H quotations.


If we don't end war, war will end us.

H.G. Wells (1866/1946). Herbert George Wells. Science fiction writer.


Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


There are some people who read too much: The bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as others are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.

The value the world sets upon motives is often grossly unjust and inaccurate. Consider, for example, two of them: mere insatiable curiosity and the desire to do good. The latter is put high above the former, and yet it is the former that moves one of the most useful men the human race has yet produced: the scientific investigator. What actually urges him on is not some brummagem idea of Service, but a boundless, almost pathological thirst to penetrate the unknown, to uncover the secret, to find out what has not been found out before. His prototype is not the liberator releasing slaves, the good Samaritan lifting up the fallen, but a dog sniffing tremendously at an infinite series of rat-holes.

-Reprinted in A Mencken Crestomathy, Vintage Books, New York, 1982, p. 12, first printed in the Smart Set, Aug. 1919, pp 60-61

A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

H.L. Mencken (1880-09-12/1956-01-29). Henry Louis Mencken. American journalist, social critic, cynic, and freethinker.


Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

Hannah More


The appalling power with which metaphors of sexual lust illuminate the nature of war, and vice versa, proves that they are based on millennia of human experience. The poets of all time have used these figures. To conquer and loot a country is to rape it: to violate a woman is to conquer her by force and plunder her of her treasure. The violence that attends sex when it is unmitigated by love, and the sexual excesses that have attended war and been its aftermath, are the psychological and historical demonstrations of the consanguinity of the two.

-The Meaning of Shakespeare, vol. 2, ch. 24, University of Chicago Press (1951).

Harold C. Goddard (1878/1950). U.S. educator, critic.


More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.

Harold J. Smith


Jaw-jaw is better than war-war.

Harold MacMillan.


Every fool knows you can't touch the stars, but it doesn't stop a wise man from trying.

Harry Anderson


I never give them hell. I just give them the facts and they think it's hell.

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

Harry S Truman (1884-05-08/1972-12-26). The "S" is not an abbreviation.The 33rd U.S. President (1945/1953).


When standing at an unfamiliar door,
Take care before entering:
Look this way and that:
Who knows up front what foes may be
Awaiting in the hall?

-Stanza #1

Cattle Die,
Friends Die:
Even you die:
But I know one that does not die
Judgment over dead men

-Stanza #77

Always rise
to an early meal,
but eat your fill before a feast.
If you're hungry
you have no time
to talk at the table.

Never walk
away from home
ahead of your axe and sword.
You can't feel a battle
in your bones
or foresee a fight.

Moderately wise
a man should be
not too crafty or clever.
A learned man's heart
whose learning is deep
seldom sings with joy.

The unwise man
is awake all night
worries over and again.
When morning rises
he is restless still,
his burden as before.

It is fortunate
to be favored
with praise and popularity.
It is dire luck
to be dependent
on the feelings of your fellow man.

Wake early
if you want
another man's life or land.
No lamb
for the lazy wolf.
No battle's won in bed.

Go you must.
No guest shall stay
in one place for ever.
Love will be lost
if you sit too long
at a friend's fire.

Be your friend's
true friend.
Return gift for gift.
Repay laughter
with laughter again
but betrayal with treachery.

Hávamál. Aka The Words of the High One; The Sayings of Har; High Song of Odin; Book of Viking Wisdom. A work of Old Norse poetry.


Marriage is like a war. There are moments of chivalry and gallantry that attend the victorious advances and strategic retreats, the birth or death of children, the momentary conquest of loneliness, the sacrifice that ennobles him who makes it. But mostly there are the long dull sieges, the waiting, the terror and boredom. Women understand this better than men; they are better able to survive attrition.

Helen Hayes.


Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.

Helen Keller


The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity.

Helen Rowland


One can acquire everything in solitude--except character.

Henri Stendhal


While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.

Henry C. Link


To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.

-The Writings of Henry David Thoreau. Vol. 2, p. 100. Houghton Mifflin, 1906.

I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make use and get advantage of her as I can, as is usual in such cases.

-On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).

Henry David Thoreau (1817-07-12/1862-05-06). Born David Henry Thoreau. American philosopher, author, and naturalist.


