There is a greater difference both in the stages of life and in the seasons of the year than in the conditions of men: yet the healthy pass through the seasons, from the clement to the unclement, not only unreluctant but rejoicingly, knowing that the worst will soon finish, and the best begin anew; and we are desirous of pushing forward into every stage of life, excepting that only which ought reasonably to allure us most, as opening to us the Via sacra, along which we move in triumph to our eternal country. We labor to get through a crowd. Such is our impatience, such our hatred of procrastination, in everything but the amendment of our practices and the adornment of our nature, one would imagine we were dragging Time along by force, and not he us.
From ten thousand valleys the trees touch heaven; on a thousand peaks cuckoos are calling; and, after a night of mountain rain, from each summit come hundreds of silken cascades. ...If girls are asked in tribute the fibre they weave, or farmers quarrel over taro fields, preside as wisely as Wenweng did... Is fame to be only for the ancients?
Young lawyers attend the courts not because they have business there but because they have no business anywhere else.
It is, indeed, marvelous that science should ever have revived amid the fearful obstacles theologians cast in her way. Together with a system of biblical interpretation so stringent, and at the same time so capricious, that it infallibly came into collision with every discovery that was not in accordance with the unaided judgments of the senses, and therefore with the familiar expressions of the Jewish writers, everything was done to cultivate a habit of thought the direct opposite of the habits of science. The constant exaltation of blind faith, the countless miracles, the childish legends, all produced a condition of besotted ignorance, of groveling and trembling credulity, that can scarcely be paralleled except among the most degraded barbarians. Innovation of every kind was regarded as a crime; superior knowledge excited only terror and suspicion. If it was shown in speculation, it was called heresy. If it was shown in the study of nature, it was called magic. The dignity of the Popedom was unable to save Gerbert from the reputation of a magician, and the magnificent labors of Roger Bacon were repaid by fourteen years of imprisonment, and many others of less severe but unremitting persecution. Added to all this, the overwhelming importance attached to theology diverted to it all those intellects which in another condition of society would have been employed in the investigations of science. When Lord Bacon was drawing his great chart of the field of knowledge, his attention was forcibly drawn to the torpor of the middle ages. That the mind of man should so long have remained tranced and numbed, seemed, at first sight, an objection to his theories, a contradiction to his high estimate of human faculties. But his answer was prompt and decisive. A theological system had lain like an incubus upon Christendom, and to its influence, more than to any other single cause, the universal paralysis is to be ascribed.
All at once we were madly, clumsily, shamelessly, agonizingly in love with each other; hopelessly, I should add, because that frenzy of mutual possession might have been assuaged only by our actually imbibing and assimilating every particle of eachother's soul and flesh; but there we were, unable even to mate as slum children would have so easily found an opportunity to do so.
For my own part, I declare I know nothing whatever about it. But to look at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. One thing undoubtedly true in this reasoning is this: that while we are alive we cannot get to a star, any more than when we are dead we can take the train.
The dreamer sometimes falls into the doldrums, but is said to emerge from them again. And the absent-minded person also makes up for it with bouts of perspicacity. Sometimes he is a person whose right to exist has a justification that is not always immediately obvious to you, or more usually, you may absent-mindedly allow it to slip from your mind. Someone who has been wandering about for a long time, tossed to and fro on a stormy sea, will in the end reach his destination. Someone who has seemed to be good for nothing, unable to fill any job, any appointment, will find one in the end and, energetic and capable, will prove himself quite different from what he seemed at first.
The world concerns me only in so far as I have a certain debt and duty to it, because I have lived in it for thirty years and owe to it to leave behind some souvenir in the shape of drawings and paintings – not done to please any particular movement, but within which a genuine human sentiment is expressed.
Possibly the greatest good requires the existence of a slave class.
The middlebrow is the man, or woman, of middlebred intelligence who ambles and saunters now on this side of the hedge, now on that, in pursuit of no single object, neither art itself nor life itself, but both mixed indistinguishably, and rather nastily, with money, fame, power, or prestige.
All the crimes of man begin with the vagrancy of childhood.
One who is angry does not distinguish between what can be spoken and what is unspeakable. There is nothing which an angry man cannot do meaning he can commit any crime. There is nothing unspeakable for him. Fire cannot act on fire.
Yes. Now you know. Now you know. That's what it was to be alive, to move about in a cloud of ignorance, to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those-- of those about you, to spend and waste time as if you had a million years, to be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion or another. Now you know, that's the 'happy' existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.
All this I see; and I see that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man. But art not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion? Much Ado About Nothing (Conrade at III, iii)
But it was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing, to make it too common.
A man does not cry because he is sad, he is sad because he cries .
Hardly ever can a youth transferred to the society of his betters unlearn the nasality and other vices of speech bred in him by the associations of his growing years. Hardly ever, indeed, no matter how much money there be in his pocket, can he ever learn to dress like a gentleman-born. The merchants offer their wares as eagerly to him as to the veriest swell, but he simply cannot buy the right things.
The only function that one experience can perform is to lead into another experience; and the only fulfillment we can speak of is the reaching of a certain experienced end. When one experience leads to (or can lead to) the same end as another, they agree in function.
When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.
Now the time is come, That France must veil her lofty-plumed crest, And let her head fall into England's lap.