Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear. So, just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) American politician, US President (2009-2017)
“Farewell Address,” Chicago (10 Jan 2017)
    (Source)
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Are you tough enough to face one of the uglier stains upon the fabric of our democracy, prejudice? It’s the basic root of most evil. It’s a part of the sickness of man. And it’s a part of man’s admission, his constant sick admission, that to exist he must find a scapegoat. To explain away his own deficiencies, he must try to find someone who he believes more deficient. If you find yourself thinking words like “Nigger”, or “Kike”, or “Pollock”, or “Wop”, or “Bohunk”, or “Sheenie”, or “Dago”, consign them to the lexicon of race-haters who aren’t fit to breathe the same air as you are. Make your judgment of your fellow-man on what he says and what he believes and the way he acts. Be tough enough, please, to live with prejudice and give battle to it. It warps, it poisons, it distorts and it is self-destructive. It has fallout worse than a bomb … and worst of all it cheapens and demeans anyone who permits himself the luxury of hating.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Commencement Address, Binghamton Central High School, Binghamton, New York (28 Jan 1968)
    (Source)
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Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
Notebooks: 1935-1942 Notebook 1, May 1935 [tr. Thody (1963)
    (Source)
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The seeds of evil usually germinated in the footprints of people who knew how everybody else ought to behave and felt the need to tell them so.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
Iron Sunrise, ch. 18 (2004)
    (Source)
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If a quick glance back over world history shows us anything, it shows us that war was one of our most universal joys from our earliest beginnings, savored at every possible opportunity and even some quite incomprehensible ones, like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, whomever he may have been.

Barbara Holland (1933-2010) American author
“War,” Wasn’t the Grass Greener? (1999)
    (Source)

First appeared in Smithsonian (Jun 1992).
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Of publishing a book on religion, my dear Sir, I never had an idea. I should as soon think of writing for the reformation of Bedlam, as of the world of religious sects. Of these there must be, at least, ten thousand, every individual of every one of which believes all wrong but his own. To undertake to bring them all right, would be like undertaking, single-handed, to fell the forests of America.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Charles Clay (29 Jan 1815)
    (Source)
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A maxim for the twenty-first century might well be to start not by fighting evil in the name of good, but by attacking the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found. We should struggle not against the devil himself but what allows the devil to live — Manichaean thinking itself.

Tzvetan Todorov
Tzvetan Todorov (1939-2017) Bulgarian-French historian, philosopher, literary critic, sociologist
Hope and Memory: Reflections on the Twentieth Century, ch. 5 (2003)

Paraphrased variant:

We should not be simply fighting evil in the name of good, but struggling against the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found.
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Fools are stubborn, and the stubborn are fools, and the more erroneous their judgment is, the more they hold onto it.

[Todo necio es persuadido, y todo persuadido necio; y quanto mas erroneo su dictamen, es mayor su tenacidad.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 183 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Every fool is fully convinced, and every one fully persuaded is a fool: the more erroneous his judgment the more firmly he holds it.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

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Take care never to speak what you have not weighed and pondered beforehand; nor interject your own words on the spur of the moment and in the midst of another’s; for you must listen and converse in turn, with set times for speech and for silence.

Clement Alexandrin
Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 150 - c. 215 ) Christian theologian, philosopher, Church Father [Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς, Titus Flavius Clemens]
“To the Newly Baptized / Exhortation to Endurance” [tr. Butterworth]
    (Source)
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Who, pray, are benefiting by all this waste and confusion? The dew, a mere small percentage of the population of the world. All the remainder submit, because they think “it always has been so and it must always be so.” The work of those who have a conception of a true society of the future, must devote all their efforts towards disabusing the people’s minds of the ancient false hoods. It can be done. Many other hoary lies have passed away, so will this one, too.

Lucy Parsons
Lucy Parsons (1851-1942) American labor organizer, anarchist, orator [a.k.a. Lucy Gonzalez]
“Property Rights vs. Human Rights,” The Liberator (22 Nov 1905)
    (Source)
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Laughter is carbonated holiness.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Plan B, ch. 5 “Holy of Holies 101” (2004)
    (Source)
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The people who say you are not facing reality actually mean that you are not facing their idea of reality. Reality is above all else a variable, and nobody is qualified to say that he or she knows exactly what it is. As a matter of fact, with a firm enough commitment, you can sometimes create a reality which did not exist before. Protestantism itself is proof of that.

