Quotations

Medical

Doctors and Patients

  • If your doctor does not think it good for you to sleep, to take wine or some particular meat, do not worry; I will find you another who will disagree with him. – Montaigne (1580)
  • The Balbec doctor, called in to cope with a sudden feverish attack, gave the opinion that I ought not to stay out all day on the beach in the blazing sun during the hot weather, and wrote out various prescriptions for me. My grandmother took these with a show of respect in which I could at once discern her firm resolves to ignore them all.. -Marcel Proust: Within a Budding Grove
  • He had what the doctors termed “bilious fever”. But in spite of the fact that they treated him, bled him and made him swallow drugs – he recovered”. (Tolstoy: War and)
  • “Fiddlesticks,” Father says, “What do doctors know? They make their livings advising people to do whatever they are not doing at the time, which is the extent of anyone’s knowledge of the degenerate ape.” William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury.
  • Beware of the young doctor and the old barber – Benjamin Franklin.
  • The diagnosis of disease is often easy, often difficult, and often impossible – Peter Mere Latham
  • Doctors treat patients, not statistical averages. A patient needs a doctor, not a committee. – John P. Peters, 1887-1955
  • I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the disease worthwhile. – George Bernard Shaw
  • Invalids live longer. – German proverb
  • Eunuchs do not take the gout, nor do they become bald. – Hippocrates, Aphorisms, Section II
  • In cases of jaundice it is a bad sign if the liver becomes indurated – Hippocrates, Aphorisms, Section II)
  • Give me a doctor partridge-plump,
    Short in the leg and broad in the rump,
    An endomorph with gentle hands
    Who’ll never make absurd demands
    That I abandon all my vices
    Nor pull a long face in a crisis,
    But with a twinkle in his eye
    Will tell me that I have to die. -Wystan Hugh Auden

 

Therapeutics

  • “I was told that it had long been kept a secret by an old woman in Shropshire, who had sometimes made cures after the more regular practitioners had failed. I was informed that the effects produced were violent vomiting and purging; for the diuretic effects seemed to have been overlooked. The medication was compounded of twenty or more different herbs; but it was not very difficult for one conversant with these subjects to perceive that the active herb could be no other than foxglove” – William Withering, An account of the Foxglove, 1785.
  • “Doctor, the pills are good for nothing – I might as well swallow snow-balls to cool my reins – I have told you over and over, how hard I am to move; and at this time of day, I ought to know something of my constitution… Prithee send me another prescription – I am as lame and as much tortured in all my limbs as if I was broke upon the wheel”.  -Tobias Smollett: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
  • Poor Dr. R–! How many bottles of your tastily prepared and expensive medicines have I not swallowed, in blind confidence and blinder ignorance of the offenses I thus committed against all the principles of that Nature within me.  Baffled in his attempts to remedy my ailments, Dr. R—at last resorted to the usual plan adopted by all physicians when their medicines have no power.  He recommended change of air and scene, and urged my leaving London, then dark with the fogs of a dreary winter, for the gaiety and sunshine and roses of the Riviera  –  Marie Corelli: A romance of two worlds, 1886
  • R–, of great repute in nervous ailments, attended me for many weeks, with but slight success. He was not to blame, poor man, for his failure to effect a cure.  He had only one way of treatment, and he applied it to all his patients with more or less happy results.  Some died, some recovered; it was a lottery on which my medical friend staked his reputation, and won.  The patients who died were never heard of more—those who recovered sang the praises of their physician everywhere, and sent him gifts of silver plate and hampers of wine, to testify their gratitude – Marie Corelli: A romance of two worlds, 1886.
  • The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease – Voltaire.
  • “The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals”. – Sir William Osler.
  • One evening, in the course of the usual cheerless dinner party at Windsor Castle, the old earl of Clarendon, with, one suspects too much gallantry and a glass too much of wine, turned to Queen Victoria and asked, “Ma’am, can you tell me the secret of your eternal youth?” Her Majesty’s reply was unequivocal.  “Beecham’s pills”, she snapped.  -Theo Aronson, The King in Love, p 205
  • “ … he was a confirmed dyspeptic. His view of my case was very simple. He said it was nothing but deranged liver. Of course! He suggested I stay for another trip and meantime dose myself with certain patent medicine in which his own belief was absolute. ‘I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll buy you two bottles, out of my own pocket. There. I can’t say fairer than that, can I? “ – Joseph Conrad: The Shadowline
  • “The great thing about this healer was that he relied on Nature. He had made a special study of the symptoms of Nature – when his patient failed in any natural symptom he supplied the poison which caused it – and there you were !”  – John Galworthy: The Forsyte Saga.
  • “It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride. There cannot be two kinds of medicine – conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work – Angell M and Kassirer JP, New Engl J Med 339:841).
  • He’s the best physician who knows the worthlessness of most medicines – Benjamin Franklin
  • Nature can do more than physicians. – Oliver Cromwell
  • Medicine for the dead is too late – Quintillian.
  • The best doctor is the one you run to and can’t find. – Diderot
  • A drug is a substance which when injected into a rat will produce a scientific report

