Edward John Poynter - Horae Serenae (detail), 1894

ALBERT CAMUS - Memes and Responsions


all life goes rotten - work (4)
Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): attributed; E. F. Schumacher Good Work (1979)


beautiful twilight - lies (3)
One sometimes sees more clearly in the man who lies than in the man who tells the truth. Truth, like the light, blinds. Lying, on the other hand, is a beautiful twilight, which gives to each object its value.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): attributed; Lord Trevelyan Diplomatic Channels (1973)


man who says no - revolution (6)
What is a rebel? A man who says no.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): L'Homme révolté (1951)


mind watches itself - intellectual (3)
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): Carnets, 1935-42 (1962)


morality and the duty of man - sports (3)
What I know most surely about morality and duty of man I owe to sport.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): Herbert R. Lottman Albert Camus (1979)


Poor people's memory - memory (6)
Poor people's memory is less nourished than that of a the rich; it has fewer landmarks in space because they seldom leave the place where they live, and fewer reference points in time... Of course, there is the memory of the heart that they say is the surest kind, but the heart wears out with sorrow and labour, it forgets sooner under the weight of fatigue.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): The First Man (1994)



reinforcement of the State - revolution (5)
All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the State.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): L'Homme révolté (1951)


way of getting the answer yes - charm (2)
You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked a clear question.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): The Fall (1957)



We are all special cases - self-interest (4)
We are all special cases. We all want to appeal against something! Everyone insists on his innocence, at all costs, even if it means accusing the rest of the human race and heaven.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): La Chute (1956)



When the imagination sleeps - imagination (2)
When the imagination sleeps, words are emptied of their meaning.

- Albert Camus (1913-1960): Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1961)


ALBERT EINSTEIN - Memes and Responsions


between politics and equations - science & soc (3)
One must divide one's time between politics and equations. But our equations are much more important to me.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): C. P. Snow 'Einstein' in M. Goldshmith et al. (eds) Einstein (1980)


citizen of the world - prejudice (2)
If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will claim me as a citizen of the world. Should my theory be proven untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): address at the Sorbonne, Paris, possibly early December 1929; in New York Times 16 February 1930


confronted with what exists - intelligence (4)
As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronting with what exists.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): Letters to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, 19 September 1932


degree of independence - careers (7)
If I would be a young man again and to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): in Reporter 18 November 1954


deposit of prejudices - practical (6)
Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach eighteen.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): Lincoln Barnett The Universe and Dr Einstein (1950 ed.)


eternal mystery of the world - universe (5)
The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility... The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.

  • usually quoted as 'The most incomprehensible fact about the universe is that it is comprehensible'

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): in Franklin Institute Journal March 1936 'Physics and Realty'


God does not play dice - chance (4)
At any rate, I am convinced that He [God] does not play dice.

  • often quoted as 'God does not play dice'

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): letter to Max Born, 4 December 1926


grand aim of all science - theory (5)
The grand aim of all science [is] to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): Lincoln Barnett The Universe and Dr Einstein (1950 ed.)


he is not malicious - god (11)
God is subtle but he is not malicious.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): remark made at Princeton University, May 1921


keeping your mouth shut - success (11)
If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): in Observer 15 January 1950


militant pacifist - pacifism (4)
I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): interview with G. S. Viereck, January 1931


never think of the future - future (7)
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): in a interview given on the Belgenland, December 1930


past, present and future - time (9)
The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, however persistent.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): letter to Michelangelo Besso, 21 March 1955


quant and ceremonious village - universities (6)
Princeton is a wonderful little spot. A quaint and ceremonious village of puny demigods on stilts.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): letter to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, 20 November 1933


science without religion - science & rel (4)
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium (1941)


stopped wearing socks - clothes (7)
When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): to Phillipe Halsman; A. P. French Einstein: A Centenary Volume (1979)


unleashed the power of the atom - inventions (6)
The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): telegram to prominent Americans, 24 May 1946


ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER - Memes and Responsions


short-legged sex - women (31)
Only the male intellect, clouded by sexual impulse, could call the undersized, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped, and short-legged sex the fair sex.

- Arthur Schopenhauer: 1788-1860: 'On Women' (1851)


BARUCH SPINOZA - Memes and Responsions

laugh at human actions - insight (10)
I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.

- Baruch Spinoza 1632-1677: Tractatus Politicus (1677)


BERTRAND RUSSELL - Memes and Responsions


always proud of the fact - sorrow (15)
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Conquest of Happiness (1930)


beauty cold and austere - maths (12)
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only the truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of a sculpture.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Philosophical Essays (1910)


examining his wives' mouths - experiment (5)
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Impact of Science on Society (1952)


fatal to happiness - caution (8)
Of all the forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Conquest of Happiness (1930)


fear love is to fear life - fear (14)
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Marriage and Morals (1929)


fed the chicken every day - foresight (9)
The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that a more refined view as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Problem of Philosophy (1912)


fundamental defect of fathers - fathers (4)
The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Sceptical Essays (1928) 'Freedom versus Authority in Education'


I might have become a god - atheism (7)
I was told that the Chinese said they would bury me by the Western Lake and build a shrine to my memory. I have some slight regret that this did not happen as I might have become a god, which would have been very chic for an atheist.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Autobiography (1968)


lack of rational conviction - opinion (11)
The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder's lack of rational conviction.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Sceptical Essays (1928)


last product of civilization - leisure (8)
To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Conquest of Happiness (1930)


Machines are worshipped - technology (23)
Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful, and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous, and loathed because they impose slavery.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Sceptical Essays (1928) 'Machines and Emotions'


Man is a credulous animal - belief (18)
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Unpopular Essays (1950) 'Outline of Intellectual Rubbish'


moulding men's lives - impulsive (4)
Impulse has more effect than conscious purpose in moulding men's lives.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Autobiography (1967)


on the side of the Government - religion (20)
Religion man in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the Government.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: attributed



People wish to be liked - duty (8)
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Conquest of Happiness (1930)


'progress' is ethical - progress (17)
'Change' is scientific, 'progress' is ethical: change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Unpopular Essays (1950) 'Philosophy and Politics'


shocks the magistrate - pornography (5)
It is obvious that 'obscenity' is not a term capable of exact legal definition; in the practice of the Courts, it means 'anything that shocks the magistrate'.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Sceptical Essays (1928) "The Recrudescence of Puritanism'


vital problem for the moralist - boredom (6)
Boredom is... a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: The Conquest of Happiness (1930)


what we are saying is true - maths (13)
Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Mysticism and Logic (1918)


why they invented Hell - cruelty (8)
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: Sceptical Essays (1928) 'On the Value of Scepticism'


Work is of two kinds - employment (13)
Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to each other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid.

