see: "DEFECTS"
see: "FAULTS"
see: "FLAWS"


Promptly at eight o'clock a patrician figure in his
thirties was shown to his regular table in the Palm
Room of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Tall and
slender, elegantly attired, he was the cynosure of
all eyes, though most diners, mindful of the
celebrated inventor's need for privacy, pretended
not to stare.

Eighteen clean linen napkins were stacked as usual
at his place. Nikola Tesla could no more have said
why he favored numbers divisible by three than why
he had a morbid fear of germs or, for that matter,
why he was beset by any of the multitude of other
strange obsessions that plagued his life.

Abstractedly he began to polish the already sparkling
silver and crystal, taking up and discarding one
square of linen after another until a small starched
mountain had risen on the serving table. Then, as
each dish arrived, he compulsively calculated its cubic
contents before lifting a bite to his lips. Otherwise
there could be no joy in eating.

--Margaret Cheney (b. 1921)
American journalist and author.
_Tesla: Man Out of Time_ [1981], "Modern Prometheus"


If Mr. [George] Selwyn calls again, show him up:
if I am alive, I shall be delighted to see him; and
if I am dead, he will be delighted to see me.
--Henry Fox (1705—1774)
English Whig politician
Quoted in "The London Quarterly Review" [April 1850].
(Mr. Selwyn had a fondness for seeing dead bodies.)


An old solicitor, whom I knew when I was a boy, told
me that as an articled clerk he was once invited to
dine with my grandfather. My grandfather carved the
beef, and then a servant handed him a dish of
potatoes baked in their skins. There are few things
better to eat than a potato in its skin, with plenty
of butter, pepper, and salt, but apparently my
grandfather did not think so.

He rose in his chair at the head of the table and
took the potatoes out of the dish one by one and
threw one at each picture on the walls. Then
without a word he sat down again and went on
with his dinner. I asked my friend what effect this
behavior had on the rest of the company. He told
me that no one took any notice.

--W. Somerset Maugham (1874—1965)
English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.
_The Summing Up_ [1938], Chapter VI



see: "DEFEAT"
see: "GIVING UP"
see: "FAILURE" for other related links

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never,
never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty —
never give in, except to convictions of honor and
good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to
the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
--Winston Churchill (1874—1965)
British Conservative statesman and Prime Minister [1940-45, 1951-55].
Speech at Harrow School [29 October 1941].

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then
quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] (1880—1946)
American vaudeville star and film actor.
Attributed in Art Cohn _The Joker is Wild: The Story of Joe E. Lewis_[1955].


Ira Gershwin (1896—1983)
American lyricist.

Gershwin was a keen poker player, but very unlucky. After a
particularly disastrous evening, he announced to his friends, 'I
take an oath, I'll never pick up a card again.' After a moment's
pause, he added, 'Unless, of course, I have guests who want
to play. Or, unless I am a guest in another man's house.' He
paused again. 'Or whatever circumstances arise.'

--_Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes_
edited by Clifton Fadiman and Andrι Bernard [2000 ed.]


The first thing men do when they have renounced
pleasure, through decency, lassitude, or for the
sake of health, is to condemn it in others. Such
conduct denotes a kind of latent affection for the
very things they left off; they would like no one
to enjoy a pleasure they can no longer indulge
in; and thus they show their feelings of jealousy.
--Jean de La Bruyθre (1645—1696)
French essayist and moralist.
_Les Caractθres_ [1688], "Of Mankind"

Few men of action have been able to make
a graceful exit at the appropriate time.
--Malcolm Muggeridge (1903—1990)
British writer, broadcaster, and journalist.
_Chronicles of Wasted Time: An Autobiography_ [1972]

Never stop because you are afraid — you are never so likely
to be wrong. Never keep a line of retreat: it is a wretched
invention. The difficult is what takes a little time; the
impossible is what takes a little longer.
--Fridtjof Nansen (1861—1930)
Norwegian polar explorer.
Quoted in "Listener" [14 December 1939].


Defeat doesn't finish a man — quit does. A man
is not finished when he's defeated. He's finished
when he quits.
--Richard Nixon (1913—1994)
American Republican statesman, President [1969-74].
Note written in July 1969 referring to Ted Kennedy and his difficulties
arising from his auto accident on Chappaquiddick Island.

