- 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.
- 17,564 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America argument author beauty belief change character courage death education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history humanity integrity leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics power progress religion science society success truth tyranny virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (7,147)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,848)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,815)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (4,924)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,874)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (3,950)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,842)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,692)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (3,150)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (3,133)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • 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 • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 23-Sep-20 - Molly Bawn (1878) | WIST on “Of the Standard of Taste” (1739).
- 21-Sep-20 - Shenandoah (1965) | WIST on (Attributed).
- 21-Sep-20 - ***Dave Does the Blog on Leviathan, Pt. I, ch. 13 (1651).
- 17-Sep-20 - The Devil's Disciple, Act 2 (1897) | WIST on Thus Spoke Zarathustra [Also Sprach Zarathustra], Part 2, “Of the Compassionate [Von den Mitleidigen]” (1892) [tr. Hollingdale (1961)].
- 17-Sep-20 - Tristam Shandy, 1.17 (1759-67) | WIST on Religio Medici, Part 1, sec. 25 (1642) [ed. Symonds (1886)].
- 16-Sep-20 - Dave on “To Those Born Later [An die Nachgeborenen],” (1938) [tr. Horton (2008)].
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.
The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first — that in relation to wrongs — embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and non-performance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself.
From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need of government.
Fragment (1 Jul 1854?)
In Roy P. Basler (ed.), Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Vol. 2 (1953). The date, by Nicolay and Hay, is deemed arbitrary.
Added on 6-Oct-15 | Last updated 6-Oct-15