I'd never set foot in San Francisco. Of all the Sodoms and Gomorrahs in our modern world, it is the worst. There are not 10 righteous (and courageous) men there. It needs another quake, another whiff of fireandmore than all elsea steady trade wind of grapeshot.... That moral penal colony of the world.
(Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. Letter, June 25, 1907.)
Forty years after a battle it is easy for a noncombatant to reason about how it ought to have been fought. It is another thing personally and under fire to have to direct the fighting while involved in the obscuring smoke of it.
(Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 21, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
A sham quotation.)
It haunts me, the passage of time. I think time is a merciless thing. I think life is a process of burning oneself out and time is the fire that burns you. But I think the spirit of man is a good adversary.
(Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. New York Post (April 30, 1958).)
Examples are cited by soldiers, of men who have seen the cannon pointed, and the fire given to it, and who have stepped aside from he path of the ball. The terrors of the storm are chiefly confined to the parlour and the cabin.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Prudence," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).)