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Quotes

Men are what their mothers made them.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860

Revolutions are not made by men in spectacles.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1871

The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.

—Lester Bangs, 1971

A fair complexion is unbecoming to a sailor: he ought to be swarthy from the waters of the sea and the rays of the sun.

—Ovid, c. 1 BC

There is no crime without precedent. 

—Seneca the Younger, c. 60

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham.

—Frederick Douglass, 1855

Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

—George Orwell, 1944

Man is no man, but a wolf, to a stranger.

—Plautus, c. 200 BC

I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.

—Maxine Hong Kingston, 1976

It is far, far better and much safer to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.

—John Kenneth Galbraith, 1958

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

—Steve Biko, 1971

Worry over what has not occurred is a serious malady.

—Solomon ibn Gabirol, 1050

The first requisite to happiness is that a man be born in a famous city.

—Euripides, c. 415 BC