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George Santayana quotes

Spanish-American philosopher, poet and humanist, 1863-1952

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual.


Prayer, among sane people, has never superseded practical efforts to secure the desired end.


Our dignity is not in what we do, but what we understand.


One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.


Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it.


Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except spirit. And spirit can enter a human being perhaps better in the quiet of old age and dwell there more undisturbed than in the turmoil of adventure.


Nothing can be meaner than the anxiety to live on, to live on anyhow and in any shape; a spirit with any honor is not willing to live except in its own way, and a spirit with any wisdom is not over-eager to live at all.


Wisdom comes by disillusionment.


The family is one of nature's masterpieces.


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