Quotes to Ponder

Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life. – Joseph Addison, Spectator, No. 225


God, whose law it is
that he who learns must suffer.
And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
and in our own despite, against our will,
comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. – Aeschylus, Agamemnon


Every tale is not to be believed. – Aesop, The Thief and the Innkeeper


You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration. – James Allen, As a Man Thinketh


A man may have the courage of a lion in attack and self-defence (such courage being a human virtue), but he will not thereby be rendered supremely happy; but he whose courage is of that divine kind which enables him to transcend both attack and defence, and to remain mild, serene, and lovable under attack, such a man will thereby be rendered supremely happy. – James Allen, From Passion to Peace


The obedience of Human Nature is exhibited at once in full perfection and in uttermost freedom, when it voluntarily surrenders its own free will to the will of God, and when, with a freedom all its own, it perfects the good will which was therefore accepted because unexacted. – Anselm of Canterbury


Any one can get angry – that is easy – ... but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble. – Aristotle, Nicomachaen Ethics, book 2 part 9


“The law is reason, free from passion. – Aristotle”


Moral excellence is concerned with pleasures and pains; it is on account of the pleasure that we do bad things, and on account of the pain that we abstain from noble ones. Hence we ought to have been brought up in a particular way from our very youth, as Plato says, so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; for this is the right education. – Aristotle, Nicomachaen Ethics


Choice springs from a state of character – Aristotle, Nicomachaen Ethics


The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold. – Aristotle, On the Heavens


Law is order, and good law is good order. – Aristotle, Politics


The law is reason, free from passion. – Aristotle, Politics


Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.
W. H. Auden, A Certain World


All pity is self-pity. – W. H. Auden, Interlude: West's Disease


Love the sinner and hate the sin. – St. Augustine, Opera Omnia, Vol II. Col. 962, letter 211


Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 3, Part 11


It is a poor centre of a man's actions, himself.Francis Bacon, Essays Civil and Moral


Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.
Francis Bacon


The human mind is like a false mirror that distorts and discolors what it reflects, mixing its own nature with that of the world. – Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, Aphorism 41


Praise to God, immortal praise,
For the love that crowns our days:
Bounteous source of every joy,
Let thy praise our tongues employ.
Anna Letitia Barbauld, Hymn II


Beauty consists of unity and gradual variety, or unity, variety, and harmony. – James Barry


“To be awake is to be fully conscious of something.”


Imagination is an almost divine faculty which, without recourse to any philosophical method, immediately perceives everything: the secret and intimate connections between things, correspondences and analogies. – Charles Baudelaire, New Notes on E. Poe, Part III


A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. – Henry Ward Beecher


Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself. – Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts


God builds for every sinner, if he will but come back, a highway of golden promises from the depths of degradation and sin clear up to the Father's house. – Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts


Men think, with regard to their conduct, that, if they were to lift themselves up gigantically and commit some crashing sin, they should never be able to hold up their heads; but they will harbor in their souls little sins, which are piercing and eating them away to inevitable ruin. – Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts


All our other faculties seem to have the brown touch of earth upon them, but the imagination carries the very livery of heaven, and is God's self in the soul. – Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit


That which men suppose the imagination to be, and to do, is often frivolous enough and mischievous enough; but that which God meant it to be in the mental economy is not merely noble, but supereminent. It is the distinguishing element in all refinement. It is the secret and marrow of civilization. It is the very eye of faith. The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope. – Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts


As the imagination is set to look into the invisible and immaterial, it seems to attract something of their vitality; and though it can give nothing to the body to redeem it from years, it can give to the soul that freshness of youth in old age which is even more beautiful than youth in the young. – Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts


The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures... are found upon comparison to be really part of the original law of nature. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these. – William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England


Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair. – William Blake, The Clod and the Pebble


The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. – William Blake, Jerusalem


If you think at all so as to discriminate between truth and falsehood, you will find that you cannot accept open self-contradiction. Hence to think is to judge, and to judge is to criticise, and to criticise is to use a criterion of reality. And surely to doubt this would be mere blindness or confused self-deception. – F. H. Bradley, Appearance and Reality


And (glancing on my own thin, veinèd wrist),
In such a little tremor of the blood
The whole strong clamour of a vehement soul
Doth utter itself distinct. Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh


Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for? – Robert Browning, Andrea Del Sarto


He said true things, but called them by wrong names.
Robert Browning, Bishop Blougram's Apology


“The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.” – Blake


I trust in Nature for the stable laws
Of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant
And Autumn garner to the end of time.
I trust in God,—the right shall be the right
And other than the wrong, while he endures.
I trust in my own soul, that can perceive
The outward and the inward,—Nature's good
And God's.
Robert Browning, A Soul's Tragedy, Act. I.


Ignorance is not innocence, but sin. – Robert Browning


Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius. – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton


Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants. – Edmund Burke


Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing. – Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France


There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity – the law of nature and of nations. – Edmund Burke, speech on the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, May 28, 1794


Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint. – Samuel Butler, Judging the Dead


How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct. – Lord Bryon, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


“Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kind of sin.” – Chesterton


Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. – Thomas Carlyle


Fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment. – Dale Carnegie


Think gently of the erring:
Oh! do not thou forget,
However darkly stained by sin
He is thy brother yet.
Julia Carney


There is something so deceitful in sin! A man is brought to believe his own lie! He is so accustomed to hide himself from himself, that he is surprised when another detects and unmasks him. – Richard Cecil


A man's besetting sin lies in that to which his nature is mort inclined. – Richard Cecil


Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kind of sin. – G. K. Chesterton


The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them. – G. K. Chesterton


A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world. – Maurice Chevalier


Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. – Winston Churchill


Let the punishment match the offense. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, On the Laws, Book III, section 11


Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, Laelius On Friendship, Section 22


Any man can make mistakes, but only a fool persists in his error. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Inventione, Section 2.9.3


Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead. – Carl von Clausewitz, On War


Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating. – Carl von Clausewitz, On War


All sympathy not consistent with acknowledged virtue is but disguised selfishness. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Grief walks upon the heels of pleasure; married in haste, we repent at leisure.
William Congreve, The Old Bachelor, Act V, scene viii


It is the guilt, not the scaffold, which constitutes the shame. – Pierre Corneille, Essex, IV. 3.


It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt. – John Philpot Curran, "Election of Lord Mayor of Dublin," speech before the Privy Council, July 10, 1790


Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity. – John Dalberg, Lord Acton


It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. – Leonardo da Vinci


The imagination is to the effect as the shadow to the opaque body which causes the shadow. – Leonardo da Vinci, Thoughts on Art and Life


Know thyself. – Delphic maxim, inscribed in the outer court of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi


Study to sever pleasure from vice. – René Descartes, Discourse on Method, Part III, para 6


My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. – Charles Dickens, Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield


Ignorance never settles a question. – Benjamin Disraeli,
Speech in the House of Commons May 14, 1866


If men be worlds, there is in every one
Something to answer in proportion
All the world's riches: and in good men this
Virtue our form's form, and our soul's soul is.
John Donne, Poems of John Donne,
Verse letter to Mr. Rowland Woodward


If you looke upon this world in a Map, you find two Hemisphears, two half worlds. If you crush heaven into a Map, you may find two Hemisphears too, two half heavens; Halfe will be Joy, and halfe will be Glory; for in these two, the joy of heaven, and the glory of heaven, is all heaven often represented unto us. – John Donne, Donne's Sermons; Selected Passages,
Joy, Sermon 142


As my soul shall not go towards heaven, but go by heaven to heaven, to the heaven of heavens, so the true joy of a good soul in this world is the very joy of heaven – John Donne, The Works of John Donne: With a Memoir of His Life, Sermon LXVI


Jealousy, the jaundice of the soul. – John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther


Our vows are heard betimes! and Heaven takes care
To grant, before we can conclude the prayer:
Preventing angels met it half the way,
And sent us back to praise, who came to pray.
John Dryden, Britannia Rediviva


“Freedom under law is like the air we breathe.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


We have learnt that the exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating. Feeling that there must be more behind, we return to our starting point in human consciousness – the one centre where more might become known. There we find other stirrings, other revelations than those conditioned by the world of symbols... Physics most strongly insists that its methods do not penetrate behind the symbolism. Surely then that mental and spiritual nature of ourselves, known in our minds by an intimate contact transcending the methods of physics, supplies just that... which science is admittedly unable to give. – Arthur Stanley Eddington, Science and the Unseen World


Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research. – Albert Einstein, Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms


There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance. – Albert Einstein, Preface to Max Planck's Where is Science Going?


