Abbott, Edwin A.
... the baseless fabric of a dream -- Flatland, p. 108
I had never known such a woman before. I suppose if I had, I should have tortured her to death to strike new chords out of her nature — “The Violinist's Story,” Told in a French Garden
Undoubtedly there is meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable. Darcy in Pride and prejudice
"Only a novel" -- in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its vanities, the liveliest effusions of wit and humor, are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language. Northanger Abbey
If we have no hearts, we have eyes; and they give us torment enough. Northanger Abbey
It is probable that she will neither love so well nor flirt so well as she might do either singly. Northanger Abbey
Delighted with her progress, and fearful of wearying her with too much wisdom at once, Henry suffered the subject to decline, and by an easy transition from a piece of rocky fragment and the withered oak which he had placed near its summit, to oaks in general, to forests, the inclosure of them, wastelands, crown lands, and government, he shortly found himself arrived at politics. And from politics it was an easy step to silence. Northanger Abbey
Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life. The urge to destroy is also a creative urge. -- Reaction In Germany (1842) published in Ruge's Deutsche Jahrbücher, written under the pseudonym of Jules Elysard
The very time I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off. The fire next time
To be loved ... hard, at once, and forever, to strengthen you against the loveless world. The fire next time
It is scarcely worthwhile to attempt remembering how many times the sun has looked down on the slaughter of the innocents. The fire next time
Tatters of opulence Cousin Bette
The most ordinary observer would have felt as he beheld them that the pair had reached the fatal moment when sheer necessity of existence was driving them to seek some lucky method of swindling for a living. Cousin Bette
of the peony
- haiku (Basho)
A petal shower
And the sound
of the rapids
- haiku (Basho)
on the half-
- haiku (Basho)
More than ever I
want to see
in these blossoms
the God's face
- haiku (Basho)
The morning glory
not to be my friend
- (haiku) Basho
I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old. Flowers of evil, "Spleen"
to become a Christian, the man of letters must sacrifice his gifts, just as Magdalen must sacrifice her beauty. The Last Letters of Aubrey Beardsley, letter 73, February 1897
Modern capitalist society resembles a huge carnival festival, at which all seek to deceive and fool one another. Each carries his official disguise with dignity, in order later, unofficially and with all the less restraint, to give a loose to his inclinations and passions. All the while, public life is running over with “Morality,” “Religion” and “Propriety.” In no age was there greater hypocrisy than in ours. Woman Under Socialism
The ultimate conquest of the Class-State and its transformation is rendered all the easier to us through the divisions in the ranks of its defenders, who, despite the oneness of their interests against the common enemy, are perpetually at war with one another in the strife for plunder. Woman Under Socialism
Even the Fathers of the Church, Bishops and Popes could not refrain from preaching in a communistic vein during those early centuries when community of property still prevailed, but its theft was assuming larger proportions. The Syllabus and the encyclicals of the nineteenth century have lost all recollection of this tone, and even the Roman Popes have been compelled to become subjects of capitalist society, and now pose as its zealous defenders against the Socialists. In contrast therewith Bishop Clemens I. (deceased 102 of our reckoning) said: “The use of all things in this world is to be common to all. It is an injustice to say: 'This is my property, this belongs to me, that belongs to another.' Hence the origin of contentions among men.” Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who lived about 347, exclaimed: “Nature bestows all things on all men in common, for God has created all things that their enjoyment might be common to all, and that the earth might become the common possession of all. Common possession is, therefore, a right established by Nature, and only unjust usurpation (usurpatio) has created the right of private property.” St. John Chrysostomus (deceased 407) declared in his homilies directed against the immorality and corruption of the population of Constantinople: “Let none call aught his own; we have received everything from God for enjoyment in common, and 'mine' and 'thine' are words of falsehood.” St. Augustine (deceased 430) expressed himself thus: “Because private property exists there exist also law suits, enmities, dissensions, wars, rebellions, sins, injustice, murder. Whence proceed all these scourges? From property only. Let us then, my brothers, refrain from possessing anything as our property; at least let us refrain from loving it.” Pope Gregory the Great declares about 600: “Let them know that the earth from which they spring and of which they are formed belongs to all men in common, and that therefore the fruits which the earth brings forth must belong to all without distinction.” And one of the moderns, Zacharia, says in his “Forty Books on the state”: “All the evils with which civilized nations have to contend, can be traced back to private property in land.” All these authorities have recognized more or less accurately the nature of private property, which, since its existence, as St. Augustine correctly puts it, brought law suits, enmities, dissensions, wars, rebellions, injustice and murder into the world,—all of them evils that will disappear with its abolition. Woman Under Socialism Footnote 194
Hypocrisy, or perhaps also ignorance in matters that concern religion, is nowhere as stupendous as in the United States. The less the power of the state presses upon the masses, [the more work religion must do]. Hence the phenomenon that the bourgeoisie is most pious wherever the power of the state is laxest. Next to the United States, come England, Belgium and Switzerland in this matter. Woman Under Socialism
We do not say that the Tories are bad men, or wicked men, or even that we are better men than they. We merely say: they are irrelevant.
it would seem that the practice of suicide is a needless custom, for if a man but have patience his neighbor is sure to put him out of his misery. Ashes of the Beacon
They thought that in a combination of idiocies they had the secret of sanity. Ashes of the Beacon
dupes of hope purveying to sons of greed. Ashes of the Beacon
condemn me to heaven In the Midst of Life, “Parker Adderson, Philosopher”
the army of indigence In the Midst of Life “The Applicant”
“Truly,” I thought in my inexperience, “here is something new under the moon.” And the moon must have smiled. In the Midst of Life “An Adventure at Brownville”
I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with my eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream .... [t]he nation's hoop is broken and shattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead. quoted in Bury my heart at Wounded Knee
I am the state -- I alone am here the representative of the people. Even if I had done wrong, you should not have reproached me in public -- people wash their dirty linen at home. France has more need of me than I of her. to the Senate, 1814
I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, yea, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall not die forever. (John 11) (Order for the Burial of the Dead)
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that I shall rise out of the earth at the last day, and shall be covered again with my skin, and shall see God in my flesh: yea, and I myself shall behold him, not with other, but with these eyes. (Job 19) (Order for the Burial of the Dead)
We brought nothing into this world, neither may we carry anything out of this world. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Even as it hath pleased the Lord, so cometh things to pass: blessed be the name of the Lord. (1 Tim. 6; Job 1) (Order for the Burial of the Dead)
Most merciful savior, deliver us not into the bitter pain of eternal death. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, shut not up thy merciful eyes to our prayers: but spare us Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and most merciful savior, thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour for any pains of death to fall from thee. (Order for the Burial of the Dead)
Man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up and is cut down like a flower, he flieth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay. (Job 19) In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succor but of thee, O Lord, which for our sins justly art displeased. (Order for the Burial of the Dead)
Dearly beloved friends, we are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the face of his congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate instituted of God in paradise in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee, and is commanded of Saint Paul to be honorable among all men, and therefore is not to be entered nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the face of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained. One was, the procreation of children to be brought [up] in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and praise of God. Secondly, it was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body. Thirdly, for the mutual society, help, and comfort that one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity: into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore, if any man can show any just cause why they may not be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace. (The Form of Solmeniza- tion of Matrimony)
Every real scientist teaches without reference to “God” or “the unknowable.” Is There a God?