 

Prognosis

  • “Within these last three days I have passed (you may alter the vowel A to the vowel I) a formidable quantity of blood. When a man makes blood instead of water, he is tempted to think of the possibility of his soon making earth.” – [Sir Walter Scott, in his journal, quoted by Sir Douglas Black, BMJ, 1960,1:667]
  • “He called the twenty-nine year old cop into his office and gave him the good news first. No, he didn’t have the clap as he’d feared. He could keep the same girlfriend and he wouldn’t have to make any confessions to his wife. The bad news was that he’d only have the girlfriend for two years. Ditto for the wife. The doctor looked mildly cranky… You’ve got red blood cells in your urine. Acute glomerulonephritis. Two years maybe.” –  J Wambaugh: The Secrets of Harry Bright, as quoted by S Posen. J Roy Soc Med 86:582.
  • “Your grandmother is doomed,” [the doctor] said to me. “It is a stroke brought on by uremia.  In itself uremia is not necessarily fatal, but this case seems to me hopeless…”        – Marcel Proust:  Remembrance of Things Past.
  • Were I of Caesar’s religion, I should be of his desires, and rather wish to go off at one blow, then to be sawed in pieces by the grating torture of a disease. Men that look no farther than their outsides, think health an appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being sick; but I, that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments that fabrick hangs, do wonder that we are not always so; and considering the thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my God that we can die but once. – Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici, (1642).
  • Happiness, like health, is probably also only a passing accident. For a moment or two the organism is irritated so little that it is not conscious of it; for the duration of that moment it is happy. Thus a hog is always happier than a man, and a bacillus is happier than a hog. – HL Mencken, From the American Mercury, (March 1936).

 

Doctor’s fees

  • “A physician should take his fee without letting his left hand know what his right was doing; it should be taken without a thought, without a look, without a move of the facial muscles; the true physician should hardly be aware that the last friendly grasp of the hand has been made more precious by the touch of gold” – Anthony Trollope: Dr Thorne.
  • “Lord! My dear sir,” she cried. “How could you think of such a thing?.. Going after a doctor! Why, what should we do with a doctor here? It would be only encouraging our servants and the poor to fancy themselves ill if there was a doctor at hand! … Here I have lived seventy good years in the world and never took physic twice – and never saw the face of a doctor on my own account.  And I verily believe if my poor Sir Harry had never seen one neither, he would have been alive now. Ten fees, one after another, did the man take who sent him out of the world.” Lady Denham in Sanditon. –  Jane Austen, 1817.
  • Doctors are just the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and also kill you – Anton Chekhov: Ivanov.
  • God heals and the doctor takes his fees – Benjamin Franklin.
  • If you are going to have doctors you had better have doctors well off… Taking all the round of professions and occupations you will find that every man is the worse for being poor; and the doctor is a specially dangerous man when poor”-George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
  • All professions are conspiracies against the laiety – George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
  • Live so that you can stick out your tongue at the insurance doctor – Don Marquis: Archie and Mehitabel
  • He’s a fool that makes his doctor his heir -Benjamin Franklin.
  • The doctor took my temperature and fifteen dollars – I.S. Cobb

 

Education

  • Splendidly organized, these [medical] conferences offered sporting, social, and scientific enjoyments to members and their families, reduced terms to all but the best hotels, free trips to any ruined abbey in the neighborhood, a memento art brochure, souvenir diaries from the leading surgical appliance makers and drug houses, and pump room facilities at the nearest spa. The previous year, at the end of the week’s festivities, generous free sample of boxes of biscuits had been sent to each doctor and his wife –  AJ Cronin. The Citadel, 1937
  • I was not a good doctor, my studies had been too rapid, my hospital training too short, but there is not the slightest doubt that I was a successful doctor. What is the secret of success? To inspire confidence. What is confidence? …. I do not know, I only know that it cannot be acquired by book reading, nor by the bedside of our patients. It is a magic gift granted by birth-right to one man and denied to another. The doctor who possesses this gift can almost raise the dead – Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele.
  • Sir Charles Wilson, later to become Lord Moran and president of the Royal College of Physicians as well as Sir Winston Churchill’s wartime physician, when selecting of medical students at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London reportedly said that since one cannot tell how they are going to turn out one might as well have a good football team.
  • Every Chief of Service should have a pet dog, like Ulysses had. When he retires he should leave his dog on the floor of the department he served, because when he returns the only one who will recognize him will be his dog”. – Bela Schick, 1877-1967.
  • When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses before zebras. – Medical maxim
  • I profess both to learn and to teach anatomy, not from books but from dissections. – William Harvey

 