I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term
is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But
as President, I must put the interest of America first. [...]
Therefore, I shall resign the presidency effective at noon
--Richard Nixon (1913—1994)
American Republican statesman, President [1969-74].
Speech resigning the Office of President [8 August 1974].


... and so there ain't nothing more to write about,
and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed
what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a
tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more.
--Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835—1910)
American humorist, novelist, journalist, and river pilot.
_The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_ [1884] "Chapter The Last"

A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.
--"Washington Post" [20 March 1927]


Don't quit when the night is darkest,
For it's just a while to dawn;
Don't quit when you've run the farthest,
For the race is almost won.

Don't quit when the hill is steepest,
For your goal is almost nigh;
Don't quit, for you're not a failure
Until you fail to try.

--Jill Wolf, "Don't Quit"



desuetude [DES-wih-tood, -tyood], noun:
The cessation of use; discontinuance of
practice or custom; disuse.




A Marine captain named Richard McCutcheon became the
first contestant to go all the way (on the $64,000 Question.)
Bookies kept odds on whether or not he could get the right
answer. His field was cooking, not military history. With
an audience estimated at 55 million watching, on September
13, 1955, he became the first contestant to climb the
television Mt. Everest. For $64,000 he was asked to name
the five dishes and two wines from the menu served by King
George VI of England for French president Albert Lebrun in
1939. He did: consomme quenelles, filet de truite saumonee,
petits pois a la francaises, sauce maltaise, and corbeille. The
wines were Chateau d'Yquem and Madera Sercial. The nation
was ecstatic — it had a winner.

--David Halberstam (1934—2007)
American journalist and author. Winner of the
Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for international reporting.
_The Fifties_ [1993]


Gene Rayburn (1917—1999)
American actor and game-show host

. . . But game shows became his turf, and his "Match Game" tenure
survived one hilarious blooper. Interviewing a contestant and meaning
to compliment her dimples, he looked at her face and said, "you have
the most beautiful nipples I have ever seen."

--David Tanny "Gene Rayburn Obituary: A Favorite Passes On" [1999]




see: "BOOKS"
see: "KNOWLEDGE" for other related links

One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well.
--[Amos] Bronson Alcott (1799—1888)
American philosopher, teacher, and
reformer; father of Louisa May Alcott.
_Table Talk_, ch. 1 "Learning" [1877]

The surest way to make a monkey
of a man is to quote him.
--Robert Benchley (1889—1945)
American humorist and newspaper columnist.
_My Ten Years in a Quandary_ [1936] "Quick Quotations"

Quotation, n. The act of repeating erroneously
the words of another. The words erroneously
--Ambrose Bierce (1842—1914)
American newspaperman, wit, and satirist.
_The Cynic's Word Book_ [1906]
(Retitled in 1911 as _The Devil's Dictionary_.)


He presents me with what is always an acceptable
gift who brings me news of a great thought before
unknown. He enriches me without impoverishing
--Christian Nestell Bovee (1820—1904)
American writer.
_Intuitions and Summaries of Thought_ [2 vols. 1862]

To quote copiously and well, requires taste,
judgment, and erudition, a feeling for the
beautiful, an appreciation of the noble, and
a sense of the profound.
--Christian Nestell Bovee (1820—1904)
American writer.
_Intuitions and Summaries of Thought_ [2 vols. 1862]


Why is it that The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
bulges with quotations by men ... when women (as
men are the first to point out) do all the talking?
--Peg Bracken (1918—2007)
American humorist.
Quoted in Michelle Lovric _Women's Wicked Wit:
From Jane Austen to Rosanne Barr_ [2001].

Do you know, I pick up favourite quotations, and I store them
in my mind as ready armour, offensive or defensive, amid the
struggle of this turbulent existence.
--Robert Burns (1759—1796)
Scottish poet and songwriter.
Letter to Frances Anna Dunlop [6 December 1792].

