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A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.
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The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
Browse quotes by category or select from the list below.
|John Quincy Adams||The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.|
|Aeschylus||Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny.|
|Aesop||Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.|
|John Peter Altgeld||Freedom of thought and freedom of speech in our great institutions are absolutely necessary for the preservation of our country. The moment either is restricted, liberty begins to wither and die...|
|Harry J. Anslinger||You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother.|
|Harry J. Anslinger||Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.|
|Harry J. Anslinger||Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas||The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.|
|Christiaan Barnard||I don't believe medical discoveries are doing much to advance human life. As fast as we create ways to extend it we are inventing ways to shorten it.|
|Bruce Barton||What a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die for the liberty of the world who will not make the little sacrifice that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage.|
|Frederic Bastiat||No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic.|
Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle
with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).
|Cesare Beccaria||The punishment of death is the war of a nation against a citizen whose destruction it judges to be necessary or useful.|
|Rev. Henry Ward Beecher||There is tonic in the things that men do not love to hear. Free speech is to a great people what the winds are to oceans...and where free speech is stopped miasma is bred, and death comes fast.|
|Lavrentii Pavlovich Beria||Given a short time with a psycho-politician you can alter forever the loyalty of a soldier in our hands or a statesman or a leader in his own country, or you can destroy his mind... (more)|
|Ambrose Bierce||As records of courts and justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind... Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.|
|Reuben Blades||I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.|
|George Boas||When we think of the past, we forget the fools and remember the sage. We reverse the process for our own time.|
|Napoleon Bonaparte||I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of people would die for Him.|
|Robert Bork||[A] society deadened by a smothering network of laws while finding release in moral chaos is not likely to be either happy or stable.|
|Charles Bradlaugh||Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful. Better a thousand fold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people.|
|H. Jackson Brown, Jr.||Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.|
|Buddha||Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.|
|Buddha||To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.|
|Buddha||Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.|
|Buddha||Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death.|
|Christopher Bullock||'Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes.|
|Sir Richard Francis Burton||Do what thy manhood bids thee do, From none but self expect applause: He noblest lives and noblest dies Who makes and keeps his self-made laws.|
|George W. Bush||I want him [Saddam Hussein]. I want -- I want justice. |
There is an old poster seen out west.
As I recall, it said, Wanted Dead or Alive.
|Lord Byron||My time has been passed viciously and agreeably; at thirty-one so few years months days hours or minutes remain that "Carpe Diem" is not enough. I have been obliged to crop even the seconds -- for who can trust to tomorrow?|
|Gilbert Keith Chesterton||For good or evil, a line has been passed in our political history; and something that we have known all our lives is dead. I will take only one example of it: our politicians can no longer be caricatured.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||Never abandon life. There is a way out of everything except death.|
|Marcus Tullius Cicero||The recovery of freedom is so splendid a thing that we must not shun even death when seeking to recover it.|
|Benjamin Constant||First ask yourselves, Gentlemen, what an Englishman, a Frenchman, and a citizen of the United States of America understand today by the word 'liberty'. For each of them it is the right to be subjected only to the laws, and to be neither arrested, detained, put to death nor maltreated in any way by the arbitrary will of one or more individuals. It is the right of everyone to express their opinion, choose a profession and practice it, to dispose of property, and even to abuse it; to come and go without permission, and without having to account for their motives or undertakings. It is everyone's right to associate with other individuals, either to discuss their interests, or to profess the religion which they or their associates prefer, or even simply to occupy their days or hours in a way which is more compatible with their inclinations or whims. Finally, it is everyone's right to exercise some influence on the administration of the government, either by electing all or particular officials, or through representations, petitions, demands to which the authorities are more or less compelled to pay heed. Now compare this liberty with that of the ancients. The latter consisted in exercising collectively, but directly, several parts of the complete sovereignty; in deliberating, in the public square, over war and peace; in forming alliances with foreign governments; in voting laws, in pronouncing judgments; in examining the accounts, the acts, the stewardship of the magistrates; in calling them to appear in front of the assembled people, in accusing, condemning or absolving them. But if this was what the ancients called liberty, they admitted as compatible with this collective freedom the complete subjection of the individual to the authority of the community.|
