Quotations

Collected by Donald Gudehus

A B | C D E | F G H | I J K | L M N | O P Q | R S T | U V W X Y Z


R

John Randolph (June 2, 1773, Prince George Co., VA - May 24, 1833, Philadelphia, PA), United States Representative from Virginia
He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. Like rotten mackerel by moonlight, he both shines and stinks.
John Randolph, in commenting on his House colleague, Edward Livingston of Louisiana


Ronald Wilson Reagan (Feb. 6, 1911, Tampico, IL - Jan. 20, 1989, Bel Air, Los Angeles, CA), Fortieth President of the United States (1981 - 1989)
An economist is someone who, on being shown something that works in practice, wonders if it would work in theory.
Ronald Reagan

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan

I don't know why anyone would want to study the expansion of the universe.
Ronald Reagan, while Governer of California

I doubt evolution is real.
Ronald Reagan, to a convention of fundamentalists while campaigning for the presidency

If I listened to Michael Dukakis long enough I would be convinced that... people are homeless and going without food and medical attention and that we've got to do something about the unemployed.
Ronald Reagan

If you've seen one redwood, you've seen them all.
Ronald Reagan, while Governer of California

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address to the nation, January 20, 1981

Professional politicians like to talk about the value of experience in government. Nuts! The only experience you gain in politics is how to be political.
Ronald Reagan

The other day, someone told me the difference between a democracy and a people's democracy. It is the same difference between a jacket and a straight-jacket.
Ronald Reagan

Trees cause pollution.
Ronald Reagan

What does an actor know about politics?
Ronald Reagan, responding to something said by Ed Asner


Ambrose Redmoon
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
Ambrose Redmoon


Christopher Reeve (September 25, 1952, New York City, NY - October 10, 2004, Mt. Kisco, NY), American actor
America is better when all of us take care of all of us.
Christopher Reeve


Ann Richards, Governor of Texas
He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
Ann Richards, in reference to George Herbert Walker Bush


Lewis Fry Richardson (October 11, 1881, Newcastle upon Tyne, England - September 30, 1953, Kilmun, Argyll and Bute, Scotland), British mathematician, physicist, meteorologist, psychologist, and pacifist
Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, and little whirls have lesser whirls, and so on to viscosity.
Lewis Fry Richardson


Richelieu (Armand Jean du Plessis) (Sept. 9, 1585, Paris, France - Dec. 4, 1642, Paris, France), French cardinal and prime minister of France
A single word has sometimes lost or won an empire...
Richelieu

If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him.
Richelieu

Savoir dissimuler est le savoir des rois. (Concealing true intentions is the art of kings.)
Richelieu


Rig Veda (circa 1500 BC and earlier, perhaps to 10,000 BC)
Ano Bhadraha Kritavayo Yantu Vishwataha. (Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides.)
Rig Veda 1.89.1


Pat Robertson (Marion Gordon Robertson) (Mar. 22, 1930, Lexington, VA - ), American Christian broadcaster and author
I think the sky is blue because it's a shift from black through purple to blue, and it has to do with where the light is. You know, the farther we get into darkness, and there's a shifting of color of light into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that's bouncing off this earth, uh, the darker it gets ... I think if you look at the color scale, you start at black, move it through purple, move it on out, it's the shifting of color. We mentioned before about the stars singing, and that's one of the effects of the shifting of colors.
Pat Robertson, on a telecast of The 700 Club, possibly 2001

I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate; this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.
Pat Robertson, speaking about Gay Day at Disney World, on The 700 Club, June 6, 1998

It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
Pat Robertson, speaking of the Equal Rights Amendment

It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the greatbuilders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something....The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites ....They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have....and the time has arrived for a Godly fumigation.
Pat Robertson, in New York magazine, August, 1986

When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'
Pat Robertson, The New World Order, 1991, page 218


Erica Robin, musician
Time is nature's way of not letting everything happen at once.
Erica Robin, 1977


François La Rochefoucauld (François VI, le Prince de Marcillac, Duc de la Rochefoucauld) (Sept. 15, 1613, Paris, France - Mar. 17, 1680, Paris, France), French author
Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind will blow out a candle, and blow in a fire.
François La Rochefoucauld

L'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend a la vertu.
(Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.)
François La Rochefoucauld

If we resist our passions, it is more due to their weakness than our strength.
François La Rochefoucauld

It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.
François La Rochefoucauld

One gives nothing so freely as advice.
François La Rochefoucauld

One is never as unhappy as one thinks, nor as happy as one hopes.
François La Rochefoucauld

Quarrels would not last long if the fault was only on one side.
François La Rochefoucauld

The intellect is always fooled by the heart.
François La Rochefoucauld

We always love those who admire us; we do not always love those whom we admire.
François La Rochefoucauld

We are strong enough to bear the misfortunes of others.
François La Rochefoucauld

