GALE: Childhood is Last Chance Gulch for happiness. After that, you know too much.

Tom Stoppard (b. 1937) Czech-English playwright and screenwriter
Where Are They Now? (1968)
    (Source)
 
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You know how interesting the purchase of a sponge-cake is to me.

Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) English author
Letter (1808-06-15) to Cassandra Austen
    (Source)

First recorded use of the term "sponge-cake" in English.
 
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FRIENDSHIP. A mutual belief in the same fallacies, mountebanks, hobgoblins and imbecilities.

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
A Book of Burlesques, “The Jazz Webster” (1924)
    (Source)

Variant:

Friendship is a common belief in the same fallacies, mountebanks and hobgoblins.
[Chrestomathy, ch. 30 "Sententiae" (1949)]

 
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The uses of a dictionary: at thirteen we look up lewd, licentious, lascivious; at thirty, febrile and inchoate; at fifty, endostosis.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 10 (1963)
    (Source)
 
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But ne’ertheless I hope it is no crime
To laugh at all things — for I wish to know
What, after all, are all things — but a show?

Lord Byron
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Don Juan, Canto 7, st. 2 (1823)
    (Source)
 
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Mental pleasures never cloy: unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved of by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 246 (1820)
    (Source)
 
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HARRIS: I call it performance art, but my friend Ariel calls it wasting time. History will decide.

Steve Martin (b. 1945) American comedian, actor, writer, producer, musician
L. A. Story (1991)
    (Source)
 
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The one thing that unifies men in a given age is not their individual philosophies but the dominant problem that these philosophies are designed to solve.

jacques barzun
Jacques Barzun (1907-2012) French-American historian, educator, polymath
Romanticism and the Modern Ego, ch. 1 (1943)
    (Source)
 
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Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design.

Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian journalist, author, urban theorist, activist
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Introduction (1961)
    (Source)
 
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The whole wide world is a cathedral;
I stand inside, the air is calm,
And from afar at times there reaches
My ear the echo of a psalm.

[Как будто внутренность собора —
Простор земли, и чрез окно
Далекий отголосок хора
Мне слышать иногда дано.]

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator
“When It Clears Up [Когда разгуляется],” st. 6, Poems (1958) [tr. Lydia Pasternak Slater (1959)]
    (Source)
 
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A bibulous poet downed
his every glass in one;
so warned him his companion
“Stop — that’s enough, son.”
About to lose his balance
He said, “I know my stuff.
It’s one thing to drink too much,
but one never drinks enough.”

[Ein trunkner Dichter leerte
Sein Glaß auf jeden Zug;
Ihn Warnte sein Gefährte:
Hör’ auf! du hast genug.
Bereit vom Stuhl zu sinken,
Sprach der: Du bist nicht klug;
Zu viel kann man wohl trinken,
Doch nie trinkt man genug.]

Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramaturg, writer
“Answer of a Drunken Poet [Antwort eines trunknen Dichters],” Lieder, Book 1 (1771) [tr. Conlin]
    (Source)

Conlin titled his version, "A Bibulous Poet."

Usually just the last two lines are quoted, e.g., "One can drink too much, but one never drinks enough" [ed. Bartlett (1964)] or "One may well drink too much, but yet one never drinks enough" [Source].

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

A drunken poet emptied
His glass at every draft;
And him his friend admonished,
Cease now! Enough you've quaffed.
But from his chair a-sinking
He said: "You are not wise;
Too much one may be drinking
Yet never what satisfies."
[tr. Fischer (c. 1885), "Answer of a Drunken Poet"]

A drunken poet emptied
His glass with every gulp;
His companion warned him:
Cease! you have had enough.
Ready to fall off his stool,
He said: You are not wise!
Truly, one can drink too much,
Yet one can never drink enough.
[tr. Krebs (2012), "The Answer of a Drunken Poet"]

