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The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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Greetings, we win!

Dying words, having run back to Athens from Marathon with news of victory over the Persians; in Lucian bk. 3, ch. 64 ‘Pro Lapsu inter salutandum’, para. 3

4.51 Kim Philby (Harold Adrian Russell Philby) 1912-88

To betray, you must first belong.

In ‘Sunday Times’ 17 December 1967, p. 2

4.52 Rear Admiral ‘Jack’ Philip 1840-1900

Don’t cheer, men; those poor devils are dying.

At the Battle of Santiago, 4 July 1898; in Dumas Malone (ed.) ‘The Dictionary of American Biography’ vol. 14 (1934) ‘John Woodward Philip’

4.53 Ambrose Philips c.1675-1749

The flowers anew, returning seasons bring; But beauty faded has no second spring.

‘The First Pastoral’ (1708) ‘Lobbin’ l. 47

There solid billows of enormous size, Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.

‘A Winter-Piece’ in ‘The Tatler’ (7 May 1709)

The stag in limpid currents with surprise, Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.

‘A Winter-Piece’ in ‘The Tatler’ (7 May 1709)

4.54 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921—

I don’t think doing it [killing animals] for money makes it any more moral. I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.

Speech in London, 6 Dec. 1988, comparing participation in blood sports to selling slaughtered meat, in ‘The Times’ 7 Dec. 1988

I never see any home cooking. All I get is fancy stuff.

In ‘Observer’ 28 Oct. 1962

If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.

Remark to Edinburgh University students in Peking, 16 Oct. 1986, in ‘The Times’ 17 Oct. 1986

Just at this moment we are suffering a national defeat comparable to any lost military campaign, and, what is more, it is self-inflicted. I could use any one of the several stock phrases or platitudes about this. But I prefer one I picked up during the war. It is brief and to the point: Gentlemen, I think it is about time we ‘pulled our fingers out’....If we want to be more prosperous we’ve simply got to get down to it and work for it. The rest of the world does not owe us a living.

Speech in London, 17 Oct. 1961, in ‘Daily Mail’18 Oct. 1961

We now look upon it [the English-Speaking Union] as including those countries which use ‘pidgin-English’ in this even though I am referred to in that splendid language as ‘Fella belong

Mrs Queen’.

Speech to English-Speaking Union, Ottawa, 29 Oct. 1958, in ‘Prince Philip Speaks’ (1960) pt. 2, ch. 3

4.55 Morgan Phillips 1902-63

The Labour Party owes more to Methodism than to Marxism.

In James Callaghan ‘Time and Chance’ (1987) ch. 1

4.56 Stephen Phillips 1864-1915

Behold me now

A man not old, but mellow, like good wine. Not over-jealous, yet an eager husband.

‘Ulysses’ (1902) act 3, sc. 2

4.57 Eden Phillpotts 1862-1960

Now old man’s talk o’ the days behind me; My darter’s youngest darter to mind me; A little dreamin’, a little dyin’,

A little lew corner of airth to lie in.

‘Gaffer’s Song’ (1942)

4.58 Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion) 1915-63

La vie en rose.

Title of song (1946); piaf means ‘sparrow’

4.59 Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.

In Dore Ashton ‘Picasso on Art’ (1972) ‘Two statements by Picasso’

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.

In Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake ‘Life With Picasso’ (1964) pt. 1

Every positive value has its price in negative terms...The genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.

In Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake ‘Life With Picasso’ (1964) pt. 2

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

In John Golding ‘Cubism’ (1959) p. 60

4.60 Pindar 518-438 B.C.

Water is best.

‘Olympian Odes’ bk. 1, l. 1

I have many swift arrows in my quiver which speak to the wise, but for the crowd they need interpreters. The skilled poet is one who knows much through natural gift, but those who have learned their art chatter turbulently, vainly, against the divine bird of Zeus.

‘Olympian Odes’ bk. 2, l. 150

My soul, do not seek immortal life, but exhaust the realm of the possible.

