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Quotes

Man is the one name belonging to every nation upon earth: there is one soul and many tongues, one spirit and various sounds; every country has its own speech, but the subjects of speech are common to all.

—Tertullian, c. 217

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed or outlawed or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, nor will we send against him except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

—Magna Carta, 1215

Whoever gulps down wine as a horse gulps down water is called a Scythian.

—Athenaeus, c. 230

All things are filled full of signs, and it is a wise man who can learn about one thing from another.

—Plotinus, c. 255

Mother died today. Or maybe it was yesterday, I don’t know. 

—Albert Camus, 1942

All our enemies are mortal.

—Paul Valéry, 1942

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence, and they think they have seen something.

—Søren Kierkegaard, 1843

All God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable.

—Fran Lebowitz, 1978

Written laws are like spiderwebs: they will catch, it is true, the weak and poor but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.

—Anacharsis, c. 550 BC

There is nothing more tyrannical than a strong popular feeling among a democratic people.

—Anthony Trollope, 1862

Idolatry is the mother of all games.

—Novatian, c. 255

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

—William James, 1902

The freedom or immunity from coercion in matters religious, which is the endowment of persons as individuals, is also to be recognized as their right when they act in community. Religious communities are a requirement of the social nature both of man and of religion itself.

—Pope Paul VI, 1965