He uses all the great quotations,
He says the things I wish I could say;
But he's had so many rehearsals,
Girl, to him it's just another play.
--Jerry Butler (b. 1939)
American soul singer and songwriter.
"He Will Break Your Heart" [1960 song],
lyrics by Curtis Mayfield, Calvin Carter, and Jerry Butler.

One could take down a book from a shelf ten times more
wise and witty than almost any man's conversation. Bacon
is wiser, Swift more humorous than any person one is
likely to meet with; but they cannot chime in with the exact
frame of thought in which we may happen to take them down
from our shelves. Therein lies the luxury of conversation;
and when a living speaker does not yield us that luxury,
he becomes only a book standing on two legs.
--Thomas Campbell (1777—1844)
Scottish poet.
19 June 1820 entry in _Life and Letters of Thomas
Campbell_, ed. by William Beattie [3 vols., 1849].

Most anthologists of poetry or quotations are like
those who eat cherries or oysters, first picking the
best and ending by eating everything.
--Sιbastien-Roch Nicolas Chamfort (1741—1794)
French playwright and conversationalist.
_Pensιes, maximes et anecdotes_ [1795]

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read
books of quotations. Bartlett's 'Familiar Quotations'
is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The
quotations when engraved upon the memory give
you good thoughts. They also make you anxious
to read the authors and look for more.
--Winston Churchill (1874—1965)
British Conservative statesman and Prime Minister [1940-45, 1951-55].
_My Early Life_, ch. 9 [1930]

There are gems of thought that are ageless and eternal.
--Marcus Tullius Cicero (106—43 BC)
Roman orator and statesman.
Attributed in Sidney Greenberg _A Treasury of the Art of Living_, p. 83 [1963].

Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered
over the country? Great books are not in everybody's reach;
and though it is better to know them thoroughly, than to
know them only here and there; yet it is a good work to
give a little to those who have neither time nor means
to get more. Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant,
scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an
illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772—1834)
English poet, critic, and philosopher.
Quoted in _Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature Science and
Arts_, edited by William and Robert Chambers [6 February 1858].

If we steal thoughts from the moderns, it will be
cried down as plagiarism; if from the ancients, it
will be cried up as erudition.
--C.C. Colton (1780—1832)
English clergyman and writer.
_Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words_, DXLVI [1823 ed.]

Thou art a retailer of phrases, and dost deal in remnants of remnants[.]
--William Congreve (1670—1729)
English dramatist.
"The Way of the World" [1700], IV, ix

[Of quotations:]
When found, make a note of.
--Charles Dickens (1812—1870)
English novelist.
_Dombey and Son_ [1846-48]

Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.
--Denis Diderot (1713—1784)
French writer and philosopher.
Attributed in Tryon Edwards _A Dictionary of Thoughts_, p. 338 [1908 ed.].

I love [quotations] because it is a joy to find thoughts
one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority
by someone recognizedly wiser than oneself.
--Marlene Dietrich [Marie Magdalene Von Losch] (1901—1992)
German-born film actress. Between 1943-46 she made
more than 500 appearances before Allied troops.
Attributed in Ashton Applewhite, et al _And I Quote:
The Definitive Collection..._, p. xiv [1992].

One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.
--attributed to Diogenes (404—323 B.C.)
Greek Cynic philosopher.

Nurture your mind with great thoughts;
to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
--Benjamin Disraeli (1804—1881)
British Tory statesman, novelist, and Prime Minister [1868, 1874-80].
_Coningsby_, bk. 3, ch. I [1844]

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience
of ages, may be preserved by quotation.
--Isaac D'Israeli (1766—1848)
English author and the father of Benjamin Disraeli.
_Curiosities of Literature_ [1791-1834] "Quotation"

Some one said: 'The dead writers are remote from us because
we *know* so much more than they did.' Precisely, and they
are that which we know.
--T.S. Eliot (1888—1965)
Anglo-American poet, critic, and dramatist.
_The Sacred Wood_ [1920] "Tradition and the Individual Talent"


Immortality. I notice that as soon as writers broach this
question they begin to quote. I hate quotations. Tell me
what you know.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
Diary [May 1849].