Science

  • The wisdoms of today become the follies of tomorrow”. “Today’s dogma will be tomorrow’s error.   – Franz Volhard
  • Medical science is as yet very imperfectly differentiated from common curemongering witchcraft -George Bernard Shaw.
  • “In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurred” –Sir William Osler
  • In the field of observation, luck favors the prepared mind. -Louis Pasteur
  • Who shall decide when doctors disagree -Alexander Pope.
  • Medicine cures the diseases of the body; wisdom, on the other hand, relieves the soul of its sufferings. Democritus  cca 460-370 BC
  • I want an autopsy made for the benefit of my fellow men- Johann Basedow.
  • More people study the disease than have it
  • Steal from one author and it’s plagiarism; steal from many and it’s research (Wilson Mizner, 1876-1933)
  • Lord Bacon died of a cold while stuffing a dead fowl with snow to see how long it would keep from putrefying
  • “Oh.” said the noseless story-teller,” what is man….but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine? You may even ask which is the more intense craving or pleasure: to drink or to make water. – Isak Dinesen, Seven Gothic Tales, in The Dreamers

 

Diet and exercise

  • The cardiologist’s diet: if it tastes good spit it out.
  • Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups:  alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. – Alex Levine
  • Everything worthwhile doing is either immoral, illegal, or fattening – Alexander Woollcott
  • Persons who are turning very fat are apt to die earlier than people who are slender. -Hippocrates, – Aphorisms, Section II
  • When I feel like exercising I just lie down until the feeling passes -Robert M Hutchins
  • Life is one long process of getting tired -Samuel Butler
  • New dietary guidelines: you may not live longer but it will seem longer
  • I have never taken any exercise other than sleeping and resting -Mark Twin
  • …every dose you take is an experiment…I should be glad of any treatment that would cure me without reducing me to a skeleton, like poor Grainger
  • The greatest wealth is health -Virgil

 


 

The World

Art and music

  • Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen. ~Leonardo da Vinci
  • Art is best expressed not by making something new but by telling the old in a new way (Jorge Luis Borges)
  • The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing. – Eugene Delacroix
  • He has Van Gogh’s ear for music. – Billy Wilder
  • Music is…a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Music can also evoke worlds very different from the personal, remembered worlds of events, people, place we have known. – Oliver Sacks
  • Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth. – Pablo Picasso
  • One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • There are certain things in which mediocrity is intolerable: poetry,music,painting- La Bruyere
  • “One of the worst things that can happen to a man is for him to work and study hard in order to benefit others and make his own name and then be prevented by sickness, or perhaps death itself, from finally completing what he has begun” -Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists
  • Is there mathematical basis for human beauty? Is it only in the mind which contemplates it or is there a universal standard? He who is in love with himself as at least this advantage – he won’t encounter many rivals. (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (Aphorisms,1799)

 

Authors, writing

  • There is a tendency for authors to use abbreviation unnecessarily. There are many abbreviations in common usage which are readily recognized by all readers. Some other abbreviations, however, are less commonly recognized and may give rise to confusion, particularly if they have more than one meaning….It is irritating to constantly refer back to ‘Materials and methods’ section because multiple unfamiliar abbreviations have been used throughout the text -AM Davison.
  • Some people have but one idea…if they have more, they keep it a secret, for they never talk but of one. – William Hazlitt
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. – Somerset Maugham
  • Poetry: Sonorous declaration of the evidently untrue
  • The diversity of language alienates man from man –St Augustine.
  • What a bitch of a thing prose is! It is never finished; there is always something to be done over – Gustave Flaubert.
  • A second-rate mind thinks he writes divinely; a first rate mind thinks he writes adequately- La Bruyere
  • When I want to read a novel, I write one  – attributed to Benjamin Disraeli
  • This is not the novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force -Dorothy Parker
  • “Shakespeare is a drunken savage with some imagination whose plays can only please in London and Canada” – Voltaire.
  • Wagner’s music is better than it sounds – Often attributed to Mark Twain
  • It is easier to produce ten volumes of philosophical writing than to put one principle into practice – Lev Tolstoy
  • Facts are stranger than fiction, for things sometimes happen that never entered into the mind of man to imagine or invent -TC Haliburton,1853.
  • Everything has been said and we have come too late, now that men have been living for 7000 years or more –La Bruyere
  • He wrote brilliant English until he discovered grammar – Oscar Wilde
  • The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote – William Hazlitt
  • About a contemporary playwright: He writes his play for the ages – the ages between five and twelve -George Jean Nathan
  • Many thanks for sending me your manuscript. I shall lose no time in reading it – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Thank you for sending us your manuscript. It is being returned to you because the information is great but your prose unreadable –Rejection note
  • Thank you for sending your manuscript. It is dreadful, unpublishable, and an affront to civilization. Burn it – Rejection note
  • Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful beauty. – Oscar Wilde
  • Facts are stranger than fiction, for things sometimes happen that never entered into the mind of man to imagine or invent -TC Haliburton,1853.
  • All men are poets at heart. -Emerson
  • Not to say things beautifully , but to say beautiful things truly- Dante
  • I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…. if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill. “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.
  • He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
  • “Dictionaries are like watches. The worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to be quite true” – Samuel Johnson
  • Tis very difficult to write like a madman, but ’tis easy to write like a fool – Nathaniel Lee
  • Poetry: Sonorous declaration of the evidently untrue
  • There was never yet a poet or orator that thought any one better than himself –Cicero
  • Poets are almost always bald when they get to be about forty John Masefield
  • There are two ways of disliking poetry. One is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope -Oscar Wilde
  • One clear stanza can take more weight/Than a whole wagon of elaborate prose. – Czeslaw Milosz. Wall Street J, June 10-11, 2017
  • The pen is the tongue of the soul. – Miguel de Cervantes
  • A writer is not a confectioner, a cosmetic dealer, or an entertainer. He is a man who has signed a contract with his conscience and his sense of duty. – Anton Chekhov
  • It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there. William Carlos Williams
  • A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist. – Vladimir Nabokov
  • You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. – Maya Angelou
  • \If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. – Toni Morrison
  • We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect. – Anaïs Nin
  • I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. – Anne Frank
  • A word after a word after a word is power. – Margaret Atwood
  • Tell all the truth but tell it slant. Emily Dickinson

