Quotations about   uselessness

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The years come when the mind, like an old mill, ceases to grind; when weeds grow on the wall; and through every crack and leak in dam and sluice, spouts the useless water.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“Table-talk”
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Added on 21-May-21 | Last updated 21-May-21
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Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance; at least I suppose this quill I hold in my hand writes better than a peacock’s would, and the peasants of Vevay, whose fields in spring time are as white with lilies as the Dent du Midi is with its snow, told me the hay was none the better for them.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) English art critic, painter, writer, social thinker
The Stones of Venice, ch. 2 “The Virtues of Architecture,” sec. 17 (1851)
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Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
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It is worse than useless to try to put down by law a practice which a very large number of people believes to be innocent, and which must be left to the taste and conscience of the individual.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“The Birth-Rate” (1917), Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
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Speaking of birth control.
Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an Atheist by scripture.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
The American Crisis #5, “To General Sir William Howe” (23 Mar 1778)
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Sometimes shortened as: "To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead."
Added on 18-Jul-07 | Last updated 16-Feb-21
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