It is a rich, full-bodied whistle,
cracked ice crunching in pails,
the night that numbs the leaf,
the duel of two nightingales,
the sweet pea that has run wild,
Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.

[Это – круто налившийся свист,
Это – щелканье сдавленных льдинок,
Это – ночь, леденящая лист,
Это – двух соловьев поединок.
Это – сладкий заглохший горох,
Это – слезы вселенной в лопатках.]

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator
“Definition of Poetry [Определение поэзии],” ll. 1-6, My Sister — Life [сестра моя – жизнь] (1922)
    (Source)

This is the translation, source unknown, given in Pasternak's obituary, "Farewell in a Poet's Land," Life Magazine (1960-06-13), and frequently quoted from there.

Alternate translations:

It's a tightly filled whistle,
it's the squeaking of jostled ice,
it's night, frosting the leaves,
it's two nightingales dueling.
It's the soundlessness of sweetpeas,
the tears of the universe in a pod.
[tr. Rudman/Boychuk (1983)]

It's a whistle that howls in the veins,
It's the crackle of ice under pressure,
It's the leaf-chilling night in the rain,
It's two nightingales dueling together.
It's the sweet pea all choked in the fields,
It's the universe weeping in pea pods.
[tr. Falen (2012)]

It’s a whistle, acutely full,
It’s a crackle of squeezed ice,
It’s night, freezing a leaf,
It’s two nightingales in a duel.
It’s the sweet grown-wildness of peas,
It’s tears of the universe in pods.
[tr. Livingstone (2015)]

It's a whistle blown ripe in a trice,
It's the cracking of ice in a gale,
It's a night that turns green leaves to ice,
It's a duel of two nightingales.
It is sweet-peas run gloriously wild,
It's the world's twinkling tears in the pod.
[Source]

 
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We moderns do not believe in demigods, but our smallest hero we expect to feel and act as a demigod.

[Wir Neuern glauben keine Halbgötter, aber der geringste Held soll bei uns wie ein Halbgott empfinden, und handeln.]

Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramaturg, writer
Laocoön, or the Limitations of Painting and Poetry [Laokoön oder Über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie], ch. 4 (1767) [tr. Phillimore (1874)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

We moderns are no believers in demi-gods, yet the least important hero among us is expected to feel and act like one.
[tr. Ross (1836)]

 
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Man never gives up his desire for gain and aggrandizement; as death draws near, a prey to bile, with withered face and palsied legs, he will speak of my fortune, my situation.
 
[L’on ne se rend point sur le désir de posséder et de s’agrandir: la bile gagne, et la mort approche, qu’avec un visage flétri, et des jambes déjà faibles, l’on dit: ma fortune, mon établissement.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 6 “Of Gifts of Fortune [Des Biens de Fortune],” § 51 (6.51) (1688) [tr. Stewart (1970)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

There is no end to a Man's desire of growing rich and great; when the Cough seizes him, when Death approaches, his Face shrivel'd, and his Legs weak, he cries, My Fortune, my Establishment.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

There is no end to a Man's Desire of growing rich and great; the Cough seizes him, Death approaches, his Face is shrivel'd, and his Legs weak, yet he cries, My Fortune, my Preferment.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

There is no end of desiring Riches and Grandeur; before the Rattle seizes him, and Death approaches, though his Face be shriveled, and his Legs totter, yet he is ever talking of, my Fortune, my Preferment.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

All that a man wishes for is riches and grandeur; he falls very ill, and death draws near, and though his face be shrivelled and his legs totter, yet he is still talking of his fortune and his post.
[tr. Van Laun (1885)]

 
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FASHION, n. A deity whom the wise ridicule, yet the discreet obey.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
“Fashion,” The Cynic’s Word Book (1906)
    (Source)

In The Devil's Dictionary (1911), it is defined as: "FASHION, n. A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey."

Originally published in the "Devil's Dictionary" column in the San Francisco Wasp (1884-06-28).
 
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Life altogether is but a crumbling ruin when we turn to look behind: a shattered column here, where a massive portal stood; the broken shaft of a window to mark my lady’s bower; and a moldering heap of blackened stones where the glowing flames once leaped, and over all the tinted lichen and the ivy clinging green.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, “On Memory” (1886)
    (Source)

First published in Home Chimes (1885-09-26).
 
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ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE: It is thyself, mine own self’s better part,
Mine eye’s clear eye, my dear heart’s dearer heart,
My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope’s aim,
My sole Earth’s heaven, and my heaven’s claim.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Comedy of Errors, Act 3, sc. 2, l. 66ff (3.2.66-69) (1594)
    (Source)

To Luciana.
 
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Few vices are more certain to prevent you from having lots of friends than possessing too many virtues.
 
[Il y a peu de vices qui empêchent un homme d’avoir beaucoup d’amis, autant que peuvent le faire de trop grandes qualités.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 2, ¶ 110 (1795) [tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 90]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

There are few vices that prevent a man from having many friends so much as his too high qualities prevent him.
[tr. Hutchinson (1902), "The Cynic's Breviary"]

There are few vices as likely to diminish the number of a man's friends, as can an excessive possession of fine qualities.
[tr. Mathers (1926), ¶ 90]

There are few vices that will so readily prevent a man from having many friends as will the possession of inordinate talents or virtues.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

Few vices can prevent a man from having as many friends as too great of qualities can.
[tr. Siniscalchi (1994), ¶ 110]

 
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I said to God, “What are they doing?”
God said, “Making pitfalls into which their fellows may sink.”
I said to God, “Why do they do it?”
God said, “Because each thinks that when his brother falls he will rise.”

olive schreiner
Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) South African author, political activist, intellectual, freethinker
“The Sunlight Lay Across My Bed,” Dreams (1890)
    (Source)

Describing Hell.
 
