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Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique and not too much imagination
Christopher Isherwood
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Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c.35 – c.100), was a Roman rhetorician. His De Institutione Oratoria was widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing.


De Institutione Oratoria

  • We give to necessity the praise of virtue.
    • Book I, 8, line 14
  • A liar should have a good memory.
    • Book IV, 2, line 91
  • Vain hopes are often like the dreams of those who wake.
    • Book VI, 2, line 30
  • Pectus est enim, quod disertos facit.
    • Translation: For it is feeling and force of imagination that makes us eloquent.
    • Book X 7, line 15
  • Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.
    • Book X, 7, line 21
  • "We should not write so that it is possible for [the reader] to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us."
    • Book VIII, 2, 24


  • It is much easier to try one's hand at many things than to concentrate one's powers on one thing.
  • Nature herself has never attempted to effect great changes rapidly.
  • Damnant quod non intellegunt.
    • Translation: They condemn what they do not understand.

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