Miserable Quotes

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Keyword: Miserable

Quotes: 489 total. 2 Misattributed. 26 About.

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Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister's miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence: — "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!"
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1 Corinthians 15:19
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians; Common Book Name: 1 Corinthians; Chapter: 15; Verse: 19.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
"I am truly miserable - more so than I like to acknowledge to myself. Pride refuses to aid me. It has brought me into the scrape, and will not help me out of it."
Never say, "O Lord, I am a miserable sinner." Who will help you? You are the help of the universe. What in this universe can help you? What can prevail over you? You are the God of the universe; where can you seek for help? Never help came from anywhere but from yourself. In your ignorance, every prayer that you made and that was answered, you thought was answered by some Being, but you answered the prayer yourself unknowingly. The help came from yourself, and you fondly imagined that someone was sending help to you. There is no help for you outside of yourself; you are the creator of the universe. Like the silkworm, you have built a cocoon around yourself. Who will save you? Burst your own cocoon and come out as a beautiful butterfly, as the free soul. Then alone you will see Truth.
Miserable comforters are ye all.
Comfort
• Job, XVI, 2.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Comfort" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 124.)
"It's a funny thing this celebrity. If you don't wave back you're a miserable bugger, if you do wave back you're a big-headed bugger. I don't know."
"I'm writing this down because I once heard that when you're getting older you're liable to forget things and I'd sure be the most miserable woman in this world if I ever forgot what happened this summer."
Gidget
• chapter one, first sentence (p.3 in current edition)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gidget" (The Novels: Frederick Kohner wrote eight "Gidget" novels, six of them original novels, two of them novelizations based on motion pictures with the same titles., Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas (1957))
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Pacifism
• John Stuart Mill, on the US Civil War, in "The Contest in America", Fraser’s Magazine (February 1862)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pacifism" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author )
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Revelation 3:17
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Revelation of St. John the Divine; Common Book Name: Revelation; Chapter: 3; Verse: 17.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Jim: Maybe something that will make you less miserable ... like two tickets two Les Misérables [pronounced less miserables]." Jim: Cheryl, I don't think the gays have second base. Once you pick up the bat, it's a home run.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
Society
• Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Society" (Quotes: listed alphabetically by author, S-T)
The lesson Buddha and Aurelius had taught centuries earlier: "Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it".
"God have mercy on his miserable soul! and make him see and feel his guilt - I ask no other vengeance! If he could but fully know and truly feel my wrongs I should be well avenged, and I could freely pardon all."
The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope.
"...when I made that first record my life was in the 'shitter' you know and everything sucked. I am sick and tired of being miserable all the time and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time... I can say that I have kind of consciously moved away from this whole 'woe is me' mentality because my head is not there anymore."
The truth will set you free — but first it will make you miserable.
Misattributed to James A. Garfield
• Attributed without citation to Mark Twain as well as Garfield in recent years, this may have arisen sometime in the 1970s, with earliest publication yet located Pinochet's Chile : An Eyewitness Report, 1980/81 (1981) by Morna Macleod, p. 5.
• Source: Wikiquote: "James A. Garfield" (Misattributed)
Les Misérables
"Nude" is about an relationship I was in during that period and there is a joyful beginning and creepy end … yeah life can be cruel, but god dammit how I love to write when my life is miserable.
Neither the planters nor the Colonization Society, seem to ask what right we have to remove people from the places where they have been born and brought up, —where they have a home, which, however miserable, is still their home, —and where their relatives and acquaintances all reside. Africa is no more their native country than England is ours, —nay, it is less so, because there is no community of language or habits; —besides, we cannot say to them, as Gilpin said to his horse, "'Twas for your pleasure you came here, you shall go back for mine."
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
"People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes; what they want is to see you fall. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000138/bio
Have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.
"I fly from pleasure," said the prince, "because pleasure has ceased to please; I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud with my presence the happiness of others."
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
Il ne se faut jamais moquer des misérables, Car qui peut s'assurer d'être toujours heureux?
Misery
• We ought never to scoff at the wretched, for who can be sure of continued happiness?
• Jean de La Fontaine, Fables, V. 17.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Misery" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 517-18.)
"I trust she may yet be happy; but, if she is, it will be entirely the reward of her own goodness of heart; for had she chosen to consider herself the victim of fate, or of her mother's worldly wisdom, she might have been thoroughly miserable; and if, for duty's sake, she had not made every effort to love her husband, she would, doubtless, have hated him to the end of her days."
I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
Job 16:2
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Book of Job; Common Book Name: Job; Chapter: 16; Verse: 2.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
To be weak is miserable, Doing or suffering.
Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.
O nation miserable, With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again?
They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?
Who knows what true loneliness is — not the conventional word, but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession …
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, "Be My Baby" on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain And Fear and Bloodshed,—miserable train!— Turns his necessity to glorious gain.
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain, And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train! Turns his necessity to glorious gain.
A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest, A motley fool; a miserable world! As I do live by food, I met a fool; Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun.
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in his arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.
Nothing is more miserable than those people who never failed to attack their own salvation. When there was need to observe the Law, they trampled it under foot. … On this account Stephen said: "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart, you always resist the Holy Spirit", not only by transgressing the Law but also by wishing to observe it at the wrong time.
I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.
The process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.
The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable; for the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit.
A man's subconscious self is not the ideal companion. It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour.
But we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends; without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections, is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.
Have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
Mercy
Book of Common Prayer, Litany
• Source: Wikiquote: "Mercy" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author , Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 509-10.)
What is man? A miserable little pile of secrets.
Now just behold these miserable, blind, and senseless people.
So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.
It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle marry one another and so make only two people miserable instead of four.
I care not how affluent some may be, provided that none be miserable in consequence of it. But it is impossible to enjoy affluence with the felicity it is capable of being enjoyed, while so much misery is mingled in the scene.
O, I have pass'd a miserable night, So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams, That, as I am a christian-faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days. — So full of dismal terror was the time!
Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.
O may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence; live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end with self. In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge man's search To vaster issues.
Social influence
• George Eliot, O May I Join the Choir Invisible.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Social influence" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 391-93.)
Happiness is just how you feel when you don't feel miserable.
Where theory lags behind the facts, we are dealing with miserable degenerating research programmes."
Fact
• Imre Lakatos (1978, p. 6), cited in: Vernon L. Smith, "Theory, experiment and economics]." The Journal of Economic Perspectives (1989):p. 168
• Source: Wikiquote: "Fact" (Quotes: Quotes are arranged first by century, and in every century alphabetically by author, 20th century: [[File:Bertrand Russell photo.jpg|thumb|
Facts have to be discovered by observation, not by reasoning
- Bertrand Russell (1945)
]])
Where theory lags behind the facts, we are dealing with miserable degenerating research programmes.
Many things can make you miserable for weeks; few can bring you a whole day of happiness.
Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion.
Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps.
À l'heure, si sombre encore, de la civilisation où nous sommes, le misérable s'appelle L'HOMME; il agonise sous tous les climats, et il gémit dans toutes les langues.
Victor Hugo
• At the hour of civilization through which we are now passing, and which is still so sombre, the miserable's name is Man; he is agonizing in all climes, and he is groaning in all languages.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Victor Hugo" (Quotes, Letter To M. Daelli on Les Misérables (1862): Publisher of the Italian translation of Les Misérables (18 October 1862))
The world has certain rules — Hollywood has certain rules — but it doesn't mean you have to play by them, and I don't, or I'd be a miserable person.
If there is one subject in this world worthy of being discussed, worthy of being understood, it is the question of intellectual liberty. Without that, we are simply painted clay; without that, we are poor, miserable serfs and slaves.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly Infinite wrath and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep, Still threat’ning to devour me, opens wide, To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep Still threatening to devour me opens wide, To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
Despair
• John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667), Book IV, line 73.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Despair" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author )
Those who grumble at the little thing that has fallen to their lot to do will grumble at everything. Always grumbling, they will lead a miserable life, and everything will be a failure. But those who do their duties as they go, putting their shoulders to the wheel, will see the light, and higher duties will fall to their share.
This miserable measure the wretched souls maintain of those who lived without infamy and without praise. Mingled are they with that caitiff choir of the angels, who were not rebels, nor were faithful to God, but were for themselves. The heavens chased them out in order to be not less beautiful, nor doth the depth of Hell receive them, because the damned would have some glory from them.
The seeing eye! It is this that discloses the inner harmony of things; what Nature meant, what musical idea Nature has wrapped up in these often rough embodiments. Something she did mean. To the seeing eye that something were discernible. Are they base, miserable things? You can laugh over them, you can weep over them; you can in some way or other genially relate yourself to them; — you can, at lowest, hold your peace about them, turn away your own and others' face from them, till the hour come for practically exterminating and extinguishing them!
Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of "world history," but nevertheless, it was only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and the clever beasts had to die. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when it is all over with the human intellect, nothing will have happened.
Greasy, miserable, British and pathetic
The greatest part of mankind employ their first years to make their last miserable.
Youth
• Jean de La Bruyère, p. 623.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Youth" (Quotes, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895): Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).)
La plupart des hommes emploient la meilleure partie de leur vie à rendre l'autre misérable.
Reduced to a miserable mass level, the level of a Hitler, German Romanticism broke out into hysterical barbarism.
Thomas Mann
• Speech at the US Library of Congress (29 May 1945); published as "Germany and the Germans" ["Deutschland und die Deutschen"] in Die Neue Rundschau [Stockholm] (October 1945), p. 58, as translated by Helen T. Lowe-Porter
• Source: Wikiquote: "Thomas Mann" (Quotes)
Happiness is largely a matter of self-hypnotism. You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself miserable
Nothing is miserable but what is thought so, and contrariwise, every estate is happy if he that bears it be content.
This is the most miserable of cases, but we must dispose of it as though it had been presented by actual lawyers.
If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick.
Miserable, ephemeral race, children of hazard and hardship, why do you force me to say what it would be much more fruitful for you not to hear?
Ephemerality
• Friedrich Nietzsche, in [http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9_Y47pavtUEC&pg=PA51 The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on overcoming nihilism, p. 51
• Source: Wikiquote: "Ephemerality" (N)
La plupart des hommes emploient la première partie de leur vie à rendre l'autre misérable. Most men employ the first part of life to make the other part miserable.
Life
• Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, XI.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Life" (Anonymous, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 440-55.)
Who knows what true happiness is? Not the conventional word but the naked terror. To the lonely themselves, it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
Thus the cloud gradually drew off, and I again enjoyed life: and though I had several relapses, some of which lasted many months, I never again was as miserable as I had been.
Happiness is often presented as being very dull but, he thought, lying awake, that is because dull people are sometimes very happy and intelligent people can and do go around making themselves and everyone else miserable.
Let us meditate on the love of God, who being supremely happy Himself, communicateth perfect happiness to us. Supreme happiness doth not make God forget us; shall the miserable comforts of this life make us forget Him?
Let us disperse from our aloofness and serve the weak who made us strong, and cleanse the country in which we live. Let us teach this miserable nation to smile and rejoice with heaven's bounty and glory of life and freedom.
What chieftain, walking by himself, crying Most miserable, most victorious,Does not see these separate figures one by one, And yet see only one, in his old coat, His slouching pantaloons, beyond the town,Looking for what was, where it used to be?'''
"D'you think I don't know what people call me behind my back? Fat Myrtle! Ugly Myrtle! Miserable, moaning, moping Myrtle!' 'You've missed out spotty,' Peeves hissed in her ear. ... '''Spotty! Spotty!''" *P. 103, British edition, In the American version, spotty is replaced by pimply.
For true evangelical faith...cannot lay dormant; but manifests itself in all righteousness and works of love; it...clothes the naked; feeds the hungry; consoles the afflicted; shelters the miserable; aids and consoles all the oppressed; returns good for evil; serves those that injure it; prays for those that persecute it.
I learned something recently: our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives...
"The execution of an offender is by way of example, ut poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes perveniat" (Co. 3 Inst. 6): but so it is not when a madman is executed: but should be a miserable spectacle, both against law, and of extreme inhumanity and cruelty, and can be of no example to others.
Punishment
• Steph. Com. Vol. IV. (8th ed.), Book VI., c. ii, 27.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Punishment" (Sourced, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904): Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 215-217.)
Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, the signet of its all-enslaving power, upon a shining ore, and called it gold: before whose image bow the vulgar great, the vainly rich, the miserable proud, the mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, and with blind feelings reverence the power that grinds them to the dust of misery.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged.
Adam Smith
• Chapter VIII, p. 94.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Adam Smith" (Quotes, The Wealth of Nations (1776): References are to book, chapter, subdivisions and (in some cases), paragraph, as given in the Glasgow edition (see below). Other editions include book and chapter only. Page numbers are included as a locational help., Book I)
By force you can make hypocrites -- men who will agree with you from the teeth out, and in their hearts hate you. We want no more hypocrites. We have enough in every community. And how are you going to keep from having more? By having the air free, -- by wiping from your statute books such miserable and infamous laws as this.
By force you can make hypocrites — men who will agree with you from the teeth out, and in their hearts hate you. We want no more hypocrites. We have enough in every community. And how are you going to keep from having more? By having the air free, — by wiping from your statute books such miserable and infamous laws as this.
Blasphemy
• Robert G. Ingersoll, in an appeal to the jury in the trial of C.B. Reynolds for blasphemy (May 1887)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Blasphemy" (Quotes)
Altogether, a more miserable trio than we were that evening it would have been difficult to discover; and our only comfort lay in the reflection that we were exceedingly fortunate to be there to feel miserable, instead of being stretched dead upon the plain, as so many thousands of brave men were that night, who had risen well and strong in the morning.
The natur o' things doesn't change, though it seems as if one's own life was nothing but change. The square o' four is sixteen, and you must lengthen your lever in proportion to your weight, is as true when a man's miserable as when he's happy; and the best o' working is, it gives you a grip hold o' things outside your own lot".
I was the East Coast distributor of involved. I ate it, drank it, and breathed it. Then they killed Martin, then they killed Bobby, elected Tricky Dick twice, and people like you must think I'm miserable because I'm not involved anymore. Well, I've got news for you. I spent all my misery years ago. I have no more pain for anything. I gave at the office.
It is so important for us to have faith, trust, confidence in one another. It is the only way we can communicate. Without faith there is no communication, there is no love, or if there was a little love, it will die without hope, trust, and confidence. Even if it doesn't die right away, it will be so weak, so ill, and so tired that communication will be miserable as well.
An immortality of pain and tears; an infinity of wretchedness and despair; the blackness of darkness across which conscience will forever shoot her clear and ghastly flashes, — like lightning streaming over a desert when midnight and tempest are there; weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; long, long eternity, and things that will make eternity seem longer, — making each moment seem eternity, — oh, miserable condition of the damned!
Hell
• Richard Fuller, p. 311.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Hell" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author or source, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895): Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).)
If you think being dysfuncted and damaged, strapped to your baggage, dirty, ruined and hurt like critical, cynical, scathing, if you're lost or have come up missing, scarred and scared (or pretending you aren't), when you think that's all you've got, it's not. The sadness you wear around like a trophy is intriguing at most, but it's miserable, and about as original as a frat boy with a visor cap. So step up.
No theory of government was ever given a fairer test or a more prolonged experiment in a democratic country than democratic socialism received in Britain. Yet it was a miserable failure in every respect. Far from reversing the slow relative decline of Britain vis-à-vis its main industrial competitors, it accelerated it. We fell further behind them, until by 1979 we were widely dismissed as 'the sick man of Europe'...To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.
“The politics of reality,” Shevek repeated. He looked at Oiie and said, “That is a curious phrase for a physicist to use.” “Not at all. The politician and the physicist both deal with things as they are, with real forces, the basic laws of the world.” “You put your petty miserable ‘laws’ to protect wealth, your ‘forces’ of guns and bombs, in the same sentence with the law of entropy and the force of gravity? I had thought better of your mind, Demaere!”
Your life doesn't get any better than your mind is: You might have wonderful friends, perfect health, a great career, and everything else you want, and you can still be miserable. The converse is also true: There are people who basically have nothing—who live in circumstances that you and I would do more or less anything to avoid—who are happier than we tend to be because of the character of their minds. Unfortunately, one glimpse of this truth is never enough. We have to be continually reminded of it.
[From Schopenhauer's assessments of other philosophers] Bruno and Spinoza are to be entirely excepted. Each stands by himself and alone; and they do not belong either to their age or to their part of the globe, which rewarded the one with death, and the other with persecution and ignominy. Their miserable existence and death in this Western world are like that of a tropical plant in Europe. The banks of the Ganges were their spiritual home; there they would have led a peaceful and honoured life among men of like mind.
[From Schopenhauer's assessments of other philosophers] Bruno and Spinoza are to be entirely excepted. Each stands by himself and alone; and they do not belong either to their age or to their part of the globe, which rewarded the one with death, and the other with persecution and ignominy. Their miserable existence and death in this Western world are like that of a tropical plant in Europe. The banks of the Ganges were their spiritual home ; there, they would have led a peaceful and honoured life among men of like mind.
Happiness and suffering, however extreme, are mental events. The mind depends upon the body, and the body upon the world, but everything good or bad that happens in your life must appear in consciousness to matter. This fact offers ample opportunity to make the best of bad situations—changing your perception of the world is often as good as changing the world—but it also allows a person to be miserable even when all the material and social conditions for happiness have been met. During the normal course of events, your mind will determine the quality of your life.
We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed, for our safety, to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave — to the ancient enemies of man — half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
"It is beyond doubt that the happiness which love can bestow on its chosen souls is the highest that can fall to mortal's lot. But when I imagine myself in the place of the man who, after twenty happy years, now in one moment loses his all, I am moved almost to say that he is the wretchedest of mortals, and that it is better never to have known such happy days. So it is on this miserable earth: 'the purest joy finds its grave in the abyss of time'. What are we without the hope of a better future?
"Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality; for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy. Now listen." He ceased; and there arose from the little buzzing creature a tiny, low, monotonous, but distinct tinkling, as from one of your Spaceland phonographs, from which I caught these words, "Infinite beatitude of existence! It is; and there is none else beside It."
Edwin Abbott Abbott
• Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision
• Source: Wikiquote: "Edwin Abbott Abbott" (Quotes, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884):
To
The Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL

And H. C. IN PARTICULAR
This Work is Dedicated
By a Humble Native of Flatland
In the Hope that
Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries
Of THREE Dimensions
Having been previously conversant
With ONLY TWO
So the Citizens of that Celestial Region
May aspire yet higher and higher
To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions
Thereby contributing
To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION
And the possible Development
Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY
Among the Superior Races
Of SOLID HUMANITY
, PART II: OTHER WORLDS)
Judge Douglas frequently, with bitter irony and sarcasm, paraphrases our argument by saying: "The white people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, but they are not good enough to govern a few miserable negroes!" Well! I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are and will continue to be as good as the average of people elsewhere. I do not say the contrary. What I do say is that no man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.''''' I say this is the leading principle, the sheet-anchor of American republicanism. Our Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." I have quoted so much at this time merely to show that, according to our ancient faith, the just powers of governments are derived from the consent of the governed. Now the relation of master and slave is pro tanto'' a total violation of this principle. The master not only governs the slave without his consent, but he governs him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he prescribes for himself. Allow ALL the governed an equal voice in the government, and that, and that only, is self-government.'''
Jean Valjean, Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
Epitaphs
• "Il dort. Quoique le sort fût pour lui bien étrange,; Il vivait. Il mourut quand il n’eut plus son ange,; La chose simplement d’elle-même arriva,; Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s’en va."
• He sleeps. Although his fate was very strange, he lived. He died when he had no longer his angel. The thing came to pass simply, of itself, as the night comes when day is gone.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Epitaphs" (Epitaphs in fiction)
[H]appy or miserable, life is the only blessing which man possesses[.]
Giacomo Casanova
Memoirs (trans. Machen 1894), book 1, Preface (I hate death; for, happy or miserable, life is the only blessing which man possesses, and those who do not love it are unworthy of it.)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Giacomo Casanova" (Quotes, Referenced: This section needs better organization and integration onto the page )
But O yet more miserable! Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave.
