Truths are first clouds, then rain, then harvests and food. The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next. Men are called fools, in one age, for not knowing what they were called fools for averring in the age before.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Life Thoughts (1858)
    (Source)
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What are the choices that we must make if we are now to succeed, and not to fail? […] Two types of choices seem to me to have been crucial to tipping their outcomes towards success or failure: long-term planning, and willingness to reconsider core values. On reflection, we can also recognize the crucial role of these same two choices for the outcomes of our individual lives.

One of those choices has depended on the courage to practice long-term thinking, and to make bold, courageous, anticipatory decisions at a time when problems have become perceptible but before they have reached crisis proportions. […] The other crucial choice illuminated by the past involves the courage to make painful decisions about values. Which of the values that formerly served a society well can continue to be maintained under new changed circumstances? Which of these treasured values must instead be jettisoned and replaced with different approaches?

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond (b. 1937) American geographer, historian, ornithologist, author
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, ch. 16 “The World as a Polder” (2005)
    (Source)
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The whole country wants civility. Why don’t we have it? It doesn’t cost anything. No federal funding, no legislation is involved. One answer is the unwillingness to restrain oneself. Everybody wants other people to be polite to them, but they want the freedom of not having to be polite to others.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
“Polite Company: A Chat with Judith Martin About Etiquette,” interview with Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today (1 Mar 1998)
    (Source)
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Like almost everything else, sex education in Mechanicsburg has its own … unique take. As a result, Mechanicsburg girls tend to be rather forward, know what they want, and have no qualms about asking for it, especially when they are wearing their weasel pajamas.

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle (2014) [with Kaja Foglio]
    (Source)
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There’s something in all of us that wants to drift toward a mob, where we can all say the same thing without having to think about it, because everybody is all alike except people that we can hate or persecute. Every time we use words, we’re either fighting against this tendency or giving in to it. When we fight against it, we’re taking the side of genuine and permanent human civilization.

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) Canadian literary critic and literary theorist
The Educated Imagination, Talk 6 “The Vocation of Eloquence” (1963)
    (Source)
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Treat your enemies with courtesy, and you’ll see how valuable it really is. It costs little but pays a nice dividend.

[Tiénese por deuda entre enemigos para que se vea su valor. Cuesta poco y vale mucho.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 118 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Between opponents, courtesy is especially due as a proof of valour. It costs little and helps much.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

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Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 17 (1785)
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Study has been for me the sovereign remedy against all the disappointments of life. I have never known any trouble that an hour’s reading would not dissipate.

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Mes Pensées [My Thoughts] (1720-1755)

Alternate translations:

Study has been to me a sovereign remedy against the vexations of life, having never had an annoyance that one hour's reading did not dissipate.
[Source]

Study has been to me a sovereign remedy against the troubles of life, and I have never had a grief that an hour's reading would not dissipate.
[Source]

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Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.

Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) German-American actress, singer
Marlene Dietrich’s ABC, “Forgiveness” (1962)
    (Source)
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Where is it written that if you don’t like religion you are somehow disqualified from being a legitimate American? What was Mark Twain, a Russian?

Hendrik Hertzberg (b. 1943) American journalist, editor, speech writer, political commentator
“Antidisestablishmentarianism,” The New Republic (16 Sep 1985)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004 (2005). Responding to a speech from William Bennett, Secretary of Education, about liberals having an "aversion to religion," thus requiring government promotion of "Judeo-Christian tradition."
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Informer, libel-monger, cut-throat, knave,
Pander, to every loathsome vice a slave,
Vacerra, it is marvellous that you
With these resources are a pauper, too.