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If we turn away from knowledge and truth, we will not succeed. If we believe the worst and suspect the best, we alone will suffer. If we deny our progress, if we are against all of it, if we tear down our accomplishments, we will fill the world with sorrow, and we will blemish our own name with shame.
But if we are courageous and farsighted and farseeing, if we have no fear of the truth, if we seek only after light, then we and our children and our children’s children shall know the greatness of this wonderful, beautiful land we call America.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American politician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Speech (1964-09-28), Convocation, Brown University
    (Source)

On government support of higher education, research, and scholarship.
 
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Don’t spurn sweet love,
my child, and don’t you be neglectful
of the choir of love, or the dancing feet,
while life is still green, and your white-haired old age
is far away with all its moroseness. Now,
find the Campus again, and the squares,
soft whispers at night, at the hour agreed,
and the pleasing laugh that betrays her, the girl
who’s hiding away in the darkest corner,
and the pledge that’s retrieved from her arm,
or from a lightly resisting finger.
 
[Nec dulcis amores
sperne puer neque tu choreas,
donec virenti canities abest
morosa. Nunc et campus et areae
lenesque sub noctem susurri
conposita repetantur hora,
nunc et latentis proditor intumo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
pignusque dereptum lacertis
aut digito male pertinaci.]

Horace (65-8 BC) Roman poet and satirist [Quintus Horacius Flaccus]
Odes [Carmina], Book 1, # 9, l. 15ff (1.9.15-24) (23 BC) [tr. Kline (2015)]
    (Source)

"To Thaliarchus." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Till testy Age gray Hairs shall snow
Upon thy Head, lose Mask, nor Show:
Soft whispers now delight
At a set hour by Night:
And Maids that gigle to discover
Where they are hidden to a Lover;
And Bracelets or some toy
Snatcht from the willing Coy.
[tr. Fanshaw (Brome (1666))]

Secure those golden early joys,
That youth unsoured with sorrow bears,
Ere withering time the taste destroys,
With sickness and unwieldy years.
For active sports, for pleasing rest,
This is the time to be possest;
The best is but in season best.
The appointed hour of promised bliss,
The pleasing whisper in the dark,
The half unwilling willing kiss,
The laugh that guides thee to the mark;
When the kind nymph would coyness feign,
And hides but to be found again;
These, these are joys the gods for youth ordain.
[tr. Dryden (c. 1685)]

Whilst Thou art green, and gay, and Young,
E're dull Age comes, and strength decays,
Let mirth, and humor, dance, and song
Be all the trouble of thy days.
The Court, the Mall, the Park, and Stage,
With eager thoughts of Love pursue;
Gay Evening whispers fit thy Age,
And be to Assignation true.
Now Love to hear the hiding Maid,
Whom Youth hath fir'd, and Beauty charms
By her own tittering laugh betray'd,
And forc'd into her Lover's Arms.
Go dally with thy wanton Miss,
And from the Willing seeming Coy,
Or force a Ring, or steal a Kiss;
For Age will come, and then farewell to joy.
[tr. Creech (1684)]

Sport in life's young spring,
Nor scorn sweet love, nor merry dance,
While years are green, while sullen eld
Is distant. Now the walk, the game,
The whisper'd talk at sunset held,
Each in its hour, prefer their claim.
Sweet too the laugh, whose feign'd alarm
The hiding-place of beauty tells,
The token, ravish'd from the arm
Or finger, that but ill rebels.
[tr. Conington (1872)]

Nor disdain, being a young fellow, pleasant loves, nor dances, as long as ill-natured hoariness keeps off from your blooming age. Now let both the Campus Martius and the public walks, and soft whispers at the approach of evening be repeated at the appointed hour: now, too, the delightful laugh, the betrayer of the lurking damsel from some secret corner, and the token ravished from her arms or fingers, pretendingly tenacious of it.
[tr. Smart/Buckley (1853)]

Let beauty's glance
Engage thee, and the merry dance,
Nor deem such pleasures vain!
Gloom is for age. Young hearts should glow
With fancies bright and free,
Should court the crowded walk, the show,
And at dim eve love's murmurs low
Beneath the trysting tree;
The laugh from the sly corner, where
Our girl is hiding fast,
The struggle for the lock of hair,
The half well pleased, half angry air,
The yielded kiss at last.
[tr. Martin (1864)]

Spurn not, thou, who art young, dulcet loves;
Spurn not, thou, choral dances and song
While the hoar-frost morose keeps aloof from thy verdure.
Thine the sports of the Campus, the gay public gardens;
Thine at twilight the words whispered low;
Each in turn has its own happy hour:
And thine the sweet laugh of the girl -- which betrays her
Hiding slyly within the dim nook of the threshold,
And the love-token snatched from the wrist,
Or the finger's not obstinate hold.
[tr. Bulwer-Lytton (1870)]

Youth must not spurn
Sweet loves, nor yet the dance forsake,
While grudging Age thy prime shall spare.
The Plain, the Squares, be now thy care,
And lounges, dear at nightfall, where
By concert love may whisper 'Hist!'
From inner nook a winsome smile
Betrays the girl that sculks the while,
And keepsakes, deftly filched by guile
From yielding finger, or from wrist.
[tr. Gladstone (1894)]

Nor, while thy vigour lasts, despise thou
Pleasures of love, nor the joys of dancing.
While the moroseness due to advancing age
Whitens not yet thy head, let the walks and park
And gentle whispers heard at nightfall
Each be repeated at fitting seasons.
Now, too, the pleasant laughter be heard, that tells
How lurking beauty hides in the corner-nook,
And token ravish'd from the arm, or
Finger, that daintily seems unwilling.
[tr. Phelps (1897)]

Being but yet a youth, contemn
Neither the sweets of love nor of the dance,
While from your bloom crabbed greyness holds aloof.
Now let the Campus and the city squares,
And whispers low, be sought at nightfall,
On the appointed hour of tryst;
And now the fascinating laugh from some recess
Secluded, the betrayer of a maid
In hiding, and the pledge snatched off
An arm or finger ill retaining it.
[tr. Garnsey (1907)]

Spurn not the dance,
Or in sweet loves to bask,
While surly age mars not thy morning's flower.
Seek now the athlete's training field or court;
See gentle lovers' whispered sport,
At nightfalls's trysted hour;
Seek the gay laught that from her ambush borne
Betrays the merry maiden huddled warm,
And forfeit from her hand or arm
Half given, half playful torn.
[tr. Marshall (1908)]

Nor in thy youth neglect sweet love nor dances, whilst life is still in its bloom and crabbed age is far away! Now let the Campus be sought and the squares, with low whispers at the trysting-hour as night draws on, and the merry tell-tale laugh of maiden hiding in farthest comer, and the forfeit snatched from her arm or finger that but feigns resistance.
[tr. Bennett (Loeb) (1912)]

Scorn not, while still
A boy, sweet loves; scorn not the dance.
Life in its Spring, and crabbed eld
Far off -- that is the time; then hey
For Park, Square, whispered concerts held
At a set hour at close of day:
For the sweet laugh whose soft alarm
Tells in what nook the maid lies hid:
For the love-token snatched from arm,
Of fingers that but half-forbid.
[tr. Mills (1924)]

Now that you're young, and peevish
Grey hairs are still far distant, attend to the
Dance-floor, the heart's sweet business; for now is the
Right time for midnight assignations,
whispers and murmurs in Rome's piazzas
And fields, and soft, low laughter that gives away
The girl who plays love's games in a hiding-place --
Off comes a ring coaxed down an arm or
Pulled from a faintly resisting finger.
[tr. Michie (1963)]

Take love while you're young and you can,
Laugh, dance,
Before time takes your chances
Away. Stroll where baths, where theaters
Bring Romans to walk, to talk, where whispers
Flit through the darkness as lovers meet,
And girls laugh from hidden corners,
Happy as favors
Are snatched in the darkness, laugh
And pretend to say no.
[tr. Raffel (1983)]

While you're still young,
And while morose old age is far away,
There's love, there are parties, there's dancing and there's music,
There are young people out in the city squares together
As evening comes on, there are whispers of lovers, there's laughter.
[tr. Ferry (1997)]

Do not disdain, boy, sweet love; and dance
while you are yet in bloom, and crabbed age far away.
Now frequent the Campus Martius
and public ways, and pizzas where soft whispers
are repeated at the trysting hour
and where the suffocated laughter of a girl
lurking in a corner reveals
secret betrayal and the forfeit
snatched away from a wrist
or from a finger, scarcely resisting.
[tr. Alexander (1999)]

And while you're young don't scorn
sweet love affairs and dances,
so long as crabbed old age is far from
your vigor. Now let the playing field and the
public squares and soft whisperings at nightfall
(the appointed hour) be your pursuits;
now too the sweet laughter of a girl hiding
in a secret corner, which gives her away,
and a pledge snatched from her wrists
or her feebly resisting finger.
[tr. Wikisource (2021)]

 
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None is a foole alwaies, every one sometimes.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. (compiler), # 163 (1640 ed.)
    (Source)

See Lincoln.
 
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The object of education for that mind should be the teaching itself how to react with vigor and economy. No doubt the world at large will always lag so far behind the active mind as to make a soft cushion of inertia to drop upon, as it did for Henry Adams; but education should try to lessen the obstacles, diminish the friction, invigorate the energy, and should train minds to react, not at haphazard, but by choice, on the lines of force that attract their world. What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn.

Henry Adams (1838-1918) American journalist, historian, academic, novelist
The Education of Henry Adams, ch. 21 (1907)
    (Source)
 
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Thirst, hunger, and nakedness, are positive evils: but wealth is relative; and a prince who would be rich in a private station, may be exposed by the increase of his wants to all the anxiety and bitterness of poverty.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 61 (1776-88)
    (Source)
 
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Awl plezzures are lawful that don’t end in making us feel sorry.
 
[All pleasures are lawful that don’t end in making us feel sorry.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist, aphorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, ch. 148 “Affurisms: Ink Brats” (1874)
    (Source)
 
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Hail, lady of no light footfall,
And eyes not black, and nose not small,
And lips not dry, and hands not long,
And, truly, not too nice a tongue,
The Formian bankrupt’s paramour.
The Province calls you dainty? Your
Face, and not Lesbia’s, is the rage?
O! dull and undiscerning age!

[Salve, nec minimo puella naso
nec bello pede nec nigris ocellis
nec longis digitis nec ore sicco
nec sane nimis elegante lingua,
decoctoris amica Formiani.
Ten provincia narrat esse bellam?
Tecum Lesbia nostra comparatur?
O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 43 “To Mamurra’s Mistress” [tr. MacNaghten (1925)]
    (Source)

Mamurra, also known as Formianus (from the province of Formiae), was an ally of Caesar, but enemy of Catullus. Catullus devotes a number of his odes to attacking Mamurra or, in a few cases, his mistress (who, in some sources, is named Amiana or Ameana).

The poem is noteworthy both for cateloguing unattractive traits (Roman poetry and art make it clear what was considered attractive), and for the final line in its condemnation of a land that would ever place the unnamed mistress over the beauties of Catullus' beloved Lesbia.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Though splaw thy feet, and snub thy nose,
Thy fingers short, and unlike sloes
Thine eyes in hue may be;
Thy lip with driv'lling moisture dew'd
Thy language vulgar, manners rude,
Yet, wanton, hail to thee!

And does the province praise thy grace;
And e'en presume thy form and face
With Lesbia to compare?
Then why should I thy charms dispraise
'Mid vulgar fools, in tasteless days,
'Tis useless to be fair.
[tr. Lamb (1821)]

Though a decided snub your nose,
Your feet the kind called stumpy,
Your eyes by no means black as sloes,
Your fingers fat and dumpy;
Your lip not peachy soft, your speech
Less aptr to charm than pain us;
Yet still I hail you, mistress frail
Of spendthrift Formianus.

