Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quotes: Presidency. Press. Press Conference. Pressure. Pride. Prig.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

JFK’s reason for seeking the Presidency: to get things done.
Presidency 108 [Reason for seeking Presidency]: JFK: “...because I want to get things done.” Sorenson, Kennedy

The Presidency presents a chance to exercise judgment on things of importance.
Presidency 411 [The Presidency]: JFK: ...represents a chance to exercise your judgment on matters of importance. Sorenson, Kennedy

The Presidency represents the opportunity to deal with unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
Presidency 573 [Foreign affairs] …far more occasions for reacting to unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Sorenson, Kennedy

The test of a successful Presidency was achievement. [That was JFK’s test and by that test, he was a failure.]
Presidents 620 It seemed evident that his [Kennedy’s] measure of presidential success was concrete achievement; thus people who educated the nation without necessarily accomplishing their particular purposes rated, in his judgment, below those, like Polk and Truman, who accomplished their purposes without necessarily bringing the nation along with them. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The American Press represents the traditional open society as opposed to the Vietnam planners who operated as if America was a closed society.
Press 584 …the private men making secret decisions on Vietnam as though they were part of a closed society, and the traditional open American society, represented by the American press. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

Press Conference
JFK compared the twice-monthly press conference to a final exam twice a month.
Press conferences 363 [Regular press conferences]: JFK: “It’s like preparing for a final exam twice a month.” Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK compared the pressure accompanying the Presidency to living in a fish bowl.
Pressure 356 JFK: “ in the bull’s eye....” Sorenson, Kennedy

Arrogance and pride have a day of reckoning.
Pride 158 Aeschylus: All arrogance will reap a harvest rich in tears./God calls men to a heavy reckoning/For overweening pride. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

The braggart is hated by the gods.
Pride 169 Leader: The braggart’s pompous tongue/ Is hated most by Zeus. Sophocles. Antigone.

It’s hard to admit I was wrong, but harder still to invite catastrophe because of stubborn pride.
Pride 201 Creon: It’s hard to eat my words, and harder still/ To risk catastrophe through stubborn pride. Sophocles. Antigone.

Your pride will be leveled.
Pride 39 Tiresias: What plethora of sorrows—ah! you do not dream—will pull you down and level off your pride…. Sophocles. Oedipus the King.

Pride feeds on vanity and tempts fate’s destruction.
Pride 57 Chorus: Pride engenders power, pride:/ Banqueting on vanities/ Mistaken and mistimed;/ Scaling pinnacles to dash/ Her foot against Fate’s stone. Sophocles. Oedipus the King.

Pride makes a man vulnerable, like Humpty Dumpty.
Pride 200 …that a man is vulnerable only in his pride, but delicate as Humpty-Dumpty once that is meddled with. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

Pride is our opinion of ourselves; vanity what we think others think of us.
Pride vs. vanity 20 Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

A prig is always offering you his opinions.
Prig 100 …a prig is a fellow who is always making you a present of his opinions. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Quotes: Pragmatism. Prayer. Prejudice. Present and Future.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Meaning is tested by consequences.
Pragmatism 109 He [Kennedy] tested the meaning of a proposition by its consequences. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Pray where it’s appropriate rather than in school and prayer will have more meaning to our children.
Prayer 47 [On the Supreme Court’s banning school prayer]: JFK: ...pray a good deal more at home ...attend our churches with a good deal more fidelity, and we can make the true meaning of prayer much more important in the lives of all of our children. Sorenson, Kennedy

Prayer has greatest meaning not when people express themselves, but when God is present in their prayers.
Prayer 18 Man achieves the fullness of prayer not when he expresses himself, but when he lets God be most fully present in prayer. Pope John Paul II, Threshold.

God help the unhappy and turbulent souls.
Prayer 148 Alyosha praying: God have mercy upon all of them, have all these unhappy and turbulent souls in thy keeping, and set them in the right path; all ways are thine; save them according to thy wisdom. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Pray to God for gladness.
Prayer 290 My friends, pray to God for gladness. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

When you pray, you learn something.
Prayer 47 No man ever prayed heartily, without learning something. Emerson, Nature.