. . . the ordinary orthodox and terrible doctrine, that God the undying, in his infinite love, killed himself under the form of his son to appease the cruel vengeance of God, the just and merciful, who, without this, would have been ever vengeful, unjust, and merciless. The atonement theory, as presented to us by the Bible, is in effect as follows: — God created man surrounded by such conditions as the divine mind chose, in the selection of which man had no voice, and the effects of which on man were all foreknown and predestined by Deity. The result was man's fall on the very first temptation, so frail the nature with which he was endowed, or so powerful the temptation to which he was subjected. For this fall not only did the all-merciful punish Adam, but also his posterity; and this punishing went on for many centuries, until God, the im-mutable, changed his purpose of continual condemnation of men for sins they had no share in, and was wearied with his long series of unjust judgments on those whom he created in order that he might judge them. That, then, God sent his son, who was himself and was also his own father, and who was immortal, to die upon the cross, and, by this sacrifice, to atone for the sin which God himself had caused Adam to commit, and thus to appease the merciless vengeance of the All-merciful, which would otherwise have been continued against men yet unborn for an offence they could not have been concerned in or accessory to. The Atonement
Laws that are not carried into effect, authorities without force and despised, crime unpunished, property attacked, the safety of the individual violated, the morality of the people corrupted, no constitution, no government, no justice -- these are the features of anarchy. A Girondin demanding the suppression of the Enragés
The Colmbians run a might loose ship. It wouldn't surprise me to see someone shit on the deck and wipe his ass with the flag. (This derives from dream that came to me in seventeenth century English: 'The English and French delegates did shit on the floor, and tearing the Treaty of Seville into strips with such merriment did wipe their backsides with it, seeing which the Spanish delegate withdrew from the conference.') The Yage letters, p. 35
on both stirrups
- haiku (Buson)
For the wild geese
a hazy moon
- haiku (Buson)
the horse stumbles
in the winter wind
- haiku (Buson)
The sound of a bell
struck off center
vanishes in haze
- haiku (Buson)
The short night --
broken, in the
a crescent moon
- haiku (Buson)
the heron's legs
- haiku (Buson)
White dew --
on each thorn
- haiku (Buson)
A moored boat;
did the spring go?
- haiku (Buson)
on the temple bell
- haiku (Buson)
Village with a thousand eaves
and sounds of the
in the morning
- haiku (Buson)
We live in an unreal, a castrate world, you and I. Among us there are few souls strong enough for violence. Violence gives conviction to passion. Laura
No need to respect yourself until you can make other people do it. A diary from Dixie
The only good of loving anyone with your whole heart is to give that person the power to hurt you. A diary from Dixie
In some Greek assembly an old man was left standing. A Spartan gave him his seat. The Athenians cheered madly, though they had kept their seats. The comment was, "Lacedmonians practice virtue. The Athenians know how to admire it. A diary from Dixie
But love flies before everlasting posing and preaching -- the deadly require- ment of a man always to be looked up to .... A diary from Dixie
She has the intellect of a man and the perseverance and endurance of a woman. A diary from Dixie
I should be so thankful to know life would never be any worse with me. A diary from Dixie
We have never lost what we never had. We have never had any money -- only unlimited credit, for my husband's richest kind of a father insured us all manner of credit. It was all a mirage only at last, and it has gone just as we drew to it. A diary from Dixie
Decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent. While England slept, talking about Stanley Baldwin's politics
Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival. speech to the House of Commons, May 13, 1940
We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy. speech to the Canadian Parliament, December 30, 1941
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. speech at Lord Mayor's Luncheon, November 10, 1942
If we stand up to him [Hitler] all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into the broad sunlit uplands. But if we fail, the whole world, including the United States, including all we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say: this was their finest hour. speech to the House of Commons, June 18, 1940
If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves. The gathering storm
... he who repairs a ruined house, and dwells in it, proclaims that he is not afraid to live amongst the the spirits that haunt the places abandoned by mankind. Such a man can disturb the course of fate by glances or words; while his familiar ghosts are not easy to propitiate by casual wayfarers upon whom they long to wreak the malice of their human master. White men care not for such things, being unbelievers and in league with the Father of Evil, who leads them unharmed through the invisible dangers of this world. To the warnings of the rightwous they oppose an offensive pretense of disbelief.
A man who will go to New Guinea for fun -- well! Victory
... that deliberate sagacity which no mere water drinker ever attained. Victory
The noises of the street had died out one by one, till at last, in the moonlight, the London houses began to look like the tombs of an unvisited, unhonored, cemetery of hopes. Victory
I had, in a moment of inadvertence, created for myself a tie. How to define it precisely I don't know. One gets attached in a way to people one has done something for. But is that friendship? I am not sure what it was. I only know that he who forms a tie is lost. The germ of corruption has entered into his soul. Victory
As long as I can be certain that it is not boredom which gives you this severe air, I am willing to sit here and look at you till you are ready to go. Victory
She had a special grace in the intimacy of life. She had the secret of individuality which excites -- and escapes. Victory
... the outcast of his vices. Victory
Why don't you take me into your arms and carry me out of this lonely place? Victory
... the effect of the mechanical, ordered smile was joyous, radiant. It astonished Heyst. No wonder, it flashed through his mind, women can deceive men so completely. The faculty was inherent in them; they seemed to be created with a special aptitude. Victory
You may be too much of a fool to go wrong. Heart of darkness
The inconceivable mystery of a soul that knew no restraint, no faith, and no fear, yet struggling blindly with itself. Heart of darkness
Youth! All youth! The silly,charming, beautiful youth. Youth
Promises of evil. Typhoon
You are always meeting trouble halfway, Jukes. Typhoon
She was a miracle of dissumulation. Victory
All her soul was wrapped in her passionate determination, in an exalted belief in herself -- in the contemplation of her amazing opportunity to win the certitude, the eternity, of that man's love. Victory
That day she could not deny herself the delight to be near him, to watch him covertly, to hear him perhaps utter a few words, to experience that strange satisfying consciousness of her own existence which nothing but Réal's presence could give her; a sort of unimpassioned but all-absorbing bliss, warmth, courage, confidence ...! The Rover
It was as though the rover of the side seas had left them to themselves on a sudden impulse of scorn, of magnanimity, of a passion weary of itself. The Rover
The sacrosanct fetish of today is science The Secret Agent
You anarchists should make it clear that you are perfectly de3termined to make a clean sweep of the whole social creation. The Secret Agent
I believe in children praying—well, women, too, but I rather think God expects men to be more self- reliant. I don't hold with a man everlastingly bothering the Almighty with his silly troubles. It seems such cheek. Victory
it is not always safe for the helpless to display the delicacy of their sentiments Victory
The last thing a woman will consent to discover in a man whom she loves, or on whom she simply depends, is want of courage. Victory
Man on this earth is an unforeseen accident which does not stand close investigation. Victory
A smile is the best of masks. Victory
but he had lived in his own world of unreasonable resentments for many years The End of the Tether
white men: the arbitrary and obstinate men who pursue inflexibly their incomprehensible purposes,—beings with weird intonations in the voice, moved by unaccountable feelings, actuated by inscrutable motives. The End of the Tether
Heaven hath no rage Like love to hatred turned, Nor Hell a fury like a woman Scorned
I have labored to make a covenant with myself, that affection may not press upon judgment, for I suppose there is no man that hath any apprehension of gentry or nobleness, but his affection stands to the continuance of a house so illustrious, and would take hold of a twig or twine thread to uphold it. And yet time hath his revolutions; there must be a period and an end to all temporal things -- finis rerum -- an end of names and dignities, and whatsoever is terrene, and why not of deVere? For where is Bohun? Where is Mowbray? Where is Mortimer? Nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality. Yet the let the name of deVere stand so long as it pleaseth God. Opinion on DeVere, delivered to the House of Lords, 1626
What is so vacant, tiresome, and lonely as Sunday? You take all the slops out of the business days and throw them away, and call it the Sabbath, which is the emptiest day of the week. Because I was flesh, p. 185
Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. Because I was flesh, p. 188, quoted from Luke
Is this infatuation so precious to you that you can turn your back on understanding?
