Curious Quotations


  • "Nothing is so useless as a general maxim."
    - Thomas Macaulay (English essayist and historian. 1800–1859)
  • "I don't want to get emotional but this is one of the greatest moments of my life."
    - Nelson Mandela (South African statesman. 1918–) on meeting the Spice Girls.
  • "Fools only strive To make a Great an’ honest Hive."
    - Bernard Mandeville (Dutch philosopher, economist and satirist. 1670–1733) The Fable of the Bees (1714). [This quote is one of the first expressions of what has become known as the paradox of thrift.]
  • "Oh, the past changes all the time, and I'm going to show you how ealily it can alter."
    - Hilary Mantel (British author 1952–), Spoken by Thomas Cromwell in the novel Wolf Hall (2009).
  • "When you have suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling."
    - Yann Mantel (Spanish born Author. 1963–), The Life of Pi (2001).
  • "It was Richard Parker [a tiger with whom Pi is sharing a lifeboat] who calmed me down. It is the great irony of this story that the one who scared me witless was the very same who brought me peace, purpose - I dare say even wholeness."
    - Yann Mantel , The Life of Pi.
  • "At 34, he fit the ironic description of the quintessential Rhodes Scholar: someone with a great future behind him."
    - David Maraniss , writing in his biogrpahy of Bill Clinton , 'First in His Class' (1995).
  • "Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read."
    - Groucho Marx (American comedian. 1895–1977)
  • "Please accept my resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member."
    - Groucho Marx , Groucho and Me (1959) ch 26.
  • "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."
    - Groucho Marx
  • "If you fall out of that window and break both your legs, don't come running to me."
    - Groucho Marx
  • "If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist"
    - Karl Marx (German philosopher and economist. 1818–1883), quoted by Engels in an 1882 letter to Eduard Bernstein about the form of Marxism which arose in France 1882. The original quote was in French: "Ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste."
  • "Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the."
    - Mary McCarthy (US author and critic, 1912–1989) in a statement about the US playwright Lillian Hellman in an interview on The Dick Cavett Show (1979).
  • "Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn't there!
    He wasn't there again today,
    Oh how I wish he'd go away!"
    - William Hughes Mearns (US poet. 1875–1965), Antigonish (1899).
  • "He respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count."
    - A.A. Milne (English writer for children. 1882-1956), The House at Pooh Corner (1928) ch. 5.
  • "'We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
    'Even longer,' Pooh answered."
    - A.A. Milne , Winnie-the-Pooh
  • "'What day is it?'
    'It's today,' squeaked Piglet.
    'My favorite day,' said Pooh."
    - A.A. Milne
  • "People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day."
    - A.A. Milne
  • "The more he looked inside the more Piglet wasn't there."
    - A.A. Milne ,The House at Pooh Corner (1928) ch. 1.
  • "When you are a bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing that seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."
    - A.A. Milne ,The House at Pooh Corner (1928) ch. 6.
  • "Money couldn't buy friends but you got a better class of enemy."
    - Spike Milligan (Popular name of Terence Alan Milligan; British humorist. 1918-2002)
  • All I ask if the change to prove that money can't make me happy.
    - Spike Milligan
  • "The first and wisest of them all professed
    To know this only, that he nothing new."
    - John Milton (English Poet. 1608–74), Paradise Regained, 1671.
    See also Socrates
  • "It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice and freedom should have been promoted with the slogan 'there is no alternative'."
    - George Monbiot (British writer; political and enviromental activist. 1953–), Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems, The Guardian, 15 April 2016.
  • "I want to be who I was when I wanted to be who I am now."
    - Marilyn Monroe (Stage name of Norma Jean Mortenson; US film star. 1926–62)
  • "A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears."
    - Michel de Montaigne (French essayist and courtier. 1533–92)
  • "The problem between the British and the French is that both nations consider themselves to be superior to the other, while harbouring a sneaking suspicion that the opposite might be true."
    - Rod Morris, Letter to The Times, 5 Nov 2010.
  • “I once asked the great pianist Maurizio Pollini how long he practised before a concert. ‘Sixteen hours a day,’ he replied, ‘but only 30 minutes of that at the piano.’”
    - Richard Morrison, (The Times chief music critic), Air guitar can hit all right notes for musicians, Comment, The Times, 1 Oct 2013
  • "I will be the first to admit that I am a pessimist by nature. It is, after all, the wisest way to be. We pessimists have everything to gain, whereas optimists have a fifty-fifty chance of being disappointed."
    - Tamar Myers (Congolese born author), As The World Churns, 2008.

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

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