord David Cecil

Try to know everything of something, and something of everything.
Henry Peter, Lord Brougham

Tain't what a man don't know that hurts him; it's what he knows that just ain't so!
Frank McKinney Hubbard ("Kin Hubbard")

As soon as any man says of the affairs of state, What does it matter to me? the state may be given up as lost.
Jean Jacques Rousseau


The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.
Elbert Hubbard


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


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


Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.
Cicero


You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird . . . So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
Richard Feynman


Not being a liberal, I have very little grasp of things that I know nothing about.
P. J. O'Rourke


Learned foolishness, is more egregiously foolish than the folly of ignorance. It is wayward, positive, and imperious; too conceited and indocile to be informed, and too obstinate to forsake error.
Ezra Sampson


I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
Pablo Picasso


Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.
Franklin P. Adams


And it's a necessity [for journalists] to pretend to be competent on every subject, some of which they really do not understand. They are under that necessity, I regret; I'm sorry for them. But to pretend to understand all the things you write about, and habitually to write about things you do not understand, is a very corrupting thing.
Friedrich von Hayek


Language



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Laughter



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

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


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


Law



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

Justice delayed is justice denied.
William Ewart Gladstone

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Lawyer


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

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


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


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


Laziness



A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest --

and poverty will come on you like a bandit

and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:10,11


Lazy hands make a man poor,

but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 10:4


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


Leader



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


Leadership


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

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

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

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

"Cheshire-Puss," she began, "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't care much where--" said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
Lewis Carroll

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

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


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


Legacy



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


Legislator



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


Liar



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


Liberty



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Libius Severus



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


Life


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

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

Stephen Crane

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

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


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

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.
Nietzsche


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Life is short, but death lasts forever.
Author unidentified


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


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


Life is a hideous thing.
H. P. Lovecraft


At the door of life, by the gate of breath,

There are worse things waiting for men than death.
Algernon Charles Swinburne


Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Music is essentially useless, as life is.
George Santayana


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


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


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


Listening


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


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


Literature


When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder

That such trivial people should muse and thunder

In such a lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.
Frank Zappa

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


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


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


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

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


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


Logic



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


Love


People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.
Bob Hope

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

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

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

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

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

Let there be spaces in your Togetherness.
Kahil Gibran

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

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


Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
Oscar Wilde


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


The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love.
Terence


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Lover



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



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


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


Madness


There's a pinch of the madman in every great man.
French Proverb

I suppose it is much more comfortable to be mad and not know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.
G. B. Burgin


[Imagination] does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess players do. Mathematicians go mad . . . but creative artists very seldom.
G. K. Chesterton


Majorian



[Majorian] presents the welcome discovery of a great and heroic character, such as sometimes arise, in a degenerate age, to vindicate the honor of the human species.
Edward Gibbon


Man


Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers heaven.
Alphonse de Lamartine

That man is an aggressive creature will hardly be disputed. With the exception of certain rodents, no other vertebrate habitually destroys members of its own species.
Anthony Storr

God must love the common man, he made so many of them.
Abraham Lincoln


Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Mark Twain


Man is a beautiful machine that works very badly.
H. L. Mencken


Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable.
Oscar Wilde


Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Mark Twain


Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse.
Miguel de Cervantes


Man differs from the animal only by a little; most men throw that little away.
Mencius


Man born of woman

is of few days and full of trouble.

He springs up like a flower and withers away;

like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.
Job 14:1-2


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain


I know in my heart that man is good.

That what is right will always eventually triumph.

And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.
Ronald Reagan


Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves.
Gene Fowler


Man has much more to fear from the passions of his fellow-creatures, than from the convulsions of the elements.
Edward Gibbon


Neither conservatives nor humorists believe man is good. But left-wingers do.
P. J. O'Rourke


In this primitive and abject state [of hunters and gatherers], which ill deserves the name of society, the human brute, without arts or laws, almost without sense or language, is poorly distinguished from the rest of the animal creation.
Edward Gibbon


For this is the tragedy of man -- circumstances change, but he does not.
Niccolò Machiavelli


If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
George Bernard Shaw


[But] the man who dares not expose his life in the defence of his children and his property, has lost in society the first and most active energies of nature.
Edward Gibbon


It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
Bertrand Russell


I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
William Shakespeare


Mankind


Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this -- that you are dreadfully like other people.
James Russell Lowell


History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Abba Eban

Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Aldous Huxley

We should expect the best and the worst from mankind, as from the weather.
Vauvenargues

One of the laws of paleontology is that an animal which must protect itself with thick armour is degenerate. It is usually a sign that the species is on the road to extinction.
John Steinbeck


Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.
Mark Twain

To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The fall of man stands a lie before Beethoven, a truth before Hitler.
Gregory Corso

When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.
John Ruskin

Cursed is every one who places his hope in man.
Saint Augustine


[The] vain and transitory scenes of human greatness are unworthy of a serious thought.
Edward Gibbon


Manners


Dear Miss Manners: Please list some tactful ways of removing a man's saliva from your face.

Gentle Reader: Please list some decent ways of acquiring a man's saliva on your face . . .
Miss Manners


Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide the lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them. No matter how "pure" their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.
Robert A. Heinlein


Market



The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
John Maynard Keynes


The markets are moved by animal spirits, and not by reason.
John Maynard Keynes (paraphrased)


Markets are too complex to manipulate beneficially.
John Stossel


Marriage



No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not.
H. L. Mencken

Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
Joseph Barth

Nothing flatters a man as much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the source of it.
Samuel Johnson

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell; it is simply purgatory.
Abraham Lincoln

Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
Benjamin Franklin

The Japanese have a word for it. It's judo -- the art of conquering by yielding. The Western equivalent of judo is, "Yes, dear."
J. P. McEvoy

When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one.
Helen Rowland

Marriage is a mistake every man should make.
George Jessel

As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent.
Socrates

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and deaf husband.
Michel de Montaigne

A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

By all means marry: If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
Socrates

Choose in marriage only a woman whom you would choose as a friend if she were a man.
Joubert

When should a man marry? A young man, not yet; an elder man, not at all.
Sir Francis Bacon

I like being single. I'm always there when I need me.
Art Leo

Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
Benjamin Franklin


Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.
Oscar Wilde

The average woman must inevitably view her actual husband with a certain disdain; he is anything but her ideal. In consequence, she cannot help feeling that her children are cruelly handicapped by the fact that he is their father.
H. L. Mencken

'Tis more blessed to give than receive; for example, wedding presents.
H. L. Mencken

We were happily married for eight months. Unfortunately, we were married for four and a half years.
Nick Faldo


What nonsense people talk about happy marriages! A man can be happy with any woman so long as he doesn't love her.
Oscar Wilde

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
Sacha Guitry

When I was a young man, I vowed never to marry until I found the ideal woman. Well, I found her -- but alas, she was waiting for the ideal man.
Robert Schuman

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
George Bernard Shaw

I belong to Bridegrooms Anonymous. Whenever I feel like getting married, they send over a lady in a housecoat and hair curlers to burn my toast for me.
Dick Martin

The hardest task in a girl's life is to prove to a man that his intentions are serious.
Helen Rowland

It is assumed that the woman must wait, motionless, until she is wooed. That is how the spider waits for the fly.
George Bernard Shaw

A husband is what is left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted.
Helen Rowland


Men are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.
Oscar Wilde


Marriage is the price men pay for sex, sex is the price women pay for marriage.
Author unidentified


I think of my wife, and I think of Lot,

And I think of the lucky break he got.
William Cole


We sleep in separate rooms, we have dinner apart, we take separate vacations -- we're doing everything we can to keep our marriage together.
Rodney Dangerfield


Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
Phyllis Diller


I never knew what real happiness was until I got married. And by then it was too late.
Max Kauffmann


When a man brings his wife flowers for no reason -- there's a reason.
Molly McGee


Take my wife . . . please!
Henny Youngman


Bride, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


If I ever marry, it will be on a sudden impulse, as a man shoots himself.
H. L. Mencken


I respect the institution of marriage. I have always thought that every woman should marry -- and no man.
Benjamin Disraeli


A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage.
Samuel Butler


I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many men happy.
Ellyn Mustard


Marriage is the death of hope.
Woody Allen


Sex alleviates tension. Marriage causes it.
Woody Allen


It should be a very happy marriage; they are both so much in love with him.
Irene Thomas


There's nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about.
Oscar Wilde


Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
Oscar Wilde


I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
Rita Rudner


I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
Rita Rudner


When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
Oscar Wilde


Metellus Numidicus, the censor, acknowledged to the Roman people, in a public oration, that had kind nature allowed us to exist without the help of women, we should be delivered from a very troublesome companion; and he could recommend matrimony only as the sacrifice of private pleasure to public duty.
Edward Gibbon


But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:28


But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world -- how he can please his wife -- and his interests are divided.
St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:33,34


For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24


In the most rigorous [Roman] laws, a wife was condemned to support a gamester, a drunkard, or a libertine, unless he were guilty of homicide, poison, or sacrilege, in which cases the marriage, as it should seem, might have been dissolved by the hand of the executioner.
Edward Gibbon


A society in which marriage is encouraged and industry prevails soon repairs the accidental losses of pestilence and war . . .
Edward Gibbon


My wife doesn't care what I do when I'm away, as long as I don't have a good time.
Lee Trevino


I've traveled the world and been about everywhere you can imagine. There's not anything I'm scared of except my wife.
Lee Trevino


A man may be a fool and not know it -- but not if he is married.
H. L. Mencken


Martyrdom


The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins.
Søren Kierkegaard


To die for an idea is to set a rather high price upon conjecture.
Anatole France


Marxist


All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
Karl Marx


Mask



Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Oscar Wilde


Mathematics



Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.
Bertrand Russell


Media


I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
Thomas Jefferson

Remember, son, many a good story has been ruined by over-verification.
James Gordon Bennett

The sports page records people's accomplishments, the front page usually records nothing but man's failures.
Earl Warren


For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.
Gloria Borger


To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.
Aleister Crowley


Medicine



The true aim of medicine is not to make men virtuous; it is to safeguard and rescue them from the consequences of their vices. The physician does not preach repentance; he offers absolution.
H. L. Mencken


Mediocrity


Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.
Joseph Heller

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.
Somerset Maugham


Perseverance, n. A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Memory


God gave us memory that we might have roses in December.
James M. Barrie

I never forgive, but I always forget.
Arthur James Balfour

It isn't so astonishing, the number of things that I can remember, as the number of things I can remember that aren't so.
Mark Twain

Our memories are independent of our wills. It is not so easy to forget.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan


Men And Women


Like the ski resort of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.
Alan McKay

The great question which I have not been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does woman want?"
Sigmund Freud

If a woman likes another woman, she's cordial. If she doesn't like her, she's very cordial.
Irvin S. Cobb

Women are like elephants. They are interesting to look at, but I wouldn't want to own one.
W. C. Fields

I dress for women -- and I undress for men.
Angie Dickinson

The average girl would rather have beauty than brains because she knows the average man can see much better than he can think.
Ladies' Home Journal

She was not a woman likely to settle for equality when sex gave her an advantage.
Anthony Delano


Men have a much better time of it than women; for one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
H. L. Mencken

A man is a person who will pay two dollars for a one-dollar item he wants. A woman will pay one dollar for a two-dollar item she doesn't want.
William Binger

I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Men become old, but they never become good.
Oscar Wilde

A woman wants a man who will satisfy her every want and need. A man wants every woman to satisfy his one want and need.
Author unidentified

I married beneath me -- all women do.
Lady Nancy Astor

A wise woman will always let her husband have her way.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan

When a man opens the car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.
Prince Philip

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,

Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
William Congreve

If I were asked . . . to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of [Americans] ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: to the superiority of their women.
Alexis de Tocqueville


When women kiss it always reminds me of prize-fighters shaking hands.
H. L. Mencken

She strode like a grenadier, was strong and upright like an obelisk, had a beautiful face, a candid brow, and not a thought of her own in her head.
Joseph Conrad

Disguise our bondage as we will,

'Tis woman, woman, rules us still.
Thomas Moore

'Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.
William Thackeray

A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.
Samuel Johnson

A woman is a woman until the day she dies, but a man's a man only as long as he can.
Moms Mabley

Some men are alive only because it is illegal to kill them.
Author unidentified

A beautiful woman is a blessing from Heaven, but a good cigar is a smoke.
Kipling

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.
Kin Hubbard

Brigands will demand your money or your life, but a woman will demand both.
Samuel Butler

Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee."

Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."
Lady Nancy Astor and Winston Churchill

Let thy maid servant be faithful, strong, and homely.
Benjamin Franklin

Men's magazines often feature pictures of naked ladies. Women's magazines also often feature pictures of naked ladies. This is because the female body is a beautiful work of art, while the male body is hairy and lumpy and should not be seen by the light of day.
Richard Roeper

Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.
Kipling

To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girl friends.
Benjamin Franklin

When there is an old maid in the house, a watch dog is unnecessary.
Honoré de Balzac

Women sometimes forgive a man who forces the opportunity, but never a man who misses one.
Charles De Talleyrand-Perigord

I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since the war.
Robert Mueller

I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it.
Marilyn Monroe

Whether women are better than men I cannot say -- but I can say they are certainly no worse.
Golda Meir


She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
Oscar Wilde

Most women are not as young as they are painted.
Max Beerbohm


A man's womenfolk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity.
H. L. Mencken

Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
Charlotte Whitton

George Moore unexpectedly pinched my behind. I felt rather honored that my behind should have drawn the attention of the great master of English prose.
Ilka Chase

She plucked from my lapel the invisible strand of lint -- the universal act of women to proclaim ownership.
O. Henry

Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.
Oscar Wilde

I've been in love with the same woman for forty-one years. If my wife finds out, she'll kill me.
Henny Youngman


Most women set out to try to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him.
Marlene Dietrich (Attributed)


On one issue at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.
H. L. Mencken (Attributed)


Women do not like timid men. Cats do not like prudent rats.
H. L. Mencken


Misogynist, n. A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.
H. L. Mencken


No trust is to be placed in women.
Homer


There is no fouler fiend than a woman when her mind is bent to evil.
Homer


The gods have sent medicines for the venom of serpents, but there is no medicine for a bad woman. She is more noxious than the viper, or than fire itself.
Eurpides


I trust only one thing in a woman: that she will not come to life again after she is dead. In all other things I distrust her.
Antiphanes


In point of morals, the average woman is, even for business, too crooked.
Stephen Leacock


Never trust a woman, even though she has given you ten sons.
Chinese Proverb


Woman, like good wine, is a sweet poison.
French Proverb


Women are like death: they pursue those who flee from them, and flee from those who pursue them.
German Proverb


A thousand men can easily live together in peace, but two women, even if they be sisters, can never do so.
Hindu Proverb


A man always blames the woman who fools him. In the same way he blames the door he walks into in the dark.
H. L. Mencken


To attract men, I wear a perfume called "New Car Interior."
Rita Rudner


Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man.
H. L. Mencken


Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
H. L. Mencken


Women have simple tastes. They can get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
H. L. Mencken


The allurement that women hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating. To the average man, doomed to some banal drudgery all his life long, they offer the only grand hazard that he ever encounters. Take them away, and his existence would be as flat and secure as that of a moo-cow.
H. L. Mencken


All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.
Oscar Wilde


Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
Oscar Wilde


King Solomon loved many strange women.
1 Kings 11:1 (KJV)


On Valentine's Day, millions of men give millions of women flowers, cards and candy as a heartfelt expression of the emotion that also motivates men to observe anniversaries and birthdays: fear.
Dave Barry


Women in general seem to me to be appreciably more intelligent than men. A great many of them suffer in silence from the imbecilities of their husbands.
H. L. Mencken


In every age and country, the wiser, or at least the stronger, of the two sexes, has usurped the powers of the state, and confined the other to the cares and pleasures of domestic life.
Edward Gibbon


All other men govern their wives; but we command all other men, and our wives us.
Cato the Elder


Women [in ancient Rome] were condemned to the perpetual tutelage of parents, husbands, or guardians; a sex created to please and obey was never supposed to have attained the age of reason and experience. Such, at least, was the stern and haughty spirit of the ancient law . . .
Edward Gibbon


[Thales] thanked fortune for three things: first of all, that he had been born a man and not a beast; secondly, that he was a man and not a woman; and thirdly, that he was a Greek and not a barbarian.
Diogenes Laertius


Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think -- in a deeper voice.
Bill Cosby


If a woman has "It," she doesn't need anything else; but if she doesn't have "It," it doesn't matter what else she has.
Winston Churchill


Military


Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Howell M. Forgy


Veni, vidi, vici.

I came, I saw, I conquered.
Julius Caesar

I dropped an aerial torpedo right in the center, and the group opened up like a flowering rose. It was most entertaining.
Vittorio Mussolini

War hath no fury like a non-combatant.
C. E. Montague

They told me it would disrupt my life less if I got killed sooner.
Joseph Heller


In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable.
W. Churchill, on General Montgomery


These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Thomas Paine


As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
Edward Gibbon


The progress of manufactures and commerce insensibly collects a large multitude within the walls of a city: but these citizens are no longer soldiers; and the arts which adorn and improve the state of civil society, corrupt the habits of the military life.
Edward Gibbon


[A] military force was collected in Europe, formidable by their arms and numbers, if the generals had understood the science of command, and the soldiers the duty of obedience.
Edward Gibbon


Mind


I am not absent-minded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.
G. K. Chesterton

Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.
G. K. Chesterton

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.
John Milton


Miracle


Everything is miraculous. It is miraculous that one does not melt in one's bath.
Pablo Picasso


Miscellaneous



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:

  1. Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
  2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
  3. If you are warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.
Author unidentified

I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either.
Jack Benny


What's not worth doing is not worth doing well.
Don Hebb


"Are you lost daddy," I asked tenderly.

"Shut up," he explained.

