- 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 19,787 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 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… (10,376)
- 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) (5,688)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,970)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,878)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,656)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,637)
- Republic, Book 1, 347c (4,315)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,306)
- 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
Though so lengthy a book should your taste satisfy,
You have asked me for more: but my household will cry
For some food, and the usurer’s drained me quite dry;
So reader … you see what I mean to imply?
You are silent and don’t understand me? Good bye!
[Quamvis tam longo possis satur esse libello,
Lector, adhuc a me disticha pauca petis.
Sed Lupus usuram puerique diaria poscunt.
Lector, solve. Taces dissimulasque? Vale.]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 11, epigram 108 (11.108) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921), “A Hint”]
"To the Reader." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:
With my long book thou well may'st glutted be,
Yet thou more epigrams exact'st of me:
But Lupus calls for use, servants for pay,
Discharge them, reader. Now thou'st nought to say,
Dissemblest, as my words thou could'st not spell.
No riddle thou'rt to me, reader, farewell.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]
Although, reader, you may well be tired of so long a book, you still want a few more distichs from me. But Lupus demands his interest; and my copyists their wages. Pay, reader. You are silent; do you pretend not to hear? Then, goodbye.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]
Although with so long a book you may well be sated, reader, yiou still ask for a few distichs from me. But Lupus requires his interest, and my slaves their rations. Reader, pay me. Do you say nothing, and pretend yuo don't understand? Good bye!
[tr. Ker (1919)]
Contented reader -- I had thought to say,
But something's wanting? Then perhaps you'll pay.
My bailiff's broke, my lads for victuals cry;
What? Silent? Can't afford it? Then good-bye.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), ep. 639, "A Postscript"]
I should have thought you'd had your fill
By now -- this book's too long -- yet still
You clamour for couplets. You forget,
My slaves need rations, I'm in debt,
The interest's due ... Dear reader, pay
My creditors for me. Silent, eh?
The puzzled innocent? Good-day!
[tr. Michie (1972)]
Reader, although you might well be satisfied with so long a little book, you ask me for a few couplets more. But Lupus demands his interest and the boys their rations. Pay up, reader. You say nothing and pretend not to hear? Good-bye.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]
Reader, so long a book should satisfy you,
yet still "a few more couplets," you reply.
But boys want food and Lupus wants his interest.
Pay up! You're silent, playing deaf? Goodbye.
[tr. McLean (2014)]
A little book this long could satisfy your appetite, reader, but still you ask me for a few couplets more; but Lupus wants his interest, and my boys, their rations. Reader, clear my slate. Nothing to say? Pretending you're deaf? Get lost!
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]
Added on 5-Aug-22 | Last updated 5-Aug-22
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