Quotations

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These are some of my favorite quotations.
I hope you enjoy them.


Rub her feet.

Robert A. Heinlein, "Notebooks of Lazarus Long", Time Enough for Love 


I don't know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Sir Isaac Newton, 1727 


The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the nonobvious. To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

Anatole France 


I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Bernardo de la Paz 


If the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.

Abraham Maslow 


Black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love.

Turkish proverb on coffee 


It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

Rear Adm. Grace M. Hopper, USN


love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star

e. e. cummings, "being to timelessness as it's to time" 


If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One
Behold, I am become Death,
The shatterer of worlds.

The Bhagavad-Gita 


If a life can have a 'theme-song' -- and I believe every worthwhile one has -- mine is [best] expressed in one word: Individualism.

Ayn Rand, 1936 


I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.

Ogden Nash, "Song of the Open Road" 


"Nay," said Sir Launcelot, "for once lost may ne'er be recovered."

T. H. White, The Once and Future King 


If two people agree on everything, one of them isn't thinking.

Unknown 


"It is good to renew one's wonder," said the philosopher.
"Space travel has again made children of us all."

Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles 


There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
A time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of toast and tea.

T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Starsky and Hutch 


The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

Niels Bohr 


The superior man is troubled by the limits of his ability; he is not troubled by the fact that men do not recognize his ability.

Confucius, Analects 


All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.

James Russell Lowell, Among My Books 


If to do were as easy
As to know what were good to do,
Chapels had been churches,
And poor mens' cottages princes' palaces.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice 


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 


The clatter of a changing world is not pleasant, and those who have enjoyed the comforts and protection of the old order may be shocked and unhappy when they behold the vigorous young builders of a new world sweeping away their time-honored antiquities.

Helen Keller, Midstream 


Assasination is the extreme form of censorship.

George Bernard Shaw, The Rejected Statement, Part I 


He gives twice that gives soon... he will soon be called to give again.

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac 


Every man who can be a first-rate something... has no right to be a fifth-rate something; for a fifth-rate something is no better than a first-rate nothing.

J. G. Holland, Plain Talks on Familiar Subjects 


They can because they think they can.

Virgil, "Aeneid" 


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sigmund Freud 


When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I've never tried before.

Mae West 


The present state of the world is not the proof of philosophy's impotence, but the proof of philosophy's power. It is philosophy that has brought men to this state -- it is only philosophy that can lead them out.

Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual, title essay 


Medals and speeches and victories are nothing to them anymore. They died and others lived and nobody knows why it is so.

Ernie Pyle, Here Is Your War 


Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still like muffled drums are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "A Psalm of Life" 


Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's Heaven for?

Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto" 


Hitch your wagon to a star.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Civilization 


Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.

Robert A. Heinlein, "Notebooks of Lazarus Long", Time Enough for Love 


People believe nothing so firmly as what they least understand.

Michel de Montaigne, Essays 


Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism 


Since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet 


I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 


You know, a Communist's whole life work is based on complaint of how everything is done.... So if they ever get their country running good they will defeat their own cause.

Will Rogers, Autobiography 


What we have here is an insurmountable opportunity.

Yogi Berra 


I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects 


"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax,
of cabbages and kings,
and why the sea is boiling hot,
and whether pigs have wings."

Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland 


Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency.... Dependence on society teaches him the lesson of humanity.

Mohandas K. Gandhi, Young India (1929) 


True courage lies in the middle, between cowardice and recklessness.

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote 


Take not away the life you cannot give:
For all things have an equal right to live.

Samuel Dryden, "Pythagorean Phil" 


Curiosity is really vanity.... We never take a sea voyage only for the pleasure of seeing; we always hope to tell about it.

Blaise Pascal, Pensées 


Never having been able to succeed in the world, he took revenge by speaking ill of it.

Voltaire, Zadig 


Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 


The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination.

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., The Mythical Man-Month 


It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can seriously help another without helping himself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Let me live by the side of the road and be a friend to man.

Sam Walter Foss, The House by the Side of the Road


Life is a series of attained goats [sic].

Anatol 


It's like deja-vu all over again.

Yogi Berra 


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

T. S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men" (1925) 


My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

Ayn Rand, "About the Author," Atlas Shrugged 


If the horseshoe sinks, then drink it.

Plains recipe for coffee. 


We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1960 


Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1954 


If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.

Sir Winston Churchill, Speech to Parliament 


Moral of the Work. In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1948 


Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1914 


The latest refinements of science are linked with the cruelties of the Stone Age.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1942 


This is no war for domination or imperial aggrandisement or material gain... It is a war... to establish, on impregnable rocks, the rights of the individual and it is a war to establish and revive the stature of man.

Sir Winston Churchill, 1939 


Our strategy in going after this army is very simple. First we are going to cut it off, and then we are going to kill it.