Margaret Halsey
Margaret Halsey (1910-1997) American writer
No Laughing Matter (1977)
    (Source)
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It is typical for fascist politicians to represent a country’s actual history in conspiratorial terms, as a narrative concocted by liberal elites and cosmopolitans to victimize the people of the true “nation.”

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, ch. 1 (2018)
    (Source)
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“There’s a right thing to do,” Holden said.

“You don’t have a right thing, friend,” Miller said. “You’ve got a whole plateful of maybe a little less wrong.”

Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham (b. 1969) American writer [pseud. James S. A. Corey (with Ty Franck), M. L. N. Hanover]
Leviathan Wakes, ch. 36 (2011) [with Ty Franck]
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It is very easy for you to call me a happy man: you are only a spectator. I am one of the principals; and I know better.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Man and Superman, Act 4 [Tanner] (1903)
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To heav’n aloft on ridgy waves we ride,
Then down to hell descend, when they divide.

[Tollimur in caelum curvato gurgite, et idem
subducta ad Manis imos desedimus unda.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 3, l. 564ff (3.564-565) [Aeneus] (29-19 BC) [tr. Dryden (1697)]
    (Source)

As the ship passes Charybdis. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

We mount up to heaven on the arched gulf, and down again we settle to the shades below, the wave having retired.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Now to the sky mounts up the ship,
Now to the very shades we dip.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

The curving wave one moment lifts us up
Skyward, then sinks us down as in the shades
Of death.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

We are lifted skyward on the crescent wave, and again sunk deep into the nether world as the water is sucked away.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Upheaved upon the tossing whirl we fare unto the sky,
Then down unto the nether Gods we sink upon the wave.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Now curls the wave, and lifts us to the sky,
Now sinks and, plunging in the gulf we lie.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 72, ll. 643-44]

We shot to skyward on the arching surge,
then, as she sank, dropped deeper than the grave.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

We mount up to heaven on the arched billow and again, with the receding wave, sink down to the depths of hell.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

One moment
We were in the clouds, the next in the gulf of Hell.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

We were tossed up high on an arching surge, then down we went
In the trough as the wave fell away, down to the very Pit.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

We rise to heaven on the bending wave
and, as the surge slips back, we sink again
down to the deepest Shades.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 734ff]

On every rolling sea
We rose to heaven, and in the abysmal trough
Sank down into the world of shades.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 749ff]

A great arching wave came and lifted us to the sky and a moment later as the wave was sucked down we plunged into the abyss of hell.
[tr. West (1990)]

Up to the sky an immense billow hoists us, then at once,
as the wave sank down, down we plunge to the pit of hell.
[tr. Fagles (2006), ll. 658-59]

A curved wave thrust us to the sky, then sank. As we fell, we plunged down to the depths of Hades.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

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History is a jangle of accidents, blunders, surprises and absurdities, and so is our knowledge of it, but if we are to report it at all we must impose some order upon it.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
The Nature and the Study of History, ch. 5 (1965)
    (Source)
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Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) American writer
“Agnostic’s Prayer,” Creatures of Light and Darkness (1969)
    (Source)

Used by a character to shrive a person about to commit a public suicide. Also called the "Possibly Proper Death Litany."
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There is nothing in which Men more deceive themselves than in what the World calls Zeal. There are so many Passions which hide themselves under it, and so many Mischiefs arising from it, that some have gone so far as to say it would have been for the Benefit of Mankind if it had never been reckoned in the Catalogue of Virtues. It is certain, where it is once Laudable and Prudential, it is an hundred times Criminal and Erroneous; nor can it be otherwise, if we consider that it operates with equal Violence in all Religions, however opposite they may be to one another, and in all the Subdivisions of each Religion in particular.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Spectator, #185 (2 Oct 1711)
    (Source)
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Users do not care about what is inside the box, as long as the box does what they need done.

Jef Raskin
Jef Raskin (1943-2005) American computer scientist, writer
The Humane Interface, 1-5 (2000)
    (Source)
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It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs. But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.

Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930) American attorney, politician, Supreme Court justice (1981-2006)
McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) [concurring]
    (Source)

Declaring Ten Commandments displays in two Kentucky county courthouses to be unconstitutional.
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The societies to which most readers of this book belong represent a narrow slice of human cultural diversity. Societies from that slice achieved world dominance not because of a general superiority, but for specific reasons: their technological, political, and military advantages derived from their early origins of agriculture, due in turn to their productive local wild domesticable plant and animal species. Despite those particular advantages, modern industrial societies didn’t also develop superior approaches to raising children, treating the elderly, settling disputes, avoiding non-communicable diseases, and other societal problems. Thousands of traditional societies developed a wide array of different approaches to those problems.

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond (b. 1937) American geographer, historian, ornithologist, author
The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, Epilogue (2012)
    (Source)
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POLITENESS, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
    (Source)
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Failings of the intelligence are incorrigible since those who do not know do not know themselves and cannot therefore seek what they lack.

[Achaques de necedad son irremediables, que como los ignorantes no se conocen, tampoco buscan lo que les falta.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 176 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Because the ignorant do not know themselves, they never look for what they are lacking.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

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I agree with you likewise in your wishes to keep religion and government independent of each Other. Were it possible for St. Paul to rise from his grave at the present juncture, he would say to the Clergy who are now so active in settling the political Affairs of the World. “Cease from your political labors your kingdom is not of this World. Read my Epistles. In no part of them will you perceive me aiming to depose a pagan Emperor, or to place a Christian upon a throne. Christianity disdains to receive Support from human Governments. From this, it derives its preeminence over all the religions that ever have, or ever Shall exist in the World. Human Governments may receive Support from Christianity but it must be only from the love of justice, and peace which it is calculated to produce in the minds of men. By promoting these, and all the Other Christian Virtues by your precepts, and example, you will much sooner overthrow errors of all kind, and establish our pure and holy religion in the World, than by aiming to produce by your preaching, or pamphlets any change in the political state of mankind.”

Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) American physician, writer, educator, humanitarian
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (6 Oct 1800)
    (Source)
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In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
Lady Windermere’s Fan, Act 3 [Dumby] (1892)
    (Source)

More discussion of this quote: There Are Only Two Tragedies. One Is Not Getting What One Wants, and the Other Is Getting It – Quote Investigator.
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Awful as silence. Hark! the rushing snow!
The sun-awakened avalanche! whose mass,
Thrice sifted by the storm, had gathered there
Flake after flake, in heaven-defying minds
As thought by thought is piled, till some great truth
Is loosened, and the nations echo round,
Shaken to their roots, as do the mountains now.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet
Prometheus Unbound, Act 2 (1820)
    (Source)
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Beauty’s of a fading nature,
Has a season and is gone!

Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scottish national poet
“Will Ye Go and Marry, Katie?” (1764)
    (Source)
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Evil is not a political or scientific category. But, after Auschwitz, who could doubt that it exists, and that it manifested itself in the hate-driven genocide carried out by the Nazi regime?

However, noting this fact does not permit us to circumvent our responsibility by blaming everything on a demonic Hitler. The evil manifested in the Nazi ideology was not without its precursors. There was a tradition behind the rise of this brutal ideology and the accompanying loss of moral inhibition.

Above all, it needs to be said that the Nazi ideology was something that people supported at the time and that they took part in putting into effect.

Gerhard Schroeder
Gerhard "Gerd" Schröder (b. 1944) German politician, Chancellor (1998-2005), lobbyist
Speech, Sixtieth Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, Berlin (25 Jan 2005)
    (Source)
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For ages past, women were defined only in relation to other people, and the definition lingers: a woman may be called a wife and mother for most of her life, while a man is called a husband and father only at his funeral.