Ring Lardner


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


Misfortune



We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery there never is any recourse to the mention of it.
Samuel Johnson


What man ever blamed himself for his misfortune?
William Graham Sumner


Moderate



In the field of controversy I always pity the moderate party, who stand on the open middle ground exposed to the fire of both sides.
Edward Gibbon


Moderation


I have not been afraid of excess: excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
W. Somerset Maugham


Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.
Oscar Wilde


Total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.
St. Augustine


Constantly practise abstinence and temperance, so that you may be as wakeful after eating as before.
E. L. Gruber


Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.
Cicero


Modesty


Don't be so humble. You're not that great.
Golda Meir

I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.
Mark Twain

I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.
Leonardo da Vinci

Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise.
G. K. Chesterton

When you're as great as I am, it's hard to be humble.
Muhammed Ali

If only I had a little humility, I would be perfect.
Ted Turner


Monk



The peace of the Eastern church was invaded by a swarm of fanatics [monks], incapable of fear, or reason, or humanity; and the Imperial troops acknowledged, without shame, that they were much less apprehensive of an encounter with the fiercest Barbarians.
Edward Gibbon


Pleasure and guilt are synonymous terms in the language of the monks, and they discovered, by experience, that rigid fasts, and abstemious diet, are the most effectual preservatives against the impure desires of the flesh.
Edward Gibbon


The monastic studies have tended, for the most part, to darken, rather than to dispel, the cloud of superstition.
Edward Gibbon


I have somewhere heard or read the frank confession of a Benedictine abbot: "My vow of poverty has given me a hundred thousand crowns a year; my vow of obedience has raised me to the rank of a sovereign prince." -- I forget the consequences of his vow of chastity.
Edward Gibbon


[The monks'] credulity debased and vitiated the faculties of the mind: they corrupted the evidence of history; and superstition gradually extinguished the hostile light of philosophy and science.
Edward Gibbon


[All] the manly virtues were oppressed by the servile and pusillanimous reign of the monks.
Edward Gibbon


[The monks'] minds were inaccessible to reason or mercy . . .
Edward Gibbon


Morality


When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.
Richard Nixon

It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses.
Mrs. Patrick Campbell

All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening.
Alexander Woollcott


I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.
William F. Buckley


Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
H. L. Mencken

Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, forty-eight percent indignation, and fifty percent envy.
Vittorio de Sica

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.
Erich Fromm

In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
Thomas Jefferson

Any of us can achieve virtue, if by virtue we merely mean the avoidance of the vices that do not attract us.
Robert S. Lynd


[Sir Stafford Cripps] has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
Winston Churchill


I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.
G. K. Chesterton


To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
G. K. Chesterton


He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.
Horace


We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions which are unbridled by morality and true religion.
John Adams


Moron



Nature abhors a moron.
H. L. Mencken


Mother


No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.
Florida Scott-Maxwell


Murder



If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together, who would escape hanging?
Mark Twain


Music


How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.
Gioacchino Rossini

The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes -- ah, that is where the art resides!
Artur Schnabel

Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.
Igor Stravinsky

She said, "I know you . . . you cannot sing". I said, "That's nothing, you should hear me play piano."
Morrisey

When one woman was asked how long she had been going to symphony concerts, she paused to calculate and replied, "Forty-seven years -- and I find I mind it less and less."
Louise Andrews Kent


I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to.
Elvis Presley (Attributed)


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach


Myth



If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
Bertrand Russell


Nature


A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.
Tennessee Williams

Is dishwater dull? Naturalists with microscopes have told me that it teems with quiet fun.
G. K. Chesterton

The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent.
John Hughes Holmes

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments -- there are consequences.
Robert G. Ingersoll

[In Nature:] No arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes


But the works of man are impotent against the assaults of nature . . .
Edward Gibbon


The law of nature instructs most animals to cherish and educate their infant progeny. The law of reason inculcates to the human species the returns of filial piety.
Edward Gibbon


Navy



Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Winston Churchill


Necessary



The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
Charles de Gaulle


There is no such thing as a necessary man.
French Proverb


Negligence



A little neglect may breed great mischief . . . for the want of a nail the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost.
Benjamin Franklin


Noise


Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
Mark Twain


Nonconformist


If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity
Bill Vaughan


Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.
Eric Hoffer


Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?
James Thurber


Oakland


When you get there [Oakland], there isn't any there there.
Gertrude Stein

The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there it's there!
Herb Caen


Old Age


I want a house that has got over all its troubles; I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.
Jerome K. Jerome

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother.
G. Norman Collie

Who knows whether in retirement I shall be tempted to the last infirmity of mundane minds, which is to write a book.
Geoffrey Fisher


The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
H. L. Mencken

If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Leon Eldred

A man is only as old as the woman he feels.
Groucho Marx


"Next year? Peter, at my age I don't even buy green bananas."
Arnold Palmer, responding to Peter Jacobsen's request to play in his golf tournament


When death comes near the old find that age is no longer burdensome.
Euripides


When our vices quit us we flatter ourselves with the belief that it is we who quit them.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
Thomas Jefferson


It is not the end of joy that makes old age so sad, but the end of hope.
Jean Paul Richter


It is the common calamity of old age, to lose whatever might have rendered it desirable.
Edward Gibbon


Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion;

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare


Opinion


He who says what he likes shall hear what he does not like.
English proverb

Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs.
Robert Peel

Too often we . . . enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy

You've no idea what a poor opinion I have of myself -- and how little I deserve it.
W. S. Gilbert


Absurdity, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.
Herbert Spencer


Opinions are the cheapest commodities in the world.
Author unidentified


We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Mark Twain


What the historian Elie Kedourie called "the Chatham House Version" -- that toxic amalgam of smugness, moral relativism, and cherished feelings of guilt about the achievements of Western civilization -- everywhere nurtured the catechism of established opinion.
Roger Kimball


You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
Olin Miller


Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell


I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
Bertrand Russell


The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
Bertrand Russell


Opportunity



What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?
Logan Pearsall Smith


Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison


Delay not; swift the flight of fortune's greatest favours.
Seneca


Oppression



It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power -- power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.
Eric Hoffer


In [Nazi] Germany, they came first for the Communists,

And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists,

And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews,

And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;

And then . . . they came for me . . .