I suppose every old scholar has had the experience of
reading something in a book which was significant to
him, but which he could never find again. Sure he is
that he read it there, but no one else ever read it, nor
can he find it again, though he buy the book and
ransack every page.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
Entry of 2 July 1867 in _Journals_, [pub. in 10 vols., 1910-14].

By necessity, by proclivity and by delight, we
all quote. In fact it is as difficult to appropriate
the thoughts of others as it is to invent.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Letters and Social Aims_ [1876] "Quotation and Originality"

The profit of books is according to the sensibility
of the reader. The profoundest thought or passion
sleeps as in a mine, until an equal mind and heart
finds and publishes it.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Letters and Social Aims_ [1876], "Quotation and Originality"

Quotation confesses inferiority.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Letters and Social Aims_ [1876], "Quotation and Originality"

We are as much informed of a writer's genius by what he selects as
by what he originates. We read the quotation with his eyes, and find
a new and fervent sense; as a passage from one of the poets, well
recited, borrows new interest from the rendering. As the journals
say, 'the italics are ours.'
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Letters and Social Aims_ [1876], "Quotation and Originality"

Our best thoughts come from others.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
Attributed in James Wood (ed.) _Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient
and Modern, English and Foreign Sources_, p. 337 [1899].

Next to the originator of a good
sentence is the first quoter of it.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882)
American philosopher and poet.
_Letters and Social Aims_ [1876], "Quotation and Originality"

and see:

There is not less wit nor less invention in applying
rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being
the first author of that thought.
--Pierre Bayle (1647—1706)
French philosopher.
_Dictionnaire Historique et Critique_ [1697-1702]


Some persons have a mania for Greek and Latin
quotations; this is particularly to be avoided. It is
like pulling up the stones from a tomb wherewith
to kill the living.
--Moses Folsom and J.D. O'Connor
_Treasures of Science, History and Literature_ [1879]

Quotation [...] A writer expresses himself in
words that have been used before because
they give his meaning better than he can
give it himself, or because they are beautiful
or witty, or because he expects them to touch
a cord of association in his reader, or because
he wishes to show that he is learned and well
read. Quotations due to the last motive are
invariably ill-advised; the discerning reader
detects it and is contemptuous; the
undiscerning is perhaps impressed, but even
then is at the same time repelled, pretentious
quotations being the surest road to tedium.
--Henry W. Fowler (1858—1933)
English schoolmaster and lexicographer.
_A Dictionary of Modern English Usage_ [1926]

A collection of anecdotes and maxims is the greatest of treasures for
the man of the world, for he knows how to intersperse conversation
with the former in fit places, and to recollect the latter on proper
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749—1832)
German poet, novelist, and playwright.
_Maxims and Reflections_, vol. III [1819]

Quotations (such as have point and lack triteness) from
the great old authors are an act of reverence on the part
of the quoter, and a blessing to a public grown superficial
and external.
--attributed to Louise Imogen Guiney (1861—1920)
American poet and essayist.

A notebook I carry around with me wherever I
go. When it is full, I review it. Any quotation or
thought worth preserving is copied out.
--Eric Hoffer (1902—1983)
American longshoreman, philosopher,
and author who received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom in 1982.
_Working and Thinking on the Waterfront_ [1969]

What gems of painting or statuary are in the world of art,
or what flowers are in the world of nature, are gems of
thought to the cultivated and the thinking.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809—1894)
American physician, poet, and essayist.
Quoted in Julia B. Hoitt
_Excellent Quotations For Home and School_, p. iv [1890].

It was the maxim, I think, of Alphonsus of Aragon,
that dead counsellors are safest. The grave puts an
end to flattery and artifice, and the information we
receive from books is pure from interest, fear, or
ambition. Dead counsellors are likewise most
instructive, because they are heard with patience
and with reverence.
--Samuel Johnson (1709—1784)
English poet, critic, and lexicographer.
_The Rambler_ [15 January 1751]

He wrapped himself in quotations — as a beggar
would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.
--Rudyard Kipling (1865—1936)
English writer and poet.
_Many Inventions_ [1893] "The Finest Story in the World"

Anyone who in discussion quotes authority
uses his memory rather than his intellect.
--attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (1452—1519)
Florentine painter, sculptor, musician, and scientist.