 

Books

  • Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly and with great diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others…. – Francis Bacon
  • Burn the libraries, for their value is in one book, the Koran. – Omar, second Caliph
  • I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about. – Rousseau
  • Read much but not many books.  – Benjamin Franklin
  • Read one book many times rather than many books once (Ancient maxim)
  • Oriental curse: Oh, that my enemy had written a book
  • A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. Chinese proverb
  • There is no book so poor that one cannot profit from some portion of it (Pliny the Elder)
  • A good book has no ending. – RD Cumming
  • “Father said it used to be a gentleman was known by his books; nowadays he is known by the ones he has not returned” – William Faulkner. The Sound and the Fury.
  • Writer: “Have you read my books?” I have not. You write a great deal faster than I am able to read.” – James Burnett:”
  • If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying. – John Ruskin
  • Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended with diligence  -Abigail Adams
  • Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration – Thomas A Edison,
  • Another damn’d thick square book ! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Gibbon?” -The Duke of Gloucester
  • Never read a book, Johnny, and you would be a rich man -Sir Timothy Shelley to his son
  • A big book is big evil (μέγα βιβλίον μέγα κακόν; mega biblion, mega kakon); the best books are those lightest to carry around = Callimachus

 

Bureaucracy

  • The Government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams.  But you must never forget that every one of these figures comes in the first instance from the village watchman who just puts down what he damn pleases”.  – Sir Josiah Stamp.  Inland Revenue Department (England) 1896-1919
  • Bureaucrats are a pox. They are supposed to be necessary. Certain chemicals in the body are supposed to be necessary to life, but cause death the moment they  increase beyond a suitable limit  – Ezra Pound, 1928.
  • “To avoid delay, please have all your symptoms ready” (Notice in an English doctor’s waiting room. )

 

Business

  • …an astonishingly large proportion of those trading in common stocks.. don’t appear to know – in polite terms- one part of their anatomy from another. – Benjamin Graham: The Intelligent Investor 1972
  • Business is a combination of war and sport. – André Maurois
  • The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away – Ronald Reagan
  • There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can -Mark Twain
  • It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. – Oscar Wilde.
  • “Speculation is a round game; the players see little or nothing of their cards at first starting; gains may be great – and so may losses. The run of luck went against Mr. Nickleby. A mania prevailed, a bubble burst, four stockbrokers took villa residences at Florence, four hundred nobodies were ruined, and among them Mr. Nickleby”. – Charles Dickens, 1839.
  • He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts..for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
  • Beauty is potent but money is omnipotent. – Old saying
  • There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can – Mark Twain

 

Education

  • I am sure you are all here because you hope to learn something from the array of expert speakers… There are risks, however, in hearing too many opinions. If the experts disagree .. you risk going away more confused than before you arrived. If, however, the experts largely agree on most aspects, you will not go away confused, but there will be a real risk that the experts are wrong”. – From a seminar on money management
  • Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones. – Charlotte Brontë
  • “Are you not ashamed to play so well ?” – King Philip of Macedon to his son Alexander playing the harp at an entertainment)
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela
  • Genius without education is like silver in the mine.  Benjamin Franklin
  • It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics
  • Only the educated are free.  – Epictetus
  • Study is like the heaven’s glorious sun… – Love’s Labour Lost
  • I forget what I was taught. I only remember what I have learnt. – Patrick White
  • A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. – George Santayana
  • Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.  – Edward Gibbon
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.  – Nelson Mandela
  • A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good. -Samuel Johnson 1709-1784
  • Since we cannot know all there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.” -Blaise Pascal

