Misc

  • When written in all caps, the title of John Hiatt’s song “Have a Little Faith in Me” contains no curves.
  • Tycho Brahe kept a tame elk.
  • It isn’t known whether the sum of π and e is irrational.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses Grant, and James Garfield died without wills.
  • “Selfishness is one of the qualities apt to inspire love.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

The medieval Latin riddle In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (“We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire”) is a palindrome. The answer is “moths.”

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“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” — Euripides

“The truest characters of ignorance / Are vanity, and pride, and annoyance.” — Samuel Butler

“Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.” — Cato the Elder

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Further excerpts from the notebooks of English belletrist Geoffrey Madan (1895-1947):

“Worldly faces never look so worldly as at a funeral.” — George Eliot

Wit is a new and apt relation of ideas: humour, of images.

Use of words “vision” and “supremely” an infallible sign of the uneducated.

“No great country was ever saved by good men, because good men will not go the length that may be necessary.” — Horace Walpole

“Precautions are always blamed. When successful, they are said to be unnecessary.” — Benjamin Jowett

“Some speak and write as if they wanted to say something: others as if they had something to say.” — Archbishop Richard Whately

“A rose has no back.” — Chinese reply if you apologize for turning your back

Reasonable to ask young people to be adventurous, to go to the North Pole, say: but religion asks them to start off, without being sure if there is a North Pole.

Three pieces of earnest advice from the Revd. H.J. Bidder, aged 86, after sitting silent, with a crumpled face, all through dinner, and once loudly asking the man opposite who I was:

1. Never drink claret in an East wind.
2. Take your pleasures singly, one by one.
3. Never sit on a hard chair after drinking port.

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“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schopenhauer_1852.jpg

“Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

(Thanks, Macari.)

Faded Glory

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Francesco_Botticini_-_The_Assumption_of_the_Virgin.jpg

“It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.” — Evelyn Waugh

“I have read descriptions of Paradise that would make any sensible person stop wanting to go there.” — Montesquieu

“In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Of the delights of this world man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven.” — Mark Twain

“I should have no use for a paradise in which I should be deprived of the right to prefer hell.” — Jean Rostand

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la rochefoucauld

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

  • “We always love those who admire us; but we don’t always love those whom we admire.”
  • “There are people who would never have been in love, if they had never heard talk of Love.”
  • “The Generality of People judge of Men by their Reputation, or Fortune.”
  • “Men would not live long in Society, if they were not the mutual Dupes of one another.”
  • “Titles, instead of exalting, debase those who don’t act up to them.”
  • “Prosperity is a stronger Trial of Virtue than Adversity.”
  • “Weak People can’t be sincere.”
  • “‘Tis more difficult to be faithful to a Mistress when on good Terms with her, than when on bad.”
  • “‘Tis not so dangerous to do Ill to most Men as to do them too much Good.”
  • “A Man often imagines he acts, when he is acted upon; and while his Mind aims at one thing, his Heart insensibly gravitates towards another.”
  • “When great Men suffer themselves to be subdued by the Length of their Misfortunes, they discover that the Strength of their Ambition, not of their Understanding, was what supported them; and that, bating a little Vanity, Heroes are just like other Men.”
  • “Cunning and Treachery proceed from Want of Capacity.”
  • “If we took as much Pains to be what we ought, as we do to deceive others by disguising what we are; we might appear as we are, without being at the Trouble of any Disguise.”

And “‘Tis a Mistake to imagine that only the violent Passions, such as Ambition and Love, can triumph over the rest. Laziness, languid as it is, often masters them all; she indeed influences all our Designs and Actions, and insensibly consumes and destroys both the Passions and the Virtues.”