We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those whom we bore.
François La Rochefoucauld


Will Rogers, American humorist
It's easy being a humorist when you've got the whole goverment working for you.
Will Rogers

The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.
Will Rogers

The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
Will Rogers


Willard Mitt Romney (March 12, 1947, Detroit, Michigan - ), Republican Governor of Massachusetts
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Mitt Romney, September, 2012, in a private fundraiser


Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884, New York City, NY - November 7, 1962, New York City, NY), American First Lady, Humanitarian, and American spokesperson in the United Nations
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt, in Catholic Digest, August, 1960

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt


Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Jan. 39, 1882, Hyde Park, NY - April 12, 1945, Warm Springs, GA), Thirty-Second President of the United States (1933 - 1945)
A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted-in the air. A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward. A reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards. A liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest of his head.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

I have a terrific headache.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, his last words, April 12, 1945

I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird, and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

It's a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead - and find no one there.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, First inaugural address, March 4, 1933

We all know that books burn - yet we have greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, we know now that it is bad economics.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Second inaugural address, January 20, 1937

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor Speech, Dec. 8, 1941


Theodore Roosevelt (Oct. 27, 1858, Gramercy section of New York City, NY - Jan. 6, 1919, Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, NY), 26th President of the United States (1901 - 1909)
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done 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 up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt, from Citizenship in a Republic, a speech given at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.
Theodore Roosevelt

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.
Theodore Roosevelt

Please put out the light, James.
Theodore Roosevelt, his last words to his valet, James Amos, January 5, 1919

The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profits must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.
Theodore Roosevelt, from a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas on August 31, 1910

The most successful politician is he who says what everybody is thinking most often and in the loudest voice.
Theodore Roosevelt

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Theodore Roosevelt

To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them.
Theodore Roosevelt

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer `Present' or `Not guilty.'
Theodore Roosevelt


Leo Rosten
Anybody who hates dogs and children can't be all bad.
Leo Rosten, in a brief testimonial speech referring to W. C. Fields


Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild (Nov. 8, 1840, England - Mar. 1, 1915, England), English banker and member of the House of Lords
Fortunes are made by buying low and selling too soon.
Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild

It isn't enough for you to love money - it's also necessary that money should love you.
Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild


Helen Rowland (1876 - 1950), American writer and humorist
France may claim the happiest marriages in the world, but the happiest divorces in the world are made in America.
Helen Rowland

Why does a man take it for granted that a girl who flirts with him wants him to kiss her - when, nine times out of ten, she only wants him to want to kiss her.
Helen Rowland


Bertrand Arthur William Russell, third Earl Russell (May 18, 1872, Ravenscroft, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales - Feb. 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth, Wales), British mathematician and philosopher, and Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1950
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy

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, mpact of Science on Society, 1953, p. 7

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell, A Liberal Decalogue, 1951

Dogma demands authority, rather than intelligent thought, as the source of opinion; it requires persecution of heretics and hostility to unbelievers; it asks of its disciples that they should inhibit natural kindness in favor of systematic hatred.
Bertrand Russell

Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
Bertrand Russell, A Liberal Decalogue, 1951

I do not believe that a decay of dogmatic belief can do anything but good. I admit at once that new systems of dogma, such as those of the Nazis and the Communists, are even worse than the old systems, but they could never have acquired a hold over men's minds if orthodox dogmatic habits had not been instilled in youth. Stalin's language is full of reminiscences of the theological seminary in which he received his training. What the world needs is not dogma, but an attitude of scientific inquiry, combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer.
Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954, p. 221

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

Most people would die sooner than think - in fact, they do so.
Betrand Russell, in The Observer, 1925

My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilization. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others.
Bertrand Russell, in Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?

One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.
Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
Bertrand Russell

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
Bertrand Russell

Suppose atomic bombs had reduced the population of the world to one brother and sister; should they let the human race die out?
Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954, p. 47

The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousnes that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology.
Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, "Philosophy and Politics", 1950, p. 149

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals, "Christian Ethics", 1950

The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.
attributed to Betrand Russell

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

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.
Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", 1950

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

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge
Bertrand Russell

There is no excuse for deceiving children. And when, as must happen in conventional families, they find that their parents have lied, they lose confidence in them and feel justified in lying to them.
Bertrand Russell, Our Sexual Ethics, 1936

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Bertrand Russell

We may define "faith" as a firm belief in something for which there is not evidence ... Where here is evidence, no one speaks of "faith". We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.
Bertrand Russell, 1955

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
Bertrand Russell, Skeptical Essays, 1928


Mark Russell (Aug. 23, 1932, Buffalo, NY - ), American comedian
The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.
Mark Russell


Andrew Rutherford, Australian computer programmer
Real Programmers always confuse Christmas and Halloween because OCT 31 == DEC 25 !
Andrew Rutherford, observing that octal 31 = decimal 25


