Excerpts from the notebooks of English belletrist Geoffrey Madan (1895-1947):
[Eton] masters asleep during Essay in various abandoned attitudes. Hornby like a frozen mammoth in a cave; Stone drooping; Vaughan like a monarch taking his rest; Churchill like a fowl on a perch with a film over his eyes.
A.E. Housman’s epitaph: the only member of the middle classes who never called himself a gentleman.
“It is the cause”: theory that Othello closes and lays down a Bible.
Gladstone’s Virgil quotations, like plovers’ nests: impossible to see till you’ve been shown.
“Love gratified is love satisfied, and love satisfied is indifference begun.” — Richardson
“It matters not at all in what way I lay this poker on the floor. But if Bonaparte should say it must be placed in this direction, we must instantly insist upon its being laid in some other one.” — Nelson
“Conservative: a man with an inborn conviction that he is right, without being able to prove it.” — Revd. T. James, 1844
“Lord Normanby, in recklessly opening the Irish gaols, has exchanged the customary attributes of Mercy and Justice: he has made Mercy blind, and Justice weeping.” — Lord Wellesley