-- Deception (1946) spoken by Claude Rains
Coition is a slight attack of epilepsy in which man gushes forth from man and breaks loose with the violence of a blow P. Wheelwright, The pre-Socratics, p. 184
It was with the idea of systematically undermining the foundations, systematically destroying society and all principles; with the idea of nonplussing everyone and making hay of everything, and then, when society was tottering, sick, and out of joint, cynical and skeptical though filled with an intense eagerness for self preservation, and for some guiding ideas, suddenly to seize it in their hands, raising the standard of revolt, and relying on a complete network of quintets, which were actively, meanwhile, gathering recruits and seeking out weak spots which could be attacked. The possessed
perpetrate further eccentricities (reference to the gambling grandmother) The Gambler
They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love, and desire, and hate,
I think they have no portion in us
After we pass the gate
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets and he who falls beneath her spell has need of God's mercy. 7:26
... the great Avicenna, who defined love as an assiduous thought of a melancholy nature, born as a result of one's thinking again and again of the features, gestures, or behavior of a person of the opposite sex .... It does not originate as an illness, but is transformed into illness, when, remaining unsatisfied, it becomes obsessive thought (and why did I feel so obsessed, I, who, God forgive me, had been well satisfied? Or was perhaps what had happened the previous night not satisfaction of love? But how is this illness satisfied, then?) And so there is an incessant flutter of the eyelids, irregular respiration, now the victim laughs, now weeps, and the pulse throbs .... Avicenna advised an ifallible method already proposed by Galen for discovering whether someone is in love: grasp the wrist of the sufferer and utter many names of members of the opposite sex until you discover which name makes the pulse accelerate. The name of the rose
The beauty of the body stops at the skin. If men could see what is beneath the skin, as with the Lynx of Boeotia, they would shudder at the sight of a woman. All that grace consists of mucus and blood, humors and bile. If you think what is hidden in the nostrils, in the throat, and in the belly, you will find only filth. And if it revolts you to touch mucus or dung with your fingertip, how could we desire to embrace the sack that contains that dung? The name of the rose
We were born to tread the Earth as angels, to seek out heaven this side of the sky. But they who race alone shall stumble in the dark and fall from grace. Then love alone can make the fallen angel rise, for only two together can enter paradise. -- From the motion picture Fallen Angels (1945)
The horse does not run so well when you cut its head off old Chinese proverb
If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me. --Elected Governor of Texas in 1924 as the state's first woman governor, Ma Ferguson used this as an argument in a debate in the Texas State Legislature over the issue of Spanish/English bilingualism in Texas public schools.
How shall we bind up the wounds we receive in the house of our friend? speech opening the first session of the Parliament of 1658 from Bulstrode Whitelocke, Memorials, p. 671
He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor. The great Gatsby
In two thousand years, too many had fallen along the way to let them fall in vain. spoken by Richard Basehart in Let my people go (TV program)
Wheresoever the carcass lies, there will the eagles be gathered together. The good shepherd, quoted from Matthew, 24:28
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life; but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Man's search for meaning
It is not easy to see why any deep human instinct should need reinforeement through law There is no law commanding men to eat and drink, or forbidding them to put their hands in the fire. Men eat and drink and keep their hands out of the fire instinctively, for fear of natural, not legal penalties, which would be en- tailed by violence done to these instincts. The law only forbids men to do what their instincts incline them to do; what nature itself prohibits and punishes it would be superfluous for the law to prohibit and punish. Accordingly we may always safely assume that crimes forbidden by law are crimes which many men have a natural propensity to commit. If there were no such propensity there would be no such crimes, and if no such crimes were committed, what need to forbid them? Instead of assuming therefore, from the legal prohibition of incest, that there is a natural aversion to incest we ought rather to assume that there is a natural instinct in favour of it, and that if the law represses it, it does so because civilized men have come to the conclu- sion that the satisfaction of these natural in- stincts is detrimental to the general interests of society. Totemism and Exogamy, Vol. IV, p. 105
Sadger emphasizes the fact that the mothers of his homosexual patients were often man-women, or women with energetic traits of character who were able to crowd out the father from the place allotted to him in the family. I have sometimes observed the same thing, but I was more impressed by those cases in which the father was absent from the be- ginning or disappeared early so that the boy was altogether under feminine influence. It almost seems that the presence of a strong father would assure for the son the proper de- cision in the selection of his object from the op- posite sex. Following this primary stage, a transfor- mation takes place whose mechanisms we know but whose motive forces we have not yet grasped. The love of the mother cannot con- tinue to develop consciously so that it merges into repression. The boy represses the love for the mother by putting himself in her place, by identifying himself with her, and by taking his own person as a model through the simi- larity of which he is guided in the selection of his love object. He thus becomes homosex- ual; as a matter of fact he returns to the stage of autoerotism, for the boys whom the grow- ing adult now loves are only substitutive per- sons or revivals of his own childish person, whom he loves in the same way as his mother loved him. We say that he finds his love ob- ject on the road to narcissism, for the Greek legend called a boy Narcissus to whom nothing was more pleasing than his own mirrored image, and who became transformed into a beautiful flower of this name. Deeper psychological discussions justify the assertion that the person who becomes homo- sexual in this manner remains fixed in his un- conscious on the memory picture or his mother. By repressing the love for his mother he con- serves the same in his unconscious and hence- forth remains faithful to her. When as a lover he seems to pursue boys, he really thus runs away from women who could cause him to become faithless to his mother. Through direct observation of individual cases we could demonstrate that he who is seemingly receptive only of masculine stimuli is in reality influenced by the charms emanating from women just like a normal person, but each and every time he hastens to transfer the stimulus he received from the woman to a male object and in this manner he repeats again and again the mechan- ism through which he acquired his homosex- uality. It is far from us to exaggerate the impor- tance of these explanations concerning the psychic genesis of homosexuality. It is quite clear that they are in crass opposition to the official theories of the homosexual spokesmen, but we are aware that these explanations are not sufficiently comprehensive to render pos- sible a final explanation of the problem. What one calls homosexual for practical purposes may have its origin in a variety of psychosex- ual inhibiting processes, and the process recog- nized by us is perhaps only one among many, and has reference only to one type of “homo- sexuality.” We must also admit, that the number of cases in our homosexual type which shows the conditions required by us, exceeds by far those cases in which the resulting effect really appears, so that even we cannot reject the supposed coöperation of unknown consti- tutional factors from which one was otherwise wont to deduce the whole of homosexuality. As a matter of fact there would be no occasion for entering into the psychic genesis of the form of homosexuality studied by us if there were not a strong presumption that Leonardo, from whose vulture-phantasy we started, really belonged to this one type of homosexuality. Leonardo Da Vinci.
