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My Collection of Favorite Quotes

Note: New additions appear at the bottom of the page.


"Be glad of life because it gives you a chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at stars."
--Henry Van Dyke

"Success and happiness are not destinations. They are exciting, never-ending journeys."--Zig Ziglar

"Read in order to live."--Gustave Flaubert

"Without love, intelligence is dangerous; without intelligence, love is not enough."--Ashley Montagu

"Mozart is sweet sunshine."--Antonin Dvorak

"If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it: Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth."--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Spontaneity is so much simpler when it's all planned out."--Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show

"There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness."--Marguerite Gardiner Blessington

"Man proposes; God disposes."--Thomas Kempis

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself,
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice."-- from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

"The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety."--Felix Mendelssohn

"A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants, and how much more unhappy he might be than he really is."--Joseph Addison

"The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home."--Confucius

"Imagination is the eye of the soul."--Joseph Joubert

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family."--Thomas Jefferson

"Without music, life would be a mistake."--Friedrich Nietzsche

"And all the loveliest
things there be
Come simply,
so it seems to me."--Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Liberty means responsibility."--George Bernard Shaw

"To gild refined gold,
to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add
another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with
taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye
of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess."--from Shakespeare's King John

"The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."-- William James

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."--William Blake

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."--Winston Churchill

"Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness."--George Santayana

"I will make you brooches
and toys for your delight,
Of bird-song at morning and
star-shine at night."--Robert Louis Stevenson

"Vanity working on a weak mind produces every kind of mischief."--Mr. Knightley in Jane Austen's Emma

"If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?"--Steven Wright

"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."--Joseph Addison

"The earth has music for those who listen."--William Shakespeare

"It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give happiness."--Thomas Jefferson

"May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."--Irish blessing

"Mozart is the human incarnation of the divine force of creation."--Goethe

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."--E. E. Cummings

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."--from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

"No soup for you!"--the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship."--Louisa May Alcott

"Big results require big ambitions."--James Champy

"Leave the gun--take the cannoli."--from The Godfather

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."--C. Archie Danielson

"Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic...and so am I."--Bob in What About Bob?

"Music, the greatest good that mortals know,
And all of heaven we have below."--Joseph Addison

"Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth."--Aesop

"Let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way."--Gloria Gaither

"Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love."--from Shakespeare's Hamlet

"We had visiting us at this time a nervous first cousin of mine named Briggs Beall, who believed that he was likely to cease breathing when he was asleep. It was his feeling that if he were not awakened every hour during the night, he might die of suffocation. He had been accustomed to setting an alarm clock to ring at intervals until morning, but I persuaded him to abandon this."-- from James Thurber's The Night the Bed Fell. [Just one of my favorite passages from the most hilarious short story I've ever read!]

"Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it."--Thomas Jefferson

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."--W.J. Bryant

"Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the infinite."--Thomas Carlyle

"Every why hath a wherefore."--William Shakespeare

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."--Aesop

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."--Mark Twain

"Good night, good night! parting
is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night
till it be morrow."--from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

"Life is like playing a violin solo in public, learning the instrument as you go."--Anonymous

"The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money."--Thomas Jefferson

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a tongue that never hurts."--Charles Dickens

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."--Albert Einstein

"If I don't like you, I'll fire ya--if you don't like me, I'll fire ya!"--Mr. Grant to Mary in The Mary Tyler Moore Show

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use."--Galileo Galilei

"Assassins!"--Arturo Toscanini, to his orchestra

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."--Henry Ford

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."--Thomas Alva Edison

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today,
tomorrow will be dying."--Robert Herrick

"I have an existential map; it has 'you are here' written all over it." --Steven Wright

"The Bird of Time has but a little way to flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing." --Omar Khayyam

"The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost."--G. K. Chesterton

"Sigh no more, ladies,
sigh no more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey nonny, nonny."--from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

"Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else."--Anonymous

"The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose."--Hada Bejar

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."--Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

"Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail."-- Edward A. Navajo

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."-- Aldous Huxley

"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."--Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered." --Daniel Webster

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and
women merely players:
They have their exits
and their entrances;
And one man in his time
plays many parts."--from Shakespeare's As You Like It