The province, bless its stupid soul!
Is mad about your beauty,
So let me also pay my toll
Of homage and of duty.
But then they say your shape, your grace,
My Lesbia's, mine, surpasses!
Oh woe, to live with such a race
Of buzzards, owls, and asses!
[tr. T. Martin (1861)]

Hail, maiden! with nor little nose,
Nor pretty foot, nor jet-black eye,
Nor fingers long, nor mouth e'er dry,
Nor tongue whence pleasing prattle flows.
You spendthrift Formian's heart engage;
And doth the province call you fair,
And Lesbia's charms with yours compare?
O witless and O boorish age!
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Hail, fair virgin, a nose among the larger,
Feet not dainty, nor eyes to match a raven,
Mouth scarce tenible, hands not wholly faultless,
Tongue most surely not absolute refinement,
Bankrupt Formian, your declar'd devotion.
Thou the beauty, the talk of all the province?
Thou my Lesbia tamely think to rival?
O preposterous, empty generation!
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Hail, girl who neither nose of minim size
Owns, nor a pretty foot, nor jetty eyes,
Nor thin long fingers, nor mouth dry of slaver
Nor yet too graceful tongue of pleasant flavour,
Leman to Formian that rake-a-hell.
What, can the Province boast of thee as belle?
Thee with my Lesbia durst it make compare?
O Age insipid, of all humour bare!
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Hail, girl with nose not the smallest, and with foot not lovely, and with eyes not black, and with fingers not long, and with mouth not dry and with tongue not so very elegant, the wench of the bankrupt Formian. And the province declares you to be lovely? With you our Lesbia is to be compared? O generation witless and unmannerly!
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

I greet you, lady, you who neither have a tiny nose, nor a pretty foot, nor black eyes, nor long fingers, nor dry mouth, nor indeed a very refined tongue, mistress of the bankrupt Formiae. Is it you who are pretty, as the Province tells us? is it with you that our Lesbia is compared? O, this age! how tasteless and illbred it is!
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

Hail, maid with nose by no means small, foot by no means shapely, eyes by no means of jet, fingers by no means long, mouth by no means dry, speech by no means too refined, friend of the Formian waster. Do the provincials call you beautiful? Do they compare you with my Lesbia? Oh foolish and tasteless age!
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Pshaw, little girl, you're much too small,
You've scarcely any nose at all.
Your feet are shapeless, fingers, too,
Your eyes a dull and faded blue.
With lips as parched as last year's peas.
And silly tongue, untaught to please.
They say that Formian calls you fair.
And that they praise you everywhere.
A dull and senseless age -- ah me.
If they could Lesbia's beauty see!
[tr. Stewart (1915)]

Thy nose is broad and large thy feet,
Thine eyes are neither dark nor clear,
Thy hands are squat, thy lips unsweet,
Thy language shocks a decent ear.
Thy province swears that thou art fair,
O mistress of a village beau!
Swears thou with Lesbia canst compare;
O tasteless age, thy wits how slow!
[tr. Symons-Jeune (1923)]

Good morning, dear lady; your nose is too long,
Your fingers too stumpy, your language too strong.
Your feet are ill shaped, and your lips wet with slobber,
Your eyes pale and dull; and your lover's a robber,
Who won't pay his debts. Yet withal people hold
You a beauty , when you're in the country, I'm told.
To think that dull fools for one instant should dare
Your charms with my Lesbia's face to compare!
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Listen, girl: your nose is not too small and
your foot somehow lacks shapeliness, your eyes
are not so bright , your fingers though they should be
are neither long nor graceful , nor can your lips
(mouth dripping) be kissed for love, nor is your speech
soft music.
And this girl is the lady friend
of that debauched citizen Mamurra.
They say that you are lovely (rumours from the provinces)
comparing you with Lesbia.
The times are bad
and this an ignorant generation.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

Greetings, girl! You haven't got much --
Neither small nose, nor a pretty foot,
Dark eyes, or slender hands to touch,
No dry mouth; the way you put
Your phrases isn't neat at all,
Mistress of the bankrupt man
From Formiae -- but Cisalpine Gaul
Says you're lovely, lovelier than
My Lesbia, even? Oh, enough!
This ignorant age -- how rude and rough!
[tr. Hollander (1976)]

Greetings ot you, girl of the nose not tiny,
the feet not pretty, eyes not darkly-shadowed,
stubby fat fingers, mouth forever spraying
language that shows us your lack of refinement,
whore of that bankrupt wastrel from Formiae!
Is it your beauty they praise in the province?
Do they compare you to our Lesbia?
Mindless this age. And insensitive, really.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

Hello, girl, neither with the smallest nose,
Nor with pretty feet nor with black little eyes
Nor with long fingers nor with dry lips
Nor clearly with a very refined tongue.
Girl/friend of the spendthrift from Formiae,
Does the province report that you are beautiful?
Is our Lesbia compared with you?
O tasteless and crude age!
[tr. Drudy (1997)]

Greetings, girl with a nose not the shortest,
feet not so lovely, eyes not of the darkest,
fingers not slender, mouth never healed,
and a not excessively charming tongue,
bankrupt Formianus’s ‘little friend’.
And the Province pronounces you beautiful?
To be compared to my Lesbia?
O witless and ignorant age!
[tr. Kline (2001)]

Hello, girl without the smallest nose
Nor pretty feet, nor dark eyes
Nor elegant fingers nor dry mouth
Nor language int he least refined
Girlfriend of that bankrupt from Formia.
So country people call you beautiful?!
Our Lesbia is compared with you?!
Oh, what a stupid and tasteless age this is!
[tr. Wikibooks (2017)]

Greetings, you girl with neither a little nose,
nor handsome feet, black little eyes
long fingers, a dry mouth,
and truly tongue not exceedingly elegant.
Girlfriend of the bankrupt of Formiae,
does the province say that you are beautiful?
Is our Lesbia compared with you?
Oh foolish and coarse generation!
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

Howdy, girl with the not-small nose,
Feet not beautiful, eyes not black,
Fingers not long, the lips not dry,
A tongue not quite so elegant,
“Friend” of a Formian bankrupt.
The sticks proclaim you’re beautiful?
With you our Lesbia is compared?
O times, unthinking and vulgar!
[tr. @sentantiq (2021)]

 
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You seem to have great possessions! How else can this be, but that you have preferred your own enjoyment to the consolation of the many? For the more you abound in wealth, the more you lack in love.