A drunken poet emptied
His glass with hefty swig;
His companion warned him:
Hey! enough of that, you pig.
Almost toppling from his stool,
He said: That's incorrect!
Ah yes, one can drink too much,
But enough? That I expect.
[tr. Bachlund, "A Drunken Poet"]

A drunken poet quickly drained
His glass, drawing this rebuff,
Being warned by his companion:
"Stop it! you've drunk enough."
Poised to topple out of his chair,
He cracked: "Clever, you're not!
One can always drink too much,
But enough can never be got.
[tr. Bachlund (2012), "Response (of a Drunken Poet)"]

 
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Making a book is a craft, like making a clock; it needs more than native wit to become an author.

[C’est un métier que de faire un livre, comme de faire une pendule: il faut plus que de l’esprit pour être auteur.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 1 “Of Works of the Mind [Des Ouvrages de l’Esprit],” § 3 (1.3) (1688) [tr. Stewart (1970)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

To make a Book, is like making a Pendulum, a Man must have Experience, as well as Wit to succeed in it.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

Tis as much a Trade to make a Book, as to make a Watch; there's something more than Wit requisite to make an Author.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

To make a Book, is no less a Trade than to make a Clock; something more than Wit is necessary to form an Author.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

To make a book is as much a trade as to make a clock; something more than intelligence is required to become an author.
[tr. Van Laun (1885)]

 
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GHOST, n. The outward and visible sign of an inward fear.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
“Ghost,” The Cynic’s Word Book (1906)
    (Source)

A play on the traditional Christian (from St Augustine) definition of sacrament: "an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace."

Included in The Devil's Dictionary (1911). Originally published in the "Devil's Dictionary" column in the San Francisco Wasp (1885-02-28).
 
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Whenever mortals fall in love,
if they should happen to meet with fine lovers,
there is no greater joy than this.

[ὅσοι γὰρ εἰς ἔρωτα πίπτουσιν βροτῶν,.
ἐσθλῶν ὅταν τύχωσι τῶν ἐρωμένων,.
οὐκ ἔσθ’ ὁποίας λείπεται τόδ’ ἡδονῆς.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Andromeda [Ανδρομέδα], frag. 138 (TGF) (412 BC) [tr. Wright (2017)]
    (Source)

One of the first recorded uses of the phrase "fall in love [εἰς ἔρωτα πίπτειν]."

Nauck frag. 138, Barnes frag. 24, Musgrave frag. 12. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

They who by love are caught, and fix their love
On virtuous objects; to complete their bliss,
Can need no new accession of delight.
[tr. Wodhall (1809)]

When it befalls poor mortal men to love,
Should they find worthy objects for their loving,
There is no fuller joy on earth to long for.
[Source]

 
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What is a Kiss? Alacke! at worst,
A single Dropp to quenche a Thirst,
Tho’ oft it prooves in happie Hour,
The first swete Dropp of one long Showre.

charles godfrey leland
Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903) American humorist, journalist, folklorist
“In the Old Time,” st. 4, The Music-Lesson of Confucius (1872)
    (Source)
 
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The old folk of our grandfathers’ young days sang a song bearing exactly the same burden; and the young folk of to-day will drone out precisely similar nonsense for the aggravation of the next generation. “Oh, give me back the good old days of fifty years ago,” has been the cry ever since Adam’s fifty-first birthday. Take up the literature of 1835, and you will find the poets and novelists asking for the same impossible gift as did the German Minnesingers long before them and the old Norse Saga writers long before that. And for the same thing sighed the early prophets and the philosophers of ancient Greece. From all accounts, the world has been getting worse and worse ever since it was created. All I can say is that it must have been a remarkably delightful place when it was first opened to the public, for it is very pleasant even now if you only keep as much as possible in the sunshine and take the rain good-temperedly.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, “On Memory” (1886)
    (Source)

First published in Home Chimes (1885-09-26).
 