- Bertrand Russell 1872-1970: In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays (1986) title essay (1932)


BILL MAHER - Memes and Responsions


LORD BYRON - Memes and Responsions


all the virtues of Man - dogs (2)
Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, all the virtues of Man, without his vices.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: 'Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog' (1808)


blown my brains out - in-laws (1)
I should, many a good day, have my brains out, but for the recollection that it would have given pleasure to my mother-in-law; and, even then, if I could have been certain to haunt her...

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: letter 28 January 1817


burnt each other - christian (1)
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
That all the Apostles would have done as they did.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


chase the glowing Hours - dance (5)
On with the dance! let joy be unconfirmed;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with Flying feet.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)


climax of all human ills - debt (1)
Dreading that climax of all human ills,
The inflammation of his weekly bills.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


critics all are ready made - critics (3)
A man must serve his time to every trade
Save censure - critics all are read made.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809)


damned cutting and slashing - publishing (2)
The poem will please if it is lively - if it is stupid it will fail - but I will have none of your damned cutting and slashing.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: letter to his publisher John Murray, 6 April 1819


detest at liesure - hatred (1)
Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


finished  by death - ending (3)
All tragedies are finished by a death,
All comedies are ended by marriage;
The future states of both are left to faith.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


first silent, then talky - parties (3)
Like other parties of the kind, it was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious, then unintelligible, then altogethery, then articulate, and then drunk.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: letter to ThomasMoore, 31 October1815


fly from, need not to be hate - solitude (4)
To fly from, need not to be hate, mankind.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)


found myself famous - fame (7)
I awoke one morning and found myself famous.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Thomas Moore Letters and Journals of Lord Byron (1830)

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Friendship is Love - Friendship (7)
Friendship is Love without his wings!

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: 'L'Amitié est l'amour sans ailes' (written 1806)


'I told you so.' - Advice (5)
Of all the horrid, hideous nots of woe,
Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast,
Is that portentous phrase, 'I told you so.'

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


In her first passion - Love (14)
In her first passion woman loves her lover,
In all the others all she loves is love.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


keep down a single petticoat - censorship (3)
The reading or non-reading a book - will never keep down a single petticoat.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: letter to Richard Hoppner, 29 October 1819


know that which we are - self-know (6)
How little do we know that which we are!

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


little still she strove - seduction (2)
A little still she strove, and much repented,
And whispering 'I will ne'er consent' - consented.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


not always be a Tory - political p (3)
God will not always be a Tory.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: letter 2 February 1821


paint on the face of Existence - hope (2)
What is hope? nothing but the int of the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a  hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of.

- Lord Byron 1788-182: Letter to Thomas Moore, 28 October, 1815


Petrarch's wife - familiar (2)
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife,
He would have written sonnets all his life?

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


Roll on, thou deep - sea (2)
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean - roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin - his control
Stops with the shore.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)


scream in a low voice - children (5)
The place is very well and quit and the children only scream in a low voice.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: letter to Lady Melbourne, 21 September 1813


She walks in beauty - beauty (3)
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: 'She Walks in Beauty' (1815)


Stranger than fiction - truth (10)
'Tis strange - but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


sweet is revenge - revenge (4)
Sweet is revenge - especially to women.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


talent of a liar - fiction (2)
I hate things all fiction... there should always be some foundation of fact for the most airy fabric and pure invention is but the talent of a liar.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


wedlock's the devil - marriage (3)
Still I can't contradict, what so oft has been said,
'Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil.'

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


when Rome falls - Italy (2)
While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
And when Rome falls - the World.

- Lord Byron 1788-1824: Child Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)


Where burning Sappho loved - Greece (1)
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
When burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set!

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


wine and women, mirth - pleasure (5)
Let us not have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


winter - ending in July - winter (1)
The English winter - ending in July,
To recommence in August.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


woman's whole existence - men/women (4)
Man's love is a man's life a thing apart,
'Tis woman's whole existence.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)


young barbarians all at play - cruelty (4)

There were his young barbarias all at play,
There was their Dacian mother - he, their sire,
Butchered to make a Roman holiday.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)


CARL GUSTAV HEMPEL - Memes and Responsions


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CHARLES DICKENS - Memes and Responsions


Annual income twenty pounds - debt (3)
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds naught and six, result misery.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: David Copperfield (1850)



Anythin' for a quiet life - solitude (7)
Anythin' for a quite life, as the man said when he took the sitivation at the lighthouse.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Pickwick Papers (1837)



'Bah,' said Scrooge - Christmas (6)
'Bah,' said Scrooge. 'Humbug!'

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: A Christmas Carole (1843)



Barkis is willin' - readiness (2)
Barkis is willin'

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: David Copperfield (1850)


Circumlocution Office - bureaucracy (3)
Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving - HOW NOT TO DO IT.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Little Dorrit (1857)


conquered human nature - human nature (6)
Subdue your appetites my dears, and you've conquered human nature.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Nicholas Nickleby (1839)


doll in the doll's house - women's r (7)
I want to be something so much worthier than the doll in the doll's house.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Our Mutual Friend (1865)


faith in people's governing - government (4)
My faith in the people governing is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in The People governed is, on the whole, illimitable.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: speech at Birmingham and Midland Institute, 27 September 1869


feel ashamed of home - home (1)
It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Great Expectations (1861)


hundred years hence - mistakes (2)
As she frequently remarked when she made any such mistake, it would be all the same a hundred years hence.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Nicholas Nickleby (1839)


I want some more - greed (4)
Please, sir, I want some more.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Oliver Twist (1838)


in case anything turned up - optimism (3)
I have know him to come home to supper with a flood of tears, and a declaration that nothing was now left but a jail; and go to bed making a calculation of the expense of putting bow-windows in the house, 'in case anything turned up,' which was his favourite expression.

  • of Mr Micawber

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: David Copperfield (1850)


It is a far, far better thing - sacrifice (5)
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever know.

  • Sydney Carton's thoughts on the steps of the guillotine, taking the place of Charles Darnay whom he has smuggled out of prison

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: A Tale of Two Cities (1859)


law is a ass - a idiot - laws (6)
'If the law supposes that,' said Mr Bumble... 'the law is an ass - an idiot.'

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Oliver Twist (1838)


let us love our occupations - class (7)
O let us love our occupations,
Bless the squire and his relations,
Live upon our daily rations,
And always know our proper stations.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: The Chimes (1844) 'The Second Quarter'


make business for itself - laws (7)
The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Bleak House (1853)


Not to put too fine a point - tact (2)
'Not to put too fine a point upon it' - a favourite apology for plain speaking with Mr Snagsby.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Bleak House (1853)


nursed a dear Gazelle - disillusion (2)
I never nursed a dear Gazelle, to glad me with its soft black eye, but when it came to know me well, and love me, it was sure to marry a market-gardener.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: The Old Curiosity Shop (1841); see Transcience 12


one demd horrid grind - work (6)
My life is one demd horrid grind!