Gen. Colin Powell, January 23, 1991 


May those who love us, love us
And those that don't love us
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn't turn their hearts
May he turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping

Old Gaelic Blessing 


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx 


When all is done, it is not to die - It is to die well.

The Kholinar 


Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.

Unknown 


It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

Sarek, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 


Great spirits have always encountered oppression from mediorce minds.

Albert Einstein 


The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think.

Mark Twain 


Klaatu borata nictu, Gort

The Day the Earth Stood Still 


They say the sea is cold,
but the sea contains the hottest blood of all,
and the wildest, the most urgent.

D. H. Lawrence, "Whales Weep Not" 


When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Unknown 


I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said.
"You can never--"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

Stephen Crane, "I Saw A Man" 


God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.

Mark Twain 


To err is human,
To moo, bovine.

Roadside Sign, Wisconsin 


Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.

Robert A. Heinlein, "Notebooks of Lazarus Long", Time Enough for Love 


Belladonna -- in Italian, a beautiful woman. In English, a deadly poison. This shows the essential identity of the two languages.

Unknown 


If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

Anatole France 


The conductor jerked his head up at the red light.
"I don't think the signal's going to change. I think it's busted."
"Then what are you doing?"
"Waiting for it to change."

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 


I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. Man's chief purpose is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

Jack London 


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, 1899 


There are two kinds of people in this world: those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who know better.

Unknown 


She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), "She Walks in Beauty" 


Well there's egg and bacon; egg, sausage and bacon; egg and spam; bacon and spam; egg, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam; spam, spam, spam, egg and spam; spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam; or lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, brandy and a fried egg on top of spam.

Monty Python's Flying Circus 


It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality.

Arnold Bennett 


What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It's like robbing the world of the sun.

Cicero 


New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.

Mark Twain, 1884 


Follow your bliss.

Joseph Campbell 


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Viginia Woolf 


Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

Oscar Wilde 


The road of excess leads to wisdom.

William Blake 


A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 


Food comes first, then morals.

Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera 


I'd advise you to visit New Orleans before you pass away. I really would. Because if you die without seeing New Orleans, you wasted half your life.

Danny Barker, Jazz Banjoist 


After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.

Oscar Wilde 


The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed.

Sebastien R. N. Chamfort, Maximes et pensées 


I believe there comes a time
When everything just falls in line.
We live and learn from our mistakes;
The deepest cuts are healed by faith.

Pat Benatar, All Fired Up 


Success is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

Gen. Colin Powell 


It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Scandal in Bohemia 


Idle men are dead all their life long.

Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia 


Take away the Hope
And the Will will follow.
Take away the Faith
And goodbye tomorrow.

The Pretenders, Chill Factor 


[Life] is a Tale Told by an Idiot
Full of Sound and Fury
Signifying Nothing.

William Shakespeare, Macbeth 


No one knows what he can do till he tries.

Publilius Syrus, Moral Sayings 


Common sense is not so common.

Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique 


If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.

Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues 


When you are leaving the harbor
Do you cry out to the shore?
Or do you bless the wave of the ocean?
Do you call your vessel home?

And as you leave the safest harbor
Do you wonder where you'll go?
When you feel your bough is breaking
Do you call that harbor home?

Nanci Griffith, "Leaving the Harbor," Storms 


Bloom where you're planted.

Unknown 


Boys, never mourn the warrior! What though he miss the mark! Though he err once or twice, he'll swoop to arms once more, sling a carnation on his ear, then cock his cap, and once more friends will throng about his groaning boards. His friends feast in his courtyards, eat and drink with joy, then strike up rousing songs until their hearts catch fire. Brandish the torches now, push on, our horses neigh, this whole world's grown too narrow, and I choke for air! Out of rams' horns, I make curved bows, swift ships from trees, I gulp down birds and beasts, drink undiluted wine, and wake at dawn to find the meat has climbed my head and burst in gallant flame that spies and hails the world. I grab an ax, hack out a god, bow down and worship, but then I see him one clear dawn and raise my ax: "Blockhead, dry log, my heart has no more room for you, nor can you hold my strength, and I shall knock you down!" Then I hack God to kindling, throw him in the hearth, and in the darkness stretch my still-unsated hands, grab women like soft clay and with them mold more men, then set them loose on earth that they may dry in sun: "Ahoy, my lads, let's see where this great world will end, how far the soul will stretch without the bowstring snapping, but if it snaps, my friends, don't mind, it soon will mend and once again the arrow will rise in light and strike the sun!"

Nikos Kazantzakis, "The Odyssey - A Modern Sequel" 


Just remember... no matter where you go, there you are.

Buckaroo Bonzai, The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension 


We have a toolbox that's full of lots of tools, and I brought them all to the party.