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ALL WITCHES: Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth, Act 1, sc. 1, l. 12ff (1.1.12-13) (1606)
    (Source)
 
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We should be more ashamed to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
 
[Il est plus honteux de se défier de ses amis que d’en être trompé.]

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammatist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims], ¶84 (1665-1678) [tr. Heard (1917)]
    (Source)

First appeared in the second (1666) edition. Compare to Maxim 86, also from that edition: "Our distrust justifies the deception of others [Notre défiance justifie la tromperie d’autrui.]"

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

It is much less for a Man's Honour to distrust his Friends, than to be deceived by them.
[tr. Stanhope (1694), ¶85]

It is more dishonourable to distrust a friend, than to be deceived by him.
[pub. Donaldson (1783), ¶171; ed. Lepoittevin-Lacroix (1797), ¶81; ed. Carvill (1835), ¶151]

It is more disgraceful to distrust; one's friends than to be deceived by them.
[ed. Gowens (1851), ¶87]

It is more disgraceful to distrust than to be deceived by our friends.
[tr. Bund/Friswell (1871), ¶84]

It is more disgraceful to mistrust one's friends than to be the victim of their treachery.
[tr. Stevens (1939), ¶84]

It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.
[tr. FitzGibbon (1957), ¶84; tr. Tancock (1959), ¶84]

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
[tr. Kronenberger (1959), ¶84; tr. Whichello (2016), ¶84]

 
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Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion,
Instead of Truth they use Equivocation,
And eke it out with mental Reservation,
Which to good Men is an Abomination.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1736 ed.)
    (Source)
 
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Housekeeping ain’t no joke.

Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) American writer
Little Women, Part 1, ch. 11 (1868)
    (Source)

Labeled as a saying of the family maid and cook, Hannah. The girls recognize its truth as they take over the housekeeping for the "ailing" Mrs. Marsh.
 
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The challenge of manners is not so much to be nice to someone whose favor and/or person you covet (although more people need to be reminded of that necessity than one would suppose) as to be exposed to the bad manners of others without imitating them.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist, etiquette expert [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
“Miss Manners,” syndicated column (1987-11-01)
    (Source)

Collected in Miss Manners' Guide for the Turn-of-the-Millennium, Part 1 "Revised Conventions," "Correcting Others" (1989).
 
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Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) American writer
What America Means to Me, ch. 10 (1942)
    (Source)

Critiquing lack of American policy in Asia, not just to defeat Japan, but to bring freedom to the people of China and India.
 
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He is not poore that hath little, but he that desireth much.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. (compiler), # 309 (1640 ed.)
    (Source)
 
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Fate always wins. Most of the gods throw dice but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been using two queens all along.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Interesting Times (1994)
    (Source)
 
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What makes old age so sad is, not that our joys, but that our hopes then cease.

[Das Alter ist nicht trübe weil darin unsere Freuden, sondern weil unsere Hoffnungen aufhören.]

Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825) German writer, art historian, philosopher, littérateur [Johann Paul Friedrich Richter; pseud. Jean Paul]
Titan, Jubilee 6, cycle 34, “Fifth” (1803) [tr. Brooks (1863)]
    (Source)
 
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There are depths in man that go the length of lowest Hell, as there are heights that reach highest Heaven; — for are not both Heaven and Hell made out of him, made by him, everlasting Miracle and Mystery as he is?

Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
The French Revolution: A History, Part 3, Book 1, ch. 4 (3.1.4) (1837)
    (Source)

Regarding the events of 2 September 1792, and the Commune-ordered massacres of prisoners in the Paris prisons.

This passage was popularized in a slightly paraphrased form in Tryon Edwards, ed., A Dictionary of Thoughts (1891):

There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is.

The Edwards version was, in turn, quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Detroit sermon "The Christian Doctrine of Man" (1958-02-12).
 
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For little boys are rancorous
When robbed of any myth,
And spiteful and cantankerous
To all their kin and kith.
But little girls can draw conclusions
And profit from their lost illusions.

Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) American author, poet
“What Every Woman Knows,” Times Three (1960)
    (Source)

On when kids figure out that Santa Claus is not real.
 
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Advice iz like kastor-ile, eazy enuff to give, but dredful uneazy tew take.

[Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give, but dreadfully uneasy to take.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist, aphorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, ch. 148 “Affurisms: Ink Brats” (1874)
    (Source)

The phrase also shows up twice in Wit and Wisdom of Josh Billings (1913) [ed. H. Montague] (which, being published in England, did away with the misspellings):

Advice is like castor oil -- easy enough to give but dreadful hard to take.
["Advice"]

Advice is like castor oil -- awful easy to give but mighty hard to take.
["How to Select a Husband"]

 
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All human accomplishment has the same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!

Saul Bellow (1915-2005) Canadian-American writer
Henderson the Rain King, ch. 18 [King Dahfu] (1959)
    (Source)
 
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Better pass a Danger once, than be always in Fear.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Introductio ad Prudentiam, Vol. 1, # 114 (1725)
    (Source)
 
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Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Life of Reason, “Reason in Society,” ch. 2 “The Family” (1905-06)
    (Source)
 
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How shallow, puny, and imperfect are efforts to sound the depths in the nature of things. In philosophical discussion, the merest hint of dogmatic certainty as to finality of statement is an exhibition of folly.

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) English mathematician and philosopher
Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology, Preface (1929)
    (Source)

The book is a collection of his Gifford Lectures, University of Edinburgh (1927-1928).
 
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The world would be much better off if the pains taken to analyze the subtlest moral laws were given to the practice of the simplest.

[Es stände besser um die Welt, wenn die Mühe, die man sich gibt, die subtilsten Moralgesetze auszuklüglen, zur Ausübung der einfachsten angewendet würde.]

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916) Austrian writer
Aphorisms [Aphorismen], No. 104 (1880) [tr. Wister (1883)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

The world would be in better shape if people would take the same pains in the practice of the simplest moral laws as they exert in intellectualizing over the most subtle moral questions.
[tr. Scrase/Mieder (1994)]

 
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It is this glamour of the past, I suppose, that makes old folk talk so much nonsense about the days when they were young. The world appears to have been a very superior sort of place then, and things were more like what they ought to be. Boys were boys then, and girls were very different. Also winters were something like winters, and summers not at all the wretched things we get put off with nowadays. As for the wonderful deeds people did in those times and the extraordinary events that happened, it takes three strong men to believe half of them.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, “On Memory” (1886)
    (Source)

First published in Home Chimes (1885-09-26).
 
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Man comes to each age of his life as a novice.

[L’homme arrive novice à chaque âge de la vie.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionnée], Part 2 “Characters and Anecdotes [Caractères et Anecdotes],” ch. 12 (1795) [tr. Merwin (1969)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Man arrives a novice at every age of life.
[ed. Mathews (1878)]

Man reaches each stage in his life as a novice.
[tr. Hutchinson (1902), "The Cynic's Breviary"]

A man begins every stage of his life as a novice.
[tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 422]

 
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Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1735 ed.)
    (Source)
 
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FIRST WITCH: When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

SECOND WITCH: When the hurly-burly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.

THIRD WITCH: That will be ere the set of sun.

FIRST WITCH: Where’s the place?

SECOND WITCH: Upon the heath.

THIRD WITCH: There to meet with Macbeth.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth, Act 1, sc. 1, l. 1ff (1.1.1-8) (1606)
    (Source)
 
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It is not rude to turn off your telephone by switching it on to an answering machine, which is cheaper and less disruptive than ripping it out of the wall. Those who are offended because they cannot always get through when they seek, at their own convenience, to barge in on people are suffering from a rude expectation.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist, etiquette expert [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
“Miss Manners,” syndicated column (1985-07-10)
    (Source)

Collected in Miss Manners' Guide for the Turn-of-the-Millennium, Part 2 "Home Life," "Communications at Home" (1989).
 