‘Pythian Odes’ bk. 3, l. 109

Creatures of a day, what is a man? What is he not? Mankind is a dream of a shadow. But when a god-given brightness comes, a radiant light rests on men, and a gentle life.

‘Pythian Odes’ bk. 8, l. 135

4.61 Harold Pinter 1930—

I said to this monk, here, I said, look here, mister...you haven’t got a pair of shoes, have you, a pair of shoes, I said, enough to help me on my way. Look at these, they’re nearly out, I said, they’re no good to me. I heard you got a stock of shoes here. Piss off, he said to me.

‘The Caretaker’ (1960) act 1

Them bastards at the monastery let me down again.

‘The Caretaker’ (1960) act 1

If only I could get down to Sidcup! I’ve been waiting for the weather to break. He’s got my papers, this man I left them with, it’s got it all down there, I could prove everything.

‘The Caretaker’ (1960) act 1

Apart from the known and the unknown, what else is there?

‘The Homecoming’ (1965) act 2

The weasel under the cocktail cabinet.

When asked what his plays were about, in J. Russell Taylor ‘Anger and After’ (1962) p. 231

4.62 Luigi Pirandello 1867-1936

Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore.

Six characters in search of an author.

Title of play (1921)

4.63 Robert M. Pirsig 1928—

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

Title of book (1974)

That’s the classical mind at work, runs fine inside but looks dingy on the surface.

‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ (1974) pt. 3, ch. 25

4.64 William Pitt, Earl of Chatham 1708-78

The atrocious crime of being a young man...I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny.

House of Commons, 27 January 1741

Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom: youth is the season of credulity.

Speech in ‘Hansard’ 14 January 1766, col. 97

Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.

Speech in ‘Hansard’, House of Lords, 9 January 1770, col. 665.

There is something behind the throne greater than the King himself.

House of Lords, 2 March 1770

We have a Calvinistic creed, a Popish liturgy, and an Arminian clergy.

House of Lords, 19 May 1772

You cannot conquer America.

House of Lords, 18 November 1777

I invoke the genius of the Constitution!

House of Lords, 18 November 1777

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail —its roof may shake—the wind may blow through it—the storm may enter—the rain may enter— but the King of England cannot enter!

In Lord Brougham ‘Statesmen in the Time of George III’ (1839) vol. 1

Our watchword is security.

Attributed

The parks are the lungs of London.

Quoted in a speech by William Windham; ‘Hansard’ 30 June 1808, col. 1124

4.65 William Pitt 1759-1806

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

Speech in ‘Hansard’ 18 November 1783, col. 1209

We must recollect...what it is we have at stake, what it is we have to contend for. It is for our property, it is for our liberty, it is for our independence, nay, for our existence as a nation; it is for our character, it is for our very name as Englishmen, it is for everything dear and valuable to man on this side of the grave.

House of Commons, 22 July 1803

England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.

Speech at Guildhall, London, 1805

Roll up that map; it will not be wanted these ten years.

On a map of Europe, on hearing of Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz, December 1805; in Earl Stanhope ‘Life of the Rt. Hon. William Pitt’ vol. 4 (1862) ch. 43

Oh, my country! how I leave my country!

Last words, in Earl Stanhope ‘Life of the Rt. Hon. William Pitt’ (1879) vol. 3, p. 397 (‘How I love my country’ in the 1st ed. (1862) vol. 4, ch. 43). G. Rose Diaries and Correspondence 23 January 1806, quotes: ‘My country! oh, my country!’, whereas oral tradition reports ‘I think I could eat one of Bellamy’s veal pies’

4.66 Pope Pius VII

We are prepared to go to the gates of Hell—but no further.

Attempting to reach an agreement with Napoleon, c.1800-1, in J. M. Robinson ‘Cardinal Consalvi’ (1987) p. 66

4.67 Sylvia Plath 1932-63

A living doll, everywhere you look. It can sew, it can cook,

It can talk, talk, talk.

