- 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.
- 18,997 quotes and counting ...
Author CloudAdams, John • Aristotle • 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, 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 • Sophocles • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
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Topic Cloudaction age America beauty belief change character death democracy education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history human nature humanity integrity leadership 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… (9,303)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,438)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,170)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,448)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,938)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,585)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,453)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (4,076)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (3,926)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (3,805)
- “Notes on Nationalism” (1945) on
- Notice to email subscribers on
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- Subscribe/Feeds on
- A Writer’s Notebook (1949) on
- The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 6, l. 180ff (6.180) [Odysseus to Nausicaa] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Rieu (1946)] on
- Meditations, Book 2, #11 [tr. Gill (2014)] on
- “We’ll Meet Again” (1939) [with Hughie Charles] on
- Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #3366 (1732) on
- In “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction,” The Guardian (20 Feb 2010) on
And as those are base who are transported with gladness in the enjoyment of sensual pleasure, so are those scandalously vile whose minds are inflamed with desire for such indulgence. Indeed, all of what is commonly called “love” (nor, by Hercules, can I find any other name for it) is so trivial that I can see nothing to be compared with it.
[Et ut turpes sunt qui efferunt se laetitia tum, cum fruuntur Veneriis voluptatibus, sic flagitiosi, qui eas inflammato animo concupiscunt. Totus vero iste, qui vulgo appellatur amor — nec hercule invenio quo nomine alio possit appellari — tantae levitatis est, ut nihil videam quod putem conferendum.]
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 4, ch. 32 / sec. 68 (45 BC) [tr. Peabody (1886)]
(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:
And as those are base who are elevated in Mirth, upon the satisfaction of their Lust, so are they scandalous, who are carried forth after it with an enflamed Concupiscence, and that whole affection commonly called Love (nor in truth do I find by what other name it may be call'd) hath so much of Levity in it, that I know nothing which I can think comparable to it.
[tr. Wase (1643)]
And as they are very shameful, who are immoderately delighted with enjoyment of venereal pleasures; so are they very scandalous, who lust vbehemently after them. And all that which is commonly called love (and believe me I can find no other name to call it by) is of such levity that nothing, I think, is to be compared to it.
[tr. Main (1824)]
And, as the brand of baseness attaches to those who glory in the shame of forbidden pleasures; so they are flagitious, who covet them with unbridled appetite. And, indeed, the whole of what vulgarly passes under the name of love -- and, by Hercules, I find no other name by which it can be called -- is of a levity which sets all comparison at defiance.
[tr. Otis (1839)]
And as they are very shameful who are immoderately delighted with the enjoyment of venereal pleasures, so are they very scandalous who lust vehemently after them. And all that which is commonly called love (and, believe me, I can find out no other name to call it by) is of such a trivial nature that nothing, I think, is to be compared to it.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]
And as those who are carried away with joy when they enjoy Venus’ pleasures are filthy, those who share their desire with a burning spirit are criminal. Indeed, the whole thing which is commonly called "love" -- and by god it is impossible to name it anything else -- is of such meaninglessness that I know of nothing I think is comparable.
[tr. @sentantiq (2019)]
Added on 25-Oct-21 | Last updated 25-Oct-21