Proverbs:Nature and the Universe

Nature and the Universe

The One is the beginning of everything.
—Philolaus (Greek philosopher)
This essential nature is everlasting and ageless.
—Thales (ca. 640-546 B.C. Greek philosopher)
God holds the beginning and end, and the middle of all existing things.
—Orpheus (Greek philosopher)
If any there be, it is visible to the gods, not visible to mortals.
—Epimenides (Greek philosopher)
As our soul, being air, holds us together, so do breath and air surround the whole universe.
—Anaximenes (Greek philosopher)
All things that come into being and grow are earth and water.
—Xenophanes (570-480 B.C. Greek philosopher)
The body is earth, but the mind is fire.
—Epicharmus (Greek philosopher)
All things are numbers.
—Pythagoras (ca. 572-497 B.C. Greek philosopher and mathematician)
How can hair come from not-hair, and flesh from not-flesh?
—Anaxagoras (ca. 500-428 B.C. Greek philosopher)
No thing comes into being or passes away, but it is mixed together or separated from existing things.
—Anaxagoras (ca. 500-428 B.C. Greek philosopher)
It is the sun that endows the moon with its brilliance.
—Anaxagoras (ca. 500-428 B.C. Greek philosopher)
You cannot step twice into the same river, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.
—Heraclitus (ca. 535-475 B.C. Greek philosopher)
Man is a universe in little.
—Democritus (ca. 460-370 B.C. Greek philosopher)
Man is the measure of all things, of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not.
—Protagoras (ca. 490-420 B.C. Greek philosopher)
The Law of the Universe is as here explained; but men are always incapable of understanding it.
—Heraclitus (ca. 535-475 B.C. Greek philosopher)



God has no religion.
—Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948 Indian nationalism leader)
An honest God is the noblest work of man.
—Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899 Amencan politician)
The religion we call false was once true.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1830-1882 American essayist and poet)
For me the different religions are beautiful flowers from the same garden, or they are branches of the same majestic tree.
—Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948 Indian nationalism leader)
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
—Albert Einstein (1879-1955 American physicist)
A true religion must consist of ideas and facts both, not of ideas alone without facts, for then it would be mere Philosophy; — not of facts alone without ideas, for then it would be mere History.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834 British poet and critic)
All are not saints that go to church.
Religion is in the heart, not in the knees.
—Douglas Jerrold (1803-1857 British playwright)
Religion has nothing more to fear than not being sufficiently understood.
—Stanislaus I
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
—Edmund Burke (1729-1797 British politician and orator)
All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God.
—Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682 British author)
(God) He sees as a whole, thinks as a whole, and hears as a whole.
—Xenophanes (570-480 B.C. Greek philosopher)
Whom the gods wish to destroy, ther first make mad.
—Euripides (ca. 480-406 B.C. Greek playwright)
God will pardon me, it is his trade.
—Heinrich Heine (1797-1856 German poet)
It is not lazy who are most inclined to prayer; those pray most who care most.
—George Santayana (1863-1952 American philosopher)

Proverbs:Society and Culture

Society and Culture

The kinds of greatness which our society produces over the years ahead will be the kinds ot greatness we inspire, and will have to be securely rooted in our values.
—Rockefeller Report on Education
Civilization is the making of civil persons.
—John Ruskin (1819-1900 British writer and art critic)
A civilized man is one who will give a serious answer to a serious question. Civilization itself is a certain sane balance of values.
—Ezra Pound (American poet)
The value of culture is its effect on character. It avails nothing unless it ennobles and strengthens that. Its use is for life. Its aim is not beauty but goodness.
—William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965 British novelist and playwright)
Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.
—Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne clemens 1835-1910 American humorist)
The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.
—Cyril Connolly (1903-1974 British literary critic and writer)
History is past politics, and politics is present history.
—Edward Augustus Freeman (1823-1892 British historian)
The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.
—Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965 British poet and critic)
History is the ship carrying living memories into the future.
—Stephen Harold Spender (1909- British poet and critic)
How many things, both just and unjust, are sanctioned by custom!
—Terence (Publius Terentius Afer 195/185-159 B.C. Roman playwright)
The dead govern the living.
—Auguste Comte (1798-1857 French mathematician and philosopher)
Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.
—William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965 British novelist and playwright)
Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.
—Sir Wiston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965 British Prime Minister)
A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.
—Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965 British poet and critic)
Peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.
—George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831 German philosopher)