La foi est la consolation des misérables et la terreur des heureux.
Above the building, the sky recalled passages from Les Miserables, threadbare and gray.
He who knows the truth and does not speak it is a miserable coward.
It's so miserable and so easy to keep slamming Titanic -- I'll shut up.
For a woman, forty is torture, the end. I think turning forty is miserable.
I hate singers, a miserable crew who think that music exists only in their own throats.
Variable, and therefore miserable condition of man; this minute I was well, and am ill, this minute.
Filipinos don't wallow in what is miserable and ugly. They recycle the bad into things of beauty.
The miserable have no other medicine But only hope: I've hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.
Hope
• William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (1603), Act III, scene 1, line 2.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Hope" (Quotes: Sorted alphabetically by author or source)
This president is a miserable failure on foreign policy and on the economy and he's got to be replaced.
It is a comfort to the miserable to have comrades in misfortune, but it is a poor comfort after all.
Companionship
• Christopher Marlowe, Faustus. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 124-25.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Companionship" (Sourced, M-R)
I don't watch my own films very often. I become so jittery and ready to cry... and miserable. I think it's awful.
I will have nothing to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life, without the absurdity of speculating upon another.
What do you gain, Soviet Union, from this miserable policy? Where is your decency? Would it be a disgrace for you to give up this battle?
Golda Meir
• On the suppression of freedom of Jews in the USSR to the World Conference on Soviet Jewry, Brussels, in The New York Times (20 February 1976)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Golda Meir" (Quotes)
Philosophy and medicine have made the man the wisest among the animals, numerology and astrology – the most insane, superstition and despotism – the most miserable.
Making enough money to become an effective consumer takes time, dedication, devotion. The wait is miserable. It never occurred that the objective was flawed and the rules were skewed.
When you have understood that nothing is, that things do not even deserve the status of appearances, you no longer need to be saved, you are saved, and miserable forever.
I was utterly miserable, and yet fearless as I had never been. I was carefree. It was like dying. It would be foolish to worry about anything while one died.
The drafts from the regiments at Ticonderoga are a miserable set; indeed the men on board the fleet, in general, are not equal to half their number of good men.
I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
You are not a miserable and momentary body; behind your fleeting mask of clay, a thousand-year-old face lies in ambush. Your passions and your thoughts are older than your heart or brain.
Even a wise man comes to grief and feels depressions if he imparts instructions to a foolish disciple or when maintains a wicked wife or when comes in close contact with the miserable.
For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we've all had to become disappears, when we're confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.
Duties are ours; events are God's. This removes an infinite burden from the shoulders of a miserable, tempted, dying creature. On this consideration only, can he securely lay down his head, and close his eyes.
Housman is one of my heroes and always has been. He was a detestable and miserable man. Arrogant, unspeakably lonely, cruel, and so on, but and absolutely marvellous minor poet, I think, and a great scholar.
The least I can do is speak out for the hundreds of chimpanzees who, right now, sit hunched, miserable and without hope, staring out with dead eyes from their metal prisons. They cannot speak for themselves.
Animal rights
• Jane Goodall Reported in Janelle Rohr, Animal rights: opposing viewpoints (1989), p. 100; Jane Goodall and Jennifer Lindsey, Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe (1999), p. 6. Occasionally misreported in truncated form, as "The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves", in, e.g., quote honored on EarthE eco money.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Animal rights" (Quotes)
If in this world there is any condition so miserable that one cannot live without wrong-doing, where the citizen is driven into evil, you should hang, not the criminal, but those who drove him into crime.
There are so many highly esteemed ones who became miserable and humiliated just because of their bad temper and morals; and humble people who have attained eminence and the highest honors because of good temper and morals.
Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.
O bloody Richard! —miserable England! I prophesy the fearfull'st time to thee That ever wretched age hath look'd upon. — Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head: They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.
All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and allowed to live only so far as the interest to the ruling class requires it.
Chorus [leader]: Come now, ye men, in nature darkling, like to the race of leaves, of little might, figures of clay, shadowy feeble tribes, wingless creatures of a day, miserable mortals, dream-like men. (tr. Hickie 1853, vol. 1, p. 338)
Aristophanes
• Source: Wikiquote: "Aristophanes" (Sourced: Each quote is often given in multiple versions: always the translation at Perseus (usually reliable literal translation with hypertext original Greek available) and often another, more oft-quoted translation. For identical translations, the earliest translator found is given. Character names may vary between editions (from different transliteration, translation, or attribution) and are thus always given on the same line as each translation., Birds (414 BC))
I was seventeen years old, a married woman without real responsibilities, miserable about my mixed-up emotions, afraid there was something awfully wrong with me because I didn’t enjoy being a wife. Worst of all, I didn't have enough to do.
I armed her against the censures of the world; showed her that books were sweet unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.
Books
• Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chapter XXII.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Books" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 75-80.)
Oh! I have pass'd a miserable night, So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams, That, as I am a Christian faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days.
Dreams
• William Shakespeare, Richard III (c. 1591), Act I, scene 4, line 2.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dreams" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 201-04.)
'Why, you sad son-of-a-bitch, how can you be so cocky and stand there and block cars when you're nothing but a miserable bear and a black bear at that - not even a polar or a grizzly or anything worth while.'
It seems to me a great truth … that human things can not stand on selfishness, mechanical utilities, economics, and law-courts; that if there be not a religious element in the relations of men, such relations are miserable, and doomed to ruin.
God … created this Speck of Dirt and the human Species for his glory: and with the deliberate design of making nine tenths of our Species miserable forever, for his glory. This is the doctrine of Christian Theologians in general: ten to one.
If the WormCam had shown nothing else, he thought, it was this, with pitiless clarity: that the lives of most humans had been miserable and short, deprived of freedom and joy and comfort, their brief moments in the light reduced to sentences to be endured.
It is my misfortune - and probably my delight - to use things as my passions tell me. What a miserable fate for a painter who adores blondes to have to stop himself putting them into a picture because they don't go with the basket of fruit!
Pablo Picasso
• Herschel Browning Chip (1968, p. 267).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pablo Picasso" (Quotes, 1930s, "Conversation avec Picasso," 1935: Interview with Christian Zervos in: "Conversation avec Picasso," in Cahiers d'Art, Vol X, 7-10, (1935), p. 173-178. Translated in: Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art. 1946, and republished in: Herschel Browning Chip (1968) Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics. (1968), p. 266-273 ; Also quoted in: Richard Friedenthal, Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock -, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963. (translation Daphne Woodward).)
The war is simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men, including all of us who have allowed it to go on and on with endless fury and destruction - all of us who would have remained silent, had stability and order been secured.
I do not forgive myself for being born. It is as if, creeping into this world, I had profaned a mystery, betrayed some momentous pledge, committed a fault of nameless gravity. Yet in a less assured mood, birth seems a calamity I would be miserable not having known.
Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable.
The recognition of human wretchedness is difficult for whoever is rich and powerful because he is almost invincibly led to believe that he is something. It is equally difficult for the man in miserable circumstances because he is almost invincibly led to believe that the rich and powerful man is something.
Simone Weil
• p. 216
• Source: Wikiquote: "Simone Weil" (Quotes, Simone Weil : An Anthology (1986): [Ed. Siân Miles, pub. Weidenfeld and Nicolson ISBN 1-55584-021-3 ] , Attention and Will (1947): Published in Gravity and Grace (1947) )
I see that a man cannot give himself up to drinking without being miserable one half his days and mad the other; besides, I like to enjoy my life at all sides and ends, which cannot be done by one that suffers himself to be the slave of a single propensity.
There is a saying in Tibetan that “at the door of the miserable rich man sleeps the contented beggar”. The point of this saying is not that poverty is a virtue, but that happiness does not come with wealth, but from setting limits to one’s desires, and living within those limits with satisfaction.
I hold all knowledge that is concerned with things that actually exist – all that is commonly called Science – to be of very slight value compared to the knowledge which, like philosophy and mathematics, is concerned with ideal and eternal objects, and is freed from this miserable world which God has made.
Knowledge
• Bertrand Russell Letter to Gilbert Murray, April 3, 1902.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Knowledge" (Contemporary quotes, First half of the 20th century)
The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation, because occupation means pre-occupation; and the pre-occupied person is neither happy nor unhappy, but simply alive and active, which is pleasanter than any happiness until you are tired of it.
O purblind race of miserable men, How many among us at this very hour Do forge a life-long trouble for ourselves, By taking true for false, or false for true; Here, through the feeble twilight of this world Groping, how many, until we pass and reach That other, where we see as we are seen!
To do this the constitutional administration of our government must be sustained, and I beg of you not to allow your minds or your hearts to be diverted from the support of all necessary measures for that purpose, by any miserable picayune arguments addressed to your pockets, or inflammatory appeals made to your passions or your prejudices.
O may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence; live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end with self, In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge men's search To vaster issues.
Women who were housewives, who were pretty miserable … felt inspired by her book and their life changed. They didn't become megastars, but they became a librarian or something. I've heard women say again and again when the subject of Germaine comes up: 'Well, her book changed my life for the better.' And they'll be modest women living pretty ordinary lives, but better lives.
The compliments you are about to pay could only sadden me, because what you love in our dear peninsula is exactly the object of our hatreds. Indeed, you crisscross Italy only to meticulously sniff out the traces of our oppressive past, and you are happy, insanely happy, if you have the good fortune to carry home some miserable stone on which our ancestors have trodden.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
• Quoted in: Anthony L. Geist, Jose B. Monle-N, Modernism and Its Margins: Reinscribing Cultural Modernity from Spain and Latin America. Taylor & Francis, 1999, p. 57.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Filippo Tommaso Marinetti" (Quotes, 1910s, Futurist Speech to the English, (1910): Futurist Speech to the English, lecture at the Lyceum Club of London in 1910,; Published in Marinetti: Selected Writings (1972); Republished in: Poggi, Christine, and Laura Wittman, eds. Futurism: An Anthology. Yale University Press, 2009. pp. 70-54)
Almost all men, and those that seem to be very miserable, love life, because they cannot bear to lose sight of such a beautiful and lovely world. The ideas, that every moment whilst we live have a beauty that we take not distinct notice of, brings a pleasure that, when we come to the trial, we had rather live in much pain and misery than lose.
Thousands of people who say they "love" animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs— and the journey to get there— before finally leaving their miserable world, only too often after a painful death.
What a wretched and apostate state is this! To be offended with excellence, and to hate a man because we approve him! The condition of the envious man is the most emphatically miserable; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in another's merit or success, but lives in a world wherein all mankind are in a plot against his quiet, studying their own happiness and advantage.
Envy
• Joseph Addison, p. 209.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Envy" (Sourced, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895): Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).)
I view tea drinking as a destroyer of health, an enfeebler of the frame, an en-genderer of effeminancy and laziness, a debaucher of youth and maker of misery for old age. Thus he makes that miserable progress towards that death which he finds ten or fifteen years sooner than he would have found it if he had made his wife brew beer instead of making tea.
Ecstasy is our very nature, not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary. To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous. It needs no effort to be ecstatic, it needs great effort to be miserable. That's why you look so tired, because misery is real hard work; to maintain it is really difficult, because you are doing something against the nature. You are going upstream — that's what misery is.
It is so important for us to have faith, trust, confidence in one another. It is the only way we can communicate. Without faith there is no communication, there is no love, or if there was a little love it will die without hope, trust, and confidence. Even if it doesn't die right away, it will be so ill, so weak, and so tired that communication will be miserable as well.
You can't make an Aryan of Jesus, that's nonsense. . . Do you really believe the masses will ever be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. That tale is finished. No one will listen to it again. But we can hasten matters. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.
Misattributed to Religious views of Adolf Hitler
• Rauschning, Hermann (2006). The Voice of Destruction: Conversations with Hitler 1940. New York: Kessinger Publishing, p. 58.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Religious views of Adolf Hitler" (Misattributed, Hitler Speaks: Rauschning, Hermann (1939). Hitler Speaks. London: Kessinger Publishing. Printed in the US in 1940 as: The Voice of Destruction: Conversations with Hitler 1940. New York: Putnam. The authenticity of Rauschning book has been thoroughly challenged, particularly by Wolfgang Hänel, Eckhard Jesse, and Fritz Tobias. The work "is now considered to be fraudulent" (Richard Steigmann-Gall, Holy Reich, 2003, p. 29) and "now regarded to have so little authenticity that it is best to disregard it altogether." (Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris, 2000, p. xiv.))
This is one reason why I want to bring up Emile in the country, far from those miserable lacqueys, the most degraded of men except their masters; far from the vile morals of the town, whose gilded surface makes them seductive and contagious to children; while the vices of peasants, unadorned and in their naked grossness, are more fitted to repel than to seduce, when there is no motive for imitating them.
But frankly—may I so speak?—your CIA people’s theory strikes me as a miserable bundle of random suspicions, a few separate facts strung together by an intricate structure of ad hoc theorizing, in which everyone is credited with enormous powers for intrigue. A much simpler view can be entertained with more common sense, and as a CIA employee you must be aware that, like all intelligence agencies, it lacks the faculty of common sense.
I cannot understand how any one can be a sceptic sincerely and on principle. Either such philosophers do not exist or they are the most miserable of men. Doubt with regard to what we ought to know is a condition too violent for the human mind; it cannot long be endured; in spite of itself the mind decides one way or another, and it prefers to be deceived rather than to believe nothing.
It reminded him of the man who had a poor old lean, bony, spavined horse, with swelled legs. He was asked what he was going to do with such a miserable beast, the poor creature would die. 'Do?' said he. 'I'm going to fat him up; don't you see that I have got him seal fat as high as the knees?' Well, they've got the Union dissolved up to the ankle, but no farther!
He was one of those people who live up to their emotional incomes, who are always taut and tingling with vanity. Hence he had no strength to spare; hence he had no kindness, no geniality; for geniality is almost definable as strength to spare. He had no god-like carelessness; he never forgot himself; his whole life was, to use his own expression, an arrangement. He went in for "the art of living"—a miserable trick.
She felt very much alone. She did not make friends very easily, but I don't want to make out that she was always miserable. When she was in middle age, she was quite a charming and lively person, because the actress in her would come out. She'd been an actor, as I said earlier on. It wasn't until she became a guru herself after Gurdjieff died, that she became a rather self-important, morose kind of Pamela.
The evils of poverty are not barren, but procreative, and... the workers in poverty, are in spite of themselves, giving to the world a litter of miserables, whose degeneracy is so stubborn and fixed that reclamation is almost impossible, especially when the only process of reclamation must consist in trying to force the pauper, vagrant, and weakling back into that struggle with poverty which is all of the time defeating stronger and better natures than theirs.
Men may be very learned, and yet very miserable; it is easy to be a deep geometrician, or a sublime astronomer, but very difficult to be a good man. I esteem, therefore, the traveller who instructs the heart, but despise him who only indulges the imagination. A man who leaves home to mend himself and others, is a philosopher; but he who goes from country to country, guided by the blind impulse of curiosity, is only a vagabond.
However great a man’s fear of life, suicide remains the courageous act, the clear-headed act of a mathematician. The suicide has judged by the laws of chance—so many odds against one that to live will be more miserable than to die. His sense of mathematics is greater than his sense of survival. But think how a sense of survival must clamour to be heard at the last moment, what excuses it must present of a totally unscientific nature.
I am NOT nothing! A vaporous phosphorescence on a damp meadow, a miserable worm that crawls and loves, that shouts and talks about wings for an hour or two until his mouth is blocked with earth. The dark powers give no other answer. But within me a deathless Cry, superior to me, continues to shout. For whether I want to or not, I am also, without doubt, a part of the visible and the invisible Universe. We are one.
For the most part we humans live with the false impression of security and a feeling of being at home in a seemingly trustworthy physical and human environment. But when the expected course of everyday life is interrupted, we are like shipwrecked people on a miserable plank in the open sea, having forgotten where they came from and not knowing whither they are drifting. But once we fully accept this, life becomes easier and there is no longer any disappointment.
As far as I am concerned, I resign from humanity. I no longer want to be, nor can still be, a man. What should I do? Work for a social and political system, make a girl miserable? Hunt for weaknesses in philosophical systems, fight for moral and aesthetic ideals? It’s all too little. I renounce my humanity even though I may find myself alone. But am I not already alone in this world from which I no longer expect anything?
Friends are true Twins in Soul; they Sympathize in every thing, and have the Love and Aversion. One is not happy without the other, nor can either of them be miserable alone. As if they could change Bodies, they take their turns in Pain as well as in Pleasure; relieving one another in their most adverse Conditions.What one enjoys, the other cannot Want. Like the Primitive Christians, they have all things in common, and no Property but in one another.
To be free, is to live under a government by law. The liberty of the -press consists in printing without any previous licence, subject to the consequences of law. The licentiousness of the press is Pandora's box, the source of every evil. Miserable is the condition of individuals, dangerous is the condition of the State, if there is no certain law, or, which is the same thing, no certain administration of law, to protect individuals or to guard the State.
Freedom of the press
• Lord Mansfield, King v. Shipley (1784), 3 Douglas's Rep. 170.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Freedom of the press" (Quotes, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904): Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 159-161.)
I give you joy of having left Winchester. Now you may own how miserable you were there; now it will gradually all come out, your crimes and your miseries — how often you went up by the Mail to London and threw away fifty guineas at a tavern, and how often you were on the point of hanging yourself, restrained only, as some ill-natured aspersion upon poor old Winton has it, by the want of a tree within some miles of the city.
On the existential plain, Bin Laden was marginalized, out of play, but inside the chrysalis of myth that he had spun about himself he was becoming a representative of all persecuted and humiliated Muslims. His life and the symbols in which he cloaked himself powerfully embodied the pervasive sense of dispossession that characterized the modern Muslim world. In his own miserable exile, he absorbed the misery of his fellow believers, his loss entitled him to speak for theirs, his vengeance would sanctify their suffering.
Ce livre, les Misérables, n'est pas moins que votre miroir que le nôtre. Certains hommes, certaines castes, se révoltent contre ce livre, je le comprends. Les miroirs, ces diseurs de vérité, sont haïs; cela ne les empêche pas d'être utiles. Quant à moi, j'ai écrit pour tous, avec un profond amour pour mon pays, mais sans me préoccuper de la France plus que d'un autre peuple. A mesure que j'avance dans la vie je me simplifie, et je deviens de plus en plus patriote de l'humanité.
Victor Hugo
• This book, Les Misérables, is no less your mirror than ours. Certain men, certain castes, rise in revolt against this book, — I understand that. Mirrors, those revealers of the truth, are hated; that does not prevent them from being of use. As for myself, I have written for all, with a profound love for my own country, but without being engrossed by France more than by any other nation. In proportion as I advance in life, I grow more simple, and I become more and more patriotic for humanity.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Victor Hugo" (Quotes, Letter To M. Daelli on Les Misérables (1862): Publisher of the Italian translation of Les Misérables (18 October 1862))
In the United States one cannot sell himself as a peon or slave -- the law is fixed and established to protect the weak-minded, the poor, the miserable. Men will sometimes sell themselves for a meal of victuals or contract with another who acts as surety on his [sic] bond to work out the amount of the bond upon his [sic] release from jail. Any such contract is positively null and void and the procuring and causing of such contract to be made violates these statutes.
Slavery
Attorney General Francis Biddle (1941). "Circular No. 3591, Re: Involuntary Servitude, Slavery, and Peonage." Francis Biddle to All United States Attorneys, Dec. 12, 1941, File 50-821, Record Group 60, Department of Justice, National Archives.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Slavery" (Quotes: [[File:Legree.png|thumb|right|Slavery is an unnatural state of opression on the one side, and of suffering on the other; and needs only to be laid open or exposed in its native colours, to command the abhorrence and opposition of every man of feeling and sentiment. ~ Rev. James Ramsay ]])
Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, "So what." That's one of my favorite things to say. "So what." "My mother didn't love me." So what. "My husband won't ball me." So what. "I'm a success but I'm still alone." So what. I don't know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.
