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Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage.

Richard Lovelace (1617-1657) English poet
“To Althea, from Prison,” l. 25 (1649)
Added on 19-Jun-17 | Last updated 19-Jun-17
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As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman

On his release from 27 years behind bars. Quoted by Hillary Clinton from a conversation she had with him.
Added on 16-May-17 | Last updated 23-May-17
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For de little stealin’ dey gits you in jail soon or late. For de big stealin’ dey makes you Emperor and puts you in de Hall o’ Fame when you croaks.


Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) Irish American playwright, Nobel laureate
The Emperor Jones, 1 (1921)
Added on 23-Nov-16 | Last updated 23-Nov-16
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I shall stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.

John Bunyan (1628–1688) English Christian writer, preacher

Quoted in M. L. King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" (16 Apr 1963).
Added on 25-Mar-15 | Last updated 25-Mar-15
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The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist

Sometimes cited to Dostoyevsky's The House of the Dead (1862) [tr. Garnett (1957)], which is a semi-autobiographical work about a Siberian prison camp, but the quotation cannot be found there.

See also Buck, Johnson.
Added on 9-Feb-11 | Last updated 23-Nov-22
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