April 13

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Quotes of the day from previous years:

2004
Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
2005
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. ~ Thomas Jefferson (born 13 April 1743 (N.S.))
2006
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. ~ Thomas Jefferson
2007
The secular state is the guarantee of religious pluralism. This apparent paradox, again, is the simplest and most elegant of political truths. ~ Christopher Hitchens
2008
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. ~ Thomas Jefferson
2009
I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. ~ Thomas Jefferson
2010
History says don't hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.

~ Seamus Heaney ~
2011
There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive. ~ Thomas Jefferson
2012
A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy. ~ Guy Fawkes
2013
Let us do something while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us!
~ Samuel Beckett ~
2014
Over the mountains,
And over the waves,
Over the fountains,
And under the graves;
Over the floods that are deepest,
Which do Neptune obey;
Over the rocks that are steepest,
Love will find out the way.
~ Thomas Percy ~
2015
I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another, for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~
2016
I've learned some things from having lived:
If you're alive, experience largely, merge with rivers, heavens, cosmos
For what we call living is a gift given to life
And life is a gift bestowed upon us
~ Ataol Behramoğlu ~
2017
I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~
2018
It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights; that confidence is every where the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go; and let the honest advocate of confidence read the Alien and Sedition Acts, and say if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits to the government it created, and whether we should be wise in destroying those limits; let him say what the government is, if it be not a tyranny, which the men of our choice have conferred on the President, and the President of our choice has assented to and accepted, over the friendly strangers, to whom the mild spirit of our country and its laws had pledged hospitality and protection; that the men of our choice have more respected the bare suspicions of the President than the solid rights of innocence, the claims of justification, the sacred force of truth, and the forms and substance of law and justice.
In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~
  • proposed by InvisibleSun in 2007 in a shorter form; a more extensive form proposed in 2018 by Kalki
2019
To know nothing is nothing, not to want to know anything likewise, but to be beyond knowing anything, to know you are beyond knowing anything, that is when peace enters in, to the soul of the incurious seeker.
~ Samuel Beckett ~
2020
If, in my retirement to the humble station of a private citizen, I am accompanied with the esteem and approbation of my fellow citizens, trophies obtained by the bloodstained steel, or the tattered flags of the tented field, will never be envied. The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~
2021
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:


  • We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it. ~ Thomas Jefferson

The Quote of the Day (QOTD) is a prominent feature of the Wikiquote Main Page. Thank you for submitting, reviewing, and ranking suggestions!

Ranking system
4 : Excellent – should definitely be used. (This is the utmost ranking and should be used by any editor for only one quote at a time for each date.)
3 : Very Good – strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good – some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable – but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable – not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.
An averaging of the rankings provided to each suggestion produces it’s general ranking in considerations for selection of Quote of the Day. The selections made are usually chosen from the top ranked options existing on the page, but the provision of highly ranked late additions, especially in regard to special events (most commonly in regard to the deaths of famous people, or other major social or physical occurrences), always remain an option for final selections.
Thank you for participating!


Suggestions[edit]

Unfathomable mind, now beacon, now sea. ~ Samuel Beckett (born April 13, 1906)


These things I say, and shall say, if I can, are no longer, or are not yet, or never were, or never will be, or if they were, if they are, if they will be, were not here, are not here, will not be here, but elsewhere. ~ Samuel Beckett


Perhaps it's done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on. ~ Samuel Beckett


The fact is that serious trials and fearless investigations often are the cause of great division, and rightly so. ~ Christopher Hitchens (born April 13, 1949)

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:35, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 13:58, 11 April 2007 (UTC) with a slight lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 23:45, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

All the excitements of a prohibited book had their usual effect, one of which, as always, is to expose the fact that the censors don't know what they are talking about. ~ Christopher Hitchens


Yes, in my life, since we must call it so, there were three things, the inability to speak, the inability to be silent, and solitude, that’s what I’ve had to make the best of. ~ Samuel Beckett


We are all born mad. Some remain so. ~ Samuel Beckett

  • 3 Kalki 13:58, 11 April 2007 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 15:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 23:45, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