Barbara Holland (1933-2010) American author
One’s Company: Reflections on Living Alone, ch. 1 (1992)
    (Source)
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You see we make our writers into something very strange. […] We destroy them in many ways. First, economically. They make money. It is only by hazard that a writer makes money although good books always make money eventually. Then our writers when they have made some money increase their style of living and are caught. They have to write to keep up their establishment, their wives, and so on, and they write slop. It is slop not on purpose but because it is hurried. Because they are ambitious. Then, once they have betrayed themselves, they justify it and you get more slop. Or else they read the critics. If they believe the critics when they say they are great then they must believe them when they say they are rotten and they lose confidence. At present we have two good writers who cannot write because they have lost confidence through reading the critics. If they wrote, sometimes it would be good and sometimes not so good and sometimes it would be quite bad, but the good would get out. But they have read the critics, and they must write masterpieces. The masterpieces the critics said they wrote. They weren’t masterpieces, of course. They were just quite good books. So now they cannot write at all. The critics have made them impotent.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) American writer
Green Hills of Africa, ch. 1 (1935)
    (Source)

Speaking of American writers.
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I sometimes think that God in creating man, somewhat over-estimated his ability.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
(Attributed)
    (Source)

The quotation first appears, without much citation, in Francis Douglas, Oscar Wilde and the Black Douglas, ch. 2 (1940), four decades after Wilde's death. Further discussion of the quotation here: God In Creating Man, Somewhat Overestimated His Ability – Quote Investigator
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The Church of the Interdependency and other religions found their places of worship jammed, as the faithful, the newly faithful and the not-actually-at-all-faithful-but-this-is-some-weird-shit-and-I’m-hedging-my-bets came in and, depending on experience, prayed, meditated or wondered what it was exactly they were supposed to do now that they were there.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Consuming Fire (2018)
    (Source)
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Your verses are full of a sugary grace,
As spotless and pure as a well-powdered face,
Not an atom of salt or suspicion of gall,
So how can they but on an audience pall!
Even food does not please if the cooking’s too simple,
And cheeks lack in charm when they haven’t a dimple.
A child may like apples and figs without savour;
But give me the sort that have got a sharp flavour.

[Dulcia cum tantum scribas epigrammata semper
Et cerussata candidiora cute,
Nullaque mica salis nec amari fellis in illis
Gutta sit, o demens, vis tamen illa legi!
Nec cibus ipse iuvat morsu fraudatus aceti,
Nec grata est facies, cui gelasinus abest.
Infanti melimela dato fatuasque mariscas:
Nam mihi, quae novit pungere, Chia sapit.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 7, epigram 25 (7.25) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921), “To a Rival Poet”]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Since all your lines are only sweet and fine,
As is the skinn which with white wash doth shine,
Butt nott a corne of salt, of dropp of gall,
In them; yett, foole, though 'dst have me reade them all.
Meate has no gust without sharpe sawce; no face
Without a smiling dimple has a grace:
For children sweete insipid fruits are best;
The quick and poynant only me can feast.
[16th C Manuscript]

He writes Satyres; but herein's the fault,
In no one Satyre there's a mite of salt.
[tr. Herrick (1648), "On Poet Prat"]

In all the epigrams you write, we trace
The sweetness, and the candour of your face.
Think you, a reader will for verses call,
Without one grain of salt, or drop of gall?
'Tis vinegar gives relish to our food:
A face that cannot smile, is never good.
Smooth tales, like sweet-meats, are for children fit:
High-season'd, like my dishes, be my wit.
[tr. Hay (1755)]

While thus thou honey'st thine inscriptions all,
And mak'st them than the whited skin more white;
Thou giv'st no grain of salt, no drop of gall:
Yet madly dream'st, that reading is thy right.
No food can please, of acid if beguil'd:
Without a smile no face can charming be.
Sweet apples, tasteless figs cajole a child:
The Chian smart alone has charmes for me.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), "To Another Poet," Book 3, ep. 57]

Although the epigrams which you write are always sweetness itself and more spotless than a white-leaded skin, and although there is in them neither an atom of salt, nor a drop of bitter gall, yet you expect, foolish man, that they will be read. Why, not even food itself is pleasant, if it is wholly destitute of acid seasoning; nor is a face pleasing, which shows no dimples. Give children your honey-apples and luscious figs; the Chian fig, which has sharpness, pleases my taste.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859), "To a Bad Epigrammatist"]