[ἀλλὰ μὴν φαίνῃ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά. Πόθεν ταῦτα; ἢ δῆλον ὅτι τὴν οἰκείαν ἀπόλαυσιν προτι μοτέραν τῆς τῶν πολλῶν παραμυθίας ποιούμενος. Ὅσον οὖν πλεονάζεις τῷ πλούτῳ, τοσοῦτον ἐλλείπεις τῇ ἀγάπῃ.]

basil the great
Basil of Caesarea (AD 330-378) Christian bishop, theologian, monasticist, Doctor of the Church [Saint Basil the Great, Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας]
“To the Rich [Ὁμιλία πρὸς τοὺς πλουτούντας],” sermon (c. 368) [tr. Schroeder (2009)]
    (Source)

In C. Paul Schroeder, ed., Saint Basil on Social Justice (2009).
 
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Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.

Neil Postman (1931-2003) American author, media theorist, cultural critic
The Disappearance of Childhood, Introduction (1982)
    (Source)
 
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FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge of things without parallel.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
“Faith,” The Cynic’s Word Book (1906)
    (Source)

Included in The Devil's Dictionary (1911). Originally published in the "Devil's Dictionary" column in the San Francisco Wasp (1884-06-07).
 
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Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
Column (1930-04-28)
    (Source)

Written while in Beverly Hills. Collected in The Autobiography of Will Rogers, ch. 15 (1949) [ed. Donald Day].
 
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We lavish on animals the love we are afraid to show to people. People might not return it; or worse, they might.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 1 (1963)
    (Source)
 
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These two hated with a hate
Found only on the stage.

Lord Byron
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Don Juan, Canto 4, st. 93 (1821)
    (Source)
 
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With books, as with companions, it is of more consequence to know which to avoid, than which to chuse; for good books are as scarce as good companions, and in both instances, all that we can learn from bad ones, is, that so much time has been worse than thrown away.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, Preface (1820)
    (Source)
 
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DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Marry, he must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Comedy of Errors, Act 4, sc. 3, l. 65ff (4.3.65-66) (1594)
    (Source)

The phrase was popularized by Shakespeare, but had appeared earlier, e.g., Chaucer, "The Squire's Tale," ll. 602-603, Canterbury Tales (c. 1386):

"Therfor bihoveth him a ful long spoon
That shal ete with a feend," thus herde I seye.

 
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LUCIUS: From hence, let fierce contending nations know,
What dire effects from civil discord flow.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
Cato, Act 5, sc. 5, l. 106ff (1713)
    (Source)
 
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Thou knowest that since the invention of gun-powder, there is no place impregnable: that is to say, Usbek, there is no longer any asylum upon earth against injustice and violence. I always tremble for fear at last some invention will be found out of a shorter way to destroy mankind, and to depopulate whole nations and whole kingdoms.

[Tu sais que, depuis l’invention de la poudre, il n’y a plus de places imprenables ; c’est-à-dire, Usbek, qu’il n’y a plus d’asile sur la terre contre l’injustice et la violence. Je tremble toujours qu’on ne parvienne à la fin à découvrir quelque secret qui fournisse une voie plus abrégée pour faire périr les hommes, détruire les peuples et les nations entières.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Persian Letters [Lettres Persanes], Letter 106, Rhedi to Usbek (1721) [tr. Ozell (1760 ed.), # 105]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Thou knowest, that since the Invention of gun-powder, there is no place impregnable; that is to say, Ushek, that there is not any longer an asylum upon earth against injustice and violence. I always tremble, left they should at arrive at last, at the discovery of some secret, which may furnish them with a shorter way to destroy mankind, and to depopulate whole nations and whole kingdoms.
[tr. Floyd (1762), # 105]

You know that since the invention of gunpowder no place is impregnable; that is to say, Usbek, that there is no longer upon the earth a refuge from injustice and violence. I dread always lest they should at last discover some secret which will furnish them with a briefer method of destroying men, by killing them off wholesale in tribes and nations.
[tr. Davidson (1891)]

You know that, since the invention of gunpowder, no fortress is impregnable; that is to say, Usbek, that there is no longer upon earth an asylum against injustice and violence. I am always in terror lest some secret or other should be at length discovered that will not only kill men, but destroy entire tribes and nations.
[tr. Betts (1897)]

You know that since the invention of gunpowder there have been no impregnable places; and this is to say, Usbek, that there is no longer an asylum from injustice and violence any¬ where on the earth. I am in constant terror that ultimately someone will succeed in discovering some secret which will furnish an even more efficient way to kill men, by destroying whole peoples and entire nations.
[tr. Healy (1964)]

You know, since the invention of gunpowder, no fortification is impregnable; in other words, Usbek, there no longer exists, anywhere on earth, any asylum from injustice and violence. I live in fear that men of science will eventually discover some secret which would offer a faster day to kill people, destroy races, and wipe out entire nations.
[tr. Mauldon (2008)]

You know that since the invention of gunpowder, no place is impregnable -- and that is to say, Usbek, that there is no place on earth where we are safe from injustice and violence. I tremble at the thought that eventually someone will discover some new secret that will lead to an even more efficient way to kill even more people, perhaps to destroy entire populations and nations.
[tr. MacKenzie (2014), # 105]

 
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The King’s cheese is half wasted in parings: But no matter, ’tis made of the peoples milk.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1735 ed.)
    (Source)
 
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“Just once more” is the Devil’s best argument.

helen rowland
Helen Rowland (1875-1950) American journalist and humorist
Reflections of a Bachelor Girl (1909)
    (Source)
 
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There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“Resignation,” st. 5 (1849), The Seaside and the Fireside (1850)
    (Source)
 
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Perhaps the greatest rudenesses of our time come not from the callousness of strangers, but from the solicitousness of intimates who believe that their frank criticisms are always welcome, and who feel free to “be themselves” with those they love, which turns out to mean being their worst selves, while saving their best behavior for strangers.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist, etiquette expert [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
Common Courtesy, “Those Who Would Change the Country’s Manners Encounter Citizen Resistance” (1985)
    (Source)
 
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The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good. Almost every thing, especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Speech (1848-06-20), On Internal Improvements, US House of Representatives
    (Source)
 
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And in that moment Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later. For the first time he realized that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.

tom wolfe
Tom Wolfe (1930-2018) American author and journalist [Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr.]
The Bonfire of the Vanities, ch. 21 (1987)
    (Source)
 
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Administrivia: D’oh!

