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The aphorism is a personal observation inflated into a universal truth, a private posing as a general. A proverb is anonymous human history compressed to the size of a seed.

Stefan Kanfer (b. 1933) American writer, editor, journalist
“Proverbs or Aphorisms,” Time (11 Jun 1983)
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Added on 3-Apr-18 | Last updated 3-Apr-18
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The essence of aphorism is the compression of a mass of thought and observation into a single saying. It is the very opposite of dissertation and declamation; its distinction is not so much ingenuity, as good sense brought to a point.

John Morley (1838-1923) English statesman, journalist, writer [John, Viscount Morley]
“Aphorisms,” speech, Edinburgh (1887)
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Added on 20-Mar-18 | Last updated 20-Mar-18
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My quarrel with him is, that his works contain nothing worth quoting; and a book that furnishes no quotations is, me judice, no book — it is a plaything.

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) English novelist, satirist, poet, merchant
Crochet Castle, ch. 9 (1831)
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Added on 3-Aug-17 | Last updated 3-Aug-17
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Why are not more gems from our early prose writers scattered over the country by the periodicals? Selections are so far from preventing the study of the entire authors that they promote it. Who could read the extracts which Lamb has given from Fuller, without wishing to read more of the old Prebendary? But great old books of the great old authors are not in every body’s reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every bookworm, when, in any fragrant, scarce old tome, he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it the widest circulation that newspapers and magazines, penny and halfpenny, can afford.

Coleridge - fragrant scarce old tome - wist_info quote

Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849) English poet, biographer, essayist, teacher
Biographia Borealis: or, Lives of Distinguished Northerns, “Roger Ascham” (1833)
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Speaking of the practice of including brief extracts -- quotations -- from famous authors in magazines and newspapers to fill up columns or create a break between stories. Ironically, this extracted quotation -- slightly paraphrased -- was widely circulated in the mid-late 19th and early 20th Century misattributed to his father, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, or simply labeled as "Coleridge" without citation, leading to the same confusion.

Usually quoted more succinctly as: "Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country? Great books are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly, than to know them only here and there; yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant, scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it."
Added on 12-May-16 | Last updated 12-May-16
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A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.

Roux - fine quotation - wist_info quote

Joseph Roux (1834-1886) French Catholic priest
Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, Part 1, #74 (1886)
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Added on 14-Mar-16 | Last updated 14-Mar-16
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You may get a large amount of truth into a brief space.

Beecher - into a brief space - wist_info quote

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
(Attributed)
Added on 11-Mar-16 | Last updated 11-Mar-16
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Somewhere in the world there is an epigram for every dilemma.

Hendrik Willem van Loon (1882-1944) Dutch-American historian and journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 11-Dec-15 | Last updated 11-Dec-15
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Though old the thought and oft exprest,
‘Tis his at last who says it best.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
“For an Autograph,” Under the Willows and Other Poems (1868)
Added on 14-Apr-15 | Last updated 14-Apr-15
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Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
(Attributed)
Added on 19-Mar-14 | Last updated 19-Mar-14
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When we are convinced of some great truths, and feel our convictions keenly, we must not fear to express it, although others have said it before us. Every thought is new when an author expresses it in a manner peculiar to himself.

Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-1747) French moralist, essayist, soldier
Reflections and Maxims [Réflexions et maximes] (1746) [tr. Lee (1903)]
Added on 12-Dec-13 | Last updated 12-Dec-13
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At all events, the next best thing to being witty one’s self, is to be able to quote another’s wit.

Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) American epigrammist
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 2 (1862)
Added on 27-Nov-13 | Last updated 27-Nov-13
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A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist
Don Quixote, Part 2 (1615)
Added on 19-Nov-12 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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That is as well said as if I had said it myself.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation, Dialogue 2 (1738)
Added on 19-May-10 | Last updated 12-Apr-17
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Whatever is well said by another, is mine.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Letters to Lucilius [Epistulae morales ad Lucilium], letter 16 “On Philosophy, the Guide of Life,” sec. 7

Alt. trans.: "Whatever is well said by anyone is mine." [tr. Gummere (1918)]
Added on 15-Aug-08 | Last updated 5-May-15
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I ask for your indulgence when I march out quotations. This is the double syndrome of men who write for a living and men who are over forty. The young smoke pot — we inhale from our Bartlett’s.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Speech at Moorpark College, California (3 Dec 1968)
Added on 24-Jun-08 | Last updated 2-Feb-17
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What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes? But the man who orders his life according to their teachings cannot go far wrong.

Norman Douglas (1868-1952) Austro-British writer
South Wind, ch. 16 (1917)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Apr-14
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