Some of my favorite quotations I’ve picked up over the years. Some are meaningful, others are just plain fun.
The first one is particularly relevant to a site like mine where I review others’ work.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
— Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic,” Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
— Edmund Burke, British statesman (1729-1797)
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
— George Orwell, British author (1903-1950)
“To be a book-collector is to combine the worst characteristics of a dope fiend with those of a miser.”
— Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist (1913-1995)
“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
— Theodore Roosevelt, American President and all-around swell guy (1858-1919) [quote is from 1907]
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
— The replicant Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) in the Movie “Blade Runner”
“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And onto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!”
— Narrator’s introduction to “Conan the Barbarian” (the movie), narration by Mako
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
— Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
“Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So you’re stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while there’s a peanut butter cup or an english toffee but they’re gone too fast and taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits of hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. If you’re desperate enough to eat those, all you got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.”
— “Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man” (X-Files, Season 4, Episode 7)
“A mind without purpose will walk in dark places.”
— Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor
“An open mind is like a fortress with its gate unbarred and unguarded.”