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Few books can please us throughout life. For some we lose all liking as we grow in age, wisdom, or good sense.

[Peu de livres peuvent plaire toute la vie. Il y en a dont on se dégoûte avec le temps, la sagesse ou le bon sens.]

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist, philosopher, essayist, poet
Pensées [Thoughts], ch. 23 “Des Qualités de l’Écrivain [Of the Qualities of Writers],” ¶ 178 (1850 ed.) [tr. Attwell (1896), ¶ 375]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Few books give life-long pleasure. There are some for which, with the growth of time, wisdom, and good sense, we lose all taste.
[tr. Lyttelton (1899), ch. 22, ¶ 84]

 
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The Establishment is enlightened, tolerant, even well-meaning. It has never been exclusive, rather drawing in recruits from outside, as soon as they are ready to conform to its standards and become respectable. There is nothing more agreeable in this life than to make peace with the Establishment — and nothing more corrupting.

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) British historian, journalist, broadcaster [Alan John Percivale Taylor]
“William Cobbett,” The New Statesman (1953-08-29)
    (Source)

Taylor is often credited with coining the term "the Establishment" (what Cobbett called "the Thing"). The article, reviewing a biography of Cobbett, was collected in Taylor's Englishmen and Others (1956).
 
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Of all creation’s bounty realized,
God’s greatest gift, the gift in which mankind
is most like Him, the gift by Him most prized,
is the freedom he bestowed upon the will.
All his intelligent creatures, and they alone,
were so endowed, and so endowed are still.

[Lo maggior don che Dio per sua larghezza
fesse creando, e a la sua bontate
più conformato, e quel ch’e’ più apprezza,
fu de la volontà la libertate;
di che le creature intelligenti,
e tutte e sole, fuore e son dotate.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 3 “Paradiso,” Canto 5, l. 19ff (5.19-24) [Beatrice] (1320) [tr. Ciardi (1970)]
    (Source)

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

That gem above all price by wifdom giv'n.
The most distinguish'd boon of fav'ring Heav'n,
The Stamp of Godhead on the human breast,
By him most priz'd, is Liberty of Choice;
A gift by none beneath the ambient Skies
But happy rationals alone possest.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 5]

Supreme of gifts, which God creating gave
Of his free bounty, sign most evident
Of goodness, and in his account most priz’d,
Was liberty of will, the boon wherewith
All intellectual creatures, and them sole
He hath endow’d.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

The greatest gift that God, creating, gave
Of his great bounty, and his goodness cost,
And that which he appreciated the most,
Was human liberty and our free will;
With which the creatures of intelligence,
And they alone, were dowered as with sense.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

The greatest gift that in his largess God
Creating made, and unto his own goodness
Nearest conformed, and that which he doth prize
Most highly, is the freedom of the will,
Wherewith the creatures of intelligence
Both all and only were and are endowed.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

The greatest gift which God of His bounty made in creating, and the most conformed to His goodness, and that which He most values, was the freedom of the will, wherewith the creatures that have intelligence all, and they only, were and are endowed.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

The greatest gift which God's creating grace
Made in His largess, to His clemency
The most conformed, and prized as first in place
Was of the will the perfect liberty,
With which the creatures of intelligence
Were dowered, and are, and they alone.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

The greatest gift which God in His largess bestowed in creating, and the most conformed unto His goodness and that which He esteems the most, was the freedom of the will, with which all the creatures of intelligence, and they alone, were and are endowed.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

The greatest gift God of his largess made at the creation, and the most conformed to his own excellence, and which he most prizeth,
was the will's liberty, wherewith creatures intelligent, both all and only, were and are endowed.
[tr. Wicksteed (1899)]

