Wisdom and One-Liners

I like snappy sayings, comebacks, and quips, probably because they are so helpful when I'm too tired or tongue-tied to come up with my own.  Here are some that I especially like.  When they become numerous enough, perhaps I shall arrange them by topic. For now, here they are in no particular order.

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

--Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

"'There again,' said Syme irritably, 'what is there poetical about being in revolt? You might as well say that it is poetical to be sea-sick. Being sick is a revolt. Both being sick and being rebellious may be the wholesome thing on certain desperate occasions; but I'm hanged if I can see why they are poetical. Revolt in the abstract is—revolting. It's mere vomiting.'"

-G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife."

--Jane Austen

"Oh! it is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read."

--Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”


"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone?"

--G.K. Chesterton, The Emancipation of Domesticity

"Heart must be the hardier, courage the keener,
Spirit the greater, as our strength lessens"

-The Battle of Maldon

"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces."
-Judith Viorst

"Great joy does not gather the rosebuds while it may; its eyes are fixed on the immortal rose which Dante saw." --G.K. Chesterton

For more written sound-bytes, see my posts labeled "Quotations".