Freedom is rooted in the certainty that the brotherhood of all men springs from the Fatherhood of God. And thus, even as each man is his brother's keeper, no man is another's master. – Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address at the Philadelphia Convention Hall, November 1, 1956


The history of free men is never written by chance but by choice – their choice. – Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address in Pittsburgh, October 9, 1956


Freedom under law is like the air we breathe. – Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks on the Observation of Law Day, 1958


There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope. – George Eliot, Adam Bede


We are all of us imaginative in some form or other, for images are the brood of desire. – George Eliot, Middlemarch


Love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Beauty is the form under which intellect prefers to study the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


The condition of true naming, on the poet's part, is his resigning himself to the divine aura which breathes through forms. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


There may be two or three or four steps, according to the genius of each, but for every seeing soul there are two absorbing facts, – I and the Abyss.Ralph Waldo Emerson


Those who live to the future must always appear selfish to those who live to the present. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Give me truths,
For I am weary of the surfaces,
And die of inanition.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Blight


The magnitude of intelligence is not measured by length nor yet by height, but by thoughts. – Epictetus, Discourses


There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course: a quiet conscience. – Euripides, Hippolytus


Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. – Euripides, Bacchæ, l. 480


Man is his own star and the soul that can render an honest and perfect man commands all light, all influence, all fate. – John Fletcher, An Honest Man's Fortune


Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat. – Henry Emerson Fosdick


Whate'er is begun in anger, ends in shame. – Benjamin Franklin


Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them. – Benjamin Franklin


There never was a good war, or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin


You may delay, but time will not. – Benjamin Franklin


Honesty is the best policy. – Benjamin Franklin


We dance round in a ring and suppose,
but the secret sits in the middle and knows. – Robert Frost


Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities


“Honesty is the best policy.” – Franklin


Two souls, alas! dwell in my breast; the one struggles to separate itself from the other. The one clings with persevering fondness to the world with organs like cramps of steel; the other lifts itself energetically from the mist to the realms of an exalted ancestry. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust Part 1


Our plans and designs should be so perfect in truth and beauty, that in touching them the world could only mar. We should thus have the advantage of setting right what is wrong, and restoring what is destroyed. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, maxim 12


As a rule, a man's knowledge, of whatever kind it may be, determines what he shall do and what he shall leave undone, and so it is that there is no more terrible sight than ignorance in action. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, maxim 52


Hatred is active displeasure, envy passive. We need not wonder why envy turns so soon to hatred. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, maxim 130


Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, maxim 231


The Beautiful is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which, without its presence, would have been hidden from us forever. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, maxim 481


A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip. – Billy Graham, The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations


Attention is the voluntary direction of the mind on an object, with the intention of fully apprehending it. – Sir William Hamilton


The intellect of the wise is like glass; it admits the light of heaven and reflects it. – Augustus Hare, Guesses at Truth


Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see;
And, what I do in any thing,
To do it as for thee.
George Herbert, The Elixir


Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them. – George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum


If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us. – Hermann Hesse, Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth


Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Mother's Secret


Attention is the voluntary direction of the mind on an object, with the intention of fully apprehending it. – Sir William Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic


“Fidelity is the sister of justice.” – Horace


Of Law there can be no less acknowledged, than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world: all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power. – Richard Hooker, Eccesiastical Polity, Book I


Fidelity is the sister of justice. – Horace


History has its truth, and so has legend. Legendary truth is of another nature than historical truth. Legendary truth is invention whose result is reality. Furthermore, history and legend have the same goal; to depict eternal man beneath momentary man. – Victor Hugo, Ninety-Three


Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. – Isaiah 1:18


At bottom, the whole concern of both morality and religion is with the manner of our acceptance of the universe. – William James


Properly speaking, a man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognise him. – William James


When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred. – Thomas Jefferson


The power of making war often prevents it. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Washington, December 4, 1788


Conscience is the only clue which will eternally guide a man clear of all doubts and inconsistencies. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Washington, May 10, 1789


Delay is preferable to error. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Washington, May 16, 1792

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Nathaniel Macon, January 12, 1819


He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785


Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785


“The integrity of men is to be measured by their conduct.” – Junius


It was the peculiar artifice of Habit not to suffer her power to be felt at first. Those whom she led, she had the address of appearing only to attend, but was continually doubling her chains upon her companions; which were so slender in themselves, and so silently fastened, that while the attention was engaged by other objects, they were not easily perceived. Each link grew tighter as it had been longer worn, and when, by continual additions, they became so heavy as to be felt, they were very frequently too strong to be broken. – Samuel Johnson, The Vision of Theodore


Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. – Samuel Johnson, Rasselas


Who falls for love of God shall rise a star. – Ben Jonson, Epistle to a Friend, to Persuade Him to the Wars


