Below a list of all the quotations that I have added to my sidebar widget.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

— Oscar Wilde

I am not young enough to know everything.

— Oscar Wilde

I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.

— Oscar Wilde

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

— Oscar Wilde

We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.

— Oscar Wilde

Wisdom comes with winters.

— Oscar Wilde

One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.

— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.

— Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, 1893, Act I

I can resist anything but temptation.

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act I

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act I

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

— Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.

— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince ch. XXI

Then you shall judge yourself,” the king answered. That is the most difficult thing of all. It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, ch. X

All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

— Sir Winston Churchill

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech in the House of Commons, 11 November 1947

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

— Sir Winston Churchill

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.

— Albert Einstein

What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!

— Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.

— George Bernard Shaw, “Man and Superman” (1903), act 4

If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one – if he had the power – would be justified in silencing mankind.

— John Stuart Mill

The only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others.
In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute.
Over himself, over his own body and mind the individual is sovereign.

— John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.

— John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

He who would travel happily must travel light.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

— George Orwell, Animal Farm

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

— John Lennon, Beautiful Boy

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. [In regione caecorum rex est luscus.]

— Desiderius Erasmus, Adagia (III, IV, 96)

I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.

— Oscar Wilde

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

— Oscar Wilde

I cannot live without books; but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.

— Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

— Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison

Concordia res parvae crescunt. (Unity makes small things grow)

— Motto of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands

The best argument against democracy is five minutes with the average voter.

— Sir Winston Churchill

Ubi Iudicia Deficiunt Incipit Bellum. (Waar rechterlijke beslissingen te kort schieten daar begint de oorlog).

— Hugo Grotius, De iure belli ac pacis, liber II, caput I, par 2.

In the state of nature…all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law.

— Charles de Montesquieu

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam:27

If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.

— Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the Young

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally. He is ready to deny the evidence of his senses in order to justify his logic.

— Dostovjesky, Notes from Underground

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes. (Who will guard the guards).

— Juvenal, Satires

Ius est ars boni et aequi. (Het recht is de kunst van het redelijke en billijke).

A man who loses his privacy, loses everything, and a man who gives it up of his own free will is a monster.

— Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Hominum causa omne jus constitutum est. (All law is created for the benefit of human beings).

— Maxim of Roman Law

Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.

— Benjamin Franklin

Ipsa scientia potestas est. (For knowledge itself is power).

— Sir Francis Bacon

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Sol Justitiae Illustra Nos. (Sun of Justice enlighten/shine upon us).

— Words in the mosaic floor in the Peace Palace and motto of Utrecht University

…but love, like all art, as Oscar (Wilde) said, is quite useless. It is the useless things that make life worth living and that make life dangerous too: wine, love, art, beauty. Without them life is safe but not worth bothering with.

— Stephen Fry, Moab is my washpot (p. 340)

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.

— James Madison, The Federalist Papers #51

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

— Cicero

Finally ensanguining the skies
How heavily it does
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless underground
Falls the remorseful day.

— A.E. Housman, Easter Hymn (XVI)

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave men with a sword.

— Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

I dare not speak for I will break the silence.

— William Shakespeare

I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.

— Ernest Hemingway

Wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.

— Aristotles

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

— Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory (pt 1, ch 1)

When the government fears the people, that is liberty. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny.

— Thomas Jefferson

I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
Я считаю, что совершенно неважно, кто и как будет в партии голосовать; но вот что чрезвычайно важно, это – кто и как будет считать голоса.

— Joseph Stalin

Communism was a great system for making people equally poor. In fact, there was no better system in the world for that than communism.

— Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat

Bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

— Oscar Wilde

While there’s life, there’s hope!

— Cicero, Epistolarum ad Atticum [Epistle To Atticus]), Book IX, 10, 4

Men have forgotten this truth, said the fox. But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité, dit le renard. Mais tu ne dois pas l’oublier. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince ch. XXI

Death penalty is the special and eternal sign of barbarism. Where death penalty is applied, barbarism dominates; where death penalty is rare, civilisation reigns.
Three things belong to God and do not belong to men: the irrevocable, the irreparable and the indissoluble. Woe to men if they introduce it in their laws!

— Victor Hugo, National Constituant Assembly of the French Republic, 15 September 1848

Who lives sees much. Who travels sees more.

— Arab Proverb

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

— Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad Ch. LXII (Conclusion)

The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page.

— Saint Augustine

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

— Publius Syrus, Moral Sayings

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.
Qu’est-ce que la tolérance? c’est l’apanage de l’humanité. Nous sommes tous pétris de faiblesses et d’erreurs; pardonnons-nous réciproquement nos sottises, c’est la première loi de la nature.

