„I could have been a serious athlete, only to have my promise cut short when I discovered Woodbines and women. Thankfully I have long since given up the former, and the latter have long since given up on me— except, of course, for the lovely Lady Stratford, who for reasons beyond my comprehension still tolerates my presence.“

— Tony Banks, maiden speech to the House of Lords http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldhansrd/vo050720/text/50720-23.htm, 20 July 2005; quoted by United Kingdom Parliament World Wide Web Service.
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Tony Banks
1942 - 2006
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„I have nothing but my heart and I have given it long ago to my country.“

— Louis Riel Canadian politician 1844 - 1885
Immediately before his execution in 1885, when a guard asked him for a souvenir, as quoted in Fifty Mighty Men (1977) by Grant MacEwan, p. 45

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„I am in the hands of God, my worldly goods and my life have long since been dedicated to his service.“

— William the Silent stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, leader of the Dutch Revolt 1533 - 1584
Context: I am in the hands of God, my worldly goods and my life have long since been dedicated to his service. He will dispose of them as seems best for his glory and my salvation. … Would to God that my perpetual banishment or even my death could bring you a true deliverance from so many calamities. Oh, how consoling would be such banishment — how sweet such a death! For why have I exposed my property? Was it that I might enrich myself? Why have I lost my brothers? Was it that I might find new ones? Why have I left my son so long a prisoner? Can you give me another? Why have I put my life so often in danger? What reward can I hope after my long services, and the almost total wreck of my earthly fortunes, if not the prize of having acquired, perhaps at the expense of my life, your liberty? If then, my masters, you judge that my absence or my death can serve you, behold me ready to obey. Command me — send me to the ends of the earth — I will obey. Here is my head, over which no prince, no monarch, has power but yourselves. Dispose of it for your good, for the preservation of your republic, but if you judge that the moderate amount of experience and industry which is in me, if you judge that the remainder of my property and of my life can yet be of service to you, I dedicate them afresh to you and to the country. Response after hearing he had been declared an outlaw by Philip II, as quoted in The Rise of the Dutch Republic (1859) by John Lothrop Motley

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„I have given my life to writing without regret, except when I consider what in my work I might have done better.“

— Bernard Malamud American author 1914 - 1986
Context: I have written almost all my life. My writing has drawn, out of a reluctant soul, a measure of astonishment at the nature of life. And the more I wrote well, the better I felt I had to write. In writing I had to say what had happened to me, yet present it as though it had been magically revealed. I began to write seriously when I had taught myself the discipline necessary to achieve what I wanted. When I touched that time, my words announced themselves to me. I have given my life to writing without regret, except when I consider what in my work I might have done better. I wanted my writing to be as good as it must be, and on the whole I think it is. I would write a book, or a short story, at least three times — once to understand it, the second time to improve the prose, and a third to compel it to say what it still must say. Somewhere I put it this way: first drafts are for learning what one's fiction wants him to say. Revision works with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to re-form it. Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing: The men and things of today are wont to lie fairer and truer in tomorrow's meadow, Henry Thoreau said. I don't regret the years I put into my work. Perhaps I regret the fact that I was not two men, one who could live a full life apart from writing; and one who lived in art, exploring all he had to experience and know how to make his work right; yet not regretting that he had put his life into the art of perfecting the work. Address at Bennington College (30 October 1984) as published in "Reflections of a Writer: Long Work, Short Life" in The New York Times (20 March 1988)

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„I couldn't tell you how happy I feel to have taken up drawing again. It had already been on my mind for a long time, but I always saw the thing as impossible and beyond my reach“

