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Quotes

Do that which consists in taking no action, and order will prevail.

—Laozi, c. 500 BC

Great cities must ever be centers of light and darkness, the home of the best and the worst of our race, holding within themselves the highest talent for good and evil.

—Matthew Hale Smith, 1868

People who’ve drunk neat wine don’t care a damn.

—Hipponax, c. 550 BC

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

—Aristotle, c. 350 BC

Every communist must grasp the truth: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

—Mao Zedong, 1938

There is no small pleasure in sweet water.

—Ovid, c. 10

No preacher is listened to but time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

A win always seems shallow: it is the loss that is so profound and suggests nasty infinities.

—E.M. Forster, 1919

Rivalry is the whetstone of talent.

—Roman proverb

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

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

—Susan Sontag, 1977

I think that to get under the surface and really appreciate the beauty of any country, one has to go there poor.

—Grace Moore, 1944

If I lose at play, I blaspheme, and if my fellow loses, he blasphemes. So that God is always sure to be the loser.

—John Donne, 1623