Have you ever read the letters of the poet Cowper? He had nothing—literally nothing—to tell anyone about; private life in a sleepy country town where Evangelical distrust of "the world" denied him even such miserable society as the place would have afforded. And yet one reads a whole volume of his letters with unfailing interest. How his tooth came loose at dinner, how he made a hutch for a tame hare, what he is doing about his cucumbers—all this he makes one follow as if the fate of empires hung on it.
If I were to imagine a girl deeply in love and some man who wanted to use all his reasoning powers and knowledge to ridicule her passion, well, there's surely no question of the enamoured girl having to choose between keeping her wealth and being ridiculed. No, but if some extremely cool and calculating man calmly told the young girl, "I will explain to you what love is," and the girl admitted that everything he told her was quite correct, I wonder if she wouldn't choose his miserable common sense rather than her wealth?
Get wealth if you can by honorable means, and if it do not cost too much. A true cultivation of the mind is fitted to forward you in your worldly concerns, and you ought to use it for this end. Only, beware lest this end master you; lest your motives sink as your condition improves; lest you fall victims to the miserable passion of vying with those around you in show, luxury, and expense. Cherish a true respect for yourselves. Feel that your nature is worth more than every thing which is foreign to you.
Did the protection we received annul our rights as men, and lay us under an obligation of being miserable? Who among you, my countrymen, that is a father, would claim authority to make your child a slave because you had nourished him in infancy? ’Tis a strange species of generosity which requires a return infinitely more valuable than anything it could have bestowed; that demands as a reward for a defense of our property a surrender of those inestimable privileges, to the arbitrary will of vindictive tyrants, which alone give value to that very property.
We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave—to the ancient enemies of man—half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
Earth
• Adlai Stevenson, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, last major speech, to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland (July 9, 1965); in Albert Roland, Richard Wilson, and Michael Rahill, eds., Adlai Stevenson of the United Nations (1965), p. 224.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Earth" (Quotes: [[File:Rotating earth (large).gif|thumb|right| But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.
~ David
Psalm 37: 11, NWT]]
Alphabetized by author )
The other animals possess only such powers as are required for self-preservation; man alone has more. Is it not very strange that this superfluity should make him miserable? In every land a man's labour yields more than a bare living. If he were wise enough to disregard this surplus he would always have enough, for he would never have too much. "Great needs," said Favorin, "spring from great wealth; and often the best way of getting what we want is to get rid of what we have." By striving to increase our happiness we change it into wretchedness.
It has always seemed to me that the social order was implicit in the very nature of things, and required nothing more from the human spirit than care in arranging the various elements; that a people could be governed without being made thralls or libertines or victims thereby; that man was born for peace and liberty, and became miserable and cruel only through the action of insidious and oppressive laws. And I believe therefore that if man be given laws which harmonize with the dictates of nature and of his heart he will cease to be unhappy and corrupt.
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just
J’ai pensé que l’ordre social était dans la nature même des choses, et n’empruntait de l’esprit humain que le soin d’en mettre à leur place les éléments divers; qu’un peuple pouvait être gouverné sans être assujetti, sans être licencieux, et sans être opprimé; que l’homme naissait pour la paix et pour la liberté, et n’était malheureux et corrompu que par les lois insidieuses de la domination. Alors j’imaginai que si l’on donnait à l’homme des lois selon la nature et son cœur, il cesserait d’être malheureux et corrompu.
Discours sur la Constitution à donner à la France, speech to the National Convention (April 24, 1793).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Louis Antoine de Saint-Just" (Sourced)
Common Lisp is a big-city language. Spit out the hayseed, pronounce "shit" with one syllable and "shotgun" with two. You're not in Kansas, anymore. C is the language of the poor farmer village where the allocation of every seed and livestock matters, where taxes are low and public service non-existent. Appreciating the value of a large language is evidently hard for many people, just like many people find themselves miserable in the big city and go to great lengths to create a small village for themselves in the city where everything is like it used to be where they came from.
The condition of mankind is, and always has been, so miserable and depraved that, if anyone were to say to the poet: "For God's sake stop singing and do something useful like putting on the kettle or fetching bandages," what just reason could he give for refusing? But nobody says this. The self-appointed unqualified nurse says: "You are to sing the patient a song which will make him believe that I, and I alone, can cure him. If you can't or won't, I shall confiscate your passport and send you to the mines." And the poor patient in his delirium cries: "Please sing me a song which will give me sweet dreams instead of nightmares. If you succeed, I will give you a penthouse in New York or a ranch in Arizona."
Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, cowardly creep. His so-called "talent" consists of nothing but tormenting helpless creatures and, if necessary, torturing them to death or simply murdering them. He doesn't care about anyone or anything except his career as a so-called filmmaker. Driven by a pathological addiction to sensationalism, he creates the most sensless difficulties and dangers, risking other people's safety and even their lives — just so he can eventually say that he, Herzog, has beaten seemingly unbeatable odds. For his movies he hires retards and amateurs whom he can push around (and alledgedly hypnotize!), and he pays them starvation wages or zilch. He also uses freaks and cripples of every conceivable size and shape, merely to look interesting. He doesn't have the foggiest inkling of how to make movies. He doesn't even try to direct the actors anymore. Long ago, when I ordered him to keep his trap shut, he gave up asking me whether I'm willing to carry out his stupid and boring ideas.
...Does your Excellency know the spirit of (my) country? If you did, you would not say that I am "a spirit twisted by a German education," for the spirit that animates me I already had since childhood, before I learned a word of German. My spirit is "twisted" because I have been reared among injustices and abuses which I saw everywhere, because since a child I have seen many suffer stupidly and because I also have suffered. My "twisted spirit" is the product of that constant vision of the moral ideal that succumbs before the powerful reality of abuses, arbitrariness, hypocrisies, farces, violence, perfidies and other base passions. And "twisted" like my spirit is that of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who have not yet left their miserable homes, who speak no other language except their own, and who, if they could write or express their thoughts, would make my Noli me tangere very tiny indeed, and with their volumes there would be enough to build pyramids for the corpses of all the tyrants...
I constantly look like a miserable bitch.
Winning isn’t as fun as losing is miserable.
David Levy
• Source: Wikiquote: "David Levy" (Quotes, Humor in Psychotherapy (2007): Humor in Psychotherapy: Lectures delivered at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology (2007) )
What a miserable thing it is to be poor.
Immorality and surliness makes the human's life miserable and bitter.
There is nothing more miserable to a boss than a detractor.
Horatio looked handsomely miserable, like Hamlet slipping on a piece of orange-peel.
Misery
• Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz, Horatio Sparkins (omitted in some editions).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Misery" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 517-18.)
The wretched and the miserable would rise to plenty of joy and happiness.
Happiness is the feeling we experience when we are too busy to be miserable.
Cocoa? Cocoa! Damn miserable puny stuff, fit for kittens and unwashed boys. Did Shakespeare drink cocoa?
In most cases, practicing idiots don't make life miserable for the rest of us on purpose.
Most men make use of the first part of their life to render the last part miserable.
I fly from pleasure, because pleasure has ceased to please: I am lonely because I am miserable.
Pleasure
• Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, Chapter III.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pleasure" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 600-02.)
England struck me as a very miserable place, dark and drab, without the bright skies of India.
For a man to become a poet (witness Petrarch and Dante), he must be in love, or miserable.
Poets
• Lord Byron, Journal of the Conversations of Lord Byron by Thomas Medwin (1823).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Poets" (Quotes)
Miserable Orpheus who, turning to lose his Eurydice, beholds her for the first time as well as the last.
'What has become of the miserable Orcs?' said Legolas. 'That, I think, no one will ever know,' said Gandalf.
Orcs
The Two Towers, III, 8: "The Road to Isengard"
• Source: Wikiquote: "Orcs" (Quotes, The Lord of the Rings: Quotes from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.)
The miserable failures of capitalist economies in the Great Depression were root causes of worldwide social and political disasters.
Brain drugs may make us feel better, but they do not solve the problems that led us to feel miserable
This is a very complex, wondrous business I'm in. My kicks are my work. I'm miserable when I'm not working.
Asylums are nothing more than gardens of human cabbages, of miserable, grotesque, repugnant human beings watered with the fertilizer of injections.
'''Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Come on, McGinnis! Laugh it up now, you miserable little punk! Laugh! [sing-song tone] I can't hear yooouuu! [Terry: Ha...Ha.]
Last words in Batman media
• Who: The Joker
• Source: Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
• Notes: Character technically dies twice in this story, but one of the scenes was edited, hence three quotes:
 • The first occurs after being shot in the chest by Robin (Tim Drake) with a Spear Gun. Robin had been brainwashed into becoming the Joker's "son", and had a gun pointed at Batman (Bruce Wayne) before he finally rebelled.
 • This scene is altered in the edited version. The Joker's gun in this version shoots laughing gas, and Robin throws the gun away and tackles the Joker into a vat of liquid instead of shooting him- this leads up to a scene where the Joker gets tangled up in cables and electrocuted off-screen.
 • The Joker later returns using Tim Drake's body and, at the end, is strangling Batman (Terry McGinnis), who has driven him over the edge by mocking him. Batman manages to electrocute him using a lethal joy buzzer (one of the Joker's favorite weapons) and destroy the DNA chip he had been using to control Tim, permanently killing him and saving Drake.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Last words in Batman media" (Films, Animation)
Stop pathetically believing that you deserve Fame or Fame deserves you. It's yucky, and it's only making you miserable, so stop.
Cintra Wilson
A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations (2000), p. 227
• Source: Wikiquote: "Cintra Wilson" (Sourced)
The less you want, the richer you are. The more you need in order to be happy, the more miserable you'll be.
There's no chance of cheering him up, sir. He likes being miserable, so he does, and the bastard will get over it.
I am a sinner who was blinded by maya that I did battle with the Supreme Lord. Miserable me....Save me! Save me!
Le plus heureux est celui qui souffre le moins de peines; le plus misérable est celui qui sent le moins de plaisir.
We've all seen 'Jewing it up' performances. They are about as miserable to watch as as 'camping it up' performances when representing gays.
Through certain humors or passions, and from temper merely, a man may be completely miserable, let his outward circumstances be ever so fortunate.
Before my eyes are many miserable scenes, the suffering of others and myself forces my hands to move. I become a machine for writing.
Blessed is he who has acquired a wealth of divine wisdom, but miserable is he in whom there rests a dim opinion concerning the gods.
Empedocles
• Bk. 3, line 342; p. 201
• Source: Wikiquote: "Empedocles" (Quotes, The Fragments: Quotations from The First Philosophers of Greece (1898) edited and translated by Arthur Fairbanks, unless otherwise cited.)
To live miserable we know not why, to have the dread of hunger, to work sore and yet gain nothing—this is the essence of poverty.
Panaji (commonly known as Panjim) is an anomaly among Indian state capitals, as clean, friendly and manageable as many others are chaotic, frustrating and miserable.
You have options. You can either continue to be miserable or you can just stop being angry at everyone and accept the way things are. Allow yourself to live.
I do wish I believed in the life eternal, for it makes me quite miserable to think man is merely a kind of machine endowed, unhappily for himself, with consciousness.
I feel most miserable When I can't step "step up to the plate" You know? People often say Regret from doing it is better than regret for not doing it
I think they have this impression that I'm this miserable cow who doesn't smile. But I'm actually quite the opposite ... I'm going to try and smile more for America
You can't marry this Archibald. He's a gloomy, miserable cripple that hides himself away in that horrible house. You've said it yourself, you can't believe you love him and neither can I!
All the pomp and pleasure that are mirrored in the dull consciousness of a simpleton are very poor when compared with the consciousness of Cervantes writing Don Quixote in a miserable prison.
Hedonism
• Arthur Schopenhauer, “Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life,” Parerga und Paralipomena, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 317
• Source: Wikiquote: "Hedonism" (Quotes: Arranged chronologically, Nineteenth century)
What is science? yard-measure and scale to philosophy, expert-accountant, bank clerk. What is poetry? miserable, ill-fed, underpaid, unionized labourer, pleased to oblige, grateful for work, flattering himself that poverty makes him an aristocrat.
Give me a break! Ooh, let me try! Give me something to show For my miserable life! Give me something to take! Would you break even my wings, Just like a swallow? All The Love
Do you want to be really happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you've got. Do you want to be really miserable? You can begin by being discontented.
There is no cure for ossification of the heart. Oh, that miserable state, when to the jaundiced eye all good transforms itself into evil, and the very instruments of health become the poison of disease.
Malice
• Frederick William Robertson, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 402.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Malice" (Quotes)
David Cameron: "I'm sure that when Morrissey finds that he's getting an endorsement from the leader of the Conservative Party, he will think "heaven know's I'm miserable now". I'm a big fan, I'm afraid. Sorry about that." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2Ck_i9tJBs
Galba... a miserable sort of man... bisexual... fancied mature slaves, especially if they had been a little mutilated... all his freed men had no fingers on the left hands... he's dead -- died screaming... in a cellar.
The decadent writer writes shamelessly of himself, convinced that his life is special enough to impress those who have … made miserable by frankness, his handsome condescension, his elitism, and his perfect lack of candor were fatal gifts, ...
When you're too mad and too rattled to see straight, you're bound to make mistakes. You can't go on and on for years being miserable about a situation and not have it change you. You get so you can't stand yourself.
Ali: 174Those who conceal Allah's revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit,- they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty.
Blue, round, miserable moon, full of magic, picture that draws like a magnet, pale-coloured, charmed jewel, made by sorcerers; swiftest of dreams, cold traitor, brother to the ice, most evil and unkind of servants, let hell consume the hateful, thin, bent-lipped mirror!
Mirror
• Dafydd ap Gwilym, in "Y Drych" [The Mirror], line 1; translation from Bards and Heroes (1989) by Carl Lofmark, p. 96
• Source: Wikiquote: "Mirror" (D)
It's widely accepted today that high schools are miserable, nerve-pinching stress machines. They are governed by dim hypocrites; the climate favors the cruelest and shallowest students, and many, if not most students, are constantly suppressing a burning sense of injustice, shame, and powerlessness.
Mark Ames
• Part VI: Welcome to the Dollhouse, page 232.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Mark Ames" (Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion, From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond)
...kings are surrounded with persons who are wonderfully attentive in taking care that the king be not alone and in a state to think of himself, knowing well that he will be miserable, king though he be, if he meditate on self. 142
But I do think that women who spend all their lives on a diet probably have a miserable sex life: if your body is the enemy, how can you relax and take pleasure? Everything is about control, rather than relaxing, about holding everything in.
He [the Pyrrhonian] must acknowledge... that all human life must perish, were his principles universally and steadily to prevail. All discourse, all action would immediately cease; and men remain in a total lethargy, till the necessities of nature, unsatisfied, put an end to their miserable existence.
The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable. A tree does not know itself to be miserable. It is then being miserable to know oneself to be miserable; but it is also being great to know that one is miserable. 397
Pensées
• The grandeur of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable. [Variant Translation]
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pensées" (Brunschvicg Edition, Section VI: The Philosophers (339-424))
For me, growing up in the 1930s, the two motivations powerfully reinforced each other. The miserable failures of capitalist economies in the Great Depression were root causes of worldwide social and political disasters. The crisis triggered a fertile period of scientific ferment and revolution in economic theory.
Mel and I genuinely get on. It's like another marriage. He is very straightforward and never loses his rag. I run around in a frenzy most of the time. London cabbies will say to me, 'Your mate Mel's a miserable bastard', but he's far more grounded than me.
In economics the tendency of theory to lag behind observation seems to be endemic, and, as theorists, few of us consider this to be a "terrible state." But as noted by Lakatos (1978, p. 6), "where theory lags behind the facts, we are dealing with miserable degenerating research programmes."
Calvin: I hate all this wind! Boy, this is unpleasant! Stupid, miserable wind! What lousy weather! What an awful day! Hobbes: Well if you can't change it, what's the point in griping about it? Calvin: I'm not going to let a little wind be more annoying than me.   p20
We humanitarians, as our name suggests, believe that man has an ethical duty to man. We believe that the value of any system is measured by the consideration given to all human beings, not just to a favored class: and by that standard, our present system is a miserable failure.
Like handshakes, house pets, or raw carrots, many things are preferable when not slippery. Unfortunately, in this miserable volume, I am afraid that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire run into more than their fair share of slipperiness during their harrowing journey up -- and down -- a range of strange and distressing mountains.
No one has rightly denied himself unless he has wholly resigned himself to the Lord and is willing to leave every detail to his good pleasure. If we put ourselves in such a frame of mind, then, whatever may happen to us, we shall never feel miserable or accuse God falsely because of our lot.
John Calvin
• Page 44
• Source: Wikiquote: "John Calvin" (Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life: John Calvin's "Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life" (ISBN-10: 0801065283) was published December 1, 2004 by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michingan, United States. Source: Google Books)
When I am tired, it is easy to believe that my exhaustion is the reason I am depressed and lonely and uninspired. But when I am well-rested [sic], I can realize that these negative feelings are not a result of too little sleep. They are a result of my being a miserable, hopeless, misanthropic wretch.
I come to present the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come to place before the Legislature of Massachusetts the condition of the miserable, the desolate, the outcast. I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane men and women; of beings sunk to a condition from which the unconcerned world would start with real horror.
If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don't. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.
Jesus' message is about love and compassion, but there is nothing loving or compassionate at factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals endure miserable lives and die violent deaths. Jesus mandates kindness and mercy for all God's creatures. He'd be appalled by the suffering that we inflict on animals today to indulge our acquired taste for their flesh.
As the dove fell down on the ground, the female dove went on whirling round and round the dead body of its companion in grief. In a moment the poet became miserable, and looking round, he saw the hunter. "Thou art a wretch," he cried, without the smallest mercy!, "I have never spoken in this sort of way before."
The war is simply an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men, including all of us who have allowed it to go on and on with endless fury and destruction – all of us who would have remained silent had stability and order been secured. It is not pleasant to say such words, but candor permits no less.
This letter writing is a miserable way of communicating, after all, though I would not on any account be deprived of it. But when ones soul is full, and only a little sheet, to put it into, it is so aggravating. There are so many things I want to say, and feel with you, that I dont know where to begin.
Lucy Stone
• Letter to Antoinette Brown (c. August 1849) as quoted in Friends and Sisters: Letters Between Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, 1846–93 (1987) edited by Carol Lasser and Marlene Merrill
• Source: Wikiquote: "Lucy Stone" (Quotes)
...the miserable specimens who call themselves 'liberals' are really conservatives: they're desperately — even hysterically — defending a welfare-warfare kleptocracy that is now at least four generations old, against growing numbers of us (unlike Republicans, who seem to become more ignorant with every passing year) who have actually managed to learn something from history and are struggling to dismantle said kleptocracy.
In discussing the existence, or not, of the soul: "I am Caledon. Quite a few of my fellow Caledons still believe there is some essence to a human being, something that makes a person unique." "And you don't." "I don't. I see that people who believe in anything beyond plain physical reality are mainly engaged in making themselves or others miserable."
Come down out of the skies, you God, come on down and I'll hammer your face all over the city of Los Angeles, you miserable unpardonable prankster. If it wasn't for you, this woman would not be so maimed, and neither would the world, and if it wasn't for you I could have had Camilla Lopez down at the beach, but no!
Daisy was a consciously happy young woman without any of the usual endowments that make for conscious happiness, money apart. She was not pretty, she was not clever, she had no friends, no talents, nor even an imagination to make her think she was happy when she was really miserable. As she was never miserable, she had no need of an imagination.
People don't dream [in Estonia]. People don't have dreams. When your kid wants to be a superstar in America, the whole family supports the kid. If someone has talent it's appreciated and recognized. But in Estonia people will say: What, do you think you're better than us? We here, we are miserable, you're gonna be miserable too, because nobody can be different.
Though Frank Shallard might have come to admire pictures, great music, civilized furniture, he had been trained to regard them as worldly, and to content himself with art which 'presented a message,' to regard 'Les Miserables' as superior because the bishop was a kind man, and 'The Scarlet Letter' as a poor book because the heroine was sinful and the author didn't mind.
The problems we see today are going to be a hell of a lot worse in 10 years if we're not willing to face up to them. These kids are just not going to be absorbed into the economy, so what are they going to be doing? Well, we know. They're going to be making life pretty miserable for a lot of people.
Paige: Oh, mother, I've just had the most wonderful dream! I was in the land of TV Christmas Specials! I met Frosty and Rudolph and Snoopy... It was so, so magical! I forgot all about that miserable English paper that's been ruining my mood! Andy: You mean, the one you've barely started and that's due in 14 hours? Paige: Um... You're a mean one, Mrs. Grinch.
When I was little, I saw the play Les Misérables on Broadway, I thought it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. So I went to my manager and told him I wanted to be in it. He asked me if I could sing, and I said no. I took one lesson and landed the role of Cosette in a national tour of the musical
Dr. Martin Ellingham:-Had any family in? Roger Fenn:-Grown-up daughter. Decided not to call her, she stopped needing me a long time ago. Has a TV set of her own. You? Dr. Martin Ellingham:-No. Only child. Roger Fenn:-Parents dead? Dr. Martin Ellingham:-No. Retired. Portugal. Gone. Roger Fenn:-Nice. Dr. Martin Ellingham:-Vile. We don't speak. Roger Fenn:-You are a miserable bugger. Dr. Martin Ellingham:-(Taking this as a compliment) Thank you.
My main problem was, naturally, religion: from it I moved later on to the principles of ethics. First to be examined was my positive religion [ie. Judaism]. It collapsed. So I wanted to base myself on naturaly religion: but my agony was so great, that this [foundation] also collapsed before my eyes. Nothing, nothing remained. I was the most miserable person in the world. I became an atheist.
...all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber. ...when, after finding the cause of all our ills, I have sought to discover the reason of it, I have found that there is one very real reason, namely, the natural poverty of our feeble and mortal condition, so miserable that nothing can comfort us when we think of it closely. 139
I think Nature, if she interests herself much about her children, must often feel that, like the miserable Frankenstein, with her experimenting among the elements of humanity, she has brought beings into existence who have no business here; who can do none of her work, and endure none of her favours; whose life is only suffering; and whose action is one long protest against the ill foresight which flung them into consciousness.
Pat looked up at the cornice. "I’m on a gap year," she said, and added, because truth required it after all: "It’s my second gap year, actually." Bruce stared at her, and then burst out laughing. "Your second gap year?" Pat nodded. She felt miserable. Everybody said that. Everybody said that because they had no idea of what had happened. "My first one was a disaster," she said. "So I started again."
We could give the managers of these institutions the right to apply for euthanasia. The mother, who in spite of his miserable state, still loves her child, should have the right to appeal, but only if she takes care of the nursing and financing of the nursing of her child by herself. It would be best to apply for death with dignity as soon as incurable idiocy has been confirmed. p. 21.
Euthanasia
• Source: Wikiquote: "Euthanasia" (The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value: The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value, Its Measure and Its Form (1920), Karl Binding, Alfred Hoche. Originally Published in Germany by Felix Meiner in Leipzig, comments by Robert L. Sassone, 1975, Santa Anna, California, (abridged - 112 pages).
Title page - 1. Forward - 2. Table of Contents - 3. Introduction - 4. Chapter I. Legal Arguments by Professor Doctor of Jurisprudence and Philosophy Karl Binding. - 5. Chapter II. Medical Discussion of Euthanasia by Doctor Alfred Hoche. - 29. Chapter III. Comments on Chapter 1 and Similar Modern Statements by Robert L. Sassone. - 43. Chapter IV. Comments on Chapter 2 (Hoches Essay) by Robert L. Sassone. - 71. Chapter V. Comments on German Euthanasia Program. - 89.)
No man is base who does a true work; for true action is the highest being. No man is miserable that does a true work; for right action is the highest happiness. No man is isolated that does a true work; for useful action is the highest harmony — it is the highest harmony with nature and with souls — it is living association with men — and it is practical fellowship with God.
Labor
• Henry Giles, p. 369.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Labor" (Quotes, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895: Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).)
I was cautioned not to speak of Socialism, as the subject was unpopular. The advice was good ; Socialism was unpopular, and with good reason. The people had been wearied and disappointed by it ; had been filled full with theories, until they were nauseated, and had made such miserable attempts at practice, that they seemed ashamed of what they had been doing. An enthusiastic socialist would soon be cooled down at New Harmony.
The masses had already confused the meanings of Tasawwuf and it was believed that Sufis are those miserable failures in the world, who escape reality and pass their time as recluses in dark corners of oratories or mosques and that, they are incapable of self-sustenance and cannot courageously face the rigors of practical life. But this concept is not correct. The real Tasawwuf was taught by the Holy Prophet-SAW himself to his students, the Companions. http://www.owaisiah.com/engarticles/tasawwuf.htm
Soon there will be nothing left except the lying dreams of history, the miserable wreckage of our museums and picture-galleries, and the carefully guarded interiors of our aesthetic drawing-rooms, unreal and foolish, fitting witnesses of the life of corruption that goes on there, so pinched and meagre and cowardly, with its concealment and ignoring, rather than restraint of, natural longings; which does not forbid the greedy indulgence in them if it can but be decently hidden.
There are only two categories of happy people in the material world: fools and transcendentalists. Fools are so oblivious that they manage to convince themselves they are happy in this material prison. Transcendentalists are happy because they can see above the material dualities, and know that their parole is at hand. Everyone else is essentially miserable. This is because calamity in the material world cannot be avoided, just as water cannot be avoided in the ocean.
The difficulty in our education up till now lies, for the most part, in the fact that knowledge did not refine itself into will, to application of itself, to pure practice. The realists felt the need and supplied it, though in a most miserable way, by cultivating idea-less and fettered "practical men." Most college students are living examples of this sad turn of events. Trained in the most excellent manner, they go on training; drilled they continue drilling.
The wealth of the country was robbed and wasted in the interest of imperialism and the foreigner. In fact, everything in this country was exploited for the foreigner. The son of the people was living in miserable conditions. He was humiliated and insulted. Had we been patient for a time, it would have only been for the greatest explosion, as our people exploded with the Army in one day and destroyed the idols who were following the foreigners.
Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, The signet of its all-enslaving power Upon a shining ore, and called it gold; Before whose image bow the vulgar great, The vainly rich, the miserable proud, The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, And with blind feelings reverence the power That grinds them to the dust of misery. But in the temple of their hireling hearts Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn All earthly things but virtue.
Gold
• Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab (1813), Part V, Stanza 4.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gold" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 325-26.)
His ridiculous and diabolical opinions made me shudder. I began to look a little more closely at this person and was amazed to see something frightening in his face that I had not noticed before: his eyes were small and sunken, his skin dark, his mouth big, his chin hairy and his nails black. Oh God, I thought immediately, this miserable creature is condemned already and may even be the Antichrist that people talk about so much in our world.
The life of a godly man is like a river, not like a stagnant pool or a dead sea. It is ever in motion, sometimes sparkling in the sunbeam, and sometimes shivering in the clouds; sometimes chanting through scenery as beautiful as Eden, and sometimes moaning through districts of miserable desolation; sometimes clear as the day, and sometimes black as the night. Still it is ever moving to its ocean destiny — progress is its law, infinitude is its home.
If you understand comedy, you understand life. Drama, death, tragedy – everybody has these. But with humour you've got all these, and the antidote. You have found the answer. It doesn't follow that because you are a good comedy writer, you're a happy fellow. I've got one of the most miserable faces in the world. I am only happy when I am working. If I'm not working, I get screwed up because my time is going, my life is slipping by.
Elly is showering. During this she sings a classic Gene Kelly song, which she continues as she washes, dries off, dresses then applies makeup Elly {singing to herself}: Just singing in the rain, oh I am singing in the rain! Elly is fully dressed and ready to go out Elly {singing}: What a glorious feeling, I am happy again! As Elly approaches front door she hears a thundercrack then pouring rain. She walks outside grunting and miserable as it is raining
John Bonica formalized the recognition of pain as a clinical entity; the work emphasized the pain syndrome's individualized consideration, as opposed to it being thought of as little more than an accompaniment of acute trauma, or an even worse myth, the miserable complaints of neurotic patients who stubbornly refuse to heal. Bonica's formal conceptualization of pain as a disease state within its own right stimulated an ever widening wave of research and clinical application culminating in the newest specialty recognized in Medicine...
Curse the blasted, jelly-boned swines, the slimy, the belly-wriggling invertebrates, the miserable sodding rotters, the flaming sods, the sniveling, dribbling, dithering palsied pulse-less lot that make up England today. They've got white of egg in their veins, and their spunk is that watery its a marvel they can breed. They can nothing but frog-spawn — the gibberers! God, how I hate them! God curse them, funkers. God blast them, wish-wash. Exterminate them, slime. I could curse for hours and hours — God help me.
I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.
She had got up behind the chaise and her cloak had been caught by the wheel and was jammed in and it hung there. She was crying after it. Poor thing. Mr. Graham took her into the chaise and the cloak was released from the wheel but the child's misery did not cease for her cloak was torn to rags; it had been a miserable cloak before, but she had no other and it was the greatest sorrow that could befal her. Her name was Alice Fell.
Dorothy Wordsworth
• February 16, 1802
• This incident was the subject of Wordsworth's "Alice Fell".
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dorothy Wordsworth" (Sourced, Diaries: Quotations are taken from Mary Moorman's edition of the Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth (Oxford University Press, 1971) ISBN 0192811037, which see for cross-references to corresponding lines by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
We now continued our journey without encountering any further casualty, except in crossing the Arkansas river, where we lost several mules by drowning; and on the 22d of April we made our entrance into Van Buren. This trip was much more tedious and protracted than I had contemplated — owing, in the first part of the journey, to the inclemency of the season, and a want of pasturage for our animals; and, towards the conclusion, to the frequent rains, which kept the route in a miserable condition.
Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, blackmailing, cowardly, thoroughly dishonest creep. His so-called ‘talent’ consists of nothing but tormenting helpless creatures and, if necessary, torturing them to death or simply murdering them. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything except his wretched career as a so-called filmmaker. Driven by a pathological addiction to sensationalism, he creates the most senseless difficulties and dangers, risking other people’s safety and even their lives -just so he can eventually say that he, Herzog, has beaten seemingly unbeatable odds.
At the foot of the cross, in all humility and in all adoration, we have learned at once the depth and the height of human nature; we have learned to think all wisdom but foolishness for the knowledge of Christ; all purity but sin, unwashed by His atonement; all hope in earth, of all hopes the most miserable, but in the faith of His most blessed resurrection; content to bear the struggles of life, at His command; and submitting to the grave, with a consciousness that it can sting no more.
Both socialists and anarchists preach their gospel to the weary and heavy-laden, to the despondent and the outraged, who may readily be led to commit acts of despair. They have, after all, little to lose, and their life, at present unbearable, can be made little worse by punishment. Yet millions of the miserable have come into the socialist movement to hear the fiercest of indictments against capitalism, and it is but rare that one becomes a terrorist. What else than the teachings of anarchism and of socialism can explain this difference?
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, a child humanized or de-humanized.
The language of the Cape! … As if the miserable, bastard jargon, which is the vernacular of this country, is worthy of the name of language at all. … The poverty of expression in this jargon is such, that we defy any man to express thought in it above the merest common-place … There can be no literature with such a language, for poor as it is, it is hardly a written one … Let, then, your language and your nationality go, and believe us, you need not fear for your religion.
Afrikaans
• Editorial in The Cape Argus, 19 September 1857, a call for the extermination of the "atrocious vernacular of the Cape", the supposed nationality associated with it, and its replacement by English, quoted in Afrikaans en sy Europese Verlede, E. H. Raidt, p. 212, 1980, ISBN 0625014421.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Afrikaans" (Quotes)
We hope for lives whose story leaves us looking admirable; we like our weaknesses to be hidden and deniable... We want to enjoy our lives, and we want to enjoy them with a good conscience … Ethics is disturbing. We are often vaguely uncomfortable when we think of such things as exploitation of the world's resources, or the way our comforts are provided by the miserable labour conditions of the third world … '''Racists and sexists, like antebellum slave owners in America, always have to tell themselves a story that justifies their system.
"an official of the Minamata Chamber of Commerce wrote to the editor of the Kumamoto nichinichi shinbun: ''The truth of this frightful disease is know throughout the world through reports on the miserable situation of the patients, but no concrete measures have been taken to elimination the cause… The fishers, utterly dependent on compensation from Nitchitisu, have no rice for today, much less tomorrow. If bad sludge still remains why have the authorities and Nitchitsu made no serious attempts to remove it? At this state one action is more important than 10,000 words denying responsibility."
Harry: You may have freed your miserable ship, but I have you, Pearl! And you're going to tell me where the Interstellar Federation hides the Domesday Device! Once I have it, I will have the power to conquer the universe! The power to rule the galaxy! The power to make the planets grovel at my feet! Pearl: You're mad for power! That's all you want! Harry: Actually, I wouldn't mind a little money, too. So tell me, where is the Domesday Device? Pearl: No! No! 1,000 times no! I'd rather die!: Harry: Don't tempt me!
In a vacuum all photons travel at the same speed. They slow down when travelling through air or water or glass. Photons of different energies are slowed down at different rates. If Tolstoy had known this, would he have recognised the terrible untruth at the beginning of Anna Karenina? 'All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own particular way.' In fact it's the other way around. Happiness is a specific. Misery is a generalisation. People usually know exactly why they are happy. They very rarely know why they are miserable.
The Nazis are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of social revolution, whether they are guided by a false concept of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult. Eugenio Pacelli, quoted in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 4, 1963, quoted in the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Pius XII and the Holocaust (Milwaukee, Wisc.: The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1988), 106–107.
The consequences of the Ayatollah's blood-thirsty fiasco could be disastrous for the whole of Islam and particularly for Shiism. The systematic destruction, in the name of religion, of a state and a society which vigilantly safeguarded the peace, could have effects in this part of the world which would be disastrous for sincere believers of the Koran, and even for those who believe less wholeheartedly. The murderous megalomania and the agitation of Qom, combined with the miserable dictatorship of a handful of mollahs, are, I insist, all in direct contradiction with the essential principles of Islam.
… I shall not waste any time on such miserable twaddle as to say that I ought to have been elected. … It is the undoubted right of the people to change their servants, and to remove one and displace him with another at any time they choose, for a good reason, for a bad reason, or for no reason at all. If we are to remain a free people, it is the duty of public servants not grumpily and sourly to accept the verdict of the majority, but joyously to accept that verdict. . . .
Western psychologists accuse religion of repressing the vital energy of man and rendering his life quite miserable as a result of the sense of guilt which especially obsesses the religious people and makes them imagine that all their actions are sinful and can only be expiated through abstention from enjoying the pleasures of life. Those psychologists add that Europe lived in the darkness of ignorance as long as it adhered to its religion but once it freed itself from the fetters of religion, its emotions were liberated and accordingly it achieved wonders in the field of production.
Sometimes the duck is tormented in a different manner, without the assistance of the dogs; by having an owl tied upon her back, and so put into the water, where she frequently dives in order to escape from the burden, and on her return for air, the miserable owl, half drowned, shakes itself, and hooting, frightens the duck; she of course dives again, and replunges the owl into the water; the frequent repetition of this action soon deprives the poor bird of its sensation, and generally ends in its death, if not in that of the duck also.
You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives–the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture.
That life is difficult, I have often bitterly realized. I now had further cause for serious reflection. Right up to the present I have never lost the feeling of contradiction that lies behind all knowledge. My life has been miserable and difficult, and yet to others, and sometimes to myself, it has seemed rich and wonderful. Man's life seems to me like a long, weary night that would be intolerable if there were not occasionally flashes of light, the sudden brightness of which is so comforting and wonderful, that the moments of their appearance cancel out and justify the years of darkness.
Reaching the little village of Santo Domingo before it was yet noon, a distance of eighteen miles from our camping-ground of the previous night. At this village our men first had cause to thank the women for their kindness. The latter came running out of the mud houses in every direction, bringing tortillas, baked pumpkins, and dry ears of corn, and fairly shedding tears at our forlorn and miserable appearance. The corn was our principal food, and was swallowed after simply roasting the ears a short time before the fire, although many of the more hungry among our men ate it raw.
It's a choice, Wesley, that each of us must face: to remain ordinary, pathetic, beat-down, coasting through a miserable existence, like sheep herded by fate, or you can take control of your own destiny and join us, releasing the caged wolf you have inside. Our purpose is to maintain stability in an unstable world — kill one, save a thousand. Within the fabric of this world, every life hangs by a thread. We are that thread — a fraternity of assassins, weapons of fate. This is the decision that lies before you now: the sheep, or the wolf. The choice is yours.
It is ugly ducklings, grown either into swans or into remarkably big, remarkably ugly ducks, who are responsible for most works of art; and yet how few of these give a truthful account of what it was like to be an ugly duckling!—it is almost as if the grown, successful swan had repressed most of the memories of the duckling’s miserable, embarrassing, magical beginnings. (The memories are deeply humiliating in two ways: they remind the adult that he was once more ignorant and gullible and emotional than he is; and they remind him that he once was, potentially, far more than he is.)
What fascinates me about Van Gogh is that his sun dries up everything. Maybe he was melodramatic but my point really is … if you are a painter you have to face that self-consciousness. You get dirty and pathetic; very miserable. It makes me self-conscious to talk about it. There is something corrupt on art. Nothing do with any ‘ism’ but a thing in nature loses its innocence and becomes a grotesque thing … maybe this difficulty is personal with me, and maybe it is something that other painters have in common. Perhaps it is also something of today. (conversation with W.C. Seitz)
Twin-sister of Religion, Selfishness! Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all The wanton horrors of her bloody play; Yet frozen, unimpassioned, spiritless, Shunning the light, and owning not its name, Compelled by its deformity to screen With flimsy veil of justice and of right Its unattractive lineaments that scare All save the brood of ignorance; at once The cause and the effect of tyranny; Unblushing, hardened, sensual and vile; Dead to all love but of its abjectness; With heart impassive by more noble powers Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame; Despising its own miserable being, Which still it longs, yet fears, to disenthrall.
I am absurdly fearful, and various omens have combined to give me a dark feeling. I am become indeed a miserable coward, for the sake of Angelino. I fear heat and cold, fear the voyage, fear biting poverty. I hope I shall not be forced to be as brave for him, as I have been for myself, and that, if I succeed to rear him, he will be neither a weak nor a bad man. But I love him too much! In case of mishap, however, I shall perish with my husband and my child, and we may be transferred to some happier state.
Margaret Fuller
• Letter (Spring 1850)
• I am absurdly fearful about this voyage. Various little omens have combined to give me a dark feeling.... Perhaps we shall live to laugh at these. But in case of mishap I should perish with my husband and child, perhaps to be transferred to some happier state.
 • Letter to Marchioness Visconti Arconati (6 April 1850) as quoted in Margaret Fuller Ossoli by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, p. 274, the differences could be from differing translations or from omissions, as Emerson is said to have highly edited many of the letters as published in Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Margaret Fuller" (Quotes, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852))
My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him. No one ever lived, who was so good, so kind, so gentle, and so sorry for all people who did wrong, or were in any way ill or miserable, as he was. And as He is now in Heaven, where we hope to go, and all to meet each other after we are dead, and there be happy always together, you never can think what a good place Heaven is, without knowing who he was and what he did.
About Jesus
• Charles Dickens, The Life of Our Lord (1849), Chapter 1, opening paragraph.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Jesus" (Quotes about Jesus: Sorted by historical period and date, with sections for quotes from major religious works., The Nineteenth Century)
[After finding out Bobby is taking bets on how long Louie can act like a good person, Louie hooks him up to the tow lift.] You no good little slimebag! I'm going to make you the second most miserable cab driver in New York City! I'll make sure your windows don't open in the summer, and that the heating doesn't work in the winter! I'll take the headrest off your driver's seat and send you to the most desolate parts of town! [begins to walk away, then turns around] The most miserable cab driver in New York is the one that either lets him down...or feeds him!
Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other re- sources which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty. But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos. They do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people who, growing up in the society, learn to cope, as children born to untouchables in India acquire the skills and attitudes necessary for survival in the miserable roles they are destined to fill.
Hold somebody's hand and feel its warmth. Gram per gram, it converts 10 000 times more energy per second than the sun. You find this hard to believe? Here are the numbers: an average human weighs 70 kilograms and consumes about 12 600 kilojoules/day; that makes about 2 millijoules/gram.second, or 2 milliwatts/gram. For the sun it's a miserable 0.2 microjoules/gram.second. Some bacteria, such as the soil bacterium "Azotobacter" convert as much as 10 joules/gram.second, outperforming the sun by a factor 50 million. I am warm because inside each of my body cells there are dozens, hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria that burn the food I eat.
Sun
• Gottfried Schatz, "The tragic matter", Jeff's View on Science and Scientists (2006), p. 43, ISBN 978-0-444-52133-0, ISBN 0-444-52133-X
• Source: Wikiquote: "Sun" (Quotes)
But where is the antidote for lucid despair, perfectly articulated, proud, and sure? All of us are miserable, but how many know it? The consciousness of misery is too serious a disease to figure in an arithmetic of agonies or in the catalogues of the Incurable. It belittles the prestige of hell, and converts the slaughterhouses of time into idyls. What sin have you committed to be born, what crime to exist? Your suffering like your fate is without motive. To suffer, truly to suffer, is to accept the invasion of ills without the excuse of causality, as a favor of demented nature, as a negative miracle. . .
This city is grey and miserable. The houses are covered with soot, the people grave and taciturn. Black masses move along the streets; meager and pale faces, the necks bend down. Children are sitting at the street corners, begging. In front of the shops women are standing with old, grey faces. Night falls. The discharge tubes ignite. Light shines down on misery and filth. My heart wrenches. Whores and pimps are dragging themselves through the small and narrow lanes. Yonder red lights are glowing. The evening seems to spread black wings over the city. Richness and misery are living close to each other. It makes you feel like crying.
Joseph Goebbels
Grau ist die Stadt und elend. Die Häuser verrußt, die Menschen ernst und wortkarg. Schwarze Massen wälzen sich durch die Straßen; schmale, bleiche Gesichter über gebeugte Nacken. Kinder sitzen an den Straßenecken und betteln. Vor den Läden stehen Frauen mit alten, grauen Gesichtern.
Es wird Abend. Die Bogenlampen flammen auf. Licht über Elend und Schmutz.
Das Herz krampft sich mir zusammen.
Durch schmale, enge Gassen schlurfen Dirnen und Zuhälter. Da brennen rote Lichter. Es ist, als schlüge der Abend schwarze Flügel über die Stadt. Reichtum und Elend wohnen hier nebeneinander.
Man möchte weinen.

• Source: Wikiquote: "Joseph Goebbels" (Quotes, Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926): Michael: ein Deutsches Schicksal in Tagebuchblättern, Zentralverlag der NSDAP, Franz Eher Nachf., Munich, 7th edition, 1935)
I stick to what I know. If I've objected strongly to Christianity, it has been because Christianity is deeply branded by a very virulent humiliation motif. One of its main tenets is 'I, a miserable sinner, born in sin, who have sinned all my days, etc.' Our way of living and behaving under this punishment is completely atavistic. I could go on talking about this humiliation business for ever. It's one of the big basic experiences. I react very strongly to every form of humiliation; and a person in my situation, in my position, has been exposed to whole series of real humiliations. Not to mention having humiliated others!
Ingmar Bergman
• Torsten Manns interview
• Source: Wikiquote: "Ingmar Bergman" (Quotes, Bergman on Bergman (1970): Bergman on Bergman: Interviews with Ingmar Bergman (1970); Interviews (1968 - 1970) by Stig Bjorkman, Torsten Manns and Jonas Sima; English translation by Paul Britten Austin (1973) ISBN 0306805200 )
My friends, I tell you that hitherto you have been prevented from even knowing what happiness really is, solely in consequence of the errors — gross errors — that have been combined with the fundamental notions of every religion that has hitherto been taught to men. And, in consequence, they have made man the most inconsistent, and the most miserable being in existence. By the errors of these systems he has been made a weak, imbecile animal; a furious bigot and fanatic or a miserable hypocrite; and should these qualities be carried, not only into the projected villages, but into Paradise itself, a Paradise would no longer be found!
“We promised the Europeans freedom. It would be worse than dishonorable not to see they have it. This might mean war with the Russians, but what of it? They have no Air Force anymore, their gasoline and ammunition supplies are low. I've seen their miserable supply trains; mostly wagons draw by beaten up old hoses or oxen. I'll say this; the Third Army alone with very little help and with damned few casualties, could lick what is left of the Russians in six weeks. You mark my words. Don't ever forget them... Someday we will have to fight them and it will take six years and cost us six million lives.
Exploitative is the key word here. It suggests that while you are free to be as sexually miserable as you like, the moment you exchange hard cash for a copy of Playboy, you are in the pornography perpetuation business, and your misery becomes political. The truth is that pornography is just a sad affair all around. It is there because men in their hundreds of millions want it to be there. Killing pornography is like killing the messenger. The extent to which Larkin was "dependent" on pornography should be a measure our pity, or even our sympathy. But Motion hears the beep of his political pager, and he stands to attention.
I could not define how I entered into the struggle. Probably like a man who, walking the street, with his preoccupations, his needs and his own thoughts, surprised by the fire which is consuming a house, takes off his jacket and rushes to give help to those who are the prey of flames. With the common sense of a young man of twenty or so, this is the only thing I understood in all I was seeing : that we were losing the Fatherland, that we would no longer have the Fatherland, that, with the unwitting support of the miserable, impoverished and exploited Romanian workers, the Jewish horde would sweep us away.
Hundreds of individual cases of persecution such as blackmailing, beating, imprisoning, etc., could be stated but which would lend no further weight to the general statement of outrages that are being practiced daily upon a defenseless and inoffensive people that demand nothing more than to be given a chance to eke out at best a miserable existence. The government has been appealed to by various prominent people and even by those in authority to put an end to these conditions, under the representations that is can only lead to the greatest blame and reproach, but all to no avail. It is without doubt a carefully planned scheme to thoroughly extinguish the Armenian race.
Armenian genocide
• J. B. Jackson, American Consul General at Aleppo, June 5, 1915 US State Department Record Group 59, 867.4016/77
• Source: Wikiquote: "Armenian genocide" (Quotes: Quotations arranged alphabetically by author)
Most people measure their happiness in terms of physical pleasure and material possession. Could they win some visible goal which they have set on the horizon, how happy they could be! Lacking this gift or that circumstance, they would be miserable. If happiness is to be so measured, I who cannot hear or see have every reason to sit in a corner with folded hands and weep. If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life, — if, in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing.
Life passes, with us all, a day at a time; so it passed with our friend Tom, till two years were gone. Though parted from all his soul held dear, and though often yearning for what lay beyond, still was he never positively and consciously miserable; for, so well is the harp of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every string can wholly mar its harmony; and, on looking back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable.
Jesus Christ was born in a stable; He was obliged to fly into Egypt; thirty years of His life were spent in a workshop; He suffered hunger, thirst, and weariness; He was poor, despised, and miserable; He taught the doctrines of heaven, and no one would listen. The great and the wise persecuted and took Him, subjected Him to frightful torments, treated Him as a slave, and put Him to death between two malefactors, having preferred to give liberty to a robber, rather than to suffer Him to escape. Such was the life which our Lord chose; while we are horrified at any kind of humiliation, and cannot bear the slightest appearance of contempt.
Such souls are, in these days, getting somewhat out of humour with the world. Your very Byron, in these days, is at least driven mad; flatly refuses fealty to the world. The world with its injustices, its golden brutalities, and dull yellow guineas, is a disgust to such souls: the ray of Heaven that is in them does at least pre-doom them to be very miserable here. Yes:—and yet all misery is faculty misdirected, strength that has not yet found its way. The black whirlwind is mother of the lightning. No smoke, in any sense, but can become flame and radiance! Such soul, once graduated in Heaven's stern University, steps out superior to your guinea.
The hardship of it was a pleasure. Life was a pleasure; he looked back at its moments, many of them as shrouded in mist as the opposite bank of the Thames. Objectively, many of them held only misery, fear, confusion; but afterward, and even at the time, he had known an exhilaration stronger than the misery, fear, or confusion. A fragment of belief came to him from another epoch: Cogito ergo sum. For him that had not been true; his truth had been: Sentio ergo sum. I feel, so I exist. He enjoyed this fearful, miserable, confused life, and not only because it made more sense than nonlife. He could never explain that to anyone.
Ali: 89And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them,- although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith,- when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith. 90Miserable is the price for which they have sold their souls, in that they deny (the revelation) which Allah has sent down, in insolent envy that Allah of His Grace should send it to any of His servants He pleases: Thus have they drawn on themselves Wrath upon Wrath. And humiliating is the punishment of those who reject Faith.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.
Now, Lincoln' position was consistent throughout the debates. A great deal is said—Dr. DiLorenzo says it, but it's been said countless times before—that Lincoln used racist language in the debates. That’s not true. Now what Lincoln argued for in the debates was the recognition of the natural rights of black people, when Douglas said that if the people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, they certainly are good enough to govern a few miserable Negroes. And Lincoln replied by saying, 'I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are as good as the average of people elsewhere, what I say is that no man is good enough to govern another without his consent'.
People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it. Of course, that's both liberating and alarming. But the generic city, the general urban condition, is happening everywhere, and just the fact that it occurs in such enormous quantities must mean that it's habitable. Architecture can't do anything that the culture doesn't. We all complain that we are confronted by urban environments that are completely similar. We say we want to create beauty, identity, quality, singularity. And yet, maybe in truth these cities that we have are desired. Maybe their very characterlessness provides the best context for living.
The problem, if anything, was precisely the opposite. I had too much to write: too many fine and miserable buildings to construct and streets to name and clock towers to set chiming, too many characters to raise up from the dirt like flowers whose petals I peeled down to the intricate frail organs within, too many terrible genetic and fiduciary secrets to dig up and bury and dig up again, too many divorces to grant, heirs to disinherit, trysts to arrange, letters to misdirect into evil hands, innocent children to slay with rheumatic fever, women to leave unfulfilled and hopeless, men to drive to adultery and theft, fires to ignite at the hearts of ancient houses.
Hold somebody's hand and feel its warmth. Gram per gram, it converts 10 000 times more energy per second than the sun. You find this hard to believe? Here are the numbers: an average human weighs 70 kilograms and consumes about 12 600 kilojoules / day; that makes about 2 millijoules / gram.second, or 2 milliwatts / gram. For the sun it's miserable 0.2 microjoules / gram.second. Some bacteria, such as the soil bacterium "Azotobacter" convert as much as 10 joules / gram.second, outperforming the sun by a factor 50 million. I am warm because inside each of my body cells there are dozens, hundreds or even tousands of mitochondria that burn the food I eat.
Energy
• Gottfried Schatz, in "Jeff's view on science and scientists", Amsterdam, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006, ISBN 978-0-444-52133-0, ISBN 0-444-52133-X (pbk.), p. 43, "The tragic matter"
• Source: Wikiquote: "Energy" (Quotes)
    I am dying, Egypt, dying: Give me some wine, and let me speak a little. . . The miserable change now at my end Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts In feeding them with those my former fortunes Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o' the world, The noblest; and do now not basely die, Not cowardly put off my helmet to My countryman,--a Roman by a Roman Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going; I can no more.   - Antony As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,-- O Antony!--Nay, I will take thee too. What should I stay--   - Cleopatra, as she applies the second asp to her arm.
Hold somebody's hand and feel its warmth. Gram per gram, it converts 10 000 times more energy per second that the sun. You find this hard to believe? Here are the numbers: an average human weighs 70 kilograms and consumes about 12 600 kilojoules / day; that makes about 2 millijoules / gram.second, or 2 milliwatts / gram. For the sun it's a miserable 0.2 microjoules / gram.second. Some bacteria, such as the soil bacterium "Azotobacter" convert as much as 10 joules / gram.second, outperforming the sun by a factor 50 million. I am warm because inside each of my body cells there are dozens, hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria that burn the food I eat.
Vain are the beliefs and teachings that make man miserable, and false is the goodness that leads him into sorrow and despair, for it is man's purpose to be happy on this earth and lead the way to felicity and preach its gospel wherever he goes. He who does not see the kingdom of heaven in this life will never see it in the coming life. We came not into this life by exile, but we came as innocent creatures of God, to learn how to [[worship] the holy and eternal spirit and seek the hidden secrets within ourselves from the beauty of life. This is the truth which I have learned from the teachings of the Nazarene.
I cannot conceive of anything after my physical death—perhaps it will end it all. The knowledge that I am now on this earth and a mysterious part of eternity is enough for me. My death will be an easy one, too, for since early youth I have always detached myself from family, friends, and surroundings. And should I live on, I have no fear of the next life. Whatever good I did helped to free me from myself. What a miserable creature man would be if he were good not for the sake of being good, but because religion told him that he would get a reward after this life, and that if he weren't good he'd be punished.
The butchering of harmless animals cannot fail to produce much of that spirit of insane and hideous exultation in which news of a victory is related altho' purchased by the massacre of a hundred thousand men. If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery.
I haven't tried to picture this war in a big, broad-minded way. I'm not old enough to understand what it's all about, and I'm not experienced enough to judge its failures and successes. My reactions are those of a young guy who has been exposed to some of it, and I try to put those reactions in my drawings. Since I'm a cartoonist maybe I can be funny after the war, but nobody who has seen this war can be cute about it while it's going on. The only way I can try to be a little funny is to make something out of the humorous situations which come up even when you don't think life could be any more miserable.
Contemporary scholars Smith and Novak relate: "During the first watch of the night, Gautama saw, one by one, his many thousands of previous lifetimes. During the second watch, his vision widened. It surveyed the death and rebirth of the whole universe of living beings and noted the ubiquitous sway of the law of karma—that good actions lead to happy rebirths, bad actions to miserable ones. During the third watch, Gautama saw what made the whole thing go: the universal law of causal interdependence. He called it dependent arising, and later identified it as the very heart of his message. Thus armed, he made quick work of the last shreds of ignorant clinging that bound him to the wheel of birth and death."
Misery is a vacuum. A space without air, a suffocated dead place, the abode of the miserable. Misery is a tenement block, rooms like battery cages, sit over your own droppings, lie on your own filth. Misery is a no U-turns, no stopping road. Travel down it pushed by those behind, tripped by those in front. Travel down it at furious speed though the days are mummified in lead. It happens so fast once you get started, there's no anchor from the real world to slow you down, nothing to hold on to. Misery pulls away the brackets of life leaving you to free fall. Whatever your private hell, you'll find millions like it in Misery. This is the town where everyone's nightmares come true.
There were many things I could do for two or three days and earn enough money to live on for the rest of the month. By temperament I’m a vagabond and a tramp. I don’t want money badly enough to work for it. In my opinion it’s a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours — all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.
    2The writer once had an eight-year-old car in good running condition. A friend of his, a repairman who knew the condition of the car, kept urging him to make it for a new model. "But why?" the writer asked. "The old car's in fine shape still." The repairman answered scornfully, "Yeah, but what the hell. All you've got is transportation."     Recently, the term "transportation car" has begun to appear in advertisements; for example, "'48 Dodge -- Runs perfectly good; transportation car. Leaving, must sell. $100." (Classified section of the Pali Press, Kailua Hawaii.) Apparently it means a car that has no symbolic or prestige value and is good only for getting you there and bringing you back -- a miserable kind of vehicle indeed!
I am going to tell you something, Pedro, which may surprise you, though you are also a cardinal, and being a cardinal myself. I have spent all my life here in the Roman Curia and I believe I have the authority to tell you this. Having spent twenty-two years at the Holy Office, and been Secretary of State during an entire pontificate, I have reached the following conclusion. There are two elements to the Church, the divine and the human. As for the divine aspect, I have tried to do what little I could; I would give my life for it a thousand times over. But as for its human side, my dear Pedro, how miserable it is. Nevertheless, we must carry on if that is God's will.
The first war had ruined him. He had volunteered, though he was over military age and was fighting a country he loved; his health was broken, and he came back to a new literary world which had carefully eliminated him. For some of his later work he could not even find a publisher in England. No wonder he preferred to live abroad — in Provence or New York. But I don't suppose failure disturbed him much: he had never really believed in human happiness, his middle life had been made miserable by passion, and he had come through — with his humour intact, his stock of unreliable anecdotes, the kind of enemies a man ought to have, and a half-belief in a posterity which would care for good writing.
I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God's word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.
Long devotions are a weariness to healthy children. If, unhappily, they have been made unhealthy — if they have been taught to look into themselves, and made to imagine themselves miserable and fallen, and every moment exciting God's anger, and so need these long devotions — their premature sensibility will exhaust itself over comparative trifles; and, by and by, when the real occasion comes, they will find that, like people who talk of common things in superlatives, their imagination will have wasted what will then be really needed. Their present state will explain to themselves the unreality of their former state; but the heart will have used out its power, and thoughts, which have been made unreal, by an unreal use of them, will be unreal still, and for ever.
    2The writer once had an eight-year-old car in good running condition. A friend of his, a repairman who knew the condition of the car, kept urging him to make it for a new model. "But why?" the writer asked. "The old car's in fine shape still." The repairman answered scornfully, "Yeah, but what the hell. All you've got is transportation."     Recently, the term "transportation car" has begun to appear in advertisements; for example, "'48 Dodge -- Runs perfectly good; transportation car. Leaving, must sell. $100." (Classified section of the Pali Press, Kailua Hawaii.) Apparently it means a car that has no symbolic or prestige value and is good only for getting you there and bringing you back -- a miserable kind of vehicle indeed! (Footnote, p.26)
Yes, it is mere talk. But why is it mere talk? Because, my friend, beauty, purity, respectability, religion, morality, art, patriotism, bravery and the rest are nothing but words which I or anyone else can turn inside out like a glove. Were they realities, you would have to plead guilty to my indictment; but fortunately for your self-respect, my diabolical friend, they are not realities. As you say, they are mere words, useful for duping barbarians into adopting civilization, or the civilized poor into submitting to be robbed and enslaved. That is the family secret of the governing caste; and if we who are of that caste aimed at more Life for the world instead of at more power and luxury for our miserable selves, that secret would make us great.
The fifth act of the great drama in Flanders opened on the 22nd October. Enormous masses of ammunition, such as the human mind had never imagined before the war, were hurled upon the bodies of men who passed a miserable existence scattered about in mud-filled shell-holes. The horror of the shell-hole area of Verdun was surpassed. It was no longer life at all. It was mere unspeakable suffering. And through this world of mud the attackers dragged themselves, slowly, but steadily, and in dense masses. Caught in the advanced zone by our hail of fire they often collapsed, and the lonely man in the shell-hole breathed again. Then the mass came on again. Rifle and machine-gun jammed with the mud. Man fought against man, and only too often the mass was successful.
Those who have a lively imagination are a great deal more pleased with themselves than the wise can reasonably be. They look down upon men with haughtiness; they argue with boldness and confidence, others with fear and diffidence; and this gaiety of countenance often gives them the advantage in the opinion of the hearers, such favor have the imaginary wise in the eyes of judges of like nature. Imagination cannot make fools wise; but she can make them happy, to the envy of reason which can only make its friends miserable; the one covers them with glory, the other with shame. What but this faculty of imagination dispenses reputation, awards respect and veneration to persons, works, laws, and the great? How insufficient are all the riches of the earth without her consent! 82
Pensées
• Who dispenses reputation? Who makes us respect and revere persons, works, laws, the great? Who but this faculty of imagination? All the riches of the earth are inadequate without its approval. [Variant Translation]
• Those who are clever in imagination are far more pleased with themselves than prudent men could reasonably be. [Variant Translation]
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pensées" (Brunschvicg Edition, Section II: The Misery of Man without God (60-183))
Many a time I have sat in the jungle in Central India watching a bait, in the form of a bullock or calf tied to a tree, awaiting the arrival of the lord of the forest, and put there as a trap to entice him to his doom. On this occasion, I have exactly the same feelings as those of the miserable animal whom I have so often looked upon in that position, and, if I compare myself to that bait, I may compare my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) to the tiger. I hope that hon. Members and the right hon. Gentleman himself will remember, however, that there is waiting for the tiger a pair of lynx eyes and a sure and safe rifle to ensure his ultimate fate.