[Et delator es et calumniator,
Et fraudator es et negotiator,
Et fellator es et lanista. Miror
Quare non habeas, Vacerra, nummos.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 11, epigram 66 (11.66) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]
    (Source)

"To Vacerra." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Thou art a slanderer and delator,
False dealer, pimp, and fornicator:
Where such rare parts and trades are found,
I wonder much, thy purse does not abound.
[tr. Anon. (1695)]

You an informer are; and a back-biter:
A common sharper; and a hackney writer:
A whore-master; and master of defence:
Jack of all trades; strange! that you want the pence!
[tr. Hay (1755), ep. 67]

Vile informer, slander's child!
Dealer, who hast still beguil'd!
Shield of war, and soul of arms,
How hast thou no golden charms?
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 6.1.39]

You are an informer, a calumniator, a forger, a secret agent, a slave to the unclean, and a trainer of gladiators. I wonder, Vacerra, why you have no money.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

You're a blackmailer, bruiser and liar,
A usurer, pimp and a cheat:
With methods so sound
I'm surprised that you've found
Gaining wealth an impossible feat.
[tr. Nixon (1911)]

You are an informer and a backbiter, and you are a cheat and a pimp, and you are a foul rascal and a master of gladiators. I wonder why you are not rich, Vacerra.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

How can the slippery son of a bitch, With all his vices, not be rich? [tr. Wills (2007)]
You're an informer, slanderer, cocksucker, swindler, panderer, and fight instructor. It seems funny, Vacerra, that you have no money.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

You're an informer and a lying witness,
a defrauder and a middleman,
a cocksucker and a provocateur.
Vacerra, I can't understand why you're not rich.
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

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My advice is: Do not think about your character. If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) US President (1913-20), educator, political scientist
Speech, YMCA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (24 Oct 1914)
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Divorce is very expensive, both economically and psychologically as well, but it probably isn’t any more so than living with someone who isn’t really on your side.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
Some Men Are More Perfect than Others (1973)
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I have always regarded technique as a means, not an end in itself. One must, of course, master techniques; at the same time, one must not become enslaved by it — one must understand that the purpose of technique is to transmit the inner meaning, the message, of the music. The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all.

Casals - The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all - wist.info quote

Pablo Casals (1876-1973) Spanish cellist, conductor, composer
Joys and Sorrows, ch. 5 (1970) [with Albert E. Kahn]
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If the road to social transformation can be paved only by saints who never make mistakes, the road will never be built.

Van Jones
Anthony Kapel "Van" Jones (b. 1968) American news commentator, author, lawyer
In Thomas L. Friedman, “The Green-Collar Solution,” New York Times (17 Oct 2007)
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By applying conjecture to the countless delusions of drunk or crazy men we may sometimes deduce what appears to be a real prophecy; for who, if he shoots at a mark all day long, will not occasionally hit it? We sleep every night and there is scarcely ever a night when we do not dream; then do we wonder that our dreams come true sometimes? Nothing is so uncertain as a cast of dice and yet there is no one who plays often who does not sometimes make a Venus-throw and occasionally twice or thrice in succession. Then are we, like fools, to prefer to say that it happened by the direction of Venus rather than by chance? And if we are to put no trust in false visions at other times I do not see what especial virtue there is in sleep to entitle its false visions to be taken as true.

[Iam ex insanorum aut ebriorum visis innumerabilia coniectura trahi possunt, quae futura videantur. Quis est enim, qui totum diem iaculans non aliquando conliniet? Totas noctes dormimus, neque ulla est fere, qua non somniemus, et miramur aliquando id quod somniarimus evadere? Quid est tam incertum quam talorum iactus? Tamen nemo est quin saepe iactans Venerium iaciat aliquando, non numquam etiam iterum ac tertium. Num igitur, ut inepti, Veneris id impulsu fieri malumus quam casu dicere? Quodsi ceteris temporibus falsis visis credendum non est, non video, quid praecipui somnus habeat, in quo valeant falsa pro veris.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Divinatione [On Divination], Book 2, ch. 59 / sec. 121 (44 BC) [tr. Falconer (1923)]
    (Source)

The "Venus throw" or "Point of Venus" was the highest-scoring throw in the Roman game of Tali, throwing four knucklebone dice to show one each of the four main sides (1, 3, 4, 6). (Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