 

History

  • A page of history is worth a pound of logic. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Those who do not know history will forever remain children. – Cicero
  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana
  • A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass. – Sioux Proverb
  • History is more than just what happened. It’s what we make of what happened – Julia Keller.
  • A man’s eyes should be torn out if he can only see the past – Stalin.
  • Living in the past has one thing in his favor – it’s cheaper. Anonymous
  • Even victors are by victory undone – Dryden
  • These times of ours are serious and full of calamity, but all times are essentially alike. As soon as there is life there is danger. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history. – George Orwell
  • That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach. – Aldous Huxley
  • All history is current; all injustice continues on some level, somewhere in the world. -Alice Walker

 

Love and marriage.

  • Many a man has fallen in love with a woman in a light so dim that he would not have chosen a suit by it – MauriceChevalier
  • A man’s mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.- Walter Baghehot- .
  • Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” – Dorothy Parker
  • My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe. Jimmy Durante
  • It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than with a brawling wife in a wide house -Proverbs 21:9.
  • Marriage has many, celibacy has no pleasures. – Samuel Johnson
  • Chance is less blind than love
  • A celebrity opening the door for her : “Age before beauty” Dorothy Parker:” Yes, and pearls before swine”.
  • In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily. – Charles, Count Talleyrand
  • All mankind love a lover.- Emerson
  • A fashionable woman is always in love— with herself. – La Rochefoucauld
  • I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back. -Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • My husband said it was him or the cat. I miss him sometimes.
  • Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” – George Orwell:1984
  • Parisian men make love all day and have no time to work; American men work all day and have no time for love
  • My most favorite joke is that to keep a marriage, the husband should have a night out with the boys and the wife should have a night out with the boys, too.”
  • There is no end to the influence of woman on our life. It is at the bottom of everything that happens to us. – Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby
  • I never stopped being a devout Catholic.”– In reply to her mother’s suggestion that she need not marry every man she slept with
  • Loving a single person wholeheartedly is like putting all your eggs in one basket – MF Moonzajer, author & journalist
  • I always said marriage should be a fifty-fifty proposition. He should be at least fifty years old, and have at least fifty-million dollars.
  • I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here. – Stephen Bishop
  • I love the intellectual type. They know everything and suspect nothing.
  • Personally, I know nothing about sex, because I have always been married.
  • The advancement of..mankind..: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children – Charles Darwin
  • I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.”
  • Love your neighbor, but don’t pull down your hedge – Benjamin Franklin, 1754.
  • Macho does not prove mucho . Zsza Zasza Gabor
  • The duration of passion is proportionate with the original resistance of the woman – Balzac
  • Those who have means think that the most important thing in the world is love. The poor know that it is money . -Gerald Brenan
  • Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world
  • The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
  • Women prefer emotions to reasoning -Stendhal
  • Women are wiser than men because they know less and understand more. James Stephens
  • Chance is less blind than love

 

Politics

  • The minority is always right. -Ibsen
  • Decision by majorities is as much an expedient as lighting by gas. – William E Gladstone, 1809-1898
  • Govern a bigcountry as you would fry small fish – lightly – Lao-Tzu
  • Democracy requires a certain relish for confusion (Molly Ivins)
  • Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus -Margaret Thatcher.
  • One must listen a great deal and speak little in order to govern a nation properly -Richelieu
  • Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed – Bertrand Russell.
  • Increased possession is not the ultimate goal of nations nor of individuals. – Linus Pauling
  • Ubi bene, ibi patria (where things are good,there is my country.Anonymous
  • Small nations are like indecently dressed women. They tempt the evil minded. -Julius Nyere
  • Compromise does not mean cowardice -John F Kennedy.
  • ”War is too serious to be entrusted to generals” – Georges Clemenceau, 1919.
  • The more corrupt the State the more numerous the laws. -Tacitus
  • Even victors are by victory undone. -Dryden
  • As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable -Albert Einstein-
  • Rien ne dure que le provisoire
  • A man should never be ashamed of saying he has been in the wrong -Alexander Pope
  • The diversity of language alienates man from man –St Augustine.
  • All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. George Orwell, Animal Farm
  • It is a newspapers duty to print the news and raise hell -Chicago Tribune, 1861
  • To please the multitude is to displease the wise -Plutarch,Moralia
  • Probably no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and education – Abraham Flexner
  • No nation is wise enough to rule another. – Helen Keller
  • Democracy means government by discussion, but is only effective if you can stop people talking Clement Atlee
  • The terrorist and the policeman both come from the same basket. -Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent
  • Diversity of language animates man against man. -St Augustine
  • After us the deluge – Mme de Pompadour to Louis XV

 

Youth, old age.

