The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Is There Any Such Thing?

...You're searching, Joe,
For things that don't exist; I mean beginnings.
Ends and beginnings — there are no such things.
There are only middles.
~Robert Frost, "In the Home Stretch"

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. ~Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, 1977

There's no such thing as too late. That's why they invented death. ~Robert Nelson Jacobs, Out to Sea, 1997

It seems sometimes that there is no such thing as New Year — it is only the old year come back. ~Elbert Hubbard, "Harriet Martineau," Little Journeys to the Homes of Famous Women, 1897

There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. ~Fran Lebowitz

There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it. ~Ovid

There is no such thing as a happy life — there are only happy days. ~André Theuriet

"Que scais-je?" was the motto of Montaigne,
      As also of the first academicians:
That all is dubious which man may attain,
      Was one of their most favourite positions.
There's no such thing as certainty, that's plain
      As any of Mortality's conditions;
So little do we know what we're about in
This world, I doubt if doubt itself would be doubting.
~Lord Byron

When I was young I used to think the only certain thing about life was that I should one day die. Now I think the only certain thing about life is that there is no such thing as death. ~Samuel Butler

"There's no such thing as death" —
      In nature, nothing dies;
From each sad remnant of decay
      Some forms of life arise.
The faded leaf that falls
      All sere and brown to earth,
Ere long will mingle with the shapes
      That give the floweret birth.
~Charlotte Young, 1849

I have reached a conclusion: there is no such thing as inspiration. I thought so once, and made an ass of myself accordingly. ~Jack London, 1899

A strong will can accomplish anything... There is no such thing as inspiration, and very little of genius. Dig, blooming under opportunity, results in what appears to be the former, and certainly makes possible the development of what original modicum of the latter one may possess. Dig is a wonderful thing, and will move more mountains than faith ever dreamed of. In fact, Dig should be the legitimate father of all self-faith. ~Jack London, 1899

There's no such thing as the ladder of success — it's a greased pole. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)

There is no such thing as getting to the top of the ladder in this world, if we reach the utmost round, then we mourn because the ladder ain't longer. ~Josh Billings  [spelling standardized —tg]

There is no such thing as clinging forever upon one rung of Life's great ladder. ~Orison Swett Marden, "Ambition," Self-Investment, 1911

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. ~Robert Brault,

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. ~Oscar Wilde

You and I are what we are, and will be what we will be. As for being poisoned by a book, there is no such thing as that... The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. That is all. ~Oscar Wilde

Before he was seventeen, Flaubert was reading Victor Hugo, Byron, Shakespeare, Rabelais, Montaigne, and early acquired the conviction that there was no such thing as indecency in true literature. For a while, the literature of the schoolmasters seemed to him not to be literature at all. ~John Charles Tarver, 1895

Of course there is no such thing as true love, but there is an imitation that is very pleasant. ~E. W. Howe

There is no such thing as the future until it is the present. ~Bernard Shaw

Too much money is as demoralizing as too little, and there's no such thing as exactly enough. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966, ©Thomas Paine McLaughlin

There is no such thing as a bad cake. ~The Good Doctor, "Piece of Cake," 2021, written by Tracy Taylor, David Hoselton, and Tristan Thai  [S5, E2, Lea]

Provided it be well and truly made there is really for the confirmed turophile no such thing as a bad cheese. A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk's leap toward immortality. ~Clifton Fadiman, "The Cheese Stands Alone," Any Number Can Play, 1957

My dear young lady, there's no such thing as a little garlic. ~Judge, 1921

There's no such thing as soy milk. It's soy juice. ~Lewis Black

What is education? Properly speaking, there is no such thing as education. Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. ~G. K. Chesterton, "Small Property and Popular Government," 1924

There is no such thing as complete education, and I hope we have heard the last of the girl who is going to Boston to complete her education. ~Elbert Hubbard

E. W. Ansted hasn't forgot how to laugh and how to play. His is the heart that never grows old. He is an educated man in the best sense of the word — mindful always that there is no such thing as complete education. We are always going to school, and success consists in striving eternally, but never arriving. You must get just enough play-spell mixed up in the work every day, so nothing becomes monotonous. ~Elbert Hubbard

