January 23

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

Quotes of the day from previous years:

All the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love. ~ Eleanor Farjeon
So long as there is death there will be sorrow, and so long as there is sorrow it can be no part of the duty of human beings to increase its amount, in spite of the fact that a few rare spirits know how to transmute it. ~ Bertrand Russell
To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law — a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security. ~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. (born 23 January 1923)
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. ~ William Pitt the Younger (anniversary of death)
Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong notions we have about the things that happen to us. To know men thoroughly, to judge events sanely is, therefore, a great step towards happiness. ~ Stendhal
One can acquire everything in solitude — except character. ~ Stendhal
Love has always been the most important business in my life, I should say the only one. ~ Stendhal
There is no such thing as natural law, the expression is nothing more than a silly anachronism … There is no such thing as right, except when there is a law to forbid a certain thing under pain of punishment. Before law existed, the only natural thing was the strength of the lion, or the need of a creature who was cold or hungry, to put it in one word, need. ~ Stendhal
  • first proposed by InvisibleSun in a more abbreviated form of a different translation: "There is no such thing as "natural law": this expression is nothing but old nonsense. Prior to laws, what is natural is only the strength of the lion, or the need of the creature suffering from hunger or cold, in short, need."
O to be a dragon,
a symbol of the power of Heaven — of silkworm
size or immense; at times invisible.
Felicitous phenomenon!

~ Marianne Moore ~
I no longer find such pleasure in that preeminently good society, of which I was once so fond. It seems to me that beneath a cloak of clever talk it proscribes all energy, all originality. If you are not a copy, people accuse you of being ill-mannered. And besides, good society usurps its privileges. It had in the past the privilege of judging what was proper, but now that it supposes itself to be attacked, it condemns not what is coarse and disagreeable without compensation, but what it thinks harmful to its interest.
~ Stendhal ~
A cultural inheritance may be acquired between dusk and dawn, and many have been so acquired. But the new "culture" was an inheritance of darkness, wherein "simpleton" meant the same thing as "citizen" meant the same thing as "slave." The monks waited. It mattered not at all to them that the knowledge they saved was useless, that much of it was not really knowledge now… empty of content, its subject matter long since gone. Still, such knowledge had a symbolic structure that was peculiar to itself, and at least the symbol-interplay could be observed. To observe the way a knowledge-system is knit together is to learn at least a minimum knowledge-of-knowledge, until someday — someday, or some century — an Integrator would come, and things would be fitted together again. So time mattered not at all. The Memorabilia was there, and it was given to them by duty to preserve, and preserve it they would if the darkness in the world lasted ten more centuries, or even ten thousand years...
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~
Insofar as thought could be governed at all, it could only be commanded to follow what reason affirmed anyhow; command it otherwise, and it would not obey.
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~
I see but one rule: to be clear. If I am not clear, all my world crumbles to nothing.
~ Stendhal ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
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.


I return you many thanks for the honour you have done me; but Europe is not to be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example. ~ William Pitt the Younger (anniversary of death). This was Pitt's last speech in public.

  • 4 Tamino 20:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC) A classic, and in a way appropriate given that it was his last public speech.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 05:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki (talk · contributions) 23:59, 15 January 2011 (UTC) * 2 Kalki 20:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC) Out of the context of his times and circumstances (responding to a toast to him as "Savior of Europe") this can (somewhat ironically) seem a bit chauvinistic, but if this were to be used, I think it should begin at "Europe is not to be saved by any single man..."
  • 1 Zarbon 18:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

In matters of sentiment, the public has very crude ideas; and the most shocking fault of women is that they make the public the supreme judge of their lives. ~ Stendhal

Prudery is a kind of avarice, the worst of all. ~ Stendhal

Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness. ~ Stendhal

A wise woman never yields by appointment. It should always be an unforeseen happiness. ~ Stendhal

I call "crystallization" that action of the mind that discovers fresh perfections in its beloved at every turn of events. ~ Stendhal

Encounters between strangers in the desert, while rare, were occasions of mutual suspicion, and masked by initial preparations on both sides for an incident that might prove either cordial or warlike.
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~

He had never seen a "Fallout," and he hoped he'd never see one. A consistent description of the monster had not survived, but Francis had heard the legends. … Brother Francis visualized a Fallout as half-salamander, because, according to tradition, the thing was born in the Flame Deluge, and as half-incubus who despoiled virgins in their sleep, for, were not the monsters of the world still called "children of the Fallout"? That the demon was capable of inflicting all the woes which descended upon Job was recorded fact, if not an article of creed.
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~

Ignorance is king. Many would not profit by his abdication. Many enrich themselves by means of his dark monarchy. They are his Court, and in his name they defraud and govern, enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. Even literacy they fear, for the written word is another channel of communication that might cause their enemies to become united. Their weapons are keen-honed, and they use them with skill. They will press the battle upon the world when their interests are threatened, and the violence which follows will last until the structure of society as it now exists is leveled to rubble, and a new society emerges. I am sorry: But that is how I see it.
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~

Ignorance has been our king. Since the death of empire, he sits unchallenged on the throne of Man. His dynasty is age-old. His right to rule is now considered legitimate. Past sages have affirmed it. They did nothing to unseat him.
Tomorrow, a new prince shall rule. Men of understanding, men of science shall stand behind his throne, and the universe will come to know his might. His name is Truth. His empire shall encompass the Earth.
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~

You don't have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.
~ Walter M. Miller, Jr. ~

What is really beautiful must always be true.
~ Stendhal ~