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Nicholas Nickleby (1839)


others may be Prooshans - nationality (2)
Some people... may be Rooshans, and others may be Prooshans; they are born so, and will please themselves. Them which is of other naturs thinks different.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Martin Chuzzlewit (1844)


She'll vish there wos more - letters (3)
She'll vish there wos more, and that's the great art o' letter writin'.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Pickwick Papers (1837-8)


Shout with the largest - conformity (3)
'It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do.' But suppose there are two mobs?' suggested Mr Snodgrass. 'Shout with the largest,' replied Mr Penwick.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Pickwick Papers (1837)


styles of portrait painting - painting (8)
There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Nicholas Nickleby (1839)


taste and fancy of the speller - words (5)
'Do you spell it with a "V" or a "W"?' inquired the judge. 'That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my Lord,' replied Sam [Weller].

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Pickwick Papers (1837)


This is a London particular - fog (1)
This is a London particular... A gog, miss.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Bleak House (1853)


true business precept - humility (3)
We are so very 'umble.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: David Copperfield (1850)


We never knows wot's hidden - secrecy (9)
We never knows wot's hidden in each other's hearts; and if we had glass winders there, we'd need keep the shutters up, some on us, I do assure you!

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Martin Chuzzlewit (1844)


what I want is, Facts - facts (1)
Now, what I want is, Facts... Facts alone are wanted in life.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Hard Times (1954)


winder, a casement - teaching (5)
C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of the book, he goes and does it.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Nicholas Nickleby (1839)


work its way with the women - clothes (6)
A good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.

- Charles Dickens 1812-1870: Pickwick Papers (1837)


DAVID HILBERT - Memes and Responsions


importance of a scientific work - science (8)
The importance of a scientific work can be measured by the number of previous publications it makes it superfluous to read.

- David Hilbert 1862-1943: attributed; Lewis Wolpert The Unnatural Nature of Science (1993)


We must know - knowledge (13)
We must know,
We will know.

- David Hilbert 1862-1943: epitaph on his tombstone


DOUGLAS ADAMS - Memes and Responsions


Don't panic - advice (1)
Don't panic.

- Douglas Adams 1952- : Hitchhiker's Guild to the Galaxy (1979)


Life, the Universe - life (1)
The Answer to the Great Question Of... Life, the Universe and Everything... [is] Forty-two.

- Douglas Adams 1952- : Hitchhiker's Guild to the Galaxy (1979)


EDGAR ALLAN POE - Memes and Responsions


ELIZABETH I OF ENGLAND - Memes and Responsions


for a moment of time - last words (5)
All my possessions for a moment of time.

- Elizabeth I 1533-1603: attributed, but almost certainly apocryphal


glory of my crown - government (6)
Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my crown: that I have reigned with your loves.

- Elizabeth I 1533-1603: The Golden Speech, 1601


heart and stomach of a king - royalty (7)
I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.

- Elizabeth I 1533-1603: speech to the troops as Tilbury n the approach of the Armada, 1588


to be addressed to princes - necessity (1)
Must! Is must a word to be addressed to princes? Little man, little man! thy father, if he had been alive, durst not have used that word.

  • to Robert Cecil, on his saying she must go on to bed

- Elizabeth I 1533-1603: J. R. Green A Short History of the English People (1874)


windows into men's souls - secrecy (10)
I would not open windows into men's souls.

- Elizabeth I 1533-1603: oral tradition, the words very possibly originated in a letter drafted by Bacon; J. B. Black Reign of Elizabeth 1558-1603 (1936)


FLANNERY O'CONNOR - Memes and Responsions


FRANCIS BACON - Memes and Responsions


agree in the dark - indifference (1)
All colours will agree in the dark.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1626) 'Of Unity in Religion'


avoiding superstition - supernatural (4)
There is a superstition in avoiding superstition.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1626) 'Of Superstition'


Books will speak plain - advice (3)
Books will speak plan when counsellors blanch.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Counsel'


chewed and digested - books (2)
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Studies'


content to begin with doubts - doubt (1)
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.  

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: The Advancement of Learning (1605)


God and angels - action (2)
But men must know, that in this theatre of a man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: The Advancement of Learning (1605)


greatest innovator - change (2)
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Innovations'


green grass kept finely shorn - gardens (4)
Nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Gardens'


hostages to fortune - family (1)
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue r mischief.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Marriage and the Single Life'


in life as it is in ways - ways (1)
It is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way in commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way is not much about.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: The Advancement of Learning (1605)


jesting Pilate - truth (4)
What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Truth'


kind of wild justice - revenge - (1)
Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more out law to weed it out.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Revenge'


Knowledge itself is power - knowledge (3)
Knowledge itself is power.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Meditationes Sacrae (1597) 'Of Heresies'


make misfortunes more bitter - children (2)
Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Parents and Children'


Money is like muck - money (2)
Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Sedations and Troubles'


part of education - travel (1)
Travel, in the younger sort, is part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Travel'


pencil of the Holy Ghost - Bible (1)
The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Adversity'


purest of human pleasures - gardens (3)
God Almighty first planted a garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Gardens'


Riches are for spending - wealth (2)
Riches are for spending.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Expense'


Suspicions amongst thoughts - trust (2)
Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Suspicion'


would like to be true - belief (2)
For what a man would like to be true, that he more readily believes.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Novum Organum (1620)


young men's mistresses - wives (1)
Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses.

- Francis Bacon 1561-1626: Essays (1625) 'Of Marriage and the Single Life'


FREDERICK THE GREAT - Memes and Responsions


prejudices through the door - prejudice (3)
Drive out prejudices through the door, and they will return through the window.

- Frederick the Great 1712-1786: letter to Voltaire, 19 March 1771


would you live for ever - army (8)
Rascals, would you live for ever?

  • to hesitant Guards at Kolin, 18 June 1757

- Frederick the Great 1712-1786: attributed


CARL FRIEDRICH GAUSS - Memes and Responsions


GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ - Memes and Responsions


face of a dog - necessity (6)
Necessity has the face of a dog.

- Gabriel García Márquez 1928-2004: In Evil Hour (1968)


it ends every night - marriage (22)
The trouble with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.

