Any experience deeply felt makes some men better and some men worse. When it has ended, they share nothing but the recollection of a commitment in which each was tested and to some degree found wanting. They were not alike when they began, and they were not alike when they finished. […] The consequences of the journey change the voyager so much more than the embarking or the arrival.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) American journalist.
Part of Our Time: Some Ruins & Monuments of the Thirties, “A Prelude” (1955)
    (Source)
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An easygoing vice, I hold,
Is better than an angry virtue.

[J’aime mieux un vice commode,
Qu’une fatigante vertu.]

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Amphitryon, Act 1, sc. 4, l. 681-2 [Mercury] (1666) [tr. Wilbur (2010)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "I prefer an accommodating vice / To an obstinate virtue."
  • "I prefer a convenient vice, to a fatiguing virtune." [tr. Waller (1903)]
  • Original French.
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It takes a lot of things to prove you are smart, but only one thing to prove you are ignorant.

Don Herold (1889-1966) American humorist, cartoonist, author
So Human (1924)
    (Source)
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The man that lays his hand on woman,
Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
Whom ’twere gross flattery to name a coward.

John Tobin (1770-1804) British playwright
The Honey Moon, Act 2, sc. 1 [Duke] (1805)
    (Source)
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An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought.

Simon Cameron (1799-1889) American businessman and politician
(Attributed)

Cameron was infamous for his corruption, but this is not found in his writing or reliable accounts, and similar phrases can be found in the era. More discussion here.
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If the artist does not throw himself into his work as Curtius sprang into the gulf, as a soldier leads a forlorn hope without a moment’s thought, and if when he is in the crater he does not dig as a miner does when the earth has fallen in on him; if he contemplates the difficulties before him instead of conquering them one by one, like the lovers in fairy tales, who to win their princesses overcome ever-new enchantments, the work remains incomplete; it perishes in the studio where creativeness becomes impossible, and the artist looks on the suicide of his own talent.

[Si l’artiste ne se précipite pas dans son oeuvre, comme Curtius dans le gouffre, comme le soldat dans la redoute, sans réfléchir; et si, sans ce cratère, il ne travaille pas comme le mineur enfoui sous un éboulement: s’il contemple enfin les difficultés au lieu de las vaincre une à une, à l’example de ces amoureux des féeries, qui pour obtenir leurs princesses, combattaient des enchantements renaissants, l’oeuvre reste inachevée, elle périt au fond de l’atelier où la production devient impossible, et l’artiste assiste au suicide de son talent.]

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) French novelist, playwright
Cousin Betty [La Cousine Bette] (1846) [tr. Waring (1899)]
    (Source)

Curtius is the young Roman patrician, Marcus Curtius. In 362 BC, a chasm opened up in Rome's forum, and soothsayers proclaimed it could only be filled by Rome's greatest treasure. Curtius mounted his horse and leapt into the chasm, which then closed over him.

Alt. trans.:
  • "If the artist does not throw himself into his work, like Curtius into the gulf beneath the Forum, like a soldier against a fortress, without hesitation, and if, in that crater, he does not work like a miner under a fall of rock, if, in short, he envisages the difficulties instead of conquering them one-by-one, following the examples of lovers in fairy-tales who, to win their princesses, struggle against recurring enchantments, the work remains unfinished, it expires in the studio, wher production remains impossible and the artist looks on at the suicide of his own talent." [tr. Raphael (1992)]
  • "If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtius flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one ... he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent." [Source]
  • Original French.
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The important thing for Government is not to do things which individuals are doing already, and to do them a little better or a little worse; but to do those things which at present are not done at all.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) English economist
The End of Laissez-Faire, Part 4 (1926)
    (Source)
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Thare would be a grate supply ov wit and humor in this world, if we would only giv others the same credit for being witty that we claim for ourselfs.

[There would be a great supply of wit and humor in this world, if we would only give others the same credit for being witty that we claim for ourselves.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Mollassis Kandy” (1874)
    (Source)
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American capitalism is predatory, and American politics are corrupt: The same thing is true in England and the same in France; but in all these three countries the dominating fact is that whenever the people get ready to change the government, they can change it.

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) American writer, journalist, activist, politician
Letter to John Reed (22 Oct 1918)
    (Source)
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We have no small hope in our elections, but it is still uncertain. There is some suspicion of a dictatorship. We have peace in public but it is the calm of an old and tired state, not one giving consent.

