Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain, a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats, humiliations, and despairs - the heaviest curse devisable by divine ingenuity; but death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free. Mark Twain, "Letters From the Earth"
If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers. Charles Dickens, "The Old Curiosity Shop"
Appeal: v.t. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw. Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Nature admits of no permanence in the relation between man and woman.... It is only man's egoism that wants to keep woman like some buried treasure. All endeavors to introduce permanence in love, the most changeable thing in this changeable human existence, have gone shipwreck in spite of religious ceremonies, vows, and legalities. Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch, "Venus in Furs"
Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic. Henry Brooks Adams, "The Education of Henry Adams"