I think there is a difference between the human being and the individual. The individual is a local entity, living in a particular country, belonging to a particular culture, particular society, particular religion. The human being is not a local entity. He is everywhere. If the individual merely acts in a particular corner of the vast field of life, then his action is totally unrelated to the whole. So one has to bear in mind that we are talking of the whole not the part, because in the greater the lesser is, but in the lesser the greater is not. The individual is the little conditioned, miserable, frustrated entity, satisfied with his little gods and his little traditions, whereas a human being is concerned with the total welfare, the total misery and total confusion of the world.
On the other hand, the cheapest form of pride is national pride; for the man affected therewith betrays a want of individual qualities of which he might be proud, since he would not otherwise resort to that which he shares with so many millions. The man who possesses outstanding personal qualities will rather see most clearly the faults of his own nation, for he has them constantly before his eyes. But every miserable fool, who has nothing in the world whereof he could be proud, resorts finally to being proud of the very nation to which he belongs. In this he finds compensation and is now ready and thankful to defend, … all the faults and follies peculiar to it.(From 'Parerga and Paralipomena', Vol. 1, Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, 'What A Man Represents', pp. 360)
Arthur Schopenhauer
• Source: Wikiquote: "Arthur Schopenhauer" (Quotes, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851): Various portions of this large work have been translated and published in English under various titles. It is here divided up into sections corresponding to those of the original volumes and some of the cited translations. , Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life: Quotes from Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit, using various translations, also translated as On The Wisdom of Life : Aphorisms)
My acceptance of the universe is not optimism, it is more like patriotism. It is a matter of primary loyalty. The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton, which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it. The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more. All optimistic thoughts about England and all pessimistic thoughts about her are alike reasons for the English patriot. Similarly, optimism and pessimism are alike arguments for the cosmic patriot.
His greatest virtue was following through but fate could grant him only that rare and tragic greatness of dying in armed defence of an anachronistic booby of bourgeois law, defending a Supreme Court of Justice that had repudiated him but would legitimise his murderers, defending a miserable Congress that had declared him illegitimate but which was to bend complacently before the will of the usurpers, defending the freedom of opposition parties that had sold their souls to fascism, defending the whole moth-eaten paraphernalia of a shitty system that he had proposed abolishing but without a shot being fired. The drama took place in Chile, to the greater woe of the Chileans, but it will pass into history as something that has happened to us all, children of this age, and it will remain in our lives for ever.
I know but one man, of more than miserable intellect, who in these modern times has dared defend eternal punishment on the score of justice, and that is Leibnitz; a man who, if I know him rightly, chose the subject from its difficulty as an opportunity for the display of his genius, and cared so little for the truth that his conclusions did not cost his heart a pang, or wring a single tear from him. And what does Leibnitz say? That sin, forsooth, though itself be only finite, yet, because it is against an Infinite Being, contracts a character of infinity, and so must be infinitely punished. '''It is odd that the clever Leibnitz should not have seen that a finite punishment, inflicted by the same Infinite Being, would itself of course contract the same character of infinity.
Vous avez raison, monsieur, quand vous me dites que le livre les Misérables est écrit pour tous les peuples. Je ne sais s'il sera lu par tous, mais je l'ai écrit pour tous. Il s'adresse à l'Angleterre autant qu'à l'Espagne, à l'Italie autant qu'à la France, à l'Allemagne autant qu'à l'Irlande, aux républiques qui ont des esclaves aussi bien qu'aux empires qui ont des serfs. Les problèmes sociaux dépassent les frontières. Les plaies du genre humain, ces larges plaies qui couvrent le globe, ne s'arrêtent point aux lignes bleues ou rouges tracées sur la mappemonde. Partout où l'homme ignore et désespère, partout où la femme se vend pour du pain, partout où l'enfant souffre faute d'un livre qui l'enseigne et d'un foyer qui le réchauffe, le livre les Misérables frappe à la porte et dit: Ouvrez-moi, je viens pour vous.
Victor Hugo
• You are right, sir, when you tell me that Les Misérables is written for all nations. I do not know whether it will be read by all, but I wrote it for all. It is addressed to England as well as to Spain, to Italy as well as to France, to Germany as well as to Ireland, to Republics which have slaves as well as to Empires which have serfs. Social problems overstep frontiers. The sores of the human race, those great sores which cover the globe, do not halt at the red or blue lines traced upon the map. In every place where man is ignorant and despairing, in every place where woman is sold for bread, wherever the child suffers for lack of the book which should instruct him and of the hearth which should warm him, the book of Les Misérables knocks at the door and says: "Open to me, I come for you."
• Source: Wikiquote: "Victor Hugo" (Quotes, Letter To M. Daelli on Les Misérables (1862): Publisher of the Italian translation of Les Misérables (18 October 1862))
… consequently, either the before-mentioned statement or this historical record must be false. Now let us consider how many relics of the true cross there are in the world. An account of those merely with which I am acquainted would fill a whole volume, for there is not a church, from a cathedral to the most miserable abbey or parish church, that does not contain a piece. Large splinters of it are preserved in various places, as for instance in the Holy Chapel at Paris, whilst at Rome they show a crucifix of considerable size made entirely, they say, from this wood. In short, if we were to collect all these pieces of the true cross exhibited in various parts, they would form a whole ship's cargo. The Gospel testifies that the cross could be borne by one single individual;..
In that Renaissance (Cellini, Tintoretto, Titian..) there was an explosion of unique truthfulness, a love of painting and form.. ..Then come the Jesuits and everything is formal; everything has to be taught and learned. It required a revolution for nature to be rediscovered; for Delacroix to paint his beach at Etratat, Corot his roman rubble, Courbet his forest scenes and his waves. And how miserable slow that revolution was, how many stages it had to go through!.. ..These artists had not yet discovered that nature has more to do with depth than with surfaces. I can tell you, you can do things to the surface.. ..but by going deep you automatically go to the truth. You feel a healthy need to be truthful. You’d rather strip your canvas right down than invent or imagine a detail. You want to know.
Paul Cézanne
• pp. 156-157, in: 'What he told me – I. The motif'
• Source: Wikiquote: "Paul Cézanne" (Quotes, Joachim Gasquet’s Cézanne, - a Memoir with Conversations, (1897 - 1906): Joachim Gasquet’s Cézanne, - a Memoir with Conversations, (1897 - 1906); Thames and Hudson, London 1991)
The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
Of all the religions ever devised by the great practical jokers of the race, [Christianity] is the one that offers most for the least money, so to speak, to the inferior man. It starts out by denying his inferiority in plain terms: all men are equal in the sight of God. It ends by erecting that inferiority into a sort of actual superiority: it is a merit to be stupid, and miserable, and sorely put upon—of such are the celestial elect. Not all the eloquence of a million Nietzsches, nor all the painful marshalling of evidence of a million Darwins and Harnacks, will ever empty that great consolation of its allure. The most they can ever accomplish is to make the superior orders of men acutely conscious of the exact nature of it, and so give them armament against the contagion.
The whole conception of a God is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
I am more than seventy years old. Having lived under different regimes, from Japanese colonialism to Taiwan’s recovery, I have greatly experienced the miseries of the Taiwanese people. In the period of Japanese colonialism, a Taiwanese would be punished by being forced to kneel out in the sun for speaking Tai-yü. The situation was the same when Taiwan was recovered: my son, Hsien-wen, and my daughter-in-law, Yüeh-yün, often wore a dunce board around their necks in the school as punishment for speaking Tai-yü... [Taiwanese peoples’] lives are influenced by history. I think the most miserable people are Taiwanese, who have always tried in vain to get their heads above the water. This was the Taiwanese situation during the period of colonialism; it was not any different after Taiwan’s recovery [that is, the rule of the Chiang-era KMT]. I have deep feelings about this.
Lee Teng-hui
Chung-yang jih-pao (Central Daily News), International Edition, 1994-04-16), as quoted in Hsiau, A-chin, "Language Ideology in Taiwan: The KMT’s language policy, the Tai-yü language movement, and ethnic politics," Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development (1997), 18.4, p. 302
• Source: Wikiquote: "Lee Teng-hui" (Quotes)
To organize Anarchy, is the problem which the revolutionists have and will eternally have to resolve. It is the rock of Sisyphus that will always fall back upon them. To exist a single instant, they are and always will be by fatality reduced to improvise a despotism without other reason of existence than necessity, and which, consequently, is violent and blind as Necessity. We escape from the harmonious monarchy of Reason, only to fall under the irregular dictatorship of Folly. Sometimes superstitious enthusiasms, sometimes the miserable calculations of the materialist instinct have led astray the nations, and God at last urges the world on toward believing Reason and reasonable Beliefs. We have had prophets enough without philosophy, and philosophers without religion; the blind believers and the skeptics resemble each other, and are as far the one as the other from the eternal salvation.
Albert Pike
• Ch. XXXII : Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
• Source: Wikiquote: "Albert Pike" (Quotes, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871): Also published as The Magnum Opus or the Great Work of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry)
Christian doctrine detected the oddities of life. It not only discovered the law, but it foresaw the exceptions. Those underrate Christianity who say that it discovered mercy; any one might discover mercy. In fact every one did. But to discover a plan for being merciful and also severe—that was to anticipate a strange need of human nature. For no one wants to be forgiven for a big sin as if it were a little one. Any one might say that we should be neither quite miserable nor quite happy. But to find out how far one may be quite miserable without making it impossible to be quite happy—that was a discovery in psychology. Any one might say, "Neither swagger nor grovel"; and it would have been a limit. But to say, "Here you can swagger and there you can grovel"—that was an emancipation.
The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men, — from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms. It is in their hearts that the "sentimental" religion some people are so fond of sneering at has its source. The sentiment of love, the sentiment of maternity, the sentiment of the paramount obligation of the parent to the child as having called it into existence, enhanced just in proportion to the power and knowledge of the one and the weakness and ignorance of the other, — these are the "sentiments" that have kept our soulless systems from driving men off to die in holes like those that riddle the sides of the hill opposite the Monastery of St. Saba, where the miserable victims of a falsely-interpreted religion starved and withered in their delusion.
Let me tell you a secret. There is a difference between men and women, a little, tiny one that, I’m afraid, has probably made most of your adult life miserable and will probably continue to make it so till you die. The difference is simply that women have only really been treated, by that bizarre, Derkheimian abstraction, “society,” as human beings for the last—oh, say sixty-five years; and then, really, only on the moons; whereas men have had the luxury of such treatment for the last four thousand. The result of this historical anomaly is simply that, on a statistical basis, women are just a little less willing to put up with certain kinds of shit than men—simply because the concept of a certain kind of shit-free Universe is, in that equally bizarre Jungian abstraction, the female “collective unconscious,” too new and too precious.
Hatred of the Jews was Hitler's motor and central point perhaps even the very element which motivated him. The German people, the German greatness, the Empire, they all meant nothing to him in the last analysis. For this reason, he wished in the final sentence of his testament, to fixate us Germans, even after the apocalyptic downfall in a miserable hatred of the Jews...When speaking of the victims of the bomb raids, particularly after the massive attacks on Hamburg in Summer 1943, he again and again reiterated that he would avenge these victims on the Jews; just as if the air-terror against the civilian population actually suited him in that it furnished him with a belated substitute motivation for a crime decided upon long ago and emanating from quite different layers of his personality. Just as if he wanted to justify his own mass murders with these remarks.
The truth is that you can be immortal, relatively so, anyway. You won't last beyond the death of the universe and probably not nearly as long as the universe does. But you have the potentiality for living a million years, two, perhaps three or more. As long as you can find a Terrestrial-type planet with a hot core and have resurrection machinery available. Unfortunately, not all can be permitted to possess immortality. Too many would make immortality miserable or hellish for the rest, and they would try to control others through their control of the resurrection machinery. Even so, everybody, without exception, is given a hundred years after his Earthly death to prove that he or she can live peacefully and in harmony with himself and the others, within the tolerable limits of human imperfections. Those who can do this will be immortal after the two projects are completed.
You will perceive by to-days paper that lord Malmsbury is about to return as wise as he went. Whatever the ministers object was in this ridiculous embassy, he has been apparently disappointed. It is a notorious fact that the embarrassments of government are beyond anything ever known. The treasury is unable to pay the smallest bill, though perpetually besieged by clamorous duns: and it turns out that even the miserable pittance collected from the police-offices (being the weekly amount of fees, fines, &c.) has, most rapaciously and dishonestly, been applied to the exigencies of the state, while the tradesmen, constables and other persons, who should be paid out of the money, are in the greatest distress and have actually advertised a general meeting to consider how they can obtain relief. Not a soul seems to have the remotest conception how Mr. Pitt will be able to weather the impending storm.
For what advantage is it, that the world enjoys profound peace, if thou art at war with thyself? This then is the peace we should keep. If we have it, nothing from without will be able to harm us. And to this end the public peace contributes no little: whence it is said, ‘That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.’ But if any one is disturbed when there is quiet, he is a miserable creature. Seest thou that He speaks of this peace which I call the third (inner, ed.) kind? Therefore when he has said, ‘that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life,’ he does not stop there, but adds ‘in all godliness and honesty.’ But we cannot live in godliness and honesty, unless that peace be established. For when curious reasonings disturb our faith, what peace is there? or when spirits of uncleanness, what peace is there?
To a clergyman lying under a vow of chastity any act of sex is immoral, but his abhorrence of it naturally increases in proportion as it looks safe and is correspondingly tempting. As a prudent man, he is not much disturbed by incitations which carry their obvious and certain penalties; what shakes him is the enticement bare of any probable secular retribution. Ergo, the worst and damndest indulgence is that which goes unwhipped. So he teaches that it is no sin for a woman to bear a child to a drunken and worthless husband, even though she may believe with sound reason that it will be diseased and miserable all its life, but if she resorts to any mechanical or chemical device, however harmless, to prevent its birth, she is doomed by his penology to roast in Hell forever, along with the assassin of orphans and the scoundrel who forgets his Easter duty.
A man's honest, earnest opinion is the most precious of all he possesses: let him communicate this, if he is to communicate anything. There is, doubtless a time to speak, and a time to keep silence; yet Fontenelle's celebrated aphorism, I might have my hand full of truth, and would open only my little finger, may be practiced to excess, and the little finger itself kept closed. That reserve, and knowing silence, long so universal among us, is less the fruit of active benevolence, of philosophic tolerance, than of indifference and weak conviction. Honest Scepticism, honest Atheism, is better than that withered lifeless Dilettantism and amateur Eclecticism, which merely toys with all opinions; or than that wicked Machiavelism, which in thought denying every thing, except that Power is Power, in words, for its own wise purposes, loudly believes every thing: of both which miserable habitudes the day, even in England, is wellnigh over.
Hatred is a thing of the heart, contempt a thing of the head. Hatred and contempt are decidedly antagonistic towards one another and mutually exclusive. A great deal of hatred, indeed, has no other source than a compelled respect for the superior qualities of some other person; conversely, if you were to consider hating every miserable wretch you met you would have your work cut out: it is much easier to despise them one and all. True, genuine contempt, which is the obverse of true, genuine pride, stays hidden away in secret and lets no one suspect its existence: for if you let a person you despise notice the fact, you thereby reveal a certain respect for him, inasmuch as you want him to know how low you rate him — which betrays not contempt but hatred, which excludes contempt and only affects it. Genuine contempt, on the other hand, is the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.
Arthur Schopenhauer
• Vol. 2, Ch. 24, § 324
  • As translated by Eric F. J. Payne
• Source: Wikiquote: "Arthur Schopenhauer" (Quotes, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851): Various portions of this large work have been translated and published in English under various titles. It is here divided up into sections corresponding to those of the original volumes and some of the cited translations. , Counsels and Maxims: Counsels and Maxims, as translated by T. Bailey Saunders (also on Wikisource: Counsels and Maxims).)
Well, I haven't got wealth or fame, but I really think I might say, and I know how dangerous it is to say this — I think I have happiness. And happiness, you know, so many people when they talk about happiness, seem to think that it is a constant state of near lunacy, that you're always hopping about like a fairy in a cartoon strip, and being noisily and obstreperously happy. I don't think that is it at all. Happiness is a certain degree of calm, a certain degree of having your feet rooted firmly in the ground, of being aware that however miserable things are at the moment that they're probably not going to be so bad after awhile, or possibly they may be going very well now, but you must keep your head because they're not going to be so good later. Happiness is a very deep and dispersed state. It's not a kind of excitement.
Commerce was meant by the goodness of the Deity to diffuse the various goods of the earth into every part, to unite mankind in the blessed chains of brotherly love, society, and mutual dependence: the enlightened Christian should diffuse the riches of the Gospel of peace, with the commodities of his respective land. Commerce attended with strict honesty, and with Religion for its companion, would be a blessing to every shore it touched at. In Africa, the poor wretched natives, blessed with the most fertile and luxuriant soil, are rendered so much the more miserable for what Providence meant as a blessing: the Christians' abominable traffic for slaves, and the horrid cruelty and treachery of the petty Kings- encouraged by their Christian customers- who carry them strong liquors, to enflame their national madness, and powder, and bad fire-arms, to furnish them with the hellish means of killing and kidnapping. But enough- it is a subject that sours my blood
Ignatius Sancho
• (from vol 2, letter 1: some time in 1778, to Mr J___ W___e [actually Jack Wingrave, a young man recently gone to work in India, who was distressed by the corruption he found there]).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Ignatius Sancho" (Quotes)
I call to mind a winter landscape in Amsterdam — a flat foreground of waste land, with here and there stacks of timber, like the huts of a camp of some very miserable tribe; the long stretch of the Handelskade; cold, stone-faced quays, with the snow-sprinkled ground and the hard, frozen water of the canal, in which were set ships one behind another with their frosty mooring-ropes hanging slack and their decks idle and deserted, because... their cargoes were frozen-in up-country on barges and schuyts. In the distance, beyond the waste ground, and running parallel with the line of ships, a line of brown, warm-toned houses seemed bowed under snow-laden roofs. From afar at the end of Tsar Peter Straat, issued in the frosty air the tinkle of bells of the horse tramcars, appearing and disappearing in the opening between the buildings, like little toy carriages harnessed with toy horses and played with by people that appeared no bigger than children.
The being within, communing with past ages, tells me that once, nor until lately, there was no white man on this continent; that it then all belonged to red men, children of the same parents, placed on it by the Great Spirit that made them, to keep it, to traverse it, to enjoy its productions, and to fill it with the same race, once a happy race, since made miserable by the white people who are never contented but always encroaching. The way, and the only way, to check and to stop this evil, is for all the red men to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was at first, and should be yet; for it never was divided, but belongs to all for the use of each. For no part has a right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers — those who want all, and will not do with less.
Tecumseh
• Source: Wikiquote: "Tecumseh" (Quotes, Tecumseh to Governor Harrison (August 1810), Account Two: Quotations from another account of a statement reported to have been delivered to Governor William Henry Harrison in council at Vincennes (12 August 1810), as quoted in Biography and History of the Indians of North America (1836) by Samuel Gardner Drake, p. 121 [This is at many points similar, and may be a slightly different account of the same statement reportedly made on the eleventh, above.])
Truly there is no cause for you to be miserable and unhappy. You yourself impose limitations on your true nature of infinite Being and then weep that you are but a finite creature. Then you take up this or that sadhana to transcend the nonexistent limitations. But if your sadhana itself assumes the existence of the limitations, how can it help you to transcend them? Hence I say know that you are really the infinite, pure Being, the Self Absolute. You are always that Self and nothing but that Self. Therefore, you can never be really ignorant of the Self; your ignorance is merely a formal ignorance... Know then that true Knowledge does not create a new Being for you; it only removes your "ignorant ignorance." Bliss is not added to your nature; it is merely revealed as your true and natural state, eternal and imperishable. The only way to be rid of your grief is to know and be the Self.
Q: You seem relatively upbeat and sociable. It’s funny, because I’ve always had this idea of you, like, always crying in the dark. A: Most people do. Q: Do you care about that? A: Oh, no. It doesn’t bother me. Whatever people think of me is fine, however they want to envision me. I find it curious. I’m always intrigued by who people think I am and the persona they have created for me, what they think I’m into, what they think I’m not into. But I certainly understand that consideration, that I would be a bleak and miserable person, because a lot of my lyrics are very despondent. Luckily, I have the music to use as catharsis. If I didn’t, I might spend more time sitting and crying in a corner than I need to. Also, I think manners are very important. To be a sullen rain cloud when conversing with someone, be they your friends or a journalist, I think is inappropriate.
Narrator:  What’s your relationship with the IRS these days? Karl Hess:  [laughs]  Miserable.  Terrible. Narrator:  And why's that? Karl Hess:  Well, you know, they ask every now and then when I'm going to behave myself and I tell them never and I… Narrator:  Are you not paying federal taxes? Karl Hess:  Yeah, nothing. Narrator:  I guess they don’t take too kindly to that? Karl Hess:  No, they think it’s terrible. Therese Hess:  On the other hand, they're not being very active about it right now. Karl Hess:  Well, no, the last time he was here… Therese Hess:  It's like it's no fun anymore or something. Karl Hess:  Something like that.  The local people seem to take more of a kindly view as though they really think it's a rotten thing.  I'm not doing anybody any harm.  And…they seem to be more sensitive.  [laughs]  Or decent somehow.  I don't…I don't know, the federal people are… Narrator:  What can they do? Karl Hess:  Put me in jail.
Another evil, and one of the worst which arises from the separation of theoretical and practical knowledge, is the fact that a large number of persons, possessed of an inventive turn of mind and of considerable skill in the manual operations of practical mechanics, are destitute of that knowledge of scientific principles which is requisite to prevent their being misled by their own ingenuity. Such men too often spend their money, waste their lives, and it may be lose their reason in the vain pursuits of visionary inventions, of which a moderate amount of theoretical knowledge would be sufficient to demonstrate the fallacy ; and for want of such knowledge, many a man who might have been a useful and happy member of society, becomes a being than whom it would be hard to find anything more miserable. The number of those unhappy persons — to judge from the patent-lists, and from some of the mechanical journals — must be much greater than is generally believed.
he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.  this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers; is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he ''also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.
There is in this world a joy of the intellect, which finds satisfaction in science, and a joy of the heart, which manifests itself above all in the aid men give one another against the troubles and trials of life. But for the Supreme Being to have created existences, and stationed them in various spheres in order to taste these joys for some 80 or 90 years — that were surely a miserable plan.... Whether the soul were to live for 80 years or for 80 million years, if it were doomed in the end to perish, such an existence would only be a respite. In the end it would drop out of being. We are thus impelled to the conclusion to which so many things point, although they do not amount to a coercive scientific proof, that besides this material world there exists another purely spiritual order of things, with activities as various, as the present, and that this world of spirit we shall one day inherit.
Think, for a moment, of a cheetah, a sleek, beautiful animal, one of the fastest on earth, which roams freely on the savannas of Africa. In its natural habitat, it is a magnificent animal, almost a work of art, unsurpassed in speedor grace by any other animal. Now, think of a cheetah that has been captured and thrown into a miserable cage in a zoo. It has lost its original grace and beauty, and is put on display for our amusement. We see only the broken spirit of the cheetah in the cage, not its original power and elegance. The cheetah can be compared to the laws of physics, which are beautiful in their natural setting. The natural habitat of the laws of physics is higher-dimensional space-time. However, we can only measure the laws of physics when they have been broken and placed on display in a cage, which is our three-dimensional laboratory. We can only see the cheetah when its grace and beauty have been stripped away.
Are you a man? Then you should have an human heart. But have you indeed? What is your heart made of? Is there no such principle as Compassion there? Do you never feel another's pain? Have you no Sympathy? No sense of human woe? No pity for the miserable? When you saw the flowing eyes, the heaving breasts, or the bleeding sides and tortured limbs of your fellow-creatures, was you a stone, or a brute? Did you look upon them with the eyes of a tiger? When you squeezed the agonizing creatures down in the ship, or when you threw their poor mangled remains into the sea, had you no relenting? Did not one tear drop from your eye, one sigh escape from your breast? Do you feel no relenting now? If you do not, you must go on, till the measure of your iniquities is full. Then will the Great GOD deal with You, as you have dealt with them, and require all their blood at your hands.
I found ancestors, like Shakespeare, who said, in Macbeth, that the world is full of sound and fury, a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing. Macbeth is a victim of fate. So is Oedipus. But what happens to them is not absurd in the eyes of destiny, because destiny, or fate, has its own norms, its own morality, its own laws, which cannot be flouted with impunity. Oedipus sleeps with his Mummy, kills his Daddy, and breaks the laws of fate. He must pay for it by suffering. It is tragic and absurd, but at the same time it’s reassuring and comforting, since the idea is that if we don’t break destiny’s laws, we should be all right. Not so with our characters. They have no metaphysics, no order, no law. They are miserable and they don’t know why. They are puppets, undone. In short, they represent modern man. Their situation is not tragic, since it has no relation to a higher order. Instead, it’s ridiculous, laughable, and derisory.
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in an other hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of an other.
But I was miserable. I hurt inside. I didn’t have the peace of mind that Jesus promised if we did his work. I didn’t have the very thing I preached. Finally, in January of 1956 when I had but six months to go on my tour of duty, I made up my mind to settle it once and for all. I made a final study of the Bible and wrote down everything that sounded true in a notebook on my right. Those things that sounded wrong or inconsistent or that I couldn’t believe, I wrote in a notebook to my left. For three months, between 3:00 and 7:00 A.M., sitting under a single bulb in the attic above the barracks, I made a comparative study of the Synoptic Gospels. When I finished, the left-handed notebook was completely filled with chapter and verse and reasons why I could not believe in Christianity. The right-handed notebook contained about two pages of homilies on love. So I gave up Jesus and the Baptist Church.
Again, in regard to actual human existence, I have found myself giving honour to those who feel its tragedy, who think truly about Death, who are oppressed by ignoble things even when they are inevitable; yet these qualities appear to me to militate against happiness, not only to the possessors, but to all whom they affect. And, generally, the best life seems to me one which thinks truly and feels greatly about human things, and which, in addition, contemplates the world of beauty and of abstract truths. This last is, perhaps, my most anti-utilitarian opinion: I hold all knowledge that is concerned with things that actually exist – all that is commonly called Science – to be of very slight value compared to the knowledge which, like philosophy and mathematics, is concerned with ideal and eternal objects, and is freed from this miserable world which God has made. [Utilitarians] have been strangely anxious to prove that the life of the pig is not happier than that of the philosopher – a most dubious proposition...
Looks must next be considered; they are the first thing that strikes us and they ought to be the last, still they should not count for nothing. I think that great beauty is rather to be shunned than sought after in marriage. Possession soon exhausts our appreciation of beauty; in six weeks' time we think no more about it, but its dangers endure as long as life itself. Unless a beautiful woman is an angel, her husband is the most miserable of men; and even if she were an angel he would still be the centre of a hostile crowd and she could not prevent it. If extreme ugliness were not repulsive I should prefer it to extreme beauty; for before very long the husband would cease to notice either, but beauty would still have its disadvantages and ugliness its advantages. But ugliness which is actually repulsive is the worst misfortune; repulsion increases rather than diminishes, and it turns to hatred. Such a union is a hell upon earth; better death than such a marriage.
The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroism. We cannot honestly regret their extermination, but we at least do justice to the manly characteristics possessed, according to their lights and education, by the early Redskins of America.
L. Frank Baum
Saturday Pioneer (20 December 1890)
• Source: Wikiquote: "L. Frank Baum" (Quotes, The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer (1890 and 1891): Editorials from a small newspaper Baum edited for a time in Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
In adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics. Now, on the contrary, I enjoy life; I might almost say that with every year that passes I enjoy it more. This is due partly to having discovered what were the things that I most desired, and having gradually acquired many of these things. Partly it is due to having successfully dismissed certain objects of desire - such as the acquisition of indubitable knowledge about something or other — as essentially unattainable. But very largely it is due to a diminishing preoccupation with myself. Like others who had a Puritan education, I had the habit of meditating on my sins, follies, and shortcomings. I seemed to myself — no doubt justly — a miserable specimen. Gradually I learned to be indifferent to myself and my deficiencies; I came to centre my attention increasingly upon external objects: the state of the world, various branches of knowledge, individuals for whom I felt affection.
When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the glorious ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in the original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as 'What is all this worth?' nor those words of delusion and folly, 'Liberty first and Union afterward,'; but everywhere, spread over all the characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart, -- Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!
It is an arithmetic, moreover, which cannot be denied even though we nearly all try to deny it. The arithmetic is simply this: Any positive rate of growth whatever eventually carries a human population to an unacceptable magnitude, no matter how small the rate of growth may be unless the rate of population growth can be reduced to zero before the population reaches an unacceptable magnitude. There is a famous theorem in economics, one which I call the dismal theorem, which states that if the only thing which can check the growth of population is starvation and misery, then the population will grow until it is sufficiently miserable and starving to check its growth. There is a second, even worse theorem which I call the utterly dismal theorem. It says that if the only thing which can check the growth of population is starvation and misery, then the ultimate result of any technological improvement is to enable a larger number of people to live in misery than before and hence to increase the total sum of human misery.
The willfully idle man, like the willfully barren woman, has no place in a sane, healthy, and vigorous community. Moreover, the gross and hideous selfishness for which each stands defeats even its own miserable aims. Exactly as infinitely the happiest woman is she who has borne and brought up many healthy children, so infinitely the happiest man is he who has toiled hard and successfully in his life-work. The work may be done in a thousand different ways —with the brain or the hands, in the study, the field, or the workshop—if it is honest work, honestly done and well worth doing, that is all we have a right to ask. Every father and mother here, if they are wise, will bring up their children not to shirk difficulties, but to meet them and overcome them; not to strive after a life of ignoble ease, but to strive to do their duty, first to themselves and their families, and then to the whole state; and this duty must inevitably take the shape of work in some form or other.
What is the essence of our God? The struggle for freedom. In the indestructible darkness a flaming line ascends and emblazons the march of the Invisible. What is our duty? To ascend with this blood-drenched line. Whatever rushes upward and helps God to ascend is good. Whatever drags downward and impedes God from ascending is evil. All virtues and all evils take on a new value. They are freed from the moment and from earth, they exist completely within man, before and after man, eternally. For the essence of our ethic is not the salvation of man, who varies within time and space, but the salvation of God, who within a wide variety of flowing human forms and adventures is always the same, the indestructible rhythm which battles for freedom. We, as human beings, are all miserable persons, heartless, small, insignificant. But within us a superior essence drives us ruthlessly upward. From within this human mire divine songs have welled up, great ideas, violent loves, an unsleeping assault full of mystery, without beginning or end, without purpose, beyond every purpose.
We have the proof on hand, that instead of the laws being honored, they have been violated in every instance of persecution against this people; instead of the laws being made honorable, they have been trampled under the feet of lawyers, judges, sheriffs, governors, legislators, and nearly all the officers of the government; such persons are the most guilty of breaking the laws. To diverge a little, in regard to those who have persecuted this people and driven them to the mountains, I intend to meet them on their own grounds. It was asked this morning how we could obtain redress for our wrongs; I will tell you how it could be done, we could take the same law they have taken, viz., mobocracy, and if any miserable scoundrels come here, cut their throats. (All the people said, Amen.) This would be meting out that treatment to wicked men, which they had measured to innocent persons. We could meet them on their own ground, when they will not honor the law, but will kill the Prophets and destroy the innocent.
since life is uncertain, there is something one desires to preserve, desires to safeguard for oneself. […] It could not be something temporal, inasmuch as for life’s sake it probably would be desirable to preserve it, but how would one wish to preserve it for death’s sake, since it is precisely that which one abandons in death, which without envy and without preference would make everyone equal, equally poor, equally powerless, equally miserable, the one who possessed a world and the one who had nothing not love, the one who left behind a claim upon a world and the one who was in debt for a world, the one whom thousands obeyed and the one whom no one knew except death, the one whose loveliness was the object of people’s admiration and the poor wretch who sought only a grave in order to hide from people. It would have to be something eternal, then, that the discourse was about or, more accurately, what it could truly be about, and, in a single word, what else could that be but a person’s soul?
[People] think of saints as people who lived an awfully long time ago and whose validity has disappeared. I think of them as people who didn't live such a long time ago, only a few hundred years or so. There must have been something about them that impressed people who were very much like me. What was it? And they must have been much more like somebody living today than we commonly think. What was behind it? What made these people special and what made a lot of other people regard them as special, either hating them or loving them? This is fascinating. It enlarges the whole world, and because it does so, it gives you great hope and sympathy with the future. You find yourself not an isolated miserable little wretch who has got seventy or eighty years to struggle along and then perish like nothing. You are the continuer of a very great tradition which you are going to pass on to the next lot. And you're right in the middle of the great stream of life. You see? Wonderful thing.
The being within me hears the voice of the ages, which tells me that once, always, and until lately, there were no white men on all this island, that it then belonged to the red men, children of the same parents, placed on it by the Great Good Spirit who made them, to keep it, to traverse it, to enjoy its yield, and to people it with the same race. Once they were a happy race! Now they are made miserable by the white people, who are never contented but are always coming in! You do this always, after promising not to anyone, yet you ask us to have confidence in your promises. How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came upon the earth, you killed him, the son of your own God, you nailed him up! You thought he was dead, but you were mistaken. And only after you thought you killed him did you worship him, and start killing those who would not worship him. What kind of a people is this for us to trust?
Tecumseh
• Source: Wikiquote: "Tecumseh" (Quotes, Tecumseh to Governor Harrison (August 1810), Account one: Quotations from a statement reported to have been spoken to William Henry Harrison, Governor of the Indiana Territory (11 August 1810), as quoted in Panther in the Sky (1990) by James Alexander Thom )
Prudence! Prudence which is ever bidding us look forward into the future, a future which in many cases we shall never reach; here is the real source of all our troubles! How mad it is for so short-lived a creature as man to look forward into a future to which he rarely attains, while he neglects the present which is his? This madness is all the more fatal since it increases with years, and the old, always timid, prudent, and miserly, prefer to do without necessaries to-day that they may have luxuries at a hundred. Thus we grasp everything, we cling to everything; we are anxious about time, place, people, things, all that is and will be; we ourselves are but the least part of ourselves. We spread ourselves, so to speak, over the whole world, and all this vast expanse becomes sensitive. No wonder our woes increase when we may be wounded on every side. How many princes make themselves miserable for the loss of lands they never saw, and how many merchants lament in Paris over some misfortune in the Indies!
We must present democracy as a force holding within itself the seeds of unlimited progress by the human race. By our actions we should make it clear that such a democracy is a means to a better way of life, together with a better understanding among nations. Tyranny inevitably must retire before the tremendous moral strength of the gospel of freedom and self-respect for the individual, but we have to recognize that these democratic principles do not flourish on empty stomachs, and that people turn to false promises of dictators because they are hopeless and anything promises something better than the miserable existence that they endure. However, material assistance alone is not sufficient. The most important thing for the world today in my opinion is a spiritual regeneration which would reestablish a feeling of good faith among men generally. Discouraged people are in sore need of the inspiration of great principles. Such leadership can be the rallying point against intolerance, against distrust, against that fatal insecurity that leads to war. It is to be hoped that the democratic nations can provide the necessary leadership.
In the name of Purity what lies are told! What queer morality it has engendered. For fear of it you dare not tell your own children the truth about their birth; the most sacred of all functions, the creation of a human being, is a subject for the most miserable falsehood. When they come to you with a simple, straightforward question, which they have a right to ask, you say, "Don't ask such questions," or tell some silly hollowlog story; or you explain the incomprehensibility by another — God! You say "God made you." You know you are lying when you say it. You know, or you ought to know, that the source of inquiry will not be dammed up so. You know that what you Could explain purely, reverently, rightly (if you have any purity in you), will be learned through many blind gropings, and that around it will be cast the shadowthought of wrong, embryo'd by your denial and nurtured by this social opinion everywhere prevalent. If you do not know this, then you are blind to facts and deaf to Experience.
What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of your greatest contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becomes loathsome to you, and so also your reason and virtue. The hour when you say: 'What good is my happiness? It is poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency. But my happiness should justify existence itself!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for his prey? It is poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How weary I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my justice? I do not see that I am filled with fire and burning coals. But the just are filled with fire and burning coals!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross on which he is nailed who loves man? But my pity is no crucifixion!"
In the name of the dogma of struggle for existence and natural selection, they paint for us in the saddest colors this primitive humanity whose hunger and thirst, always badly satisfied, were their only passions; those sombre times when men had no other care and no other occupation than to quarrel with one another over their miserable nourishment. To react against those retrospective reveries of the philosophy of the eighteenth century and also against certain religious doctrines, to show with some force that the paradise lost is not behind us and that there is in our past nothing to regret, they believe we ought to make it dreary and belittle it systematically. Nothing is less scientific than this prejudice in the opposite direction. If the hypotheses of Darwin have a moral use, it is with more reserve and measure than in other sciences. They overlook the essential element of moral life, that is, the moderating influence that society exercises over its members, which tempers and neutralizes the brutal action of the struggle for existence and selection. Wherever there are societies, there is altruism, because there is solidarity.
Nyanatiloka Mahathera: "[individuals] should be responsible for the deeds formerly done by this so-called 'same' people. In reality, however, this present people may not consist at all of the karmic heirs of the same individuals who did these bad deeds. According to Buddhism it is of course quite true that anybody who suffers bodily, suffers for his past or present bad deeds. Thus also each of those individuals born within that suffering nation, must, if actually suffering bodily, have done evil somewhere, here or in one of the innumerable spheres of existence; but he may not have had anything to do with the bad deeds of the so-called nation. We might say that through his evil Karma he was attracted to the miserable condition befitting to him. In short, the term Karma applies, in each instance, only to wholesome and unwholesome volitional activity of the single individual.Nyanatiloka Mahathera, Karma and Rebirth, The Wheel Publication No. 9 (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1959), p. 17, as quoted in “Is There Group Karma in Theravāda Buddhism?” by James P. Mc Dermott. Numen, Vol. 23, Fasc. 1 (Apr., 1976), pp. 73
We must examine the degree to which we coddle middle-class girls. There is something sick about it. The girls I see on campuses are often innocuous, with completely homogenized personalities, miserable, anorexic and bulimic. The feminist movement teaches them that it's men's fault, but it isn't. These girls go out into the world as heiresses of all the affluence in the universe. They are the most pampered and most affluent girls on the globe. So stop complaining about men. You're getting all the rewards that come with the nice-girl persona you've chosen. When you get into trouble and you're batting your eyes and someone is offending you and you are too nice to deal with it, that's a choice. Assess your persona. Realize the degree to which your niceness may invoke people to say lewd and pornographic things to you — sometimes to violate your niceness. The more you blush, the more people want to do it. Understand your part of it and learn to parry. Sex talk is a game. The girls in the Sixties loved it. If you don't want some professor to call you honey, tell him.
Let not princes disdain to admit into their councils those who are most capable of giving them good advice. Let them renounce the old prejudice, which was invented by the pride of the great, that the art of governing mankind is more difficult than that of instructing them; as if it was easier to induce men to do good voluntarily, than to compel them to it by force. Let the learned of the first rank find an honourable refuge in their courts; let them there enjoy the only recompense worthy of them, that of promoting by their influence the happiness of the peoples they have enlightened by their wisdom. It is by this means only that we are likely to see what virtue, science and authority can do, when animated by the noblest emulation, and working unanimously for the happiness of mankind. But so long as power alone is on one side, and knowledge and understanding alone on the other, the learned will seldom make great objects their study, princes will still more rarely do great actions, and the peoples will continue to be, as they are, mean, corrupt and miserable.
