An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown






Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men's thoughts, to speak other men's words, to follow other men's habits.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


The public is wiser than the wisest critic.


George Bancroft (1800-1891, American historian)


We all have the republican spirit in our veins, like syphilis in our bones. We are democratized and venerealized.


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


All publicity is good, except an obituary notice.


Brendan F. Behan (1923-1964, Irish writer)


There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.


Brendan F. Behan (1923-1964, Irish writer)


Opinions are a private matter. The public has an interest only in judgments.


Walter Benjamin (1982-1940, German critic, philosopher)


The price of justice is eternal publicity.


Arnold Bennett (1867-1931, British novelist)


Publicity is the life of this culture. Without publicity capitalism could not survive and at the same time publicity is its dream.


John Berger (1926-, British actor, critic)


A Republican by principle and devotion, I will, until my death, oppose all Royalists and all enemies of my Government and the Republic.


Jean Baptiste Bernadotte (1804-?, King of Sweden and Norway, one of Napoleon Bonaparte's marshalls)


The monster of advertisement... is a sort of octopus with innumerable tentacles. It throws out to right and left, in front and behind, its clammy arms, and gathers in, through its thousand little suckers, all the gossip and slander and praise afloat, to spit out again at the public.


Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923, French actress)


We must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them.


Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923, French actress)


You're not an M.P., you're a gastronomic pimp.


Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960, British politician)


Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


The approval of the public is to be avoided like the plague. It is absolutely essential to keep the public from entering if one wishes to avoid confusion. I must add that the public must be kept panting in expectation at the gate by a system of challenges and provocations.


Andre Breton (1989-1966, French surrealist)


The world will only, in the end, follow those who have despised as well as served it.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


I'm not a very gregarious person. I can't bear attention being called to me in a public place, which is ridiculous in a business that pays you to be noticed.


Gabriel Byrne (1950-, Irish actor, producer)


The king-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist; but the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


Wonderful "Force of Public Opinion!" We must act and walk in all points as it prescribes; follow the traffic it bids us, realize the sum of money, the degree of "influence" it expects of us, or we shall be lightly esteemed; certain mouthfuls of articulate wind will be blown at us, and this what mortal courage can front?


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


There are certain times when public opinion is the worst of all opinions.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


The reading public is intellectually adolescent at best, and it is obvious that what is called "significant literature" will only be sold to this public by exactly the same methods as are used to sell it toothpaste, cathartics and automobiles.


Raymond Chandler (1888-1959, American author)


I don't believe that the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion that I have drawn from my career.


Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977, British comic actor, filmmaker)


The basic idea which runs right through modern history and modern liberalism is that the public has got to be marginalized. The general public are viewed as no more than ignorant and meddlesome outsiders, a bewildered herd.


Noam Chomsky (1928-, American linguist, political activist)


The measure of your quality as a public person, as a citizen, is the gap between what you do and what you say.


Ramsey Clark


If a large city can, after intense intellectual efforts, choose for its mayor a man who merely will not steal from it, we consider it a triumph of the suffrage.


Frank Moore Colby (1865-1925, American editor, essayist)


It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.


James F. Cooper (1789-1851, American novelist)


The State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions. If they be willing faithfully to serve it, that satisfies.


Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658, British Parliamentarian General)


They look for a victim to chivy, and howl him down, and finally lynch him in a sheer storm of sexual frenzy which they honestly imagine to be moral indignation, patriotic passion or some equally allowable emotion, it may be an innocent Negro, a Jew like L


Aleister Crowley (1875-1947, British occultist)


A man in public life expects to be sneered at -- it is the fault of his elevated situation, and not of himself.


Charles Dickens (1812-1870, British novelist)


What we call public opinion is generally public sentiment.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


People think they have taken quite an extraordinarily bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy.


Friedrich Engels (1820-1895, German social philosopher)


No decent career was ever founded on a public.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. How far that or any other consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice, is a doctrine of which I still desire to remain ignorant.


Edward Gibbon (1737-1794, British historian)


Deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


The cult of individuality and personality, which promotes painters and poets only to promote itself, is really a business. The greater the "genius" of the personage, the greater the profit.


