i. “To be perfectly intelligible one must be inaccurate, and to be perfectly accurate, one must be unintelligible.” (attributed Bertrand Russell – the quote is from Clinical Epidemiology, however I have not been able to find independent verification that Russell ever actually said this.)

ii. “Quotation confesses inferiority.” (Emerson)

iii. “Money often costs too much.” (-ll-)

iv. “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” (-ll-)

v. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” (-ll-)

vi. “Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will.” (-ll-)

vii. “For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for every thing you gain, you lose something.” (-ll-)

viii. “That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.” (Henry David Thoreau)

ix. “It takes two to speak the truth, — one to speak, and another to hear.” (-ll-)

x. “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” (-ll-)

xi. “Knowledge both enlarges and multiplies our Desires, and the fewer things a Man wishes for, the more easily his Necessities may be supply’d.” (Bernard Mandeville)

xii. “Every one that flatters thee
Is no friends in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.” (Richard Barnfield)

xiii. “Ah, well! We live and learn, or, anyway, we live.” (Will Cuppy)

xiv. “The Mexicans gave the Spaniards malaria, and the Spaniards gave the Mexicans smallpox, whooping cough, diphtheria, and syphilis. The Spaniards believed it was better to give than to receive.” (-ll-)

xv. “A book which, above all others in the world, should be forbidden, is a catalogue of forbidden books.” (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg)

xvi. “A good means to discovery is to take away certain parts of a system to find out how the rest behaves.” (-ll-)

xvii. “The most heated defenders of a science, who cannot endure the slightest sneer at it, are commonly those who have not made very much progress in it and are secretly aware of this defect.” (-ll-)

xviii. “Man is always partial and is quite right to be. Even impartiality is partial.” (-ll-)

xix. “There is no more important rule of conduct in the world than this: attach yourself as much as you can to people who are abler than you and yet not so very different that you cannot understand them.” (-ll-)

xx. “There are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.” (-ll-)

xxi. “We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest.” (-ll-)


October 25, 2013 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms


  1. “To be perfectly intelligible one must be inaccurate, and to be perfectly accurate, one must be unintelligible.” –> I refuse to believe that Russell said this.

    Comment by M | October 26, 2013 | Reply

    • As I point out in the parenthesis, I’m also skeptical. I decided to post the quote anyway.

      Comment by US | October 26, 2013 | Reply

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