— Voltaire, Tolerance

It is better to risk sparing a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.
Il vaut mieux hasarder de sauver un coupable que de condamner un innocent.

— Voltaire, Zadig (1747)

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.
Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort.

— Voltaire

Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson.
Que les supplices des criminels soient utiles. Un homme pendu n’est bon à rien, et un homme condamné aux ouvrages publics sert encore la patrie, et est une leçon vivante.

— Voltaire, “Civil and Ecclesiastical Laws,” Dictionnaire philosophique (1785-1789)

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

— Edmund Burke, in a letter to M. de Menonville (October 1789)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

— Thomas Jefferson, in the US Declaration of Independence (4 July 1776)

The deterioration of a government begins almost always by the decay of its principles.
La corruption de chaque gouvernement commence presque toujours par celle des principes.

— Charles de Montesquieu, De l’Esprit des Lois, VIII Ch. I

Liberty is the right of doing whatever the laws permit.

— Charles de Montesquieu, De l’Esprit des Lois, XI Ch. 3

Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.

— Charles de Montesquieu, De l’Esprit des Lois, XXIX Ch. 16

But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.

— Charles de Montesquieu, De l’Esprit des Lois, XI Ch. 4

In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Four Freedoms Speech, 6 January 1941

We must aim at nothing less than the union of Europe as a whole. After all, Europe has only to arise and stand in her own majesty, faithfulness and virtue, to confront all forms of tyranny, ancient or modern.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech at the Congress of Europe in The Hague (1948)

My pen, the best part of me, truest witness, my soul’s true mirror.

— Ovidius

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.

— William Arthur Ward

In a free society, you don’t need a reason to make something legal, you need a reason to make it illegal.

— Donna Moss, The West Wing

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

— William Arthur Ward

De vraag is niet of je iets te verbergen hebt, maar waarom de overheid het wil weten.

Dubitas, ergo sum.
Ik twijfel, dus ik ben.

— Augustinus

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter; the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.

— William Pitt

The universe only makes sense if you can share it with someone

— Paolo Coelho

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his own enemy from repression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

— Thomas Paine, On the Propriety of Bringing Louis XVI to Trail

With respect to what are called denominations of religion, if every one is left to judge of his own religion, there is no such thing as a religion that is wrong; but if they are to judge of each others religion, there is no such thing as a religion that is right; and therefore, all the world are right, or all the world are wrong.

— Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, p. 483

There is no such thing as the idea of a compact between the people on one side, and the government on the other. The compact was that of the people with each other, to produce and constitute a government. To suppose that any government can be a party in a compact with the whole people, is to suppose it to have existence before it can have a right to exist.

— Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, p. 575

You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.
The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.

— Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, p. 665

Een volk dat voor tirannen zwicht, zal meer dan lijf en goed verliezen, dan dooft het licht.

— H.M. van Randwijk

They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

— Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin

Ius vigilantibus scriptum.
Het Recht is voor de waakzamen geschreven.

— Digesten 42.8.24

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.

— Albert Einstein

When there is no necessity for exceptions and limitations in a law, it is much better to omit them.

— Charles de Montesquieu, De l’Esprit des Lois, XXIX Ch. 16

One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.

— Oscar Wilde

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

— Robert Frost

The wise have always said the same things, and fools, who are the majority have always done just the opposite.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken

— Oscar Wilde, Attributed to Oscar Wilde.

For the essence of the punishment is that he who refuses to rule is liable to end up being ruled by one worse than himself.

— Plato, Republic 1:347

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

— Theodore Roosevelt

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

— Sir Winston Churchill

If you wish to teach the people to reverence human life, you must first show that you reverence it yourselves.

— John Bright

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

— Oscar Wilde, The Portrait of Mr. W.H.

Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

— Oscar Wilde, The Cantervile Ghost

There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. It is only by language that we rise above them, or above each other—by language, which is the parent, and not the child, of thought.

— Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (Pt. I)

Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.

— Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (Pt. I)

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

— George Orwell, Animal Farm (in the introduction)

Networking is for fishermen

— John Thaw as James Kavanagh QC

In de rechtszaal van het geweten wordt voortdurend zitting gehouden.

— C. Korvinus in Kijken in de Ziel

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

— Lord Acton, In a letter to Mandell Creighton, 5 April 1887

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

— Albert Einstein

Sine onere nihil.
Niets zonder moeite.

— Sonnius, 1st Bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch

I will not rush that which affects my visual appeal. Welcome to the Brotherhood of Shaving.

— Anon, Via Ape to Gentleman blog

Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

— Albert Einstein

Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.

— John Locke

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.

— Abraham Lincoln, Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland, April 18 1864

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.

— Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.

— Warren Buffett

‘Kai su, teknon’ – ‘You too, my son?’

— Julius Caesar, his last words, as spoken in Greek

The measure of a man is what he does with power.