Although you continually write epigrams that are merely sweet, and more immaculate than a white-enamelled skin, and no grain of salt, nor drop fo bitter gall is in them, yet, O madman! you wish them to be read! Not food itself is pleasant robbed of biting vinegar, nor is a face winning when no dimple is there. To an infant give honey-apples and insipid figs: for me the Chian fig with a tang has savour.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Your verses are insipid, mild and meek,
And white than the lead-beplastered cheek.
There is no tang of salt, no smack of gall,
The more fool you to wish them read at all.
No dish can spare a dash of vinegar;
No face will please without a dimple's scar.
Dull figs and honey-apples give the young;
I like my Chian to be tart and strong.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), ep. 339]

A drop of venom, a little bit of gall.
Lacking these, my friend, your epigrams lack all.
[tr. O'Connell (1991), "Critique"]

Your pale verse simply doesn't sell.
It lacks all spice, all taste, all smell.
You write as though for tiny tots,
And end up sold in discount lots.
You favor bland, or sickly-sweet;
I like a chimichurri meat.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

Your epigrams are really nice,
With nothing in them to entice.
They burble on as smooth as syrup,
And nothing there to prick the ear up.
They're whiter than a mimic's mask.
So why do you for hearers ask?
Where you should be a vice decrier,
You give a baby's pacifier.
For me, no lullabies I sing.
I want harsh lines that have a sting.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

The epigrams you write are always bland
and paler than skin powdered with white lead,
without a grain of wit or drop of bile,
and still, you fool, you want them to be read!
A face without a dimple has no charm;
food is insipid, lacking vinegar's zing.
Give honey apples and bland figs to toddlers;
I savor Chian figs, which know how to sting.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

The epigrams you write are full of grace,
More dazzling than a white-enamelled face;
No grain of salt, no drop of bitter gall --
You're mad to think they will be read at all.
Sharp vinegar improves the appetite,
No face without a dimple will delight.
Give children figs and apples without zest
For me strong figs of Chios taste the best.
[tr. Pitt-Kethley]

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“Faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

There is a deeper meaning in this text than we at first see. Of “these three,” two concern ourselves; the third concerns others. When faith and hope fail, as they do sometimes, we must try charity, which is love in action. We must speculate no more on our duty, but simply do it. When we have done it, however blindly, perhaps Heaven will show us the reason why.

Dinah Craik
Dinah Craik (1826-1887) English novelist and poet [b. Dinah Maria Mulock]
Christian’s Mistake, ch. 2 (1865)
    (Source)

A reference to the Bible, 1 Cor. 13:13, the "Three Theological Virtues."
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Life often begins after dark, and I’ve found too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

Mae West (1892-1980) American film actress
Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, ch. 21 (1959)
    (Source)
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Fell lust of gold! abhorred, accurst!
What will not men to slake such thirst?

[Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Auri sacra fames?]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 3, l. 56ff (3.56-57) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. Conington (1866)]
    (Source)

Regarding the murder of Polydorus. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

O sacred hunger of pernicious gold!
What bands of faith can impious lucre hold?
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Cursed thirst of gold, to what dost thou not drive the hearts of men?
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Cursèd thirst for gold,
What crimes dost thou not prompt in mortal breasts!
[tr. Cranch (1872), ll. 70-71]

Accursed thirst for gold! what dost thou not compel mortals to do?
[Source (1882)]

O accursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou not compel human hearts!
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

O thou gold-hunger cursed, and whither driv'st thou not
The hearts of men?
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Curst greed of gold, what crimes thy tyrant power attest!
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 8, l. 72]

O, whither at thy will,
curst greed of gold, may mortal hearts be driven?
[tr. Williams (1910)]

To what crime do you not drive the hearts of men, O accursed hunger for gold?
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

There is nothing
To which men are not driven by that hunger.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

What lengths is the heart of man driven to
By this cursed craving for gold!
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

To what, accursed lust for gold, do you
not drive the hearts of men?
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 73-74]

To what extremes
Will you not drive the hearts of men, accurst
Hunger for gold!
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 79-81]

Greed for gold is a curse. There is nothing to which it does not drive the minds of men.
[tr. West (1990)]

To what extremes won't you compel our hearts,
you accursed lust for gold?
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Unholy lust for gold! Is there nothing men won't do for you?
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

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“The choice is yours: to go or wait.”

“And it is also said,” answered Frodo: “Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.”

“Is it indeed?” laughed Gildor. “Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.”