Though old the thought and oft expresst,
’tis his at last who says it best.
--James Russell Lowell (1819—1891)
American poet, critic, essayist, and diplomat.
"For An Autograph" [1868]

To be amused by what you read — that
is the great spring of happy quotations.
--C.E. Montague (1867—1928)
British writer.
_A Writer's Notes on His Trade_ [1936]


It could be said of me that in this book I have
only made up a bunch of other men's flowers,
and provided nothing of my own but the string
to bind them.
--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533—1592)
French moralist and essayist.
_Essays_, bk. 3, ch. 12 [1580]

I do not speak the minds of others except
to speak my own mind better.
--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533—1592)
French moralist and essayist.
_Essays_, bk. I ch. 26 [1580]


A quotation, a chance word heard in an unexpected
quarter, puts me on the trail of the book destined
to achieve some intellectual advancement in me.
--George Augustus Moore (1852—1933)
Irish novelist.
_Confessions of a Young Man_ [1888]

I rarely ever quote; the reason is, I always think.
--Thomas Paine [spelled Pane prior to 1774] (1737—1809)
English-American writer and political pamphleteer.
In Gregory Claeys _Thomas Paine: Social and Political Thought_ [1989].


I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations
beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn
--Dorothy Parker (1893—1967)
American critic and humorist.
_The Little Hours_ [1944]

Yes, well, let me tell you that if nobody had
ever learned to quote, very few people would
be in love with La Rochefoucauld. I bet you
I don't know ten souls who read him without
a middleman.
--Dorothy Parker (1893—1967)
American critic and humorist.
_The Little Hours_ [1944]


A book that furnishes no quotations is,
*me judice*, no book — it is a plaything.
--Thomas Love Peacock (1785—1866)
English satirist and author.
_Crochet Castle_, ch. 9 [1831]

Misquotation is, in fact, the pride and privilege
of the learned. A widely-read man never quotes
accurately, for the rather obvious reason that
he has read too widely.
--Hesketh Pearson (1887—1964)
English actor and biographer.
_Common Misquotations_ [1934]


The girls today in society
Go for classical poetry,
So to win their hearts,
You must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides;
But the poet of them all,
Who will start them simply ravin'
Is the poet people call
The bard of Stratford-on-Avon!

Brush... up... your Shakespeare,
Start... quoting him now!
Brush... up... your Shakespeare,
And the women you will wow!

Just declaim a few lines from Othello
And she'll think you're a hell of a fellow;
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter her,
Tell her what Tony told Cleopaterer
If she fights when her clothes you are mussing
What are clothes? much ado About nussing!
Brush... up... your Shakespeare,
And they'll all kowtow!

--Cole Porter (1892—1964)
American songwriter.
"Brush Up Your Shakespeare" [1948 song from the show _Kiss Me Kate_ ]


Certain brief sentences are peerless in their ability to
give one the feeling that nothing remains to be said.
--Jean Rostand (1894—1977)
French biologist and philosopher.
_Carnet d’un biologiste_ (Thoughts of a Biologist) [1959]

A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a
man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
--Joseph Roux (1834—1886)
French parish priest and writer.
_Meditations of a Parish Priest_; tr. from the
third French edition by Isabel F. Hapgood [1886].

Almost every wise saying has an opposite
one, no less wise, to balance it.
--George Santayana (1863—1952)
Spanish-born philosopher and critic.
_The Life of Reason_ [1905]

I always have a quotation for everything — it saves original thinking.
--Dorothy L. Sayers (1893—1957)
English writer of detective fiction.
_Have His Carcase_, ch. 4 [1932]

The little honesty existing among authors is to be seen
in the outrageous way in which they misquote from the
writings of others. I find whole passages in my works
wrongly quoted, and it is only in my appendix, which
is absolutely lucid, that an exception is made. The
misquotation is frequently due to carelessness, the
pen of such people has been used to write down such
trivial and banal phrases that it goes on writing them
out of force of habit. Sometimes the misquotation is
due to impertinence on the part of some one who
wants to improve upon my work; but a bad motive
only too often prompts the misquotation — it is then
horrid baseness and roguery, and, like a man who
commits forgery, he loses the character for being an
honest man for ever.
--Arthur Schopenhauer (1788—1860)
German philosopher.
"On Authorship and Style" in _Essays of Schopenhauer_,
trans. by Mrs Rudolf Dircks [1897].