"Memory is the cabinet of the imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council chamber of thought."--Basile

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."--Edith Wharton

"The earth laughs in flowers."-- E.E. Cummings

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade;
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."--William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII

"Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."--Samuel Johnson

"Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something."--Henry David Thoreau

"Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity."--Percy Bysshe Shelley

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine."--Thomas Jefferson

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."--from Shakespeare's Macbeth

"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December."--Italo Svevo

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."--Abraham Lincoln

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."--Benjamin Franklin

"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection."--Michelangelo

"Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean, Beethoven the Romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea; and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both."--Henri Frederic Amiel

"I'm trying to think, but nothing happens!"--Curly of The Three Stooges

"Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful; if it's bad, it's experience."-- Victoria Holt

"Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body."--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"All is fair in love and war, and this is revolution!"--Jerry Travers in Top Hat

"It will never rain roses. When we want to have more roses, we must plant more trees."--George Eliot

"There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending."--Anonymous

"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like."--Will Rogers

"The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."--James Crook

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."--Henry Van Dyke

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."--Emma Goldman

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."--Thomas Jefferson

"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all."--Anonymous

"Sit in reverie, and watch the changing colors of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind."--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Friendship is a glorious melody whose beauty increases with the passage of time."--Jane Pierre

"If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time."--Marcel Proust

"The secret of success is to make your vocation your vacation."--Mark Twain

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."--George Washington

"A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."--Albert Einstein

"To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult."--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"We are all born for love; it is the principle of existence and its only end." --Benjamin Disraeli

"A life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books."--John Ruskin

"Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best."--Henry Van Dyke

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music."--George Eliot

"How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world."--William Shakespeare

"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life - happiness, freedom and peace of mind - are always attained by giving them to someone else."--Peyton Conway March

"Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music."--Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"You will find, as you look back upon your life, the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love."--Henry Drummond

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."--Carl Sandburg

"Let me not to the marriage
of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love
Which alters when it
alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover
to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests
and is never shaken..." -- from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."--Abraham Lincoln

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."--Winston Churchill

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."--Aaron Copland

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."--Aristotle

"There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves--so much everywhere in which to delight, and for which to be thankful."--Lucy Maud Montgomery

"Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow,
as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be
false to any man."--from Shakespeare's Hamlet

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult."--Seneca

"Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute."--Josh Billings

"There is in souls a sympathy with sounds;
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet!"--William Cowper

"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world."--Robert Louis Stevenson

"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it."--Albert Einstein

"The secret of success is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm, to let each wave of life wash us a little farther up the shore."--Cyril Connolly

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."--Confucius

"The first duty of love is to listen."--Paul Tillich

"The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music."--Jonathan Edwards

"There can be no rainbow without a storm and a cloud."--F.H. Vincent

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."--Oscar Wilde

"The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face."--William Thackeray

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."--Theodore Roosevelt

"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."--William Congreve

"Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow is wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly."--Old Eskimo saying

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else."--Charles Dickens

"To try and fail is at least to learn. To fail to try is to suffer the loss of what might have been."--Benjamin Franklin

"You will have many opportunities in life to keep your mouth shut: You should take advantage of every one of them."--Thomas Edison

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."--Confucius

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."--George Washington Carver

"Those who wish to sing always find a song."--Swedish proverb

"We are the music-makers,
We are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;--
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
We are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever it seems."--Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

"You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win."--Zig Ziglar

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."--William James

"Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."--Conrad Hilton

"Many of us spend our lives searching for success when it is usually so close that we can reach out and touch it."--Russell H. Conwell

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed."--Wayne Dyer

"Men and women are limited not by the place of their birth, not by the color of their skin, but by the size of their hope."--John Johnson

"The best things are nearest: breath in our nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life."--Robert Louis Stevenson

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Whatever you dream you can do, or believe you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass themselves by without wondering."--St. Augustine

"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be the blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king."--J.R.R. Tolkien

"Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold."--Maurice Setter

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, to live gratitude is to touch heaven."--Johannes A. Gaertner

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."--Louisa May Alcott

"There is no expedient to which the average person will not go to avoid the hard work of thinking."--Thomas Edison

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."--John Wesley

"If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!"--William Shakespeare


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