Character is always known. Thefts never enrich; alms never impoverish; murder will speak out of stone walls.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Address, July 15, 1838, delivered before the senior class in Divinity College, Cambridge. "The Divinity School Address," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).)
The boys with their feet on the desks know that the easiest murder case in the world to break is the one somebody tried to get very cute with; the one that really bothers them is the murder somebody only thought of two minutes before he pulled it off.
(Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), U.S. author. "The Simple Art of Murder," Atlantic Monthly (Boston, Dec. 1944, repr. 1950).)
You've committed murder just as much as Hélène did. You killed a fly with a human head, she killed a human with a fly head. If she murdered so did you.
(James Clavell (b. 1924), Australian, and Kurt Neumann. François Delambre (Vincent Price), The Fly, to the Inspector, who has just killed the human-headed fly (1957).
Clavell is a naturalized American. Based on a story by George Langelaan.)
'Some people are confused. They ask he's really not a saint he's really more of a devil. But I give my usual excuse, and say that I invented perpetual motion- -and all saints are devils. I just don't want to be martyred. Martyr is murder. So the only saint is saint devil'.
The horror of Gandhi's murder lies not in the political motives behind it or in its consequences for Indian policy or for the future of non-violence; the horror lies simply in the fact that any man could look into the face of this extraordinary person and deliberately pull a trigger.
(Mary McCarthy (1912-1989), U.S. author, critic. On the Contrary (1961). "Gandhi," pt. 1, first publ. (1949).)
My chance, when it came, was due, literally, to the fact that I was slender.... You cannot make an opera audience believe that a man will endanger his soul, and commit robbery and murder for a very stout lady's sake.
(Maria Jeritza (1887-1982), Austrian opera singer. Sunlight and Song, ch. 21 (1924).
Explaining why she was selected to sing the role of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love.)