It works, there is nothing wrong with it. You have a hole, it’s a poultice.

You have an eye, it’s an image. My boy, it’s your last resort.

Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.

‘The Applicant’ (1966)

Is there no way out of the mind?

‘Apprehensions’

I have always been scared of you, With your luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo And your neat moustache

And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You—

‘Daddy’ (1963)

Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you.

‘Daddy’ (1963)

Dying,

Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well.

‘Lady Lazarus’ (1963)

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.

The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry Took its place among the elements.

‘Morning Song’ (1965)

Widow. The word consumes itself.

‘Widow’ (1971)

4.68 Plato c.429-347 B.C.

It is said that Socrates commits a crime by corrupting the young men and not recognizing the gods that the city recognizes, but some other new religion.

‘Apologia’ 24b

Socrates, I shall not accuse you as I accuse others, of getting angry and cursing me when I tell them to drink the poison imposed by the authorities. I know you on the contrary in your time here to be the noblest and gentlest and best man of all who ever came here; and now I am sure you are

not angry with me, for you know who are responsible, but with them.

Spoken by Socrates’ jailor in ‘Phaedo’ 116c

This was the end, Echechrates, of our friend; a man of whom we may say that of all whom we met at that time he was the wisest and justest and best.

On the death of Socrates in ‘Phaedo’ 118a

For our discussion is on no trifling matter, but on the right way to conduct our lives.

‘The Republic’ VIII, 352d

But, my dearest Agathon, it is truth which you cannot contradict; you can without any difficulty contradict Socrates.

‘Symposium’ 201c

4.69 Plautus c.254-184 B.C.

Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit.

A man is a wolf rather than a man to another man, when he hasn’t yet found out what he’s like.

‘Asinaria’ l. 495 (often cited simply: Homo homini lupus A man is a wolf to another man)

Dictum sapienti sat est.

What’s been said is enough for anyone with sense.

‘Persa’ l. 729 (later proverbially: Verbum sapienti sat est A word is enough for the wise)

Labrax: Una littera plus sum quam medicus. Gripus: Tum tu Mendicus es?

Labrax: Tetigisti acu.

Labrax: One letter more than a medical man, that’s what I am. Gripus: Then you’re a mendicant?

Labrax: You’ve hit the point.

‘Rudens’ l. 1305

4.70 Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) A.D. 23-79

Bruta fulmina.

Harmless thunderbolts.

‘Historia Naturalis’ bk. 2, ch. 113

Hominem nihil scire nisi doctrina, non fari, non ingredi, non vesci, breviterque non aliud naturae sponte quam flere!

Man is the only one that knows nothing, that can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak nor walk nor eat, and in short he can do nothing at the prompting of nature only, but

weep.

‘Historia Naturalis’ bk. 7, ch. 4

Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre.

Africa always brings [us] something new.

‘Historia Naturalis’ bk. 8, ch. 42; often quoted in the form Ex Africa semper aliquid novi Always something

new out of Africa

Ruinis imminentibus musculi praemigrant.

When a building is about to fall down, all the mice desert it.

‘Historia Naturalis’ bk. 8, ch. 103

Optimumque est, ut volgo dixere, aliena insania frui.

And the best plan is, as the popular saying was, to profit by the folly of others.

‘Historia Naturalis’ bk. 18, ch. 31

Addito salis grano

With the addition of a grain of salt.

‘Historia Naturalis’ bk. 23, ch. 149; commonly quoted in the form Cum grano salis With a grain of salt

4.71 William Plomer 1903-73

Out of that bungled, unwise war An alp of unforgiveness grew.

‘The Boer War’ (1960)

A family portrait not too stale to record Of a pleasant old buffer, nephew to a lord,

Who believed that the bank was mightier than the sword, And that an umbrella might pacify barbarians abroad: Just like an old liberal

Between the wars.

