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A man is not necessarily intelligent because he has plenty of ideas, any more than he is a good general because he has plenty of soldiers.
[On n’est point un homme d’esprit pour avoir beaucoup d’idées, comme on n’est pas un bon général pour avoir beaucoup de soldats.]

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. 7, ¶ 446 (1795) [tr. Mathers (1926)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

A man is not clever simply because he has many ideas, just as he is not necessarily a good general because he has many soldiers.
[tr. Hutchinson (1902)]

One is not a man of wit simply because one has a great many ideas, any more than one is a good general simply because one has a great many soldiers.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

Having a great many ideas doesn't betoken a fine mind, just as having a great many soldiers doesn't betoken a fine general.
[tr. Dusinberre (1992), ¶ 445]

Having a lot of ideas does not give a person esprit, in the same way that having a lot of soldiers doesn't make a person a good general.
[tr. Sinicalchi, ¶ 445]

Added on 23-Oct-23 | Last updated 23-Oct-23
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You write two hundred lines a day, but don’t recite.
Varus, you are wise, if none too bright.

[Cum facias versus nulla non luce ducenos,
Vare, nihil recitas. Non sapis, atque sapis.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 8, epigram 20 (8.20) (AD 94) [tr. McLean (2014)]

"To Varus." See also 2.88.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Each day you make two hundred verses, sott,
But none recite: you're wise, and you are nott.
[16th C Manuscript]

You make two hundred verses in a trice;
But publish none: -- The man is mad and wise.
[tr. Hay (1755)]

You countless verses pen, each morn you rise;
Yet none recite: how witty, and how wise!
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 12, ep. 8]

Though you write two hundred verses every day, Varus, you recite nothing in public. You are unwise, and yet you are wise.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Varus writes facile verse and keeps it mum.
He's weakly garrulous, and wisely dumb.
[tr. Street (1907)]

Every day Varus writes
Scores of verses, I've heard:
But he never recites.
He's both wise and absurd.
[tr. Nixon (1911), "The Wisest Fool"]

Although no day passes but you compose two hundred verses, Varus, you recite none of them. You have no wit -- and yet are wise.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

You write a hundred lines a day?
That means a crazy brain.
And yet you publish none, you say;
That shows that you are sane.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "The Wise Fool"]

Varus, two hundred lines each day that flies
You write and burn. How foolish -- and how wise!
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), ep. 401]

Although you write two hundred lines
Of poetry each day,
You shun our constant plea to let us
Hear your poetry.
Two hundred verses every day,
And I, with luck, one line!
You can't be good, though very good
Of you, sir, to decline!
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

Although you make two hundred verses every day, Varus, you never recite. You are a fool, and you are no fool.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

He turns out verses by the ton,
But never publishes a one.
He is too dumb to be a poet,
But wise enough in fact to know it.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Though Varus daily sits and writes --
Two hundred lines! -- he neither tries
To publish verses nor recites.
He's not too witty, but he's wise.
[tr. Barth]

Added on 21-Jul-23 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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The proof of gold is fire, the proof of woman, gold; the proof of man, a woman.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1733)
Added on 20-Jun-23 | Last updated 20-Jun-23
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Some thirty poems in the book
Are poor, you say. Egad!
If you’ve found thirty good ones, too,
The book is great, not bad.

[‘Triginta toto mala sunt epigrammata libro.’
Si totidem bona sunt, Lause, bonus liber est.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 7, epigram 81 (7.81) (AD 92) [tr. Marcellino (1968)]

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

Thou thirty epigrams dost note for bad:
Call my book good if thirty good it had.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

For thirty bad epigrams here you may look:
If as many good ones, it is a good book.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 12, ep. 7]

In this whole book there are thirty bad epigrams; if there as many good ones, Lausus, the book is good.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

"Take all your book, and there are thirty bad epigrams in it." If as many are good, Lausus, the book is a good one.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

You’ve read my poems and condemn
Some thirty, so you say, of them:
The book’s a good one I submit,
If there are thirty good in it.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "Proportions"]

"There are thirty bad epigrams
in your book, at least."
If there are that many good ones,
Lausus, I'll be pleased.
[tr. Bovie (1970), mislabeled 7.18]

"There are thirty bad epigrams in the whole book." If there as many good ones, Lausus, it's a good book.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

"Your book as thirty epigrams unneeded."
I've only thirty clunkers? I've succeeded.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

"In this book, thirty poems are bad," you state.
Lausus, if thirty are good, the book is great.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

Added on 16-Jun-23 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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“Too much trouble,” “Too expensive,” or “Who will know the difference” are death knells for good food.