And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
Martin Niemöller (Attributed)


Optimism And Pessimism


The optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell

If one truly has lost hope, one would not be on hand to say so.
Eric Bentley

He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.
Albert Camus


There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.
Edward Gibbon


Orator



He can best be described as one of those orators who, before they get up, do not know what they are going to say; when they are speaking, do not know what they are saying; and when they have sat down, do not know what they have said.
Winston Churchill, of a fellow Member of Parliament


Oratory


The object of oratory is not truth but persuasion.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

They talk most who have the least to say.
Matthew Prior

The thoughtless are rarely wordless.
Howard W. Newton


Originality


What a good thing Adam had -- when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
Mark Twain

There is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.
Samuel Johnson

My guess is that well over 80 percent of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought.
H. L. Mencken


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


Panama Canal


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


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


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


Passion



It is with our passions as it is with fire and water -- they are good servants, but bad masters.
Aesop


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


Past



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


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


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


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


People


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

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

Es mejor estar solo que mal acompañado. (It is better to be alone than in bad company).
Author unidentified


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


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


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


Persistence



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


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


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


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


Pity


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


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 . . .
Frederic 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


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


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


Poetry


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


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


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 is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once.
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

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

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

When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.
Winston Churchill, on formal declarations of war

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.
Author unidentified

[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.
H. L. Mencken

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


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


I will not give to a woman an instrument to procure abortion.
The Hippocratic Oath, c. 400 B. C.


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, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken


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


Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
Aesop


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


The principle feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things -- war and hunger and date rape -- liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things . . . It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
P. J. O'Rourke


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


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


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


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


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


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.
Ascribed 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


Posterity


What has posterity ever done for me?
Groucho Marks


Poverty


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


[T]he best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.
Benjamin Franklin


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


Power


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton


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


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


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


Praise



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


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


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


Precedent



A precedent embalms a principle.
Benjamin Disraeli


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


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


Privilege



What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
H. L. Mencken


Problem



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


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


Profit



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


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

There's always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible and wrong.
H. L. Mencken


[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


Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.
Thomas Sowell


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


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


Promiscuity



Promiscuous, adj. Someone who gets more sex than you.
Author unidentified


Propaganda



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


Prophesy



Of all forms of human error, prophesy is the most avoidable.
George Eliot


Prosperity



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


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


Providence



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


Prudence



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


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


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


Punishment



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


Pursuit



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


Question


Scott Buchanan . . . taught me that the questions that can be answered are not worth asking.
Milton Mayer


The great questions are those an intelligent child asks and, getting no answers, stops asking.
George Wald


Quotation



It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
Winston Churchill


A short saying oft contains much wisdom.
Sophocles


The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation.
Benjamin Disraeli


I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
Marlene Dietrich


I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.
Seneca


A quotation, like a pun, should come unsought, and then be welcomed only for some propriety of felicity justifying the intrusion.
Robert Chapman


Race



There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.
Booker T. Washington


Reactionary



Conquest's Law: Everyone is a reactionary about subjects he understands.
Robert Conquest


Reading



Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein


A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
Samuel Johnson


The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
Mark Twain


In reading, observe the course of your thoughts rather than of your books. Sometimes your reading will give occasion to a thought, not connected with the subject which your book treats of; and in such a case, drop the course of your reading, and follow the course of the thought that has been started.
Author unidentified


People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
Logan Pearsall Smith


Reason


Reason -- the Devil's harlot.
Martin Luther


Reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
David Hume


Reformer



It is the first care of a reformer to prevent any future reformation.
Edward Gibbon


A reformer should be exempt from the suspicion of interest, and he must possess the confidence and esteem of those whom he proposes to reclaim.
Edward Gibbon


Regulation



[Experience] seems to shew that law can never regulate them [wages] properly, though it has often pretended to do so.
Adam Smith


Relationship


The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people. The hardest is with one.
Joan Baez


Republican



The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then gets elected and proves it.
P. J. O'Rourke


Responsibility



It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.
Peter Ustinov


Revenge



The revenge of a guilty woman is implacable . . .
Edward Gibbon


Revolution



All gentle cant and philosophizing to the contrary notwithstanding, no people in this world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed, must begin in blood.
Mark Twain


Risk



Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
George S. Patton, Jr.


Rome



The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight.
Edward Gibbon


[Instead] of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long.
Edward Gibbon


Ignorant of the arts of luxury, the primitive Romans had improved the science of government and war . . .
Edward Gibbon


Royalty


When the Quaker Penn kept his hat on in the royal presence, Charles (King Charles II) politely removed his, explaining that it was the custom in that place for only one person at a time to remain covered.
Arthur Bryant


Rudeness



Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
Eric Hoffer


Ruin



There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.
Adam Smith


Russia



Nobody wants to intervene in Russian affairs. Russia is a very large country, a very old country, a very disagreeable country inhabited by immense numbers of ignorant people largely possessed of lethal weapons and in a state of extreme disorder. Also Russia is a long way off.
Winston Churchill


I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Winston Churchill


Both Moscow and [Kiev], the modern and the ancient capitals, were reduced to ashes [by the Tartars]; a temporary ruin, less fatal than the deep, and perhaps indelible, mark, which a servitude of two hundred years has imprinted on the character of the Russians.
Edward Gibbon


Salutation



Hail Emperor, we who are about to die salute you. (Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutamus).
Suetonius


San Diego


San Diego didn't look like the kind of town where people get born.
Steve Ellman


San Francisco



The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
Mark Twain


Satire


Satire should, like a polished razor keen,

Wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


Satisfaction



I die without remorse, as I have lived without guilt.
Julian, Emperor of Rome


Science


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?"

Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"

Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison

I can't believe that God plays dice with the universe.
Albert Einstein

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.
Albert Einstein

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.
Albert Einstein

Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
Albert Einstein

Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
Albert Einstein

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.
Henri Poincaré


Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein (Attributed)

There's a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good.
Burton Hillis

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Albert Einstein

If I have been able to see farther than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants.
Sir Isaac Newton


Perfection [in design] is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
Donald Knuth


There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Mark Twain


The great tragedy of Science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas H. Huxley


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.
Albert Einstein


The answer to unethical science is not to give up on ethics, but rather to pursue ethical science.
Author unidentified


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.
Bertrand Russell


Season



To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
George Santayana


Self


There is nothing noble about being superior to some other men. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.
Hindustani proverb

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Aldous Huxley

To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
Albert Camus

There is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
Schopenhauer

Only the shallow know themselves.
Oscar Wilde

There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.
Salvador Dali


We run fastest and farthest when we run from ourselves.
Eric Hoffer


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.
Eric Hoffer


Self-Esteem



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.
Jay Leno


Self-Importance



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.
Carlos Castaneda


Self-Respect



No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.
George Bernard Shaw


Selfishness



Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar Wilde


Sense


Take care of the sense and the sounds will take care of themselves.
Lewis Carroll