… scientific work is the only road which can lead us to a knowledge of reality outside ourselves. It is once again merely an illusion to expect anything from intuition and introspection; they can give us nothing but particulars about our own mental life, which are hard to interpret, never any information about the questions which religious doctrine finds it so easy to answer. The Future of an Illusion
It is doubtful whether men were in general happier at a time when religious doctrines held unrestricted sway; more moral they certainly were not. They have always known how to externalize the precepts of religion and thus to nullify their intentions. The priests, whose duty it was to ensure obedience to religion, met them half-way in this. God's kindness must lay a restraining hand on His justice. One sinned, and then one made a sacrifice or did penance and then one was free to sin once more. Russian intro-spectiveness has reached the pitch of concluding that sin is indispensable for the enjoyment of all the blessings of divine grace, so that, at bottom, sin is pleasing to God. It is no secret that the priests could only keep the masses submissive to religion by mak-ing such large concessions as these to the instinctual nature of man. Thus it was agreed: God alone is strong and good, man is weak and sinful. In every age immorality has found no less sup-port in religion than morality has. If the achievements of religion in respect to man's happiness, susceptibility to culture and moral control are no better than this, the question cannot but arise whether we are not overrating its necessity for mankind, and whether we do wisely in basing our cultural demands upon it. The Future of an Illusion
devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. The Future of an Illusion
Men, you say, must be freed from a neurosis. What else may be lost in the process is of no concern to you. The Future of an Illusion
But God I miss the girl And I'd go a thousand times around the world Just to be closer to her than to me How I miss the girl and I'd go a million times artound the world Just to say She had been mine for a day "Aubrey"
The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true, by the philosophers as equally false, and by the magistrates as equally useful. The decline and fall of the Roman Empire
... that excitement of the nerves which simulates intense feeling in certain natures.
The Whirlpool (p. 64)
Morality is, if anything can be, fixed and immutable; and there must surely be some strange deception that should induce us to give to an action eternally and unchangeably wrong the epithets of rectitude, duty, and virtue. Political justice
many persons have been inclined to take refuge from the conclusions of geology in the abso- lute sovereignty of God, asking,—“Could not the Omnipotent Creator make the fossils in the strata, just as they now appear?” It has always been felt to be a sufficient answer to such a demand, that no reason could be adduced for such an exercise of mere power; and that it would be unworthy of the Allwise God. But this is a totally different thing from that for which I am contending. I am endeavouring to show that a grand law exists, by which, in two great departments of nature at least, the analogues of the fossil skeletons were formed without pre- existence. An arbitrary acting, and an acting on fixed and general laws, have nothing in common with each other. -- Omphalos, from the Conclusion
"ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD" The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds: Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Or busy housewife ply her evening care: No children run to lisp their sire's return, Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share, Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team afield! How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the Poor. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Awaits alike th' inevitable hour:- The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Can storied urn or animated bust Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust, Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre: But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page, Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage, And froze the genial current of the soul. Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. Th' applause of list'ning senates to command, The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind, The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse, The place of fame and elegy supply: And many a holy text around she strews, That teach the rustic moralist to die. For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing lingering look behind? On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Some pious drops the closing eye requires; E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead, Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; If chance, by lonely contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, -- Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away, To meet the sun upon the upland lawn; 'There at the foot of yonder nodding beech That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high. His listless length at noontide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. 'One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill, Along the heath, and near his favourite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill, Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; 'The next with dirges due in sad array Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,- Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.' The Epitaph Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown. Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, And Melacholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Misery all he had, a tear, He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend. No farther seek his merits to disclose, Or draw his frailties from their dread abode (There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.
How happy are the astrologers, who are believed if they tell one truth to a hundred lies, while other people lose all credit if they tell one lie to a hundred truths. (1529)
Thou who art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on wrong, why dost thou look on faithless men, and art silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? 1:13
What use are the guns of Strelsau if they can't assuage a little suspicion? The prisoner of Zenda
It is the malignant who paint a malignant God. De l'esprit
Why do you make the Supreme Being resemble an eastern tyrant? Why make him punish slight faults with eternal torment? Why thus put the name of the Divinity at the bottom of the por-trait of the devil? Why oppress the soul with a load of fear, break its springs, and of a worshipper of Jesus make a vile, pusillanimous slave? It is the malignant who paint a malignant God. What is their devotion? A veil for their crimes. quoted by Charles Bradlaugh Heresy
They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? speech to the House of Burgesses
Whenas in silks my Julia goes Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows The liquefaction of her clothes "Upon Julia's clothes"
The whole sea is an ambuscade. Ninety-three
A wrath which was prolific in mistakes Ninety-three
On one side a mob, on the other a phalanx. Ninety-three
Your brother was courageous; I recompensed that. He was culpable; I punished that. He had failed in his duty. I did not fail in mine. Ninety-three
The Revolution amputates the world. Hence this haemorrhage--'93. Ninety-three
Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery. Ninety-three
...the mantra of the Establishment: you will be forgiven your lies, but heaven help you if you try to tell the truth. New York Times Book Review, April 7, 2002, review of Fatal passage: the story of John Rae, the Arctic hero time forgot by Ken McGoogan.
