Archive

Quotes

Death keeps no calendar.

—George Herbert, 1640

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

—Oscar Wilde, 1891

Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.

—Iris Murdoch, 1974

Those from whom we were born have long since departed, and those with whom we grew up exist only in memory. We, too, through the approach of death, become, as it were, trees growing on the sandy bank of a river.

—Bhartrihari, c. 400

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

The play is the tragedy “Man,” And its hero the conqueror worm.

—Edgar Allan Poe, 1843

Is this dying? Is this all? Is this all that I feared when I prayed against a hard death? Oh, I can bear this! I can bear it!

—Cotton Mather, 1728

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

—Edgar Watson Howe, 1911

Nobody, sir, dies willingly.

—Antiphanes, c. 370 BC

A god cannot procure death for himself, even if he wished it, which, so numerous are the evils of life, has been granted to man as our chief good.

—Pliny the Elder, c. 77

Imagine a number of men in chains, all under sentence of death, some of whom are each day butchered in the sight of the others; those remaining see their own condition in that of their fellows and, looking at each other with grief and despair, await their turn. This is an image of the human condition.

—Blaise Pascal, 1669

Every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.

—William James, 1902

Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

—William Blake, c. 1790