Quotations about   time

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The great inconvenience of new books is that they prevent us from reading the old ones.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 4-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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What will you think of pleasures when you no longer enjoy them?

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 19-Aug-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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The years as they pass plunder us of one thing after another.

[Singula de nobis anni praedantur euntes.]

Horace (65-8 BC) Roman poet and satirist [Quintus Horacius Flaccus]
Epistles, Book 2, ep. 2, l. 56 (c. 20-14 BC)

Alt. trans.: "The passing years steal one thing after another"

Pope's translation: "Years following years steal something every day; / At last they steal us from ourselves away."
Added on 6-Jun-11 | Last updated 18-May-16
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No one can understand history without continually relating the long periods which are constantly mentioned to the experiences of our own short lives. Five years is a lot. Twenty years is the horizon to most people. Fifty years is antiquity. To understand how the impact of destiny fell upon any generation of men one must first imagine their position and then apply the time-scale of our own lives.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Vol. 1 “The Birth of Britain” (1956-58)
Added on 27-Apr-11 | Last updated 12-Nov-14
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Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone — but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.

Hazlitt - mockery of friendship - wist_info quote

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English writer
“On The Conduct of Life” (1822)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Feb-10 | Last updated 19-Jan-16
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All things are in motion, and nothing is at rest. … You cannot step into the same [river] twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.

[Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει]

Heraclitus (c.540-c.480 BC) Greek philosopher [also Heracleitus]
(Attributed)

Paraphrased by Socrates in Plato, Cratylus, l. 402 [tr. B Jowett (1894)] and by Diogenes Laërtius in Lives of the Philosophers Bk 9, sec 8

Alt trans.:
  • Everything flows, nothing stays still
  • Everything flows and nothing stays.
  • Everything flows and nothing abides.
  • Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.
  • Everything flows; nothing remains.
  • All is flux, nothing is stationary.
  • All is flux, nothing stays still.
  • You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in.
  • You cannot step twice into the same stream. For as you are stepping in, other waters are ever flowing on to you.
  • You cannot step twice into the same river.
  • It is impossible to step into the same river twice.
  • No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
Added on 23-Apr-09 | Last updated 14-Mar-17
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When I had youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life. I suppose it’s the discipline I need; but it’s rather hard to love the things I do, and see them go by because duty chains me to my galley. If I ever come into port with all sails set, that will be my reward perhaps.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) American writer
(Attributed) (1873)

Quoted in M. Saxton, Louisa May, ch. 17 (1977).
Added on 7-Oct-08 | Last updated 16-Apr-19
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And do you know, it is a splendid thing to think that the woman you really love will never grow old to you. Through the wrinkles of time, through the mask of years, if you really love her, you will always see the face you loved and won. And a woman who really loves a man does not see that he grows old; he is not decrepit to her; he does not tremble; he is not old; she always sees the same gallant gentleman who won her hand and heart. I like to think of it in that way; I like to think that love is eternal. And to love in that way and then go down the hill of life together, and as you go down, hear, perhaps, the laughter of grandchildren, while the birds of joy and love sing once more in the leafless branches of the tree of age.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
    (Source)

See also here.
Added on 4-Sep-08 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
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Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Mark Twain’s Notebook [ed. Paine (1935)]
Added on 30-Nov-07 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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I am rarely happier than when spending entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
Last Chance to See, ch. 2 (1991)
Added on 30-Oct-07 | Last updated 26-Aug-14
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The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) French-American religious and writer [a.k.a. Fr. M. Louis]
“Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander”
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Innovation,” Essays, No. 26 (1625)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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There is no fruit which is not bitter before it is ripe.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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As we speak, cruel time is fleeing.  Seize the day, leave as little as possible to tomorrow.

[… dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
.]

Horace (65-8 BC) Roman poet and satirist [Quintus Horacius Flaccus]
Odes [Carmina], Book 1, Ode 11, l. 8 (c. 23 BC)

Alt trans. "... believing as little as possible in the morrow."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-Apr-16
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What I love the most about deadlines is the whooshing sound they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Salmon of Doubt (2002)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Aug-14
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The world goes up and the world goes down,
The sunshine follows the rain,
And yesterday’s sneer and yesterday’s frown
Can never come over again.

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English clergyman, historian, essayist, novelist (pseud. "Parson Lot")
“Dolcino to Margaret” (1851)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-16
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