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Favorite Quotes Of Famous Masons

Posted by Sparta Lodge on January 24, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Excerpted from the book The Freethinking Freemason – Collected Masonic Works of Tim Bryce



W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS

Palm Harbor, Florida, USA

“A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry”

Originally published on FmI in 2008



Basically, it represents a listing of quotations from a variety of famous Masons I have collected over the years, all of which offers some rather sage advice. I hope you will enjoy them.






“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”



- Bro. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)

US humorist and author (1835-1910)

Polar Star Lodge No. 79 A.F.& A.M., Missouri, USA



“History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we made today.”




- Bro. Henry Ford

US automobile industrialist (1863-1947)

Palestine Lodge No. 357 F.& A.M., Michigan, USA



“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”



- Bro. Benjamin Franklin

US author, diplomat, inventor, politician, & printer (1706-1790)

St. John’s Lodge of Philadelphia, USA



“Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.”



- Bro. Rudyard Kipling

British (Indian-born) author (1865-1936)

Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782. E.C., Lahore, India



“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”



- Bro. Will Rogers

US humorist and showman (1879-1935)

Claremore Lodge No. 53 A.F.& A.M., Oklahoma, USA



“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails Daring Greatly so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”



- Bro. Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States

Matinecock Lodge No. 806 F.& A.M., Oyster Bay, NY, USA

(entitled, “Daring Greatly”)



“I’ve always followed my father’s advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.”



- Bro. John Wayne

US movie actor and director (1907-1979)

Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56 F.& A.M., Arizona, USA



“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”



- Bro. Oscar Wilde

Irish dramatist, novelist and poet (1854-1900)

Apollo University Lodge No. 357, Oxford, UK






“Serve the classes, live with the masses. Serve the masses, live with the classes.”




- Bro. John Jacob Astor

American Capitalist

Holland Lodge No. 8 F.& A.M., NY, USA



“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.”



“The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”



“There is one rule for industrialists and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.”



- Bro. Henry Ford

Pioneer Automobile Manufacturer

Palestine Lodge No. 357 F.& A.M., Detroit, MI, USA



“I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.”



- Bro. & Dr. Charles Mayo

Cofounder, the Mayo Clinic

Rochester Lodge No. 21 A.F.& A.M., Rochester, MN, USA



“I will have no man work for me who has not the capacity to become a partner.”



“The surest way for an executive to kill himself is to refuse to learn how, and when, and to whom to delegate work.”



- Bro. James C. Penny

JC Penny Founder

Wasatch Lodge No. 1 F.& A.M., Salt Lake City, UT, USA



“It all comes back to the basics. Serve customers the best-tasting food at a good value in a clean, comfortable restaurant, and they’ll keep coming back.”



- Bro. Dave Thomas

Wendys Restaurants

Sol. D. Bayless Lodge No 359 F.& A.M., Ft. Wayne, IN, USA



“Don’t be misled into believing that somehow the world owes you a living. The boy who believes that his parents, or the government, or any one else owes him his livelihood and that he can collect it without labor will wake up one day and find himself working for another boy who did not have that belief and, therefore, earned the right to have others work for him.”



“Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.”



- Bro. David Sarnoff

Father of television

Strict Observance Lodge No. 94 F.& A.M., New York City, USA



“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.”



- Bro. Steve Wozniak

Cofounder Apple Computer

Charity Lodge No. 362 F.& A.M., Campbell, CA, USA






“Sport must be amateur or it is not sport. Sports played professionally are entertainment.”



- Bro. Avery Brundage

President, International Olympic Committee

North Shore Lodge No. 937 A.F.& A.M., Chicago, IL, USA



“The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that’s it, not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it.”



- Bro. Ty Cobb

Baseball Great

Royston Lodge No. 426 F.& A.M., Detroit, MI, USA



“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”



- Bro. Jack Dempsey

Boxing Champion

Kenwood Lodge No. 800 A.F.& A.M., Chicago, IL, USA



“I don’t like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the pitcher.”