Julia Child
Julia Child (1912-2004) American chef and writer
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Foreword (1961)
Added on 27-Apr-23 | Last updated 27-Apr-23
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For me you mix Veientian,
While you take Massic wine:
I’d rather smell your goblet
Than to take a drink from mine.

[Veientana mihi misces, ubi Massica potas:
Olfacere haec malo pocula, quam bibere.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 3, epigram 49 (3.49) (AD 87-88) [tr. Nixon (1911), “Let the Cup Pass”]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

You Massick drink, Veientan give to me.
I need not taste; the smell doth satisfie.
[tr. Wright (1663)]

You mix Veientan wine for me, while you yourself drink Massic. I would rather smell the cups which you present me, than drink of them.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

You mix Veientan wine for me, whereas you drink Massic. I would rather smell these cups of mine than drink them.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Yourself you drink a vintage rare
While giving me vin ordinaire.
To smell the heel-taps of your wine
Is better far than drinking mine.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "The Mean Host"]

You pour me cheap red wine while you drink Massic.
I'd rather sniff this cup than drink from it.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

You drink the best, yet serve us third-rate wine.
I'd rather sniff your cup than swill from mine.
[tr. Michie (1972)]

You serve me plonk, and you drink reservé.
My taste-buds back away from mine’s bouquet.
[tr. Harrison (1981)]

You mix Veientan for me and serve Massic for yourself. I had rather smell these cups than drink.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Your cup breathes odors fine
That never came from mine.
Better is what you waft
Than what I'm forced to quaff.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

You mix Veientan for me, while you drink Massic wine.
I'd rather smell your cups than drink from mine.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

You pour me Blue Nun, while you drink Brunello wine.
I’d rather smell your glass, than take a sip from mine.
[tr. Ynys-Mon (2016)]

Added on 31-Mar-23 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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Ninety percent of everything is crud.

Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) American fiction author, poet, essayist, critic [b. Edward Hamilton Waldo]
“Sturgeon’s Law” (c. 1951)

Popularly known as "Sturgeon's Law," though the author used that term for another aphorism, and called this "Sturgeon's Revelation."

Verbal origins point to a talk at NYU in 1951, and at the World SF Convention, Philadelphia (Sep 1953). It was first referenced in print in Venture Science Fiction (Sep 1957), and first used by Sturgeon in print in his review column, "Books: On Hand," Venture Science Fiction (Mar 1958):

It is in this vein that I repeat Sturgeon's Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of S.F. is crud.

The Revelation
Ninety percent of everything is crud.

Corollary 1
The existence of immense quantities of trash in science fiction is admitted and it is regrettable; but it is no more unnatural than the existence of trash anywhere.

Corollary 2
The best science fiction is as good as the best fiction in any field.

For "crud" people often substitute "crap" or "shit." People citing the law sometimes vary the percentage value as well.

More discussion:
Added on 9-Mar-23 | Last updated 9-Mar-23
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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)

Speaking of American writers.
Added on 6-May-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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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.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 50 (9.50) (AD 94) [tr. Kennelly (2008)]

"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 argue that my talent is inconsiderable, Gaurus, because I make poems that please by brevity. I confess it. But you that write of Priam's mighty battles in twice six books, are you a great man? I make a live B rutus' Boy, a live Langon: you, Gaurus, great man that you are, make a giant of clay.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

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)]

Added on 29-Apr-22 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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Good work you’ll find, some poor, and much that’s worse,
It takes all sorts to make a book of verse.