  • The warm desires, the long expectations of youth are founded on the ignorance of themselves and of the world. They are gradually damped by time and experience, by disappointment and possession; and after the middle season the crowd must be content to remain at the foot of the mountain, while the few who have climbed to the summit aspire to descend or expect to fall. In old age the consolation of hope is reserved for the tenderness of parents, who commence a new life in their children; the faith of enthusiasts, who sing hallelujah is above the clouds; and the vanity on authors, who presume the immortality of their name and writings – Edward Gibbon.
  • Young man are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business…… Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success in – Francis Bacon.
  • “It is hard to conceive that the old, whose thoughts have been all thought out, should ever love to live alone. Solitude is surely for the young, who have time before them for the execution of schemes, and who can, therefore, take delight in thinking.” Anthony Trollope: The Last Chronicle of Barset.
  • Everyman desires to live long, but no man would be old – Jonathan Swift.
  • No young man believes he shall ever die…To be young is to be as one of the Immortals (Wm Hazlitt)
  • Those whom the gods love, die young – Plautus, cca 200 BC
  • Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.  – Winston Churchill
  • There is an innocence in admiration. It is possessed by someone to whom it has not yet occurred that he too might be admired some day. – Friedrich Nietzsche-
  • As the old one sing so the young ones pipe.
  • The man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn.- Haskins
  • If a tree dies, plant another in its place. – Linnaeus
  • For certain people after fifty, litigation takes the place of sex – Gore Vidal.
  • One of the most surprising things in life is the sudden realization that one has become old – Leo Trotsky.
  • Old age is the outpatient’s department of purgatory. — Lord Cecil
  • We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. Will Rogers
  • Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out,  fall out, or spread out.  – Phyllis Diller
  • By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere.  – Billy Crystal
  • I don’t feel old. I don’t f I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.  – Bob Hope
  • There is an innocence in admiration. It is possessed by someone to whom it has not yet occurred that he too might be admired some day. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • It is not too much to expect that we shall soon know enough to avoid the particular habits which make us live too long for comfort, which keep our hearts going after our mind has failed. = Lord Edgar Adrian
  • Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy. – Henri Frederic Amiel

 

Wisdom

  • Consistency is the last resort of the unimaginative. Oscar Wilde
  • Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Emerson
  • He who busies himself in mean occupations, produces in the very pains he takes about things of little or no use, an evidence  against himself of his negligence and indisposition to what is really good. (Plutarch’s  Lives: Pericles).
  • By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~Confucius
  • A man afflicted with melancholy  “must divert distressing thoughts and not combat with them…. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed take a book and read and compose himself to rest. To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual  exercise -Boswell’s Life of Johnson.
  • He goes furthest who knows not whither he is going. ~ Oliver Cromwell
  • If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain
  • The wise man knows of all things, as far as possible, although he has no knowledge of each of them in detail. – Aristotle
  • He who busies himself in mean occupations, produces in the very pains he takes about things of little or no use, an evidence against himself of his negligence and indisposition to what is really good. – Plutarch
  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever. – M. K. Gandhi
  • Never laugh at live dragons. ~J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. -Rumi
  • Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. -Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good. -Gabriel García Márquez
  • A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. -William James
  • Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought. -~Matsuo Basho
  • If you think you are too small to make a difference you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito. – African proverb
  • Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength -EricHoffer
  • There are three classes: those who see; those who see when they are shown; and those who do not see – Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life purpose. Labor is life -Thomas Carlyle.
  • The world is a comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel – Horace Walpole,1769
  • The mother who spoils her child fattens a serpent -Spanish proverb.
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you – Dale Carnegie.
  • Silence is a true friend who never betrays. – Confucius
  • The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it
  • Silence does not always mean wisdom. – Coleridge.
  • “God sent us here to make mistakes” Ella Wheeler Wilcox, in “Poems that Touch the Heart” 1941
  • The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for (Mother Teresa).
  • What signifies knowing the names, if you know not the nature of things – Benjamin Franklin.
  • Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress -Thomas A. Edison
  • Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers -Tennyson.
  • Kind words don’t cost much. Yet they accomplish much. Pascal
  • All great truths begin as blasphemies -George Bernard Shaw-)
  • Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race – William Gladstone
  • Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted – Albert Einstein.
  • Don’t curse the darkness–light a kindle – Chinese proverb
  • Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain -Schiller, The Maid of Orleans. Act iii. Sc.6
  • The wise man knows of all things, as far as possible, although he has no knowledge of each of them in detail -Aristotle.
  • Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things – Robert Louis Stevenson: An Apology for Idlers.
  • …premature consolation is but the remembrance of sorrow.  The Vicar of Wakefield , Oliver Goldsmith 1766
  • It always saddens me when a man of talent dies, for the earth has more need of such men than heaven does -George Lichtenberg, 1789.
  • Expansions means complexity and complexity decay. – Northcote Parkinson
  • You cannot step into the same river twice. – Heraclitus
  • There is nothing permanent except change. – Heraclitus
  • If you want things to stay as they are, things will have to change. – Giuseppe di Lampedusa
  • Only great men have a great faults. – Friends proverb
  • Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.- TS Eliot
  • Greatness is a road leading to the unknown. –Charles de Gaulle
  • By numberless examples it will evidently appear that human affairs are as subject to change and fluctuation as the waters of the sea agitated by the winds. – Gucciardini, History of Italy
  • “This world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel” -Horace Walpole, 1769.
  • He that best understands the world, least likes it- Benjamin Franklin.
  • Life is far too important a thing to ever talk seriously about – Oscar Wilde.
  • “We must set limits to our wishes, curb our desires, moderate our anger, always remembering that an individual can attain only an infinitesimal share in anything that is worth having; and that on the other hand, everyone must incur many of the ills of life” -Arthur Schopenhauer 1788-1860
  • Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you -Spanish proverb
  • The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do -Walter Bagehot.
  • To err is human, to forgive divine – An Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope.
  • Nine-tenths of the miseries and vices of mankind proceed from idleness – Thomas Carlyle.
  • A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul -Proverbs xviii,7
  • “It is very hard, that necessity of listening to a man who says nothing” -Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington, 1864
  • Freedom is the first wish of our heart; freedom is the first blessing of nature; and unless we bind ourselves with voluntary chains of interest or passion, we advance in freedom as we advance in years” -Edward, Autobiography.
  • It always saddens me when a man of talent dies, for the earth has more need of such men than heaven does – George Lichtenberg, 1789.
  • “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever” MK Gandhi.
  • He who eats the sultan’s bread, fights with the sultan’s sword – Arab proverb
  • The beneficial influence of poverty in impelling men to perfect their talents is well illustrated in the life of Pietro Perugino (Vasari)
  • O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us – Robert Burns
  • We are closer to the ants than to the butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure – Gerald Brenan.
  • Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth – MargaretThatcher
  • The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated – William James.
  • Chose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life -Confucius
  • The pains and pleasures of the body, howsoever important to ourselves, are an indelicate subject of conversation Edward Gibbon.