Sentimentalist


A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.
Oscar Wilde


Seriousness



They that [are] serious in ridiculous matters [will] be ridiculous in serious affairs.
Cato the Elder


Sex


The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.
Brendan Francis

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.
Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior

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.
Montaigne

Of all sexual aberrations, chastity is the strangest.
Anatole France

Marriage has many pains but celibacy has no pleasures.
Samuel Johnson

They made love as though they were an endangered species.
Peter De Vries

The physical union of the sexes . . . only intensifies man's sense of solitude.
Nicolas Berdyaev

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.
P. G. Wodehouse

Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life.
Dorothy Parker


Women complain about sex more often than men. Their gripes fall into two major categories: (1) Not enough. (2) Too much.
Ann Landers


Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way around.
David Lodge


Women can sleep with whoever they want;

Men have to sleep with whoever will let them.
Author unidentified


A man on a date wonders if he'll get lucky. The woman already knows.
Monica Piper


You don't get married to get sex. Getting married to get sex is like buying a 747 to get free peanuts.
Jeff Foxworthy


Silence



Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.
Beckett


Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,

and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Proverbs 17:28


Silence is the virtue of fools.
Sir Francis Bacon


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.
Cato the Elder


Simplicity



Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci


Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.
Alan Perlis


Sincerity



A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
Oscar Wilde


Skepticism



Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.
George Santayana


Smoking


I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.
Mark Twain


Social Engineering



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.
Thomas Sowell


Socialism



To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches.
Margaret Thatcher


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.
John Maynard Keynes


[In the Soviet Union,] they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.
Author unidentified


Give people plenty and security, and they will fall into spiritual torpor.
Charles Murray


The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money.
Margaret Thatcher


Society


Society in its full sense . . . is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it.
Ruth Benedict


There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.
Margaret Thatcher


Soldier



The patient and active virtues of a soldier are insensibly nursed in the habits and discipline of a pastoral life.
Edward Gibbon


Son


He who causes his father's heart to bleed

Will one day have a son to avenge the deed.
Author unidentified


Beat your son every day; you may not know why, but he will.
Author unidentified


Soul



Coddle the body and you harm the soul.
Polish proverb


Sovereign



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.
Edward Gibbon


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.
Saturninus, when his troops put him forward as a contender to the Roman Emperor.


[If] the exercise of justice is the most important duty, the indulgence of mercy is the most exquisite pleasure, of a sovereign.
Theodosius I


The usual disease of princes, grasping covetousness, had made them suspicious and quarrelsome neighbors.
Plutarch


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.
Plutarch


[The] day of his inauguration was the last day of his happiness.
Edward Gibbon


The Romans derided [Marius's] indolence; they soon bewailed his activity.
Edward Gibbon


For my own part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity, that the throne is a glorious sepulchre.
Theodora


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 . . .
Edward Gibbon


Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
William Shakespeare


Space


Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.
Fred Hoyle


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.
Douglas Adams


Speech


It is a great misfortune neither to have enough wit to talk well nor enough judgment to be silent.
Jean de la Bruyere

10 persons who speak make more noise than 10,000 who are silent.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
Robert Benchley

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
Publilius Syrus


It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Mark Twain.


Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.
Dionysus the Elder


[He] possessed that vehemence of speech, which seldom fails to impart the persuasion of the soul.
Edward Gibbon


Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled.
Horace


Spite



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.
Author unidentified


Sports


Some [soccer] players suffer four or five fatal injuries per game. That's how tough they are.
Dave Barry

Rockne wanted nothing but "bad losers." Good losers get into the habit of losing.
George E. Allen


Sportsmanship



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.
H. L. Mencken


Spouse


Spouse, n. Someone who'll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have had if you'd stayed single.
Author unidentified


St. Jerom



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.
Edward Gibbon


Stability



There is this special biologist word we use for 'stable'. It is 'dead'.
Jack Cohen


Stanley Baldwin



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.
William Manchester, on Stanley Baldwin


Statistics



Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Mark Twain


Stranger



The separation of the Arabs from the rest of mankind has accustomed them to confound the ideas of stranger and enemy . . .
Edward Gibbon


Stupidity



Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
Author unidentified


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.
Bertrand Russell


Subservience



Orders can be benign or malign, but the habit of obeying them can become ingrained.
Theodore Dalrymple


Success


It is not enough to succeed, a friend must fail.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

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.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lose as if you like it; win as if you were used to it.
Tommy Hitchcock

Success is a journey, not a destination.
Ben Sweetland

Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.
Oscar Wilde


Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Woody Allen


Suffering



The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage.
Thucydides (471 BC - 400 BC)


Suicide



When we have lost everything, including hope, life becomes a disgrace and death a duty.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


Unhappy men! If you are thus weary of your lives, is it so difficult for you to find ropes and precipices?
Antoninus Pius (Attributed), to zealous Christians who apparently provoked the authorities in order to become martyrs


The criminal penalties [for suicide] are the production of a later and darker age.
Edward Gibbon


Yet the civilians have always respected the natural right of a citizen to dispose of his life . . .
Edward Gibbon


Superfluous


The superfluous is very necessary.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


Superstition


A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time.
George Iles


Fear has been the original parent of superstition, and every new calamity urges trembling mortals to deprecate the wrath of their invisible enemies.
Edward Gibbon


Suspense


The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
Oscar Wilde


Swiss


The Swiss are not a people so much as a neat, clean, quiet solvent business.
William Faulkner


Sympathy



Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
Edward Gibbon


Tact


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


Talent



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


Talk



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


Taxation


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


In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin


Technology



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


Temptation



I can resist everything except temptation.
Oscar Wilde


Terrorism



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


Theory



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


Thinker



Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare.
Harriet Martineau


Thinking


Sloppy writing reflects sloppy thinking.
Author unidentified


Time



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


Dawn, n. The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


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.
Ovid


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


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


Tobacco


Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.
Robert Burton


Tolerance


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


Travel


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


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


Trouble


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


Truce



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


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.
Aristotle


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 can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.
Mark Twain

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


There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli

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

It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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.
Plutarch

[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).
Tertullian


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.
Lenin


This above all: to thine ownself be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.
William Shakespeare