From the visions of drunkards and madmen one might, doubtless, deduce innumerable consequences by conjecture, which might seem to be presages of future events. For what person who aims at a mark all day long will not sometimes hit it? We sleep every night; and there are very few on which we do not dream; can we wonder then that what we dream sometimes comes to pass? What is so uncertain as the cast of dice? and yet no one plays dice often without at times casting the point of Venus, and sometimes even twice or thrice in succession. Shall we, then, be so absurd as to attribute such an event to the impulse of Venus, rather than to the doctrine of chance? If then, on ordinary occasions, we are not bound to give credit to false appearances, I do not see why sleep should enjoy this special privilege, that its false seemings should be honoured as true realities.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

What is more uncertain than the fall of the dice? Yet everyone will occasionally throw the double six, if he throws often enough; nay, sometimes even twice or thrice running.
[Source]

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Indifference is the acid of life. It erodes all the spirit that’s in us and makes us useless to anyone else. We all have to stand for something, or our souls cease to breathe.

Joan D. Chittister (b. 1936) American Benedictine nun, author and lecturer
In a High Spiritual Season (1995)
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I felt fairly sure that the Almighty, whatever name tag He had on at the moment, could handle a few questions from people sincerely looking for answers. Hell, He might even like it.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Changes, ch. 14 (2010)
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Nobody really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 3 (1966)
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In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it and more anxious about what it can do for the nation.

Warren G Harding
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) American journalist, politician, US President (1921-23)
Speech, Republican National Convention (7 Jun 1916)

See Holmes, Kennedy. Harding was, at that time, a US Senator. The line, in Harding's hand, is on display at his home in Marion, Ohio.
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The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1963) German poet
“The Beholder [Der Schauende]”, The Book of Images [Buch der Bilder], Second Book, Part 2 (1902) (paraphrase)

This looks to be a paraphrase from a couplet in the poem (also known as "The Man Watching"):

Sein Wachstum ist: der Teifbesiegte
von immer Größerem zu sein.

[Source]

Which translates variously as:

His growth is: to be the deeply defeated
by ever greater things.
[tr. Snow (1991)]

This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
[tr. Bly]

His growth is this: to be defeated
by ever greater forces.
[tr. Barrows and Macy]

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At that,
as she turned away her neck shone with a rosy glow,
her mane of hair gave off an ambrosial fragrance,
her skirt flowed loose, rippling down to her feet
and her stride alone revealed her as a goddess.

[Dixit et avertens rosea cervice refulsit,
Ambrosiaeque comae divinum vertice odorem
Spiravere; pedes vestis defluxit ad imos,
Et vera incessu patuit dea.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 402ff (1.402-405) (29-19 BC) [tr. Fagles (2006), l. 487ff]
    (Source)

Describing Venus. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Thus having said, she turn'd, and made appear
Her neck refulgent, and dishevel'd hair,
Which, flowing from her shoulders, reach'd the ground.
And widely spread ambrosial scents around:
In length of train descends her sweeping gown;
And, by her graceful walk, the Queen of Love is known.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

She said, and turning away, shone radiant with her rosy neck, and from her head ambrosial locks breathed divine fragrance: her robe hung flowing to the ground, and by her gait the goddess stood confessed.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

She turned, and flashed upon their view
Her stately neck's purpureal hue;
Ambrosial tresses round her head
A more than earthly fragrance shed:
Her falling robe her footprints swept,
And showed the goddess as she stept.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

She said; and turning, gleamed with rosy neck,
And from her head divinest odors breathed
In her ambrosial hair. Around her feet
Floated her flowing robe; and in her gait
All the true goddess was revealed.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 524ff]

Speaking she turned away, and her neck shone roseate, her immortal tresses breathed the fragrance of deity; her raiment fell flowing down to her feet, and the godhead was manifest in her tread.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

She spake, she turned, from rosy neck the light of heaven she cast,
And from her hair ambrosial the scent of Gods went past
Upon the wind, and o'er her feet her skirts fell shimmering down,
And very God she went her ways.
[tr. Morris (1900), l. 402ff]

So saying, she turned, and all refulgent showed
Her roseate neck, and heavenly fragrance sweet
Was breathed from her ambrosial hair. Down flowed
Her loosened raiment, streaming to her feet,
And by her walk the Goddess shone complete.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 53; l. 478ff]

