Favorite Quotes

Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!
— Dr. Strangelove 


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. . . ENDNOTES 

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Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
— Samuel Johnson 

I hate quotation. Tell me what you know. 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 

He likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise. 
— Mrs. Emma Peel 

I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis. 
— Humphrey Bogart 

What are you going to do — shoot me? Shoot me. I would pay you to shoot my family! I would consider it a blessing! 
— Paul Rusesabagina 

I hope I haven’t bored you. 
— Elvis Presley 

Die, my dear Doctor, that’s the last thing I shall do! 
— Lord Henry Temple Palmerston 

And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot and rot;

–A Fool speaks to Jacques in As You Like It

Fact and fiction are so intermingled in my work that now, looking back on it, I can hardly distinguish one from the other. 
— W. Somerset Maugham 

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.
— Oscar Wilde 

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger’s, The Catcher in the Rye 

This is the home of my youth. As a boy, I couldn’t wait to escape from it. Now, I’m glad to escape back into it. 
— Jonathan Brewster 

A breeze crosses the porch
Bicycle spokes spin ’round
Jacket’s on, I’m out the door
Tonight I’m gonna burn this town down 

And the girls in their summer clothes 
In the cool of the evening light 
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

— Bruce Springsteen 

Thus, I prefute you. I can see where your argument is heading and here is what is wrong with what you’re about to say. 
— Tony Marcel

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
— George Carlin 

I’d rather be skiing. 
— Stan Laurel 

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering — and it’s all over much too soon.
— Woody Allen 

Can’t repeat the past? Of course you can. 
— Jay Gatsby 

Some people, as far as your senses are concerned, just feel like home. 
— Rob Gordon 

It is true I would like to have been appointed FBI director, but I never leaked information to Woodward and Bernstein or anyone else! 
— W. Mark Felt 

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. 
— Mark Twain 

It has been so long since I’ve had champagne. 
— Anton Chekov 

I had a lover’s quarrel with the world. 
— Robert Frost 

Are you doing it yet? Because if you’re not, I can do it for you by hand. 
— Nicole S. 

The thing is clear enough, until a garrulous and obtrusive learning takes it in hand; and then darkness begins to gather round it. 
— Henry Norman Hudson on Shakespeare critics 

It is in order to shine sooner that authors refuse to rewrite. Despicable. Begin again. 
— Albert Camus 

When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish it, I know how it ends. 
Harry Burns 

I noticed a Lovely light-blue (& far smaller) blossomer who’d come to her beauty all alone. 
— E(e)dward E(e)stlin C(c)ummings 

I’d love to change the world 
But I don’t know what to do 
So I’ll leave it up to you 

— Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) 

I wanted to change the world, but I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. 
— Aldous Huxley 

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this 
big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around — 
nobody big, I mean — except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy 
cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go 
over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where 
they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all
I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s 
crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. 

— Holden Caulfield 

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot. You are only going to kill a man. 
— Che Guevara 

This day is called the feast of Crispian: 
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, 
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, 
And rouse him at the name of Crispian. 
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, 
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian’: 
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars. 
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’ 
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, 
But he’ll remember with advantages 
What feats he did that day: then shall our names. 
Familiar in his mouth as household words 
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, 
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, 
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d. 
This story shall the good man teach his son; 
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, 
From this day to the ending of the world, 
But we in it shall be remember’d; 
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; 
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me 
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, 
This day shall gentle his condition: 
And gentlemen in England now a-bed 
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, 
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks 
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. 

— Henry V 

Shakespeare’s stuff is different from mine, but that is not to say that it is inferior. 
— P.G. Wodehouse 

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
— P.J. O’Rourke 

Before Vietnam, it was illegal to refuse to obey any order. After My Lai, it became illegal to obey an immoral order. 
— Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. 

When you reach the part 
where the heartaches come 
the hero would be me 
but heroes often fail 

— Gordon Lightfoot 

You might as well know that Pollyanna’s legs are paralyzed. 
— Aunt Polly 

The purest treasure mortal times afford 
Is spotless reputation. 

— Richard II 

There are souls in this world who have the gift of finding joy everywhere — and leaving it behind them when they go. 
— Frederick William Faber 

Jean Harlow’s body technique was the gangster’s technique — she toted a breast like a man totes a gun. 
— Graham Greene 

The central tension in his life, he said, is between being a “reasonably friendly, good-at-a-cocktail-party guy” and walking around the world feeling like he’s not quite a part of it. “I’m a very uncomfortable person,” he said. “I really like people, and I also don’t always know what to do with them. I have always had an eclectic roster of friends, but there’s something about my work that speaks to a deep discomfort with being in society.”
— from an article about Stephen Colbert 

You’d be surprised what we can get away with until we find out who shot Steve McGarrett. 
— Danny “Dan-O” Williams 

The Code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. 
— Captain Barbossa 

Come, come, you froward and unable worms! 
My mind hath been as big as one of yours, 
My heart as great, my reason haply more, 
To bandy word for word and frown for frown; 
But now I see our lances are but straws, 
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare, 
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are. 
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot, 
And place your hands below your husband’s foot: 
In token of which duty, if he please, 
My hand is ready; may it do him ease. 

— Katharina (the “Shrew”) 

My father and I . . . understand? 
— Evelyn Mulray 

Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you. 
— Fran Lebowitz 

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
— H. L. Mencken 

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
— Woody Allen 

I been away a long time. 
— Chief Broom Bromden 

Not a picture 
of crushing winter 
but of summer 
gone to shadows 
in rain 

— Steven G. 

