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Bugs, Mr. Rico! Zillions of ’em!

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Starship Troopers, ch. 13 [Hughes] (1959)
    (Source)

Reporting to Lieutenant Juan Rico an Arachnid assault on Planet P. The line is not in the 1997 movie.
 
Added on 29-May-24 | Last updated 13-May-24
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I think of Art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system, that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) Canadian philosopher, communication theorist, educator
Quoted in Richard Schickel, “Marshall McLuhan: Canada’s Intellectual Comet,” Harper’s Magazine (1965-11)
    (Source)

Based on "conversations" Schickel had with McLuhan.

Often cited to McLuhan's breakout work Understanding Media (1964) (e.g., here and here), but not found there.
 
Added on 11-Oct-23 | Last updated 11-Oct-23
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In France they ignore those who set fires and punish those who give the alarm.

[En France, on laisse en repos ceux qui mettent le feu, et on persécute ceux qui sonnent le tocsin.]

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. 8, ¶ 500 (1795) [tr. Merwin (1969)]
    (Source)

Likely true for more than just France, especially as Chamfort was referring to political leadership.

The source for this fragment seems to be from a political incident. After the exile of Calonne in April 1787, after proposing a number of social reforms, Chamfort noted, "They ignored him when he started the fire, but punished him when he sounded the alarm." [tr. Dusinberre (1992), ¶ 499]. When collected as his "Thoughts," it was made more general.

(Source (French), ¶ 500). Alternate translations:

In France we leave unmolested those who set fire to the house and persecute those who sound the alarm bell.
[tr. Hutchinson (1902)]

In France we harry the man who rings the alarum bell, and leave the man in peace who starts the fire.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

In France, those who commit arson are left in peace, and those who sound the alarm are persecuted.
[tr. Pearson (1973)]

In France, we leave arsonists in peace and persecute those who sound the alarm.
[tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 257]

In France, people leave alone the person who started the fire and persecute the one who rings the bell.
[tr. Sinicalchi, ¶ 499]

 
Added on 9-Oct-23 | Last updated 9-Oct-23
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I conceive that there is nothing which gives a man more pause before taking as absolute what his feelings welcome, and his mind deems plausible, than even the flicker of recollection that something of the sort has been tried before, felt before, disputed before, and for some reason or other has now quite gone into Limbo.

Learned Hand (1872-1961) American jurist
“Sources of Tolerance,” speech, University of Pennsylvania Law School (1930-06)
    (Source)
 
Added on 13-Jul-23 | Last updated 13-Jul-23
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Temperance.
Temperance and honoring the gods. It’s the best we can do.
The smartest thing mortals can choose to do.

[τὸ σωφρονεῖν δὲ καὶ σέβειν τὰ τῶν θεῶν
κάλλιστον: οἶμαι δ᾽ αὐτὸ καὶ σοφώτατον
θνητοῖσιν εἶναι κτῆμα τοῖσι χρωμένοις.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Bacchæ [Βάκχαι], l. 1150ff [Messenger/Ἄγγελος] (405 BC) [tr. Pauly (2019)]
    (Source)

After recounting the brutal murder and dismemberment of Pentheus by the Bacchantes in punishment of his disrespect to Dionysus.

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

For modest worth, and reverence for the Gods,
Are, in my judgement, the most certain marks
Of glory and of wisdom in mankind.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Soundness of mind and reverence for the affairs of the gods is best; and this, I think, is the wisest possession for those mortals who adopt it.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]

Oh! to be reverent, to adore the gods,
This is the noblest, wisest course of man,
Taking dread warning from this dire event.
[tr. Milman (1865)]

For soberness and reverence for the gods
I deem the wisest and the best of things
To all such men as learn this lesson well.
[tr. Rogers (1872)]

To my mind self-restraint and reverence for the things of God point alike the best and wisest course for all mortals who pursue them.
[tr. Coleridge (1891)]

Ay, self-restraint, and reverence for the Gods
Are best, I ween; 'tis wisest far for men
To get these in possession, and cleave thereto.
[tr. Way (1898)]

Oh, to fulfil
God's laws, and have no thought beyond His will,
Is man's best treasure. Aye, and wisdom true,
Methinks, for things of dust to cleave unto!
[tr. Murray (1902)]

Humility,
a sense of reverence before the sons of heaven --
of all the prizes that a mortal man might win,
these, I say, are wisest; these are best.
[tr. Arrowsmith (1960)]

To be of sound mind and reverence the things divine
is finest -- and I think it is also the wisest
practice for mortal men to follow.
[tr. Kirk (1970)]