[Sunt bona, sunt quaedam mediocria, sunt mala plura
quae legis hic: aliter non fit, Avite, liber.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, epigram 16 (1.16) (AD 85-86) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

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

Some things are good, indifferent some, some naught,
You read: a book can't otherwise be wrote.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

Here's some good things, some middling, more bad, you will see:
Else a book, my Avitus, it never could be.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 12.6]

Some of my epigrams are good, some moderately so, more bad: there is no other way, Avitus, of making a book.
[tr. Amos (1858), 2.23 (cited as 1.17)]

Of the epigrams which you read here, some are good, some middling, many bad: a book, Avitus, cannot be made in any other way.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Here you will read some few good things, while some
Are mediocre, most are bad: 'tis thus
That every book's compiled.
[ed. Harbottle (1897)]

There are good things, there are some indifferent, there are more things bad that you read here. Not otherwise, Avitus, is a book produced.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Good work you’ll find, some poor, and much that’s worse;
It takes all sorts to make a book of verse.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

Some things are good, some fair, but more you'll say
Are bad herein -- all books are made that way!
[tr. Duff (1929)]

Some of these epigrams are good,
Some mediocre, many bad.
Otherwise, it is understood,
A bookful of poems cannot be had.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

Among these lines you'll find a few
that are rather good, more that are only fair,
and a lot that are bad.
From that, Avitus, it may be deduced
just how a book is produced.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

Some good, some middling, and some bad
You’ll find here. They are what I had.
[tr. Cunningham (1971)]

Some lines in here are good, some fair,
And most are frankly rotten;
No other kind of book, Avitus,
Can ever be begotten.
[tr. Wender (1980)]
There are good things that you read here, and some indifferent, and more bad. Not otherwise, Avitus, is a book made.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Some good things here, and some not worth a look.
For this is that anomaly, a book.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Some of my poems are good, some
not up to scratch, some
That’s how it is with most books,
if the truth were told.
Who tells the truth about truth, my dear?
Make way for the judge and the jester.
[tr. Kennelly (2008), "How It Is"]

You'll read some good things here, some fair, more worse.
There's no way else to make a book of verse.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

You're reading good poems here, Avitus -- and a few that are so-so, and a lot that are bad; a book doesn't happen any other way.
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

Some good, some so-so, most of them naught!
Well, if not worse, the book may still be bought.

Added on 1-Oct-21 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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Life is too short to drink bad wine.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist

Often attributed to him, but not found in Goethe's works. The attribution, though, may come from translators' commentary on Goethe's West–Eastern Diwan, "The Book of the Cup-Bearer" (1819/1827), that refers to a poetic passage as deriving from Diez's 1811 translation of the Book of Kabus (Qabus):

It comes to this, that it is a sin to drink wine. If though, then committest sin, commit it at least for the best wine, for otherwise wouldst though on one part commit sin, and on another drink bad wine. By God! that would be the most sorrowful among sorrowful things. [tr. Rogers (1890)]

It so happens that wine-drinking is a sin. Hence, if you do commit this sin, do it at least with the best wine; otherwise, you'll commit the sin, on the one hand, and on the other, you'll drink bad wine. By God! That would be the sorriest of all sorry things. [tr. Ormsby (2019)]

More information: The Big Apple: “Life is too short to drink cheap wine”
Added on 9-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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He used to say that states fail when they cannot distinguish fools from serious men.

[τότ’ ἔφη τὰς πόλεις ἀπόλλυσθαι, ὅταν μὴ δύνωνται τοὺς φαύλους ἀπὸ τῶν σπουδαίων διακρίνειν.]