It is important to remember that, in strictness, there is no such thing as an uneducated man. ~Thomas Henry Huxley

There is no such thing as time to a man in a summer vacation. ~Henry Ward Beecher

After gazing blankly for a minute or two at the cheerless district through which lay the drovers' journey, he turned to me and said, "But, Ruskin, what is the use of painting such a very bad weather?" And I had no answer, except that, for Copley Fielding and for me, there was no such thing as bad weather, but only different kinds of pleasant weather — some indeed inferring the exercise of a little courage and patience; but all, in every hour of it, exactly what was fittest and best, whether for the hills, the cattle, the drovers — or my master and me. ~John Ruskin, "The Hill-Side," 1883

Some one has said there is no such thing as bad weather, there are only good clothes. ~Elisabeth Woodbridge, "In the Rain," 1911

Father Healy, like all wits, had a horror of monologue, which alas is one of the popular recreations of my country. A brilliant Englishman who travelled in America, said to me, "Do you know there is no such thing as conversation in your country; they indulge instead in a series of monologues..." And I am obliged to acknowledge that this accusation against us is more or less true. ~Elizabeth P. O'Connor, Herself — Ireland, 1918

There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. It all matters. ~Barack Obama, 2016

I must reconsider my position, as I cannot go on living here as I am doing, though I know that there is no such thing as changing one's life: one merely wanders round and round within the circle of one's own personality. ~Oscar Wilde

Self-reliance is very excellent, but as for independence, there is no such thing. ~Elbert Hubbard

There is no such thing as a list of reasons. There is either one sufficient reason or a list of excuses. ~Robert Brault,

To the living soul there is no such thing as content.
Every night brings dreams that must come true,
The freshness of every dawn will awaken new ambitions,
And every twilight will find tasks unfinished
Which to-morrow must complete!
~Henry E. Harman, "To-morrow's Task"

Of this, at least, I feel assured, that there is no such thing as ultimate forgetting; traces once impressed upon the memory are indestructible; a thousand accidents may and will interpose a veil between our present consciousness and the secret inscription on the mind. Accidents of the same sort will also rend away this veil. But alike, whether veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains for ever... ~Thomas De Quincey

We cannot afford to be anchorites. There is no such thing as being happy ourselves unless we make others happy. ~T. De Witt Talmage, 1884

      You look out and see no sunshine. Drizzling rain dampens everything. It's soggy underfoot. "Beastly weather," you mutter to yourself. "A bad day to-day," you persistently and pessimistically say to everyone you meet.
      You fool! There is no such thing as a bad day. Good days and bad days exist only in your own head. The weather has nothing to do with it. Each day is what you make it for yourself. Bad weather is only an unfortunate opinion. ~William Johnston, "Here's Hoping! To-Day," 1913

Always carry yourself as though you were marching to victory, make this impression upon every one who sees you. Let victory stand out of your very face, let it speak out of your eyes with such determination, with such vigorous resolution that people will know that there is no such thing as keeping you down, no such thing as discouraging you, because you are victory-organized, because you are in the habit of winning. ~Orison Swett Marden, "Heart-to-Heart Talks with Yourself," How To Get What You Want, 1917

...there are no such things as human nobodies, because all have divine possibilities locked up in them. ~Orison Swett Marden, "The New Philosophy of Life," You Can, But Will You?, 1920

[W]oman moves hither and thither, transmuting all coarse metal into gold by the unconscious alchemy of her love, without thought of duty. Indeed, there is generally no such thing as duty to the people who really do it. They simply take life as it comes, meeting, not shirking its demands, whether pleasant or unpleasant; and that is pretty much all there is of it. ~Gail Hamilton (Mary Abigail Dodge), 1871

There is no such thing as sentimental nonsense, for there is no nonsensical sentiment. ~Emilia Marryat

