- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.
WIST currently holds 19,779 quotations by 3,081 authors. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
Author CloudAristotle • Asimov, Isaac • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterfield (Lord) • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Cicero, Marcus Tullius • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Homer • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Martial • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Sophocles • Tolkien, J.R.R. • Twain, Mark • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
Most Quoted Authors
Topic Cloudaction age America beauty belief change character courage death democracy education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history human nature humanity integrity liberty life love morality perspective politics power pride progress reality religion science society success truth virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (10,371)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,712)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,278)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,687)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,970)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,878)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,655)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,637)
- Republic, Book 1, 347c (4,308)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,304)
- The Problems of Philosophy, ch. 2 “The Existence of Matter” (1912) on
- Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 2 (1637) [tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)] on
- The Imitation of Christ, Book 3, ch. 12, sec. 2 (c. 1418) on
- Heauton Timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], Act 4, sc. 5, l. 48 (l. 796) on
- “Reflections on Monogamy,” Prejudices (1919-27) on
- Letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy (13 Nov 1789) on
- The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 9, l. 63ff (9.63-64) [Nestor] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Pope (1715-20)] on
- Inaugural Address (20 Jan 1961) [with Ted Sorensen] on
- Speech, Republican National Convention (7 Jun 1916) on
- “In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire,” Memorial Day address, Keene, New Hampshire (30 May 1884) on
No matter how daring or cautious you may choose to be, in the course of your life you are bound to come into direct physical contact with what’s known as Evil. I mean here not a property of the gothic novel but, to say the least, a palpable social reality that you in no way can control. No amount of good nature or cunning calculations will prevent this encounter. In fact, the more calculating, the more cautious you are, the greater is the likelihood of this rendezvous, the harder its impact. Such is the structure of life that what we regard as Evil is capable of a fairly ubiquitous presence if only because it tends to appear in the guise of good. You never see it crossing your threshold announcing itself: “Hi, I’m Evil!” That, of course, indicates its secondary nature, but the comfort one may derive from this observation gets dulled by its frequency.
Commencement Address, Williams College (24 May 1984)
Added on 18-May-21 | Last updated 18-May-21
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