Unionism



Unionism seldom, if ever, uses such power as it has to insure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguarding bad work.
H. L. Mencken


Universe



In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
Douglas Adams


There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
Douglas Adams


University



A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.
John Ciardi


Valentinian



[The] emperor of the West, the feeble and dissolute Valentinian, [had] reached his thirty-fifth year without attaining the age of reason or courage.
Edward Gibbon


Valor



The invariable laws of nature [have] connected peace with innocence, plenty with industry, and safety with valor.
Edward Gibbon


Vanity



Vanity makes us do more things against inclination than reason.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld


Vice



The truth is that cupidity, selfishness, envy, malice, lust, vindictiveness, are constant vices of human nature.
William Graham Sumner


Nine-tenths of our measures for preventing vice are really protective towards it, because they ward off the penalty.
William Graham Sumner


Moral vices prosper by dressing themselves as virtues.
Kenneth Minogue


The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices

Make instruments to plague us.
William Shakespeare


Victory



The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
Winston Churchill


Vietnam



In Japan people drive on the left. In China people drive on the right. In Vietnam it doesn't matter.
P. J. O'Rourke


Virtue And Vice



I find that the best virtue I have has in it some tincture of vice.
Michel Eyquem, seigneur de Montaigne


I prefer an accommodating vice to an obstinate virtue.
Molière


Perhaps it would not be easy, within the same historical space, to find more vice and less virtue. We are continually shocked by the union of savage [Barbarian] and corrupt [Roman] manners.
Edward Gibbon


It was [Totila's] constant theme, that national vice and ruin are inseparably connected; that victory is the fruit of moral as well as military virtue; and that the prince, and even the people, are responsible for the crimes which they neglect to punish.
Edward Gibbon


The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
Elizabeth Taylor


Vision



Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.
Arthur Schopenhauer


Visit


Visits always give pleasure -- if not the arrival, the departure.
Portuguese proverb


Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house --

too much of you, and he will hate you.
Proverbs 25:17


Wagner


Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
Mark Twain

Wagner had some wonderful moments but awful half hours.
Gioacchino Rossini

One cannot judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin from a first hearing, and I certainly do not intend to hear it a second time.
Gioacchino Rossini


War



Hang yourself, brave Crillon; we fought at Arques and you were not there.
William Shakespeare


A general and a bit of shooting makes you forget your troubles . . . it takes your mind off the cost of living.
Brendan Behan


War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
George Orwell


Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.
Demosthenes


It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
William Ralph Inge


There must be some good in the life of battle, for so many good men have enjoyed being soldiers.
G. K. Chesterton


In war, truth is the first casualty.
Aeschylus


I reverence the field of battle, stained with their blood, and the blood of the Barbarians. Those honorable marks have been already washed away by the rains; but the lofty monuments of their bones, the bones of generals, of centurions, and of valiant warriors, claim a longer period of duration.
Libanius


If you are a god, we shall not be harmed by you, for we have done no wrong; but if you are a man, you may meet with a stronger man than yourself.
Mandrokleides, a Spartan envoy, to Pyrrhus


If we win one more such victory over the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.
Pyrrhus, when congratulated on his victory


Carthage must be destroyed! (Carthago delenda est!)
Cato the Elder


You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
Ascribed to Leon Trotsky


I have given two cousins to war and I stand ready to sacrifice my wife's brother.
Artemus Ward


Not those alone who make the war must feel the war!
George Alfred Townsend


For what fortress, what city, in the wide extent of the Roman empire, can hope to exist, secure and impregnable, if it is our pleasure that it should be erased from the earth?
Attila the Hun


The conflict was obstinate; the slaughter was mutual.
Edward Gibbon


We make war that we may live in peace.
Aristotle


[Whole] generations may be swept away by the madness of kings in the space of a single hour.
Edward Gibbon


A bloody and complete victory has sometimes yielded no more than the possession of the field and the loss of ten thousand men has sometimes been sufficient to destroy, in a single day, the work of ages.
Edward Gibbon


[Every age], however destitute of science or virtue, sufficiently abounds with acts of blood and military renown.
Edward Gibbon


[To] the vanquished, death [is] a relief, life a burden, and infamy the only object of terror.
Gelimer, King of the Vandals (Attributed)


[It is a melancholy truth] that the first and most cruel sufferings [in war] must be the lot of the innocent and helpless . . .
Edward Gibbon


[The] events by which the fate of nations is not materially changed, leave a faint impression on the page of history, and the patience of the reader would be exhausted by the repetition of the same hostilities [between Rome and Persia], undertaken without cause, prosecuted without glory, and terminated without effect.
Edward Gibbon


Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
Sir Winston Churchill


Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.
Sir Winston Churchill


Don't Delay: The best is the enemy of the good [emphasis added]. By this I mean that a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week. War is a very simple thing, and the determining characteristics are self-confidence, speed, and audacity. None of these things can ever be perfect, but they can be good.
George S. Patton, Jr.


[In] the national and religious conflict of the [Byzantine and Saracen] empires, peace was without confidence, and war without mercy.
Edward Gibbon


The great questions of our time will be decided not by resolutions and majority votes, but by blood and iron.
Otto von Bismarck


So familiar, and as it were so natural to man, is the practice of violence, that our indulgence allows the slightest provocation, the most disputable right, as a sufficient ground of national hostility.
Edward Gibbon


[Every] hour of delay abates the fame and force of the invader, and multiplies the resources of defensive war.
Edward Gibbon


War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants, and so saves societies.
Colton


The single combats of the heroes of history or fable amuse our fancy and engage our affections: the skillful evolutions of war may inform the mind, and improve a necessary, though pernicious, science. But in the uniform and odious pictures of a general assault, all is blood, and horror, and confusion . . .
Edward Gibbon


Weakness is a provocation.
Donald Rumsfeld


[Much] as war attracts me and fascinates my mind with its tremendous situations, I feel more deeply every year . . . what vile and wicked folly and barbarism it all is.
Winston Churchill


The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.
Joseph Heller


Washington


Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.
John F. Kennedy


Weakness



Feeble and timid minds . . . consider the use of dilatory and ambiguous measures as the most admirable efforts of consummate prudence.
Edward Gibbon