The integrity of men is to be measured by their conduct, not by their professions. – Junius, Junius, line 43


Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller, Journal


By two wings a man is lifted up from things earthly; namely, by Simplicity and Purity. Simplicity ought to be in our intentions, purity in our affections. Simplicity doth tend towards God; purity doth apprehend and taste Him. – Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ


Since geometry is co-eternal with the divine mind before the birth of things, God himself served as his own model in creating the world (for what is there in God which is not God?), and he with his own image reached down to humanity. – Johannes Kepler, Harmonices Mundi, Book IV, Ch. 1


Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. ... We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. – Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education


We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. – Martin Luther King, Jr., Antidotes for Fear


Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Martin Luther King, Jr., Love in Action


If God held all truth shut in his right hand, and in his left nothing but the ever-restless search after truth, although with the condition of for ever and ever erring, and should say to me, "Choose!" I should bow humbly to his left hand and say, "Father, give! pure truth is for Thee alone!" – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, On Love of Truth, 4


If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Perhaps a man's character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. – Abraham Lincoln, as quoted by Brooks, in Scribner's Monthly, August 1879, p. 586


“Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.” – John Locke


Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. – Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois, printed in Alton Weekly Courier, September 16, 1858


If in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave. – Abraham Lincoln, Fragment: Notes for a Law Lecture, July 1, 1850?


In my judgment, such of us as have never fallen victims have been spared more by the absence of appetite, than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have. – Abraham Lincoln, Address delivered before the Springfield Washington Temperance Society, February 22, 1842


It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself, and claims kindred to the great God who made him. – Abraham Lincoln, Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes, August 14, 1862


Wherever law ends, tyranny begins – John Locke, Two Treatises of Government


When the ideas that offer themselves are taken notice of, and, as it were, registered in the memory, it is attention. – John Locke


Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all; besides also, those that by their atheism undermine and destroy all religion, can have no pretence of religion whereupon to challenge the privilege of a toleration. As for other practical opinions, though not absolutely free from all error, if they do not tend to establish domination over others, or civil impunity to the Church in which they are taught, there can be no reason why they should not be tolerated. – John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration


Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came
And he pushed
And they flew.
Christopher Logue, Come to the Edge


Intelligent men are cruel. Stupid men are monstrously cruel. – Jack London, The Jacket (The Star Rover)


In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh


O, well it has been said, that there is no grief like the grief which does not speak! – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion


The highest exercise of imagination is not to devise what has no existence, but rather to perceive what really exists, though unseen by the outward eye – not creation, but insight. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Table-Talk


The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion. – James Russell Lowell, My Study Windows


How extraordinarily the ways of God have been manifested beyond example: the sea is divided, a cloud has led the way, the rock has poured forth water, it has rained manna, everything has contributed to your greatness; you ought to do the rest. God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us. – Niccolo Machiavelli


Conscience is the most sacred of all property. – James Madison, The National Gazette, March 29, 1792


A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering cold iron. – Horace Mann, The Eclectic Magazine, Vol. VII, January-June 1868


When a child can be brought to tears, not from fear of punishment, but from repentance for his offence, he needs no chastisement. When the tears begin to flow from grief at one's own conduct, be sure there is an angel nestling in the bosom. – Horace Mann, Thoughts Selected from the Writings of Horace Mann


Virtue is the fount whence honour springs. – Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great


procrastination is the
art of keeping
up with yesterday
Don Marquis, certain maxims of archy


Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver, but less daring. – Herman Melville, White-Jacket


Not till the fire is dying in the grate,
Look we for any kinship with the stars.
George Meredith, Modern Love


I will place within them as a guide
My umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear,
Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
John Milton, Paradise Lost, line 195


Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data. – John Naisbitt as cited in Chang, 2006, p. 419


When you are out of harmony with God's will, problems come – their purpose is to push you into harmony. If you would willingly do God's will, you could avoid the problems. – Mildred Lisette Norman, Steps Toward Inner Peace


It is the mind that makes the man, and our vigour is in our immortal soul. – Ovid, Metamorphoses, xiii


No species remains constant: that great renovator of matter
Nature, endlessly fashions new forms from old: there's nothing
in the whole universe that perishes, believe me; rather
it renews and varies its substance. What we describe as birth
is no more than incipient change from a prior state, while dying
is merely to quit it. Though the parts may be transported
hither and thither, the sum of all matter is constant.
Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XV (Peter Green, trans.)


