In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will already get further up today or you will exercise your strength so that you can climb higher tomorrow.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 522, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Mixed Opinions and Maxims, aphorism 358, "Never in Vain," (1879).)
I haven't eaten in three days. I didn't eat yesterday, I didn't eat today and I'm not going to eat tomorrow. That makes it three days!
(S.J. Perelman, U.S. screenwriter, Arthur Sheekman, Will Johnstone, and Norman Z. McLeod. Chico Marx, Monkey Business, a complaint shipboard stowaway Chico makes to fellow stowaway Groucho Marx (1931).
Groucho has no character name in the creditshe is listed as one of the "Stowaways.")
Do not put off your work until tomorrow and the day after. For the sluggish worker does not fill his barn, nor the one who puts off his work; industry aids work, but the man who puts off work always wrestles with disaster.
(Hesiod (c. 8th century B.C.), Greek didactic poet. Works and Days, 410.)
The savages set up gods to which they pray, and which they punish if one of their prayers is not answered.... That is what is happening at this moment.... Yesterday Kerensky; today Lenin and Trotsky; another tomorrow.
(Victor Mikhailovich Chernov (1873-1972), Russian socialist revolutionary. speech, Nov. 28, 1917, Peasants' Congress, Petrograd. Quoted in John Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World, ch. 12 (1926).)
We are living in a demented world. And we know it. It would not come as a surprise to anyone if tomorrow the madness gave way to a frenzy which would leave our poor Europe in a state of distracted stupor, with engines still turning and flags streaming in the breeze, but with the spirit gone.
(Johan Huizinga (1872-1945), Dutch historian. In the Shadow of Tomorrow, ch. 1 (1936).
Written as the clouds of WW II gathered.)
You take a number of small steps which you believe are right, thinking maybe tomorrow somebody will treat this as a dangerous provocation. And then you wait. If there is no reaction, you take another step: courage is only an accumulation of small steps.
(George Konrád (b. 1933), Hungarian writer, politician. Sunday Correspondent (London, April 1990).
On surviving as a writer in Communist Hungary.)