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Quotes of the day: T.H. White

Published Thursday, May 29, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 29 2014

(Burns Library, Boston College image)

Terence Hanbury White (May 29, 1906 – January 17, 1964) was an English author best known for known for his series of novels about King Arthur, which were collected together in The Once and Future King (1958). (Click here for full biography.com article)


Aviators live by hours, not by days.

Dogs, like very small children, are quite mad.

Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance.

I am an anarchist, like any other sensible person.

If there is one thing I can't stand, it is stupidity. I always say that stupidity is the Sin against the Holy Ghost.

Is there anything more terrible than perpetual motion, than doing and doing and doing, without a reason, without a consciousness, without a change, without an end?

It has to be admitted that starving nations never seem to be quite so starving that they cannot afford to have far more expensive armaments than anybody else.

It is a pity that there are no big creatures to prey on humanity. If there were enough dragons and rocs, perhaps mankind would turn its might against them. Unfortunately man is preyed upon by microbes, which are too small to be appreciated.

It is only the people who are lacking, or bad, or inferior, who have to be good at things.

It is the bad people who need to have principles to restrain them.

It seems, in tragedy, that innocence is not enough.

It was called a tribute before a battle and a ransom afterwards.

Love is a trick played on us by the forces of evolution.

Only fools want to be great.

People commit suicide through weakness, not through strength.

Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically- to those who hardly think about us in return.

The bravest people are the ones who don't mind looking like cowards.

The fate of this man or that man was less than a drop, although it was a sparkling one, in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea.

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch somebody else doing it wrong, without comment.

There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws which are constant. It has no rules.

Those who lived by the sword were forced to die by it.

War is like a fire. One man may start it, but it will spread all over. It is not about one thing in particular.

Wars are never fought for one reason. They are fought for dozens of reasons, in a muddle.

We cannot build the future by avenging the past.

Wrongs have to be redressed by reason, not by force.


(Today is also the birthday of John F. Kennedy and G.K. Chesterton.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, T.H. White

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