S

Top

Anwar Sadat (Dec. 25, 1918, Mit Abul Kom, Egypt - 1981, Oct. 6, 1981, Cairo, Egypt), Egyptian political leader and President (1970 - 1981) and Nobel Laureate in Peace, 1978
Peace is more precious than a piece of land.
Anwar Sadat

This [fundamentalism] is not religion. It is obscenity. These are lies, the criminal use of religious power to misguide people.
Anwar Sadat, said shortly before his assassination by Islamic fundamentalists in 1981


Carl Edward Sagan (Nov. 9, 1934 Brooklyn, NY - Dec. 20, 1996, Seattle, WA), American astronomer and author
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
Carl Sagan

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.
Carl Sagan

All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
Carl Sagan

At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism: The collective enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the field on track.
Carl Sagan, in The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Carl Sagan

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Carl Sagan, in Cosmos, 1980

For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.
Carl Sagan

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.
Carl Sagan

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
Carl Sagan, in his CSICOP Keynote Address, 1987

It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English - up to fifty words used in correct context - no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.
Carl Sagan

In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
Carl Sagan

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
Carl Sagan


Mort Sahl (May 11, 1927, Montreal, Canada - ), American actor and comedian
Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions; conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen.
Mort Sahl

Nixon's the kind of guy that if you were drowning fifty feet off shore, he'd throw you a thirty foot rope. Then Kissinger would go on TV the next night and say that the President had met you more than half-way.
Mort Sahl, 1973

Washington couldn't tell a lie. Nixon couldn't tell the truth. And Reagan can't tell the difference.
Mort Sahl, 1987

Will Rogers ... used to come out with a newspaper and pretend he was a yokel criticizing the intellectuals who ran the government. I come out with a newspaper and pretend I'm an intellectual making fun of the yokels running the government.
Mort Sahl


Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
The distinction between 'political' and 'performance-related' reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial. A U.S. attorney who is unsuccessful from a political perspective, either because he or she has alienated the leadership of the department in Washington or cannot work constructively with law enforcement or other governmental constituencies in the district, is unsuccessful.
Kyle Sampson, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, March 29, 2007


George Sand (Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Aurore Dudevant) (July 1, 1804, Paris, France - June 8, 1876, Nohant, France), French author
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.
George Sand

We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.
George Sand


Carl Sandburg (Jan. 6, 1878, Galesburg, IL - Jul. 22, 1967, Flat Rock, NC), American poet and biographer
History is a bucket of ashes.
Carl Sandburg

Our lives are like a candle in the wind.
Carl Sandburg

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.
Carl Sandburg, in The People, Yes


Fourth Earl of Sandwich (John Montague) (Nov. 3, 1718, London, England - April 30, 1792), First Lord of the Admiralty, infamous gambler, and inventor of the sandwich
Upon my soul, Wilkes, I don't know whether you'll die upon the gallows or of the pox.
Fourth Earl of Sandwich, addressing John Wilkes during Sandwich's prosecution of Wilkes, to which Wilkes replied:
"That depends, my lord, on whether I first embrace your lordship's principles or your lordship's mistresses."


George Santayana (Jorge Agusti'n Nicola's Ruiz de Santayana) (Dec. 16, 1863, Madrid, Spain - Sept. 26, 1952, Rome, Italy), American philospher, poet, and humanist
Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enable it to make its peace with its destiny.
George Santayana

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
George Santayana, in The Life of Reason, Vol. 1 Reason in Common Sense, 1905

Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.
George Santayana

Only the dead have seen the end of war.
George Santayana, in response to the idea that WWI was the war to end all wars

Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
George Santayana, in Scepticism and Animal Faith, 1923

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana

Those who cannot remember the past are condemed to repeat it.
George Santayana, in The Life of Reason, Vol. 1 Reason in Common Sense, 1905


Rick Santorum, Republican United States Senator from Pennsylvania
And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue, yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold - Griswold was the contraceptive case - and abortion. ... Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.
Rick Santorum, in an Associated Press interview, talking about a Supreme Court case challenging Texas's antisodomy law, and using the term "consensual" to refer to gays, April 7, 2003


Sappho (630 to 612 BC, Eresos, Lesbos, Greece - 580 to 570 BC, Lesbos, Greece ), Greek poet and lyrist
Death is an evil; the gods have so judged; had it been good, they would die.
Sapho


Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905, Paris, France - April 15, 1980, Paris, France), French philospher and author
Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
Jean-Paul Sartre

I can always choose, but I ought to know that if I do not choose, I am still choosing.
Jean-Paul Sartre

When the rich make war it's the poor that die.
Jean-Paul Sartre, in Existentialism and Human Emotions


John Ralston Saul (June 19, 1947, Ottawa, Canada - ), Canadian author
Whenever governments adopt a moral tone - as opposed to an ethical one - you know something is wrong.
John Ralston Saul, in The Unconscious Civilization