She ceased and turned away. A roseate beam
from her bright shoulder glowed; th' ambrosial hair
breathed more than mortal sweetness, while her robes
fell rippling to her feet. Each step revealed
the veritable goddess.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

She spoke, and as she turned away, her roseate neck flashed bright. From her head her ambrosial tresses breathed celestial fragrance; down to her feet fell her raiment, and in her step she was revealed a very goddess.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

And as she turned, her shoulders
Shone with a radiant light; her hair shed fragrance,
Her robes slipped to her feet, and the true goddess
Walked in divinity.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

She spoke. She turned away; and as she turned, her neck
Glowed to a rose-flush, her crown of ambrosial hair breathed out
A heavenly fragrance, her robe flowed down, down to her feet,
And in gait she was all a goddess.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Those were the words of Venus. When she turned,
her neck was glittering with a rose brightness;
her hair anointed with ambrosia,
her head gave all a fragrance of the gods;
her gown was long and to the ground; even
her walk was sign enough she was a goddess.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 572ff]

On this she turned away. Rose-pink and fair
Her nape shone, her ambrosial hair exhaled
Divine perfume, her gown rippled full length,
And by her stride she showed herself a goddess.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 552ff]

When she was finished speaking and was turning way, her neck shone with a rosy light and her hair breathed the divine odor of ambrosia. Her dress flowed free to her feet and as she walked he knew she was truly a goddess.
[tr. West (1990)]

She spoke, and as she turned, her neck
Shone with roselight. An immortal fragrance
From her ambrosial locks perfumed the air,
Her robes flowed down to cover her feet,
And every step revealed her divinity.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

As she turned away, her neck gleamed rosily, her ambrosial hair gave off a divine scent and her robes grew longer, flowing to her feet. Her gait too revealed the goddess.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

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Besides, I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) American writer
Nine Princes in Amber, ch. 3 (1977)
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Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.

Smith - Every author however modest keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast - wist.info quote

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) American-English essayist, editor, anthologist
Afterthoughts (1931)
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Freedom is not a luxury that we can indulge in when at last we have security and prosperity and enlightenment; it is, rather, antecedent to all of these, for without it we can have neither security nor prosperity nor enlightenment.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent, Introduction (1954)
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People often ask, “What is the single most important environmental / population problem facing the world today?” A flip answer would be, “The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem!”

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond (b. 1937) American geographer, historian, ornithologist, author
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005)
    (Source)
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Impoliteness is not a vice of the mind, but the consequence of several vices; of foolish vanity, of ignorance of one’s duties, of idleness, of stupidity, of absence of mind, of contempt for others, and of jealousy.

Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], “Of Mankind,” sec. 8 (1688) [tr. van Laun (1885)]
    (Source)

Alternate translation:

Incivility is not a vice of the soul, but the effect of several vices; of vanity, ignorance of duty, laziness, stupidity, distraction, contempt of others, and jealousy.
[tr. Source (1752)]

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Those unfortunate enough to be dragged before one of the old Heterodynes were usually subjected to a version of what we today would call “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” However, considering the personalities involved, a more correct label would be “Bad Cop, Insanely Evil Cop.” This was never a fun experience, especially when both sides were played by different personalities manifesting within the same body — and neither of them were actually playing.

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle (2014) [with Kaja Foglio]
    (Source)
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There can be no free speech in a mob: free speech is one thing a mob can’t stand.

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) Canadian literary critic and literary theorist
The Educated Imagination, Talk 6 “The Vocation of Eloquence” (1963)
    (Source)
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Many have had their greatness made for them by their enemies. Flattery is more dangerous than hatred, because it covers the stains which the other causes to be wiped out. The wise will turn ill-will into a mirror more faithful than that of kindness, and remove or improve the faults referred to.

[Fabricáronles a muchos su grandeza sus malévolos. Más fiera es la lisonja que el odio, pues remedia este eficazmente las tachas que aquella disimula. Hace el cuerdo espejo de la ojeriza, más fiel que el de la afición, y previene a la detracción los defectos, o los enmienda, que es grande el recato cuando se vive en frontera de una emulación, de una malevolencia.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 84 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Many owe their greatness to their enemies. Flattery is fiercer than hatred, for hatred corrects the faults flattery had disguised. The prudent man makes a mirror out of the evil eye of others; it is more truthful than that of affection, and helps him reduce his defects or emend them.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

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Marriage should be between a spouse and a spouse, not a gender and a gender.

