The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
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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

What is a human being but a private soul hiding behind a public mask, asking for a little understanding. ~Robert Brault,

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

I love sinners dearly, and good people nearly as well. ~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893

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

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

A man or woman... who loves poetry and great pictures and statues, who is familiar with Shakespeare, who has a sense of humor and a love of nature, knows a deal about the joy of living and is full of resources. ~Silas X. Floyd (1869–1923), "The Best Books for Children,"Floyd's Flowers: or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children, 1905

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

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg proves to be of a fitful temperament: on one page the hypochondriac, on the next the optimist, now as practical as Franklin, now as whimsical as Lamb, here dwelling devoutly on the sombre music of the Psalms, there as gravely speculating what the mean reading of the barometer may be in Paradise; sceptical, superstitious, cynical and sentimental by turns. ~Norman Alliston, The Reflections of Lichtenberg, 1908

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

When fortune smiles on you, neighbors will imitate both your vices and your virtues. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

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)

There are natures so dogmatically stubborn that, if worlds were smashing together, and could be saved by their yielding a point, they would let them smash. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

You can't talk sense to people who oppose it on principle. ~Robert Brault,

Sir John Colborne, whose mind appeared to me cast in the antique mould of chivalrous honour, and whom I never heard mentioned but with respect and veneration... ~Anna Brownell Jameson (1794–1860), Preface, Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada, 1838

In the mythical age, before the dawn of civilization had illumined the world, men stood shoulder to shoulder, and wielded their clubs in common defence;—this was termed "clubbing together." Nowadays, people club together in a different sense; not for mutual protection, but for mutual enjoyment and the interchange of ideas and sympathies, characteristic of the various cliques into which they are formed. We have conservatives and reformers, united services and universities, artistic and literary coteries, yachting clubs, sports, pastimes, drama, science, law societies, city clubs, &c. ~Echoes from the Clubs: A Record of Political Topics & Social Amenities, 1867  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Fools rush in where people are crowded. ~Student at Brookside School, Long Island, 1966, completing the first part of the proverb as given by Candid Camera, CBS

Greatness is a birthmark. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

The great statesman is rarely recognized until events have made him indispensable. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

In the manner of the very young, she chattered on about herself... This was not exactly narcissism. She was at the age in which her own personality fascinated her so much that it eclipsed everything else. Her own capacity for creativity. Her own brand of intelligence. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016

"Old fogies" are behind the times; fanatics, ahead of the times; and a greater part of the remainder of mankind is "waiting for something to turn up." ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

A man of letters, but a man of the world, he had so cultivated his mind as both, that he was feared as the one, and liked as the other. As a man of letters he despised the world; as a man of the world he despised letters. As the representative of both, he revered himself. ~Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, Kenelm Chillingly: His Adventures and Opinions, 1873

Those humble, quiet, behind-the-scenes people are the reason anything ever gets done. ~Terri Guillemets

But Annie was simply herself, bright and exhilarating as the October sunshine, but as pure and strong. She was ready for jest and repartee. She showed almost a childish delight in every odd and pretty thing that met her eye, but never for a moment permitted her companion to lose respect for her. ~Edward Payson Roe, Opening a Chestnut Burr, 1874

She smelled Roy before she saw him. She liked to imagine that it was the perfume of his good heart. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

A nation like a tree does not thrive till it is engraffed with foreign stock. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1823

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)

There is in Euripides some kind of learning that is always at the boiling point. ~Anne Carson, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides, 2006

Some people never say "Amen" to anything. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

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

If it has anything to do with honesty, compassion, appreciating the silence of a winter morning, remembering to listen when the leaves fall and believing in magic, then my parents were, and still are, hippies. ~Cecily Schmidt, "Common Threads," in Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture edited by Chelsea Cain, 1999

A sweetheart, a hundred and fifty books, a couple of friends, and a prospect of about one statute mile in diameter — that was his whole world. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

He is great who speaks great, greater who thinks great, and greatest who lives great. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

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

As a youth, on dusky winter afternoons I escaped with irresponsible zeal into the glow of Mr. Lowell's learned lamplight, the particular incidence of which, in the small, still lecture-room, and the illumination of his head and hands, I recall with extreme vividness. He talked communicatively of style. It made a romance of the hour — it made even a picture of the scene. He was American enough in Europe, in America he was abundantly European. He was so steeped in history and literature that to some yearning young persons he made the taste of knowledge sweeter, almost, than it was ever to be again. He had lived in long intimacy with Dante and Calderon; he embodied, to envious aspirants, the happy intellectual fortune — independent years of acquisition without haste and without rest, a robust love of study which went sociably arm in arm with a robust love of life. This love of life was so strong in him that he could lose himself in little diversions as well as in big books. He was fond of everything human and natural, everything that had color and character, and no gayety, no sense of comedy, was ever more easily kindled by contact. When he was not surrounded by great pleasures he could find his account in small ones, and no situation could be dull for a man in whom all reflection, all reaction, was witty. ~Henry James, "James Russell Lowell," in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1892  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

...her innocences falling from her soul like a bunch of primroses untied... ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896  [a.k.a. Annie Vivanti —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

There is something in every person's character that cannot be broken — the bony structure of his character. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Franz H. Mautner and Henry Hatfield, 1959

But the truth is, that no man is much regarded by the rest of the world, except where the interest of others is involved in his fortune. The common employments or pleasures of life, love or opposition, loss or gain, keep almost every mind in perpetual agitation. If any man would consider how little he dwells upon the condition of others, he would learn how little the attention of others is attracted by himself. When we see multitudes passing before us, of whom perhaps not one appears to deserve our notice or excite our sympathy, we should remember, that we likewise are lost in the same throng; that the eye which happens to glance upon us is turned in a moment upon another; and that the utmost which we can reasonably hope or fear, is to fill a vacant hour with prattle, and be forgotten. ~Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, 1751 September 24th

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

Sometimes we're as different as clouds and concrete. ~Terri Guillemets

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

He had tragic bones and a lifelong lease on a dark cloud. ~Terri Guillemets

A great many persons groan and grow weary under the burden of their own nothingness. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

[N]o man is a dullard... every man is a philosopher. ~Joseph 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

[O]ur final thought of James Russell Lowell is that what he consistently lived for remains of him. There is nothing ineffectual in his name and fame — they stand for delightful things. He is one of the happy figures of literature. He had his trammels and his sorrows, but he drank deep of the full, sweet cup, and he will long count as an erect fighting figure on the side of optimism and beauty. He was strong without narrowness; he was wise without bitterness and bright without folly. That appears for the most part the clearest ideal of those who handle the English form... ~Henry James, "James Russell Lowell," in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1892

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

When I'm out and about, people are annoying idiots. When I'm home alone, all mankind is loving and good. ~Terri Guillemets, "Humanity on the streets," 2006

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

Handsome faces and corrupt hearts act a large portion of the drama of human life. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

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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