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Democracy is the theory that two thieves will steal less than one, and three less than two, and four less than three, and so on ad infinitum.

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
A Little Book in C Major, ch. 5, § 25 (1916)
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Variant:

DEMOCRACY. The theory that two thieves will steal less than one, and three less than two, and four less than three, and so on ad infinitum.
A Book of Burlesques, "The Jazz Webster" (1924)
 
Added on 31-Jan-24 | Last updated 31-Jan-24
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The time is passed when you could have a happy minority living upon the misery of the great mass. That time is passed. People won’t acquiesce in it, and you will have to learn to put up with the knowledge that your neighbor is also happy, if you want to be happy yourself. I think, if people are wisely educated, they will have a more expansive nature and will find no difficulty in allowing the happiness of others as a necessary condition of their own.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
Interview by Woodrow Wyatt, BBC TV (1959)

Collected in Bertrand Russell's BBC Interviews (1959) [UK] and Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind (1960) [US].
 
Added on 17-Jan-24 | Last updated 17-Jan-24
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The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Notebook E “Epigrams, Wisecracks and Jokes,” § 436 (1932-1940)

Originally collected in Edmund Wilson, ed., The Crack-Up (1945), then in the unexpurgated Matthew Bruccoli, ed., Notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1978).
 
Added on 8-Jan-24 | Last updated 8-Jan-24
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The nobility, say nobles, serves as intermediary between king and people. True, just as the hound serves as intermediary between hunter and hares.
 
[«La noblesse, disent les nobles, est une intermédiaire entre le roi et le peuple…» Oui, comme le chien de chasse est un intermédiaire entre le chasseur et les lièvres.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 8, ¶ 511 (1795) [tr. Dusinberre (1992)]
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(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The nobility, say the nobles, is an intermediary between the king and the people.... Precisely; just as the hound is the intermediary between the huntsman and the hares.
[tr. Hutchinson (1902)]

The Nobility, its members say, is an intermediary between the King and the People. .... Exactly, just as hounds are intermediary between men and hares.
[tr. Mathers (1926), ¶ 512]

“The nobility,” say the nobles, “is an intermediary between the king and the people . . .” No doubt: just as the hunting dog is an intermediary between the hunter and the hares.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

"The nobility," say the nobles, "is a go-between twixt the king and the people ..." Yes, just as the hunting dog is the go-between twixt the huntsman and the hares.
[tr. Pearson (1973)]

"The nobility", say the nobles, "is an intermediary between the king and the people ..." Yes, like a hunting dog is an intermediary between a hunter and hares.
[tr. Siniscalchi (1994), ¶ 511]

"We're the intermediary between the king and his subjects," claim the nobility. Yes indeed -- and the hound is the intermediary between the hunter and the hare.
[tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 269]

 
Added on 27-Nov-23 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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THIRD FISHERMAN: Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
FIRST FISHERMAN: Why, as men do a-land: the great ones eat up the little ones.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Pericles, Act 2, sc. 1, l. 28ff (2.1.28-29) [with George Wilkins]
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Added on 10-Nov-21 | Last updated 8-Feb-24
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“Oh, what would you like on your vegetarian pizza?”
“Dead pigs and cows,” I said.
She glanced up at me and wrinkled her nose.
“They’re vegetarians,” I said defensively.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Blood Rites (2004)
 
Added on 30-Dec-14 | Last updated 30-Dec-14
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Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
Equality (1931)

Sometimes cited an English proverb, or attributed to Isaiah Berlin.
 
Added on 11-Jan-13 | Last updated 4-Sep-16
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