- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
- 16,880 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America argument belief books change character courage death democracy education ego evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history honesty humanity integrity leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics poverty power religion science society success truth tyranny virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (5,829)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,688)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,471)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,833)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (4,536)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,733)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (3,709)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,579)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (3,027)
- “Hallowed Ground” (1825) (2,990)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Lyndon • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Seneca the Younger • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 12-Feb-20 - "What I Believe," The Nation (16 Jul 1938) | WIST on Letter to Bp. Mandell Creighton (3 Apr 1887).
- 12-Feb-20 - "Equality," The Spectator (27 Aug 1943) | WIST on “On Slavery and Democracy” (fragment) (1858?).
- 3-Feb-20 - "On Three Ways of Writing for Children," lecture, Library Association Bournemouth Conference (29 Apr - 2 May 1952) | WIST on 1 Corinthians 13:11 [KJV].
- 29-Jan-20 - Dave on Authors.
- 29-Jan-20 - Mardy Grothe on Authors.
- 20-Jan-20 - "The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life," sermon, New Covenant Baptist Church, Chicago (9 Apr 1967) | WIST on “Rediscovering Lost Values,” sermon, Second Baptist Church, Detroit (28 Feb 1954).
Zeus, who guided mortals to be wise,
has established his fixed law —
wisdom comes through suffering.
Trouble, with its memories of pain,
drips in our hearts as we try to sleep,
so men against their will
learn to practice moderation.
Favours come to us from gods
seated on their solemn thrones —
such grace is harsh and violent.
τὸν φρονεῖν βροτοὺς ὁδώ-
σαντα, τὸν [πάθει μάθος]
θέντα κυρίως ἔχειν.
στάζει δ’ ἀνθ’ ὕπνου πρὸ καρδίας
μνησιπήμων πόνος· καὶ παρ’ ἄ-
κοντας ἦλθε σωφρονεῖν.
δαιμόνων δέ που χάρις βίαιος
σέλμα σεμνὸν ἡμένων.
Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)]
The first alternate was used, slightly modified, by Robert Kennedy in his speech on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (4 Apr 1968). Kennedy's family used it as an epitaph on his grave Arlington National Cemetery: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom, through the awful grace of God."
- [Hamilton (1930)]: "God, whose law it is that he who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despite, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
- [Hamilton (1937)]: "Guide of mortal man to wisdom, he who has ordained a law, knowledge won through suffering. Drop, drop -- in our sleep, upon the heart sorrow falls, memory’s pain, and to us, though against our very will, even in our own despite, comes wisdom by the awful grace of God."
See here for more discussion.
Added on 19-Aug-08 | Last updated 11-Feb-20