"If there be some who, though ignorant of all mathematics, dare to reprove this work, because of some passage of Scripture, which they have miserably warped to their purpose, I regard them not, and even despise their rash judgement."
("De revolutionibus orbium coelestium")
Henry Clay, House Speaker (on a narrow sidewalk): "I, sir, do not step aside for a scoundrel."
John Randolph, stepping aside: "On the other hand, I always do."
US congressman (VA)
"The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst."
Harry Emerson Fosdick
US Baptist clergy
("The Second Mile")
"Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation."
William Lloyd Garrison
US abolitionist, suffragist, and writer
("Thoughts on African Colonization; or an Impartial Exhibition of the Doctrines, Principles, and Purposes of the American Colonization Society")
"Under pressure, people admit to murder, setting fire to the village church or robbing a bank, but never to being bores."
US writer, hostess
("How to Do It, or the Lively Art of Entertaining")
"You can't look forward and backward at the same time."
US mayor (Detroit)
"Everywhere I go I see increasing evidence of people swirling about in a human cesspit of their own making."
English police officer; charming
"Colleges are like old-age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges."
("Blonde on Blonde")
"I write science fiction every day at work, and each story begins with the phrase 'this software is easy to use.'"
US writer and friend of the quotekeeper
"Loss is the great unifier, the terrible club to which we all eventually belong."
US singer, songwriter
(daughter of Johnny Cash;
was married to Rodney Crowell)
"Yes, oncemany, many years ago. I thought I had made a wrong decision. Of course, it turned out that I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought that I was wrong."
John Foster Dulles
US Secretary of State
"I love that people can't place me. They don't know my name. That's 'mission accomplished' in my world."
John C. Reilly
"I merely took the energy it takes to paint and wrote some blues."
("Music is my Mistress")
"Really, sex and laughter do go very well together, and I wonderedand I still dowhich is more important."
"Every dog is allowed one bite, but a different view is taken of a dog that goes on biting all the time."
Sir Harold Wilson
British PM (46)
"People are basically irreverent. They want to see sacred cows kicked over. You can't have Harry Belafonte on your show and not have him sing a song, but we did; we had him climbing out of a bathtub, just because it looked irreverent and silly. If a show hires Robert Goulet, pays him $7,500 or $10,000, they're going to want three songs out of him; we hire Robert Goulet, pay him $210 and drop him through a trap door."
("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")
"The secret of life is to skip having children and go directly to grandchildren."