— Plato

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn’t want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn’t want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.

— Eric Hughes, A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto

“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”

— Jessica Dovey, Facebook status update on the killing of Osama bin Laden and the jubilant crowds in front of the White House and Ground Zero – 02-05-11 (combined with MLK Jr quote)

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., Second part of Jessica Dovey’s facebook status update

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

— George Bernard Shaw

Memento mori.
Remember your mortality.

— Latin phrase

To wake the soul by tender strokes of art.

— Alexander Pope, Prologue to Mr. Addison’s Cato (1713)

O, reason not the need.

— William Shakespeare, King Lear in King Lear, Act 2, Scene 4

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

— Sir Winston Churchill

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.

— Marcus Aurelius

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet in London, 9 November 1954.

Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.

— William Goldman, The Princess Bride

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.

— Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615)

When a truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete.

— Vaclav Havel

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

— Christopher Hitchens

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

— Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

The lark’s on the wing, the snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world!

— Robert Browning, Pippa Passes

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
What is asserted without reason may be denied without reason.

— Euclid

That what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

— Christopher Hitchens, “Mommie Dearest”, Slate, 20 October 2003

Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
(In truth, whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well, and nothing can be done well without attention.)

— Lord Chesterfield, Letters written by Lord Chesterfield to his son (letter 25).

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Believe those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it.

— Andre Gide

Non nobis solum.
Not for ourselves alone

— Cicero, De Officiis I,22

Cedant arma togae concedat laurea laudi.
Let arms yield to the toga, the laurel defer to praise.

— Cicero, De Officiis I,77

Primum minima de malis?
Of evils choose the least.

— Cicero, De Officiis III, 102

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

— Oscar Wilde

A home without books is a body without soul.

— Cicero

Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst.

— C.S. Lewis

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

— Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

— James D. Miles

If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

— Unknown, wrongly attributed to Thomas Jefferson

To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.

— Charles de Montesquieu

What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this? There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter.

— P.G. Wodehouse

Your hand on a hot stove for a minute, seems like an hour. With a pretty girl for an hour, seems like a minute. That’s Relativity.

— Albert Einstein

A house without books is like a room without windows.

— Horace Mann

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

— Oscar Wilde

It is a peculiarity of American criminal justice to sentence people to terms that expire long after they will:
it is a custom both irrational and cruel which should have no place in international justice.

What’s a clue but a mistake by another name.

— DS Hathaway, Lewis – series 6, episode 4

In war, my boy, you don’t have to be sorry – you only have to be Right!

— Sir Winston Churchill, to Lord Portal of Hungerford when the latter apologised for seeming over-assertive/hot under the collar. Churchill was 70 at the time, Portal 50.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

— Mark Twain

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

— Mahatma Ghandi

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

— Oscar Wilde, Intentions

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

— Albert Einstein

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

— Aaron Levenstein

Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.

— Theodore Roosevelt

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

— Aesop

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

— C.S. Lewis, in his essay Christian Apologetics in God in the Dock

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

— Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (1791)

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

— Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

I can assure you that no kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ.

— Charle de Montesquieu, Lettres Persanes (Persian Letters) (1721), No. 29

Brevity is the soul of whit.

— William Shakespeare, Spoken by Polonious in Hamlet

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

— William Shakespeare, As spoken by Polonious in Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

— Walter Bagehot

Heel de wereld is mijn vaderland.
Quaevis terra patria.

— Erasmus, Adagia 1193

Britain and France were given the choice between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.

— Sir Winston Churchill, to Neville Chamberlain after he signed the Munich agreement

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”

— Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

— A.E. Housman, Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

— Hubert H. Humphrey

Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.

— Oscar Wile

Swords are not the only weapons in the world, something may be done with a pen.

— Sir Winston Churchill

A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.

— Oscar Wilde

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

— Oscar Wilde

To succeed in the world, it is not sufficient to be stupid. You must also be well-mannered.

— Voltaire

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

— L.P. Hartley

To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.

— Oscar Wilde

But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

— Amos 5:24 (King James Bible)

If I have seen further, it has been by standing on the shoulders of giants.

— Sir Isaac Newton

Gloria virtutem tanquam umbra sequitur.
Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.

— Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, I. 45

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.

— Sir Winston Churchill

I never stood so high upon a principle that he could not lower it to suit the circumstances.

— Sir Winston Churchill

Magna est veritas et praevalebit.
Great is truth and it will prevail.

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.

— Dante Alighieri

Judge me, O Lord, and favour my cause.

— Henry VII, When he landed at Mill Bay, Milford Haven on 7 August 1485

Misschien wel de lelijkste gedachte van deze tijd: wij beperken uw vrijheid om uw vrijheid te waarborgen.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions,
but they are not entitled
to their own facts.

— Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Kom vanavond met verhalen / hoe de oorlog is verdwenen / en herhaal ze honderd malen: / alle malen zal ik wenen.

— Leo Vroman

As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy.

— Christopher Dawson, The Judgement of the Nations (1942)

By ignorance the truth is known.

— Henry Suso

To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is disease.

— Lao-Tzu

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

— Will Rogers

Civilisation begins with distillation.

— William Faulkner

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

— William Morris

The business of war, and indeed life, is guessing what is on the other side of the hill.

— The Duke of Wellington

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

— Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Book 1, Chapter 1

England expects that every man will do his duty

— Admiral Lord Nelson, Signal sent from the HMS Victory as the Battle of Trafalgar was about to commence

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

— George Bernard Shaw

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

— George Bernard Shaw, Bernard Shaw: Selections of his wit and wisdom (Follett Pub. Co., 1965), p. 179

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

— George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists (1903)

Some people’s idea of [free speech] is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech to the House of Commons, October 13, 1943

The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1944.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech in the House of Commons, October 22, 1945

Civilisation will not last, freedom will not survive, peace will not be kept, unless a very large majority of mankind unite together to defend them and show themselves possessed of a constabulary power before which barbaric and atavistic forces will stand in awe.

— Sir Winston Churchill

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

— Sir Winston Churchill

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Maxims and reflections of the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill (Houghton Mifflin, 1949), p. 168

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Speech at Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, London, November 10, 1942. [Speaking about the battle of Egypt]

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

— Sir Winston Churchill, From a speech given at the Royal Academy of Art in 1953; quoted in Time magazine (1954-05-11)9

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.

— Sir Winston Churchill, Chapter 9 (Education At Bangalore) – My Early Life: A Roving Commission (1930)

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. (There is nothing so sweet as to die for one’s country.)

— Horace, Odes (III.2.13)

De algemene instemming van de samenleving is de basis van de macht. Macht die ontstaat uit geweld kan slechts blijven bestaan dankzij geweld.
(Le consentement des hommes réunis en société est le fondement du pouvoir. Celui qui ne s’est établi que par la force ne peut subsister que par la force.)

— Denis Diderot

Epicurus’ old questions are yet unanswered: Is he [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?
(De oude vragen van Epicurus blijven onbeantwoord: is Hij (God) bereid om het kwaad te verijdelen, maar niet bekwaam? Dan is hij onmachtig. Is hij bekwaam maar niet bereid? Dan is hij kwaadwillig. Is hij zowel bekwaam als bereid? Vanwaar dan het kwaad?)

— David Hume

In my experience second thoughts are vastly overrated.

— The Dowager Countess of Grantham, S06E03

A peer in favour of reform is like a turkey in favour of Christmas

— The Dowager Countess of Grantham, S06E03

Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.

— Oscar Wilde, Quoted by Alvin Redman in The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde (1952).

As my father used to say: if reason fails, try force!

— The Dowager Countess of Grantham, S06E09

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selflishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

— C.S. Lewis

Wie dit hof als raadsheer binnengaat: leg af alle bijzondere gevoelens, toorn, haat en vriendschap, want zoals u jegens anderen billijk of onbillijk zal zijn, zo zal u ook het oordeel van God ondergaan.

— Tekst boven ingang oude rechtszaal rechtbank Utrecht

Alles wat je voor mij doet zonder mij, doe je tegen mij.

— Centraal-Afrikaans spreekwoord

“We must always take sides.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

— Elie Wiesel

Sine onere nihil.
Niets zonder moeite.

— Franciscus Sonnius, bisschop van ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Volenti non fit iniuria.
To a willing person, injury is not done.

— common law doctrine

Tu dormis, tu perdis.
You snooze, you lose.

“For when the One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name,
He writes – not that you won or lost –
But how you played the Game.”

— Grantland Rice, from the poem “Alumnus Football”

Het doel van de staat is de vrijheid.

— Spinoza

Door het juiste te doen, vreest gij niemand.

— Motto regiment Huzaren Van Sytzema

Et in Arcadia ego.
Even in Arcadia, there am I.

Bescherm, O Prins, de Carnaval,
Dit Oeteldonkse feest,
Dan heerst er vreugde overal
Naar lichaam en naar geest.

— Driek Pakaon en Hannes Krassert, Oeteldonks Volkslied, derde couplet

Moenie bang wees nie, Ek is by jou, moenie bekommerd wees nie, Ek is jou God. Ek versterk jou, Ek help jou, Ek hou jou vas, met my eie hand red Ek jou.

— Jesaja 41:10 AFR83

Concordia res parvae crescunt.
“Door eendracht groeit het kleine” of “Eendracht maakt macht”

— Motto van de Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden