Quotations I Like

 

 

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.

            Jane Austen

 

How small, of all that human hearts endure,

That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

            Samuel Johnson

 

Art is either plagiarism or revolution.

            Paul Gauguin

 

Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.

            Howard Aiken

 

Every truth goes through three stages: first it’s laughable; then it’s attacked; finally it becomes obvious.

            Arthur Schopenhauer

 

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.

            Jerome K. Jerome

 

It was many years before I understood that I had surrendered myself to the chief temptation of the artist, creation without toil.

            William Butler Yeats, Autobiographies

 

If you know exactly what you're going to do, what's the point in doing it?

            Pablo Picasso

 

An old pro told me that originality does not consist of saying what has never been said before; it consists of saying what you have to say that you know to be the truth.

            Harvey Penick, Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book

 

The growing good of the world is partly dependent upon unhistoric acts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life…

            George Eliot, Middlemarch.

 

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

            Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard”

 

No one can rule guiltlessly.

            Louis Saint-Just

 

There can be no power without mystery. There must always be a “something” which others cannot altogether fathom, which puzzles them, stirs them, and rivets their attention.... Nothing more enhances authority than silence. It is the crowning virtue of the strong, the refuge of the weak, the modesty of the proud, the pride of the humble, the prudence of the wise, and the sense of fools.

            Charles de Gaulle

 

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

            Edmund Burke

 

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself…

            Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

 

I will study and prepare and perhaps my chance will come.

            Abraham Lincoln

 

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, nothing straight was ever made.

            Immanuel Kant

 

Falling is neither dangerous nor dishonorable. But staying down is both.

(Fallen ist weder gefährlich noch eine Schande. Aber Liegenbleiben ist beides.)

            Konrad Adenauer

 

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was duty.

I acted and beheld that duty was joy.

Rabindranath Tagore

 

…the hardest to learn was the least complicated…

            Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, “Least Complicated”

 

The graveyards of the world are full of indispensable men.

            Charles de Gaulle

 

Become what you are!

            Pindar

 

Genius…means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.

            William James

 

Speak the affirmative; emphasize your choice by utter ignoring of all that you reject.

            Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Be good, and you will be lonesome.

            Mark Twain, “Following the Equator”

 

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

            Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

 

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

            Winston Churchill

 

…that best portion of a good man's life,

His little, nameless, unremembered, acts

Of kindness and of love.

            William Wordsworth, “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”

 

 

Last updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2008