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Quotations about People


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The total history of almost anyone would shock almost everyone. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world. ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


People are best on records and books because you can turn them off or put them back on the shelf. ~Henry Rollins


Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. ~Benjamin Franklin


What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine. ~Susan Sontag


You never know till you try to reach them how accessible men are; but you must approach each man by the right door. ~Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887


A fanatic is one who sticks to his guns whether they're loaded or not. ~Franklin P. Jones


fanatic.
A person who redoubles his efforts after having forgotten his aims.
One who can't change his opinion and won't change the subject.
~Esar's Comic Dictionary by Evan Esar, 1943


A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man. ~Arthur Miller


The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne


Those who are quite satisfied sit still and do nothing; those who are not quite satisfied are the sole benefactors of the world. ~Walter Savage Landor


I'm the strayest dog you'll ever meet. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet


I don't know that there are haunted houses. I know that there are dark staircases and haunted people. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch. ~Walt Whitman


If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault


A hundred men together are the hundredth part of a man. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


I've met so many people, often the scum of the earth, and found them, you know, quite decent. I am an uncomfortable stranger to moral indignation. ~W. Somerset Maugham


Most people are good. They may not be saints, but they are good. ~Jimmy Wales, speech


I stalked her
in the grocery store: her crown
of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip,
her erect bearing, radiating tenderness...
beaming peace like the North Star.
I wanted to ask, "What aisle did you find
your serenity in, do you know
how to be married for fifty years or how to live alone,
excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess
some knowledge that makes the earth turn and burn on its axis—"
But we don't request such things from strangers
nowadays. So I said, "I love your hair."
~Alison Luterman, "I Confess"  [Gosh, I have wanted to say something like this so many times to ladies, and men too, at the store. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


 
 
[H]is sweet and generous sympathies, his refined taste for the excellent in letters, his grateful perception of the true good of being, his ideal spirit, dwells latently in every bosom. And all may brighten and radiate it, till life's cold pathway is warm with the sunshine of the soul. ~Henry T. Tuckerman, "Characteristics of Lamb," in American Quarterly Review, March 1836  [Referring to Charles Lamb (1775–1834) —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Jones Very is gone into the multitude as solitary as Jesus. In dismissing him, I seem to have discharged an arrow into the heart of Society. Wherever that young enthusiast goes, he will astonish and disconcert men by dividing for them the cloud that covers the gulf in man. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1838 journal, about Jones Very


Some men seem more desirous of making an impression upon a fool than upon a wise man. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


No man is so idle that he cannot rouse himself just enough to get in the way of a busy person. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Freaks are the much needed escape from the humdrum. They are poetry. ~Albert Perry


Georg Christoph Lichtenberg proves to be of a fitful temperament: on one page the hypochondriac, on the next the optimist, now as practical as Franklin, now as whimsical as Lamb, here dwelling devoutly on the sombre music of the Psalms, there as gravely speculating what the mean reading of the barometer may be in Paradise; sceptical, superstitious, cynical and sentimental by turns. ~Norman Alliston, The Reflections of Lichtenberg, 1908


He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. ~Winston Churchill


When fortune smiles on you, neighbors will imitate both your vices and your virtues. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


To use a geographical metaphor, Poe's life was bounded on the north by sorrow, on the east by poverty, on the south by aspiration and on the west by calumny; his genius was unbounded. There are literary hyenas still prowling about his grave. But his pensive brow wears the garland of immortality. His soul was music and his very life-blood was purest art. His ear caught the cadences of that higher harmony which poets hear above the world's turmoil. In spite of detraction he is safely enshrined in memory while poetry shall live. Young poets will always have tears and roses for his grave. ~Chauncey C. Starkweather, "Special Introduction," Essays of American Essayists, 1900


Paradoxical as it sounds, many intellectuals prefer life in the mud to life in clear water. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


There are natures so dogmatically stubborn that, if worlds were smashing together, and could be saved by their yielding a point, they would let them smash. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


You can't talk sense to people who oppose it on principle. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


In the mythical age, before the dawn of civilization had illumined the world, men stood shoulder to shoulder, and wielded their clubs in common defence;—this was termed "clubbing together." Nowadays, people club together in a different sense; not for mutual protection, but for mutual enjoyment and the interchange of ideas and sympathies, characteristic of the various cliques into which they are formed. We have conservatives and reformers, united services and universities, artistic and literary coteries, yachting clubs, sports, pastimes, drama, science, law societies, city clubs, &c. ~Echoes from the Clubs: A Record of Political Topics & Social Amenities, 1867  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Greatness is a birthmark. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


For the wanderlust-bitten soul is the soul which cannot face issues except for a moment of exaltation. Unconsciously it seeks the "runaway" policy and finds in change and new excitement the strength that other natures find in a dogged endurance of whatever comes. ~Grace Isabel Colbron, book review of The Trail of the Hawk by Sinclair Lewis, 1915


"Old fogies" are behind the times; fanatics, ahead of the times; and a greater part of the remainder of mankind is "waiting for something to turn up." ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


But Annie was simply herself, bright and exhilarating as the October sunshine, but as pure and strong. She was ready for jest and repartee. She showed almost a childish delight in every odd and pretty thing that met her eye, but never for a moment permitted her companion to lose respect for her. ~Edward Payson Roe, Opening a Chestnut Burr, 1874


