To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).)
Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.
(George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. repr. in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol. 3, eds. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (1968). "Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali," (1944).)
In short, let it be your maxim through life, to know all you can know, yourself; and never to trust implicitly to the informations of others.
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Mar. 16, 1759, 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. IV, p. 173, London (1774).)
It might be that some day I shall be drowned by the sea, or die of pneumonia from sleeping out at night, or be robbed and strangled by strangers. These things happen. Even so, I shall be ahead because of trusting the beach, the night and strangers.
(Janet Wood Reno (b. 1913), U.S. mother of U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. As quoted in the New York Times Magazine, p. 44 (May 15, 1994).
Reno had "once walked 104 miles up the Florida coast alone.")