Arthur Schopenhauer (Feb. 22, 1788, Danzig, Prussia, now Gdansk, Poland - Sept. 21, 1860, Frankfurt am Main, Germany), German philosopher
All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Talent hits a target that no one else can hit. But genius can hit the target that no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves to be like other people.
Arthur Schopenhauer


Erwin Schrödinger (1887 - 1961)
Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.
Erwin Schrödinger


Pat Schroeder (Patricia Nell Scott) (July 30, 1940, Portland, OR - ), United States Congresswoman
Nobody ever says to men, how can you be a Congressman and a father.
Pat Schroeder


Charles M. Schultz (November 26, 1922, St. Paul, MN - February 13, 2000, Santa Rosa, CA), American cartoonist
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles Schultz


Carl Schurz (1829 - 1906), Union Army Major General
Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.
Carl Schurz, in a speech before Congress, 1872


Russell "Rusty" Louis Schweickart (October 25, 1935, Neptune Township, NJ -), American former astronaut, research scientist, US Air Force fighter pilot, business and government executive
We are not passengers on spaceship earth, but crew. We are not residents of America, but citizens. The difference is responsibility.
Rusty Schweickart


Albert Schweitzer (January 14, 1875, Kaysersberg, Alsace, Germany, now France - September 4, 1965, Lambaréné Gabon), French philosopher, physician, musician, and Nobel Peace Laureate
As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.
Albert Schweitzer

Do something good and someone might imitate it.
Albert Schweitzer

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
Albert Schweitzer

When we observe contemporary society one thing strikes us. We debate but make no progress. Why? Because as peoples we do not yet trust each other.
Albert Schweitzer


Robert Falcon Scott (June 6, 1868, Outlands, Devonport near Plymouth, England - Mar. 29, 1912, Antarctica), English explorer
It seems a pity, but I do not think that I can write more. For God's sake look after our people.
Robert Falcon Scott, Last journal entry after reaching the South Pole a month after Roald Amundsen, and before freezing to death in a tent just eleven miles from his depot.


Sir Walter Scott (Aug. 15, 1771, Edinburgh, Scotland - Sept. 21, 1832, Abbotsford, Scotland), Scottish Novelist and Poet
Oh, what tangled webs we weave, When first we practice to deceive.
Sir Walter Scott


Louis Scutenaire (June 29, 1905, Ollignies - Aug. 15, 1987, Brussels), Belgian author
It is regrettable for the education of the young that war stories are always told by those who survived.
Louis Scutenaire


Chief Seattle (See-Yahtlh) (1786 or 1787, WA - June 7, 1866, WA), Chief of the Suquamish
But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.
Chief Seattle, in reply to the United States government's offer, made by territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens, to purchase Indian Puget Sound land and create a reservation for the Indian people, 1854, as printed in the Seattle Sunday Star, Oct. 29, 1887, in a column by Dr. Henry A. Smith

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons of the Earth.
Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
Sometimes attributed to Chief Seattle, in reply to the United States government's offer, made by territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens, to purchase Indian Puget Sound land and create a reservation for the Indian people, 1854, as printed in The Irish Times, June 4, 1976. This quote however, was written by Ted Perry as a script for a movie in 1970.


Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the Younger (circa 4 BC, Corduba (present-day Córdoba), Spain - 65 AD, near Rome, Italy), Roman playwright, philosopher, and statesman
Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
Seneca

Begin at once to live, and count each day as a separate life.
Seneca

He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.
Seneca

If you judge, investigate.
Seneca

Leisure without books is death, and burial of a man alive.
Seneca

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
Seneca


Ronnie Shakes, American comedian
A lot of people wonder how you know if you're really in love. Just ask yourself this one question: Would I mind being financially destroyed by this person?
Ronnie Shakes

After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, 'No hablo ingles.'
Ronnie Shakes

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


William Shakespeare (Apr. 23, 1564, Stratford-on-Avon, England - Apr. 23, 1616, Stratford-on-Avon, England), English actor, playwright, and poet
Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio - a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, Scene I

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve great, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
William Shakespeare

I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2

If music be the food of love, play on.
William Shakespeare, first line of Twelfth Night

It is a wise father that knows his own child.
William Shakespeare, in The Merchant of Venice

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3

Prove true, imagination, O, prove true!
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene 4 (Viola)

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
William Shakespeare, a line spoken by Gertrude in Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2, in response to Hamlet's question as to how she is enjoying the play

What a deformed thief this fashion is.
William Shakespeare

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2, spoken by Juliet


Charlotte Frances Payne-Townshend Shaw(1859 or 1860, Ireland - Sept. 12, 1943, England), Wife of G. Bernard Shaw
But what if this child had your brains and his looks?
Charlotte Payne-Townshend Shaw, responding to a note sent to G. Bernard Shaw from American actress Isador Duncan in which she suggested that with his brains and her looks, they could produce an exceptional child


