Curious Quotations


  • "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."
    - James Branch Cabell (US author. 1879–1958), The Silver Stallion (1926).
  • Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
    - Orson Scott Card (US novelist. 1951–)
  • "Let’s all pretend to be someone else, and then perhaps we’ll find out who we are."
    - John Le Carré (Nom de plume of David John Moore Cornwell, English author. 1932–), Absolute Friends (2003).
  • “...the lies that have been distributed are so many and so persistent that arguably fiction is the only way to tell the truth.”
    - David Cornwall (John Le Carré) , New York Times interview by Mel Gussow, published 7 January 2004, referring to the aftermath of September 11.
  • "'Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. 'I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, ' so I can't take more.'
    'You mean you can't take less,' said the Hatter: 'it's very easy to take more than nothing.'"
    - Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. English writer and logician. 1832–98), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) ch.7.
  • "The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam today."
    - Lewis Carroll , Through the Looking-Glass.
  • “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    - Lewis Carroll , Alice and the White Queen, in Through the Looking-Glass.
  • “She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)”
    - Lewis Carroll , Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) ch. 1.
  • "Solitude is a condition best enjoyed in company."
    - Eleanor Catton (New Zealand author. 1985–), The Luminaries, 2013
  • God loves everyone in the world who doesn't love himself. Does God love God?
    - Teilhard de Chardin (French Jesuit priest, geologist, palaentologist and philosopher. 1881–1955)
    See Spanish Barber Paradox
  • "One can prove or refute anything at all with words. Soon people will perfect language technology to such an extent that they’ll be proving with mathematical precision that twice two is seven."
    - Anton Chekhov (Russian author. 1860–1904), Lights.
  • Any idiot can face a crisis – it's the day-to-day living that wears you out.
    - Anton Chekhov
  • Poets do not go mad ; but chess players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
    - G K Chesterton (Gilbert Keith. British writer. 1874–1936)
  • "A yawn is a silent shout."
    - G K Chesterton
  • "It seems a pity that psychology should have destroyed all our knowledge of human nature."
    - G K Chesterton
  • "Once upon a time, I dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither. Suddenly I awakened, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man."
    - Chuang-tzu (Also known as Chuang-tze and Chuang Chou. Chinese Taoist writer. 369–286 B.C)
    See Tom Stoppard.
  • "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (British, Conservative Prime Minister. 1874–1965). Curchill was referring to the Battle of Egypt in 1942.
  • Bessie Braddock: "Winston, you're drunk."
    Churchill: "Bessie, you're ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober."
    - Sir Winston Churchill , J L Laner (ed), Sayings of Churchill (1992).
  • "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put."
    - Sir Winston Churchill
  • "An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was opened, Atlee got out."
    - Sir Winston Churchill
  • "[The Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent."
    - Sir Winston Churchill, specch in the House of Commons, 12 November 1936.
  • "These, Gentlemen, are the opinions upon which I base my facts."
    - Sir Winston Churchill
  • Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    - Sir Winston Churchill
  • "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
    - Sir Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons, 11 November, 1947.
  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
    - Arthur C. Clarke (British science-fiction writer. 1917– )
  • Of the Sun and the Moon, the Moon is plainly the more important, as it provides us with light when it is dark and most needed, whereas the Sun appears only in the daytime when it is light anyhow.
    - P.E. Cleator (Founder of the British Astonomical Society. 1908–1994) Into Space, 1953.
  • "If you don't vote Socialist/Communist before you are twenty, you have no heart - if you do vote Socialist/Communist after you are twenty, you have no head."
    - Georges Clemenceau (French Prime Minister. 1841–1929)
  • "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
    ...and later: "It depends on your definition of sex."
    - William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton (42nd President of the US 1993–2001. 1946– )
    See Maraniss, Clinton's biographer.
  • "I wouldn't say I'm the best manager in the business, but I'm in the top one."
    - Brian Clough (English football manager. 1935–2004)
  • "Victor Hugo was a madman who thought he was Victor Hugo."
    - Jean Cocteau (French dramatist and film drector. 1889–1963)
  • Work is more fun than fun.
    - Noël Coward (Sir Noël Peirce Coward, English playwright. 1899–1973)
  • It's no good trying to teach people who need to be taught.
    - Aleister Crowley (Originally Edward Alexander Crowley. British writer and magician. 1875–1947)

To read more curious quotations, please select a letter from the alphabet below.

Share |

© 2000 All rights reserved.