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Quotes

For, say they, when cruising in an empty ship, if you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.

—Herman Melville, 1851

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.

—E.M. Forster, 1951

Men are able to assist fortune but not to thwart her. They can weave her designs, but they cannot destroy them.

—Niccolò Machiavelli, 1531

The important thing, I think, is not to be bitter. You know, if it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. I think that the worst thing you could say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever. After all, you know, there are worse things in life than death.

—Woody Allen, 1975

If the present be compared with the remote past, it is easily seen that in all cities and in all peoples there are the same desires and the same passions as there always were.

—Niccolò Machiavelli, c. 1513

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

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

—L. P. Hartley, 1953

It’s your business when your neighbor’s wall is in flames.

—Horace, 19 BC

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

—Oscar Wilde, 1895

Every ass thinks himself worthy to stand with the king’s horses.

—Gnomologia, 1732

Educate people without religion and you make them but clever devils.

—Arthur Wellesley, c. 1830

In all the ancient states and empires, those who had the shipping, had the wealth.

—William Petty, 1690

In Washington, the first thing people tell you is what their job is. In Los Angeles you learn their star sign. In Houston you’re told how rich they are. And in New York they tell you what their rent is.

—Simon Hoggart, 1990