George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856, Dublin, Ireland - Nov. 2, 1950, Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, Englnad), Irish playwright and Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1925
A tranquil woman can go on sewing longer than an angry man can go on fuming.
George Bernard Shaw

All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship. There is the whole case against censorship in a nutshell.
George Bernard Shaw

All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
George Bernard Shaw

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

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
George Bernard Shaw

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
George Bernard Shaw

Telling the truth is the funniest joke in the world.
George Bernard Shaw

The danger of crippling thought, the danger of obstructing the formation of the public mind by specially suppressing ... representations is far greater than any real danger that there is from such representations.
George Bernard Shaw

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
George Bernard Shaw

The lack of money is the root of all evil.
George Bernard Shaw

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

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw


General Philip Henry Sheridan (Mar. 6, 1831, Albany, New York - Aug. 5, 1888, Nonquit, MA), Major General and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army
If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas.
General Phil Sheridan


Jean Sibelius (Dec. 8, 1865, Hämeenlinna (Tavastehus), Finland - Sept. 20, 1957, Järvenpää, Finland), Finnish composer
Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been set up a statue in honor of a critic.
Jean Sibelius


Celestine Sibley, American newspaper columnist
The sun always comes up, remember that.
Celestine Sibley, giving comfort to Gerard Macmanus on the beach of Dog Island, FL


Beverly Sills
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
Beverly Sills


Spencer Silver, chemist
If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this.
Spencer Silver, on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.


Upton Beall Sinclair (Sept. 20, 1878, Baltimore, MD - Nov. 25, 1968, Bound Brook, NJ), American novelist and playwright
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
Upton Sinclair

Journalism in America is the business and practice of presenting the news of the day in the interest of economic privilege.
Upton Sinclair, 1920

Mary had a little lamb
And when she saw it sicken
She shipped it off to Packingtown
And now it's labeled chicken.
Upton Sinclair, 1906, in "The Jungle", a novel about the poor conditions in America's meat packing industry


Red Skelton (July 18, 1913, Vincennes, IN - Sept. 17, 1997, Rancho Mirage, CA), American commedian
If some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some little thing I have said or done and if it brings a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as a clown as been fulfilled.
Red Skelton

Imitation isn't the sincerest form of flattery - it's plagiarism.
Red Skelton


Burrhus Frederic Skinner (Mar. 20, 1904, Susquehanna, PA - Aug. 18, 1990, Cambridge, MA), American psychologist
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
B. F. Skinner


Cornelia Otis Skinner (May 30, 1901, Chicago, IL - July 9, 1979, New York, NY), American actress and author
Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention.
Cornelia Otis Skinner, in Paris '90, 1952


Malcolm O. Slavin
We're never motivated to reveal ourselves fully to others or to ourselves.
Malcolm O. Slavin, in Science News, Oct. 19, 1991


Yakov Smirnoff (Jan 24, 1951, Odessa, Russia - ), Russian-American comedian
I found out that when you get married the man becomes the head of the house. And the woman becomes the neck, and she turns the head any way she wants to.
Yakov Smirnoff


Adam Smith (June 16, 1723, Kirkcaldy, Scotland - July 17, 1790, Edinburgh, Scotland), Scottish economist and philosopher
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
Adam Smith


Charles Lee Smith, (1887, AR - 1964) U.S. attorney, author
The Bible is the greatest hoax in all history. The leading characters of the Old Testament would today be in the penitentiary and those of the New would be under observation in psychopathic wards.
Charles Smith


Dan Snow
When teaching, light a fire, don't fill a bucket.
Dan Snow


Socrates (469 BC, Athens - 399 BC, Athens), Greek philosopher
By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
Socrates

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
Socrates

Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.
Socrates

If I am the wisest man, it is because I alone know that I know nothing.
Socrates, on learning that the Delphic oracle had proclaimed him the wisest man in Greece

When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you wanted to breathe, it is then that you shall have it.
Socrates, after having held his student's head under water to near drowning


Sophocles (495 BC - 406 BC), Greek playwright
One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it, you have no certainty till you try.
Sophocles, Trachiniae 592

There is a point beyond which even justice becomes unjust.
Sophocles, from Electra


Norman Solomon, columnist
What's wrong with most media coverage of two-party conflicts and accommodations is akin to what's wrong with those two parties themselves: The narrowness of outlooks and paucity of wide-ranging debate is self-reinforcing. And when the vast majority of media coverage is scarcely wider than the range of the Republican and Democratic party establishments, the closed loop of public discourse is in mortal danger of choking on its own toxic effluents.
Norman Solomon, March 4, 2001


Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
Survival of the fittest
Herbert Spencer


