Whether for good or evil, it is sadly inevitable that all political leadership requires the artifices of theatrical illusion. In the politics of a democracy, the shortest distance between two points is often a crooked line.

—Arthur Miller, 2001

This is a fault common to all singers, that among their friends they will never sing when they are asked; unasked, they will never desist.

—Horace, c. 35 BC

One thing alone not even God can do: to make undone whatever has been done.

—Aristotle, c. 350 BC

I can’t see (or feel) the conflict between love and religion. To me they’re the same thing.

—Elizabeth Bowen, c. 1970

It’s good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for a while their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers.

—Maya Angelou, 2011

I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers.

—Albert Camus, 1957

I do not mean to call an elephant a vulgar animal, but if you think about him carefully, you will find that his nonvulgarity consists in such gentleness as is possible to elephantine nature—not in his insensitive hide, nor in his clumsy foot, but in the way he will lift his foot if a child lies in his way; and in his sensitive trunk, and still more sensitive mind, and capability of pique on points of honor.

—John Ruskin, 1860

When we see a natural style we are quite amazed and delighted, because we expected to see an author and find a man.

—Blaise Pascal, c. 1657

From the cradle to the coffin, underwear comes first.

—Bertolt Brecht, 1928

If people think Nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.

—Kurt Vonnegut, 1988

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

Life is the art of being well deceived.

—William Hazlitt, c. 1817

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.

—Pablo Picasso, 1964