The migration of peoples destroys Europe, but it also ruins the Third World. The shovelling of money that has lasted for half a century into a bottomless well called Africa has led to nothing but increasing misery. Half a century of cultural enrichment in Europe has led to nothing but ghettos and the unprecedented popularity of extreme right-wing parties — perhaps surprisingly, exactly where the culture has been most enriched. I believe that removing this misery is really not the objective, which would for example force the Africans to survive on their own and to strike back at their dictators, who live on “development cooperation”. The Western intellectual zeitgeist is dependent on the misery in Africa. An intellectual needs someone to pamper, because that’s what makes the intellectual necessary. The thought of an independent but truly different African is, to him, intolerable, because only a miserable, helpless and dependent (but of course, similar enough to be understandable and lovable) African offers him a chance to be “good”. He can be “good” only if there is a rising mass of “evil” that is tired of the apathy and begging of the Third World.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
The result of this mental dullness is that inner vacuity and emptiness that is stamped on innumerable faces and also betrays itself in a constant and lively attention to all events in the external world, even the most trivial. This vacuity is the real source of boredom and always craves for external excitement in order to set the mind and spirits in motion through something. Therefore in the choice thereof it is not fastidious, as is testified by the miserable and wretched pastimes to which people have recourse. … The principal result of this inner vacuity is the craze for society, diversion, amusement, and luxury of every kind which lead many to extravagance and so to misery. Nothing protects us so surely from this wrong turning as inner wealth, the wealth of the mind, for the more eminent it becomes, the less room does it leave for boredom. The inexhaustible activity of ideas, their constantly renewed play with the manifold phenomena of the inner and outer worlds, the power and urge always to make different combinations of them, all these put the eminent mind, apart from moments of relaxation, quite beyond the reach of boredom.
Arthur Schopenhauer
• E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, pp. 329–330
• Source: Wikiquote: "Arthur Schopenhauer" (Quotes, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851): Various portions of this large work have been translated and published in English under various titles. It is here divided up into sections corresponding to those of the original volumes and some of the cited translations. , Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life: Quotes from Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit, using various translations, also translated as On The Wisdom of Life : Aphorisms)
Some People have an Idea, or Notion of the Christian Religion, as if God was thereby declared so full of Wrath against fallen Man, that nothing but the Blood of his only begotten Son could satisfy his Vengeance. Nay, some have gone such Lengths of Wickedness, as to assert that God had by immutable Decrees reprobated, and rejected a great Part of the Race of Adam, to an inevitable Damnation, to show forth and magnify the Glory of his Justice. But these are miserable Mistakers of the Divine Nature, and miserable Reproachers of his great Love, and Goodness in the Christian Dispensation. For God is Love, yea, all Love, and so all Love, that nothing but Love can come from him; and the Christian Religion is nothing else but an open, full Manifestation of the universal Love towards all Mankind. As the Light of the Sun has only one common Nature towards all Objects that can receive it, so God has only one common Nature of Goodness towards all created Nature, breaking forth in infinite Flames of Love, upon every Part of the Creation, and calling everything to the highest Happiness it is capable of.
Leaving Doyle's rancho, it was agreed that the travelers on that day would go no further than Pueblo, about twenty five miles. "We had promised ourselves," continues Archbishop Salpointe, "to take a good view of that city, so recent and already so much talked of. We had a map of the city, a second New York, with splendid streets and blocks, banks and public buildings, parks and public gardens, all with high sounding names. Eager to see the wonderful city, we hasten our march. What deception! What do we see? A few miserable huts of frame. On one of them was written in large letters, with charcoal, upon a board, the word Saloon. ...So we left the city behind us and went about two miles further and for the night camped in a cool place on the low and grassy banks of the Fontaine-qui-bouille, a limpid little river which rises north of Pike's Peak, forms the Ute Falls, just above Manitou, and rushes madly over its pebbly bed until it loses itself in the Arkansas River east of Pueblo. The place was indeed very beautiful, and far better than the city we had just left."
The Vedanta recognises no sin, it only recognises error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta, is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that. Every time you think in that way, you, as it were, rivet one more link in the chain that binds you down, you add one more layer of hypnotism on to your own soul. Therefore, whosoever thinks he is weak is wrong, whosoever thinks he is impure is wrong, and is throwing a bad thought into the world. This we must always bear in mind that in the Vedanta there is no attempt at reconciling the present life — the hypnotised life, this false life which we have assumed — with the ideal; but this false life must go, and the real life which is always existing must manifest itself, must shine out. No man becomes purer and purer, it is a matter of greater manifestation. The veil drops away, and the native purity of the soul begins to manifest itself. Everything is ours already — infinite purity, freedom, love, and power.
Reading for me was a refuge. I could escape from everything that was miserable in my life and I could be anyone I wanted to be in a story, through a character. It was almost sinful how much I liked it. That's how I felt about it. If my parents knew how much I loved it, I thought they would take it away from me. I think I was also blessed with a very wild imagination because I can remember, when I was at an age before I could read, that I could imagine things that weren't real and whatever my imagination saw is what I actually saw. Some people would say that was psychosis but I prefer to say it was the beginning of a writer's imagination. If I believed that insects had eyes and mouths and noses and could talk, that's what they did. If I thought I could see devils dancing out of the ground, that's what I saw. If I thought lightning had eyes and would follow me and strike me down, that's what would happen. And I think I needed an outlet for all that imagination, so I found it in books.
The perception of you is one thing. You're this famous person, and now you're this famous person who's a bombshell. So all of a sudden, that's the only way I get jobs. So I have to become the part. And they're telling you this is the way to do it. One director actually said to me, "I want to hear you talk dumber and faster." … He thought it was funny for the girl to be dumb. I finally said, "That's it, man — I can't do this anymore." I'd go to meetings during the filming of a movie, and the directors would ask, "What do you think of the script?" I'd say, "It has a lot of problems." They were confused. That's not what they wanted from me. … So I was not very popular. At one point I said, "I don't want to do this — it's not my dream." And so I said, "I'm going to start a company. I am going to create projects for me. I'm going to create projects for other Latin women." Because I got to a point where I was whining all the time. I was miserable. I was desperate
The nature of self-love and of this human Ego is to love self only and consider self only. But what will man do? He cannot prevent this object that he loves from being full of faults and wants. He wants to be great, and he sees himself small. He wants to be happy, and he sees himself miserable. He wants to be perfect, and he sees himself full of imperfections. He wants to be the object of love and esteem among men, and he sees that his faults merit only their hatred and contempt. This embarrassment in which he finds himself produces in him the most unrighteous and criminal passion that can be imagined; for he conceives a mortal enmity against that truth which reproves him, and which convinces him of his faults. He would annihilate it, but, unable to destroy it in its essence, he destroys it as far as possible in his own knowledge and in that of others; that is to say, he devotes all his attention to hiding his faults both from others and from himself, and he cannot endure either that others should point them out to him, or that they should see them.
Time is money — says the vulgarest saw known to any age or people. Turn it round about, and you get a precious truth —money is time. I think of it on these dark, mist-blinded mornings, as I come down to find a glorious fire crackling and leaping in my study. Suppose I were so poor that I could not afford that heartsome blaze, how different the whole day would be! Have I not lost many and many a day of my life for lack of the material comfort which was necessary to put my mind in tune? Money is time. With money I buy for cheerful use the hours which otherwise would not in any sense be mine; nay, which would make me their miserable bondsman. Money is time, and, heaven be thanked, there needs so little of it for this sort of purchase. He who has overmuch is wont to be as badly off in regard to the true use of money, as he who has not enough. What are we doing all our lives but purchasing, or trying to purchase, time? And most of us, having grasped it with one hand, throw it away with the other.
George Gissing
• Winter, § 24, p. 287; in Conducting Effective Faculty Meetings (2008) by Sue Ellen Brandenburg, p. 12 this appears paraphrased in the form: "Time is money says the proverb, but turn it around and you get a precious truth. Money is time."
• Source: Wikiquote: "George Gissing" (Quotes, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903))
There was a writer already working on a novel which should present the ultimate austerity, whose properties he took from the years of the British peace. This was Orwell, whom I saw briefly at the Mandrake Club, which specialized in dubious gin flavoured with cloves and a large number of chessboards. It was run by a man called Boris. I had brought back with me from Gilbraltar a number of tins of Victory cigarettes, which were a very briefly maintained army ration and quite unsmokable. But I paid taxi fares with them. orwell’s non-committal eye took in the tin I had on my table at the Mandrake, which became the Chestnut Tree Café, but [he] did not accept a cigarette, preferring to roll his own. But his description of Victory cigarettes in Nineteen Eighty-Four is accurate, and his Victory gin is Boris’s. ... The physical reality of his prophecy is, for me, set firmly in the forties, though it makes me shudder to remember that I pondered over chess moves in the Chestnut Tree Café. Orwell’s power to ensour things was considerable. ... The term Orwellian is wrongly applied to the future. It was the miserable forties that were Orwellian.
Self-love.—The nature of self-love and of this human Ego is to love self only and consider self only. But what will man do? He cannot prevent this object that he loves from being full of faults and wants. He wants to be great, and he sees himself small. He wants to be happy, and he sees himself miserable. He wants to be perfect, and he sees himself full of imperfections. He wants to be the object of love and esteem among men, and he sees that his faults merit only their hatred and contempt. This embarrassment in which he finds himself produces in him the most unrighteous and criminal passion that can be imagined; for he conceives a mortal enmity against that truth which reproves him, and which convinces him of his faults. He would annihilate it, but, unable to destroy it in its essence, he destroys it as far as possible in his own knowledge and in that of others; that is to say, he devotes all his attention to hiding his faults both from others and from himself, and he cannot endure either that others should point them out to him, or that they should see them. 100
One day as this sage, Valmiki, was going to bathe in the holy river Ganga, he saw a pair of doves wheeling round and round, and kissing each other. The sage looked up and was pleased at the sight, but in a second an arrow whisked past him and killed the male dove. As the dove fell down on the ground, the female dove went on whirling round and round the dead body of its companion in grief. In a moment the poet became miserable, and looking round, he saw the hunter. "Thou art a wretch," he cried, "without the smallest mercy! Thy slaying hand would not even stop for love!" "What is this? What am I saying?" the poet thought to himself, "I have never spoken in this sort of way before." And then a voice came: "Be not afraid. This is poetry that is coming out of your mouth. Write the life of Rama in poetic language for the benefit of the world." And that is how the poem first began. The first verse sprang out of pits from the mouth of Valmiki, the first poet. And it was after that, that he wrote the beautiful Ramayana, "The Life of Rama.".
It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. But in his day this was an unattainable ideal: what he regarded as the best system in existence produced Karl Marx. In future such failures are not likely to occur where there is dictatorship. Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so. A totalitarian government with a scientific bent might do things that to us would seem horrifying. The Nazis were more scientific than the present rulers of Russia, and were more inclined towards the sort of atrocities that I have in mind.
But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
War
• John Stuart Mill in "The Contest in America", in Dissertations and Discussions, vol. 1 (1868), p. 26; previously published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 24, Issue 143 (April 1862), page 683-684.
• Source: Wikiquote: "War" (Quotes: Quotes are listed alphabetically by author., M)
And yet I will venture to believe that in no time, since the beginnings of Society, was the lot of those same dumb millions of toilers so entirely unbearable as it is even in the days now passing over us. It is not to die, or even to die of hunger, that makes a man wretched; many men have died; all men must die,—the last exit of us all is in a Fire-Chariot of Pain. But it is to live miserable we know not why; to work sore and yet gain nothing; to be heart-worn, weary, yet isolated, unrelated, girt in with a cold universal Laissez-faire: it is to die slowly all our life long, imprisoned in a deaf, dead, Infinite Injustice, as in the accursed iron belly of a Phalaris' Bull! This is and remains forever intolerable to all men whom God has made. Do we wonder at French Revolutions, Chartisms, Revolts of Three Days? The times, if we will consider them, are really unexampled. Life was never a May-game for men: in all times the lot of the dumb millions born to toil was defaced with manifold sufferings, injustices, heavy burdens, avoidable and unavoidable; not play at all, but hard work that made the sinews sore, and the heart sore.
Here are Johnny Keats's piss a-bed poetry [...] There is such trash of Keats and the like upon my tables, that I am ashamed to look at them [...] No more Keats, I entreat: flay him alive; if some of you don't I must skin him myself: ther eis no bearing the driveling idiotism of the Mankin. The Edinburgh praises Jack Keats or Ketch, or whatever his names are [...] why, his is the Onanism of Poetry -- something like the pleasure an Italian fiddler extracted out of being suspended daily by a Street Walker in Drury Lane. This went on for some weeks: at last the Girl went to get a pint of Gin -- met another, chatted too long, and Cornelli was hanged outright before she returned. Such like is the trash they praise, and such will be the end of the outstretched poesy of this miserable Self-polluter of the human mind. Mr Keats, whose poetry you enquire after, appears to me what I have already said: such writing is a sort of mental masturbation -- he is always frigging his Imagination. I don't mean he is indecent, but viciously soliciting his ideas into a state, which is neither poetry nor anything else but a Bedlam vision produced by raw pork and opium.
About John Keats
• Lord Byron, Letters to John Murray, 12 August - 9 September 1820, in The Routledge Literary Sourcebook on the Poems of John Keats, ed. J. Strachan (2003).
• Source: Wikiquote: "John Keats" (Quotes about Keats)
There are many other evils in our country which are growing, whereas the practice of slavery is fast diminishing, and threaten to bring punishment on our land more immediately than the oppression of the blacks. That sacred regard to truth in which you and I were educated, and which is certainly taught and enjoined from on high, seems to be vanishing from among us. A general relaxation of education and government, a general debauchery as well as dissipation, produced by pestilential philosophical principles of Epicurus, infinitely more than by shows and theatrical entertainments; these are, in my opinion, more serious and threatening evils than even the slavery of the blacks, hateful as that is. I might even add that I have been informed that the condition of the common sort of white people in some of the Southern States, particularly Virginia, is more oppressed, degraded, and miserable, than that of the negroes. These vices and these miseries deserve the serious and compassionate consideration of friends, as well as the slave trade and the degraded state of the blacks. I wish you success in your benevolent endeavors to relieve the distresses of our fellow creatures, and shall always be ready to cooperate with you as far as my means and opportunities can reasonably be expected to extend.
Make then your forecasts, my lords Astrologers, with your slavish physicians, by means of those astrolabes with which you seek to discern the fantastic nine moving spheres; in these you finally imprison your own minds, so that you appear to me but as parrots in a cage, while I watch you dancing up and down, turning and hopping within those circles. We know that the Supreme Ruler cannot have a seat so narrow, so miserable a throne, so trivial, so scanty a court, so small and feeble a simulacrum that phantasm can bring to birth, a dream shatter, a delusion restore, a calamity diminish, a misdeed abolish and a thought renew it again, so that indeed with a puff of air it were brimful and with a single gulp it were emptied. On the contrary we recognize a noble image, a marvellous conception, a supreme figure, an exalted shadow, an infinite representation of the represented infinity, a spectacle worthy of the excellence and supremacy of Him who transcendeth understanding, comprehension or grasp. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of his kingdom made manifest; He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds.
While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.
There was suddenly a hush in the crowd. A tall, darkly handsome man dressed in the white costume of a Rumanian peasant rode into the yard on a white horse. He halted close to me, and I could see nothing monstrous or evil in him. On the contrary. His childlike, sincere smile radiated over the miserable crowd, and he seemed to be with it yet mysteriously apart from it. Charisma is an inadequate word to define the strange force that emanated from this man. He was more aptly simply part of the forests, of the mountains, of the storms on the snow-covered peaks of the Carpathians, and of the lakes and rivers. And so he stood amid the crowd, silently. He had no need to speak. His silence was eloquent; it seemed to be stronger than we, stronger than the order of the prefect who denied him speech. An old, whitehaired peasant woman made the sign of the cross on her breast and whispered to us, "The emissary of the Archangel Michael!" Then the sad little church bell began to toll, and the service which invariably preceded Legionary meetings began. Deep impressions created in the soul of a child die hard. In more than a quarter of a century I have never forgotten my meeting with Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.
"Here you may suppose the Father to say when driving His bargain with Christ for you.The Father speaks. "My Son, here is a company of poor, miserable souls that have utterly undone themselves and now lay open to my justice. Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them." The Son responds. "Oh my Father. Such is my love to and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally I will be responsible for them as their guarantee. Bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee. Bring them all in, that there be no after-reckonings with them. At my hands shall thou require it. I would rather choose to suffer the wrath that is theirs then they should suffer it. Upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt." The Father responds. "But my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite. Expect no abatement. Son, if I spare them... I will not spare you." The Son responds. "Content Father. Let it be so. Charge it all upon me. I am able to discharge it. And though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures... I am content to take it."
John Flavel
• The Works of John Flavel, Vol.1, "A Display of Christ in His Essential and Mediatorial Glory", 42 Sermons, Sermon Number 3, "The Covenant of Redemption between the Father and the Redeemer", Use 6.
• Source: Wikiquote: "John Flavel" (Sourced - Primary Sources)
While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise! God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind! When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full and high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a strip erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as "What is all this worth?" nor those other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first and Union afterwards"; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart,—Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!
Union (United States)
• Daniel Webster, remarks in the Senate, second speech on Foote's resolution (January 26, 1830); The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (1903), vol. 6, p. 75.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Union (United States)" (Quotes)
If you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system... You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending – something dead, cold, and lifeless. I am told that that sort of view is depressing, and people will sometimes tell you that if they believed that, they would not be able to go on living. Do not believe it; it is all nonsense. Nobody really worries much about what is going to happen millions of years hence. Even if they think they are worrying much about that, they are really deceiving themselves. They are worried about something much more mundane, or it may merely be a bad digestion; but nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy by the thought of something that is going to happen to this world millions and millions of years hence. Therefore, although it is of course a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out – at least I suppose we may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation – it is not such as to render life miserable. It merely makes you turn your attention to other things.
Man, in the long ages since he descended from the trees, has passed arduously and perilously through a vast dusty desert, surrounded by the whitening bones of those who have perished by the way, maddened by hunger and thirst, by fear of wild beasts, by dread of enemies, not only living enemies, but spectres of dead rivals projected on to the dangerous world by the intensity of his own fears. At last he has emerged from the desert into a smiling land, but in the long night he has forgotten how to smile. We cannot believe in the brightness of the morning. We think it trivial and deceptive; we cling to old myths that allow us to go on living with fear and hate – above all, hate of ourselves, miserable sinners. This is folly. Man now needs for his salvation only one thing: to open his heart to joy, and leave fear to gibber through the glimmering darkness of a forgotten past. He must lift up his eyes and say: "No, I am not a miserable sinner; I am a being who, by a long and arduous road, has discovered how to make intelligence master natural obstacles, how to live in freedom and joy, at peace with myself and therefore with all mankind." This will happen if men choose joy rather than sorrow. If not, eternal death will bury man in deserved oblivion.
I knew, at a very early age, that my grand-uncle Nicholas B. was a Knight of the Legion of Honour and that he had also the Polish Cross for valour Virtuti Militari. The knowledge of these glorious facts inspired in me an admiring veneration; yet it is not that sentiment, strong as it was, which resumes for me the force and the significance of his personality. It is overborne by another and complex impression of awe, compassion and horror. Mr. Nicholas B. remains for me the unfortunate and miserable (but heroic) being who once upon a time had eaten a dog. It is a good forty years since I heard the tale, and the effect has not worn off yet. I believe this is the very first, say, realistic, story I heard in my life; but all the same I don't know why I should have been so frightfully impressed. Of course I know what our village dogs look like — but still. . .No! At this very day, recalling the horror and compassion of my childhood, I ask myself whether I am right in disclosing to a cold and fastidious world that awful episode in the family history. I ask myself — is it right? — especially as the B. family had always been honourably known in a wide country-side for the delicacy of their tastes in the matter of eating and drinking.