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. ~G. K. Chesterton

The supply of youthful freshness... was now, he said, quite drained out of him. He... could not enjoy himself while his country was suffering, and when he wandered, melancholy and pensive, through the woods in April, and saw for the first time that year the budding trees, and the cowslips and buttercups in the fresh green grass, and the note of the cuckoo struck upon his ear again, he was half surprised, and almost offended that spring, which he had clean forgotten all about, should visit the land just as if there were no such thing as war and disaster, and national humiliation. ~R. Nisbet Bain, Hans Christian Andersen: A Biography, 1895

In Nature there is no such thing as paralysis. Each thing flows into the other, as movement into movement in graceful dances Nature's colours blend in imperceptible gradation all her notes are sequacious. ~Alexander Smith, "Winter," 1863

The crow iz a tuff bird, and kan stand the heat like a blacksmith, and the cold like a stun wall. They bild their nest among a tree, and lay twice, and both eggs will hatch out if they was laid in a snow bank, — thare aint no such thing as stopping a young crow. ~Josh Billings

...there is no such thing as infinity in any of the natural resources of the earth. ~Frank O. Lowden, 1925

I have seen a book, entitled Quidlibet ex Quolibet, or the art of making any thing out of any thing; which is not so difficult as it would seem, if once one quits certain plain truths, obvious in gross to every understanding, in order to run after the ingenious refinements of warm imaginations and speculative reasonings. Doctor Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, a very worthy, ingenious, and learned man, has written a book to prove that there is no such thing as Matter, and that nothing exists but in idea: that you and I only fancy ourselves eating, drinking, and sleeping; you at Leipsig, and I at London: that we think we have flesh and blood, legs, arms, &c. but that we are only spirit. His arguments are, strictly speaking, unanswerable; but yet I am so far from being convinced by them, that I am determined to go on to eat and drink, and walk and ride, in order to keep that matter, which I so mistakenly imagine my body at present to consist of, in as good plight as possible. ~Lord Chesterfield

The actual cosmos of pattern'd energy, including what we know as matter, is of a countour and nature absolutely impossible of realisation by the human brain; and the more we learn of it the more we perceive this circumstance. All we can say of it, is that it contains no visible central principle so like the physical brains of terrestrial mammals that we may reasonably attribute to it the purely terrestrial and biological phaenomenon call'd conscious purpose; and that we form, even allowing for the most radical conceptions of the relativist, so insignificant and temporary a part of it (whether all space be infinite or curved, and transgalactic distances constant or variable, we know that within the bounds of our stellar universe no relativistic circumstance can banish the approximate dimensions we recognise. The relative place of our solar system among the stars is as much a proximate reality as the relative positions of Providence, N.Y., and Chicago) that all notions of special relationships and names and destinies expressed in human conduct must necessarily be vestigial myths. Moreover, we know that a cosmos which is eternal (and any other kind would be a paradoxical impossibility) can have no such thing as a permanent direction or goal; since such would imply a beginning and ending, thus postulating a larger creating and managing cosmos outside this one — and so on ad infinitum like a nest of Chinese boxes. ~H. P. Lovecraft, 1929

Clemens held that there was no such thing as an accident: that it was all forewritten in the day of the beginning; that every event, however slight, was embryonic in that first instant of created life, and immutably timed to its appearance in the web of destiny... invested in life's primal atom. ~Albert Bigelow Paine

      But I don't allow it's luck and all a toss;
There's no such thing as being starred and crossed;
      It's just the power of some to be a boss,
And the bally power of others to be bossed...
~John Davidson, "Thirty Bob a Week," Ballads & Songs, 1895

Every moment is immortal!... Tell our gay triflers, that there is no such thing as a trifle upon earth. Can any thing be a trifle that has an effect eternal? Tell them, tho' they are so well assur'd, that there is nothing serious upon earth, that Time, to man, is, in some respects, a more serious season than Eternity: That his Eternity is absolutely the creature of Time: That 'tis foul, or fair, rejoices, or laments, as Time, omnipotent Time! (that trifle which they throw away) ordains its fate. ~Edward Young, 1755

There can be no such thing as justice unless there are freedom and equal conditions; there can be no such thing as equality unless there is freedom. ~Victoria C. Woodhull, 1873

Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or controul the Right of another: And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only Bounds it ought to know. This sacred Privilege is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech; a Thing terrible to Publick Traytors. ~Silence Dogood (Benjamin Franklin), 1722

