Weekend Words: Judge

“The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing.”

German Miniaturist, “King Solomon as Judge” (12th century), manuscript (Codex 601), Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna (image via Web Gallery of Art)

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit federal appeals panel — Judge Michelle T. Friedland; Judge William C. Canby Jr.; and Judge Richard R. Clifton — unanimously rejected Donald Trump’s travel ban, delivering what The New York Times called “the latest and most stinging judicial rebuke to his effort to make good on a campaign promise and tighten the standards for entry into the United States.”

The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing.

—Walt Whitman

A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs.

—German Proverb

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.

—H. L. Mencken

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

—Dorothy Parker, “But the One on the Right” (1929)

Never judge a book by its movie.

—J. W. Eagan

Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge’s chamber believes in an unprejudiced point of view.

—Lillian Hellman

I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of.

—Jane Austen

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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

—Winston Churchill

I have made good judgments in the Past. I have made good judgments in the Future.

—Dan Quayle

Come, fix upon me that accusing eye.
I thirst for accusation. All that was sung.
All that was said in Ireland is a lie
Bred out of the contagion of the throng,
Saving the rhyme rats hear before they die.
Leave nothing but the nothings that belong
To this bare soul, let all men judge that can
Whether it be an animal or a man.

—William Butler Yeats, “Parnell’s Funeral”

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

—Oscar Wilde

About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.

—Josh Billings

Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.


Hear ye, hear ye, the court of swing
Is just about ready to do that thing
I don’t want no tears, I don’t want no lies
Above all, I don’t want no alibis
This judge is hip, and that ain’t all
He’ll give you time if you’re big or small

—Pigmeat Markham, “Here Comes the Judge”

Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.

—Albert Camus

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