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You Can Quote Them
A new column by the man William Safire calls the “Quotationeer”

It is fitting to inaugurate this Yale Alumni Magazine quotations column with some of the most memorable words ever uttered by Yale alumni. The range of alumni activities is strikingly illustrated by these quotations, a well-rounded compilation of historical portentousness, literary distinction, technological innovation, religious eloquence, and social-scientific insight—of wit, wisdom, and some just plain foolishness.

I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.

I am on the hilltop, and must go down into the valley; and when Uncas follows in my footsteps, there will no longer be any of the blood of the Sagamores, for my boy is the last of the Mohicans.

[Quoted in the first formal intercity telegraph message:] What hath God wrought!

The Forgotten Man … works, he votes, generally he prays—but he always pays. … All the burdens fall on him, or on her, for it is time to remember that the Forgotten Man is not seldom a woman.

Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.

Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.

Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

[Of hard-core pornography:] I know it when I see it.

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.

We are a nation of communities, of tens and tens of thousands of ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional, and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary, and unique … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.

Read my lips: no new taxes.

No one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time on my business.”

We are now in the Me Decade.

The idea was to prove at every foot of the way up that you were one of the elected and anointed ones who had the right stuff and could move higher and higher and even—ultimately, God willing, one day—that you might be able to join that special few at the very top, that elite who had the capacity to bring tears to men’s eyes, the very Brotherhood of the Right Stuff itself.

Everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everybody else on this planet.

Say hello to my little friend!

The great story here … is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.

I experimented with marijuana a time or two. And I didn’t like it, and I didn’t inhale.

It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.
 the end


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