You Have Enemies? Good. That Means You’ve Stood Up For Something, Sometime In Your Life

Winston Churchill? Victor Hugo? Thomas Jefferson? Jules Sandeau? Charles Mackay? Elminster of Shadowdale? Ed Greenwood? William J. Robinson? Jim Bunning? Eminem? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: If you become prominent and influential then you will inevitably face detractors. If you take tough stances on major issues then you will encounter adversaries. The British statesman Winston Churchill …

“She Has Kept None for Herself” “Because She Is Not Hungry” “Because She Is a Mother”

Victor Hugo? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The famous French novelist Victor Hugo penned a vignette about a mother who selflessly gave food to her hungry children even though she was emaciated. An observer asked why she did this, and another observer replied: “Because she is a mother”. Would you please help me to find this …

In a Woman the Flesh Must Be Like Marble; In a Statue the Marble Must Be Like Flesh

Victor Hugo? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: I am authoring a book that discusses marble, and I’ve found an apposite quotation ascribed to the French literary titan Victor Hugo author of “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. He employed antimetabole while comparing marble to human flesh. I have not been able to find solid citations …

Melancholy Is the Pleasure of Being Sad

Victor Hugo? H. L. Mencken? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Melancholy is a complex and sometimes puzzling emotion. The composite nature of the sensation is expressed by the following: Melancholia is the joy of feeling sad. Melancholy is the happiness of being sad. Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad. I believe that this statement was …

Briefest Correspondence: Question Mark? Exclamation Mark!

Victor Hugo? Oscar Wilde? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: There is a popular humorous anecdote about an exchange of letters between Victor Hugo and his publisher shortly after the publication of “Les Misérables”. Each message consisted of only a single character. Are you familiar with this story? Recently, I heard a version of the tale with …

If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain

Edmund Burke? Anselme Batbie? Victor Hugo? King Oscar II of Sweden? George Bernard Shaw? François Guizot? Jules Claretie? Georges Clemenceau? Benjamin Disraeli? Winston Churchill? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Some individuals change their political orientation as they grow older. There is a family of sayings that present a mordant judgment on this ideological evolution. Here are …

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