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
The Lord of the Rings, Vol. 1: The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, ch. 3 “Three Is Company” (1954)
    (Source)
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Art for Art’s Sake means, for its adepts, the pursuit of pure beauty — without any other consideration.

[L’art pour l’art signifie, pour les adeptes, un travail dégagé de toute préoccupation autre que celle du beau en lui-même.]

Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) French poet, writer, critic
L’Art Moderne, “Beauty in Art [Du Beau Dans L’Art]” (1856) [tr. Ruckstull (1925)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)).
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Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“On Another’s Sorrow,” st. 1, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789)
    (Source)
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It is the ability to choose which makes us human.

Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) American writer
Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, ch. 2 (1980)
    (Source)
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Remind them that the sword still hangs upon the wall and the heart still beats within the man, and that that sword will be unsheathed again, if necessary, in defense of your rights. Given them to understand that you will not stand patiently by and see your hard earnings squandered by a luxuriating class of idlers. If the American manhood will arouse itself and speak to those fellows in plain language, not to be misunderstood, they can save themselves, their country and their children, from the fate of poverty which awaits them. Will you do it?

Lucy Parsons
Lucy Parsons (1851-1942) American labor organizer, anarchist, orator [a.k.a. Lucy Gonzalez]
“Wage Slaves vs. Corporations,” The Liberator (24 Sep 1905)
    (Source)
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Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.

Arthur Glasow
Arnold H. Glasow (1905-1998) American publisher, humorist, aphorist
(Attributed (1974))

More discussion of this quotation: The Big Apple: “Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects”.
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Something must happen — and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
The Fall [La Chute] (1956) [tr. O’Brien]
    (Source)
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Fascist politics lures its audiences with the temptation of freedom from democratic norms while masking the fact that the alternative proposed is not a form of freedom that can sustain a stable nation state and can scarcely guarantee liberty.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (2018)
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When, Miller wondered, does someone stop being human? There had to be a moment, some decision that you made and before it, you were one person, and after it, someone else …Emotionally, it had all been obvious at the time. It was only when he considered it from outside that it seemed dangerous. If he’d seen it in someone else — Muss, Havelock, Sematimba — he wouldn’t have taken more than a minute to realize they’d gone off the rails. Since it was him, he had taken longer to notice. But Holden was right. Somewhere along the line, he’d lost himself.

Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham (b. 1969) American writer [pseud. James S. A. Corey (with Ty Franck), M. L. N. Hanover]
Leviathan Wakes, ch. 28 (2011) [with Ty Franck]
    (Source)
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Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to [abandon exact science] put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throughout the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, Socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul.

Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist
“New Paths in Psychology,” ¶ 411 (1912)
    (Source)
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When men are ruled by fear, they strive to prevent the very changes that will abate it.

Alan Paton
Alan Paton (1903-1988) South African author, activist
“The Challenge of Fear,” The Saturday Review (9 Sep 1967)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Sheridan Baker, The Essayist (1981).
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No education is worth having that does not teach the lesson of concentration on a task, however unattractive. These lessons, if not learnt early, will be learnt, if at all, with pain and grief in later life.

Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) English intellectual, literary critic and writer.
Enemies of Promise, Part 3, ch. 24 “Vale” (1938)
    (Source)

Speaking as a personified Eton College, quoting one of the masters there.
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Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders argued. They quarreled. Eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity — the idea that for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) American politician, US President (2009-2017)
“Farewell Address,” Chicago (10 Jan 2017)
    (Source)
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Too many wars are fought almost as if by rote. Too many wars are fought out of sloganry, out of battle hymns, out of aged, musty appeals to patriotism that went out with knighthood and moats. Love your country because it is eminently worthy of your affection. Respect it because it deserves your respect. Be loyal to it because it cannot survive without your loyalty. But do not accept the shedding of blood as a natural function or a prescribed way of history, even if history points this up by its repetition. That men die for causes does not necessarily sanctify that cause. And that men are maimed and torn to pieces every fifteen and twenty years does not immortalize or deify the act of war.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Commencement Address, Binghamton Central High School, Binghamton, New York (28 Jan 1968)
    (Source)
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The avalanche of the Alps, which carries destruction in its gathering force, and whelms whole districts in its frozen shroud, acquired its tremendous force by UNION — the vast mass of cold destruction was accumulated flake by flake. Compare this figure yourselves — ye are the snow-flakes; gather then instruction from nature, single flakes form the avalanche, single grains of sand form mountains, single drops form the mighty ocean, and supply its resistless power!

