Archive for ‘English’



With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596-98)



It is one of my rules in life never to notice what I don’t understand.

Wilke Collins,  The Moonstone (1868)

Note: This quote was submitted by Anna Harris



It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)



O! This learning, what a thing it is.

William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (1590-1592)


universally acknowledged

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)


just do the next thing on the list

Looking back, I’ve had a remarkable ride. I’m not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children’s book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who…and so on. I didn’t have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.

Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts Commencement Address (2012)


write more.

I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote.

Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts Commencement Address (2012)



Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover  (1928)


attitude abroad

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.

Winston Churchill, a speech to the Houses of Parliament (1947)


secret worlds

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Chapter Six, “I Woke Up And One Of Us Was Crying” (1992)



One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.

Agatha Christie, Autobiography (1977)



One can be a soldier without dying, and a lover without sighing.

Sir Edwin Arnold, Adzuma (1893)



A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.

English proverb (unsourced, undated)


railway termini

Railway termini…are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.

E. M. Forster, Howard’s End (1910)

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