Proverbs:Law and Justice

Law and Justice

Good order is the foundation of all things.
—Edmund Burke (1729-1797 British statesman and orator)
Law is order, and good law is good order.
—Aristotle (384-322 B.C. Greek philosopher)
The will of the people is the best law.
—Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885 18th President of the United States)
The law cannot make all men equal, but they are all equal before the law.
—Frederick Pollock (1845-1937 British jurist)
All the Constitution guarantees, is the pursuit of happiness. You have to catch up with it yourself.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790 American politician and scientist)
The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826 3rd President of the United States)
No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826 3rd President of the United States)
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
—Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet 1694-1778 French writer)
An upright judge has more regard to justice than to man.
—Richard Burdan Haldan (1856-1928 British novelist)
There is no law for just men.
—Enoch Arnold Bennett (1867-1931 British novelist)
Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
—Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971 American theologian)
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
—Martin Luther King (1929-1968 American clergyman and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement)
Delay of justice is injustice.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864 British poet)
In a just cause the weak will beat the strong.
—Sophocles (ca. 496-406 B.C. Greek tragedian)
It is better to fight for justice than to rail at the ill.
—Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892 British Poet Laureate)

Proverbs:War and Peace

War and Peace

As peace is of all goodness, so war is an emblem, a hieroglyphic, of all misery.
—John Donne (1572-1631 British poet and priest)
In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers.
—Arthur Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940 British Prime Minister)
Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short lived.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865 16th President of the United States)
War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
—Thomas Mann (1875-1955 German novelist)
War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.
—Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831 German military theorist)
There are no war-like peoples — just war-like leaders.
一Ralph Johnson Bunche (1904-1971 American political scientist and diplomat)
War is much too important to be left to the military.
一Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929 French statesman)
When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.
一Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945 32nd President of the United States)
Wars are just to those to whom they are necessary.
一Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970 British philosopher and mathematician)
To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
一George Washington (1732-1799 1st President of the United States)
He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.
一Napoleon (Bonaparte 1769-1821 French Emperor)
Jaw jaw is better than war war.
一Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965 British Prime Minister)
Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondly on institutions such as courts of justice and police.
一Albert Einstein (1879-1955 American physicist)
The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts.
一Omar Nelson Bradley (1893-1981 American five-star general)
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
一John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963 35th President of the United States)

Proverbs:Politics and Power

Politics and Power

The voice of the people is the voice of God.
—Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 Dutch philosopher)
All authority belongs to the people.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826 3rd President of the Untied States)
No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865 16th President of the United States)
The best of all governments is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.
—Johann Wolfgang won Goethe (1749-1832 German poet and playwright)
Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865 16th President of the United States)
The government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865 16th President of the United States)
Government is the servant of the people and not their master.
—John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960 American philanthropist)
The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865 16th President of the United States)
A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman, of the next generation.
—James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888 American theologian and author)
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
—Edmund Burke (1729-1797 British statesman and orator)
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
—Lord Acton (1834-1902 British historian)
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
—Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527 Italian politician)
We need in politics men who have something to give, not men who have something to get.
—Bernoard Baruch (1870-1965 American financier and statesman)
Ask not what your country will do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
—John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963 35th President of the United States)
All for one, one for all.
—Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870 French novelist, playwright)