 

At random

  • “That will do, – all that a pillow can do” : Dr. Johnson on his deathbed on having a pillow placed conveniently to support him in bed
  • “Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing -Herman Melville, Moby Dick.
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow -Mark Twain.
  • I don’t think pornography is very harmful, but it is terribly, terribly boring” – Noel Coward
  • Anyone who is popular is likely to be hated -Yogi Berra.
  • Philosophy teaches us to bear with equanimity the misfortunes of others -Oscar Wilde
  • Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten -Aesop.
  • Let them eat cake – Princesse de Lamballe
  • Inchala (God willing) Bukra (tomorrow) Malesh (never mind) -the Arab IBM
  • ..and if I laugh at any mortal thing, Is that I do not weep -Byron, Don Juan
  • Life is a comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel – Horace Walpole
  • Three Victorian principles: restriction, ritual, routine
  • A period of silence on your part would be appreciated, Clement Atlee to Harold Laski
  • Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely  reach  them”    Samuel Butler
  • Even victors are by victory undone (Dryden)
  • It is easier to split the atom than a prejudice – Einstein
  • Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education:  they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.  – Charlotte Brontë
  • No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Virginia Woolf, Orlando)
  • The average dog is a nicer person than the average person -A. A. Rooney
  • The road to success is always under construction. Lily Tomlin
  • Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. Plato
  • There are four kinds of people in the world: those in love, the ambitious, the observers, and the stupid. The most happy are the stupid. Taine
  • Man is a clever animal that behaves like an imbecile AlbertSchweitzer
  • A celebrity is someone famous for being well known. Morris Fishbein
  • A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul – Proverbs xviii,7
  • Whoever is careless with truth in little matters cannot be trusted with important matters. -Albert Einstein
  • The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt – Bertrand Russell.
  • A prophet is not without honor, save it his own country. Matthew 13:57
  • The tragedy of man is perhaps the only significant thing about him. -Eugene O’Neill
  • You deprive me of solitude without affording me comfort. = Mme  de Sevigne
  • When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when man bites a dog that is news
  • To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the popularity of dogs. – Aldous Huxley
  • He had a strong appetite for contradiction
  • I do not wish people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal Jane Austen
  • A living dog is better than the dead lion. Ecclesiastes 9: 4
  • Anyhow, the hole in the doughnut is at least digestible. HL Mencken.
  • The pains and pleasures of the body, however important to ourselves, are an indelicate topic of conversation.- Edward, Autobiography.
  • The secret of happiness lay in limiting the aspirations – Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders
  • He who has never seen the sun thinks no glory can exceed the moon -Calderon
  • I have so often been mistaken that I no longer blush for it -Napoleon.
  • “I shoulda stood in bed” – Lou Nova, after reviving from his knockout by Joe Louis
  • We are rapidly becoming a nation of two kinds of people: millionaires and tramps – Ignatius Donley
  • No man is a hero to his valet de chambre – Hegel
  • The heart has its reasons which reason does not understand. -Blaise Pascal
  • All men naturally hate one another. … if men knew exactly what one says of the other, there would not be four friends in the world (Pascal).
  • When they told Joan of Arc she should be at home minding women’s work, she answered there were plenty to spin and wash  – RobertLouisStevenson: An Apology for Idlers
  • … every time we formed into teams we would be reorganized…a wonderful method for producing confusion and the illusion of progress. Petronius
  • Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. – Mark Twain
  • “Freedom is the first wish of our heart; freedom is the first blessing of nature; and unless we bind ourselves with voluntary chains of interest or passion, we advance in freedom as we advance in years” – Edward Gibbon, Autobiography.

