Quotations about   time

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I see that Time’s the king of men,
For he’s their parent, and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Pericles, Act 2, sc. 3, l. 49ff (1607)
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Added on 17-Nov-21 | Last updated 17-Nov-21
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Popular art is normally decried as vulgar by the cultivated people of its time; then it loses favour with its original audience as a new generation grows up; then it begins to merge into the softer lighting of “quaint” and cultivated people become interested in it, and finally it begins to take on the archaic dignity of the primitive.

Northrop Frye (1912-1991) Canadian literary critic and literary theorist
Anatomy of Criticism, “Mythical Phase: Symbol as Archetype” (1957)
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Each person is only given so many
Evenings
And each wasted evening is
A gross violation against the
Natural course of
Your only
Life ….

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
“The Telephone” (c. 1991), The Last Night of the Earth (1992)
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Added on 6-Oct-21 | Last updated 6-Oct-21
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Ordinary people think merely how they shall spend their time; a man of any talent tries to use it.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Parerga und Paralipomena [Appendices and Omissions], “The Wisdom of Life,” ch. 2 (1851) [tr. Saunders]
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I am the world’s original gradualist. I just think ninety-odd years is gradual enough.

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) American lawyer, US Supreme Court Justice (1967-1991)
Quoted in I. F. Stone’s Weekly (19 May 1958)
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In response to Eisenhower's speech to the National Newspaper Publishers Association, where the President called for "patience and forbearance" on civil rights reform.

Also that year, during the effort by Autherine Lucy to be admitted to the segregated University of Alabama, Marshall similarly quipped, "Maybe you can't override prejudice overnight, but the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1864, ninety-odd years ago. I believe in gradualism, and I also believe that ninety-odd years is pretty gradual."
Added on 21-Jul-21 | Last updated 21-Jul-21
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I sell my time to get enough money to buy it back.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays (2001) #151
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No one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time on my business.”

Paul Tsongas
Paul Tsongas (1941-1997) American politician
Heading Home (1984), quoting Arnold Zack
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Often misattributed directly to Tsongas, this was quoted from a letter from Zack, a Massachusetts lawyer and old friend, during Tsongas' battle with cancer.
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As people age, they confuse changes in themselves with changes in the world, and changes in the world with moral decline — the illusion of the good old days. And so every generation believes that the kids today are degrading the language and taking civilization down with it.

Steven Pinker (b. 1954) Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, author
The Sense of Style, Prologue (2014)
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Added on 14-Jul-21 | Last updated 14-Jul-21
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There is a time for long tales, but there is also a time for sleep.

[Ὥρη μὲν πολέων μύθων, ὥρη δὲ καὶ ὕπνου.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 11, l. 379 [Odysseus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Rieu (1946)]
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On being asked by King Alcinoüs to continue his tale of journeying to the Land of the Dead. Original Greek. Alternate translations:

  • '“Most eminent king,” said he, “times all must keep, / There’s time to speak much, time as much to sleep.' [tr. Chapman (1616)]
  • "There is a time for talk, a time for rest." [tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 362]
  • "Since yet the early hour of night allows / Time for discourse, and time for soft repose." [tr. Pope (1725)]
  • "The time suffices yet / For converse both and sleep." [tr. Cowper (1792), l. 460-61]
  • "Night is the time for converse, night for rest." [tr. Worsley (1861), st. 54]
  • "A time there is for tales -- and a time for sleep!" [tr. Bigge-Wither (1869), l. 378]
  • "There is a time for many words and there is a time for sleep." [tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]
  • "Time is for words abundant, and time for sleep maybe." [tr. Morris (1887)]
  • "There is a time for stories and a time for sleep." [tr. Palmer (1891)]
  • "There is a time for making speeches, and a time for going to bed." [tr. Butler (1898)]
  • "There is a time for many words and there is a time also for sleep." [tr. Murray (1919)]
  • "Surely there is a time for long speaking and a time for sleep." [tr. Lawrence (1932)]
  • "There is a time for story telling; there is also a time for sleep." [tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]
  • "It's true that there's still time for tales and talk, / yet there is, too, a time for sleep." [tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]
  • "There is a time for many words, a time for sleep as well." [tr. Fagles (1996)]
  • "There is a time for words and a time for sleep." [tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 389]
  • "There is a time for long tales, and there is a time for sleep." [tr. Verity (2016)]
  • "It is a time for many tales, but also a time for sleep." [tr. Wilson (2017)]
Added on 26-May-21 | Last updated 26-May-21
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There is still no cure for the common birthday.