Gen. Colin Powell, January 23, 1991 


It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince 


Maybe Texans brag because, like me, they're so proud to be part of somethin' where so many rich cultures are all mixed into one colorful way of livin' that can't be duplicated, no matter what.

Jim Goode 


Elwood: It's a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

Jake: Hit it!

Jake and Elwood Blues, The Blues Brothers 


To be different is not necessarily to be ugly; to have a different idea is not necessarily to be wrong. The worst possible thing is for all of us to begin to look and talk and act and think alike.

Gene Roddenberry 


You can all go to Hell; I'm going to Texas.

Davy Crockett, 1835 


I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious faith. It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces.

Mark Twain 


Never underestimate the heart of a champion.

Rudy Tomjanovich 


Everything should be as simple as possible--but no simpler.

Albert Einstein 


When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

Helen Keller 


Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

Oscar Wilde 


There is no economy in going to bed early to save candles if the result will be twins.

Chinese Proverb 


The deeper and richer a personality is, the more full it is of paradox and contradiction. It is only a shallow character who offers us no problems of contrast.

Madeleine L'Engle, Circle of Quiet 


Breathe deep, the gathering gloom.
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy spent.

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one.
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son.
Senior citizens wish they were young.

Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey, and yellow, white
But we decide which is right...

And which is an illusion.

The Moody Blues, "Nights in White Satin", Days of Future Passed


History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other alternatives.

Abba Eban


Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), The Lorax


Marriage is a great institution, but who wants to be an institution?

Mae West


"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."

T. H. White, The Once and Future King


They are playing a game.
They are playing at not playing a game.
If I show them I see they are,
I shall break the rules
and they will punish me.
I must play their game,
of not seeing I see the game.

R. D. Lang, from Knots


On Earth, as it is in Texas

Bumper Sticker


Just because you're paranoid doen't mean they're not out to get you.

Unknown


Afraid to die?
Then you are already dead.
For only those who live can die;
And those who live in fear do not really live
But are dead before their time.
Fear on.  Rest in Peace.
I live.

L. M. Kreisher, R. I. P.


The surf kissed me
when I said summer was through.
I can still taste
our mingling tears.

K. Hutchinson, Thought


Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic,
And so am I.

Unknown, Tee shirt


That most excellent king,
Oedipus Rex,
Had an aberrant thing
Regarding sex.

Beverly Jackson, That most excellent king


You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. Once you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power -- he's free again.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn


Life is too short not to live it as a Texan.

Tee-shirt


Let us endeavor so to live
that when we come to die
even the undertaker will be sorry.

Mark Twain


When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by the sign that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Johnathan Swift


What are the facts? Again and again and again--what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history,"--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your only clue. Get the facts!

Robert A. Heinlein, "Notebooks of Lazarus Long", Time Enough for Love


Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.

Roger van Oech


When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

Sacha Guitry


Life is a combination of magic and pasta.

Felinni


Man is only really good for two things, and that's making war and making babies. We only carry the seed, that's all. So once women learn how to manufacture sperm, maybe they'll keep us in cages, or in tanks or something.

Peter Steele


We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating or complex. But Congress can.

Cullen Hightower


Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away--and barefoot.

Sarah Jackson


It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and say the opposite.

Sam Levenson


A friend knows how to allow for mere quantity in your talk, and only replies to the quality.

William Dean Howells


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die.

Roy Batty (portrayed by Rutger Hauer), Blade Runner


You can't reason someone out of something that they weren't reasoned into.

Unknown


So long as we are loved by others, I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no one is useless while they have a friend.

Robert Louis Stevenson


It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.

Robert E. Lee, 1862


Colin Powell's Rules

  1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego falls with it.
  4. It can be done!
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
  12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Addendum: Sometimes, being responsible means pissing people off.


Laughter is the closest distance between two people.

Victor Borge


The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning while those other subjects merely require scholarship.

Robert A. Heinlein


No beast is more savage than man, when possessed with power answerable to his rage.

Plutarch, Cicero


The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company,...a church,...a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past. We cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you;...we are in charge of our attitudes.

Charles Swindoll, Attitudes


I want to be just like you. All I need is some tights and a lobotomy.

Judd Nelson, The Breakfast Club


Owing to the neglect of our defences and the mishandling of the German problem in the last five years, we seem to be very near the bleak choice between War and Shame. My feeling is that we shall choose Shame, and then have War thrown in a little later, on even more adverse terms than at present.

Sir Winston Churchill in a letter to Lord Moyne, 1938, as Neville Chamberlain was flying to Munich


The other day I was walking my dog around my building --- on the ledge. Some people are afraid of heights. Not me. I'm afraid of widths.

Steven Wright


And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number bereached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naught in my sight, shall snuff it."

Monty Python and the Holy Grail



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