Hendrik Hertzberg (b. 1943) American journalist, editor, speech writer, political commentator
“Obama and Gay Marriage: Runaway Bride?” New Yorker (30 Jun 2011)
    (Source)
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Reader and hearer, Aulus, love my stuff;
A certain poet says it’s rather rough.
Well, I don’t care. For dinners or for books
The guest’s opinion matters, not the cook’s.

[Lector et auditor nostros probat, Aule, libellos,
Sed quidam exactos esse poeta negat.
Non nimium curo: nam cenae fercula nostrae
Malim convivis quam placuisse cocis.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 81 (9.81) [tr. Francis & Tatum (1924)]
    (Source)

"To Aulus". The numbering for this epigram varies between 81, 82, and 83 within in Book 9. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

The readers and the hearers like my books,
And, yet, some writers cannot them digest:
But what care I? for when I make a feast,
I would my guests should praise it, not the cooks.
[tr. Harington (16th C)]

My works the reader and the hearer praise:
They're not exact; a brother poet says:
I heed not him; for when I give a feast,
Am I to please the cook, or please the guest?
[tr. Hay (1755), ep. 82]

The reader and the hearer like my lays.
But they're unfinisht things, a poet says.
The stricture ne'er shall discompose my looke:
My chear is for my guests, and not for cooks.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 3.14]

The reader and the hearer approve of my small books, but a certain critic objects that they are not finished to a nicety. I do not take this censure much to heart, for I would wish that the course of my dinner should afford pleasure to guests rather than to cooks.
[tr. Amos (1858) 2.24]

My readers and hearers, Aulus, approve of my compositions; but a certain critic says that they are not faultless. I am not much concerned at his censure; for I should wish the dishes on my table to please guests rather than cooks.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Though my readers sincerely admire me,
A poet finds fault with my books.
What's the odds? When I'm giving a dinner
I'd rather please guests than the cooks.
[tr. Nixon (1911)]

Reader and hearer approve of my works, Aulus, but a certain poet says they are not polished. I don't care much, for I should prefer the courses of my dinner to please guests rather than cooks.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

"Unpolished" -- so that scribbler sneers,
While he that reads and he that hears,
     Approve my little books;
I do not care a single jot,
My fame is for my guests and not
     To please my rival cooks.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

My books are praised by him who reads,
Though critics damn them in their screeds.
But who's to judge a proper meat --
Another cook, or those who eat?
[tr. Wills (2007), ep. 83]

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True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others. It is not obedience to authority, and while it is often consistent with and reinforced by religious belief, it is not piety.

E. O. Wilson (1929-2021) American biologist, naturalist, writer [Edward Osborne Wilson]
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, ch. 11 “Ethics and Religion” (1998)
    (Source)
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It’s very important to decode your own messages, like saying “I feel angry” instead of kicking the cat, and people who learn to do this find they are misunderstood less often and, as a fringe benefit, are clawed by fewer cats.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
Some Men Are More Perfect than Others (1973)
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To be a poet at twenty is to be twenty; to be a poet at forty is to be a poet.

Eugène Delacroix (1799-1863) French painter [Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix]
(Attributed)
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In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Inaugural Address (20 Jan 1961) [with Ted Sorensen]
    (Source)

See Holmes and Harding.
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For what greater or better service can we render to our country, than by thus educating and instructing the rising generation, especially in times like these, and in the present state of morality, when society has fallen into such disorders as to require everyone to use his best exertions to check and restrain it?

[Quod enim munus rei publicae afferre maius meliusve possumus, quam si docemus atque erudimus iuventutem, his praesertim moribus atque temporibus, quibus ita prolapsa est, ut omnium opibus refrenanda atque coercenda sit?]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Divinatione [On Divination], Book 2, ch. 2 / sec. 4 (44 BC) [tr. Yonge (1853)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

For what greater or better service can I render to the common wealth than to instruct and train the youth -- especially in view of the fact that our young men have gone so far astray because of the present moral laxity that the utmost effort will be needed to hold them in check and direct them in the right way?
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

What nobler employment, or what more advantageous to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation!
[Source (<1864)]

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A certain combination of incompetence and indifference can cause almost as much suffering as the most acute malevolence.

Bruce Catton
Bruce Catton (1899-1978) American historian and journalist
A Stillness at Appomattox (1953)
    (Source)

Regarding prison camps during the US Civil War.
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Life’s easier when you can write off others as monsters, as demons, as horrible threats that must be hated and feared. The thing is, you can’t do that without becoming them, just a little.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
White Night (2007)
    (Source)
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When threatened, the first thing a democracy gives up is democracy.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Complete Neurotic’s Notebook (1981)
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Faith is a fine invention
For gentlemen who see;
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet
Poems: Second Series, #30 (1891)
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Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labour and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we learn to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial, the ornamental gewgaws of life and the useful. No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) American educator, writer
Speech, Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta (18 Nov 1895)
    (Source)

Reprinted in his autobiography, Up from Slavery, ch. 14 "The Atlanta Exposition Address" (1907).
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Even furious Juno, now plaguing the land and sea and sky
with terror: she will mend her ways and hold dear with me
these Romans, lords of the earth, the race arrayed in togas.
This is my pleasure, my decree.

[Quin aspera Iuno,
quae mare nunc terrasque metu caelumque fatigat,
consilia in melius referet, mecumque fovebit
Romanos rerum dominos gentemque togatam:
sic placitum.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 279ff (1.279-283) [Jupiter] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fagles (2006), l. 335ff]
    (Source)

Juno favored Carthage, thus her plotting against Aeneas. Jupiter, early on in the story, decrees to Venus (Aeneas' mother) that Juno will come around and love those wacky toga-wearers. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Ev'n haughty Juno, who, with endless broils,
Earth, seas, and heav'n, and Jove himself turmoils;
At length aton'd, her friendly pow'r shall join,
To cherish and advance the Trojan line.
The subject world shall Rome's dominion own,
And, prostrate, shall adore the nation of the gown.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

And even sullen Juno, who now, through jealous fear, creates endless disturbance to sea, and earth, and heaven, shall change her counsels for the better, and join with me in befriending the Romans, lords of the world, and the nation of the gown. Such is my pleasure.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Nay Juno's self, whose wild alarms
Set ocean, earth, and heaven in arms,
Shall change for smiles her moody frown,
And vie with me in zeal to crown
Rome's sons, the nation of the gown.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Nay, harsh Juno, who disturbs
With fear the sea and land and shy, will change
Her counsels for the better, and with me
Cherish the Romans, masters of affairs.
The toga'd nation. Such is my decree.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Nay, harsh Juno, who in her fear now troubles earth and sea and sky, shall change to better counsels, and with me shall cherish the lords of the world, the gowned race of Rome. Thus is it willed.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Yea, Juno, hard of heart,
Who wearieth now with fear of her the heavens and earth and sea,
Shall gather better counsel yet, and cherish them with me;
The Roman folk, the togaed men, lords of all worldly ways.
Such is the doom.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Nay, Juno, too, who now, in mood malign,
Earth, sea and sky is harrying, shall incline
To better counsels, and unite with me
To cherish and uphold the imperial line,
The Romans, rulers of the land and sea,
Lords of the flowing gown. So standeth my decree.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 37, l. 328ff]

Yea, even my Queen,
Juno, who now chastiseth land and sea
with her dread frown, will find a wiser way,
and at my sovereign side protect and bless
the Romans, masters of the whole round world,
who, clad in peaceful toga, judge mankind.
Such my decree!
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Nay, harsh Juno, who now in her fear troubles sea and earth and sky, shall change to better counsels and with me cherish the Romans, lords of the world, and the nation of the gown. Thus is it decreed.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Even bitter Juno
Whose fear now harries earth and sea and heaven
Will change to better counsels, and will cherish
The race that wears the toga, Roman masters
Of all the world. It is decreed.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Even the spiteful Juno,
Who in her fear now troubles the earth, the sea and the sky,
Shall think better of this and join me in fostering
The cause of the Romans, the lords of creation, the togaed people.
Thus it is written.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Then even bitter Juno shall be changed;
for she, who now harasses lands and heavens
with terror, then shall hold the Romans dear
together with me, cherishing the masters
of all things, and the race that wears the toga.
This is what I decree.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 391ff]