Every man wants his rights. Some men want more than their rights. Many do not know what their rights are. A few contend that as to rights, individual, national, or epochal, there are no such things as rights. ~James Henry Potts, "Our Sacred Rights," Every Life a Delight, 1914

But at the last there is no such thing as neutrality... ~Elbert Hubbard, "John Quincy Adams," Little Journeys to the Homes of American Statesmen, 1911

After much Occasion to consider the Folly and Mischiefs of a State of Warfare, and the little or no Advantage obtained even by those Nations who have conducted it with the most Success, I have been apt to think that there has never been or ever will be any such Thing as a good War or a bad Peace. ~Benjamin Franklin, 1782

There was no such thing as civilization until individuals ceased carrying arms, and agreed to refer their differences to the courts. ~Elbert Hubbard

There is no such thing as an insignificant enemy. ~French proverb

We are slaves to words. Speak often enough of an unreal thing, and after a while it becomes real. For instance, we have used the word "nation" for centuries. There is, however, no such thing as a nation. All that really exists is the individuals that compose a nation. ~Frank Crane, 1920

In short, there ought to be no such thing as Fate. As long as we use this word, it is a sign of our impotence and that we are not yet ourselves. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1842

...You're deceive
If you think fortune comes
With a rattle of drums
And a fanfare of state
To hand yours on a plate...
You must get out and rustle, and bustle, and hustle;
You need all your muscle, for you've got to tussle.
Plunge into the fight,
Hit to left and to right,
And keep crashing and smashing...
Fate scowls when she sees
A grown-up on his knees.
A man with his health
Is a mine jammed with wealth
Full of unexplored lodes.
Why, the freckled-back toads
Have the sense to keep jumping—
And here you are frumping!
Come now, strike your gait—
It isn't too late,
There's no such thing as fate!
Drop that fool-talk of "luck"
Get a grip on your pluck,
And buck.
To grin,
And win.
~Herbert Kaufman, "Make Good," c.1907

As it is, I am so well off that everybody pretends I am much more respectable than I really am. The truth is there is no such thing as a great man or a great woman. People believe in them just as they used to believe in unicorns and dragons. The greatest man or woman is 99 per cent just like yourself; I may be insulting you by saying so because the so-called great people have often been, except for that 1 per cent, as to that 99 per cent of common humanity, downright bad lots. Even the best of them are apt to be a bit spoilt if that odd 1 per cent is made too much of during their lifetime. ~Bernard Shaw, radio address, 1932

There are no such things as trifles in the biography of man. Drops make up the sea. Acorns cover the earth with oaks... Sands make up the bar in the harbor's mouth, on which vessels are wrecked; and little things in youth accumulate into character in age, and destiny in eternity... If you cannot be a great river, bearing great vessels of blessings to the world, you can be a little spring by the wayside of life, singing merrily all day and all night, and giving a cup of cold water to every weary, thirsty one who passes by. Life is made up of little things. ~John Cumming, 1849, modified by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, 1876

I used to think the Lord's Prayer was a short prayer; but as I live longer, and see more of life, I begin to believe there is no such thing as getting through it. If a man, in praying that prayer, were to be stopped by every word until he had thoroughly prayed it, it would take him a lifetime. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Hail candle-light! without disparagement to sun or moon, the kindliest luminary of the three... We love to read, talk, sit silent, eat, drink, sleep, by candle-light... Wanting it, what savage unsocial nights must our ancestors have spent, wintering in caves and unillumined fastnesses! They must have lain about and grumbled at one another in the dark. What repartees could have passed, when you must have felt about for a smile, and handled a neighbour's cheek to be sure that he understood it? This accounts for the seriousness of the elder poetry. It has a sombre cast... derived from the tradition of those unlanterned nights... There is absolutely no such thing as reading, but by a candle. We have tried the affectation of a book at noon-day in gardens, and in sultry arbours; but it was labour thrown away. Those gay motes in the beam come about you, hovering and teazing, like so many coquets, that will have you all to their self, and are jealous of your abstractions. By the midnight taper, the writer digests his meditations. By the same light, we must approach to their perusal, if we would catch the flame, the odour. No true poem ever owed its birth to the sun's light. ~Charles Lamb, 1826