John Glenn (1921-2016) American politician and astronaut
Speech, New Concord, Ohio (20 Feb 1997)
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Announcing his retirement from the U. S. Senate after his next term would expire the next year.
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Yet, when all is said and done, birthdays are mere records of time, not registers of distance. They are chronometers, not speedometers. They tell us how long we have been upon the road, not how far we have travelled.

Frank W. Boreham (1871-1959) Anglo-Australian preacher
“So It’s Your Birthday!” The Tide Comes In (1958)
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We are all at a wonderful ball where the champagne sparkles in every glass and soft laughter falls upon the summer air. We know, by the rules, that at some moment the Black Horsemen will come shattering through the great terrace doors, wreaking vengeance and scattering the survivors. Those who leave early are saved, but the ball is so splendid no one wants to leave while there is still time, so that everyone keeps asking, “What time is it? What time is it?” but none of the clocks have any hands.

George Goodman (1930-2014) American author, economics broadcast commentator [pseud. Adam Smith]
Supermoney, Part 3, ch. 2 (1972)
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An explanation he gave to a "mass-circulation magazine" about the stock bubble in 1968. He later incorporated a variation of the story in a republication of his 1968 The Money Game:

We are all at a wonderful party, and by the rules of the game we know that at some point in time the Black Horsemen will burst through the great terrace doors to cut down the revelers; those who leave early may be saved, but the music and wines are so seductive that we do not want to leave, but we do ask, "What time is it? What time is it?" Only none of the clocks have any hands.
Added on 27-Apr-21 | Last updated 27-Apr-21
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History gets thicker as it approaches recent times: more people, more events, and more books written about them. More evidence is preserved, often, one is tempted to say, too much. Decay and destruction have hardly begun their beneficent work.

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) British historian, journalist, broadcaster [Alan John Percivale Taylor]
English History 1914-1945, “Revised Bibliography” (1965)
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Added on 26-Apr-21 | Last updated 26-Apr-21
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The innocent and the beautiful
Have no enemy but time.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist
“In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz” (1927)
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If you have no way to mark the hours, no variance in the days, time will open its mouth and swallow you.

Laura van den Berg (b. 1983) American writer
Find Me, ch. 12 (2015)
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If at a ball, a supper, or a party of pleasure, a man were to be solving, in his own mind, a problem in Euclid, he would be a very bad companion, and make a very poor figure in that company; or if, in studying a problem in his closet, he were to think of a minuet, I am apt to believe that he would make a very poor mathematician. There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once; but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (4 Apr 1747)
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Added on 14-Jan-21 | Last updated 14-Jan-21
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Time is no healer: the patient is no longer there.

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-British poet, critic, playwright [Thomas Stearns Eliot]
“The Dry Salvages,” sec. 3, l. 131 Four Quartets (1943)
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Added on 7-Dec-20 | Last updated 7-Dec-20
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The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer.

Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930) Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian
Quoted in Listener (14 Dec 1939)
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So oft as I with state of present time
The image of the antique world compare,
Whereas man’s age was in his freshest prime,
And the first blossom of faire vertue bare,
Such oddes I find twixt those and these which arc,
As that, through long continuance of his course,
Me seemes the world is runne quite out of square
From the first point of his appointed source;
And being once amiss, grows daily worse and worse: […]

For that which all men then did vertue call,
Is now cald vice; and that which vice was hight,
Is now hight vertue, and so us’d of all;
Right now is wrong, and wrong that was is right.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queene, Book 5, Proem, st. 1, 4 (1589-96)
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Added on 20-Jul-20 | Last updated 20-Jul-20
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Beauty is but a lease from nature.

No picture available
Edward Counsel (fl. 19th C) Australian author, composer
Maxims: Political, Philosophical, and Moral, #541 (2nd ed., 1892)
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Added on 15-Jul-20 | Last updated 15-Jul-20
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This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
Fight Club, ch. 3 (1996)
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Added on 14-Jul-20 | Last updated 15-Jul-20
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Even a stopped clock is right twice every day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.

[Die still stehende Uhr, die täglich zwei Mal die richtige Zeit angezeigt hat, blickt nach Jahren auf eine lange Reihe von Erfolgen zurück.]

