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





Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; but young men think it is, and we were young.


A. E. Housman (1859-1936, British poet, classical scholar)


No man who does a good deed should expect gratitude. The reward of a good deed is in having done it.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


What we believe is more important than our material existence, therefore warfare is a legitimate extension of values.


Edward Johnson


War seems to be one of the most salutary phenomena for the culture of human nature; and it is not without regret that I see it disappearing more and more from the scene.


Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt (1767-1835, German statesman, philologist)


A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


It is better to be the widow of a hero than the wife of a coward.


Dolores Ibarruri (1895-1989, Spanish politician, orator)


The natural principle of war is to do the most harm to our enemy with the least harm to ourselves; and this of course is to be effected by stratagem.


Washington Irving (1783-1859, American author)


A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.


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


In spite of all of the training you get and the precautions you take to keep yourself alive, it's largely a matter of luck that decides whether or not you get killed.


James Jones


It is the coward who fawns upon those above him. It is the coward who is insolent whenever he dares be so.


Junius (1769-1771, Anonymous British letter writer)


The best-educated human being is the one who understands most about the life in which he is placed.


Helen Keller (1880-1968, American blind/deaf author, lecturer, amorist)


Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.


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


Oh, the brave Music of a distant drum!


Omar Khayyam (1048-1131, Persian astronomer, poet)


War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


And that is called paying the Dane-geld; but we've proved it again and again, that if once you have paid him the Dane-geld you never get rid of the Dane.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


If any question why we died, tell them, because our fathers lied.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


A coward is a hero with a wife, kids, and a mortgage.


Marvin Kitman


Dishonesty, cowardice and duplicity are never impulsive.


George A. Knight


The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums.


Arthur Koestler (1905-1983, Hungarian born British writer)


Where do all the women who have watched so carefully over the lives of their beloved ones get the heroism to send them to face the cannon?


KaThe Kollwitz (1867-1945, German artist)


How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


War: first, one hopes to win; then one expects the enemy to lose; then, one is satisfied that he too is suffering; in the end, one is surprised that everyone has lost.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


Those who have been immersed in the tragedy of massive death during wartime, and who have faced it squarely, never allowing their senses and feelings to become numbed and indifferent, have emerged from their experiences with growth and humanness greater than that achieved through almost any other means.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004, Swiss-born American psychiatrist)


The more prosperous and settled a nation, the more readily it tends to think of war as a regrettable accident; to nations less fortunate the chance of war presents itself as a possible bountiful friend.


Lewis H. Lapham (1935-, American essayist, editor)


Cowards cannot see that their greatest safety lies in dauntless courage.


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


The war is dreadful. It is the business of the artist to follow it home to the heart of the individual fighters -- not to talk in armies and nations and numbers -- but to track it home.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


Of course in war all madnesses come out in a man. That is the fault of war not of a man or a nation.


Frieda Lawrence


I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving.


Robert E. Lee (1807-1870, American confederate army commander)


Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war --for killing people. We received ours for entertaining other people. I'd say we deserve ours more.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


I sincerely wish war was a pleasanter and easier business than it is, but it does not admit of holidays.


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


Let him not boast who puts his armor on as he who puts it off, the battle done.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


I have known war as few men now living know it. Its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.


Douglas Macarthur (1880-1964, American army general during WW II)


I see that old flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.


Douglas Macarthur (1880-1964, American army general during WW II)


In war, there is no substitute for victory.


Douglas Macarthur (1880-1964, American army general during WW II)


There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian author, statesman)


War is thus divine in itself, since it is a law of the world. War is divine through its consequences of a supernatural nature which are as much general as particular. War is divine in the mysterious glory that surrounds it and in the no less inexplicable attraction that draws us to it. War is divine by the manner in which it breaks out.


Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821, French diplomat, philosopher)


The Oscars demonstrate the will of the people to control and judge those they have elected to stand above them (much, perhaps, as in bygone days, an election celebrated the same).


David Mamet (1947-, American playwright)


Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.


Og Mandino (1923-1996, American motivational author, speaker)

Author's website:


Wars are carried out by large organizations; Peace is brought one by one.


Rachel Manor


Blunders are an inescapable feature of war, because choice in military affairs lies generally between the bad and the worse.


Allan Massie


Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.


Francis Meehan


People think that if a man has undergone any hardship, he should have a reward; but for my part, if I have done the hardest possible day's work, and then come to sit down in a corner and eat my supper comfortably -- why, then I don't think I deserve any reward for my hard day's work -- for am I not now at peace? Is not my supper good?


Herman Melville (1819-1891, American author)


War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.


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


God always provides what we need, but we must be ready to open our eyes and see it.


Midrash (Jewish biblical commentary)


War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their own free choice -- is often the means of their regeneration.


John Stuart Mill (1806-1873, British philosopher, economist)


The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


I'm a hero with coward's legs.


Spike Milligan (1918-, British comedian, humorous writer)


I regard almost all quarrels of princes on the same footing, and I see nothing that marks man's unreason so positively as war. Indeed, what folly to kill one another for interests often imaginary, and always for the pleasure of persons who do not think themselves even obliged to those who sacrifice themselves for them!


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762, British society figure, letter writer)


War hath no fury like a non-combatant.


Charles Edward Montague (1867-1928, British author, journalist)


Cowardice is the mother of cruelty.


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


It is the part of cowardliness, and not of virtue, to seek to squat itself in some hollow lurking hole, or to hide herself under some massive tomb, thereby to shun the strokes of fortune.


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


War is the supreme drama of a completely mechanized society.


Lewis Mumford (1895-1990, American social philosopher)


In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.


Jose Narosky


The only cowards are sinners; fighting the fight is all.


John G. Neihardt


War has always been the grand sagacity of every spirit which has grown too inward and too profound; its curative power lies even in the wounds one receives.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


Our rewards in life will always be in direct ratio to our service.


Earl Nightingale (1921-1989, American radio announcer, author, motivator, speaker)


What the horrors of war are, no one can imagine. They are not wounds and blood and fever, spotted and low, or dysentery, chronic and acute, cold and heat and famine. They are intoxication, drunken brutality, demoralization and disorder on the part of the inferior... jealousies, meanness, indifference, selfish brutality on the part of the superior.


Florence Nightingale (1820-1910, British nurse)


Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.


Ronald Reagan (1911-2004, American President (40th))


The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


What are we hoping to get out of it, what's it all in aid of -- is it really just for the sake of a gloved hand waving at you from a golden coach?


John Osborne (1929-, British playwright)


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns.


Wilfred Owen (1894-1918, British poet)


To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches.


Thomas Paine (1737-1809, Anglo-American political theorist, writer)


The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.


Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990, Indian diplomat)


Suppose they gave a war, and no one came?


Leslie Parrish-Bach


He that does good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end.


William Penn (1644-1718, British religious leader, founder of Pennsylvania)


That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845, American poet, critic, short-story writer)


The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


Wars are made to make debt.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


There is no reason for war that reasonable men can't settle. Clouds and thunder don't always result in rain. A small cloud can hide the sun and the moon.


Armenian Proverb


War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love.


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.


Irish Proverb (Sayings of Irish origin)


We won the war, but we lost peace.


Serbian Proverb


Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare.


Queen Elizabeth II (1900-2002, British Queen)


War begets quiet, quiet idleness, idleness disorder, disorder ruin; likewise ruin order, order virtue, virtue glory, and good fortune.


Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618, British courtier, navigator, writer)


There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist.


Ayn Rand (1905-1982, Russian philosopher, author, "Atlas Shrugged")


You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.


Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973, American feminist and pacifist)


The reward of great men is that, long after they have died, one is not quite sure that they are dead.


Jules Renard (1864-1910, French author, dramatist)


Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in.


John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937, American industrialist, philanthropist, founder Exxon)


I cannot believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war and no one will win the next.


Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)


More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.


Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945, American President (32nd))


War is a contagion.


Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945, American President (32nd))


Open-mindedness should not be fostered because, as Scripture teaches, Truth is great and will prevail, nor because, as Milton suggests, Truth will always win in a free and open encounter. It should be fostered for its own sake.


Richard Rorty (1931-, American philosopher)


A cowardly cur barks more fiercely than it bites.


Quintus Curtius Rufus (100 AD, Roman historian)


O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain;


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Those who dare to interpret God's will must never claim Him as an asset for one nation or group rather than another. War springs from the love and loyalty which should be offered to God being applied to some God substitute, one of the most dangerous being nationalism.