I shall never be ashamed to quote a
bad author if what he says is good.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC—65 A.D.)
Roman philosopher and poet.
"On Tranquility of Mind" in _Moral Essays_ tr. John W. Basore [1928].


Have at you with a proverb.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_The Comedy of Errors_ [1592-94]

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
--William Shakespeare (1564—1616)
English dramatist.
_The Merchant of Venice_, act. I, sc. 3. l. 96 [1596-98]


I often quote myself; it adds spice to my conversation.
--George Bernard Shaw (1856—1950)
Irish comic dramatist, literary critic, Socialist
propagandist, and winner of the Nobel Prize
for Literature in 1925 [he didn't accept it.]
Quoted in Kenneth L. Calkins' "As Someone Famous Probably
Once Said. . . . " article, _New York Times_ [7 January 1988].

Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh
to-day as when they first passed through their author's minds,
ages ago.
--Samuel Smiles (1812—1904)
Scottish author.
_Character_ [1871]

I quote a great deal in my talks [...] I do like
to call upon my radiant cloud of witnesses to
back me up, saying the thing I would say, and
saying it so much more eloquently.
--Leonora Speyer (1872—1956)
American poet.
_The Saturday Review of Literature_ [1946]

That fellow has a mind of inverted commas.
--Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Pιrigord (1754—1838)
French statesman.
Said of a man who dealt in nothing but quotations,
attributed in _Punch_ [16 July 1853].

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires
fall, but wise words endure.
--Edward Thorndike (1874—1949)
American educator and psychologist.
Quoted in "Forbes" [1950].

'I must claim the quoter's privilege of giving only
as much of the text as will suit my purpose,' said
Tan-Chun. 'If I told you how it went on, I should
end up by contradicting myself!'
--Ts'ao Chan [Pinyin Cao Zhan] (c.1715—1763)
Chinese author.
_Hung lou meng_ (Dream of the Red Chamber)

A striking expression, with the aid of a small amount
of truth, can surprise us into accepting a falsehood.
--Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715—1747)
French moralist and essayist.
_Reflections and Maxims_ [1746]

Exchanging platitudes, as Frenchmen do, for the pleasure of
feeling their mouths full of the good meat of common sense.
--Rebecca West [Cecily Isabel Fairfiield] (1892—1983)
English journalist, novelist, and critic.
_The Thinking Reed_, ch. 3 [1936]

Think for thyself one good idea,
But known to be thine own;
Is better than a thousand gleaned,
From fields by others sown.
--Alexander Wilson (1766-1813)
Scottish-American poet and ornithologist.
Attributed in "Friends' Intelligencer and Journal" [27 Feb. 1892].

I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.
--Woodrow Wilson (1856—1924)
American Democratic statesman and President [1913-21].
_New York Times Magazine_ [10 June 1956], "Woodrow Wilson in His Own Words"

I am but a gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff.
--Henry Wotton (1568—1639)
English poet and diplomat.
Preface to _The Elements of Architecture_ [1624].

If I quote liberally, it is not to show off book learning,
which at my stage can only invite ridicule, but rather
to bathe in this kinship of strangers.
--Yi-Fu Tuan (b. 1930)
Chinese-American biographer, educator, and author.
_Who Am I?_ [1999]

Some, for renown, on scraps of learning dote,
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
--Edward Young (1683—1765)
English poet.
"Love of Fame"


'Why read a book you cannot quote,' cried Dr. Bentley,
when he found his son engrossed with a novel. The art
of apt quotation is less esteemed in these days than it
was formerly; writers prefer to lay claim to "originality
of thought," and if they do borrow from older authors,
are not always eager to acknowledge their obligations.
In past times, copious quotations were thought to show
the extent of a man's reading. Sermons, even a century
ago, impressed their hearers more if crammed with
quotations in unknown tongues.
--"Quotations" in _The Brisbane Courier_ [19 August 1884].

Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually
repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
--author unknown.

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