- Bro. Rogers Hornsby

Baseball Great

Beacon Lodge No. 3 A.F.& A.M., St. Louis, MO, USA



“Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals.”



- Bro. & Dr. James Naismith

Inventor of Basketball

Roswell Lee Lodge A.F.& A.M., Springfield, MA, USA



“I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s golf game: it’s called an eraser.”



- Bro. Arnold Palmer

Golf Legend

Loyalhanna Lodge No. 275 F.& A.M., Latrobe, PA, USA



“I don’t like the subtle infiltration of ‘something for nothing’ philosophies into the very hearthstone of the American family. I believe that ‘Thou shalt earn the bread by the sweat of thy face’ was a benediction and not a penalty. Work is the zest of life; there is joy in its pursuit.”



- Bro. Branch Rickey

Baseball Legend

Tuscan Lodge No. 360 A.F.& A.M., St. Louis, MO, USA



“I’ve always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.”



- Bro. Sugar Ray Robinson

Boxing Champion

Joppa Lodge No. 55 PHA, New York, NY, USA






“I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.”



“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”



- Bro. Winston S. Churchill

Former Prime Minister of Great Britain

Rosemary Lodge 2851 and Studholme Lodge No. 1591, UK



“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself…”



“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”



“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.”



- Bro. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)


Polar Star Lodge No. 79 A.F.& A.M., St. Louis, MO, USA



“As long as there are only three to four people on the floor, the country is in good hands. It’s only when you have 50 to 60 in the Senate that you want to be concerned.”



“If you’re hanging around with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the Senate. You’ll get the same kind of feeling and you won’t have to pay.”



- Bro. Bob Dole

Former U.S. Senator & Presidential Candidate

Russell Lodge No. 177 A.F.& A.M., Kansas, USA



“If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.”



- Bro. Gerald R. Ford

38th President of the United States

Malta Lodge No. 465 F.& A.M., Grand Rapids, MI, USA



“History has to judge every man who served. I don’t know how they’re going to treat me. I may be the worst S.O.B. that ever came down the pike. But I won’t lose any sleep over it. I just like to be remembered as an honest person who tried.”



- Bro. Barry Goldwater

Former U.S. Senator & Presidential Candidate

Arizona Lodge No. 2 F.& A.M., Phoenix, AZ, USA



“I will not deny that there are men in the district better qualified than I to go to Congress, but gentlemen, these men are not in the race.”



- Bro. Sam Rayburn

Former Speaker of the House

Constantine Lodge No. 13 A.F.& A.M., Bonham, TX, USA



“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”



- Bro. Will Rogers


Claremore Lodge No. 53 A.F.& A.M, Oklahoma, USA

(renamed Will Rogers Lodge No. 53 in 1979)



“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”



- Bro. Franklin D. Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States

Holland Lodge No. 8 F.& A.M., New York, NY, USA



“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not guilty’.”



- Bro. Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States

Matinecock Lodge No. 806 F.& A.M., Oyster Bay, NY, USA



“A politician is a man who understands government and it takes a politician to run a government. A statesman is a politician who’s been dead ten or fifteen years.”



- Bro. Harry S. Truman

33rd President of the United States

Belton Lodge No. 450 A.F.& A.M., MO, USA



“In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.”



- Bro. Voltaire


Lodge of the Nine Sisters (Lodge Les Neuf Soeurs), Paris, France



Keep the Faith.



NOTE: The opinions expressed in this essay are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of any Grand Masonic jurisdiction or any other Masonic related body. As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:



Article reprinted with permission of the author and



Please forward me a copy of the publication when it is produced.



To receive notices of Tim’s writings, subscribe to his Discussion Group.



You can also “tune in” to Bro. Tim’s audio podcasts at the “Lodgeroom International” (UK):









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