If you want to be loved, be lovable. – Ovid, The Art of Love, Book II, 107


Dislike what deserves it, but never hate: for that is of the nature of malice; which is almost ever to persons, not things, and is one of the blackest qualities sin begets in the soul. – William Penn, A Brief Memoir of the Life of William Penn as cited in Wakefield, 1833, p. 111


The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. – William Penn, Fruits of Solitude, Part II, no. 190


“The supreme excellence is simplicity.” – Longfellow


Jealousy is a kind of civil war in the soul, where judgment and imagination are at perpetual jars. This civil dissension in the mind, like that of the body politic, commits great disorders, and lays all waste. Nothing stands safe in its way; Nature, interest, religion, must yield to its fury. It violates contracts, dissolves society, breaks wedlock, betrays friends and neighbours. No body is good, and every one is either doing or designing them a mischief. It has a venom that more or less rankles wherever it bites: And as it reports fancies or facts, so it disturbs its own house as often as other folks. – William Penn, Fruits of Solitude, Part II, no. 191-195, 2-6


We have a closed circle of consistency here: the laws of physics produce complex systems, and these complex systems lead to consciousness, which then produces mathematics, which can then encode in a succinct and inspiring way the very underlying laws of physics that gave rise to it. – Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe


Frankness, reliability, sincerity, straightforwardness, plain-dealing, are but different modes in which Truth develops itself. – Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma


He best keeps from anger who remembers that God is always looking upon him. – Plato, as quoted in Christy, no. 40, 1887


To conquer yourself is the first and best victory of all, while to be conquered by yourself is of all the most shameful as well as evil – Plato, Laws, 626e


[Love] makes men to be of one mind at a banquet such as this, fulfilling them with affection and emptying them of disaffection. In sacrifices, banquets, dances, he is our lord, – supplying kindness and banishing unkindness, giving friendship and forgiving enmity, the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the gods; desired by those who have no part in him, and precious to those who have the better part in him. – Plato, The Symposium


Education is represented by him, "not as the filling of a vessel, but as the turning the eye of the soul towards the light." – Plato, The Republic, as translated by Jowett


This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything. – Plato, Apology.


The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education. – Plutarch, Moralia, On the Training of Children


The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting – no more – and then it motivates one towards originality and instills the desire for truth. – Plutarch, Moralia, On Listening to Lectures, 48C


The principal aim of mathematical education is to develop certain faculties of the mind, and among these intuition is not the least precious. It is through it that the mathematical world remains in touch with the real world, and even if pure mathematics could do without it, we should still have to have recourse to it to fill up the gulf that separates the symbol from reality. – Henri Poincare, Science and Method, as translated by Maitland


It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover. – Henri Poincare, Science and Method, as translated by Maitland


Good-Nature and Good-Sense must ever join;
To err is human, to forgive divine.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, Part II, lines 324-325


Order is Heaven's first law. – Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, line 49


Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, line 193


Anger begins with folly and ends with repentance. – Pythagoras, as quoted in Christy, no. 13, 1887


In jealousy there is more self-love than love. – François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, No. 324


Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims, maxim 218


Obey something, and you will have a chance to learn what is best to obey. But if you begin by obeying nothing, you will end by obeying the devil and all his invited friends. – John Ruskin, as quoted by Wood, 1899, no. 237


The Divine mind is as visible in its full energy of operation on every lowly bank and mouldering stone as in the lifting of the pillars of heaven, and settling the foundation of the earth. – John Ruskin, as quoted by Wood, 1899, no. 312


When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package. – John Ruskin, as quoted by Wood, 1899, no. 492


A civilization is a heritage of beliefs, customs, and knowledge slowly accumulated in the course of centuries, elements difficult at times to justify by logic, but justifying themselves as paths when they lead somewhere, since they open up for man his inner distance. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Flight to Arras, ch. 15


O jealousy! thou magnifier of trifles. – Johann Friedrich von Schiller, Rosa in Fiesco, I, 1


Compassion is the true moral incentive. – Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality


“Order is Heaven's first law.” – Pope


O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto VI, stanza 17


The body being only the covering of the soul, at its dissolution we shall discover the secrets of nature – the darkness shall be dispelled, and our souls irradiated with light and glory; a glory without a shadow, a glory that shall surround us; and from whence we shall look down, and see day and night beneath us: and as now we cannot lift up our eyes towards the sun without dazzling, what shall we do when we behold the divine light in its illustrious original? – Seneca, as quoted by Allibone, 7


The mind is the master over every kind of fortune: itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery. – Seneca, as quoted by Douglas, 221


Virtue is that perfect good, which is the complement of a happy life; the only immortal thing that belongs to mortality. – Seneca, as quoted by Douglas, 272


Who knows himself a braggart, let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass. – William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, Act 4, Scene 3.