Antisthenes (c. 445 - c. 365 BC) Greek Cynic philosopher
Fragment 103, in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, sec. 11 [tr. @sentantiq]

Alt. trans.:
  • "He used to say too, 'That cities were ruined when they were unable to distinguish worthless citizens from virtuous ones.'" [tr. Yonge (1853)]
  • "He said that cities are doomed when they cannot distinguish good men from bad." [tr. Mensch (2018), Book 6, sec. 5]
Added on 22-Jun-20 | Last updated 22-Jun-20
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You confuse what’s important with what’s impressive.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
Maurice (w. 1914, pub. 1971)
Added on 8-Jan-18 | Last updated 8-Jan-18
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In the Laundry we supposedly pride ourselves on our procedures. We’ve got procedures for breaking and entering offices, procedures for reporting a shortage of paper clips, procedures for summoning demons from the vasty deeps, and procedures for writing procedures. We may actually be on track to be the world’s first ISO-9000 total-quality-certified intelligence agency. According to our written procedure for dealing with procedural cluster-fucks on foreign assignment, what I should do at this point is fill out Form 1008.7, then drive like a bat out of hell over Highway 17 until it hits the Interstate, then take the turnoff for San Francisco Airport and use my company credit card to buy the first available seat home. Not forgetting to file Form 1018.9 (“expenses unexpectedly incurred in responding to a situation 1008.7 in the line of duty”) in time for the end of month accounting cycle.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Atrocity Archives (2004)
Added on 20-Dec-16 | Last updated 20-Dec-16
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Nay, number (itself) in armies importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for (as Virgil saith) It never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral, No. 29 “Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates” (1612)

The wolf reference is actually a common Latin proverb: "Non curat numerum lupus [The wolf doesn't care about the number]," or its longer form "Lupus non curat numerum ovium" [The wolf does not care about the number of sheep.].

Though Bacon explicitly notes the phrase in Virgil's Eclogues, the Latin saying is often attributed to Bacon.
Added on 14-Jul-16 | Last updated 29-Nov-23
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Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new type program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was.

Art Buchwald (1925-2007) American humorist, columnist
Have I Ever Lied to You?, ch. 4 “Live and In Color” (1968)
Added on 20-Jun-16 | Last updated 20-Jun-16
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If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) American novelist
Atlantic Monthly (12 Dec 1945)
Added on 21-Apr-16 | Last updated 21-Apr-16
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Life is too short to do mediocre work and it is definitely too short to build shitty things.

Stewart Butterfield (b. 1973) Canadian tech entrepreneur and businessman
Added on 15-Apr-16 | Last updated 15-Apr-16
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Don’t consider how many you can please, but whom.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 599 [tr. Lyman, Jr. (1862)]
Added on 28-Aug-15 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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A little mind is always hurried, by twenty things at once; but a man of sense does but one thing at a time, and resolves to excel in it; for whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #71 (10 Mar 1746)
Added on 26-Jan-15 | Last updated 10-Oct-22
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There’s no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty, and then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist

Quoted in James M. Webb and A. Wigfall Green, William Faulkner of Oxford (1965). See also Wright and Chandler.
Added on 8-Aug-13 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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Better be cheated in the price than in the quality of goods.

[Más vale ser engañado en el precio que en la mercadería.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 157 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translations:

It is better to be deceived in the Price, than in the Commodity.
[Flesher ed. (1685)]

Far better to be cheated in the price, than in the goods.
[tr. Fischer (1937)]

Better to be cheated by the price than by the merchandise.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

Added on 4-Jun-12 | Last updated 17-Jan-23
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I’ve never been convinced that there’s any meaningful division between high culture and pop culture — I think there’s good stuff out there, and there’s stuff that’s not much good, and that Sturgeon’s Law applies to high culture and popular culture: 90% of it will be crap, which means that 10% of it will be amazing.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
“Apparently if you just write BEAVER! people’s minds head straight for the gutter,” blog entry (2 Apr 2009)

See Sturgeon.
Added on 3-Apr-09 | Last updated 9-Mar-23
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There’s many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Way of All Flesh, ch. 61 (1903)

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Added on 14-Nov-08 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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With virtue you cannot be entirely poor. Without it you cannot be really rich.

(Other Authors and Sources)
Chinese proverb
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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More quotes by ~Other

Cheat me in the Price, but not in the Goods.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #1090 (1732)
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The strawberry grows underneath the nettle.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry V, Act 1, sc. 1, l. 63 [Bishop of Ely] (1599)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
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Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771) English poet
“Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” st. 14, l. 53ff (1751)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 25-Sep-23
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