[Erat non nulla spes comitiorum sed incerta, erat aliqua suspicio dictaturae, ne ea quidem certa, summum otium forense sed senescentis magis civitatis quam acquiescentis]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Letters to Quintus #19 (2.15) (Jun, AD 54) [tr. Bailey (1999)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "There was some expectation of the comitia, but a doubtful one: there was some suspicion of a dictatorship, but not even that was certain. There is a perfect cessation of all business in the courts of law, but more as if the state was growing indolent from age than from real tranquility." [Letter 14, tr. Watson (1855)]
  • "There is some hope of elections, but doubtful; some suspicion of a Dictatorship, but that too not definite; peace reigns in the Forum, but it's the peace of a senile community rather than a contented one." [Letter 19 (II.15), tr. @sentantiq (2020)]
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BAIT, n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
The Cynic’s Word Book (1906)
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Self-pity? I see no moral objections to it, the smell drives people away, but that’s a practical objection, and occasionally an advantage.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
Commonplace Book (1985) [ed. Gardner]
    (Source)
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DEMOSTHENES: A demagogue must be neither an educated nor an honest man; he has to be an ignoramus and a rogue.

Aristophanes (c.450-c.388 BC) Athenian comedic playwright
The Knights, ll. 191-3 [tr. O’Neill (1938)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans. "For the character of popular leader no longer belongs to a man of education, nor yet to one good in his morals, but to the ignorant and abominable." [tr. Hickie (1853)]
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Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.

John Ciardi (1916-1986) American poet, writer, critic
(Attributed)
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                        It is the wit,
The policy of sin, to hate those men
We have abus’d.

William Davenant (1606-1668) English poet and playwright [a.k.a. William D'Avenant]
The Just Italian, Act 3, sc. 1 [Sciolto] (1630)
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Politics demands a great capacity for self-deception, which rescues the politician from hypocrisy. He can normally manage to believe what he is saying for the time it takes him to say it. This gives him a certain sincerity even when he is saying opposite things to opposite people.

Garry Wills (b. 1934) American author, journalist, historian
Confessions of a Conservative, ch. 15 (1979)
    (Source)
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Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.‬

Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist
Pride and Prejudice, ch. 10 [Darcy] (1813)
    (Source)
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There is nobody, in the commonwealth of learning, who does not profess himself a lover of truth, — and there is not a rational creature, that would not take it amiss, to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, there are very few lovers of truth, for truth-sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know, whether he be so, in earnest, is worth inquiry; and I think, there is this one unerring mark of it, viz. the not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built on will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain, receives not truth in the love of it, loves not truth for truth-sake, but for some other by-end.

John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book 4 “Of Knowledge and Opinion,” ch. 19 “Of Enthusiasm,” sec. 1 “Love of truth necessary” (1689)
    (Source)
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In the pathway of the sun,
    In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
    He shall ride the silver seas,
        He shall cut the glittering wave.

I shall sit at home, and rock;
Rise, to heed a neighbor’s knock;
Brew my tea, and snip my thread;
Bleach the linen for my bed.
    They will call him brave.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
“Penelope” (1936)
    (Source)
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I was promised on a time
To have reason for my rhyme;
From that time unto this season,
I received nor rhyme nor reason.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
“Lines on His Promised Pension”
    (Source)
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In politics you have no friends, only allies.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
(Attributed)

A frequent maxim of Kennedy's.
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The true art of government consists in not governing too much.

Jonathan Shipley (1714-1788) Clergyman in the Church in Wales
“A Sermon Preached Before the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,” St. Mary-Le-Bow, London (19 Feb 1773)
    (Source)

Shipley believed that a lighter hand in the American colonies would make them want to remain with Britain, to the benefit of all parties.
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And I have no desire to get ugly,

But I cannot help mentioning that the door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“Seeing Eye to Eye is Believing,” Good Intentions (1942)
    (Source)
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The bearers of the myth of every decade seem to carry in their hands the ax and the spade to execute and inter the myth of the previous one.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) American journalist.
Part of Our Time: Some Ruins & Monuments of the Thirties, Prelude (1955)
    (Source)
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The presence of people we like gives a marvelous relish to our pleasures.

[C’est un merveilleux assaisonnement aux plaisirs qu’on goûte que la présence des gens qu’on aime.]