The noblest thing a man can have is a humble and quiet heart that reveres the gods. I think that is also the wisest thing for a man to possess, if he will be use it.
[tr. Vellacott (1973)]

Pure thought, and reverence for what is god’s --
this is the fairest and, I think, the wisest
possession mortals can employ.
[tr. Neuburg (1988)]

I am but a simple man, yet to me
reverence and humility before the Gods
is best for all men. It is also the only wisdom.
If only men would use it. So I think.
[tr. Cacoyannis (1982)]

To be moderate and honor godly things
Is best. I think it the wisest possession
For mortal men, if they use it well.
[tr. Blessington (1993)]

Moderation and reverence for things divine,
this is the best course. And it is also, I think,
the wisest possession for those mortals who use it.
[tr. Esposito (1998)]

But this is the highest glory: have a sound mind and reverence for
whatever belongs to the gods. This too is the most wise
of all pursuits a human being can follow.
[tr. Woodruff (1999)]

Wise moderation and a reverence
For what is of the gods -- this is what’s best.
And this, I think, of all possessions owned
By mortals, is the wisest one to use.
[tr. Gibbons/Segal (2000)]

The best thing of all is to practice moderation and worship the gods. That is also, I think, the wisest possession a mortal can make use of.
[tr. Kovacs (2002)]

The greatest wisdom is humility,
It is the greatest gift the gods give us;
Most wise the man who uses it.
[tr. Teevan (2002)]

Wisdom and respect for the gods is a great virtue and a possession most worthy for the mortals to have.
[tr. Theodoridis (2005)]

For having a mind that respects the affairs of divine ones
is the most beautiful thing on earth, and I think
it is the wisest thing someone could do.
[tr. Valerie (2005)]

The best thing is to keep one's mind controlled,
and worship all that comes down from the gods.
That, in my view, is the wisest custom,
for those who can conduct their lives that way.
[tr. Johnston (2008), l. 1428ff]

This is another lesson:
that moderation and reverence for the gods
are a mortal's best possession.
[tr. Robertson (2014), l. 1149ff]

For I believe
that our most beautiful possessions are sanity and a love of the gods.
The wise are those who use wisdom.
[tr. Behr/Foster (2019)]

Balance [sōphroneîn] and reverence for the affairs of the gods is best. I think this is the most sophon possession for mortals’ use.
[tr. Buckley/Sens/Nagy (2020)]

Humility, a sense of reverence before the sons of heaven --
of all the prizes that a mortal man might win
these, I say, are wisest; these are best.
[Bartlett's]

 
Added on 27-Jun-23 | Last updated 27-Jun-23
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The United States is not a beacon, not a light of freedom! She is a warning, rather than an example to the world!

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) American abolitionist, activist, journalist, suffragist
Speech, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society 25th Anniversary Conference (1857)
    (Source)

On slavery in the US, two months before the Dredd Scott decision.

Almost always elided as "The United States ... is a warning, rather than example to the world."
 
Added on 23-May-23 | Last updated 3-Jul-23
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Gustave Dore - Dante, Inferno, Canto 14O endless wrath of God: how utterly
thou shouldst become a terror to all men
who read the frightful truths revealed to me!

[O vendetta di Dio, quanto tu dei
esser temuta da ciascun che legge
ciò che fu manifesto a li occhi mei!]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 14, l. 16ff (14.16-18) (1309) [tr. Ciardi (1954), l. 13ff]
    (Source)

On entering the Seventh Circle, third ring, and seeing flames drifting down from the sky, landing on the damned trapped there (blasphemers, sodomites, usurers).

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

O Vengeance dire of God, how much you should
By ev'ry one be dreaded, when he reads
What to my eyes was manifestly shewn!
[tr. Rogers (1782)]

Vengeance of Heav'n! I saw thy hand severe
(Your doom! ye Atheists and Blasphemers, hear!)
O'er many a naked soul the scourge display!
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 4]

Vengeance of Heav’n! Oh! how shouldst thou be fear’d
By all, who read what here my eyes beheld!
[tr. Cary (1814)]

O vengeance of the Eternal! how ought they
Who read the tale, thy workings mark with awe,
In that my troubled eyes did here survey!
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

O vengeance of God! how shouldst thou be feared by every one who reads what was revealed to my eyes!
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Avenging power of God! how should each fear,
Who reads of this, arresting with surprise,
The sight which manfestly met mine eyes!
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