I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct. – William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 4.


Master, go on, and I will follow thee
To the last gasp with truth and loyalty.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 3


In thy face I see
The map of honor, truth, and loyalty.
William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part 2, Act 3, Scene 1


A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.
William Shakespeare, King Henry VIII, Act 3, Scene 2


Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act 1, Scene 4


'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners. – William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 1, Scene 3


No legacy is so rich as honesty. – William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, Act 3, Scene 5


To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. – William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3


Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved; there can be no world peace unless there is soul peace. World wars are only projections of the conflicts waged inside the souls of men and women, for nothing happens in the external world that has not first happened within a soul. – Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul


America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. – Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, A Plea For Intolerance


Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, Stains the white radiance of eternity. – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais, lii, as quoted by Bartlett


Nothing is truly infamous, but what is wicked; and therefore, shame can never disturb an innocent and virtuous mind. – Percy William Sherlock, as quoted by Ballou


Accuracy is twin brother to honesty, and inaccuracy to dishonesty." — Charles Simmons, Laconic Manual and Brief Remarker


“Giving is true having.” – Spurgeon


Boasting is generally annoying. Even those that boast themselves cannot endure that other people should boast. But there is one kind of boasting that even the humble can bear to hear – nay they are glad to hear it. "The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad." That must be boasting in God – a holy glorying and extolling the Most High with words sought out with care that might magnify his blessed name. You will never exaggerate when you speak good things of God. It is not possible to do so. Try, dear brethren, and even boast in the Lord. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Exposition on Psalm 34:2


Giving is true having. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. – Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, March 10, 1746


I really know nothing more criminal, more mean, and more ridiculous than lying. It is the production either of malice, cowardice, or vanity; and generally misses of its aim in every one of these views; for lies are always detected, sooner or later. – Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, The Best Letters of Lord Chesterfield; Letters to His Son, XIII, Tolerance and Truth Recommended


Judgment is not upon all occasions required, but discretion always is. – Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, Letters to His Godson, XVI, Affectations - Polite Conversation


The true grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, enlightened and decorated by the intellect of man. – Charles Sumner, oration before the authorities of the City of Boston July 4, 1845


I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.
Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies


Not from without us, only from within, Comes or can ever come upon us light Whereby the soul keeps ever truth in sight. – Algernon Charles Swinburne, Astrophel and Other Poems


Cratylus ... holds that the inventors of the first names must have known the truth about things in order to give each its "true" name, and also that the truth about things can only be discovered by the study of names. How then did the original makers of names discover it? Perhaps, says Cratylus, the first names were of a superhuman origin; language began as a divine revelation, and its divine origin guarantees the "rightness" of the primitive names. – A.E. Tayor, Plato: The Man and His Work


Man's wisdom is his best friend; folly his worst enemy. – William Temple


A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service. – Henry David Thoreau,

çWe all know that, as the old adage has it, "It is later than you think." ..., but I also say occasionally: "It is lighter than you think." In this light let's not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness. – James Thurber

çI believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien çThe Soul's a messenger whereby
Within our inward Temple we may be
Even like the very Deity
In all the parts of His Eternity.
Thomas Traherne, An Hymn upon St. Bartholomew's Day, line 28 çMathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity. – Alan Turing, Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals


Make it a point to do something every day that you don't want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain. – Mark Twain


Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. – Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. XLVIII


Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. - Mark Twain, "Consistency" December 5, 1887


Tears are the silent language of grief. – Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, Tears


There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness. – George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789.


If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War. – George Washington, fifth annual address to Congress, December 13, 1793


Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. – George Washington, as quoted by Bartlett


To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. – George Washington, speech to both Houses of Congress, January 8, 1790


As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent, it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles. – George Washington, letter to James Madison, May 5, 1789


If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred. – Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric


Like everything metaphysical, the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language. – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations


The human body is the best picture of the human soul. – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations


Life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. – Virginia Woolf, Modern Fiction


...We are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
William Wordsworth, lines composed July 13, 1798, lines 45-49


...One in whom persuasion and belief
Had ripened into faith, and faith become
A passionate intuition; whence the Soul,
Though bound to earth by ties of pity and love,
From all injurious servitude was free.
William Wordsworth, The Excursion, Book Fourth,
Despondency Corrected, lines 1293-1297

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