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Le Misanthrope, Act 5, sc. 4 (1666) [tr. Page (1913)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "It is a wonderful seasoning of all enjoyments to think of those we love." [tr. Wormeley (1894)]

Original French.
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If I had my life to live over, I would try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would burn up more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less bran. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.

Don Herold (1889-1966) American humorist, cartoonist, author
“Pick More Daisies,” College Humor magazine (1935)
    (Source)

Also attributed to Nadine Stair, and a Brother Jerome, among others. This essay has gone through a variety of revisions, both by Herold and by a variety of plagiarists. The earliest reference I could find was that cited here, as quoted in The Journal of Health and Physical Education (May 1935) [linked above]. The usual citation is to a revised version of the essay by Herold in "If I Had My Life Over -- I'd Pick More Daisies," Reader's Digest (Oct 1953) (and reprinted in Reader's Digest's How to Live with Life (1965). Benjamin Rossen, "Who Would Pick More Daisies; A study of Plagiarism and Foolery on the Internet" (2000) wrote extensively on the variations and misappropriations of the poem (though he did not know of the 1935 version).
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Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.

Oscar Levant (1906-1972) American pianist, composer, actor, wit
(Attributed)
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So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916) Australian folklorist, literary critic, historian writer
English Fairy Tales, “Henny-Penny” (1890)
    (Source)
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A work of art has an author and yet, when it is perfect, it has something which is essentially anonymous about it.

Simone Weil (1909-1943) French philosopher
Gravity and Grace (1947)
    (Source)
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Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.

John Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902) British historian
“The Political System of the Popes,” The Rambler, n.s. 2 (Jan 1860)
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The most that experience seems tew do for us, is tew sho us, what kussid phools every boddy but we, hav made of themselfs.

[The most that experience seems to do for us is to show us what cussed fools everybody but we have made of themselves.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Mollassis Kandy” (1874)
    (Source)
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The worst error a president can make is to assume the automatic implementation of his own decisions. In certain respects, having able subordinates aggravates that problem, since strong personalities tend to have strong ideas of their own. Civil government operates by consent, not by command; the President’s task, even within his own branch of government, is not to order but to lead.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) American historian, author, social critic
The Age of Roosevelt: The Coming of the New Deal, ch. 33, sec. 3 (1959)
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Every time I fill a vacant office I make a hundred malcontents and one ingrate.

Louis XIV (1638-1715) French monarch (1643-1715) [Louis the Great, the Sun King)
(Attributed)

Quoted in Voltaire, The Age of Louis XIV, ch. 26 (1751).
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Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavour to warp and spoil it to their turn.

William Penn (1644-1718) English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, statesman
First Frame of Government for Pennsylvania, Preface (1682)
    (Source)
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Now the thing about having a baby — and I can’t be the first person to have noticed this — is that thereafter you have it.

Jean Kerr (1922-2003) American author and playwright [b. Bridget Jean Collins]
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1957)
    (Source)
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A mixture of gullibility and cynicism had been an outstanding characteristic of mob mentality before it became an everyday phenomenon of masses. In an ever-changing, incomprehensible, world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything is possible and that nothing was true. The mixture in itself was remarkable enough, because it spelled the end of the illusion that gullibility was a weakness of unsuspecting primitive souls and cynicism the vice of superior and refined minds.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
The Origins of Totalitarianism, Part 3, ch. 2 “The Totalitarian Movement” (1951)
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Natural inclinations are present in things from God, who moves all things. So it is impossible for the natural inclinations of a species to be toward evil in itself. But there is in all perfect animals a natural inclination toward carnal union. Therefore it is impossible for carnal union to be evil in itself.

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Italian friar, philosopher, theologian
Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 3, ch. 126, argument 3 [tr. Dominican (1923)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Natural inclinations are put into things by God, who is the prime mover of all. Therefore it is impossible for the natural inclination of any species to be directed to an object in itself evil. But in all full-grown animals there is a natural inclination to sexual union, which union therefore cannot be in itself evil."
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An artist’s job is to make order out of chaos. You collect details, look for a pattern, and organize. You make sense out of senseless facts. You puzzle together bits of everything. You shuffle and reorganize. Collage. Montage. Assemble.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
Diary (2003)
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There’s some devil in us that drives us to and fro on everlasting idiocies. There’s time for everything except the things worth doing. Think of something you really care about. Then add hour to hour and calculate the fraction of your life that you’ve actually spent in doing it. And then calculate the time you’ve spent on things like shaving, riding to and fro on buses, waiting in railway, junctions, swapping dirty stories, and reading the newspapers.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
Coming up for Air, ch. 5 (1939)
    (Source)
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He may have gone quite far in our society, but no matter how far one goes, one cannot avoid bringing oneself along.

