To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armour, the apostles of the martial virtues, tend not to die fighting when the time comes. History is full of ignominious getaways by the great and famous.
(George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. repr. in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol. 2, eds. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (1968). "Who Are the War Criminals?" (1943).)
If you have wit, use it to please, and not to hurt; you may shine, like the sun in the temperature zones, without scorching. Here it is wished for; under the Line it is dreaded.
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Sept. 5, 1748, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. II, p. 58, London (1774).
"Under the Line" means below the equator.)
Your eyes, your eyes, they shine like the pants of a blue serge suit. That's not a reflection on youit's on the pants.
(Morrie Ryskind, U.S. screenwriter, Robert Florey, and Joseph Santley. Mr. Hammer (Groucho Marx), The Cocoanuts, trying to make love to the wealthy Mrs. Potter (Margaret Dumont) (1929).
Ryskind adapted this film from original Broadway play by George Kaufman.)
... it is not the color of the skin that makes the man or the woman, but the principle formed in the soul. Brilliant wit will shine, come from whence it will; and genius and talent will not hide the brightness of its lustre.
(Maria Stewart (1803-1879), African American abolitionist and schoolteacher. As quoted in Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, part 3, by Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin (1976).
Stewart, a free African American, said this in her September 21, 1833 "Farewell Address to Her Friends" in Boston. She moved on to New York, where she became a schoolteacher.)
A poet who makes use of a worse word instead of a better, because the former fits the rhyme or the measure, though it weakens the sense, is like a jeweller, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more.
(Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 20, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978).
Originally written in 1786.)