I was home. What happened? What the hell happened? 
— Jake Holman

Who ain’t a slave? 
— Ishmael 

There was young girls everywhere on the summer side of life 
They talked all night 
To the young men that they knew on the summer side of life 
Goin’ off to fight 
And if you saw them now 
You’d wonder why they would cry 
The whole day long 

— Gordon Lightfoot 

Look . . . at . . . me . . . 
— Severus Snape 

You are my magnet (though you differ from a magnet in having no repulsive points) and direct my course. 
— Sir Humphry Davy

Pray remain single and marry nobody . . . you will be annihilated the moment you do, and instead of being an exciting alkali or acid, become a neutral salt. . . . 
— Sydney Smith 

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves  from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. 
— Albert Einstein 

Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen.
— P.J. O’Rourke 

Brothers and sisters, stay cool! 
— Malcolm X 

Come on people now 
Smile on your brother 
Everybody get together 
Try to love one another 
Right now 

— Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) 

Relax, John Paul. If we’re going to work together, we’re gonna have to learn to let a little more shit roll off our backs. 
— Sgt. Rita Pompano 

He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him! 
— Khan Noonien Singh 

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
— Mark Twain 

“why i’m mad” 
they said i was mad 
that made me mad 
i’ve been mad ever since. 

— Brian Hauser 

He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends,
heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? 
Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with 
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed 
by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a 
Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not 
laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not 
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew 
wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, 
what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany 
you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. 

— Shylock 

If I felt half as good as you look, I’d go out and kill myself while it lasted 
— Ann Dvorak 

The best way to compile inaccurate information that no one wants is to make it up. 
— Scott Adams

Unless modern man is hopelessly debilitated and corrupted, we must believe that he cannot live without the humanities, and that he will in time respond if scholars and critics keep the humanities alive and humane. 
— Douglas Bush 

Oh, good. For a moment there I thought we were in trouble. 
— Robert LeRoy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy) 

I’ve been loved and pushed aside . . . Time 
I’ve been crushed by a tumbling tide . . . Time 
And my soul has been psychedelicized . . . Time 
Time 
Now the time has come . . . Time 
There are things to realize . . . Time 
Time has come today . . . Time 
Time has come today . . . Time 

Time . . . Time . . . .Time . . . Time 
Yeah . . . . 
— The Chambers Brothers 

I can’t stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession, let alone two years or ten years. If you can, then it ain’t music, it’s close-order drill or exercise or yodeling or something, not music. 
— Billie Holiday 

There’s nothing risky about making records.
— Bob Dylan 

On the ground . . .
— Charles Dickens 

Now your own worst enemy has come to town 
Your own worst enemy has come 
Your world keeps turnin’ ’round and ’round 
But everything is upside down 
Your own worst enemy has come to town 

— Bruce Springsteen 

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
— H. L. Mencken 

Live with myself? I don’t live with myself. Not for a fuckin’ long time. 
— Arman/Michael Clemence 

Happy those for whom the fold of . . .
— Percy Bysshe Shelley 

A poem is never finished, only abandoned. 
— Paul Valery 

It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy. 
— James Thurber 

Remember, a writer writes, always. 
— Larry Donner 

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen. 
— Willa Cather 

What we got here is a failure to communicate —
— Lucas Jackson (aka Cool Hand Luke) 

I’m not ready to make nice 
I’m not ready to back down 
I’m still mad as hell 
And I don’t have time to go round and round and round 

— Robison, MaGuire, Maines, Wilson (aka The Dixie Chicks)

Off you would go in the mist of day 
Never never to know 
How I loved you — 
If I loved you . . . 

— Julie Jordan & Billy Bigelow (from CAROUSEL)

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information. 
— Oscar Wilde

Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves, 
And ye that on the sands with printless foot 
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him 
When he comes back; you demi-puppets that 
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites, and you whose pastime 
Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,
Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimm’d 
The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,
And ‘twixt the green sea and the azured vault 
Set roaring war: to the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire and rifted Jove’s stout oak
With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory
Have I made shake and by the spurs pluck’d up
The pine and cedar: graves at my command
Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let ’em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure, and, when I have required
Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I’ll drown my book. 

— Prospero 

Mongo only pawn in game of life . . . 
— Mongo 

For it’s love and love alone the world is seeking 
And it’s love and love alone I’ve waited for 
And my heart has heard the answer to its calling 
For it is love that rules forever more 

— Princess Marie de Namours de la Bonfain (aka Naughty Marietta) & Captain Richard Warrington 

Be slow to anger. You’ve almost always got plenty of time to get royally pissed off. 
— C. Vandelay 

When, upon completion of high school, I became a student at the Haarlem School for 
Architecture and Decorative Arts, I came within a hairsbreadth of having the opportunity 
to become a useful member of society . . . But the school also offered a course in graphic arts.

–M.C. Escher

Stanley, see this? This is this. This ain’t something else. This is this. From now on you’re on your own. 
— Michael Vronsky 

 . . . aigoo chum . . .
P. Choy

“Da teme of my book stay one exac map of my mind”
— C. Chong

Hier stehe Ich, Ich kann nicht anders. 
–Martin Luther (although it appears he didn’t actually say this)  

Respect my authori-tah! 
–Eric Cartman 

Girl, when I was on my own chasing you down, 
what was it made you run, tryin’ your best just to get around? 

— Stephen Stills

I’d like to shake your hand, Disappointment, 
looks like you win again, but this time might be the last. 

— Neil Young 

Cindy . . . Fuzzball . . . Upholstery Nose Girl . . . Fuzzy. . . Cinderella
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~lanning/cinderella.html

Goodbye, stranger, it’s been nice 
Hope you find your paradise. 

–Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson 

The rest is silence. 
— Hamlet