Since April, my RSS feeds (and, thus, my WIST-by-email stuff) has been kind of wonky. I do some non-standard things with WordPress to structure my quotations database, and each time I do an upgrade in the software I have go change the RSS feeds programming to output the right things in the right places (for the normal online blog, the theme takes care of that).

Well, in April, despite my best efforts and my being willing to swear up and down that I was, in fact, updating those RSS PHP files, the RSS feeds (and emails) were stubbornly remaining their default values — which meant that you couldn’t actually tell who was saying the things I was quoting, without drilling down to the underlying blog entry.

I took advantage of my family giving me some free time for Fathers Day to look at it again, and, lo! my assumptions about what PHP files were being updated in which domain turned out to be completely wrong. It’s almost as if Dante was trying to whisper in my ear yesterday.

Long story short (too late), I have now, it appears, fixed this problem. RSS feeds should look correct. Quotes by email should look correct. All’s right with the world. At least until my next WP upgrade.

And if none of the above makes any sense to you, that’s fine. If you are interested in the email or RSS feeds for this site, you can get more information here.


 
Added on 15-Jun-24; last updated 15-Jun-24
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You dull your own perceptions
with false imaginings and do not grasp
what would be clear but for your preconceptions.
 
[Tu stesso ti fai grosso
col falso imaginar, sì che non vedi
ciò che vedresti se l’avessi scosso.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 3 “Paradiso,” Canto 1, l. 88ff (1.88-90) [Beatrice] (1320) [tr. Ciardi (1970)]
    (Source)

Dante's beloved Beatrice greets him for the first time since his arrival in Paradise, chiding him for his terrestrial assumptions of what he's seeing. (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

False Forms deceive thy optics. Son of Man!
With shadowy objects which eclipse the true.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 20]

With false imagination thou thyself
Mak’st dull, so that thou seest not the thing,
Which thou hadst seen, had that been shaken off.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Imagination false
Hath made thee dull, so that thou canst not see
That thou might'st, hadst thou looked diligently.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

Thou makest thyself so dull
With false imagining, that thou seest not
What thou wouldst see if thou hadst shaken it off.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Thou thyself makest thyself gross with false imagining, so that thou seest not that which thou wouldest have seen, if thou hadst shaken it off.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Thyself thou makest blind
With thy false fancy, that thou canst not see
What thou wouldst see, if this were thrown behind.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Thou thyself makest thyself dull with false imagining, so that thou seest not what thou wouldst see, if thou hadst shaken it off.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Thou thyself makest thyself dense Earthly with false imagining, and so thou seest not what heavenly thou wouldst see, if thou hadst cast it off.
[tr. Wicksteed (1899)]

Thou dullest thine own wit
With false imagination, nor preceivest
That which thou wouldst perceive, being rid of it.
[tr. Sayers/Reynolds (1962)]

Thou makest thyself dull with false fancies so that thou canst not see as thou wouldst if thou hadst cast them off.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Thou makest thyself dense of wit
With false fancy, so that thou dost not see
What thou would’st see, wert thou but rid of it.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

You make yourself dull with false imagining, so that you do not see what you would see had you cast it off.
[tr. Singleton (1975)]

You are making yourself stupid
By imagining what isn’t, so that you do not
See what you would if you could shake that off.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

You make yourself
obtuse with false imagining; you can
not see what you would see if you dispelled it.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1984)]

You have yourself to blame for burdening
your mind with misconceptions that prevent
from seeing clearly what you might have seen.
[tr. Musa (1984)]

You are making yourself swell
with false imagining, so that you do not see
what shaking it off would show.
[tr. Durling (2011)]

You make yourself stupid with false imaginings, and so you do not see, what you would see, if you discarded them.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

With false imaginings
you make yourself so dull you fail to see
what, shaking off this cloud, you’d see quite well.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

You make yourself dull-witted
with false notions, so that you cannot see
what you would understand, had you but cast them off.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

You're overwhelming yourself with false
And foolish conjuring, preventing what your eyes
Would see if you did not struggle so hard for triumph.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

You get all mixed up
By sticking with a figment of your imagination, so
You don’t see what you would see if you shook it off.
[tr. Bang (2021)]

 
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Away with silks, away with lawn,
I’ll have no scenes or curtains drawn;
Give me my mistress as she is,
Dress’d in her nak’d simplicities;
For as my heart e’en so mine eye
Is won with flesh, not drapery.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) English poet
“Clothes Do But Cheat and Cozen Us,” Hesperides, # 402 (1648)
    (Source)
 
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Without favour none will know you, and with it you will not know your selfe.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. (compiler), # 159 (1640 ed.)
    (Source)
 
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That man must be everyone’s personal enemy who has behaved like a public enemy to his own friends. No wise man ever felt that a traitor ought to be trusted.

[Omnium est communis inimicus qui fuit hostis suorum. Nemo umquam sapiens proditori credendum putavit.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
In Verrem [Against Verres; Verrine Orations], Action 2, Book 1, ch. 15 / sec. 38 (1.15.38) (70 BC) [tr. Greenwood (1928)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

He is the common enemy of all men who has once been the enemy of his own connections. No wise man ever thought that a traitor was to be trusted
[tr. Yonge (1903)]

He is a common enemy who has been a foe to his own people. No man of sense has ever considreed a traitor worthy of credence.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

 
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What a mystery this is, desire. The love sickness, the sensitivity, the obsession, the flutter of the heart, the ebb and flow of the blood. There is no drug and no alcohol to equal it.

