Choice consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them. While a choice can be made between imagined options ("what would I do if ...?"), often a choice is made between real options, and followed by the corresponding action.
- He that will not when he may,
When he will he shall have nay.
- Robert Burton, Anatomy of a Melancholy (1621), Part III. Sect. 2. Mem. 5. Subs. 5. Quoted.
- Better to sink beneath the shock
Than moulder piecemeal on the rock!
- Lord Byron, The Giaour (1813), line 969.
- He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
- Samuel Johnson, The Idler No. 57 (May 19, 1759).
- Imagine a captain of a ship the moment a shift of direction must be made; then he may be able to say: I can do either this or that. But if he is not a mediocre captain he will also be aware that during all this the ship is ploughing ahead with its ordinary velocity, and thus there is but a single moment when it is inconsequential whether he does this or does that. So also with a person-if he forgets to take into account the velocity-there eventually comes a moment where it is no longer a matter of an Either/Or, not because he has chosen, but because he has refrained from it, which also can be expressed by saying: Because others have chosen for him-or because he has lost himself.
- Søren Kierkegaard Either/Or II, Hong p. 164 (1843).
- Every person, if he so wills, can become a paradigmatic human being, not by brushing of his accidental qualities, but by remaining in them and ennobling them. He ennobles them by choosing them.
- Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or II, Hong p. 262.
- Rather than be less
Car'd not to be at all.
- Who would not, finding way, break loose from hell,
* * * * * *
And boldly venture to whatever place
Farthest from pain?
- Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently.
- Which of them shall I take?
Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
If both remain alive.
- I will not choose what many men desire,
Because I will not jump with common spirits,
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
- Preferment goes by letter and affection.
- There's small choice in rotten apples.
- Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.
- A strange alternative * * *
Must women have a doctor or a dance?
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire V, line 189.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 113-114.
- If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes.
- Of harmes two the less is for to chose.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Book II, line 470.
- What voice did on my spirit fall,
Peschiera, when thy bridge I crost?
'Tis better to have fought and lost
Than never to have fought at all!
- Arthur Hugh Clough, Peschiera.
- Life often presents us with a choice of evils, rather than of goods.
- Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, p. 362.
- Devine, si tu peux, et choisis, si tu l'oses.
- Guess, if you can, and choose, if you dare.
- Pierre Corneille, Héraclius, IV. 4.
- The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Book VI, Chapter XLII.
- God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay, Intellect.
- Betwixt the devil and the deep sea.
- Erasmus, Adagia, Chapter III. Cent, IV. 94. Quoted from the Greek. Proverb in Hazlitt, English Proverbs. Clarke, Parœmiologia (1639). Said by Col. Monroe, Expedition and Observations, Part III, p. 55. (Ed. 1637).
- Inter sacrum et sazim.
- Se soumettre ou se démettre.
- Submit or resign.
- Where passion leads or prudence points the way.
- Robert Lowth, The Choice of Hercules, 1.
- But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.
- Luke. X. 42.
- For many are called, but few are chosen.
- Matthew, XXII. 14.
- The difficulty in life is the choice.
- George Moore, Bending of the Bough, Act IV.
- Or fight or fly,
This choice is left ye, to resist or die.
- Alexander Pope, Homer's Odyssey, Book XXII, line 79.
- S'asseoir entre deux selles le cul a terre.
- Between two stools one sits on the ground.
- François Rabelais, Gargantua, Book I, Chapter II. Entre deux arcouns chet cul a terre. In Les Proverbes del Vilain. Manuscript, Bodleian. (About 1303).
- "Thy royal will be done—'tis just,"
Replied the wretch, and kissed the dust;
"Since, my last moments to assuage,
Your Majesty's humane decree
Has deigned to leave the choice to me,
I'll die, so please you, of old age."
- Horace Smith, The Jester Condemned to Death.
- When to elect there is but one,
'Tis Hobson's Choice; take that or none.
- Thomas Ward, England's Reformation, Canto IV, line 896. ("Hobson's Choice" explained in Spectator. No. 509).
- Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan, suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea,
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
- William Wordsworth, Miscellaneous Sonnets, Part I. Sonnet XXXIII.