The greatest gift that God in His bounty made in creation, the most conformable to His goodness and the one He accounts the most precious, was the freedom of the will, with which the creatures with intelligence, all and only these, were and are endowed.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Of all the gifts God in His bounty extreme
Made when creating, most conformable
To His own goodness, and in His esteem
Most precious, was the liberty of the will,
With which creatures that are intelligent
Were all endowed, they only, and are so still.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

The greatest gift of God’s largesse, when He
Created all, most prized by Him, and best,
As most akin to His own quality,
Was the will's freedom, crown of all the rest,
Whereof all creatures made intelligent,
They all, they only, were and are possessed.
[tr. Sayers/Reynolds (1962)]

The greatest gift which God in His bounty
bestowed in creating, and to His own goodness
the most conformed, and that which He prizes the most,
was of the will the freedom,
with which the creatures that have intelligence,
they all and they alone, were and are endowed.
[tr. Singleton (1975)]

The greatest gift which God in his open-handedness
Gave in creation, and the gift which most conformed
To his own excellence, and which he most values,
Was that of freedom of the will,
With which creatures created intelligent,
Each and all of them, were and are endowed.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

The greatest gift the magnanimity
of God, as He created, gave, the gift
most suited to His goodness, gift that He
most prizes, was the freedom of the will;
those beings that have intellect -- all these
and none but these -- received and do receive this gift.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1984)]

The greatest gift that our bounteous Lord
bestowed as the Creator, in creating,
the gift He cherishes the most, the one
most like Himself, was freedom of the will,
All creatures with intelligence, and they
alone, were so endowed both then and now.
[tr. Musa (1984)]

The greatest gift that ever in his bountifulness God gave in creating, and the most conformed to his goodness, the one that is most prized,
was the freedom of the will, with which the creatures with intelligence, all of them and only they, were and are endowed.
[tr. Durling (2011)]

The greatest gift that God made at the Creation, out of his munificence, the one that most fitted his supreme goodness, and which he values most, is Free Will, with which intelligent creatures, all and sundry, were, and are, endowed.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

The greatest gift that God, in spacious deed,
made, all-creating -- and most nearly formed
to His liberality, most prized by Him --
was liberty in actions of the will,
with which all creatures of intelligence --
and they alone -- both were and are endowed.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

The greatest gift that God in His largesse
gave to creation, the most attuned
to His goodness and that He accounts most dear,
was the freedom of the will:
all creatures possessed of intellect,
all of them and they alone, were and are so endowed.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

The greatest gift that God, in infinite bounty,
Bestowed on His creation, and the quality
Most like His goodness, as well as what He prices,
Was freedom of will, granted only to creatures
Of intelligence -- exclusively for them,
No others thus endowed.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

 
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All is not gold that glisters.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. (compiler), # 306 (1640 ed.)
    (Source)

Usually modernized as "All that glitters is not gold."

See Shakespeare, Tolkien.
 
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I don’t know that it’s an issue for anybody but me, but it’s true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn’t wind up getting the money, either. The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I’ve never regretted the time I spent on any of them.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Speech (2012-05-17), Commencement, University of the Arts, Philadelphia [06:33]
    (Source)
 
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Much less evil would be done on earth if evil could not be done in the name of good.

[Es würde sehr wenig Böses auf Erden getan werden, wenn das Böse niemals im Namen des Guten getan werden könnte.]

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916) Austrian writer
Aphorisms [Aphorismen], No. 97 (1880) [tr. Scrase/Mieder (1994)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

But little evil would be done in the world if evil could never be done in the name of good.
[tr. Wister (1883)]

 
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The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
“The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism,” New York Times Magazine (1951-12-16)
    (Source)

Sometimes referred to as "The Liberal Decalogue." Later printed in The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3 (1969).
 
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Yet it is not on account of food or clothing that wealth is sought by most. Some device has been concocted by the devil, suggesting innumerable spending opportunities to the wealthy, so that they pursue unnecessary and worthless things as if they were indispensable, and no amount is sufficient for the expenditures they contrive.