|Davy Crockett||I leave this rule for others when I'm dead, Be always sure you're right -- then go ahead.|
|Clarence S. Darrow||The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom. The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as the ancient world was the child of fear and faith.|
|John De Armond||You know your country is dying when you have to make a distinction between what is moral and ethical, and what is legal.|
|Estienne de la Boétie||However, there is satisfaction in examining what they get out of all this torment, what advantage they derive from all the trouble of their wretched existence. Actually the people never blame the tyrant for the evils they suffer, but they do place responsibility on those who influence him; peoples, nations, all compete with one another, even the peasants, even the tillers of the soil, in mentioning the names of the favorites, in analyzing their vices, and heaping upon them a thousand insults, a thousand obscenities, a thousand maledictions. All their prayers, all their vows are directed against these persons; they hold them accountable for all their misfortunes, their pestilences, their famines; and if at times they show them outward respect, at those very moments they are fuming in their hearts and hold them in greater horror than wild beasts. This is the glory and honor heaped upon influential favorites for their services by people who, if they could tear apart their living bodies, would still clamor for more, only half satiated by the agony they might behold. For even when the favorites are dead those who live after are never too lazy to blacken the names of these people-eaters with the ink of a thousand pens, tear their reputations into bits in a thousand books, and drag, so to speak, their bones past posterity, forever punishing them after their death for their wicked lives.|
|Bob Edwards||Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen.|
|Albert Einstein||The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.|
|Albert Einstein||I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.|
|Sir John Fortescue||I should, indeed, prefer twenty men to escape death through mercy, than one innocent to be condemned unjustly.|
|Benjamin Franklin||Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world|
nothing is certain but death and taxes.
|David D. Friedman||Suppose one little old lady in ten carries a gun. Suppose that one in ten of those, if attacked by a mugger, succeeds in killing the mugger instead of being killed by him -- or shooting herself in the foot. On average, the mugger is much more likely to win the encounter than the little old lady. But -- also on average -- every hundred muggings produces one dead mugger. At those odds, mugging is an unprofitable business -- not many little old ladies carry enough money to justify one chance in a hundred of being killed getting it. The number of muggers declines drastically, not because they have all been killed but because they have, rationally, sought safer professions.|
|Milton Friedman||I think that prohibition of drugs is the most immoral program that the United States has ever engaged in. It's destroyed civil rights at home and it is responsible for thousands of deaths abroad.|
|Rick Gaber||The Nazis are well remembered for murdering well over 11 million people in the implementation of their slogan, 'The public good before the private good,' the Chinese Communists for murdering 62 million people in the implementation of theirs, 'Serve the people,' and the Soviet Communists for murdering more than 60 million people in the implementation of Karl Marx's slogan, 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.' Anyone who defends any of these, or any variation of them, on the grounds of their 'good intentions' is an immoral (NOT 'amoral') enabler of the ACTUAL (not just the proverbial) road to hell.|
|Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi||What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless,|
whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism
or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
|John Gilmore||Truth: the most deadly weapon ever discovered by humanity. Capable of destroying entire perceptual sets, cultures, and realities. Outlawed by all governments everywhere. Possession is normally punishable by death.|
|Judge Learned Hand||Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no Constitution, no court, can even do much to help it.|
|Harvard University Press||As the death toll mounts -- as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on -- the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression. An extraordinary accounting, this book amply documents the unparalleled position and significance of Communism in the hierarchy of violence that is the history of the twentieth century.|
|Steven F. Hayward||Causes that live by politics, die by politics.|
|William Randolph Hearst||When free discussion is denied, hardening of the arteries of democracy has set in, free institutions are but a lifeless form, and the death of the republic is at hand.|
|Patrick Henry||It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. ... Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things, which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. ... Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!|