Peter David (b. 1956) American writer
Babylon 5: Legions of Fire III – Out of the Darkness (2000)
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Bragging is not merely designed to impress. Bragging is designed to produce envy and assert superiority. It is, therefore, an act of hostility. Bragging is also a transparent ploy. It reveals your lack of self-confidence. “I am not enough,” you feel. So you resort to showering me with your “achievements,” in order to mask your perceived deficiencies.

Aaron Hass (contemp.) American clinical psychiatrist, academic, author
Doing the Right Thing: Cultivating Your Moral Intelligence, Sec. 1, ch. 7 “Self-Control” (1998)
    (Source)
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I think I am very cold and reserved to people, but I cannot ever realise to myself that anyone loves me. I believe that is partly the reason, or I dare realise it.

John Henry Newman (1801-1890) English prelate, Catholic Cardinal, theologian
Letter to Rev. J. Keble (27 Aug 1837)
    (Source)
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Think not the faith by which the just shall live
Is a dead creed, a map correct of heaven,
Far less a feeling fond and fugitive,
A thoughtless gift, withdrawn as soon as given.
It is an affirmation and an act
That bids eternal truth be present fact.

Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849) English poet, biographer, essayist, teacher
“The Just Shall Live By Faith”
    (Source)
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Man proposes, and God disposes.

[Ordina l’uomo e Dio dispone.]

Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) Italian poet
Orlando Furioso, Canto 46, st. 35 (1532)
    (Source)
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Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
The Ladies of the Corridor (1954) [with Arnaud d’Usseau]
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Heterosexuality isn’t normal. It’s just common.

Derek Jarman (1942-1994) English film director, gay rights activist, author
At Your Own Risk: A Saint’s Testament (1992)

Often attributed to Dorothy Parker.
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A God comprehended is no God.

[Ein begriffener Gott is kein Gott.]

Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769) German religious writer, preacher, mystic, hymnist [Dutch, Gerrit ter Steegen]
(Attributed)

The earliest reference I can find is in an epigraph in Rudolph Otto, The Idea of the Holy [Das Heilige] (1917) [tr. Harvey (1924)]. This is where most citations point to.
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Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to John Adams (1 Aug 1816)
    (Source)
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A critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) American journalist.
(Attributed)

Generally attributed to Kempton (though sometimes as being about editorial writers rather than critics) without specific citation. More on this quote here.
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There’s one thing about baldness; it’s neat.

Don Herold (1889-1966) American humorist, cartoonist, author
There Ought to be a Law (1926)
    (Source)
Added on 23-May-20 | Last updated 23-May-20
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If everyone were clothed with integrity,
If every heart were just, frank, kindly,
The other virtues would be well-nigh useless,
Since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience
The injustice of our fellows.

Si de probité tout était revêtu,
Si tous les cœurs était francs, justes et dociles,
La plupart des vertus nous seraient inutiles,
Puisqu’on en met l’usage à pouvoir sans ennui
Supporter dans nos droits l’injustice d’autrui.

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Le Misanthrope, Act 5, sc. 1, l. 1564 (1666) [tr. Wormeley (1894)]
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Original French.

Alt. trans. [Page (1913)]
If everything were clothed in probity,
If all men's hearts were open, just, gentle,
Most of our virtues would be wholly useless,
Since we employ them now, in cheerfully
Enduring wrong, with right on our side.
Added on 23-May-20 | Last updated 23-May-20
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The difficulty is not so much to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for.

Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782) Scottish jurist, agriculturalist, philosopher, writer
Introduction to the Art of Thinking, ch. 1, “Friendship” (1761)
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Often misattributed to Homer. See John 15:13.
Added on 20-May-20 | Last updated 20-May-20
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The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions.

Mike Krzyzewski (b. 1947) American college basketball coach ["Coach K"]
Leading with the Heart, ch. 1 “Getting Organized” (2000) [with Donald Phillips]
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There are two sides to every argument, unless a person is personally involved, in which case there is only one.

Other Authors and Sources
“Cutler Webster’s Law,” in P. Dickson (ed.), The Official Rules (1978)
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Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.

Saul Bellow (1915-2005) Canadian-American writer
Herzog (1964)
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