“Travelling is one Way of lengthening Life, at least in Appearance. It is but a Fortnight since we left London; but the Variety of Scenes we have gone through makes it seem equal to Six Months living in one Place.” — Benjamin Franklin, letter to Mary Stevenson, from Paris, Sept. 14, 1767



“Blasphemy depends upon belief, and is fading with it. If any one doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor. I think his family will find him at the end of the day in a state of some exhaustion.”

— G.K. Chesterton, Heretics, 1906


Image: Wikimedia Commons

“It is odd that the skeleton of a house is cheerful when the skeleton of a man is mournful, since we only see it after the man is destroyed. … There is something strangely primary and poetic about the sight of the scaffolding and main lines of a human building; it is a pity there is no scaffolding round a human baby.” — G.K. Chesterton, “The Wings of Stone,” Alarms and Discursions, 1911

Summing Up


In 1932, at the end of a 60-year career studying hydrodynamics, Sir Horace Lamb addressed the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

“I am an old man now,” he said, “and when I die and go to heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics, and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather more optimistic.”

More Morals

la rochefoucauld

Maxims of François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680):

  • “We commonly slander more thro’ Vanity than Malice.”
  • “We have more Laziness in our Minds than in our Bodies.”
  • “There are few People but what are ashamed of their Amours when the Fit is over.”
  • “We should not judge of a Man’s Merit by his great Qualities, but by the Use he makes of them.”
  • “He who is pleased with Nobody, is much more unhappy than he with whom Nobody is pleased.”
  • “There are some disguised Falsehoods so like Truths, that ‘twould be to judge ill not to be deceived by them.”
  • “Men sometimes think they hate Flattery, but they hate only the Manner of Flattering.”
  • “Acquired Honor is Surety for more.”
  • “Innocence don’t find near so much Protection as Guilt.”
  • “‘Tis our own Vanity that makes the Vanity of others intolerable.”
  • “‘Tis a common Fault to be never satisfied with ones Fortune, nor dissatisfied with ones Understanding.”
  • “Envy is more irreconcilable than Hatred.”
  • “‘Tis better to employ our Understanding, in bearing the Misfortunes that do befall us, than in foreseeing those that may.”
  • “A good Head finds less Trouble in submitting to a wrong Head than in conducting it.”
  • “Folly attends us close thro’ our whole Lives; and if anyone seems wise, ’tis merely because his Follies are proportionate to his Age, and Fortune.”

And “As ’tis the Characteristic of a great Genius to say much in a few Words, small Geniuses have on the contrary the Gift of speaking much and saying nothing.”