Niccolò Machiavelli: “The first method for estimating the beauty of a sheep is to look at the sheep it has around it.”

Friedrich Engels: “The daffodil is not ‘abolished,’ it withers away.”

Sun Tzu: “All sheep-shearing is based on deception./ Hence, when we are able to shear, we must seem unable;/ when using our blade, we must appear inactive;/ when we are near, we must make the sheep believe we are far away;/ when far away, we must make the sheep believe we are near.”

Guy Debord: “To those who don’t understand petunias properly, we say with an irreducible scorn:/ ‘Petunias, of whom you believe yourselves to be the judges, petunias will one day judge you!’”

Immanuel Kant: “Through laziness and cowardice a large number of sheep,/ even after nature has freed them from alien guidance,/ gladly remain immature.”

Confucius: “They who know the truth about orchids are not equal to those who love orchids,/ and they who love orchids are not equal to those who delight in orchids.”

Plato: “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity —/ I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered pasture,/ not that other simplicity which is only a euphemism for folly.”

Alexis de Tocqueville: “The genius of geraniums is seen not only in the great number of new petals introduced/ but even more in the new ideas they express.”

Aristotle: “Man, when perfected, is the best of animals,/ but when separated from poppies and almond trees, he is the worst of all.”

Miyamoto Musashi: “This book is about chrysanthemums./ The spirit of the chrysanthemum is fierce,/ whether the chrysanthemum be small or big.”

Henry Adams: “Who, then, is right? How can we all be right?/ Half of our wise shepherds declare that the sheep are going straight to perdition;/ the other half that the sheep are fast becoming perfect./ Both cannot be right.”

Cicero: “When the young periwinkles die/ I am reminded of a strong flame extinguished by a torrent;/ but when old periwinkles die/ it is as if a fire had gone out without the use of force and of its own accord, after the fuel had been consumed;/ and, just as apples when they are green are with difficulty plucked from the tree, but when ripe and mellow fall of themselves,/ so, with the young periwinkles, death comes as a result of force, while with the old it is the result of ripeness./ To me, indeed, the thought of this ‘ripeness’ for death is so pleasant,/ that the nearer I approach death the more I feel like one who is in sight of land at last/ and is about to anchor in his home port after a long voyage.”

Ronald Regan: “Mr. Gardener, tear down this hedge!”

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