Juno, indeed, whose bitterness now fills
With fear and torment sea and earth and sky,
Will mend her ways, and favor them as I do,
Lords of the world, the toga-bearing Romans.
Such is our pleasure.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 376ff]

Even angry Juno, who is now wearying sea and land and sky with her terrors, will come to better counsel and join with me in cherishing the people of Rome, the rulers of the world, the race that wears the toga. So it has been decreed.
[tr. West (1990)]

Even Juno, who in her site and fear
Now vexes earth, sea, and sky, shall adopt
A better view, wand with me cherish the Romans,
Lords of the world, the people of the toga.
That is my pleasure.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Even cruel Juno, terror of the land and sea and sky, will change her plans and (like me) favor Romans: people of the toga, rulers of the world. So I've decreed.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

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Money is like sex. It seems much more important when you don’t have any.

Bukowski - Money is like sex It seems much more important when you don't have any - wist.info quote

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
Hollywood, ch. 4 (1989)
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An author, like any other so-called artist, is a man in whom the normal vanity of all men is so vastly exaggerated that he finds it a sheer impossibility to hold it in. His overpowering impulse is to gyrate before his fellow men, flapping his wings and emitting defiant yells. This being forbidden by the police of all civilized countries, he takes it out by putting his yells on paper. Such is the thing called self-expression.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“The Fringes of Lovely Letters,” Prejudices: Fifth Series (1926)
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Independence was an act of revolution; republicanism was something new under the sun; the federal system was a vast experimental laboratory. Physically Americans were pioneers; in the realm of social and economic institutions, too, their tradition has been one of pioneering. From the beginning, intellectual and spiritual diversity have been as characteristic of America as racial and linguistic. The most distinctively American philosophies have been transcendentalism — which is the philosophy of the Higher Law — and pragmatism — which is the philosophy of experimentation and pluralism. These two principles are the very core of Americanism: the principle of the Higher Law, or of obedience to the dictates of conscience rather than of statutes, and the principle of pragmatism, or the rejection of a single good and of the notion of a finished universe. From the beginning Americans have known that there were new worlds to conquer, new truths to be discovered. Every effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
“Who Is Loyal to America?” Harper’s Magazine #1168 (Sep 1947)
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The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning.

Gilbert Highet (1906-1978) Scottish-American classicist, academic writer, intellectual critic, literary historian
The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning (1976)
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I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated.

[Ich bekenne mich zum Ideal der Demokratie, trotzdem mir die Nachteile demokratischer Staatsform wohlbekannt sind. Sozialer Ausgleich und wirtschaftlicher Schutz des Individuums erschienen mir stets als wichtige Ziele der staatlichen Gemeinschaft. ch bin zwar im täglichen Leben ein typischer Einspänner, aber das Bewusstsein, der unsichtbaren Gemeinschaft derjenigen anzugehören, die nach Wahrheit, Schönheit und Gerechtigkeit streben, hat das Gefühl der Vereinsamung nicht aufkommen lassen.]

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
“My Credo Mein Glaubensbekenntnis],” recording for the German League of Human Rights (Autumn 1932)
    (Source)

Einstein crafted and recrafted his credo multiple times in this period, and specifics are often muddled by differing translations and by his reuse of certain phrases in later writing.
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In the course of my travels I remarked that all those whose opinions are decidedly repugnant to ours are not in that account barbarians and savages, but on the contrary that many of these nations make an equally good, if not better, use of their reason than we do. I took into account also the very different character which a person brought up from infancy in France or Germany exhibits, from that which, with the same mind originally, this individual would have possessed had he lived always among the Chinese or with savages, and the circumstance that in dress itself the fashion which pleased us ten years ago, and which may again, perhaps, be received into favor before ten years have gone, appears to us at this moment extravagant and ridiculous. I was thus led to infer that the ground of our opinions is far more custom and example than any certain knowledge.