Wealth And Money



He neither drank, smoked, nor rode a bicycle. Living frugally, saving his money, he died early, surrounded by greedy relatives. It was a great lesson to me.
John Barrymore

A rich man's joke is always funny.
Thomas Edward Brown

You can't force anyone to love you or to lend you money.
Jewish proverb

Money is the most egalitarian force in society. It confers power on whoever holds it.
Roger Starr

Make money and the whole world will conspire to call you a gentleman.
Mark Twain

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing.
Billy Rose

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
G. K. Chesterton

Money swore an oath that nobody who did not love it should ever have it.
Irish Proverb

I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don't want to buy things they don't need to impress people they dislike.
Emile Henry Gauvreay

The rich rob the poor and the poor rob one another.
Sojourner Truth

The holy passion of friendship is so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring in nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.
Mark Twain

Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
Benjamin Franklin

One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greeds.
Don Robinson

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money.
Frank McKinney Hubbard ("Kin Hubbard")

When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
Oscar Wilde

Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.
P. T. Barnum


The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
H. L. Mencken

Not he who has little, but he who wishes more, is poor.
Seneca

I've been rich and I've been poor; rich is better.
Sophie Tucker

It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, as long as you've got money.
Joe E. Lewis

I have no complex about wealth. I have worked hard for my money, producing things people need. I believe that the able industrial leader who creates wealth and employment is more worthy of historical notice than politicians or soldiers.
J. Paul Getty


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


I've been rich and unhappy, and I've been poor and unhappy. Rich was better.
Burt Reynolds (Attributed)


Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.
Groucho Marx


It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people.
Logan Pearsall Smith


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


The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any.
Katharine Whitehorn


There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.
John Maynard Keynes


[We've] been guided by [an] administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth.
Jim Moran


Weather



Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
Mark Twain


The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
Patrick Young


Wife



Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,

but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Proverbs 19:14


Better to live on a corner of the roof

than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 21:9


Better to live in a desert

than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
Proverbs 21:19


A quarrelsome wife is like

a constant dripping on a rainy day;

restraining her is like restraining the wind

or grasping oil with the hand.
Proverbs 27:15,16


Winning


Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is.
Vince Lombardi


Wisdom



We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again -- and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
Mark Twain


For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;

the more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes 1:18

I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.
Anatole France

Give your decisions, never your reasons; your decisions may be right, your reasons are sure to be wrong.
Earl of Mansfield

He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom.
James Gibbons Huneker

He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.
Lao Tsu

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Great men are not always wise.
Job 32:9 (KJV)


[It is] better [to] be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.
Aesop


Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
George Orwell


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell


Wish



We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.
Aesop


Witchcraft



The nations, and the sects, of the Roman world, admitted with equal credulity, and similar abhorrence, the reality of that infernal art [witchcraft], which was able to control the eternal order of the planets, and the voluntary operations of the human mind. . . . They believed, with the wildest inconsistency, that this preternatural dominion of the air, of earth, and of hell, was exercised, from the vilest motives of malice or gain, by some wrinkled hags and itinerant sorcerers, who passed their obscure lives in penury and contempt.
Edward Gibbon


Word


"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,'" Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"

"But glory doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice objected.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

Lewis Carroll

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
Edward Thorndike

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met.
Abraham Lincoln


The more the words,

the less the meaning,

and how does that profit anyone?
Ecclesiastes 6:11


Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.
Winston Churchill


The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.
George Orwell


When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Work



I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
Winston Churchill, first speech as prime minister


When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.
Henry J. Kaiser


Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done

and what I had toiled to achieve,

everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;

nothing was gained under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:11


So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:17


What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 2:22,23


In populous cities, which are the seat of commerce and manufactures, the middle ranks of inhabitants, who derive their subsistence from the dexterity or labor of their hands, are commonly the most prolific, the most useful, and, in that sense, the most respectable part of the community.
Edward Gibbon


Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
Sam Ewing


[Personal] industry must be faint and languid, which is not excited by the sense of personal interest.
Edward Gibbon


If a man will not work, he shall not eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10


Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
Robert Benchley


World


The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.
Horace Walpole


Worrying


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.
Winston Churchill


Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.
Mary Hemingway


Writer


In Ireland, a writer is looked upon as a failed conversationalist.
Author unidentified


Writing



Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White


Vigorous writing is concise. Omit needless words.
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
Samuel Johnson

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert Benchley


[Writing a book] is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
Winston Churchill


And, like every other ink-stained wretch, he could never be certain of future income.
William Manchester, on writing

Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Mark Twain


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vain.
Red Smith


Just as the sentence contains one idea in all its fullness, so the paragraph should embrace a distinct episode; and as sentences should follow one another in harmonious sequence, so paragraphs must fit into another like the automatic couplings of railway carriages.
Winston Churchill


If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"Journalist" is a term of contempt employed by writers who are not read to refer to writers who are read.
Ernest Newman (Attributed)


When I want to read a novel, I write one.
Benjamin Disraeli


Of writing well the source and fountainhead is wise thinking.
Horace


Young



In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
Oscar Wilde


Youth



Whom the gods love dies young.
Menander


Whom the gods love, die young, no matter how long they live.
Elbert Hubbard


When the Greeks said, "Whom the gods love die young," they probably meant, as Lord Sankey suggested, that those favored by the gods stay young till the day they die; young and playful.
Eric Hoffer

It takes a long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Mark Twain

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.
Mark Twain

Oh, to be only half as wonderful as my child thought I was when he was small, and only half as stupid as my teenager now thinks I am.
Rebecca Richards

It is only an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.
W. Somerset Maugham

The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.
Duke of Windsor

Every child should have an occasional pat on the back as long as it is applied low enough and hard enough
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves.
J. B. Priestley

The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened.
H. H. Munro (Saki)

I am not young enough to know everything.
James M. Barrie

Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
Sydney Harris

There's not a man in America who at one time or another hasn't had a secret desire to boot a child in the ass.
W. C. Fields

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
Phyllis Diller


Never have the young taken themselves so seriously, and the calamity is that they are listened to and deferred to by so many adults.
Eric Hoffer


Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
George Bernard Shaw


The contempt of risk, and the presumptuous hope of success, are in no period of life more active than at the age at which young people choose their professions.
Adam Smith


Zen



You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.
Zen saying

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