Whether you think you can or think you can't —you are right.

Henry Ford


She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table.

Henry James


The Vietnam War required us to emphasize the national interest rather than abstract principles…. What President Nixon and I tried to do was unnatural. And that is why we didn't make it.

Henry Kissinger


Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.

Henry Van Dyke


The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.

Henry Ward Beecher


No wonder the Nazis' rejoicing verged on the ecstatic. Serenity vanished; all rational thinking, all inner restraint, were abandoned. In the end there remained nothing but black and white, good and evil; the whole world was divided into rascals and heroes, the past and the eternal, centuries of ignorance and a thousand years of salvation. Everything ran to superlatives.

Hans Bernd Gisevius (1904-07-14/1974-02-23). German diplomat. Anti-Nazi resistance leader.


Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.

-Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. 1985. Preface to the first edition.

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because there were giants standing on my shoulders.

Harold Abelson. American computer scientist.


I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.

Harry S Truman


I have a most peaceable disposition. My desires are for a modest hut, a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, very fresh milk and butter, flowers in front of my window and a few pretty trees by my door. And should the good Lord wish to make me really happy, he will allow me the pleasure of seeing about six or seven of my enemies hanged upon those trees.

Heinrich Heine (1797-12-13/1856-02-17). Christian Johann Heinrich Heine. German romantic poet.


We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. -Helen Keller

Helen Keller (1880-06-27/1968-06-01). Helen Adams Keller. Blind and deaf American author, activist, and lecturer. One of the founders of the ACLU.


The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

Henri Bergson (1859-10-18/1941-01-04). Henri-Louis Bergson. French philosopher.


It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.

-Journal Intime, entry for Oct. 27, 1853 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphry Ward (1892).

Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-09-27-/1881-03). Swiss philosopher, poet and critic.


What makes equality such a difficult business is that we only want it with our superiors.

Henry Becque (1837-1899). Henry François Becque. French dramatist.


To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure. Towards these ends I pledge my life's work. I will supply the children with tools and knowledge to overcome the obstacles. I will pass on the wisdom of my years and temper it with patience. I shall impact in each child the desire to fulfill his or her dream. I shall teach.

Henry James (1843-1916). American writer.


Time is:
Too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is not.

The best rose-bush, after all, is not that which has the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses.

Henry van Dyke (1852/1933). American clergyman, educator, and author.


A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.

Everything flows, nothing stands still

No man can cross the same river twice, because neither the man nor the river are the same.

Heraclitus of Ephesus (c 535/475 BCE). Aka The Obscure. Greek philosopher.


But the greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness --each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked --each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity.

-Christianity, Diplomacy and War. 1953. p. 43.

Herbert Butterfield (1900/1979)


Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

-Spoken to the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

Hermann Goering (1893-01-12/1946-10-15). Hermann Göring. Hermann Wilhelm Göring. German Nazi and founder of the Gestapo.


Basic research is like shooting an arrow into the air and, where it lands, painting a target.

Homer Adkins.


No man should marry until he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.

Honoré de Balzac (1799-05-20/1850-08-18). French novelist.


Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.

Horace Greeley


A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

Hugh Downs


Enter Hinduism's myths, her magnificent symbols, her several hundred images of God, her rituals that keep turning night and day like never-ending prayer wheels. It is obtuse to confuse Hinduism's images with idolatry, and their multiplicity with polytheism. They are 'runways' from which the sense-laden human spirit can rise for its "flight of the alone to the Alone". Even village priest will frequently open their temple ceremonies with the following beloved invocation:

  
O Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations:
   Thou art everywhere, but I worship you here;
   Thou art without form, but I worship you in these forms;
   Thou needest no praise, yet I offer you these prayers and salutations,
   Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations.

-The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions. San Francisco, CA: Harpers. p34. Supposedly the invocation is from Bhagavata Purana, a Smitri Hindu text by Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva c.3100 BCE.

Institutions are not pretty. Show me a pretty government. Healing is wonderful, but the American Medical Association? Learning is wonderful, but universities? The same is true for religion... religion is institutionalized spirituality.

Huston Smith.


Page Modified: (Hand noted: ) (Auto noted: )