[Et depuis, en voyageant, ayant reconnu que tous ceux qui ont des sentiments fort contraires aux nôtres ne sont pas pour cela barbares ni sauvages, mais que plusieurs usent autant ou plus que nous de raison; et ayant considéré combien un même homme, avec son même esprit, étant nourri dès son enfance entre des Français ou des Allemands, devient différent de ce qu’il seroit s’il avoit toujours vécu entre des Chinois ou des cannibales, et comment, jusques aux modes de nos habits, la même chose qui nous a plu il y a dix ans, et qui nous plaira peut-être encore avant dix ans, nous semble maintenant extravagante et ridicule; en sorte que c’est bien plus la coutume et l’exemple qui nous persuade, qu’aucune connaissance certaine.]

René Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician
Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 2 (1637) [tr. Veitch (1901)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

I further recognized in the course of my travels that all those whose sentiments are very contrary to ours are yet not necessarily barbarians or savages, but may be possessed of reason in as great or even a greater degree than ourselves. I also considered how very different the self-same man, identical in mind and spirit, may have become, according as he is brought up from childhood amongst the French or Germans, or has passed his whole life amongst Chinese or cannibals. I likewise noticed how even in the fashions of one's clothing the same thing that pleased us ten years ago, and which will perhaps please us once again before ten years are passed, seems at the present time extravagant and ridiculous. I thus concluded that it is much more custom and example that persuade us than any certain knowledge.
[tr. Haldane & Ross (1911)]

Since then I have recognized through my travels that those with views quite contrary to ours are not on that account barbarians or savages, but that many of them make use of reason as much or more than we do. I thought, too, how the same man, with the same mind, if brought up from infancy among the French or Germans, develops otherwise than he would if he had always lived among the Chinese or cannibals; and how, even in our fashions of dress, the very thing that pleased us ten years ago, and will perhaps please us again ten years hence, now strikes us as extravagant and ridiculous. Thus it is custom and example that persuade us, rather than any certain knowledge.
[tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)]

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All is in the hands of man. Therefore you should wash them often.

[Wszystko jest w rękach człowieka. Dlatego należy je często myć.]

Stanislaw Lec (1909-1966) Polish aphorist, poet, satirist
Unkempt Thoughts [Myśli nieuczesane] (1957) [tr. Gałązka (1962)]
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My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs). […] The most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
Letter to Christopher Tolkien (29 Nov 1943)

Letter 52 in Humphrey Carpenter, ed., The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981).
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Incivility is contagious — often spreading by way of righteous indignation until even those without legitimate grievance have come down with symptoms and taken sides.

Diane Kalen-Sukra
Diane Kalen-Sukra (contemp.) Canadian author, consultant
Save Your City: How Toxic Culture Kills Community & What to Do about It (2019)
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Tiny Monster Island is one of the more boring Mechanicsburg landmarks. Unless, of course, one is foolish — or unfortunate — enough to leave the path. Then it becomes very exciting indeed.

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle (2014)
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Experience is nearly always commonplace; the present is not romantic in the way the past is, and ideals and great visions have a way of becoming shoddy and squalid in practical life. Literature reverses this process.

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) Canadian literary critic and literary theorist
The Educated Imagination, Talk 3 “Giants in Time” (1963)
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The truth is generally seen, rarely heard; seldom she comes in elemental purity, especially from afar; there is always some admixture of the moods of those through whom she has passed. The passions tinge her with their colors wherever they touch her, sometimes favorably, sometimes the reverse.

[La verdad ordinariamente se ve, extravagantemente se oye; raras vezes llega en su elemento puro, y menos quando viene de lejos; siempre trae algo de mixta, de los afectos por donde passa; tiñe de sus colores la passión quanto toca, ya odiosa, ya favorable.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 80 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Truth is more often seen than heard. Seldom does it reach us unalloyed, even less so when it comes from afar. It is always blended with the emotions it has passed through. Emotion taints everything it touches, making it odious or favorable.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

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