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916) Austrian writer
Aphorisms, #67 (1880)
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There’s some devil in us that drives us to and fro on everlasting idiocies. There’s time for everything except the things worth doing. Think of something you really care about. Then add hour to hour and calculate the fraction of your life that you’ve actually spent in doing it. And then calculate the time you’ve spent on things like shaving, riding to and fro on buses, waiting in railway, junctions, swapping dirty stories, and reading the newspapers.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
Coming up for Air, ch. 5 (1939)
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There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
Their Eyes Were Watching God, ch. 3 (1937)
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Added on 1-May-20 | Last updated 1-May-20
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The certainties of one age are the problems of the next.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, ch. 5 (1926)
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Added on 17-Apr-20 | Last updated 17-Apr-20
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Keep cool: it will be all one a hundred years hence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Montaigne; or, The Skeptic,” Representative Men, Lecture 4 (1850)
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Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.

[Pour qu’une chose soit intéressante, il suffit de la regarder longtemps.]

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) French writer, novelist
Letter to Alfred Le Poittevin (16 Sep 1845)
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Alt. trans.: "To make something interesting, just look at it for a long time."
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For one swallow does not make spring, nor does one fine day; and similarly one day or a brief period of happiness does not make a man supremely blessed and happy.

[μία γὰρ χελιδὼν ἔαρ οὐ ποιεῖ, οὐδὲ μία ἡμέρα: οὕτω δὲ οὐδὲ μακάριον καὶ εὐδαίμονα]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 1, ch. 7 (1098a.18) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Rackham (1934), 1.7.16]
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Rackham notes that μακάριος ("blessed"/"happy") derives from μάκαρ, applied in Homer and Hesiod to the gods, and to humans admitted to the Islands of the Blessed. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

For as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.
[tr. Chase (1847)]

For a single day, or even a short period of happiness, no more makes a blessed and a happy man than one sunny day or one swallow makes a spring.
[tr. Williams (1869)]

For as one swallow or one day does not make a spring, so one day or a short time does not make a fortunate or happy man.
[tr. Welldon (1892), ch. 6]

For one swallow or one fine day does not make a spring, nor does one day or any small space of time make a blessed or happy man.
[tr. Peters (1893), 1.7.16]

For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

For one swallow does not make a spring, nor does one day. Nor, similarly, does one day or a short time make someone blessed and happy.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

One swallow does not make a summer; neither does one fine day. And one day, or indeed any brief period of felicity, does not make a man entirely and perfectly happy.
[tr. Thomson (1953)]

For one swallow does not make a spring, nor does one day; and so too one day or a short time does not make a man blessed or happy.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

One swallow does not make a summer; neither does one day. Similarly neither can one day, or a brief space of time, make a man blessed and happy.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

For one swallow does not make a summer, nor one day. Neither does one day or a short time make someone blessed and happy.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

For one swallow does not make a spring, nor does one day. And in this way, one day or a short time does not make someone blessed and happy either.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

For one swallow does not make a spring, nor does one day. Nor, similarly, does one day or a short time make someone blessed and happy.
[tr. Reeve (2014)]

Added on 3-Feb-20 | Last updated 19-Oct-21
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I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me,
Can’t refuse it,
Didn’t seek it,
Didn’t choose it
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it
Give account if I abuse it
Just a tiny little minute
but eternity is in it.

(Other Authors and Sources)
“God’s Minute”

This poem, and variants of it, have a wide trail of misattribution. It was used frequently by Elijah Cummings, US Representative, including during his first floor speech, and is often connected with him. Cummings in turn said it was a favorite of Parren Mitchell, US Representative. It is most correctly attributed in turn to civil right leader Benjamin May, but May claimed it was from an anonymous source. It has also been attributed to Welcome McCullough, history teacher Saugus High School, MA, in the 1940s, though without primary citation that I can find.

The variant used by Cummings:
I only have a minute,
Sixty seconds in it,
Forced upon me,
I did not choose it,
But I know that I must use it,
Give account if I abuse it,
Suffer if I lose it.
Only a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.
Added on 22-Jan-20 | Last updated 22-Jan-20
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Youth has its romance, and maturity its wisdom, as morning and spring have their freshness, noon and summer their power, night and winter their repose. Each attribute is good in its own season.

