- 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.
- 18,734 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 • 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, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
Most Quoted Authors
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… (8,780)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,323)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,119)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,364)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,927)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,569)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,333)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (4,006)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (3,795)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,790)
- “Notes on Nationalism” (1945) on
- Notice to email subscribers on
- Notice to email subscribers on
- Subscribe/Feeds on
- A Writer’s Notebook (1949) on
- The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 6, l. 180ff [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
If then my fortunes can delight my friend,
A story fruitful of events attend:
Another’s sorrow may thy ears enjoy,
And wine the lengthen’d intervals employ.
Long nights the now declining year bestows;
A part we consecrate to soft repose,
A part in pleasing talk we entertain;
For too much rest itself becomes a pain.
[ξεῖν᾽, ἐπεὶ ἂρ δὴ ταῦτά μ᾽ ἀνείρεαι ἠδὲ μεταλλᾷς,
σιγῇ νῦν ξυνίει καὶ τέρπεο, πῖνέ τε οἶνον
ἥμενος. αἵδε δὲ νύκτες ἀθέσφατοι: ἔστι μὲν εὕδειν,
ἔστι δὲ τερπομένοισιν ἀκούειν: οὐδέ τί σε χρή,
πρὶν ὥρη, καταλέχθαι: ἀνίη καὶ πολὺς ὕπνος.]
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 15, l. 390ff [Eumæus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Pope (1725)]
(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:
Since thou enquir’st of that, my guest, said he,
Hear and be silent, and, mean space, sit free
In use of these cups to thy most delights;
Unspeakable in length now are the nights.
Those that affect sleep yet, to sleep have leave,
Those that affect to hear, their hearers give.
But sleep not ere your hour; much sleep doth grieve.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]
Since to hear the story
Of how I hither came it is your pleasure,
Sit patiently, the wine there stands before ye;
For sleep and joy the long nights give us leisure,
It is not good too soon to go to bed;
For too much sleep is but a weariness.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 349ff]
Stranger! since thou art curious to be told
My story, silent listen, and thy wine
At leisure quaff. The nights are longest now,
And such as time for sleep afford, and time
For pleasant conf’rence; neither were it good
That thou should’st to thy couch before thy hour,
Since even sleep is hurtful, in excess.
[tr. Cowper (1792)]
Since of these things thou askest, O my friend.
Sit here at ease delighted and drink wine,
And silently on this my tale attend.
For now the nights move slowly and scarce end;
Yeah, there is room for slumber, and to keep
Watch, and a listening ear to sweet words lend.
Needs not at all unto thy couch to creep
For some while yet. Harm comes from even too much sleep.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 54]
Sir guest! since you thus ask and question me,
List to me now, and take your pleasure sitting
There at the wine: the nights are long; there's time
For sleep; and listening with delight to tales!
No need to lay thee down before the time;
And too much sleeping is a mere annoyance.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869), l. 389ff]
Stranger, since thou askest and questionest me hereof, give heed now in silence and make merry, and abide here drinking wine. Lo, the nights now are of length untold. Time is there to sleep, and time to listen and be glad; thou needest not turn to bed before the hour; even too much sleep is vexation of spirit.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]
O guest, since of these matters thou askest and seekest of me,
Sit on and drink and be merry, and hush thy voice, and heed:
For measureless long is the night-tide, and time is for sleep indeed,
And time too for the merry hearkening; nor before the hour is come
Is need to wend us bedward; and much sleep is wearisome.
[tr. Morris (1887), l. 390ff]
Stranger, since now you ask of this and question me, quietly listen; take your ease, and sit and drink your wine. These nights are vastly long. there is time enough to sleep, and time to cheer ourselves with hearing stories. You must not go to bed till bed-time; too much sleeping harms.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]
Stranger, replied Eumæus, as regards your question. Sit still, make yourself comfortable, drink your wine, and listen to me. The nights are now at their longest; there is plenty of time both for sleeping and sitting up talking together; you ought not to go to bed till bed time, too much sleep is as bad as too little.
[tr. Butler (1898), l. 389ff]
Stranger, replied Eumaios, the swineherd and leader of men, as regards your question: sit still, make yourself comfortable, drink your wine, and listen to me. The nights are now at their longest; there is plenty of time both for sleeping and sitting up talking together; you ought not to go to bed till it is time [hōrā], too much sleep is as bad as too little.
[tr. Butler (1898), rev. Kim/McCray/Nagy/Power (2018), ll. 390-95]
Stranger, since thou dost ask and question me of this, hearken now in silence, and take thy joy, and drink thy wine, as thou sittest here. These nights are wondrous long. There is time for sleep, and there is time to take joy in hearing tales; thou needest not lay thee down till it be time; there is weariness even in too much sleep.
[tr. Murray (1919), ll. 390-94]
Stranger, if you will open up that topic, settle yourself comfortably into your seat, refill your cup and listen to me closely. These nights are inordinately long and afford us time for diverting tales and for sleep too. Nor is there point in sleeping over soon: that way lies boredom.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]
My friend, replied the admirable swineherd, you have asked for the story of my capture. Very well, give me your ear and enjoy the tale as you sit there and drink your wine. There’s no end to these nights. They give one time to listen and be entertained as well as time to sleep. Nor is there any need for you to go early to bed. Even where sleep is concerned, too much is a bad thing.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]
Friend, now that you shown an interest in that matter, attend me quietly, be at your ease, and drink your wine. These autumn nights are long, ample for story-telling and sleep. You need not go to bed before the hour; sleeping from dusk to dawn's a dull affair.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]
Stranger, since you insist on asking this. Be silent as I tell my tale, just sip your wine and sit at ease. These are long nights: there's time for sleep and time to take delight in listening to tales; it is not right to shut one's eyes too early: there's fatigue even in too much sleep.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]
My friend, the swineherd answered, foreman of men,
you really want my story? So many questions -- well,
listen in quiet, then, and take your ease, sit back
and drink your wine. The nights are endless now.
We've plenty of time to sleep or savor a long tale.
No need, you know, to turn in before the hour.
Even too much sleep can be a bore.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]
Guest, you ask the question and seek to know all about this; so now be silent, listen and enjoy the tale, as you sit there and drink your wine. The nights are now very long; there is time enough to sleep, and to enjoy hearing a story. You do not need to go to bed before time; and too much sleep does you no good.
[tr. Verity (2016)]
Since you have asked this question, stranger, listen; enjoy my store, sitting quietly, drinking your wine. These nights are magical, with time enough to sleep and to enjoy hearing a tale. You need not sleep too early; it is unhealthy.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]
Added on 28-Jul-21 | Last updated 28-Jul-21