Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Quotes from Classics


I decided to take these quotes from classic literature. I could probably do another 10 with just contemporary literature, but not today. And I actually came up with 11 quotes.  

1. “Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


2.
I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Númenor, and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom.” –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

3. “The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

4. “One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

5. 
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” — T.H. White, The Once and Future King

6. “Was it the wicked leaders who led innocent populations to slaughter, or was it wicked populations who chose leaders after their own hears? On the face of it, it seemed unlikely that one Leader could force a million Englishmen against their will. If, for instance, Mordred had been anxious to make the English wear petticoats, or stand on their heads, they would surely not have joined his party — however clever or persuasive or deceitful or even terrible his inducements? A leader was surely forced to offer something which appealed to those he led? He might give the impetus to the falling building, but surely it had to be toppling on its own account before it fell? If this were true, then wars were not calamities into which amiable innocents were led by evil men. They were national movements, deeper, more subtle in origin. And, indeed, it did not feel to him as if he or Mordred had led their country to its misery. If it was so easy to lead one’s country in various directions, as if she was a pig on a string, why had he failed to lead her into chivalry, into justice, and into peace?” — T.H. White, The Once and Future King

7. “Omnia mutantur, nihil interit (everything changes, nothing perishes).” — Ovid, Metamorphoses

I am slowly reading Metamorphoses this year, but this particular quote is one I came across in the Sandman comics (in the issue “Exiles.”)

8. “To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.” Ursula LeGuin,  The Left Hand of Darkness 

I just wrote a review of this book yesterday!

9. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”  — William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

10. “He who binds to himself a joy
 Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.” — William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

11. 
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
 Are full of passionate intensity. — W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

Published by Beth @ Beth's Bookish Thoughts

This blog is for my thoughts on reading. A couple of my friends on GoodReads have blogs, so eventually I decided to start one myself. I hope to get involved in the book blogging community and become a better reader and writer! I am not accepting copies of new books for review, but I would be interested in new editions or new translations of classic authors. Find me on Upwork (as an editor) in the profile link. From September 2018 to October 2020 I blogged at Blogger.

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