— Vincent Van Gogh Dutch post-Impressionist painter (1853-1890) 1853 - 1890
Context: First and foremost, the masterly etching, 'The bush', by Daubigny/Ruisdael. [ Daubigny's etching 'The bush', he made after Jacob van Ruisdael ].... I plan to do two drawings, either in sepia or something else, one of them after this etching [by Daubigny] — the other [etching, made] after T. Rousseau's 'The oven in Les Landes'. This latter sepia is already done — it's true — but if you compare it with Daubigny's etching, you'll understand that it becomes weak, even though the sepia drawing considered on its own may very well have a certain tone and sentiment. I have to go back to it and work on it again.... I couldn't tell you how happy I feel to have taken up drawing again. It had already been on my mind for a long time, but I always saw the thing as impossible and beyond my reach. In his letter to Theo, from Cuesmes, 24 September 1880 - original manuscript of letter no. 158 - at Van Gogh Museum, location Amsterdam - inv. no. b156 V/1962, http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let158/letter.html Van Gogh's copies (drawings) he made after the work of Rousseau have been lost

Joan Rivers photo

„It's been so long since I made love, I can't even remember who gets tied up.“

— Joan Rivers American comedian, actress, and television host 1933 - 2014
Reported in The Quotable Quote Book (Carol Publishing Group, 1990), p. 258

Louis Riel photo

„If I have a mission, I say "If " for the sake of those who doubt, but for my part it means "Since," since I have a mission, I cannot fulfil my mission as long as I am looked upon as an insane being-human being, at the moment that I begin to ascend that scale, I begin to succeed.“

— Louis Riel Canadian politician 1844 - 1885
Context: The Court. has done the work for me, and although at first appearance it seems to be against me, I am so confident in the idea which I have had the honor to express yesterday, that I think it is for good and not for my loss. Up to this moment, I have been considered by a certain party as insane, by another party as a criminal, by another party as a man with whom it was doubtful whether to have any intercourse. So there was hostility and there was contempt, and there was avoidance To-day, by the verdict of the Court, one of these three situations has disappeared. I suppose that after having been condemned, I will cease to be called a fool, and for me it is a great advantage. I consider it as a great advantage. If I have a mission, I say "If " for the sake of those who doubt, but for my part it means "Since," since I have a mission, I cannot fulfil my mission as long as I am looked upon as an insane being-human being, at the moment that I begin to ascend that scale, I begin to succeed.

Francisco De Goya photo

„My dear soul, I can stand on my own feet, but so poorly that I don't know if my head is on my shoulders. I have no appetite or desire to do anything at all. Only your letters cheer me up – only yours. I don't know what will become of me now that I have lost sight of you; I who idolize you have given up hope that you'll ever glance at these blurred lines and get consolation from them.“

— Francisco De Goya Spanish painter and printmaker (1746–1828) 1746 - 1828
letter to his friend Martín Zapater https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q3915977 and https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Francisco_de_Goya_-_Portrait_of_Mart%C3%ADn_Zapater_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg,March 1793; from: 'Francisco de Goya. MS Letters to Martín Zapater 1774-99', Collection of Prado - published as Cartas a Martín Zapater; ed, X. de Salas & M. Agueda, Madrid 1982, p. 211; as quoted by Robert Hughes, in: Goya. Borzoi Book - Alfred Knopf, New York, 2003, p. 127 Goya started to become deaf then, had fainting fits and spells of semi-blindness. From 1793 onward [he was 46] he became functionally deaf, till his death

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Boris Johnson photo

„I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed so it didn't go up my nose. In fact, it may have been icing sugar.“

— Boris Johnson British politician, historian and journalist 1964
"Londoner's Diary", Evening Standard, 17 October 2005, p. 15.

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Oscar Levant photo

„I have given up reading books; I find it takes my mind off myself.“

— Oscar Levant American comedian, composer, pianist and actor 1906 - 1972
As quoted in Memorable Quotations: Jewish Writers of the Past (2005) edited by Carol A. Dingle.

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Sri Aurobindo photo

„This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak to you today. What I intended to speak has been put away from me, and beyond what is given to me I have nothing to say.“

— Sri Aurobindo Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet 1872 - 1950
Context: This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak to you today. What I intended to speak has been put away from me, and beyond what is given to me I have nothing to say. It is only the word that is put into me that I can speak to you. That word is now finished. I spoke once before with this force in me and I said then that this movement is not a political movement and that nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith. I say it again today, but I put it in another way. I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it it moves and with it it grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish.

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