[Ἀλλ’ οὐ γὰρ ἱματίων ἕνεκεν οὐδὲ τροφῶν ὁ πλοῦτός ἐστι τοῖς πολλοῖς περισπούδαστος, ἀλλά τις ἐπινενόηται μεθοδεία τῷ διαβόλῳ, μυρίας τοῖς πλουσίοις δαπάνης ἀφορμὰς ὑποβάλλουσα, ὥστε τὰ περιττὰ καὶ ἄχρηστα ὡς ἀναγκαῖα σπου δάζεσθαι, μηδὲν δὲ αὐτοῖς ἐξαρκεῖν πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀναλωμάτων ἐπίνοιαν.]

basil the great
Basil of Caesarea (AD 330-378) Christian bishop, theologian, monasticist, Doctor of the Church [Saint Basil the Great, Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας]
“To the Rich [Ὁμιλία πρὸς τοὺς πλουτούντας],” sermon (c. 368) [tr. Schroeder (2009)]
    (Source)
 
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We do not make people humble and meek when we show them their guilt and cause them to be ashamed of themselves. We are more likely to stir their arrogance and rouse in them a reckless aggressiveness. Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us. There is a guilty conscience behind every brazen word and act and behind every manifestation of self-righteousness.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, Part 3, ch. 14, § 69 (1951)
    (Source)
 
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We are to have a tiny party here tonight. I hate tiny parties, they force one into constant exertion.

Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) English author
Letter (1801-05-21) to Cassandra Austen
    (Source)
 
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A fine is a bribe paid by a rich man to escape the lawful penalty of his crime. In China such bribes are paid to the judge personally. In America they are paid to him as agent for the public. But it makes no difference to the men who pay them, nor to the men who can’t pay them.

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
A Little Book in C Major, ch. 4, § 7 (1916)
    (Source)

Variants:

FINE. A bribe paid by a rich man to escape the lawful penalty of his crime. In China such bribes are paid to the judge personally; in America they are paid to him as agent for the public. But it makes no difference to the men who pay them -- nor to the men who can't pay them.
[A Book of Burlesques, "The Jazz Webster" (1924)]

Fine -- A bribe paid by a rich man to escape the lawful penalty of his crime. In China such bribes are paid to the judge personally; in America they are paid to him as agent for the public. But it makes no difference to the men who pay them -- nor to the men who can’t pay them.
[Chrestomathy, ch. 30 "Sententiae" (1949)]

 
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The neurotic longs to touch bottom, so at least he won’t have that to worry about anymore.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 10 (1963)
    (Source)
 
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Polygamy may well be held in dread,
Not only as a sin, but as a bore:
Most wise men, with one moderate woman wed,
Will scarcely find philosophy for more.

Lord Byron
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Don Juan, Canto 6, st. 12 (1823)
    (Source)
 
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Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 200 (1822)
    (Source)
 
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GENEALOGY, n. An account of one’s descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
“Genealogy,” The Cynic’s Word Book (1906)
    (Source)

Included in The Devil's Dictionary (1911). Originally published in the "Devil's Dictionary" column in the San Francisco Wasp (1885-02-21).
 
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Yes, it is the brightness, not the darkness, that we see when we look back. The sunshine casts no shadows on the past. The road that we have traversed stretches very fair behind us. We see not the sharp stones. We dwell but on the roses by the wayside, and the strong briers that stung us are, to our distant eyes, but gentle tendrils waving in the wind. God be thanked that it is so — ­that the ever-lengthening chain of memory has only pleasant links, and that the bitterness and sorrow of to-day are smiled at on the morrow.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, “On Memory” (1886)
    (Source)

First published in Home Chimes (1885-09-26).
 
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BALTHASAR: For slander lives upon succession,
Forever housèd where it gets possession.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Comedy of Errors, Act 3, sc. 1, l. 154ff (3.1.154-155) (1594)
    (Source)

To Antipholus of Ephesus.
 
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