Proverbs:Experience and Action

Experience and Action

Behavior is a mirror in which every one shows his image.
—Johyann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832 German poet and playwright)
Our deeds determine us, much as we determine our deeds.
—Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965 British poet and critic)
Experience is the father of wisdom and memory the mother.
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C. Roman statesman and orator)
Actions are more precious than words.
—John Pym (1584-1643 British politician)
Do what you ought, and come what can.
—George Herbert (1593-1633 British priest and poet)
Better late than never.
—Livy (Titus Livius 59 B.C.-A.D 17 Roman historian)
A man, like a watch, is to be valued by his manner of going.
—William Penn (1644-1718 British philosopher)
The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
—Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859 British historian)
The tragedy of the world is that those who are imaginative have but slight experience, and those who are experienced have feeble imaginations.
—Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947 British philosopher and mathematician)
Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
—Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536 Dutch philosopher)
One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
—James Russell Lowell (1819-1891 American poet)
A burnt child dreads the fire.
—English proverb
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
—Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900 British poet and writer)
A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
—Miguel Cervantes (1547-1616 Spanish novelist)
Treat other people as you hope they will treat you.
—Aesop (620-560 B.C. Greek fabulist)



Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950 British playwright)
All art is but imitation of nature.
—Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 B.C.-A.D. 65 Roman philosopher and statesman)
Art is the right hand of nature. The latter only gave us being, but the former made us men.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805 German poet and playwright)
Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.
—Pablo Picasso (1881-1973 Spanish painter)
Music is the universal language of mankind.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882 American poet)
Where there’s music there can be no evil.
—Miguel Cervantes (1547-1616 Spanish novelist)
Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light.
—Claude Achille Debussy (1862-1918 French composer)
Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is a speaking picture.
—Simonides (556-468 B.C. Greek poet)
A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.
—Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896 French writer)
A poet is born, not made.
—Florus (Roman poet)
Prose is words in their best order, poetry is the best words in the best order.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834 British poet and critic)
Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822 British poet)
A great poem is a fountain forever overflowing with waters of wisdom and delight.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822 British poet)
The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
—William Faulkner (1897-1962 American writer)
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832 German poet and playwright)



A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
—John Keats (1795-1821 British poet)
Handsome is that handsome does.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774 British writer)
Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
—John Keats (1795-1821 British poet)
Beauty, unaccompanied by virtue, is as a flower without perfume.
—French proverb
Beauty, like truth, never is so glorious as when it goes plainest.
—Otto Stern (1888-1969 German physicist)
Virtue is fairer than beauty.
—Italian proverb
That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.
—Ninon de L’Enclos (1620-1705 French writer)
No beauty is like the beauty of mind.
—Jay Cooke (1821-1905 American financier)
Charm is a glow within a woman which casts a most becoming light on others.
—John Mason Brown (1900-1969 American drama critic)
Beauty is no use without brains.
—Aesop (620-560 B.C. Greek fabulist)
Beauty is but skin deep.
—John Davies of Hereford (1565-1618 British poet)
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.
—John Ruskin (1819-1900 British writer and art critic)
A good fame is better than a good face.
—Edmund Burke (1729-1797 British politician and orator)
No rose without a thorn.
—John Ray (1627-1705 British naturalist)
Things are beautiful if you love them.
—Jean Anouilh (1910-1987 French playwright)

Proverbs:Knowledge, Truth and Wisdom

Knowledge, Truth and Wisdom

One thing I know, that is, I know nothing.
—Socrates (ca. 470-399 B.C. Greek philosopher)
Not ignorance, but the ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.
—Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947 British philosopher and mathematician)
Knowledge makes one humble, ignorance makes one proud.
—English proverb
Better to be ignorant of a matter than half know it.
—Publilius Syrus (lst century B.C. Roman writer)
When you want knowledge like you want air under water then you will get it.
—Socrates (ca. 470-399 B.C. Greek philosopher)
Knowledge is power.
—Francis Bacon (1561-1626 British philosopher and author)
Knowledge without conscience is the ruination of the soul.
—Francois Rabelais (1494-1553 French writer)
Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.
—Hermann Hesse (1877-1962 German writer)
A man’s wisdom is the source of pleasure.
—Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375 Italian writer)
Wisdom is only found in truth.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832 German poet and playwright)
Truth is always present; it only needs to lift the iron lid of the mind’s eye to read its oracles.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1830-1882 American essayist and poet)
The greatest friend of truth is time, her greatest enemy is prejudice, and her constant companion is humility.
—Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832 British cleric and writer)
Wise men love truth, where as fools shun it.
—English proverb
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862 Amercian author)
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
—Aristotle (384-322 B.C. Greek philosopher)