September 15

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Our chiefs said 'Done,' and I did not deem it;
Our seers said 'Peace,' and it was not peace;
Earth will grow worse till men redeem it,
And wars more evil, ere all wars cease.

~ "A Song of Defeat" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton ~
The humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of the beggar. The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn’t permit anyone to lower his head to him. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor to anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him. ~ Carlos Castaneda
Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions. ~ Agatha Christie (born 15 September 1890)
We hardly find any persons of good sense, save those who agree with us. ~ François de La Rochefoucauld (born 15 September 1613)
Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side. ~ François de La Rochefoucauld (born 15 September 1613)
If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others. ~ François de La Rochefoucauld
Understand this, I mean to arrive at the truth. The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it. ~ Agatha Christie
The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances. ~ Agatha Christie (date of birth)
I do not argue with obstinate men. I act in spite of them. ~ Agatha Christie
Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving to the citizen as much freedom of action and of being, as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~
Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs, equally to the honest man and to the gentleman: to the first, as doing to others as we would ourselves be done by; to the last, as indispensable to the liberality of the character.
By candor we are not to understand trifling and uncalled for expositions of truth; but a sentiment that proves a conviction of the necessity of speaking truth, when speaking at all; a contempt for all designing evasions of our real opinions; and a deep conviction that he who deceives by necessary implication, deceives willfully.
In all the general concerns, the publick has a right to be treated with candor. Without this manly and truly republican quality, republican because no power exists in the country to intimidate any from its exhibition, the institutions are converted into a stupendous fraud.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~

If I have seen further than others, it is because I am surrounded by dwarfs.
~ Murray Gell-Mann ~
All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~
The demagogue is usually sly, a detractor of others, a professor of humility and disinterestedness, a great stickler for equality as respects all above him, a man who acts in corners, and avoids open and manly expositions of his course, calls blackguards gentlemen, and gentlemen folks, appeals to passions and prejudices rather than to reason, and is in all respects, a man of intrigue and deception, of sly cunning and management, instead of manifesting the frank, fearless qualities of the democracy he so prodigally professes.
The man who maintains the rights of the people on pure grounds, may be distinguished from the demagogue by the reverse of all these qualities. He does not flatter the people, even while he defends them, for he knows that flattery is a corrupting and dangerous poison. Having nothing to conceal, he is frank and fearless, as are all men with the consciousness of right motives. He oftener chides than commends, for power needs reproof and can dispense with praise.
He who would be a courtier under a king, is almost certain to be a demagogue in a democracy.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~
~ The American Democrat ~
I have always been so sure — too sure... But now I am very humble and I say like a little child: "I do not know..."
~ Agatha Christie ~
Party is known to encourage prejudice, and to lead men astray in the judgment of character. Thus it is we see one half the nation extolling those that the other half condemns, and condemning those that the other half extols. Both cannot be right, and as passions, interests and prejudices are all enlisted on such occasions, it would be nearer the truth to say that both are wrong.
Party is an instrument of error, by pledging men to support its policy, instead of supporting the policy of the state. Thus we see party measures almost always in extremes, the resistance of opponents inducing the leaders to ask for more than is necessary.
Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party. Thus have we seen those territorial divisions and regulations which ought to be permanent, as well as other useful laws, altered, for no other end than to influence an election.
Party, has been a means of entirely destroying that local independence, which elsewhere has given rise to a representation that acts solely for the nation, and which, under other systems is called the country party, every legislator being virtually pledged to support one of two opinions; or, if a shade of opinion between them, a shade that is equally fettered, though the truth be with neither.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~
~ The American Democrat ~
To be part of something one doesn't in the least understand is, I think, one of the most intriguing things about life.
I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
~ Agatha Christie ~
It is not a great misfortune to be of service to ingrates, but it is an intolerable one to be obliged to a dishonest man.
~ François de La Rochefoucauld ~
The President cannot make clouds to rain and cannot make the corn to grow, he cannot make business good; although when these things occur, political parties do claim some credit for the good things that have happened in this way.
~ William Howard Taft ~
What often prevents us from abandoning ourselves to one vice is that we have several.
~ François de La Rochefoucauld ~
I don't think necessity is the mother of invention — invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.
~ Agatha Christie ~
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Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend. ~ Agatha Christie's "Hercule Poirot"

It is absurd — improbable — it cannot be. So I myself have said. And yet, my friend, there it is! One cannot escape from the facts. ~ Agatha Christie (date of birth)

  • 3 Kalki 23:49, 14 September 2005 (UTC) with a slight lean toward 4.
  • 2. David | Talk 09:41, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 14:43, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 22:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Nothing is given so profusely as advice. ~ François de La Rochefoucauld (born 15 September 1613)

  • 3 Kalki 06:17, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
  • 3. (He's wrong, though.) David | Talk 09:41, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 14:43, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 22:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Some people's faults are becoming to them; others are disgraced by their own good traits. ~ François de La Rochefoucauld

  • 3 InvisibleSun 14:43, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 03:58, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 22:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

It is so easy and it costs so little labour to write down ten bushels of barley, or a hundred head of cattle, or ten fields of spelt — and the thing that is written will come to seem like the real thing, and so the writer and the scribe will come to despise the man who ploughs the fields and reaps the barley and raises the cattle — but all the same the fields and the cattle are real — they are not just marks of inks on papyrus. And when all the records and all the papyrus rolls are destroyed and the scribes are scattered, the men who toil and reap will go on, and Egypt will still live. ~ Agatha Christie

The more personal you are the better! This is a story of human beings — not dummies! Be personal — be prejudiced — be catty — be anything you please! Write the thing your own way. We can always prune out the bits that are libellous afterwards! ~ Agatha Christie

Trust the train Mademoiselle, for it is le bon Dieu who drives it. ~ Agatha Christie

The difficulty of beginning will be nothing to the difficulty of knowing how to stop. At least that's the way it is with me when I have to make a speech. Someone's got to catch hold of my coat-tails and pull me down by main force. ~ Agatha Christie

We know almost all there is to know. Except that what we know seems incredible. Impossible. ~ Agatha Christie

I am not keeping back facts. Every fact that I know is in your possession. You can draw your own deductions from them. ~ Agatha Christie

I did not deceive you, mon ami. At most, I permitted you to deceive yourself. ~ Agatha Christie

Waiting is still an occupation. It is having nothing to wait for that is terrible. ~ Cesare Pavese
  • 2 because it's a good aphorism; reasons to live are an important them in Pavese. Nemo 14:16, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Equality, in a social sense, may be divided into that of condition and that of rights. Equality of condition is incompatible with civilization, and is found only to exist in those communities that are but slightly removed from the savage state. In practice, it can only mean a common misery. ~ James Fenimore Cooper (dob)

There is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach — it thrives in the dark. So do those who combine for such an end. ~ William Howard Taft (dob)

The press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~

The very existence of government at all, infers inequality. The citizen who is preferred to office becomes the superior to those who are not, so long as he is the repository of power, and the child inherits the wealth of the parent as a controlling law of society.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~

It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.
~ James Fenimore Cooper ~

It says nothing against the ripeness of a spirit that it has a few worms. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche