- 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 leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics power 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
All deaths are dour: the fate of men is sad; but there’s no death more miserable than the doom starvation sends.
[Πάντες μὲν στυγεροὶ θάνατοι δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσι,
λιμῷ δ’ οἴκτιστον θανέειν καὶ πότμον ἐπισπεῖν.]
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 12, l. 341ff (12.341-342) [Eurylochus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]
Urging is fellow sailors to slaughter the Sun God's cattle. That ends poorly.Original Greek. Alternate translations:
Hear what I shall say,
Though words will staunch no hunger, ev’ry death
To us poor wretches that draw temporal breath
You know is hateful; but, all know, to die
The death of Famine is a misery
Past all death loathsome.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]
Meantime Eurylochus bad counsel gives
To his companions. All deaths, quoth he,
Are hateful to what thing soever lives;
But death by hunger is the worst can be.
[tr. Hobbes (1675)]
O friends, a thousand ways frail mortals lead
To the cold tomb, and dreadful all to tread;
But dreadful most, when by a slow decay
Pale hunger wastes the manly strength away.
[tr. Pope (1725)]
Death, however caused,
Abhorrence moves in miserable man,
But death by famine is a fate of all
Most to be fear’d.
[tr. Cowper (1792)]
Friends, though to wretched men all deaths are dire,
Yet it is far most miserable to pine
With pangs of famine and for want expire.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 47]
Death is in all shapes to unhappy men
A fearful fate: but misery extreme
Were it our own destruction to provoke
And die of hunger.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 515ff]
All deaths are hateful to us wretched mortals;
But death by famine is most pitiable.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]
Truly every shape of death is hateful to wretched mortals, but to die of hunger and so meet doom is most pitiful of all.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]
All manner of death is loathly to wretched men that die,
But to meet our fate by famine is to end most wretchedly.
[tr. Morris (1887)]
Hateful is every form of death to wretched mortals; and yet to die by hunger, and so to meet one's doom, is the most pitiful of all.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]
All deaths are bad enough, but there is none so bad as famine.
[tr. Butler (1898)]
All forms of death are hateful to wretched mortals, but to die of hunger, and so meet one's doom, is the most pitiful.
[tr. Murray (1919)]
No variety of death is pleasing to us poor mortals: but commend me to hunger and its slow perishing as the meanest fate of all.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]
To us wretched men all forms of death are abominable, but death by starvation is the most miserable end that one can meet.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]
All deaths are hateful to us, mortal wretches, but famine is the most pitiful, the worst end that a man can come to.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]
All deaths are detestable for wretched mortals,
but hunger is the sorriest way to die and encounter fate.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]
All ways of dying are hateful to us poor mortals,
true, but to die of hunger, starve to death --
that's the worst of all.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]
Every manner of dying is hateful to miserable mortals,
but most wretched by hunger to die and encounter our doomsday.
[tr. Merrill (2002)]
To us wretched men all forms of death are abominable,
but death by starvation is the most miserable way to meet one's doom.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]
All ways of dying are hateful to wretched mortals, but the most miserable way to meet one's doom is by hunger.
[tr. Verity (2016)]
All human deaths are hard to bear. But starving is most miserable of all.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]
All kinds of death are loathsome to wretched mortals,
but to die of starvation -- that's the most pitiful of fates!
[tr. Green (2018)]
For wretched human beings
all forms of death are hateful. But to die
from lack of food, to meet one’s fate like that,
is worst of all. [tr. Johnston (2019), l. 445ff]
Added on 9-Jun-21 | Last updated 20-Dec-21
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