Quotations

“Wonderful Peculiarity in the English Character!”

“The French, however wretched may be their condition, are attached to life, while the English frequently detest life in the midst of affluence and splendour. English criminals are not dragged, but run to the place of execution, where they laugh, sing, cut jokes, insult the spectators; and if no hangman happens to be present, frequently hang themselves.”

Memoirs of Lewis Holberg, quoted in The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, July 28, 1827

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“My toughest fight was with my first wife.” — Muhammad Ali

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“From today painting is dead.” — Portraitist Paul Delaroche, on seeing an exhibition of daguerreotypes, 1839

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“Just because swans mate for life, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. First of all, if you’re a swan, you’re probably not going to find a swan that looks much better than the one you’ve got, so why not mate for life?” — Jack Handy

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“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.” — Louis Armstrong

Exchange

Oscar Wilde: “Do you mind if I smoke?”

Sarah Bernhardt: “I don’t care if you burn.”

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“If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.” — Albert Einstein

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“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then give up. No use being a damned fool about it.” — W.C. Fields

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“Fancy being remembered around the world for the invention of a mouse!” — Walt Disney, during his last illness

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“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” — Sigmund Freud

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“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts in living color, we bring you another first, an attempted suicide.” — Florida newscaster Christine Chubbuck, before shooting herself on live television, July 15, 1974

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“I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.” — Woody Allen

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“Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” — Alfonso, king of Castile (1221-1284), on studying the Ptolemaic system

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“All generalizations are dangerous — even this one.” — Alexandre Dumas

R.I.P.

“Finally I am becoming stupider no more.” — Mathematician Paul Erdös, suggested epitaph for himself

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“There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.” — George Orwell

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“Nothing is more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.” — Winston Churchill

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“Listening to the Fifth Symphony of Vaughan Williams is like staring at a cow for 45 minutes.” — Aaron Copland

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“Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

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“Who would write, who had any thing better to do?” — Lord Byron

Water Music

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On seeing Niagara Falls, Gustav Mahler exclaimed: “Fortissimo at last!”

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“I never knew an enemy to puns who was not an ill-natured man.” — Charles Lamb

“Beware of People Who Dislike Cats”

Irish sayings:

  • “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
  • “It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.”
  • “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.”
  • “You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”
  • “Both your friend and your enemy think you will never die.”
  • “Don’t give cherries to pigs or advice to fools.”
  • “Anything will fit a naked man.”
  • “The only cure for love is marriage.”

And “He who gets a name for early rising can stay in bed until midday.”

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“Humankind cannot stand very much reality.” — T.S. Eliot