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) British novelist [pseud. Currer Bell]
Letter to a young admirer at Cambridge (as Currer Bell) (23 May 1850)
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Added on 23-Apr-19 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
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To you and me
Life is not full; we see
The good days fly
And, ah, how grievously
Their sum doth mount,
Set all to our account;
Why dally we
Who know what life should be?

[Nunc vivit necuter sibi, bonosque
Soles effugere atque abire sentit,
Qui nobis pereunt et inputantur.
Quisquam vivere cum sciat, moratur?]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 5, epigram 20, l. 11ff (5.20) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

To Julius Martialis. (Source (Latin)).

The phrase pereunt et imputantur (they pass by, and are put to our account) is often found on sundials.

Alternate translations:

Now, to himself, alas! Does neither live,
But sees good suns, of which we are to give
A strict account, set, and march quick away:
Know a man how to live, and does he stay?
[tr. Cowley (<1755)]

We behold the good suns shine, and pass away; lost are they for ever, yet, nevertheless, they are counted in our reckoning. Is it possible that anyone who knows how to live delays to live accordingly?
[tr. Amos (1858), ch. 3, #14; identified as ep. 21]

As it is, neither of us lives for himself, but sees his good days flee from him and vanish; days which are ever being lost to us, and set down to our account. Should any one, then, delay to live, when he knows how?
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

oday neither lives for himself, and he feels the good days are flitting and passing away, our days that perish and are cored to our account. Does any man, when he knows how to live, delay?
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Now neither lives his life, but he
Marks precious days that pass and flee.
These days are lost, but their amount
Is surely set to our account.
Knowledge the clue to life can give;
Then wherefore hesitate to live?
[tr. Duff (1929)]

As it is now, neither of us lives for his own benefit, each of us can feel his best days slipping away and leaving us behind. They're gone, they've been debited from our account. What kind of person knows how to live, but keeps putting it off?
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

Now, twin lives are not our own.
Our good suns flee & disappear,
Debited, as they die, to us.
Who hesitates that's learned to live?
[tr. Whigham (1987)]

Added on 25-May-18 | Last updated 5-Nov-21
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Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.

Edward Thorndike (1874-1949) American psychologist, educator
(Attributed)
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It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” sermon, National Cathedral, Washington, DC (31 Mar 1968)
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Compare to language he used here.
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He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
Eternity mourns that. ‘Tis an ill cure
For life’s worst ills, to have no time to feel them.
Where sorrow’s held intrusive and turned out,
There wisdom will not enter, nor true power,
Nor aught that dignifies humanity.

Henry Taylor (1800-1886) English dramatist, poet, bureaucrat, man of letters
Philip Van Artevelde, Part 1, Act 1, sc. 5 (1834)
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Added on 10-Oct-17 | Last updated 10-Oct-17
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The King in a carriage may ride,
And the Beggar may crawl at his side;
But in the general race,
They are traveling all the same pace.

Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883) English writer, poet, translator
“Chronomoros,” l. 57ff, Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal (5 Dec 1840)
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Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?

Omar Khayyám (1048-1123) Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer
Rubaiyat, 9 [tr. FitzGerald, 5th Ed. (1889)]
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It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.

Barbara Kingsolver (b. 1955) American novelist, essayist, poet
Animal Dreams (1990)
Added on 3-Jul-17 | Last updated 3-Jul-17
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You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of “the artist” and the all-sufficiency of “art” and “beauty” and “love”, back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.

Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938) American writer
You Can’t Go Home Again, Book 7 “A Wind Is Rising and the Rivers Flow” (1940)
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Added on 1-Jun-17 | Last updated 12-Jun-17
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Life is not made up of dramatic incidents — even the life of a nation. It is made up of slowly evolving events and processes, which newspapers, by a score of different forms of emphasis, can reasonably attempt to explore from day to day. But television news jerks from incident to incident. For the real world of patient and familiar arrangements, it substitutes an unreal world of constant activity, and the effect is already apparent in the way which the world behaves. It is almost impossible, these days, to consider any problem or any event except as a crisis; and, by this very way of looking at it, it in fact becomes a crisis.

Henry Fairlie (1924-1990) British journalist and social critic
“Can You Believe Your Eyes?” Horizon (Spring 1967)
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Forgive us immortals our sins of pride, child. We all age like cheese, growing strong and tasty but also covered in the mould of good intentions gone grey.

Gail Carriger (b. 1976) American archaeologist, author [pen name of Tofa Borregaard]
Imprudence (2016)
Added on 30-Mar-17 | Last updated 30-Mar-17
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The goal of every culture is to decay through over-civilization; the factors of decadence, — luxury, skepticism, weariness and superstition, — are constant. The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.

Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) English intellectual, literary critic and writer.
The Unquiet Grave (1944)
Added on 13-Feb-17 | Last updated 13-Feb-17
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Tragedy plus time equals comedy.

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Steve Allen (1922-2000) American composer, entertainer, and wit.
“Steve Allen’s Almanac,” Cosmopolitan (Feb 1957)

Similar formulations have been made by Carol Burnett, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, and Woody Allen. For more discussion see here.
Added on 29-Dec-16 | Last updated 29-Dec-16
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That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.

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John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Often cited from a quote in Adlai Stevenson, Call to Greatness (1954), but appears earlier in, e.g., National Magazine (Nov 1911). Unverified in Mills' writings.
Added on 15-Dec-16 | Last updated 15-Dec-16
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He that is good will infallibly become better, and he that is bad will as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue, and time are three things that never stand still.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #457 (1821 ed.)
Added on 21-Nov-16 | Last updated 21-Nov-16
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Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

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Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
American Gods, epigraph (2001)
    (Source)

Gaiman notes this as an "old saying." It is frequently found on sun dials or other clocks, sometimes in Latin. Variations:
  • "All hours wound; the last one kills."
  • "All the hours wound you, the last one kills."
  • "They all wound; the last one kills."
  • "Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat."
  • "Omnes vulnerant. Postuma necat."
Added on 17-Nov-16 | Last updated 17-Nov-16
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It is an unhappy truth that racism is a way of life for the vast majority of white Americans, spoken and unspoken, acknowledged and denied, subtle and sometimes not so subtle — the disease of racism permeates and poisons a whole body politic. And I can see nothing more urgent than for America to work passionately and unrelentingly — to get rid of the disease of racism. Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” sermon, National Cathedral, Washington, DC (31 Mar 1968)
Added on 9-Oct-16 | Last updated 9-Oct-16
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Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Spencer Roane (1821)
Added on 15-Sep-16 | Last updated 15-Sep-16
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All is change; all yields its place and goes.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Heracles (421-416 B.C.)
Added on 11-Aug-16 | Last updated 11-Aug-16
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What the tender and poetic youth dreams to-day, and conjures up with inarticulate speech, is to-morrow the vociferated result of public opinion, and the day after is the character of nations.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
(Attributed)

Quoted in James Comper Gray, The Biblical Museum: Old Testament (1876).
Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 4-Aug-16
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If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now — when?

Hillel (1st C. BC-1st C. AD) Jewish sage, rabbi
Talmud, Mishnah, “Pirkay Avot [Chapters of the Fathers],” Aboth 1:14 [tr. Rosten (1972)]
Added on 2-Aug-16 | Last updated 2-Aug-16
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There are no happy endings in history, only crisis points that pass.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
The Gods Themselves, Sec. 3, ch. 19 (1972)
Added on 26-Jul-16 | Last updated 26-Jul-16
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I bid good-bye to the old century, may it rest in peace as it has lived in war. Of the new century I prophesy nothing except that it will see the decline of the British Empire. Other worse empires will rise perhaps in its place, but I shall not live to see the day. It all seems a very little matter here in Egypt, with the pyramids watching us as they watched Joseph, when, as a young man four thousand years ago, perhaps in this very garden, he walked and gazed at the sunset behind them, wondering about the future just as I did this evening. And so, poor wicked nineteenth century, farewell!

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840-1922) English poet, critic, horse breeder
My Diaries, 1888-1914, 31 Dec 1900 (1921)
Added on 2-Jun-16 | Last updated 2-Jun-16
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Alas! There is no casting anchor in the stream of time!

Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington (1789-1849) Irish novelist [Lady Blessington, b. Margaret Power]
Country Quarters (1850)
Added on 19-May-16 | Last updated 19-May-16
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Time never fails to bring every exalted reputation to a strict scrutiny: the world, in passing the judgment that is never to be reversed, will deny all partiality even to the name of Washington. Let it be denied, for its justice will confer glory.

Fisher Ames (1758-1808) American politician, orator
“Eulogy on Washington” (8 Feb 1800)
    (Source)
Added on 12-May-16 | Last updated 12-May-16
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The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) English poet and critic
God and the Bible (1875)
Added on 28-Apr-16 | Last updated 28-Apr-16
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