- Gabriel García Márquez 1928-2004: Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)


GEORG BÜCHNER - Memes and Responsions


GEORGE ORWELL - Memes and Responsions


always be judged guilty - saints (2)
Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Shooting an Elephant (1950) 'Reflection on Gandhi'


better wages and shorter hours - political p (22)
The ordinary working man, the sort you would meet in any pub on Saturday night, Socialism does not mean much more than better wages and shorter hours and nobody bossing you about.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)


BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU - government (21)
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)


biking to Holy Communion - England (14)
Old maids biking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn mornings... these are not only fragments, but characteristic fragments, of the English scene.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Lion and the Unicorn (1941) 'England Your England'; cf. Britain 8


boot stamping on a human face - future (13)
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)


both honest and intelligent - argument (16)
The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: in Polemic January 1946


brown bread and raw carrots - food (19)
The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you are to spend it on wholesome food. A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and ryvita biscuits; [but]... When you are underfed, harassed, bored and miserable, you don't want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit 'tasty'.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)


deep sleep of England - England (13)
Down here it was still the England I had know in my childhood: the railway cuttings smothered in wild flowers... the red buses, the blue policemen - all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Homage to Catalonia (1938)


disbelieving in God - atheism (5)
He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him), and took a sort of pleasure in thinking that human affairs would never improve.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Down and out in Paris and London (1933)


Doublethink means - thinking (15)
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)


face he deserves - face (5)
At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: last words in his notebook, 17 April 1949

... and so George never quite got the face he deserved.


food he has eaten - health (5)
A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound of rotten bones of his children.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)


Four legs good, two legs bad - prejudice (8)
Four legs good, two legs bad.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Animal Farm (1945)


funny is subversive - humour (11)
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: in Horizon September 1941 'The Art of Donald McGill'


like a window-pane - writing (27)
Good prose is like a window-pane.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Collected Essays (1968) vol. 1 'Why I Write'


make lies sound truthful - politics (27)
Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Shooting an Elephant (1950) 'Politics and the English Language'


make thoughtcrime impossible - censorship (14)
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)


nothing to do with fair play - sports (15)
Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, and disregard of all the rules.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Shooting an Elephant (1950) 'I Write as I Please'


on the playing-fields of Eton - Waterloo (2)
Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Lion and the Unicorn (1941) 'England Your England'; in responsion to...

The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.

- Duke of Wellington 1769-1852: oral tradition, but not found in this form of words; C. F. R. Montalembert De l'avenir politique de l'Angleterre (1856)


quickest way of ending war - warfare (27)
The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: in Polemic May 1946


sinking middle class - class (13)
We of the sinking middle class... may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose but our aitches.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)


some animals are more equal - equality (10)
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Animal Farm (1945)


sort of gutless Kipling - poets (15)
The high-water mark, so to speak, of Socialist literature is W. H. Auden, a sort of gutless Kipling.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)


stick inside a swill bucket - advertising (12)
Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: attributed


these blissful circumstances - murder (9)
Roast beef and Yorkshire, or roast beef and apple sauce, followed up by suet pudding and driven home, as it were, by a cup of mahogany-brown tea, have put you in just the right mood. Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alright, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about?
Naturally, about murder.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: 'Decline of the English Murder' (written 1946)


two plus two makes four - liberty (25)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)


Who controls the past - power (17)
Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

- George Orwell 1903-1950: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)


GIORDANO BRUNO - Memes and Responsions


JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE - Memes and Responsions


best is good enough - art (13)
In art the best is good enough.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Italienische Reise (1816-1817) 3 March 1787


children still at heart - old age (7)
Age does not make us childish, as men
tell,
It merely finds us children still at
heart.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Faust pt. 1 (1808)


deed is all - fame (11)
The deed is all, the glory nothing.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Faust pt. 2 (1832)


Eternal Women draws us - women (14)
Eternal Women draws us upward.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Faust pt. 2 (1832) 'Hochgebirg'


golden tree of actual life - reality (4)
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of actual life springs ever green.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Faust pt. 1 (1808)


hopes and desires of youth - middle age (9)
He who thinks to realize when he is older the hopes and desires of youth is always deceiving himself, for every decade of a man's life possesses its own kind of happiness, its own hopes and prospects.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Elective Affinities (1809)


I do not know myself - self-know (7)
I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: J. P. Eckermann Gespräche mit Goethe (1836-48) 10 April 1829

Know thyself.

- Anonymous: inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi; Plato ascribes the saying to the Seven Wise Men


More light - last words (6)
More light!

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: attributed; actually 'Open the second shutter, so that more light can come in'


poetry of life - supernatural (10)
Superstition is the poetry of life.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Maximen and Reflection (1819)


Talent develops - character (9)
Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Torquato Tasso (1790)


where a thought is lacking - words (9)
It's exactly where a thought is lacking
That, just in time, a word shows up
instead.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832: Faust (1808)


GUSTAVE FLAUBERT - Memes and Responsions


as God is creation - art (10)
The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him.

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: letter to Mademoiselle Leroyer de Chantepie, 18 March 1857


Human life is a sad show - art (9)
Human life is a sad show undoubtedly: ugly, heavy and complex. Art has no other end, for people of feeling, than to conjure away the burden and bitterness.

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: letter to Amelie Bosquet, July 1864


life-blood on thought - style (5)
Style is life! It is the very life-blood of thought!

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: letter to Louise Colet, 7 September 1853


like a cracked kettle - speech (8)
Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: Madame Bovary (1857)


number of his enemies - value (8)
You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: letter to Louise Colet, 14 June 1853


rotten seat of a latrine - progress (10)
From time to time, in the towns, I open a newspaper. Things seam to be going at a dizzy rate. We are dancing not on a volcano, but on a rotten seat of a latrine.

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: letter to Louis Bouilhet, 14 November 1850


they're just as useless - books (8)
Books are made not like children but like pyramids... and they're just as useless! ... and they stay in the desert! ... Jackals piss at their foot and the bourgeois climb up on them.

- Gustave Flaubert 1823-1880: letter to Ernest Feydeau, November/December 1857


HENRY GLEITMAN - Meme and Responsion

Afternoons are Delightful - Another planksip® Möbius

IMMANUEL KANT - Memes and Responsions


crooked timber of humanity - human race (15)
Out of this crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.

- Immanuel Kant 1724-1804: Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784)


not an ideal of reason - happiness (8)
Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.

- Immanuel Kant 1724-1804: Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics (1785)


two things fill the mind - thinking (11)
Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more seriously reflection concentrates upon them: the starry heaven above me and the moral law within me.

- Immanuel Kant 1724-1804: Critique of Practical Reason (1788)


Whoever wills at the end - causes (5)
Whoever wills the end, wills also (so far as reason decides his conduct) the means in his power which are indispensably necessary thereto.

- Immanuel Kant 1724-1804: Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics (1785)


ISAAC NEWTON - Memes and Responsions


boy playing on the sea-shore - inventions (14)
I don't know what I may seem to the world, but as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Isaac Newton 1642-1727: Joseph Spence Anecdotes (ed. J. Osborn, 1966)


no arguing against facts - experiment (3)
It may be so, there is no arguing against facts and experiments.