(Other Authors and Sources)
Anonymous (“Jack Steadfast”), “To the Wealth Producers of Birmingham and of the Midland Counties,” Birmingham Journal (13 May 1837)
    (Source)
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Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.

Clare Booth Luce
Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) American dramatist, diplomat, politician
“Is the New Morality Destroying America?”, speech, IBM Golden Circle Conference, Honolulu (28 May 1978)
    (Source)

The speech was first published in The Human Life Review, Vol. 4 (1978). Then the quotation was extracted in "Quotable Quotes," Reader's Digest (May 1979), which is the most common citation.

More discussion about this quotation: The Big Apple: “Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount”.
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Gaurus, you claim that since my poems please by brevity, my talent’s second-rate.
I grant they’re short. But you who write twelve books on Priam’s mighty battles, are you great?
I make small boys of bronze, who live and play;
you, great one, make a giant out of clay.

[Ingenium mihi, Gaure, probas sic esse pusillum,
Carmina quod faciam, quae brevitate placent.
Confiteor. Sed tu bis senis grandia libris
Qui scribis Priami proelia, magnus homo es?
5Nos facimus Bruti puerum, nos Langona vivum:
Tu magnus luteum, Gaure, Giganta facis.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 50 (9.50) [tr. Kennelly (2008)]
    (Source)

"To Gaurus." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Gaurus approves my wit but slenderly,
'Cause I write verse that please for brevity:
But he in twenty volumes drives a trade
Of Priam's wars. Oh, he's a mighty blade!
We give an elegant young pigmy birth,
He makes a dirty giant all of earth.
[tr. Fletcher (c. 1650)]

I am no genius, you affirm: and why?
Because my verses please by brevity.
But you, who twice ten ponderous volumes write
Of mighty battles, are a man of might.
Like Prior's bust, my work is neat, but small:
Yours like the dirty giants in Guildhall.
[tr. Hay (1755), ep. 51]

My pigmy-genius, you, grand bard, despise;
Because, by brevity, my verses rise.
But you, who Priam's battles dire endite,
In twice ten volumes wax a weighty wight:
We form a Brutus' boy, bid Lagon live;
And you a giant huge, of death-cold clay, do give.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 3, ep. 28]

You pretend to consider my talent as small, Gaurus, because I write poems which please by being brief. I confess that it is so; while you, who write the grand wars of Priam in twelve books, are doubtless a great man. I paint the favourite of Brutus, and Langon, to the life. You, great artist, fashion a giant in clay.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

You declare my genius slight;
Say the songs are short I write
     And so the people rush to buy them in a flood.
Think you, Gaurus, yours is great
Since in six tomes you narrate
     Old Priam's awful fight 'mid seas of blood?
Though they're boys whom I portray,
They're made boys who live and play.
     The Giants you create are made of mud.
[tr. Nixon (1911), "Of the Quality"]

You prove to me, Gaurus, that my genius is in this way a purny one, because I make poems that please by their brevity. I confess it. But you, who in twice six books write of Priam's wars in grand style, are you a great man? I make Brutus' boy, I make Langon live: you, great man as you are, Gaurus, make a giant of clay.
[tr. Ker (1920)]

But little, Gaurus, you account my wit,
Because with brevity I season it.
Quite true, and you, who of old Priam prate
Though twelve long books, are to be reckoned great.
I make a dwarf of living flesh and blood,
You, great one, make a giant, but of mud.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), ep. 470]

You pontificate my talent is small,
Gaurus, because my epigrams are all
Just puny trifles. Yet they seem to please,
I'll confess. They're a veritable breeze
Compared to your epic tome, which rattles,
In twelve mortal books, o'er Priam's battles.
That makes you big man on campus? Oh no!
As statuettes of master carvers glow
With life, so do my tiny dramas boast
Vital creatures. Your giants? Clay, at most.
[tr. Schmidgall (2001)]

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You have to be very careful when you give to others that you don’t tell them how great you are rather than how much you value them.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
When Lovers Are Friends, ch. 9 (1980)
    (Source)
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