Yes, this list of the best classic book quotes is a Top Ten Tuesday post even though there is no “ten” in my title. Why? Well, because quotes are some of my favourite things and I was pretty certain I couldn’t stop at ten. Let’s see how it goes ….
Aristotle: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Ovid: Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim (Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)
C.S. Lewis: “Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
Thomas Merton: “The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!”
Dante Aligheri: “Oh human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?”
Dorothy L. Sayers: “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair …. It is the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”
Søren Kierkegaard: “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
Cicero: “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”
Albert Einstein: “There are two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
Aristotle: “It is absurd to hold that a man should be ashamed of an inability to defend himself with his limbs, but not ashamed of an inability to defend himself with speech and reason; for the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.”
Cicero: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
Victor Hugo: “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have labouriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
What a fun Top Ten Tuesday topic! It would be great if you could let me know in the comments what your favourite classic book quotes are or just your favourite quotes in general.
And if you like quotes as much as I do, you can follow my board on Pinterest where I’m collecting even more of them!
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