Category Archives: Quotation

Imagination And Reality: Czech Proverb

He who looks only at heaven may easily break his nose on earth. Czech Proverb Hence the famous pairing of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza – every absent-minded scientist needs a grounded partner, like Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, yin … Continue reading

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The Dangers Of Political Gossip: William Hazlitt

Those who cannot miss an opportunity of saying a good thing…are not to be trusted with the management of any great question. William Hazlitt 1778-1830 Characteristics (1823) I think most political leaders instinctively know this. Gore Vidal could not be … Continue reading

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Bishops And Sex: The Revd Sydney Smith

How can a bishop marry? How can he flirt? The most he can say is, ‘I will see you in the vestry after the service’. The Revd Sydney Smith 1771-1845 Memoir (1855) by Lady Holland The image is a portrait … Continue reading

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Justice, Injustice and Democracy: Reinhold Niebuhr

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. Reinhold Niebuhr 1892-1971 The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (1944)

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Courage: C S Lewis

Courage is not merely one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. C S Lewis quoted in The Unquiet Grave by Cyril Connolly

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A Master Class in How To Control An Orchestra: Arturo Toscanini

After I die, I shall return to earth as the doorkeeper of a bordello, and I won’t let one of you in. Arturo Toscanini (To his orchestra during a difficult rehearsal) An Encyclopaedia of Quotations about Music (1978) ed. Nat … Continue reading

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Empire Building: Bill Bryson

We used to build civilisations. Now we build shopping malls. Bill Bryson Neither Here Nor There (1991)

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Choice: A Japanese Proverb

He who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other. Japanese Proverb

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The Oeuvre Of Raymond Chandler

If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come. Raymond Chandler 1888-1959 Letter to Charles W Morton 12 December 1945

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Leading Up To It: Richard Steele

A woman seldom writes her mind but in her postscript. Richard Steele 1672-1729 The Spectator 31 May 1711

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