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) Catalan-Cuban-French author, diarist
Diary (1943-04)
    (Source)
 
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Your memory is a monster; you forget — it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you — and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!

John Irving
John Irving (b. 1942) American-Canadian novelist and screenwriter [b. John Wallace Blunt Jr.]
A Prayer for Owen Meany, ch. 1 “The Foul Ball” (1989)
    (Source)
 
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By some happy fortuity, man is a projector, a designer, a builder, a craftsman; it is among his most dependable joys to impose upon the flux that passes before him some mark of himself, aware though he always must be of the odds against him. His reward is not so much in the work as in its making; not so much in the prize as in the race. We may win when we lose, if we have done what we can; for by so doing we have made real at least some part of that finished product in whose fabrication we are most concerned: ourselves.

Learned Hand (1872-1961) American jurist
Speech (1955-01-29), “A Fanfare for Prometheus,” American Jewish Committee annual dinner, New York City
    (Source)
 
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After all, my earstwhile dear,
My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
Now that love is perished?

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) American poet
“Passer Mortuus Est”, st. 3, Second April (1921)
    (Source)
 
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Again, we should notice the force, effect, and consequences of inventions, which are nowhere more conspicuous than in those three which were unknown to the ancients; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. For these three have changed the appearance and state of the whole world; first in literature, then in warfare, and lastly in navigation: and innumerable changes have been thence derived, so that no empire, sect, or star, appears to have exercised a greater power and influence on human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.

[Rursus, vim et virtutem et consequentias rerum inventarum notare juvat; quae non in aliis manifestius occurrunt, quam in illis tribus quae antiquis incognitae, et quarum primordia, licet recentia, obscura et ingloria sunt: Artis nimirum Imprimendi, Pulveris Tormentarii, et Acus Nauticae. Haec enim tria rerum faciem et statum in orbe terrarum mutaverunt: primum, in re literaria; secundum, in re bellica; tertium, in navigationibus: unde innumerae rerum mutationes sequutae sunt; ut non imperium aliquod, non secta, non stella, majorem efficaciam et quasi influxum super res humanas exercuisse videatur, quam ista mechanica exercuerunt.]

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Instauratio Magna [The Great Instauration], Part 2 “Novum Organum [The New Organon],” Book 1, Aphorism # 129 (1620) [tr. Wood (1831)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Again, it is well to observe the force and virtue and consequences of discoveries; and these are to be seen nowhere more conspicuously than in those three which were unknown to the ancients, and of which the origin, though recent, is obscure and inglorious; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the magnet. For these three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world; the first in literature, the second in warfare, the third in navigation; whence have followed innumerable changes; insomuch that no empire, no sect, no star seems to have exerted greater power and influence in human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.
[tr. Spedding (1858)]

Again, it is well to mark the force, virtue, and consequences of discoveries; and these occur nowhere more manifestly than in those which were unknown to the ancients, and whose origin, though recent, is obscure and inglorious; the Arts, namely, of Printing, of Gunpowder, and the Mariner's Compass. For these three have changed the face and condition of things all over the world; the first in letters, the second in war, the third in navigation. And hence numberless changes have followed; so that no government, no sect, no star, seems to have exercised greater power and influence over human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.
[tr. Johnson (1859)]

Again, it helps to notice the force, power and consequences of discoveries, which appear at their clearest in three things that were unknown to antiquity, and whose origins, though recent, are obscure and unsung: namely, the art of printing, gunpowder and the nautical compass. In fact these three things have changed the face and condition of things all over the globe: the first in literature; the second in the art of war; the third in navigation; and innumerable changes have followed; so that no empire or sect or star seems to have exercised a greater power and influence on human affairs than those mechanical things.
[tr. Silverthorne (2000)]

Notice the vigour of discoveries, their power to generate consequences. This is nowhere more obvious than in three discoveries that the ancients didn’t know and whose origins (all quite recent) were obscure and humdrum. I am talking about the arts of printing, gunpowder, and the nautical compass. These three have changed the whole aspect and state of things throughout the world -- the first in literature, the second in warfare, the third in navigation -- bringing about countless changes; so that there seems to have been no empire, no philosophical system, no star that has exerted greater power and influence in human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.
[tr. Bennett (2017)]

 
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You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty.

Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) American writer
Little Women, ch. 7 “Amy’s Valley of Humiliation” [Mrs. March] (1868)
    (Source)

 
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I still should not want you to smile on all occasions:
for nothing is more silly than a silly smile.

[Tamen renidere usque quaque te nollem;
Nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.]

gaius valerius catullus
Catullus (c. 84 BC – c. 54 BC) Latin poet [Gaius Valerius Catullus]
Carmina # 39 “To Egnatius,” ll. 15-16 [tr. McDonnell (1998)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

E'en then that ceaseless ill-tim'd grin forego:
A silly laugh's the silliest thing I know.
[tr. Nott (1795), # 37]

I'd say renounce thy ceaseless idiot grin,
A silly laugh is folly, if not sin.
[tr. Cranstoun (1867)]

Yet sweetly smiling ever I would have you not,
For silly laughter, it's a silly thing indeed.
[tr. Ellis (1871)]

Yet thy incessant grin I would not see,
For naught than laughter silly sillier be.
[tr. Burton (1893)]

Still I wish you wouldn't grin forever everywhere; for nothing is more senseless than senseless giggling.
[tr. Smithers (1894)]

Still I should not like you to be smiling everlastingly; for there is nothing more silly than a silly laugh.
[tr. Warre Cornish (1904)]

I would have you drop your endless grin: for nothing is more inane than inane laughter.
[tr. Stuttaford (1912)]

Still not to smile for aye is wisdom's rule:
For folly's laugh proclaims the peerless fool.
[tr. MacNaghten (1925)]

I still should still disapprove that constant smile;
It shows a silly, poor, affected style.
[tr. Wright (1926)]

Your smile would still offend me; nothing is worse
than senseless laughter from a foolish face.
[tr. Gregory (1931)]

I still wouldn't want to see you always grinning,
for nothing is more inept than inept laughter.
[tr. C. Martin (1979)]

I’d still not want you to smile all the time:
there’s nothing more foolish than foolishly smiling.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

I'd still not want you flashing yours all round since
nothing's more fatuous than a fatuous grin.
[tr. Green (2005)]

I still should not want you to smile on all occasions:
for nothing is more silly than a silly smile.
[tr. Wikisource (2018)]

 
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There is nothing which a prudent man must shun more carefully than living with a view to popularity and giving serious thought to the things esteemed by the multitude, instead of making sound reason his guide of life, so that, even if he must gainsay all men and fall into disrepute and incur danger for the sake of what is honourable, he will in no wise choose to swerve from what has been recognized as right.

[ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν ὃ μᾶλλον φευκτέον τῷ σωφρονοῦντι, τοῦ πρὸς δόξαν ζῆν, καὶ τὰ τοῖς πολλοῖς δοκοῦντα περισκοπεῖν, καὶ μὴ. τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον ἡγεμόνα ποιεῖσθαι τοῦ βίου, ὥστε, κἂν πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις ἀντιλέγειν, κἂν ἀδοξεῖν καὶ κινδυνεύειν ὑ ὑπὲρ τοῦ καλοῦ δέῃ, μηδὲν αἱρεῖσθαι τῶν ὀρθῶς ἐγνωσμένων παρακινεῖν.]

basil the great
Basil of Caesarea (AD 330-378) Christian bishop, theologian, monasticist, Doctor of the Church [Saint Basil the Great, Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας]
Address to Young Men on Reading Greek Literature, ch. 9, sec. 25 [tr. Deferrari/McGuire (1933)]
    (Source)
 
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Someday we will regard our children not as creatures to manipulate or to change but rather as messengers from a world we once deeply knew, but which we have long since forgotten, who can reveal to us more about the true secrets of life, and also our own lives, than our parents were ever able to.

alice miller
Alice Miller (1923-2010) Polish-Swiss psychologist, psychoanalyst, philosopher
For Your Own Good [Am Anfang war Erziehung], “Preface to the American Edition” (1980) [tr. Hannum/Hannum (1983)]
    (Source)
 
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They don’t ask much of you. They only want you to hate the things you love and to love the things you despise.

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator
Quoted in “Farewell in a Poet’s Land,” Life Magazine (1960-06-13)
    (Source)

On the Communist leadership of the Soviet Union.

This article was an obituary for Pasternak. I have been unable to find a primary source for the quote.
 
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Sex gives us a glimpse of a concentration of the mind that would make us godlike if we could command it in other spheres.

colin wilson
Colin Wilson (1931-2013) English existentialist philosopher, novelist
The God of the Labyrinth [The Hedonists] (1970)
    (Source)
 
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Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks.

[τὰ πόλλ’ ἀνάγκη διαφέρει τολμήματα]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Æolus [Αἴολος], frag. 38 (TGF)
    (Source)
 
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We sleek, well-fed folk can hardly realize what feeling hungry is like. We know what it is to have no appetite and not to care for the dainty victuals placed before us, but we do not understand what it means to sicken for food — to die for bread while others waste it — ­to gaze with famished eyes upon coarse fare steaming behind dingy windows, longing for a pen’orth of pea pudding and not having the penny to buy it — ­to feel that a crust would be delicious and that a bone would be a banquet.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, “On Eating and Drinking” (1886)
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I had a very pleasant evening, however, though you will probably find out that there was no particular reason for it; but I do not think it worth while to wait for enjoyment until there is some real opportunity for it.

Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) English author
Letter (1799-01-21) to Cassandra Austen
    (Source)
 
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The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 1 (1963)
 
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Nothing so difficult as a beginning
In poesy, unless perhaps the end.

Lord Byron
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Don Juan, Canto 4, st. 1 (1821)
    (Source)
 
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ADRIANA: He is deformèd, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-faced, worse-bodied, shapeless everywhere,
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Comedy of Errors, Act 4, sc. 2, l. 21ff (4.2.21-24) (1594)
    (Source)
 
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CATO: How beautiful is death, when earn’d by virtue!
Who would not be that youth? What pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
Cato, Act 4, sc. 4, l. 79ff (1713)
    (Source)

On being presented with the corpse of his son. This line is thought to have inspired Nathan Hale.
 
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A man compensates for the lack of a talent by despising it. He removes the obstacle he finds between himself and merit, and so finds himself on a plane with those whose work he envies.
 
[Un homme à qui il manque un talent se dédommage en le méprisant: il ôte cet obstacle qu’il rencontroit entre le mérite et lui; et, par là, se trouve au niveau de celui dont il redoute les travaux.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Persian Letters [Lettres Persanes], Letter 145, Usbek to *** (1721) [tr. Healy (1964)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

A man to whom a talent is wanting, makes himself amends by despising it: he removes that obstacle which was between merit and him, and thereby finds himself on a level with the man whose pen he dreads.
[tr. Ozell (1760 ed.), # 73]

When a man is destitute of any particular talent, he indemnifies himself, by expressing his contempt for it; he removes that obstacle which stood between merit and him, and by that means, raises himself to a level with those whom he before feared as rivals.
[tr. Floyd (1762)]

When a man lacks a particular talent, he indemnifies himself by despising it: he removes the impediment between him and merit; and in that way finds himself on a level with those of whose works he formerly stood in awe.
[tr. Davidson (1891)]

A man who lacks a certain talent compensates himself by despising it: he removes the obstacle placed between him and merit, and thereby finds himself on an equality with the person whose labors he dreads.
[tr. Betts (1897)]

A man who lacks a certain talent will compensate himself by despising it; he eliminates the obstacle which blocks his path to excellence, and, as a consequence, sees himself as the equal of the rival whose work he fears.
[tr. Mauldon (2008), # 156]

 
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