I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgement, will probably for ever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I ... am in favour of the race to which I belong having the superior position.
(Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. speech, Aug. 21, 1858, Ottawa, Illinois.
During his debates with Stephen A. Douglas for election to the Senate.)
What brings enlightenment is experience, in the sad sense of this wordthe pressure of hard facts and unintelligible troubles, making a man rub his eyes in his waking dream, and put two and two together. Enlightenment is cold water.
(George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, essayist. Originally published in The Dial (1922). "Marginal Notes on Civilization in the United States," Santayana on America, Harcourt, Brace & World (1968).)
Reading any collection of a man's quotations is like eating the ingredients that go into a stew instead of cooking them together in the pot. You eat all the carrots, then all the potatoes, then the meat. You won't go away hungry, but it's not quite satisfying. Only a biography, or autobiography, gives you the hot meal.
(Christopher Buckley, U.S. author. A review of three books of quotations from Newt Gingrich. "Newtie's Greatest Hits," The New York Times Book Review (March 12, 1995).)
Is it not singular that, while the religious world is gradually picking to pieces its old testaments, here are some coming slowly after, on the seashore, picking up the durable relics of perhaps older books, and putting them together again?
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, October 17, 1843, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, pp. 114-115, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Thoreau here refers to the selections from Asian religious texts known as the "Ethnical Scriptures" which he and others had been presenting in the Dial magazine.)
There seems no reason why patriotism and narrowness should go together, or why intellectual fairmindedness should be confounded with political trimming, or why serviceable truth should keep cloistered because not partisan.
(Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Supplement." "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 461, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947).
Referring to political debate.)
To see the earth as we now see it, small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the unending nightbrothers who see now they are truly brothers.
(Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. As "Bubble of Blue Air" in Riders on Earth (1978). "Riders on Earth Together, Brothers in Eternal Cold," New York Times (Dec. 25, 1968).
Of the first pictures of the earth from the moon.)
The artist and his work are not to be separated. The most willfully foolish man cannot stand aloof from his folly, but the deed and the doer together make ever one sober fact.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 333, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)