We're seldom drawn to a character we admire; only to a personality we like. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


When we look on the characters of man and woman, we cannot but perceive that neither is perfect by itself, but that each needs the other for its perfection.... Hence the one must be softened by tender emotions, and the other strengthened by firmness. ~Frederick A. Rauch, Psychology; or, A View of the Human Soul: Including Anthropology, Being the Substance of a Course of Lectures, Delivered to the Junior Class Marshall College, Penn., 1840


The present ideal is the worship of the gents who sing like canaries and the women who bellow like lions. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Some people never say "Amen" to anything. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Give me a barefooted peasant-girl from Cataluña, or a poor chiquilla from the darkest calle of Madrid, for real passion, sentiment and devotion! And you'll find more truth and love in her ignorance than in all your Saxon subtlety and humbug. Oh, I know your type, the Burne-Jones, Gabriel-Rossetti woman, always trying to find a background for her profile; always trying to discover new poses for her body, and new vices for her soul. ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896 


This is Scott Fitzgerald: very romantic writer—big with English majors, college girls, nymphomaniacs... ~Woody Allen, Sleeper, 1973


A sweetheart, a hundred and fifty books, a couple of friends, and a prospect of about one statute mile in diameter — that was his whole world. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908


He is great who speaks great, greater who thinks great, and greatest who lives great. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Bysshe was serious, thoughtful, enthusiastic; melancholy even, with a poet's sadness: he loved to discourse gravely of matters of importance and deep concernment... ~Thomas Jefferson Hogg, The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1858


As a youth, on dusky winter afternoons I escaped with irresponsible zeal into the glow of Mr. Lowell's learned lamplight, the particular incidence of which, in the small, still lecture-room, and the illumination of his head and hands, I recall with extreme vividness. He talked communicatively of style. It made a romance of the hour — it made even a picture of the scene. He was American enough in Europe, in America he was abundantly European. He was so steeped in history and literature that to some yearning young persons he made the taste of knowledge sweeter, almost, than it was ever to be again. He had lived in long intimacy with Dante and Calderon; he embodied, to envious aspirants, the happy intellectual fortune — independent years of acquisition without haste and without rest, a robust love of study which went sociably arm in arm with a robust love of life. This love of life was so strong in him that he could lose himself in little diversions as well as in big books. He was fond of everything human and natural, everything that had color and character, and no gayety, no sense of comedy, was ever more easily kindled by contact. When he was not surrounded by great pleasures he could find his account in small ones, and no situation could be dull for a man in whom all reflection, all reaction, was witty. ~Henry James, "James Russell Lowell," in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1892  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


...her innocences falling from her soul like a bunch of primroses untied... ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896  [a.k.a. Annie Vivanti —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


There is something in every person's character that cannot be broken — the bony structure of his character. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Franz H. Mautner and Henry Hatfield, 1959


In general, of course, a stranger who tries to get you into an automobile is anything but noble, and in general a person who quotes great American novelists is anything but treacherous, and in general a man who says you needn't worry about money, or a man who smokes cigarettes, is somewhere in between. ~Lemony Snicket


His voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets. ~Dorothy Parker


He brooded upon the subject night and day, and gradually there grew and developed in his soul, like a hideous serpent, a deadly and appalling scheme worthy the conception of Satan himself. ~Leon Lewis (1833–1920), Found Guilty; or, The Hidden Crime, 1878


A great many persons groan and grow weary under the burden of their own nothingness. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


[N]o man is a dullard... every man is a philosopher. ~Joe Kita, "What I Know," Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999


I'm Black. God knew my people would go through struggles so he gave us a lifetime supply of cool to compensate. ~Scrubs, "His Story III"


People are who they are — give or take 15%. ~Modern Family, "Fifteen Percent," written by Steven Levitan, spoken by the character Mitchell Pritchett, original airdate 2010 January 20th


[O]ur final thought of James Russell Lowell is that what he consistently lived for remains of him. There is nothing ineffectual in his name and fame — they stand for delightful things. He is one of the happy figures of literature. He had his trammels and his sorrows, but he drank deep of the full, sweet cup, and he will long count as an erect fighting figure on the side of optimism and beauty. He was strong without narrowness; he was wise without bitterness and bright without folly. That appears for the most part the clearest ideal of those who handle the English form... ~Henry James, "James Russell Lowell," in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1892


Groups of people are like a massive Rock, Paper, Scissors war. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet


When I'm out and about, people are annoying idiots. When I'm home alone, all mankind is loving and good. ~Terri Guillemets, "Humanity on the streets," 2006


Desgenais... was firm and serious, although a smile hovered about his lips. He was a man of heart, but as dry as a pumice-stone. ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren


[T]he cherub, alas, proved to be pasted on tough gingerbread which was too hard for many to bite into. ~Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift, 1963, translated from Russian by Michael Scammell


Handsome faces and corrupt hearts act a large portion of the drama of human life. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


People are like holidays. Do others see you as Christmas, or more like Tax Day? ~Terri Guillemets


It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out. ~Alexander Pope


History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. ~Abba Eban


Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood? Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank? ~Walt Whitman



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Last modified 2016 Oct 19 Wed 21:00 PDT


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