 

Humor

  • Your pulse is as regular as clockwork, says the doctor. That’s because your finger is on my watch, replies the patient
  • “Are you an organ donor?””No, but I once gave an old piano to the Salvation Army.”
  • Once I had multiple personalities, but now we are feeling well
  • I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places. – Henny Youngman
  • Doctor: “I’ve got very bad news – you’ve got cancer and Alzheimer’s” Patient: “Well, at least I don’t have cancer”
  • Patient: “Doctor, I have yellow teeth, what do I do?”Dentist: “Wear a brown tie…”
  • Doctor: “Did you take the patient’s temperature?” Nurse: “No. Is it missing?”
  • I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb
  • Lady: Why does my prescription medication have 40 side effects? Pharmacist :Because that’s all we’ve found so far
  • Many people believe constant noise is normal -Judith Martin – “Miss Manners”
  • My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying. – Rodney Dangerfield
  • Familiarity breeds contempt – and children -Mark Twain.
  • If Jesus were here he wouldn’t be riding on a donkey. He’d be taking a plane – Joel Osteen
  • A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace  your policies or your mistress.”
  • I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable – Mark Twain
  • I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.. – Mark Twain
  • He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends… –  Oscar Wilde
  • “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow “
  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it. –  Groucho Marx
  • A conductor has the advantage of not seeing the audience (attributed to Andrέ Kostalenetz)
  • He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.   – Winston Churchill
  • His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork. –  Mae West
  • A ”pill” is someone dull, weak, sanctimonius, tiresome – a drip, wimp, not a medical pill you would take (Wall St J 8/25/17)
  • He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker
  • Well bred,well fed,well read,well wed
  • Money can’t buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery. – Spike Milligan
  • Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP!  – Joe Namath
  • He is the only man I know who had rubber pockets so he could steal soup -Wilson Mizner, 1876-1933
  • Papa,potatoes,poultry,prunes,and prism-give a pretty form to the lips -Mrs General in Little Dorrit, Dickens
  • I shoulda stood in bed” – Lou Nova, after reviving from his knockout by Joe Louis
  • I only like two kinds of men: domestic and foreign. Mae West
  • He had delusions of adequacy.   -Walter Kerr
  • She speaks twenty-seven languages and can’t say no in any of them -Dorothy Parker
  • It is the sexless novel that should be distinguished; the sex novel is now normal -George Bernard Shaw
  • The dog laughed hilariously at the movie, yet had not liked reading the book
  • Philosophy teaches us to bear with equanimity the misfortunes of others – Oscar Wilde
  • How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?
  • I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.  – W. C. Fields
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. – Oscar Wilde
  • Dogs come when they are called; cats take a message and get back to you. Mary Bly
  • The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible George Burns –
  • Doctor, doctor, will I be able to play the violin after the operation?”
  • “Yes, of course…”      “Great! I never could before!”.
  • Visits always give pleasure – if not the arrival, the departure. Portuguese proverb
  • “I believe in large families. Every woman should have at least three husbands.”
  • When the Czar has a cold all Russia coughs (Russian proverb)
  • He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright
  • Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year   Victor Borge – comedian, conductor, and pianist
  • “He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” -Samuel Johnson
  • Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
  • It is a great deal better to be self-made than not to be made at all. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • Three Victorian principles: restriction, ritual, routine
  • He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” -Forrest Tucker
  • I never was so happy since the hour I was born. Anon
  • I went to milk and didn’t know how,
  • I milked the goat instead of the cow. Anon
  • Molehills seem mountains, and the ant Appears a monstrous elephant. Charles Cotton 1632- 1687
  • Here’s to the girl who steals a kiss,
    And runs back for another
    She’s a boon to all mankind
    She’ll very soon she’ll be a mother
  • Come, into the garden Maude
    And don’t be so particular
    If the grass is cold and damp,
    We’ll do it perpendicular

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes SR

  • Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
  • The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
  • Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.
  • To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
  • Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
  • The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.
  • Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.
  • Don’t flatter yourselves that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. On the contrary, the nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.
  • To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
  • We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.
  • Beware how you take away hope from another human being

 

 

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