Robert Runcie


I had supposed until that time that it was quite common for parents to love their children, but the war persuaded me that it is a rare exception. I had supposed that most people liked money better than almost anything else, but I discovered that they liked destruction even better. I had supposed that intellectuals frequently loved truth, but I found here again that not ten percent of them prefer truth to popularity.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


Are wars... anything but the means whereby a nation's problems are set, where creation is stimulated -- there you have adventure. But there is no adventure in heads-or-tails, in betting that the toss will come out of life or death. War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus.


Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944, French aviator, writer)


War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus.


Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944, French aviator, writer)


To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.


George Santayana (1863-1952, American philosopher, poet)


Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.


William T. Sherman (1820-1891, American army commander)


War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view "realistically;" that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent -- war being defined as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive.


Susan Sontag (1933-, American essayist)


If it were not for the war, this war would suit me down to the ground.


Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957, British author)


God's delays are not God's denials.


Robert H. Schuller (1926-, American minister, author, social leader)


When the adulation of life is gone, the coward sneaks to his death, but the brave live on.


George Sewell


Cowards die a thousand deaths. The valiant taste of death but once.


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


Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.


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


Cry "havoc!" and let loose the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.


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


We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.


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


In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence, and famine.


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


Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice.


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


War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822, British poet)


My valor is certainly going, it is sneaking off! I feel it oozing out as it were, at the palms of my hands!


Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816, Anglo-Irish dramatist)


War -- what a waste of time. It's all about great achievements for the very few but hideous losses for the very many.


Author Unknown


Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


You can ensure the success of your attacks if you only attack places that are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked. Therefore, that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


It is better to be killed than frightened to death.


Robert S. Surtees


Greater even than the pious man is he who eats that which is the fruit of his own toil; for scripture declares him twice-blessed.


The Talmud (BC 500?-400? AD, Jewish archive of oral tradition)


I have a deep sympathy with war; it so apes the gait and bearing of the soul.


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


The savage in man is never quite eradicated.


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


There are two things which will always be very difficult for a democratic nation: to start a war and to end it.


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


Not in rewards, but in the strength to strive, the blessing lies.


J. T. Towbridge


Except a person be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Except a person be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


It is better to deserve an honor and not receive it, than to receive one and not deserve it!


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession, but carrying a banner.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


A coward gets scared and quits. A hero gets scared, but still goes on.


Author Unknown


As cowardly as a coward is, it is not safe to call a coward a coward.


Author Unknown


Companies that give excellent service reward employees for providing it.


Author Unknown


Let the motive be in the deed and not in the event. Be not one whose motive for action is the hope of reward.


Author Unknown


The cowards never started -- and the weak died along the way.


Author Unknown


To say that war is madness is like saying that sex is madness: true enough, from the standpoint of a stateless eunuch, but merely a provocative epigram for those who must make their arrangements in the world as given.


John Updike (1932-, American novelist, critic)


To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.


Peter Ustinov (1921-, British actor, writer, director)


Most people grow old within a small circle of ideas, which they have not discovered for themselves. There are perhaps less wrong-minded people than thoughtless.


Marquis De Vauvenargues (1715-1747, French moralist)


It is forbidden to kill -- and thus, all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers, and with the background of trumpets playing.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


One of the chief misfortunes of honest people is that they are cowardly.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


What war has always been is a puberty ceremony. It's a very rough one, but you went away a boy and came back a man, maybe with an eye missing or whatever but godammit you were a man and people had to call you a man thereafter.


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-, American novelist)


No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.


Booker T. Washington (1856-1915, American black leader and educator)


So you think you can tell heaven from hell blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail, a smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts hot ashes for trees, hot air for a cool breeze, cold comfort for change? Did you exchange a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage?


R. Waters


A self-respecting nation is ready for anything, including war, except for a renunciation of its option to make war.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men.


Bishop Westcott


With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.


Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1855-1919, American poet, journalist)


As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.


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


All men would be cowards if they durst.


John Wilmot (1647-1680, British courtier, poet)


My mind is my biggest asset.


Tiger Woods (1975-, American golfer)


If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or "our" country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share.


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


The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.


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


I think it better that in times like these a poet's mouth be silent, for in truth we have no gift to set a statesman right.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


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