Unquote

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“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

Unquote

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“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

Unquote

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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

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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.”