Oh, God's great vengeance! with what heavy dread
Thou should'st be fear'd by ev'ry one who reads
What to mine eyes so manifest was made!
[tr. Johnston (1867), l. 16ff]

Vengeance of God, O how much oughtest thou
By each one to be dreaded, who doth read
That which was manifest unto mine eyes!
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

O vengeance of God, how oughtest thou to be feared by each one who reads that which was manifested to my eyes!
[tr. Butler (1885)]

O vengeance of great God! with what a fear
Thou shouldst be held by all who read in awe
That which before my eyes was visibly clear!
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

O vengeance of God, how much thou oughtest to be feared by every one who readeth that which was manifest unto mine eyes!
[tr. Norton (1892)]

O Vengeance of God, how mightily shouldst thou be feared by all who read that which was given mine eyes to look upon!
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

Vengeance of God! In what great fear and trembling
Should'st thou be held by each who reads the story
Of that which to my eyes was manifested.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

O vengeance of God, how must thou be feared by everyone who reads what was plain before my eyes!
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

O chastisement of God, how oughtest thou
To be of each one feared who reads with awe
What to my eyes was manifested now.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Fearful indeed art thou, vengeance of God!
He that now reads what mine own eyes with awe
Plainly beheld, well may he dread thy rod!
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

O vengeance of God, how much should you be feared by all who read what was revealed to my eyes!
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

O just revenge of God! how awesomely
you should be feared by everyone who reads
these truths that were revealed to my own eyes!
[tr. Musa (1971)]

O vengeance of the Lord, how you should be
dreaded by everyone who now can read
whatever was made manifest to me!
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

O vengeance of God, how much you ought
To be feared by everyone who reads
What was there manifested to my eyes.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

O vengeance of God, how much
Should you be feared by all of those who read
What my eyes saw!
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

O vengeance of God, how much must you be feared by everyone who reads what was made manifest to my eyes!
[tr. Durling (1996)]

O God’s vengeance, how what was shown to my sight should be feared, by all who read!
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Great God! Your vengeance must be rightly feared
by all who read the verses I compose
to say what there was straight before my eyes.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

O vengeance of God, how much
should you be feared by all who read
what now I saw revealed before my eyes!
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

But O God's awful vengeance! Reading this,
You all should tremble with fear for what my eyes
Were shown, dark and terrible, a burning brilliance!
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

Holy Vengeance, how you must
Be feared by all who read what now I saw!
[tr. James (2013)]

 
Added on 14-Apr-23 | Last updated 22-Mar-24
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Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) American abolitionist, activist, journalist, suffragist
Philothea, ch. 6 [Philothea] (1836)
    (Source)
 
Added on 8-Mar-23 | Last updated 8-Mar-23
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Or fraud lurks somewhere to destroy:
Mistrust, mistrust it, men of Troy!
Whate’er it be, a Greek I fear,
Though presents in his hand he bear.

[Aliquis latet error; equo ne credite, Teucri.
Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 48ff (2.48-49) [Laocoön] (29-19 BC) [tr. Conington (1866)]
    (Source)

Warning of the Trojan Horse; the origin of the phrase, "Beware Greeks bearing gifts." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Some deceit lurks, Dardans trust not this Horse, What ere it is, Greeks bringing gifts I feare. [tr. Ogilby (1649)]
Somewhat is sure designed, by fraud or force;
Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Some mischievous design lurks beneath it. Trojans, put no faith in this horse. Whatever it be, I dread the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

     Some other guile
Is lurking. Trojans, do not trust this horse.
Whatever it may be, I fear the Greeks,
Even when they bring us gifts.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Some delusion lurks there: Trust not the horse, O Trojans. Be it what it may, I fear the Grecians even when they offer gifts.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Some guile at least therein abides: Teucrians, trust not the horse!
Whatso it is, the Danaan folk, yea gift-bearing I fear.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

     Some mischief lies behind.
Trust not the horse, ye Teucrians. Whatso'er
This means, I fear the Greeks, for all the gifts they bear.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 7; l. 61ff]

     'T is a snare.
Trust not this horse, O Troy, whate'er it bode!
I fear the Greeks, though gift on gift they bear.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Some trickery lurks therein. Trust not the horse, ye Trojans. Whatever it be, I fear the Greeks, even when bringing gifts.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

     Tricky business
Is hiding in it. Do not trust it, Trojans,
Do not believe this horse. Whatever it may be,
I fear the Greeks, even when bringing presents.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

     Sure, some trick
Is there. No, you must never feel safe with the horse, Trojans.
Whatever it is, I distrust the Greeks, even when they are generous.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Some trickery is here. Trojans, do not
trust in the horse. Whatever it may be,
I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 68ff]