‘Father and Son: 1939’ (1945)

With first-rate sherry flowing into second-rate whores, And third-rate conversation without one single pause: Just like a young couple

Between the wars.

‘Father and Son: 1939’ (1945)

On a sofa upholstered in panther skin Mona did researches in original sin.

‘Mews Flat Mona’ (1960)

A rose-red sissy half as old as time.

‘Playboy of the Demi-World: 1938’ (1945).

4.72 Plutarch A.D. c.50-c.120

He who cheats with an oath acknowledges that he is afraid of his enemy, but that he thinks little of God.

‘Parallel Lives’ ‘Lysander’ ch. 8.

4.73 Edgar Allan Poe 1809-49

This maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

‘Annabel Lee’ (1849)

I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love which was more than love— I and my Annabel Lee.

‘Annabel Lee’ (1849)

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride In her sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the side of the sea.

‘Annabel Lee’ (1849)

Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells.

‘The Bells’ (1849) st. 1

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

‘A Dream within a Dream’ (1849)

The fever called ‘Living’ Is conquered at last.

‘For Annie’ (1849)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

‘The Raven’ (1845) st. 1

Eagerly I wished the morrow,—vainly had I sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore— For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Nameless here for evermore.

‘The Raven’ (1845) st. 2

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’.

‘The Raven’ (1845) st. 17

Helen, thy beauty is to me

Like those Nicean barks of yore, That gently, o’er a perfumed sea, The weary, wayworn wanderer bore

To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home, To the glory that was Greece

And the grandeur that was Rome.

‘To Helen’ (1831)

4.74 Henri Poincarè 1854-1912

Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.

‘Science and Hypothesis’ (1905) ch. 9

Sociology is the science with the greatest number of methods and the least results.

‘Science and Hypothesis’ (1905) ch. 9

4.75 John Pomfret 1667-1702

We live and learn, but not the wiser grow.

‘Reason’ (1700) l. 112

4.76 Madame de Pompadour (Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour) 1721-64

Aprés nous le dèluge.

After us the deluge.

In Madame de Hausset ‘Mèmoires’ p. 19

4.77 Georges Pompidou 1911-74

A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation. A politician is a statesman who places the nation at his service.

In ‘Observer’ 30 December 1973

4.78 Alexander Pope 1688-1744

Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale,

Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs, And solid pudding against empty praise.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 1, l. 52

While pensive poets painful vigils keep, Sleepless themselves, to give their readers sleep.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 1, l. 93

Or where the pictures for the page atone, And Quarles is saved by beauties not his own.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 1, l. 139

Gentle Dullness ever loves a joke.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 2, l. 34

A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 2, l. 44

How little, mark! that portion of the ball, Where, faint at best, the beams of science fall.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 3, l. 83

All crowd, who foremost shall be damned to Fame.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 3, l. 158

Flow Welsted, flow! like thine inspirer, Beer, Tho’ stale, not ripe; tho’ thin, yet never clear; So sweetly mawkish, and so smoothly dull; Heady, not strong; o’erflowing tho’ not full.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 3, l. 169

Proceed, great days! ’till learning fly the shore, ’Till birch shall blush with noble blood no more, ’Till Thames see Eton’s sons for ever play, ’Till Westminster’s whole year be holiday, ’Till Isis’ elders reel, their pupils’ sport,

And Alma mater lie dissolved in port!

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 3, l. 333

None need a guide, by sure attraction led, And strong impulsive gravity of head.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 4, l. 75

A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 4, l. 90

Whate’er the talents, or howe’er designed, We hang one jingling padlock on the mind.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 4, l. 161

The Right Divine of Kings to govern wrong.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 4, l. 187

For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it, And write about it, Goddess, and about it.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 4, l. 251

With the same cement, ever sure to bind, We bring to one dead level ev’ry mind. Then take him to develop, if you can,

And hew the block off, and get out the man.

‘The Dunciad’ (1742) bk. 4, l. 267

Isles of fragrance, lily-silver’d vales.

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