Baruch Spinoza
To comprehend an idea, a person must simultaneously accept it as true. Conscious analysis - which, depending on the idea, may occur almost immediately or with considerable effort - allows the mind to reject what it intially accepted as fact.
Baruch Spinoza


Joseph Stalin, Russian despotic ruler
Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.
Joseph Stalin

Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything.
Joseph Stalin


Vilhjalmur Stefansson
The most striking contradiction of our civilization is the fundamental reverence for the truth that we profess, and the thoroughgoing disregard for it that we practice.
Vilhjalmur Stefansson


Gloria Steinhem (Mar. 25, 1934, Toledo, OH - ), American feminist leader
It's an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous.
Gloria Steinhem


Wilhelm Stekel (Mar., 1868, Austria - June, 1940, London, England), Austrian psychoanalyst
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
Wilhelm Stekel


Ted Stevens, Republican United States Senator from Alaska
People who vote against this today are voting against me, and I will not forget it.
Ted Stevens, on the Senate's rejection of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, March, 2003


Adlai Ewing Stevenson (Feb. 5, 1900, Los Angeles - July 14, 1965, London, England), American politician and Ambassador to the United Nations (1961 - 1965)
A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.
Adlai Stevenson

I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
Adlai Stevenson

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them.
Adlai Stevenson

We have confused the free with the free and easy.
Adlai Stevenson


Robert Louis Stevenson, author
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.
Robert Louis Stevenson


Leopold Stokowski, conductor
Conscience is that which hurts when everything else feels marvelous.
Leopold Stokowski


Adlai Stevenson, politician
In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take.
Adlai Stevenson


Sly Stone
Different strokes, for different folks.
Sly Stone


Igor Stravinsky, Russian composer
A good composer does not imitate, he steals.
Igor Stravinsky

Silence, which will save from shame, will also deprive me of fame.
Igor Stravinsky


August Strindberg (Jan. 22, 1849, Stockholm, Sweden - May 14, 1912, Stockholm, Sweden), Swedish playwright and author
I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.
August Strindberg


William Strunk, Jr. (July 1, 1869, Cincinnati, OH - September 26, 1946, Ithaca, NY), American author, and Professor of English at Cornell University
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.
Will Strunk, in The Elements of Style, Ithaca, NY, 1918


Theodore Sturgeon (Edward Hamilton Waldo) (Feb. 26, 1918, Staten Island, NY - May 8, 1985, Eugene, OR), American author
Ask the next question.
Theodore Sturgeon, on the interpretation of a symbol consisting of the letter "Q" with a rightward directed arrow through it, which preceded his signature

Sturgeon's Law: Nothing is always absolutely so.
Theodore Sturgeon

Sturgeon's Revelation: Sure, ninety percent of science fiction is crud. That's because ninety percent of everything is crud.
Theodore Sturgeon, sometimes stated with "crap" substituted for "crud" and sometimes stated as Sturgeon's Law

Corollary 1: The existence of immense quantities of trash in science fiction is admitted and it is regrettable; but it is no more unnatural than the existence of trash anywhere.
Theodore Sturgeon

Corollary 2: The best Science Fiction is as good as the best fiction in any field.
Theodore Sturgeon


William C. Sullivan, evil Assistant FBI Director
[Martin Luther] King, like all frauds, your end is approaching. Your Nobel Prize (what a grim farce) and other awards will not save you. The American public will know you for what you are - an evil abnormal beast.
William C. Sullivan


Willie Sutton ("Slick Willie", "The Actor") (June 30, 1901, Brooklyn, NY - Nov. 2, 1980, Spring Hill, FL), American gangster
Why rob banks? That's where the money is.
Willie Sutton


Jonathan Swift, English author
I never saw, heard, nor read that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular but some degree of persecution.
Jonathan Swift

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
Jonathan Swift

So, naturalists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em;
And so proceed ad infinitum.
Thus every poet, in his kind,
Is bit by him that comes behind.
Jonathan Swift, 1733


Wislawa Szymborska (July 2, 1923, Bnin, Poland - ), Polish poet and Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1996
The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn't know what scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they'd claim their hands were clean.

A jackal doesn't understand remorse.
Lions and lice don't waver in their course.
Why should they when they know they're right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton,
In every other way they're light.

On this third planet from the sun,
among the signs of bestiality
A clear conscience is Number One.