     Some crookedness
Is in this thing. Have no faith in the horse!
Whatever it is, even when Greeks bring gifts
I fear them, gifts and all.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 67ff]

There is some other trick we cannot see. Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I am afraid of Greeks, particularly when they bring gifts.
[tr. West (1990)]

Or it hides some other trick: Trojans, don’t trust this horse.
Whatever it is, I’m afraid of Greeks even those bearing gifts.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Some other evil lurks inside. Do not trust the Horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Some other deception’s lurking deep inside it.
Trojans, never trust that horse. Whatever it is,
I fear the Greeks, especially bearing gifts.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 60ff]

Some trick lurks here. Citizens, don't trust the horse; fear Greeks, even bringing offerings.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 2-Mar-22 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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“I am going to tell you something Benedict should have told you long ago,” I said. “Never trust a relative. It is far worse than trusting strangers. With a stranger there is a possibility that you might be safe.”

“You really mean that, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Yourself included?”

I smiled. “Of course it does not apply to me. I am the soul of honor, kindness, mercy, and goodness. Trust me in all things.”

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) American writer
The Guns of Avalon [Corwin to Dara] (1972)
    (Source)
 
Added on 26-Jan-22 | Last updated 26-Jan-22
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Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) English writer and mathematician [pseud. of Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]
Through the Looking-Glass, ch. 1 (1872)
 
Added on 29-Apr-16 | Last updated 29-Apr-16
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The sharp side of the knife goes away from you. Pure reason does not trump brute force but surprisingly few people know what hot peppers look like when the teacher asks if you have enough to share with everyone. Never take the lid of a pressure cooker “to see if it’s done yet”. Even if you are careful with the picric acid that won’t matter if you are careless with other items next to it. Move away from mysterious burglar alarms. Do not append “you moron” to exposition directed at people who have just broken into your building. “We need to talk” is overwhelmingly unlikely to precede good news. A rough brick wall may be used to sort socks or as a backdrop for sock-art (The Neglected Art). A silent cat is Up to Something. Lungs are unsuited for many possible atmospheres, including that of London, and anything with a high content of industrial cleaners. Youth will not save you from Newton’s Laws. Or Darwin’s.

James Nicoll (b. 1961) Canadian reviewer, editor
Facebook (11 Jul 2014)
    (Source)
 
Added on 11-Apr-16 | Last updated 11-Apr-16
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This I (still) believe:
Fire is not necessarily your friend. Neither are dogs. Things with lit fuses should not be held onto. Beware the savage croquet ball. If it is -30 out, put on a coat before you leave the house. Just because the snow keeps you from seeing other objects the objects do not cease to exist. Clotheslines are the enemy of the bicyclist. If you don’t remember how you got on the ground or where the blood came from, don’t get up right away. Gym teachers think it’s funny to commit assault with a baseball so don’t day-dream during PE even if they have you so far in the outfield there are DEW line posts on either side of you. All guns are loaded. So are many bows. Trebuchets are for outside use only.

James Nicoll (b. 1961) Canadian reviewer, editor
Facebook (11 Jul 2014)
    (Source)
 
Added on 4-Apr-16 | Last updated 4-Apr-16
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Ya got trouble, folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for pool!

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) American composer, songwriter, flutist, conductor, playwright
“(Ya Got) Trouble,” The Music Man (1957)
 
Added on 23-Sep-15 | Last updated 23-Sep-15
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A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
Interview in The Daily Nexus (5 Apr 2000)

Reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt.
 
Added on 4-May-15 | Last updated 4-May-15
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When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
The Second World War, Vol. 2: Their Finest Hour, ch. 23 “September Tensions” (1949)
    (Source)
 
Added on 4-Oct-10 | Last updated 25-Mar-19
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A man who says that no patriot should attack the Boer War until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying that no good son should warn his mother off a cliff until she has fallen over it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Orthodoxy, ch. 5 (1908)
 
Added on 4-Aug-07 | Last updated 24-Feb-16
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In a theatre it happened that a fire started off stage. The clown came out to tell the audience. They thought it was a joke and applauded. He told them again, and they became still more hilarious. This is the way, I suppose, that the world will be destroyed — amid the universal hilarity of wits and wags who think it is all a joke.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher, theologian
Either/Or, “Diapsalmata” (1843)

Alternate translation: "It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke."

Alternate translation: "A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to the general applause of wits who believe it's a joke"
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Oct-21
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Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens, “Caveat” (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Jun-21
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