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Night makes no difference ‘twixt Priest and Clerk;
Joan as my Lady’s as good i’ th’ dark.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) English poet
“No Difference i’ th’ Dark,” The Hesperides, #866 (1648)
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Added on 27-Jul-17 | Last updated 27-Jul-17
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There is nothing in the dark that isn’t there when the lights are on.

George Clayton Johnson (1929-2015) American writer
Twilight Zone, 3×16 “Nothing in the Dark”, closing narration (5 Jan 1962)

Often attributed to Rod Serling, who read the narration and produced the show.
Added on 19-Jun-17 | Last updated 21-Jun-17
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What do I believe after all? What manner of man am I after all? What sort of show would I make after all, if the people around me knew my heart and all my secret thoughts? What sort of show then do I already make in the sight of Almighty God, who sees every man exactly as he is?

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English clergyman, historian, essayist, novelist (pseud. "Parson Lot")
The Good News of God, Sermon 6 “Worship [Isaiah 1:12-13]” (1881)
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Added on 6-Jun-17 | Last updated 6-Jun-17
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We begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself.

Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Mere Christianity, “Let’s Pretend” (1952)
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Added on 21-Nov-16 | Last updated 21-Nov-16
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We know so little about each other. We lie mostly submerged, like ice floes, with our visible social selves projecting only cool and white.

McEwan - cool and white - wist_info quote

Ian McEwan (b. 1948) English novelist and screenwriter
Amsterdam (1998)
Added on 26-Jul-16 | Last updated 26-Jul-16
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Many men and many women enjoy popular esteem, not because they are known, but because they are not.

Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
(Attributed)
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Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou, Notable Thoughts About Women, #3144 (1882).
Added on 27-Apr-16 | Last updated 27-Apr-16
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Laziness is the sin most willingly confessed to, since it implies talents greater than have yet appeared.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays (2001)
Added on 23-Oct-15 | Last updated 23-Oct-15
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In short, we can judge by nothing but Appearances, and they are very apt to deceive us. Some put on a gay chearful Outside, and appear to the World perfectly at Ease, tho’ even then, some inward Sting, some secret Pain imbitters all their Joys, and makes the Balance even: Others appear continually dejected and full of Sorrow; but even Grief itself is sometimes pleasant, and Tears are not always without their Sweetness: Besides, Some take a Satisfaction in being thought unhappy, (as others take a Pride in being thought humble,) these will paint their Misfortunes to others in the strongest Colours, and leave no Means unus’d to make you think them thoroughly miserable; so great a Pleasure it is to them to be pitied; Others retain the Form and outside Shew of Sorrow, long after the Thing itself, with its Cause, is remov’d from the Mind; it is a Habit they have acquir’d and cannot leave.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
“A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity” (1725)
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Added on 11-Aug-15 | Last updated 11-Aug-15
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Censorship, in my opinion, is a stupid and shallow way of approaching the solution to any problem. Though sometimes necessary, as witness a professional and technical secret that may have a bearing upon the welfare and very safety of this country, we should be very careful in the way we apply it, because in censorship always lurks the very great danger of working to the disadvantage of the American nation.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Speech, Associated Press luncheon, New York (24 Apr 1950)
Added on 2-Jul-15 | Last updated 2-Jul-15
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What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, and every day, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts (which are but the mute articulation of his feelings,) not those other things, are his history. His acts and his words are merely the visible thin crust of his world, with its scarred snow summits and its vacant wastes of water — and they are so trifling a part of his bulk! a mere skin enveloping it. The mass of him is hidden — it and its volcanic fires that toss and boil, and never rest, night nor day. These are his life, and they are not written, and cannot be written. Every day would make a whole book of eighty thousand words — three hundred and sixty-five books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man — the biography of the man himself cannot be written.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 (2010)
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Added on 11-Mar-15 | Last updated 28-May-18
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Oh the shark has pretty teeth, dear,
And he shows them pearly white.
Just a jack-knife has MacHeath, dea,r
And he keeps it out of sight.

[Und der Haifisch, der had Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und MacHeath, der had ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht.]

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German poet, playwright, director, dramaturgist
Die Dreigroschenoper [The Three-Penny Opera], Prologue, “The Ballad of Mackie the Knife” (1928)

English lyrics to "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" (Weill, Kurt / Berthold Brecht / Marc Blitzstein)

Alt: translation: "And the shark he has his teeth and / There they are for all to see / And MacHeath he has his knife but / No one knows where it may be."
Added on 1-Aug-08 | Last updated 4-Oct-18
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Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book, as long as that document does not offend your own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Commencement Speech, Dartmouth College (14 Jun 1953)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Jul-15
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Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Following the Equator, ch. 66, epigraph (1897)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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