Mozzie Quotes

Some of the famous (and not so famous) quotes that Mozzie has spouted on White Collar.

"I saw the best mind of my generation run down by the taxi-cab of absolute reality."

In the pilot, Mozzie is misquoting Allen Ginsburg's 1956 poem "Howl." The quotation is parts of two different portions of the poem:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality, (Ginsberg 1-3, 56)

"If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas."

Mozzie quotes this phrase in Free Fall. It is from the Latin phrase Qui cum canibus concumbunt, cum pulicibus surgent which means "They who lie down with dogs will rise up with fleas."

"All hope abandon, ye who enter here."

In Bad Judgment, Mozzie makes this statement in the cemetery. It is a famous line from Dante Alighieri's epic poem La Divina Commedia or The Divine Comedy. In original Italian the line is "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate."

"You know the Chinese curse. May you live in interesting times."

Mozzie gives Neal this advice in Bottlenecked. Neal then reminds him of the other part of the curse, "May you find what you're looking for." They neglected to cover the third part of the curse "May you come to the attention of those in authority."

"Realists don't fear the results of their study"

Mozzie recites this quote in Bottlenecked. It is by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a Russian writer and essayist best known for his novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

"We feel free when we escape, even if it be but from the frying pan into the fire."

Mozzie makes this quote by Eric Hoffer in Out of the Box right before Neal cuts off his anklet.

"We can't change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

In Withdrawal, Mozzie quotes an old Hindu proverb.

"Life is more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party."

As Peter Burke identifies in the episode Need to Know, this quote is my Jimmy Buffett. The complete quote by Buffett is: "Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party."

"There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant."

Again, Peter Burke correctly identifies the source of this quote in Need to Know. Ralph Waldo Emerson included the phrase in his book Lectures and Biographical Sketches in 1883.

"'s goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."

Mozzie quotes Jack Kerouac, a writer and the father of the Beat movement, in By the Book. The quote is from On the Road, a novel was based on the spontaneous road trips he and his friends took.

"Truth is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

Mozzie says this while going through Neal's wine collection in Unfinished Business. It is slight misquote of Thomas Jefferson. The original came from a letter Jefferson wrote in 1819 to Nathaniel Macon. He says "[B]ut I am sure they will have more worldly wisdom, and enough, I hope, to know that honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

"The reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

In Prisoner's Dilemma, Mozzie quotes Albert Einstein. This indicates to Neal that Mozzie is in a groove.

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weaker minds."

The second Einstein quote Mozzie speaks in Prisoner's Dilemma.

"Know thyself, and you will win a hundred battles."

A paraphrase of a quote by Sun Tzu that Mozzie utters during Forging Bonds. The original quote is "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."

"Know thine enemy, and you will win... Sun Tzu."

Again, a paraphrase of a Sun Tzu quote in Forging Bonds.. Sun Tzu is a 6th century B.C. Chinese General, military strategist, and author of The Art of War.

"A wise man once said it's fun to do the impossible."

As Mozzie said in Forging Bonds, the (paraphrased) quote is by Walt Disney. The original quote is "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides."

Another quote from Forging Bonds. This is by St. Augustine, a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province around 400 B.C.

"A careless word may kindle strife."

Mozzie makes this quote in Countermeasures. In it part of a longer poem that reads:
A careless word may kindle strife,
A cruel word may wreck a life,
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.

A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.

"Well, to paraphrase the man who brought down the Soviet Union, it's easier to trust when you can verify."

"Trust, but verify" was a signature phrase of President Ronald Reagan, and one he usually used when discussing relations with the Soviet Union. He usually said in the form of the Russian proverb "Doveryai, no proveryai." It is also a phrase commonly used by President Obama. Mozzie quotes it in Where There's a Will.

"A rose by any other name, Neal."

This is a famous line from William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Mozzie quotes it in Where There's a Will.


For more about Mozzie, check out Mozzie's Character Page