  • when told of an experiment which appeared to destroy his theory

Isaac Newton 1642-1727: reported by John Conduit, 1726


shoulders of giants - progress (15)
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Isaac Newton 1642-1727: letter to Robert Hooke, 5 February 1676; cf. 2 above


JACK KEROUAC - Memes and Responsions


JAMES MADISON (and Steven Pinker)- Memes and Responsions


JAMES JOYCE - Memes and Responsions


errors are volitional - genius (8)
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: Ulysses (1922)


hand that wrote Ulysses - Joyce (2)*
When a young man came up to him in Zurich and said, 'May I kiss the hand that wrote Ulysses?' Joyce replied, somewhat like King Lear, 'No, it did lots of other things too.'

- James Joyce 1883-1941: Ulysses (1922)


heaven tree of stars - skies (8)
The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: Ulysses (1922)


I fear those big words - words (15)
I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: Ulysses (1922)


I will try to express myself - self (16)
I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)


old sow that eats her farrow - Ireland (5)
Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)


paring his fingernails - art (18)
The artist, like God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of experience, indifferent, paring his fingernails.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)


scrotum tightening sea - sea (7)
The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: Ulysses (1922)


Tenors get women - singing (12)
Tenors get women by the score.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: Ulysses (1922)


Terror is the feeling - suffering (10)
Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsover is grave and constant in human nature suffering and unites it with the human sufferer. Terror is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human suffering and unites it with the secret cause.

- James Joyce 1883-1941: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)


JEREMY BENTHAM - Memes and Responsions


All punishment is mischief - punishment (1)
All punishment is mischief: all punishment in itself is evil.

- Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832: Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)


Can they suffer - animal rights (2)
The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, can they suffer?

- Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832: Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)


greatest happiness - society (3)
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.

- Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832: The Commonplace Book; Bentham claimed that either Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) or Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) passed on the 'sacred truth'.


Prose is when all the lines - poetry (3)
Prose is when all the lines except the last go on to the end. Poetry is when some of them fall short of it.

- Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832: M. St. J. Packe The Life of John Stuart Mill (1954)


rights is simple nonsense - human rights (4)
Natural rights are simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense - nonsense upon stilts.

- Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832: Anarchical Fallacies (1843)


JOHN BERGER - Memes and Responsions


every marriage is different - weddings (3)
A weddings are similar but ever marriage is different. Death comes to everyone but one mourns alone.

- John Berger 1926-2017: The White Bird (1985)


JOHN KEATS - Memes and Responsions


beaker full of warm South - alcohol (12)
O for a beaker full of warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode to a Nightingale' (1820)


Beauty is truth - beauty (15)
'Beauty is truth, truth is beauty,' - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' (1820)


cease upon the midnight - death (17)
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Called him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breathe; Now more than ever seems it rich to die.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode to a Nightingale' (1820)


do not christen him John - names (9)
If you should have a boy do not christen him John ... This is a bad name and goes against man. If my name had been Edmund I should have been more fortunate.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to his sister-in-law, 13 January 1820


flaw in happiness - discontent (5)
It is a flaw
In happiness, to see beyond our bourn -
It forces us in summer skies to mourn:
It spoils the singing of the nightingale.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'To J. H. Reynolds, Esq.' (written 1818)


flummery of a birth place - fame (5)
O the flummery of a birth place!
Cant! Cant! Cant! It is enough to give a spirit the guts-ache.

  • on visiting Burns's birthplace

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, 11 July 1818


gordian shape of dazzling hue - appearance (8)
She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barred.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Lamia' (1820)


I stand alone and think - value (9)
Then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'When I have fears that I may cease to be' (written 1818)


I would scarcely kick - depression (5)
I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to Benjamin Bailey, 25 May 1818


impossible to live - rain (5)
It is impossible to live in a country which is continually under hatches ... Rain! Rain! Rain!

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to J. H. Reynolds from Devon, 10 April 1818


joy for ever - beauty (14)
A thing of beauty is joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.

- John Keats 1795-1821: Endymion (1818)


leaden-eyed despairs - suffering (11)
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where man sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode to a Nightingale' (1829)


like to be married to a poem - romance (5)
I have met with women whom I really think would like to be married to a poem and to be given away by a novel.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to Fanny Brawne, 8 July 1819


magic casements - imagination (8)
The same that oft-times hath
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode to a Nightingale' (1820)


mists and mellow fruitfulness - autumn (4)
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'To Autumn' (1820)


more concentrated in you - absence (4)
I wish you could invent some means to make me at all happy without you. Every hour I am more and more concentrated in you; every thing else tastes like chaff in my mouth.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to Fanny Brawne, August 1820


name was writ in water - epitaphs (18)
Here lies one whose name was writ in water.

  • epitaph for himself

- John Keats 1795-1821: Richard Monckton Miles Life, Letters and Literary Remains of John Keats (1848)


naturally as the leaves - poetry (20)
If poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree it had better not come at all.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to John Taylor, 27 February 1818


next to fine doing - literature/soc (4)
I am convinced more and more day by day that fine writing is next to fine doing the top thing in the world.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to J. H. Reynolds, 24 August 1819


O for a life of sensations - senses (8)
O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817


on tip-toe for a flight - flowers (3)
Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'I stood tip-toe upon a little hill' (1817)


strengthening one's intellect - mind (9)
The only means of strengthening one's own intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing - to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Not a select party.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to George and Georgiana Keats, 24 September 1819


unravished bride of quietness - silence (5)
Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time.

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode on Grecian Urn' (1820)


uproars's your own music - change (17)
There is nothing stable in the world - uproar's your only music.

- John Keats 1795-1821: letter to George and Thomas Keats, 13 January 1818


Was it a vision - dreams (7)
Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music: - do I wake or sleep?

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Ode to a Nightingale' (1820)


would I were steadfast - faithfulness (8)
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art - .

- John Keats 1795-1821: 'Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art' (written 1819)


JOHN RUSKIN - Memes and Responsions


cloud as a golden throne - ignorance (12)
For most men, an ignorant enjoyment is better than an informed one; it is better to convince the sky as a blue dome than a dark cavity; and the cloud as a golden throne than a sleety mist.

- John Ruskin 1819-1900: Modern Painters (1856)


hard and dirty work - employment (12)
Which of us ... is to do the hard and dirty work for the rest - and for what pay? Who is to do the pleasant and clean work, and for what pay?

- John Ruskin 1819-1900: Sesame and Lilies ((1865)


Labour without joy is base - work (20)
Labour without joy is base. Labour without sorrow is base. Sorrow without labour is base. Joy without labour is base.

- John Ruskin 1819-1900: Time and Tide (1867)


laws of life - cooperation (13)
Government and co-operation are in all things the laws of life; anarchy and competition the laws of death.

- John Ruskin 1819-1900: Unto this Last (1862)


peacocks and lilies - beauty (20)
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.

- John Ruskin 1819-1900: Stones of Venice vol. 1 (1851)


we build for ever - architect (12)
When we build, let us think that we build for ever.

