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Quotations

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an Emperor

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor — that’s not my business — I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. (more…)

Manners

“It is possible to be born an aristocrat without ever becoming a gentleman.”

(Nicholas Ridley)

Life

“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”

(John Lennon)

Divorce

“Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.”

(Dr Johnson on divorce laws)

The Oxford Secret

“It is a secret in the Oxford sense. You may tell it to only one person at a time.”

(Lord Franks)

Meeting the eye

“There is less to him than meets the eye.”

(Tallulah Bankhead)

The normal expression is “there is more to something/somebody than meets the eye”, meaning that the thing or person is deeper than surface appearances suggest.

Arguing with a woman

“Arguing with a woman is like trying to fold the airmail edition of The Times in a high wind.”

(Lord Mancroft)

The Times is a newspaper. It used to be large format (ie, it had very large pages). The airmail edition was printed on very thin, light-weight paper.

Advice on reviewing books

“I never read a book before reviewing it. It prejudices a man so.”

(Sydney Smith)

Do come again

“You must come again when you have less time.”

(Walter Sickert to Denton Welch)

When words lose their meaning

“When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom”

(Confucius)