Wislawa Szymborska, In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself, from View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems, 1993


T

Top

The Talmud (Compilation of Jewish Oral Tradition, 5th Century AD)
Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, `grow, grow.'
The Talmud

First learn, then form opinions.
The Talmud

If you laugh when you borrow, you'll cry when you pay.
The Talmud

Man has three friends on whose company he relies. First wealth, which goes with him only while good fortune lasts. Second, his relatives; they go only as far as the grave, leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave.
The Talmud

When you are weaponless, at least act brave.
The Talmud

You don't see things as they are. You see things as you are.
The Talmud


Jane Taylor (September 23, 1783, Lavenham, England - April 13, 1824, Colchester, England), English poet, hymn writer and children's author
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
Jane Taylor, from The Star, published with her sister Ann in 1806


Alfred Lord Tennyson (Aug. 5, 1809, Somersby, Lincolnshire, England - Oct. 6, 1892, Aldwort, England ), English author and poet, and English Poet Laureate (1850 - 1892)
Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last - far off - at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

So runs my dream; but what am I?
An infant crying in the night;
An infant crying for the light,
And with no language but a cry.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, in In Memorium A. H. H.,1850, Number 54, Stanzas 4 and 5

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, in In Memorium A. H. H.,1850, Number 27, Stanza 4


Margaret Hilda Thatcher (Margaret Hilda Roberts) (Oct. 13, 1925, Grantham, England - ), Prime minister of Great Britain (1979 - 1990)
If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.
Margaret Thatcher


Robert Thaves (Oct. 5, 1924, Burt, IA - Aug. 1, 2006, Torrance, CA), American comic strip artist
Politicians are amazing... They can sit on their hands and pat themselves on the back at the same time!
Bob/Tom Thaves in Frank & Ernest, Dec. 19, 2008


Calvin Trillin
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing by lefovers. The original meal has never been found.
Calvin Trillin


Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817, Concord, MA - May 6, 1862, Concord, MA), American author
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau

A simple and independent mind does not toil at the bidding of any prince.
Henry David Thoreau

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau

All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.
Henry David Thoreau

Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
Henry David Thoreau

Anyone in a free society where the laws are unjust has an obligation to break the law.
Henry David Thoreau

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.
Henry David Thoreau

Enemies publish themselves. They declare war. The friend never declares his love.
Henry David Thoreau

I heartily accept the motto, `That government is best which governs least'; ... Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe - `That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Henry David Thoreau

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
Henry David Thoreau

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or faraway.
Henry David Thoreau

If you have tried to build castles in that air, your work need not be lost - that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Men have become the tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau

Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.
Henry David Thoreau

Still we live meanly, like ants ... Our life is fritted away by detail ... Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let our affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand ... simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.
Henry David Thoreau

That government is best which governs least.
Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Henry David Thoreau

There is more religion in men's science, than there is science in their religion.
Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
Henry David Thoreau

Things do not change; we change.
Henry David Thoreau

To regret deeply is to live afresh.
Henry David Thoreau

We falsely attribute to men a determined character - putting together all their yesterdays - and averaging them - we presume we know them. Pity the man who has character to support - it is worse than a large family - he is the silent poor indeed.
Henry David Thoreau

What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?
Henry David Thoreau


Thucydides (ca. 460 BC, Athens, Greece - ca. 395 BC), Greek historian and author
But, the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
Thucydides, in History of the Peloponnesian War

It is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well, and look up to those who make no concessions.
Thucydides, in History of the Peloponnesian War

The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention.
Thucydides, in History of the Peloponnesian War

The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Thucydides, in History of the Peloponnesian War

War takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes.
Thucydides, in History of the Peloponnesian War


James Grover Thurber (Dec. 8, 1894, Columbus, OH - Nov. 2, 1961, New York City, NY), American writer and cartoonist
Early to rise and early to bed; makes a male healthy and wealthy and dead.
James Thurber

I loathe the expression What makes him tick. It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.
James Thurber

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
James Thurber


John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892, Bloemfontein, South Africa - Sept. 2, 1973, Bournemouth, England), English author
All that is gold does not glitter; nor all those that wander are lost.
J. R. R. Tolkien


Leo Tolstoy (August 28 or September 7 (new style), 1828, Yasnaya Polyana (south of Moscow), Russia - November 7 or 20 (new style), 1910, Astapovo, Russia), Russian author
The strongest of all warriors are these two - Time and Patience
Leo Tolstoy


Lily Tomlin (Mary Jean Tomlin) (Sept. 1, 1939, Detroit, MI - ), American actress and comedian
I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
Lily Tomlin

Truth is, I've always been selling out. The difference is that in the past, I looked like I had integrity because there were no buyers.
Lily Tomlin, from the album Modern Scream

Why is it when we talk to God, we're said to be praying - but when God talks to us, we're schizophrenic?
Lily Tomlin


Leon (Lev Davidovich Bronstein) Trotsky (Oct. 126, 1879, Yanovka, Ukraine - Aug. 20, 1940, Mexico City, Mexico), Russian revolutionary
If we had had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
Leon Trotsky, on the discussions in the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party about the proposed development of the Red Army, My Life, Ch. 36, 1930

Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.
Leon Trotsky

The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.
Leon Trotsky

The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
Leon Trotsky


Garretson Beekman Trudeau (Gary Trudeau) (July 21, 1948, New York City, NY - ), American cartoonist
Whoa. That pig's gonna need a lot of lipstick!
Gary Trudeau, in "Donnesbury", August 9, 2007