- John Ruskin 1819-1900: Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849)


JOHN STEINBECK - Memes and Responsions


bellies of his children - famine (4)
How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him - he has known a fear beyond every other.

- John Steinbeck 1902-1968: The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

Steinbeck gives us the ultimate fear of a father. How do you scare a father who fears for the starvation of his children?


boys who wanted the moon - greatness (7)
All the world's great have been little boys who wanted the moon.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: Cup of Gold (1953)


deep in its own filth - pollution (13)
I do wonder whether there will come a time when we can no longer afford our wastefulness - chemical wastes in the rivers, metal wastes everywhere, and atomic wastes buried deep in the earth or sunk in the sea. When an Indian village became too deep in its own filth, the inhabitants moved. And we have no place to which to move.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: Travels With Charley (1962)


dying for four thousand years - theatre (13)
The theatre is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: Once There Was a War (1958)


grows beyond his work - human race (26)
Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: The Grapes of Wrath (1939)


man got to do - duty (10)
I know this - a man got to do what he got to do.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: The Grapes of Wrath (1939)


Okie means you're scum - insults (11)
Okie use' ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means you're a dirty son-of-a-bitch. Okie means you're scum. Don't mean nothing itself, it's the way they say it.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: The Grapes of Wrath (1939)


purpose is to get them off - weddings (11)
You can't imagine how many clothes you have to put on a girl when the sole purpose is to get them off.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: The Grapes of Wrath (1939)


We want to see tomorrow - future (17)
Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.

- John Steinbeck 1902-68: The Grapes of Wrath (1939)


JULIUS CAESAR - Memes and Responsions


believe what they wish - self-interest (2)
Men are nearly always willing to believe as they wish.

- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC: De Bello Gallico


die is cast - crises (4)
The die is cast.

  • at the crossing of the Rubicon

- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC: Suetonius Lives of the Caesars 'Divus Julius'; Plutarch Parallel Lives 'Pompey'


Et tu, Brute? - betrayal (2)
Et tu, Brute?
You too, Brutus?

- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC: traditional rendering of Suetonius Lives of Caesars 'Divus Julius'


first in a village - ambition (4)
[I] had rather be first in a village than second in Rome.

- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC: Third Letter ... on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory (1797)


I came, I saw, I conquered - success (5)
Veni, vidi, vici.
I came, I saw, I conquered.

- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC: inscription displayed in Caesar's Pontic triumph, according to Suetonius Lives of the Caesars 'Divus Julius': or, according to Plutarch Parallel Lives 'Julius Caesar', written in a letter, announcing the victory of Zela which concluded the Pontic campaign


must be above suspicion - reputation (3)
Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.

- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC: oral tradition, based on Plutarch Parallel Lives 'Julius Caesar'


MARTIN LUTHER - Memes and Responsions


Here I stand - determination (7)
Here stand I. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.

- Martin Luther 1483-1546: speech at the Diet of Worms, 18 April 1521; attributed


women, wind, and song - pleasure (12)
Who loves not women, wine, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.

- Martin Luther 1483-1546: attributed; later inscribed in Luther room in the Wartburg, but with no proof of authorship.


MARY SHELLEY - Memes and Responsions


Everywhere I see bliss - despair (9)
Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded.

- Mary Shelley 1789-1852: Frankenstein (1818)


think like other people - conformity (13)
Teach him to think for himself? Oh, my God, teach him rather to think like other people!

  • on her son's education

- Mary Shelley 1789-1852: Mathew Arnold Essays in Criticism Second Series (1888) 'Shelley'


MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE - Memes and Responsions


amusing herself with me - cats (6)
When I play with my cat, who knows whether she isn't amusing herself with me more that I am with her?

- Montaigne 1532-1592: Essais (1580)


bunch of other men's flowers - plagiarism (6)
It could be said of me that in this book I have only made up a bunch of other men's flowers, providing of my own only the string that ties them together.

- Montaigne 1532-1592: Essais (1580)


little back shop, all his own - self (18)
A man should keep for himself a little back shop, all his own, quite unadulterated, in which he establishes his true freedom and chief place of seclusion and solitude.

- Montaigne 1532-1592: Essais (1580)


running of a family - home (7)
There is scarcely any less bother in the running of a family than in that of an entire state. And domestic business is no less importunate for being important.

- Montaigne 1532-1592: Essais (1580)


serious-minded activity - children (14)
It should be noted that children at play are not playing about; their games should be seen as their most serious-minded activity.

- Montaigne 1532-1592: Essais (1580)


What do I know - knowledge (17)
Que said-je?
What do I know?

  • on the position of the sceptic

- Montaigne 1532-1592: Essais (1580)


MICHELANGELO - Memes and Responsions


marble not yet carved - sculpture (6)
The marble not yet carved can hold the form
Of every thought the greatest artist has.

Michelangelo 1475-1564: Sonnet 15


NIKOLAI GOGOL - Memes and Responsions


Don't leave them on the road - emotions (6)
As you pass from the tender years of youth into harsh and embittered manhood, make sure your journey all the human emotions! Don't leave them on the road, for you will not pick them up afterwards!

Nikolai Gogol 1809-1852: Dead Souls (1842)


OVID (Publius Ovidius Naso)- Memes and Responsions


devourer of everything - time (15)
Tempus edax rerum.
Time the devourer of everything.

Ovid 43 BC - AD c.17: Metamorphoses


You will go most safely - moderation (5)
You will go most safely by the middle way.

Ovid 43 BC - AD c.17: Metamorphoses


PIERRE-SIMON LAPLACE - Memes and Responsions


RENÉ DESCARTES - Memes and Responsions


best distributed commodity - practical (5)
Common sense is the best distributed commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.

René Descartes 1596-1650: Discourse on the Method (1637)


I think, therefore I am - thinking (5)
Je pense, donc je suis.
I think, therefore I am.

  • usually quoted as, 'Cogito, ergo sum', from 1641, Latin edition

René Descartes 1596-1650: Discourse on the Method (1637)

I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches.

Milan Kundera 1929- : Immortality (1991)


RICHARD FEYNMAN - Memes and Responsions


nature cannot be fooled - technology (12)
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

- Richard Phillips Feynman 1918-1988: Appendix to the Rogers Commission Report on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident 6 June 1986


ROBERT BURTON - Memes and Responsions


all poets are mad - poetry (5)
All poets are mad.

- Robert Burton 1577-1640: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51)


as true as another - religion (3)
One religion is as true as another.

- Robert Burton 1577-1640: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51)


Diogenes struck the father - parents (2)
Diogenes struck the father when the son swore.

- Robert Burton 1577-1640: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51)


lard their lean books - plagiarism (1)
They lard their lean books with the fat of others' works.

- Robert Burton 1577-1640: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51)


See one promontory - travel (4)
See one promontory (said Socrates of old), one mountain, one sea, one river, and see all.

