- 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.
- 18,858 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 • Homer • 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, 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… (9,110)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,383)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,146)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,395)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,931)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,578)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,392)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (4,043)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (3,851)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,792)
- “Notes on Nationalism” (1945) on
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- 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
It is not the object of war to annihilate those who have given provocation for it, but to cause them to mend their ways; not to ruin the innocent and guilty alike, but to save both.
Histories, Bk. V, 11.3
On Philip V of Macedon, conquering the Aetolians.
- "But to destroy what neither can do him any prejudice, nor will contribute to the defeat of the enemy; to burn temples, to break statues, and similar ornaments of a city, in pieces; certainly nothing but the wildest and most extravagant fury can be capable of such violence. It is not merely to ruin and destroy those who have done us injury, that we ought to declare war, in case we desire to be thought just and equitable; but only to oblige such people to acknowledge and make amends for their faults. The true end of war is not to involve in the same ruin the innocent and guilty, but rather to save both."
- "When men proceed to wreak their fury on sense less objects, whose destruction will neither be of advantage to themselves nor in. the slightest degree disable their opponent from carrying on the war, especially if they burn the temples of the gods, destroy their statues, and waste their ornamental furniture, what else can. we say of such proceedings except that they are the acts of men devoid of all feelings of propriety, and infected by frenzy? For it is in no way the object of war, at least among men who have just notions of their duty, to annihilate and utterly subvert those from whom they may have received provocation, but to induce them to amend that in which they acted amiss; not to involve the innocent and guilty in one common ruin, but rather to save them both."
- (Loeb Classical Library): "But to do wanton damage to temples, statues and all such works with absolutely no prospect of any resulting advantage in the war to our own cause or detriment to that of the enemy must be characterized as the work of a frenzied mind at the height of its fury. For good men should not make war on wrong-doers with the object of destroying and exterminating them, but with that of correcting and reforming their errors, nor should they involve the guiltless in the fate of the guilty, but rather extend to those whom they think guilty the mercy and deliverance they offer to the innocent."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 19-Nov-10