Harry S. Truman, Thirty-third President of the United States
I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.
Harry S. Truman

If you can't convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

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

My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.
Harry S. Truman

Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
Harry S. Truman


Elizabeth Tudor (Elizabeth I) (September 7, 1533, Greenwich Palace, London, England - March 24, 1603, Richmond Palace, London, England). Queen of England (1558 - 1603)
All my possessions for a moment of time.
Queen Elizabeth I, alleged last words

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
Queen Elizabeth I

Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak ... you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.
Queen Elizabeth I


Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (Nov. 30, 1835, Florida, MO - Apr. 21, 1910, Danbury, CT), American author and humorist
A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
Mark Twain

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Mark Twain

All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity.
Mark Twain, in Mark Twain's Autobiography and in Mark Twain in Eruption

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
Mark Twain

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
Mark Twain

Buy land. They've stopped making it.
Mark Twain

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

Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anyone.
Mark Twain

Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly understood. It means forget inconvenient duties, then forgive yourself for forgetting. By rigid practice and stern determination, it comes easy.
Mark Twain

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds upon the heel that has crushed.
Mark Twain

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
Mark Twain

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

I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
Mark Twain

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain

In the first place God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
Mark Twain

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Mark Twain

It is easier to stay out than get out.
Mark Twain

It's a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there.
Mark Twain, in reference to Los Angeles

It's better than it sounds.
Mark Twain, in reference to Wagner's music

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

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.
Mark Twain

Loyalty is a word which has worked vast harm; for it has been made to trick men into being "loyal" to a thousand iniquities, whereas the true loyalty should have been to themselves - in which case there would have ensured a rebellion, and the throwing off of that deceptive yoke.
Mark Twain, from his Notebook

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will.
Consistency, speech and essay

Man is the only animal that has the true religion - several of them.
Mark Twain

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
Mark Twain

Most people are bothered by those passages of scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I DO understand.
Mark Twain

Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Mark Twain

Noise proves nothing - often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
Mark Twain, in Following the Equator

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

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
Mark Twain

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Mark Twain

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
Mark Twain, in a letter to George Bainton, Oct. 15, 1888

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
Mark Twain

The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.
Mark Twain

The man with a new idea is a crank, until the idea succeeds.
Mark Twain

The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
Mark Twain

The old saw says, 'Let a sleeping dog lie.' Right. Still, when there is much at stake it is better to get a newspaper to do it.
Mark Twain

The old saw says - 'Let a sleeping dog lie.' Experience knows better; experience says, If you want to convince do it yourself.
Mark Twain, Written in Clara Clemens copy of The Gilded Age

The surest protection against temptation is cowardice.
Mark Twain

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
Mark Twain

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably diserable.
Mark Twain

There's always something about your success that displeases even your best friends.
Mark Twain

There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him. If he says yes, you know he's crooked
Mark Twain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.
Mark Twain

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Mark Twain

Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is.
Mark Twain

Worrying about something is like paying interest on a debt you don't even know if you owe.
Mark Twain

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain

You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions, or its office holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags--this is loyalty to unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it.
Mark Twain, from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs's Court


Lau Tzu (Old Sage) (Li Erh) (c. 600 BC), Chinese philosopher, founder of taoism, and archivist from the imperial court in the state of Ch'u
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Lau Tzu

Standing on "tip toe", one stands not firmly.
Straining in stride, one cannot walk far.
Flaunting of deeds, one is unfavorably noticed.
Being self-righteous, one is not respected.
Boasting of self, one's merit is unrecognized.
Glorifying of self, one loses the opportunity for greatness.
From the viewpoint of Tao
These represent imperfect Te,
Valued as are filth or disease.
Lau Tzu, in Tao Te Ching, Verse 24

Stop thinking, and end your problems.
Lau Tzu

To see things in the seed, that is genius.
Lau Tzu

When desirable things are not seen nor displayed,
The hearts of people are not troubled, excited or confused.
The Sage governs himself and leads others by:
- Encouraging the heart to be open and free from desire.
- Providing sustenance for the stomach.
- Calming the will to strive for the sake of striving.
- Strengthening the body.
Lau Tzu, in Tao Te Ching, Verse 3

Wu-Wei graces the affairs of the Sage -
Teaching gracefully, Without words.
Receiving all happening as natural,
Without needing to judge or control.
Giving life and animation to all experience
Without needing to dominate.
Accomplishing, Without expecting reward.
Lau Tzu, in Tao Te Ching, Verse 2


Sun Tzu (Sunwu) (ca 535 BC, Kingdom of Qi, China - 496? BC, China), Chinese military theorist
All warfare is based on deception.
Sun Tzu, in The Art of War

Top

A B | C D E | F G H | I J K | L M N | O P Q | R S T | U V W X Y Z