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Quotes

Death renders all equal.

—Claudian, c. 395

The dead are often just as living to us as the living are, only we cannot get them to believe it. They can come to us, but till we die we cannot go to them. To be dead is to be unable to understand that one is alive. 

—Samuel Butler, c. 1888

It is noble to die before doing anything that deserves death.

—Anaxandrides, c. 376

Men have written in the most convincing manner to prove that death is no evil, and this opinion has been confirmed on a thousand celebrated occasions by the weakest of men as well as by heroes. Even so I doubt whether any sensible person has ever believed it, and the trouble men take to convince others as well as themselves that they do shows clearly that it is no easy undertaking. 

—La Rochefoucauld, 1665

When a man dies, and his kin are glad of it, they say, “He is better off.”

—Edgar Watson Howe, 1911

I looked and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him.

—Book of Revelations, c. 90

Man has here two and a half minutes—one to smile, one to sigh, and half a one to love; for in the midst of this minute he dies.

—Jean Paul Richter, 1795

In dealing with the dead, if we treat them as if they were entirely dead, that would show a want of affection and should not be done; or, if we treat them as if they were entirely alive, that would show a want of wisdom and should not be done.

—Confucius, c. 500 BC

You are dust, and to dust you shall return.

—Book of Genesis, c. 800 BC

Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nineteenth century that one cannot explain away.

—Oscar Wilde, 1891

To desire immortality for the individual is really the same as wanting to perpetuate an error forever.

—Arthur Schopenhauer, 1819

The only evidence, so far as I know, about another life is, first, that we have no evidence; and, secondly, that we are rather sorry that we have not, and wish we had.

—Robert G. Ingersoll, 1879

I was born without knowing why, I have lived without knowing why, and I am dying without either knowing why or how.

—Pierre Gassendi, 1655