God is a foreman with certain definite views
Who orders life in shifts of work and leisure.
~ Seamus Heaney


In conclusion, if you want to unravel the multitude of secrets of chess then don't begrudge the time. ~ Garry Kasparov

  • 3 Zarbon 05:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 05:44, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2. Would not include the first two words. - InvisibleSun 22:46, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Alekhine's attacks came suddenly, like destructive thunderstorms that erupted from a clear sky. ~ Garry Kasparov


The most completely wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed. ~ Nicolas Chamfort

  • 3 Zarbon 05:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 05:44, 8 April 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3 or even 4.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 22:46, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Anyone who has no character is not a man, but a thing. ~ Nicolas Chamfort


The only thing that stops God sending a second Flood is that the first one was useless. ~ Nicolas Chamfort


A good snapshot stops a moment from running away. ~ Eudora Welty

  • 2 Zarbon 05:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 05:44, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer. ~ Christopher Hitchens


Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way. ~ Christopher Hitchens


We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment. How many people can boast as much?
~ Samuel Beckett ~

Whatever be their degree of talent it is no measure of their rights. Because Sir Isaac Newton was superior to others in understanding, he was not therefore lord of the person or property of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment and death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment, be deaf to all those motives whose powers supported him through his trial, and inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Originally suggested at 21 March, but also moved here as a more appropriate date.

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. ~ Samuel Ullman

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Compulsion in religion is distinguished peculiarly from compulsion in every other thing. I may grow rich by art I am compelled to follow, I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment, but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve & abhor.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself. She seldom has received much aid from the power of great men to whom she is rarely known & seldom welcome. She has no need of force to procure entrance into the minds of men. Error indeed has often prevailed by the assistance of power or force. Truth is the proper & sufficient antagonist to error.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

It is an axiom in my mind, that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the State to effect, and on a general plan.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master. Could the contrary of this be proved, I should conclude either that there is no god, or that he is a malevolent being.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I am not a Federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all. Therefore I protest to you I am not of the party of federalists. But I am much farther from that than of the Antifederalists.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free enquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves?
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. [...] As little will it avail us that they are chosen by ourselves. An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by others.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Delay is preferable to error.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another, for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

If we do not learn to sacrifice small differences of opinion, we can never act together. Every man cannot have his way in all things. If his own opinion prevails at some times, he should acquiesce on seeing that of others preponderate at others. Without this mutual disposition we are disjointed individuals, but not a society.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Self-interest, or rather self-love, or egoism, has been more plausibly substituted as the basis of morality. But I consider our relations with others as constituting the boundaries of morality. With ourselves, we stand on the ground of identity, not of relation, which last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love confined to a single one. To ourselves, in strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation requiring also two parties. Self-love, therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed, it is exactly its counterpart.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man's and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend's or our foe's, are exactly the right.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I wish that all nations may recover and retain their independence; that those which are overgrown may not advance beyond safe measures of power, that a salutary balance may be ever maintained among nations, and that our peace, commerce, and friendship, may be sought and cultivated by all. It is our business to manufacture for ourselves whatever we can, to keep our markets open for what we can spare or want; and the less we have to do with the amities or enmities of Europe, the better. Not in our day, but at no distant one, we may shake a rod over the heads of all, which may make the stoutest of them tremble. But I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

One of our fan-coloring biographers, who paints small men as very great, inquired of me lately with real affection too, whether he might consider as authentic, the change of my religion much spoken of in some circles. Now this supposed that they knew what had been my religion before, taking for it the word of their priests, whom I certainly never made the confidants of my creed. My answer was "say nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one."
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter … But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore. But that he might conscientiously believe himself inspired from above, is very possible.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, liberals and serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, whigs and tories, republicans and federalists, aristocrats and democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last appellation of aristocrats and democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

It is not by the consolidation or concentration, of powers, but by their distribution that good government is effected.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

I have ever deemed it more honorable and profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~