We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement .... For we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves ....For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. 28:15 28:20
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Isaiah 52:7
He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not his face from shame and spitting. 53:3; 1-6
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 53:6
I keep house
- haiku (Issa)
the loves of a cat
- haiku (Issa)
from each other's coats
- haiku (Issa)
The prostitute's shack
at the edge of
in the autumn wind
- haiku (Issa)
The spring day
in the pools
- haiku (Issa)
a small boat
drfiting down the
- haiku (Issa)
The new foal
sticks her nose up
through the irises
- haiku (Issa)
Insects on a bough
- haiku (Issa)
I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God. For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. from Messiah
If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this union or to change its Republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. first inaugural address
I never said the land was mine to do with as I chose. The one who has the right to dispose of it is the one who created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours. (1879) quoted in Bury my heart at Wounded Knee
No honourable sincere man has given up to you his life and his youth and his affections from the days of Tone to those of Parnell but you have sold him to the enemy or failed him in need or reviled him and left him for another. And you invite me to be one of you. I'd see you damned first. A portrait of the artist as a young man
Confirm your faithfulness to those who sleep in the dust.
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it. Rubbiyat, stanz 71
Though the great ones grin and show their teeth, yet the faithful are more numerous. Stand fast, for God will send his angel to fight for you. 1 Keble 85, "Tome's Case" (1662)--(treasonable sermon)
The only ones for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, and to talk, and to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn. On the road
April doesn't hurt here Like it does in New England Pomes All Sizes, "Nebraska"
The Angry Hunger (hunger is anger who fears the hungry feareth the angry) Pomes All Sizes, "Nebraska"
...an idiot in a rueful coat.... Pomes All Sizes, "HITCHHIKER"
He's got them beat with his young composure Pomes All Sizes, "Neal in court"
In this million years of strife, the Moose of Heaven's looking down Pomes All Sizes, "Neal in court"
For I prophesy that the night will be bright with the gold of old in the inn within Pomes All Sizes, "Bowery Blues"
O Bowery of Hopes! Pomes All Sizes, "Bowery Blues"
About to stumble into the movie of the night Pomes All Sizes, "Bowery Blues"
"Bodhisattva-Heroes have no separated individuality" Pomes All Sizes, "Various little poems"
The white eyes of the criminals of Alcatraz thinking thoughts of Love on their little Island Blest while San Francisco crawls with hatred in the streets Pomes All Sizes, "[Enlightenments]"
And the grass blade (so celebrate) jostles slowly like a woman's beautiful breast side to side In the Peep Show of eternity & salvation Pomes All Sizes, "Berkeley Song in F Major"
...to explain the Golden Eternity and how the irridescent paraphernalia of radiating candles ceases when mentation ceases because I know what it's like to die, to cease mentating.... Pomes All Sizes, "Poem"
And I had seen the Golden Eternity The Lamb was alone with the Lamb. The Babe was alone with the Baby Lamb. The Shroud was alone with the Golden Shroud. I was alone with God, who is God, who was Me, who was all... Pomes All Sizes, "Poem"
...Aztec shrouds her mystery, & up they go as grawmim elevator door closes on both their heavenly chagrins Pomes All Sizes, "Caritas"
To be dark solitary eye-nerve watcher of the world's whirling diamond Pomes All Sizes, "Skid Row Wine" (see whole poem, pp. 109-10)
with yaks of mocksqueak joy Pomes All Sizes, "My gang"
in the streets of sorrow parade Pomes All Sizes, "Perm"
All our best men are laughed at in this nightmare land Pomes All Sizes, "Running through -- Chinese poem song"
My accomplishments mean nothing to me Pomes All Sizes, "Long Island Chinese Poem Rain" (1961)
I can look up anything in my wine bottle Pomes All Sizes, "Long Island Chinese Poem Rain" (1961)
in the editions of the Bleak-- Pomes All Sizes, "A curse at the Devil" (1965)
The process of reviving the Russian export trade is bound in any case to be a slow one. The present productivity of the Russian peasant is not believed to be sufficient to yield an exportable surplus on the pre-war scale. The reasons for this are obviously many, but amongst them are included the insufficiency of agricultural implements and accessories and the absence of incentive to production caused by the lack of commodities in the towns which the peasants can purchase in exchange for their produce. The Economic Consequences of the Peace
America should not be called the "new world" anymore; it should be called the "old world." Its time is over. from Vandenberg by Oliver Lange
~ Come to the Edge ~ Apollinaire said: "Come to the edge." "We might fall." "Come to the edge." "It's too high!" "Come to the edge." And they came, and he pushed, And they flew.
Men will revenge themselves for small injuries, but cannot do so for great ones. The injury, therefore, that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. The prince, "Of mixed monarchies"
Let us have no fear lest the fair towers of former days be sufficiently defended. The least that the most timid among us can do is not to add to the immense dead weight which drags along. Let us not say to ourselves that the best truth always lies in moderation, in the decent average. This would perhaps be so if the majority of men did not think on a much lower plain than is needful. That is why it behooves others to think and hope on a higher plane than seems reasonable. The average, the decent moderation of today, will be the least human of things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense and of the good medium was certainly that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion obviously demanded that they should burn none at all. Let us think of the great invisible ship that carries our human destinies upon eternity. Like the vessels of our confined oceans, she has her sails and her ballast. The fear that she may pitch or roll on leaving the road-stead is no reason for increasing the weight of the ballast by stowing the fair white sails in the depths of the hold. They were not woven to molder side by side with cobblestones in the dark. Ballast exists everywhere; all the pebbles of the harbor, all the sand of the beach, will serve for that. But sails are rare and precious things; their place is not in the murk of the well, but amid the light of the tall masts, where they will collect the winds of space. "Our Social Duty," in The Measure of the Hours (1907)
What a strange adventure indeed, this right about face of destiny -- incredible, humiliating, whimsical as any dream. Death in Venice
For mark you, Phaedrus, beauty alone is both divine and visible; and so it is the sense way, the artists' way, little Phaedrus, to the spirit. But, now tell me, my dear boy, do you believe that such a man can ever attain wisdom and true manly worth, for whom the path to the spirit must lead through the senses? Or do you rather think -- for I leave the point to you -- that it is a path of perilous sweetness, a way of transgression, and must surely lead him who walks in it astray? For you know that we poets cannot walk the way of beauty without Eros as our companion and guide. We may be heroic after our fashion, disciplined warriors of our craft, yet we are all like women, for we exult in passion, and love is still our desire -- our craving and our share. Death in Venice
We all of us must come to terms with what and who we are, and recognize that this wisdom is not going to earn us any praise, that life is not going to pin a medal on us for recognizing and enduring our own vanity or egoism or baldness or our pot- belly. No, the secret is that there's no reward and we have to endure our characters and our natures as best we can, because no amount of experience or insight is going to rectify our deficiencies, our self-regard, or our cupidity. We have to learn that our desires do not find any real echo in the world. We have to accept that the people we love do not love us, or not in the way we hope. We have to accept betrayal and dis- loyalty, and, hardest of all, that someone is finer than we are in charcter or intelligence. Embers p. 135
...anyone who is a general favorite is in some fashion a whore. Embers, p. 136
Stranger, if you pass this way, go and tell the Spartans we have done our duty.
Where the wind's like a whetted knife Sea fever
Friendship had never been anything for her but an alibi for desire. A woman of the Pharisees
Beings who are genuinely perverse are almost as rare in this world as saints. One does not often meet a saint by the roadside. But neither does one often come across anyone capable of dragging from one's vitals that particular kind of groan, that cry expressing horror no less than delight, which becomes sharper as time lays its hand upon a body already threatened by decay, already undermined as much by desire as by age, by the passage of the years, and by passions that can no longer be assuaged. No one has ever written of the torment that old age brings to women of a certain type. In it the taste of hell before death touches them. A woman of the Pharisees
My own opinion is that we should most certainly pay attention to the advice of others, but that we should never let it divert our attention from the ever watchful respect which we owe to our own inner voice. A woman of the Pharisees
What Camus brought before us more sharply and starkly than Sartre's La nausee, and far more convincingly than anything of Celine's, was the reductio ad aburdum of a man naturally religious in a world he has deprived of any God. from a review published in the London review of Books, July 15, 1982
Recollect that trifles make perfection, and that perfection is no trifle. source uncertain
You should always obey your parents, especially when they are wrong. The Fetish, “Family Life”
God made plants for their simplicity, animals for their innocence, but he made man to serve him wittily in the tangle of his mind. from Robert Bolt, A man for all seasons
Nahum Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off. Nahum 1:15
Why is it that so often we cannot wrest ourselves from a person who endangers our spirit? What makes us strive to ingratiate the unlovable? Is it honor? Is it God? Are we unable or unwilling to reject evil, and, if so, is this because surviving in spite of it ultimately makes us stronger?
-- from a review of some book or other
The maintenance of general peace and a possible reduction of the excessive armaments which weigh upon all nations, present themselves in the existing conditions of the whole world as the ideal towards which the endeavors of all governments should be directed. August 1895, message sent to European and American governments in an effort to convoke the Hague Conference
In Germany, the Nazis came first for the communists. I didn't speak up because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Jews. I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists. I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics. Being a Protestant I did not speak up. Then they came for me. But there was no one left to speak up for anyone. source uncertain
There are few pains so grievous as to have seen, divined, or experienced how an exceptional man has missed his way and deteriorated. Beyond good and evil
What I meant to say was that Christianity has heretofore been the most fateful example of presumptuous self-estimation. Men who were not superior and rigorous enough to work on mankind in the way artists must work, men who were not strong and far sighted enough, who did not have enough sublime self control to allow the preliminary law of thousand-fold failures and mortalities to operate, men who were not distinguished enough to see the abysmally different orders of rank and the distances between ranks in man -- such men have heretofore administered the fate of Europe with their "equality before God" until they have managed to cultivate a wizened, almost ludicrous type, a herd animal, a creature compounded of good will, sickliness, and mediocrity: the European of today .... Beyond good and evil
Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it, but he degenerated into vice. Beyond good and evil
while, in other words, the democritization of Europe will amount to the creation of a type prepared in the subtlest sense for slavery. Beyond good and evil
The twentieth century will bring with it the struggle for world dominion, the compulsion to high politics. Beyond good and evil
Others even say that the external world is the creation of our sense organs? But our body, which is a part of the external world, would be the creation of our sense organs! But then our sense organs would be the creation of -- our sense organs! ... It follows, does it, that the external world is not the creation of our sense organs? Beyond good and evil
What? Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man's? The twilight of the idols
[Religions] ... confirm the rights of all those who suffer from life as though it were a disease. Beyond good and evil
As though "the truth" were so harmless and maladroit a creature that it needed defenders -- needed you of all people, you knights of the most sorrowful countenance, my dear loafers and cob web spinners of the spirit! In the end you know well enough that it must not matter in the least whether or not you turn out to have been right. Beyond good and evil
I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venemous, too underhand, too underground and too petty -- I call it the one immoral blemish of mankind. The Antichrist
Flee into concealment! And don your mask and your subtlety, so that you can be mistaken for someone else. Beyond good and evil
Not their love, but the impotence of their love keeps today's Christians from -- burning us at the stake. Beyond good and evil
And what makes us compassionate toward this dangerous and beautiful great cat called Woman, even if we fear her, is that she is more capable of suffering, more vulnerable, more in need of love and doomed to disappointments than any other animal. Beyond good and evil
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15
The people no longer seek consolation in art. But the refined people, the rich, the idlers seek the new, the extraordinary, the extravagant, the scandalous. I have contented these people with all the many bizarre things that have come into me head. And the less they understand, the more they admire. By amusing myself with all these games, all this nonsense, all these picture puzzles, I became famous .... I am only a public entertainer who has understood his time. quoted in Paris quarterly, 1964
Necessity is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves. (November 1783)
Where law ends, tyranny begins. Case of John Wilkes, January 9, 1770
Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham (the elder) The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honorable gentleman [Walpole] has with such spirit and decency charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience. speech in the House of Commons, March 8, 1741
Poe, Edgar Alan
And much of madness and more of sin And horror the soul of the plot "The conqueror worm"
Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. "The masque of the red death"
Too often, the kind friend comes down again alone. Swann's way
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. 41:9
Like truthless dreams, so are my thoughts expired, And past return are all my dandled days; My love misled, and fancy quite retired, Of all which past, the sorrow only stays. "Farewell to the Court"
I was born at the forks of the Platte and I was told that the land belonged to me from north, south, east, and west .... When you send goods to me they are stolen all along the road, so when they reached me they were only a handful. They held a paper for me to sign, and that is all I got from my land. I know the people you send out there are liars. Look at me. I am poor and naked .... (1870) quoted in Bury my heart at Wounded Knee
Love is a traveler on the River of No Return
--song from movie
A great nose indicates a great man -- Genial, courteous, intellectual, Virile, courageous Cyrano de Bergerac, Act I
This is the crisis of Parliaments. We shall know by this if Parliaments live or die. speech in the Parliament of 1625 John Rushworth, Historical collections 1618-1629
I have seen, and heard, much of cockney impudence before now; but I never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face. Whistler brought an action against Ruskin for this statement, and won a penny's damages
it is better to be an honest beggar than to eat the bread of a courtesan. Venus in Furs
the maze of desolation Jewish Tales, “Praised Be God, Who Hath Given Us Death”
Do no more than God asks of you --Jewish Tales, “The Angel of Death”
Fanaticism is redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
They explain the new by the old -- and the old they explain by the older still, like those historians who turn a Lenin into a Russian Robespierre, and Robespierre into a French Cromwell: when all is said and done they have never understood anything at all. Nausea
Now he has entered into solitude forever. Everything has suddenly crumbled, his dreams of culture, his dreams of an understanding with mankind. First there will be fear, horror, sleepless nights, and then after that, the long succession of days of exile. Nausea
I hope that someone else has had better luck and skill in the game of perfect moments. Nausea
I don't know whether he regretted, in 1939, when he came into contact with what his chiefs referred to curiously as "the men," that he hadn't enlisted as a simple soldier. But I know that when I saw my officers, those incompetents, I regretted for my part my prewar anarchy. Since we had to fight, we were wrong to have left leadership in the hands of these conceited imbeciles. In any case, we know that Merleau remained an officer after the brief period of Resistance, which accounts for some of the difficulties between us. Situations, "Merleau-Ponty"
Pride is an established conviction of one's own paramount worth in some particular respect; while vanity is the desire of rousing such a conviction in others. Pride works from within; it is the direct appreciation of oneself. Vanity is the desire to arrive at this appreciation from without. Personality, or, What a man is, "Pride"
When law can do no right, let it be lawful that law can bar no wrong. King John, Act III, scene i
Women begin to be socially tolerable at thirty, and improve until the deepening of their consciousness is checked by the decay of their faculties. But they begin to be pretty much earlier than thirty, and are indeed some- times at their best in that respect long before their chattering is, apart from the illusions of sex, to be preferred in serious moments to the silent sympathy of an intelligent pet animal. Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 2, “Ford Madox Brown, Watts, and Ibsen”
Louis XIV, in whom affectation was nature Dramatic Opinins and Essays, vol. 2, "Shakespeare in Manchester”
What people call vice is eternal: what they call virtue is mere fashion. Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 2, “Mr. Grundy’s Improvements on Dumas”
The Norwegians, we learn from Ibsen’s Brand, prefer an easygoing God, whom they can get round, and who does not mean half what he says when he is angry. I have always thought that there is a good deal to be said for this amiable theology; but when it comes to the devil, I claim, like Brand, “all or nothing.” A snivelling, remorseful devil, with his heart in the right place, sneaking about the area rail- ings of heaven in the hope that he will presently be let in and forgiven, is an abomination to me. Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 2, “Satan Saved at Last”
The Englishman is the most successful man in the world simply because he values success —meaning money and social precedence—more than anything else, especially more than fine art, his attitude towards which, culture-affectation apart, is one of half- diffident, half-contemptuous curiosity, and of course more than clear-headedness, spiritual insight, truth, justice, and so forth. It is precisely this unscrupu- lousness and singleness of purpose that constitutes the Englishman’s pre-eminent “common sense”; and this sort of common sense, I submit to Mr. Meredith, is not only not “the basis of the comic,” but actually makes comedy impossible, because it would not seem like com- mon sense at all if it were not self-satisfiedly uncon- scious of its moral and intellectual bluntness, whereas the function of comedy is to dispel such unconsciousness by turning the searchlight of the keenest moral and intellectual analysis right on to it. Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 2, “Meredith on Comedy”
[A]fter all the function of comedy, as Mr. Meredith after twenty years’ further consideration is perhaps by this time ripe to admit, is nothing less than the destruction of old-established morals. Unfortunately, to-day such iconoclasm can be tolerated by our playgoing citizens only as a counsel of despair and pessimism. They can find a dreadful joy in it when it is done seriously, or even grimly and terribly as they understand Ibsen to be doing it; but that it should be done with levity, with silvery laughter like the crackling of thorns under a pot, is too scandalously wicked, too cynical, too heart- lessly shocking to be borne. Consequently our plays must either be exploitations of old-established morals or tragic challengings of the order of Nature. Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 2, “Meredith on Comedy”
the byways of drink and disease Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 1, "G.B.S. on Clement Scott"
thin partition which divides great wits from Madness Dramatic Opinions and Essays, Vol. 1, "Slaves of the Ring"
The person who is willing to do anything to please everybody is a uni- versally and deservedly despised and disastrous person Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 1, "More Masterpieces" (i.e., Mitt Romney)
the strange, perverted voluptuousness of the Christians, with their shuddering exaltation of longing for the whip, the rack, the stake, and the lions Dramatic Opinions and Essays, vol. 1, "Plays of the Week"
I am sorry to have to introduce the subject of Christ¬- mas in these articles. It is an indecent subject; a cruel, gluttonous subject; a drunken, disorderly subject; a wasteful, disastrous subject; a wicked, cadg¬- ing, lying, filthy, blasphemous, and demoralising subject. Christmas is forced on a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy sausages. Dramatic Opinions and Essays, v. 2, “Peace and Goodwill to Managers”
The pastor selling his soul to the squire The Quintessence of Ibsenism
the liar's punishment is, not in the least, that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe any one else The Quintessence of Ibsenism
Immorality does not necessarily imply mischievous conduct: it implies conduct, mischievous or not, which does not conform to current ideals. All religions begin with a revolt against morality, and perish when morality con- quers them and stamps out such words as grace and sin, substituting for them morality and im- morality. The Quintessence of Ibsenism
The real price of everything, what everything costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations
Nothing exists from whose nature some effect does not follow. Ethics
Yes, I say it is hard living down the tempers we were born with. The Making of Americans
One does not sell the earth upon which people walk. (1875 or 1876) quoted in Bury my heart at Wounded Knee
Was there not a "demon" of repitition in our lives, and must it not stem from our human instincts being profoundly conservative? Might it not therefore be that all living things are in mourning for the inorganic state, the original condition from which they have by accident emerged? (Freud reflecting on thanatos) The white hotel
The soul of man is a far country which cannot be approached or explored. Most of the dead were poor and illiterate. But every single one of them had dreamed dreams, seen visions, and had amazing experiences .... If a Sigmund Freud had been listening and taking notes from the time of Adam, he would still not fully have explored even a single group, even a single person. The white hotel
One of those loyal servants of the Czar of all the Russias without whom the czardom could scarcely have fallen.
It is justice that guarantees liberty to all. The trial of Emile Zola, deposition of former minister of Justice Trarieux
You sought to comprehend yourself ... one instance of something immortal from a toast to Maurice Barres mad by Paul Bourget, member of the Academie Francaise, at the Appel du Soldat dinner the the right wing held in Trocadéro at the time of the In- ternational Exposition of 1900. The dinner was supposed to be a counterweight to the Banquest of Science arranged by Berthelot. From For the soul of France by Frederick Brown
… posing for posterity. “About All Kinds of Ships,” The £1,000,000.00 Bank-Note and Other New Stories (1893)
Moderation is made a virtue by the weak to curb ambition and progress and to console them for small virtues and small achievements.
The public be damned.
The wind has blown them all away--
the good, the bad, the fair, the foul.
Where are the snows of yesterday?
"We maintain that your gospel morality is by no means characterised by the perfection you ascribe to it. It is not true that it has introduced into the world new and unknown virtues; for ex-ample, the equality of mankind in the eyes of God, and the frat-ernity and benevolence which are the consequence of this equality, were tenets formerly professed by the sect of Hermetics and Samaneans, from whom you have your descent. As to forgiveness of injuries, it had been taught by the Pagans themselves; but in the latitude you give to it, it ceases to be a virtue, and becomes an immorality and a crime. Your boasted precept, to him that strikes thee on thy right cheek turn the other also, is not only contrary to the feelings of man, but a flagrant violation of every principle of justice; it emboldens the wicked by impunity, degrades the vir-tuous by the servility to which it subjects them; delivers up the world to disorder and tyranny, and dissolves the bands of society—such is the true spirit of your doctrine. The precepts and parables of your Gospel also never represent God other than as a despot, acting by no rule of equity; than as a partial father treating a debauched and prodigal son with greater favor than his obedient and virtuous children; than as a capricious master giving the same wages to him who has wrought but one hour, as to those who have borne the burden and heat of the day, and preferring the last comers to the first. In short, your morality throughout is unfriendly to human intercourse; a code of misanthropy calculated to give men a disgust for life and society, and attach them to solitude and celibacy. With respect to the manner in which you have practised your boasted doctrine, we in our turn appeal to the testimony of fact, and ask, was it your evangelical meekness and forbearance which excited those endless wars among your sectaries, those atrocious persecutions of what you call heretics, those crusades against the Arians, the Manichæans, and the Protestants, not to mention those which you have committed against us, nor the sacrilegious associations still subsisting among you, formed of men who have sworn to perpetuate them? Was it the charity of your Gospel that led you to exterminate whole nations in America, and to destroy the empires of Mexico and Peru; that makes you still desolate Africa, the inhabitants of which you sell like cattle, notwithstanding the abolition of slavery that you pretend your religion has effected; that makes you ravage India whose domain you usurp; in short, is it charity that has prompted you for three centuries past to disturb the peaceful inhabitants of three continents, the most prudent of whom, those of Japan and China, have been constrained to banish you from their country, that they might escape your chains and recover their domestic tranquillity?" Mohammedan priests replying to Christian preachers; either: The Ruins of Empires or New Researches on Ancient History
There is but one morality, as there is but one geometry. source uncertain
Two and two continue to make four in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five. "Whistler v. Ruskin" (1878)
Copulation is no more rank to me than death is. -- Leaves of Grass, “Song of myself” Stanza 143
the pleasure of men with women shall never be sated . . nor the pleasure of women with men -- Leaves of Grass. “To think if time”
I feel ashamed to go naked about the world -- Leaves of Grass. “The sleepers”
I too pass from the night -- Leaves of Grass, “The sleepers”
She is all things duly veiled -- Leaves of Grass, “I sing the body electric”
This is a fullgrown lily’s face, She speaks to the limber-hip’d man near the garden pickets, Come here, she blushingly cries . . . . Come nigh to me limber-hip’d man and give me your finger and thumb, Stand at my side till I lean as high as I can upon you, Fill me with albescent honey . . . . bend down to me, Rub to me with your chafing beard . . rub to my breast and shoulders. --Whitman, Leaves of Grass, “Faces” The melodious character of the earth! The finish beyond which philosophy cannot go and does not wish to go! The justified mother of men! -- Leaves of Grass, “Faces”
As for borrowing Mr. Whistler's ideas about art, the only thoroughly original ideas I have heard him express have had reference to his own superiority as a painter over painters greater than himself. In reply to an attack by Whistler
Beauty, like wisdom, loves the lonely worshipper. "The young king"
... and even at the Spanish court, always noted for its cultivated passion for the horrible, so fantastic a little monster had never been seen. "The birthday of the Infanta"
In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody—was it Burke?—called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time, no doubt. But at the present moment it really is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism. In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever. The Soul of Man Under Socialism
There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the body. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul and body alike. The first is called the Prince. The second is called the Pope. The third is called the People. The Soul of Man Under Socialism
Mediævalism, with its saints and martyrs, its love of self-torture, its wild passion for wounding itself, its gashing with knives, and its whipping with rods—Mediævalism is real Christianity, and the mediæval Christ is the real Christ. When the Renaissance dawned upon the world, and brought with it the new ideals of the beauty of life and the joy of living, men could not understand Christ. The Soul of Man Under Socialism
It's not a brave man that's dangerous. It's the cowards that scare me. The Virginian
She grows more perverse as she nears her dotage. The Virginian
Our continent drained prismatically through Omaha once. The Virginian
‘And say furthermore, that I request his Grace, in God’s name, that he have a vigilant eye to depress this new pernicious sect of the Lutherans, that it do not increase within his domin- ions through his negligence, in such a sort, as that he shall be fain at length to put harness upon his back to subdue them; as the King of Bohemia did, who had good game to see his rude commons, then infected with Wickliffe’s heresies, to spoil and murder the spiritual men and religious persons of his realm; the which fled to the king and his nobles for succour against their frantic rage; of whom they could get no help of defence or refuge, but laughed them to scorn, having good game at their spoil and consumption, not regarding their duties nor their own defence. And when these erroneous heretics had subdued all the clergy and spiritual persons, taking the spoil of their riches, both of churches, monasteries, and all other spir- itual things, having no more to spoil, they caught such a cour- age of their former liberty that then they disdained their prince and sovereign lord, with all other noble personages, and the head governors of the country, and began to fall in hand with the temporal lords, to slay and spoil them, without pity or mercy, most cruelly. Insomuch that the king and other his nobles were constrained to put harness upon their backs, to resist the ungodly powers of those traitorous heretics, and to defend their lives and liberties, who pitched a field royal against them; in which field these traitors so stoutly encountered, that the part of them were so cruel and vehement, that in fine they were victors, and slew the king, the lords, and all the gentle- men of the realm, leaving not one person that bare the name or port of a gentleman alive, or of any person that had any rule or authority in the commonweal. By means of which slaugh- ter they have lived ever since in great misery and poverty, with- out a head or governor, but lived all in common like wild beasts, abhorred of all Christian nations. Let this be to him an evident example to avoid the like danger, I pray you. Good Master Kingston, there is no trust in routs, or unlawful assem- blies of the common people; for when the riotous multitude be assembled, there is among them no mercy or consideration of their bounden duty; as in the history of King Richard the Second, one of his noble progenitors, which lived in that same time of Wickliffe’s seditious opinions. Did not the commons, I pray you, rise against the king and the nobles of the realm of England? whereof some they apprehended, whom they with- out mercy or justice put to death. And did they not fall to spoiling and robbery, to the intent they might bring all things in common; and at the last, without discretion or reverence, spared not in their rage to take the king’s most royal person out of the Tower of London, and carried him about the city most presumptuously, causing him, for the preservation of his life, to be agreeable to their lewd proclamations?...’ From George Cavendish, The life and death of Cardinal Wolsey, spoken on his deathbed just before his death
Society and government have neither claims nor rights. They exist only for the convenience of individuals. Anarchism
Society is unqualified by its very nature for this function, for its acts are conditioned by the men who compose it, the vicious as well as the virtuous, the just as well as the unjust, and it has therefore no claim to moral superiority. Society's only advantage lies in its authority. But we do not make a man virtuous by command, and in using force we do positive harm by inhibiting sincere human intercourse and limiting freedom. Anarchism