- The sad truth of the matter is that most evil is done by people who never made up their minds to be or do either good or evil.
The Life of the Mind (1978) 1906–75 American political philosopher:
- Even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
1907–73 English poet: ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ (1940)
- All colours will agree in the dark.
Essays (1625) ‘Of Unity in Religion’ 1561–1626 English lawyer, courtier, philosopher, and essayist:
- I come from a people who gave the ten commandments to the world. Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shalt not be a perpetrator; thou shalt not be a victim; and thou shalt never, but never, be a bystander. 1926– Czech-born Israeli historian: speech to the German Bundestag, 1998, quoted in his own speech to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, 26 July 2000
- There is nothing upon the face of the earth so insipid as a medium. Give me love or hate! a friend that will go to jail for me, or an enemy that will run me through the body!
Camilla (1796) 1752–1840 English novelist and diarist:
- Catholics and Communists have committed great crimes, but at least they have not stood aside, like an established society, and been indifferent. I would rather have blood on my hands than water like Pilate.
The Comedians (1966) pt. 3, ch. 4 1904–91 English novelist:
- Hippocleides doesn't care.
on being told that he had ruined his marriage chances with the daughter of a tyrant, concluding a dance by standing on his head and gesticulating with his legs
bc Athens: Herodotus Histories bk. 6, sect. 129 Greek aristocrat of 6th century
- Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all—the apathy of human beings.
My Religion (1927) 1880–1968 American writer and social reformer, blind and deaf from the age of 19 months:
- Heaven and earth are not humane
They regard all things as straw dogs.
The sage is not humane.
He regards all people as straw dogs.
Tao-te Ching ch. 5, tr. Wing-Tsit Chan c.604–c.531 bc Chinese philosopher; founder of Taoism:
- Qu'ils mangent de la brioche.
Let them eat cake.
on being told that her people had no bread
Confessions (1740) Rousseau refers to a similar remark being a well-known saying; another version is ‘Que ne mangent-ils de la croûte de pâté? [Why don't they eat pastry?]’, attributed to Marie-Thérèse (1638–83), wife of Louis XIV 1755–93 French Queen consort of Louis XVI: attributed, but much older; in his
- I wish I could care what you do or where you go but I can't…My dear, I don't give a damn.
Gone with the Wind (1936) ch. 57; see Howard 1900–49 American novelist:
- When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church—and there was nobody left to be concerned.
often quoted in the form ‘In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist…’ and so on
Congressional Record 14 October 1968 1892–1984 German theologian: in
- Vacant heart and hand, and eye,—
Easy live and quiet die.
The Bride of Lammermoor (1819) 1771–1832 Scottish novelist and poet:
- The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
The Devil's Disciple (1901) act 2 1856–1950 Irish dramatist:
- The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
U.S. News and World Report 27 October 1986 1928– Romanian-born American writer: in
- Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!
1865–1939 Irish poet: ‘Under Ben Bulben’ (1939) pt. 6