- Robert Burton 1577-1640: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51)


so sweet as Melancholy - sorrow (4)
All my joys to this are folly,
Naught so sweet as Melancholy.

- Robert Burton 1577-1640: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621-51)


RUDYARD KIPLING - Memes and Responsions


all places were alike to him - cats (4)
He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him.

- Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936: Just So Stories (1902) 'The Cat that Walked by Himself'


better man than I am, Gunga - character (13)
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

- Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936: 'Gunga Din' (1832)


constructing tribal lays - opinion (6)
There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
And - every - single - one - of - them - is - right !

Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936: 'In the Neolithic Age' (1873)


STEPHEN HAWKING - Memes and Responsions


bother of existing - universe (9)
What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe ... Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?

- Stephen Hawking 1942-2018: A Brief History of Time (1988)


halve the sales - math (8)
Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales.

- Stephen Hawking 1942-2018: A Brief History of Time (1988)


redefining the task of science - science (7)
In effect, we have redefined the task of science to be the discovery of laws that will enable us to predict events up to the limits set by the uncertainty principle.

- Stephen Hawking 1942-2018: A Brief History of Time (1988)


triumph of human reason - life (13)
If we find the answer to that [why it is that we and the universe exist], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.

- Stephen Hawking 1942-2018: A Brief History of Time (1988)


THOMAS PAINE - Memes and Responsions


age going to the workhouse - government (23)
When, in countries that are called civilized, we see age going to the workhouse and youth to the gallows, something must be wrong in the system of government.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: The Rights of Man pt. 2 (1792)


badge of lost innocence - government (22)
Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil ... Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence, the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: Common Sense (1776)


living to some purpose - revolution (15)
A share in two revolutions is living to some purpose.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: Eric Foner Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (1976)


My country is the world - religion (17)
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: The Rights of Man pt. 2 (1792)


shocks the mind of a child - religion (18)
Any system of religion that has any thing in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: The Age of Reason pt. 1 (1794)


teach governments humanity - punishment (15)
Lay then the axe to the root, and teach governments humanity. It is their sanguinary punishments which corrupt mankind.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: The Rights of Man (1792)


times that try men's souls - patriotism (17)
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and women.

- Thomas Paine 1737-1809: The Crisis (December 1776)


UMBERTO ECO - Memes and Responsions


good of a book - books (7)
The good of a book lies in its being read.

- Umberto Eco 1932-2016: The Name of the Rose (1981)


He who is successful is good - success (10)
In the United States there's a Puritan ethic and a mythology of success. He who is successful is good. In Latin countries, in Catholic countries, a successful person is a sinner.

- Umberto Eco 1932-2016: in International Herald Tribune 14 December 1988


VICTOR HUGO - Memes and Responsions


daze with little bells - thinking (10)
To daze with little bells the spirit that would think.

Victor Hugo 1802-85: Le Roi s'amuse (1833)


invasion by an idea - ideas (5)
A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea.

Victor Hugo 1802-85: Histoire d'un Crime (1877)


VINCENT VAN GOGH - Memes and Responsions


my pictures to not sell - value (13)
I cannot help it that my pictures do not sell. Nevertheless the time will come when people will see that they are worth more than the price of the paint.

Vincent Van Gogh 1853-90: letter to his brother Theo, 20 October 1888


VIRGINIA WOOLF - Memes and Responsions


bootboy at Claridges - Joyce (3)
The scratching of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges.

  • of Ulysses

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: letter to Lytton Strachery, 24 April 1922


Content is disillusioning - discontent (12)
Content is disillusioning to behold: what is there to be content about?

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: diary 5 May 1920


Each had his past shut in him - self (26)
Each had his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart; and his friends could only read the title.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: Jacob's Room (1922)


inability to cross the street - friendship (22)
I have lost friends, some by death ... others through sheer inability to cross the street.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: The Waves (1931)

Write something about the chicken crossing the street. I think Sapolsky talks about it.


madness is terrific - madness (8)
As an experience, madness is terrific ... and in its lava I still find most of the things I write about.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: letter to Ethel Smyth, 22 June 1930


mass of odds and ends - diaries (11)
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? ... I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: diary, 20 April 1919


One likes people much better - misfortunes (13)
One likes people much better when they're battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: diary 13 August 1921


room of her own - writing (38)
A women must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: A Room of One's Own (1929)


This great mind is hoarded - libraries (10)
There is in the British Museum an enormous mind. Consider that Plato is there check by jowl with Aristotle; and Shakespeare with Marlowe. This great mind is hoarded beyond the power of any single mind to possess it.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: Jacob's Room (1922)


twice its natural size - men/women (28)
Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: A Room of One's Own (1929)


wreckage of men - critics (26)
Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.

- Virginia Woolf 1882-1941: A Room of One's Own (1929)


WALT WHITMAN - Memes and Responsions


body electric - body (17)
I sing the body electric.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: title of a poem (1855)


earth does not argue - earth (10)
The earth does not argue,
Is not pathetic, has no arrangements,
Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise,
Make no discriminations, has no conceivable failures,
Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'A Song of the Rolling Earth' (written 1881)


essentially the greatest poem - united states (27)
The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: Leaves of Grass (written 1855)


I contain multitudes - consistency (3)
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'Song of Myself' (written 1855)


leaf of grass is no less - nature (12)
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren,
And the tree toad is a chef-d'oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlours of heaven.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'Song of Myself' (written 1855)


procreant urge of the world - creativity (13)
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'Song of Myself' (written 1855)


Seasons pursuing each other - celebrations (9)
Seasons pursuing each other the indescribable
crowd is gathered, it is the forth of Seventh-
month, (what salutes of cannon and small-arms!)

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'Song of Myself' (written 1855)


turn and live with animals - animals (19)
I think I could turn and live with animals they are so placid and self-contained.
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'Song of Myself' (written 1855)


When I give I give myself - giving (11)
Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity,
When I give I give myself.

- Walt Whitman 1819-92: 'Song of Myself' (written 1855)


WILLIAM JAMES - Memes and Responsions


exceptional observations - facts (3)
Roundabout the accredited and orderly fact of every science there ever floats a sort of dust cloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to.

- William James 1842-1910: attributed


in whom nothing is habitual - indecision (6)
There is no miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.

- William James 1842-1910: The Principles of Psychology (1980)


Man is polygamous - marriage (18)
Hogamus, higamous
Man is polygamous
Higamus, hogamous.

- William James 1842-1910: attributed


preys on its own species - human race (13)
Man, biologically considered, and whatever else he may be into the bargain, is simply the most formidable of all the beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species.

- William James 1842-1910: in Atlantic Monthly December 1904


worship of the bitch-godess - success (13)
The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess success.

- William James 1842-1910: letter to H.G. Wells, 11 September 1906


WINSTON CHURCHILL - Memes and Responsions


ability to foretell - politicians (5)
The ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.

