The Quote Garden
“I dig old books.”
Est. 1998


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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

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

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

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

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,

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

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)

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

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)

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

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

...her innocences falling from her soul like a bunch of primroses untied... ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896 

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

[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

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

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

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 Jul 27 Wed 12:24 PDT

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