I can never get people to understand that poetry is the expression of excited passion, and that there is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state? ~Lord Byron

Dante was an artist in words, and in imagination a master. The history of literature can never be written and the name of Dante left out. And he, of all writers, both ancient and modern, most vividly portrays the truth that without human love, there would be no such thing as poetry. ~Elbert Hubbard, "Dante and Beatrice," Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers, 1906

My use of the word divine is consonant with my entire view of things. Every manifestation of the divine life is divine, the horse as well as the man. We are of and in and through the one infinite, All-god... But right here is the root of my æsthetics, and indeed it is, what all true poets and artists since Homer have felt, the divine significance of being independent of accidental attributes. That a thing is, is cause of endless wonder, of a nameless sensation of admiration in the true poet. To him the whole universe is holy, is divine. There is no such thing as common, cheap, vulgar, etc., when we feel the genial inspiration of the muse. One thing may be a wider manifestation of the divine than another, yet all are of the same absolute, infinite, inexpressible source. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, 1871

There is no such thing as amateur art... You never yet made an artist by paying him well. ~Florence Nightingale

...there is no such thing as separation of art from life... ~Hamilton Wright Mabie, "The Method of Genius," My Study Fire, 1890

For in art there is no such thing as a universal truth. ~Oscar Wilde

The truth is that if we are to have translation at all we must have periodical retranslation. There is no such thing as translating a book into another language once and for all, for a language is a changing thing. If your son is to have clothes it is no good buying him a suit once and for all: he will grow out of it and have to be reclothed. ~C. S. Lewis

The preachers who preach the beauty of truth, honesty and a useful, helpful life, I am with, head, heart and hand. The preachers who declare that there can be no such thing as a beautiful life unless it will accept superstition, I am against, tooth, claw, club, tongue and pen. ~Elbert Hubbard

There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Helen Zimmern, 1907

Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed. People talk sometimes of secret vices. There are no such things. If a wretched man has a vice, it shows itself in the lines of his mouth, the droop of his eyelids, the moulding of his hands even. ~Oscar Wilde

There is no such thing as concealment. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are no such things as private citizens. No matter how private a man may be... some day his picture will be in the paper... ~Finley Peter Dunne, 1902  [Change that to the internet and security cameras today. —tg]

Nearly all new thought people believe in evolution, along with all orthodox scientists of the day. But here and there you will find a teacher of some cult that declares positively there is no such thing as evolution; that it is a myth, a mirage, maya, illusion; that there is only the Absolute and everything else is poppycock and tommy-rot, or words to that effect. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, "Evolution and the Absolute, and Perpetual Life," 15 Lessons in New Thought, 1921

Christyan Scientists think they'se no such thing as disease, an' doctors think there ain't annythin' else. ~Finley Peter Dunne

There is no such thing as weariness on Sunday... on Sundays fatigue does not work. ~Victor Hugo, translated by Lascelles Wraxall, 1862

This world is not a Sunday School; it is a slaughter-house, and always has been. Peace or war, what does it matter? There is no such thing as peace, and never can be. Competition is just peaceful war with far more cruel weapons than either shot or shell. War is competition stripped of all disguise — without the velvet glove. ~G. A. Studdert Kennedy

For the wild animal there is no such thing as a gentle decline in peaceful old age. Its life is spent at the front, in line of battle, and as soon as its powers begin to wane in the least, its enemies become too strong for it; it falls. There is only one way to make an animal's history un-tragic, and that is to stop [writing] before the last chapter. ~Ernest Seton-Thompson, Lives of the Hunted, 1901

Thank God, there is no such thing as ambition in that blessed world above the stars... ~Charles Lanman

There is no study of human nature more interesting than the aspects of the same subject seen in the points of view of different characters. One might almost imagine that there were no such thing as absolute truth, since a change of situation or temperament is capable of changing the whole force of an argument. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

Truly there is no such thing as finality. ~Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897

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published 2021 Apr 7
revised 2022 May 29
last saved 2022 Aug 20