  • describing the qualifications desirable in a prospective politician

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: B. Adler Churchill Wit (1965)


After Alamein - World War II (3)
It may almost be said, 'Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.'

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Second World War (1951)


almost as exciting as war - politics (11)
Politics are almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics - many times.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: attributed


Bessie, you're ugly - drunken (1)
BESSIE BRADCOCK: Winston, you're drunk.
CHURCHILL: Bessie, you're ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: J.L. Lane (ed.) Sayings of Churchill (1992)


bloodthirsty guttersnipe - Hitler (3)
A monster of wickedness, insatiable in his lust for blood and plunder... this bloodthirsty guttersnipe.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: radio broadcast, 26 June 1941


blood, toil, tears and sweat - sacrifice (3)
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 13 May 1940


British nation is unique - Britain (4)
The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech in the House of Commons, 10 June 1941.


called upon to give the roar - speeches (6)
It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion's heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar. I also hope that I sometimes suggested to the lion the right place to use his claws.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech at Westminster Hall, 30 November 1954


can't change his mind - fanaticism (2)
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: attributed


casts a shadow - awards (4)
A metal glitters, but it also casts a shadow.

  • A reference to the envy caused by the award of honours.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: in 1941; Kenneth Rose King George V (1983)


centre upon number one - leadership (4)
The loyalties which centre upon number one are enormous. If he trips he must be sustained. If he makes mistakes they must be covered. If he sleeps he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he is no good he must be pole-axed. But this last extreme process cannot be carried out every day; and certainly not in the days just after he has been chosen.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: The Second World War vol. 2 (1949)


combines force with candour - painting (6)
A remarkable example of modern art. It certainly combines force with candour.

  • on the notorious 80th birthday portrait by Graham Sutherland, later destroyed by Lady Churchill

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Martin Gilbert Churchill: A Life (1991)


delicious and intoxicating - revenge (5)
It may be that vengeance is sweet, and that the gods forbade vengeance to men because they reserved for themselves so delicious and intoxicating a drink. But no one should drain the cup to the bottom. The dregs are often filthy-tasting.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: The River War (1899)


Don't argue the matter - problems (5)
Let me have the best solution worked out. Don't argue the matter. The difficulties will argue for themselves.

  • on the Mulberry floating harbours

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: 1874-1965: minute to Lord Mountbatten, 30 May 1942


dreary steeples of Fermanagh - northern Ireland(3)
The whole map of Europe has been changed ... but as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 16 February 1922


empires of the mind - education (7)
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech at Harvard, 6 September 1943


end of the beginning - ending (4)
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

  • on the Battle of Egypt

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech at Mansion House, London, 10 November 1942


fire brigade and the fire - impartial (1)
I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire.

  • replying to complaints of his bias in editing the British Gazette during the General Strike

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 7 July 1926


Give us the tools - achievement (5)
Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt ... Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: radio broadcast, 9 February 1941


good deal to be modest about - people (6)
A modest man who has a good deal to be modest about.

  • of Clement Attlee

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: in Chicago Sunday Magazine of Books 27 June 1954


I am a glow-worm - character (6)
We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Violet Bonham-Carter Winston Churchill as I Knew Him (1965)


If Hitler invaded hell - international (9)
If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: The Second World War (1950) vol. 3


In defeat unbeatable - people (7)
If defeat unbeatable: in victory unbearable.

  • of Lord Montgomery

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Edward Marsh Ambrosia and Small Beer (1964)


In war: resolution - warfare (5)
In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: The Second World War vol. 1 (1948)


ingenuity to re-rat - betrayal (3)
Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.

  • on rejoining the Conservatives twenty years after leaving them for the Liberals, c.1924

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Kay Halle Irrepressible Churchill (1966)


iron curtain has descended - communism (4)
From Stettin to the Baltic to Trieste in Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

  • the expression 'iron curtain' previously had been applied by others to the Soviet Union or her sphere of influence

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, 5 March 1946


jaw-jaw is always better - diplomacy (3)
To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech at White House, 26 June 1954


man added to his dignity - self-esteem (6)
I know of no case where a man added to his dignity by standing on it.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: attributed


merely the glittering scum - culture (6)
Cultured people are merely the glittering scum which floats upon the deep river of production.

  • on hearing his son Randolph criticize the lack of culture of the Calgary oil magnates, probably c.1929

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965:


Nothing but rum, sodomy - navy (4)
Naval tradition? Monstrous. Nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers, and the lash.

  • often quoted as, 'rum, sodomy, and the lash'

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Harold Nicolson, diary 17 August 1950


one who feeds a crocodile - diplomacy (2)
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: in the House of Commons, January 1940


Out of intense complexities - simplicity (2)
Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: The World Crisis (1923-9)


Pigs treat us as equals - animals (12)
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down to us. Pigs treat us as equals.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: attributed


powers at their disposal - schools (3)
Headmasters have powers at their disposal with which Prime Ministers have never yet been invested.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: My Early Life (1930)


putting milk into babies - children (6)
There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: radio broadcast, 21 March 1943


read books of quotations - quotations (3)
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read a book of quotations.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: My Early Life (1930)


riddle wrapped in a mystery - Russia (5)
I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965:


so much owed by so many - air force (2)
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

  • on the skill and courage of British airmen

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 20 August 1940


sorry for the poor browns - colours (2)
I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Thoughts and Adventures (1932)


Take away that pudding - food (9)
Take away that pudding - it has no theme.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Lord Home The Way the Wind Blows (1976)


taken more out of alcohol - alcohol (5)
I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Quentin Reynolds By Quentin Reynolds (1964)


This was their finest hour - World War II (5)
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Commonwealth and its Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965:


up with which I will not put - grammar (3)
This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: Ernest Gowers Plain Words (1948)


victory at all costs - winning (4)
What is our aim? ... Victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 13 May 1940


walking with destiny - crises (5)
I felt as if I was walking with destiny, and that my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and this trial.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: on becoming Prime Minister, 10 May 1940


we shall never surrender - World War II (4)
We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fights on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 4 June 1940


what they have said - speeches (5)
He is one of those orators of whom it was well said, 'Before they get up, they do not know what they are going to say; when they are speaking, they do not know what they are saying; and when they have sat down, they do not know what they have said.'

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech, House of Commons, 20 December 1912


worst form of Government - democracy (3)
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: speech at Oxford, 14 June 1957


worthy to pass into Harrow - examinations (1)
I wrote my name at the top of the page. I wrote down the number of the question '1'. After much reflection I put a bracket round it thus '(1)'. But thereafter I could not think of anything connected with it that was either relevant or true... It was from these slender indications of scholarship that Mr Welldon drew the conclusion that I was worthy to pass into Harrow. It is very much to his credit.

- Winston Churchill 1874-1965: My Early Life (1930)


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