George Grosz


There is not a more mean, stupid, dastardly, pitiless, selfish, spiteful, envious, ungrateful animal than the Public. It is the greatest of cowards, for it is afraid of itself.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


When you give power to an executive you do not know who will be filling that position when the time of crisis comes.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


American public opinion is like an ocean -- it cannot be stirred by a teaspoon.


Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978, American Vice President)


I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet.


Jesse Jackson (1941-, American clergyman, Civil Rights leader)


With publicity comes humiliation.


Tama Janowitz


Public employment contributes neither to advantage nor happiness. It is but honorable exile from one's family and affairs.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


Ah! Sir, a boy's being flogged is not so severe as a man's having the hiss of the world against him.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


The Public is a thing I cannot help looking upon as an enemy, and which I cannot address without feelings of hostility.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


Of course I'm a publicity hound. Aren't all crusaders? How can you accomplish anything unless people know what you are trying to do?


Vivien Kellems


I never know when I press these whether I am going to blow up Massachusetts or start the project.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


Lofty posts make great men greater still, and small men much smaller.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


The public seldom forgive twice.


Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801, Swiss theologian, mystic)


To have news value is to have a tin can tied to one's tail.


Thomas E. Lawrence (1888-1935, British soldier, Arabist writer)


To have news value is to have a tin can tied to one's tail.


Thomas E. Lawrence (1888-1935, British soldier, Arabist writer)


We say that someone occupies an official position, whereas it is the official position that occupies him.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, cannot be safely disregarded.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


In government offices which are sensitive to the vehemence and passion of mass sentiment public men have no sure tenure. They are in effect perpetual office seekers, always on trial for their political lives, always required to court their restless constituents.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society. It may, if it cannot be arrested and reversed, bring about the fall of the West.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


The republic, as I at least understand it, means association, of which liberty is only an element, a necessary antecedent. It means association, a new philosophy of life, a divine Ideal that shall move the world, the only means of regeneration vouchsafed to the human race.


Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872, Italian patriot, writer)


The public, with its mob yearning to be instructed, edified and pulled by the nose, demands certainties; it must be told definitely and a bit raucously that this is true and that is false. But there are no certainties.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


The worthiest man to be known, and for a pattern to be presented to the world, he is the man of whom we have most certain knowledge. He hath been declared and enlightened by the most clear-seeing men that ever were; the testimonies we have of him are in faithfulness and sufficiency most admirable.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


We endeavor more that men should speak of us, than how and what they speak, and it sufficeth us that our name run in men's mouths, in what manner soever. It stemma that to be known is in some sort to have life and continuance in other men's keeping.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


A public man must never forget that he loses his usefulness when he as an individual, rather than his policy, becomes the issue.


Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994, American President (37th))


The more you stay in this kind of job, the more you realize that a public figure, a major public figure, is a lonely man.


Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994, American President (37th))


If you want an audience start a fight.


Irish Proverb (Sayings of Irish origin)


Every person is a fool in some person's opinion.


Spanish Proverb (Sayings of Spanish origin)


If you have got the public in the palm of your hand, you can be sure that is where they want to be.


Cliff Richard


No people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse.


Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919,  American President (26th))


It has taken me nearly twenty years of studied self-restraint, aided by the natural decay of my faculties, to make myself dull enough to be accepted as a serious person by the British public; and I am not sure that I am not still regarded as a suspicious character in some quarters.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature -- a type nowhere at present existing.


Herbert Spencer (1820-1903, British philosopher)


A man must know how to fly in the face of opinion; a woman to submit to it.


Anne Germain De Stael (1766-1817, French-Swiss novelist)


It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.


Alexis De Tocqueville (1805-1859, French social philosopher)


You don't have power if you surrender all your principles -- you have office.


Ron Todd


In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you're a great writer, you must say that you are.


Gore Vidal (1925-, American novelist, critic)


Public Opinion... an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community, and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


The English public, as a mass, takes no interest in a work of art until it is told that the work in question is immoral.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


Yes, I am a thorough republican. No other form of government is so favorable to the growth of art.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


For such will be our ruin if you, in the immensity of your public abstractions, forget the private figure, or if we in the intensity of our private emotions forget the public world. Both houses will be ruined, the public and the private, the material and the spiritual, for they are inseparably connected.


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking