- 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 19,766 quotations by 3,078 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… (10,352)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,708)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,277)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,678)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,970)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,876)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,651)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,637)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,292)
- Republic, Book 1, 347c (4,278)
- 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
As a field, though fertile, cannot yield a harvest without cultivation, no more can the mind without learning.
[Ut ager quamvis fertilis sine cultura fructuosus esse non potest, sic sine doctrina animus.]
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 2, ch. 5 (2.5) / sec. 13 [Marcus] (45 BC) [tr. Peabody (1886)]
Often rendered in reverse order: "A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation." (e.g., 1906). Original Latin. Alternate translations:
As a Field, though it be Fruitful, without Tillage cannot bring a good Crop, so the Soul without Learning.
[tr. Wase (1643)]
As the field naturally fruitful cannot produce a crop, without dressing, so neither can the mind, without improvement.
[tr. Main (1824)]
As the field, however fertile, cannot be fruitful without culture, so with the mind, without learning.
[tr. Otis (1839)]
As a field, although it may be naturally fruitful cannot produce a crop, without dressing, so neither can the mind, without education.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]
Just as a field however fertile cannot be fruitful without cultivation, neither can the soul without instruction.
[tr. Douglas (1990)]
Just as a field, however fertile, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the soul cannot be without teaching.
[tr. Davie (2017)]
Added on 28-Jun-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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