She tried to send up a prayer through the gray banks of clouds.
Prayer 562 Returning to the arched window, she lifted her eyes—scowling, poor, dim-sighted Hepzibah, in the face of Heaven!—and strove to send up a prayer through the dense, gray pavement of clouds. Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.

The reality of racial prejudice.
Prejudice 207 Pauli Murray: “What’d you get, black boy,/ When they knocked you down in the gutter,/ And they kicked your teeth out,/ And they broke your skull with clubs,/ And they bashed your stomach in?/ ...What’s the Top Man say, black boy?/ Mr. Roosevelt regrets....” Blum, V Was for Victory

Prejudices enslave the prejudiced.
Prejudice 125 Prejudices are chains. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

The U.S. Army’s policy during WWII that mingling of the races would not be forced but would be separate but equal.
Prejudice 211 ...Secretary of War Stimson on September 20, 1944, reminded the President of the “War Department’s long-standing policy not to force the intermingling of the races but to provide equality of treatment.” Blum, V Was for Victory

The British prejudice against the Scots.
Prejudice 291 Colonel Talbot on the Scots: Let them stay in their own barren mountains and puff and swell, and hang their bonnets on the horns of the moon, if they have a mind; but what business have they to come where people wear breeches, and speak an intelligible language? . Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Present and Future
Mass movements deprecate the present in favor of a glorious future.
Present and future 73 All mass movements deprecate the present by depicting it as a preliminary to a glorious future, a mere doormat on the threshold of the millennium. Hoffer, The True Believer

F Scott Fitzgerald: Today marks the end of the succession of days leading up to the present.
Present, past, future xvi If Hemingway’s code proclaims the principle: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” Fitzgerald’s was essentially the more poetic and opposite, “Today [is] a day that marks an end to all the succession of days which have gone before.” Preface. Larry W. Phillips. F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quotes: Power.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The gods hated arrogance.
Power 158 The gods who hated beyond all else the arrogance of power had passed judgment upon them [the Persians]. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Greed seeks power and possession that no power and possession can satisfy.
Power 167 The motive power was greed, that strange passion for power and possession which no power and no possession satisfy. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Excessive power brings about its own destruction.
Power 168 ...great power brought about its own destruction. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

No one who desires power is fit to wield it.
Power 75 To the fathers of the Church as to Plato, no one who desired power was fit to wield it. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Limit your aim to what is within your power.
Power 85 “May God give me,” he [Pindar] prays, “to aim at that which is within my power.” E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

A person who believes is a power greater than 99 with only interest.
Power 105 Mill: One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interest. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Exercising power for human welfare and freedom gives serenity.
Power 621 …serene in the exercise of power for the ends of human welfare and freedom. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

People who try for vast change usually feel that they have some irresistible power. Power 8 The men who rush into undertakings of vast change usually feel they are in possession of some irresistible power. Hoffer, The True Believer

He who rides the tiger of power usually is eaten by the tiger.
Power 276 ...those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. Sorenson, Kennedy

Power is meant to be used to get things done.
Power 436 [Power] was there, in the White House, to be used without any sense of guilt or greed, as a means of getting things done. Sorenson, Kennedy

The more he experienced power, the more he realized its limitations.
Power 439 As his months in office increased, however, he [Kennedy] talked more and more about the limitations of power. Sorenson, Kennedy

The olive branch and arrows—the American President needs both.
Power 575 JFK: “On the Presidential coat of arms, the American eagle holds in his right talon the olive branch, while in his left he holds a bundle of arrows…I intend to give equal attention to both.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Observing the very ordinary human being conversing—a human being who had the power to summon from all corners of the globe people to do his bidding.
Power 312 It seemed strange--stranger than I can tell--to think that the central figure in the cluster of men and women, chatting under the trees like the most ordinary individual in the land, was a man who could open his lips and ships would fly through the waves, locomotives would speed over the plains, couriers would hurry from village to village, a hundred telegraphs would flash the word to the four corners of an empire that stretches its vast proportions over a seventh part of the habitable globe, and a countless multitude of men would spring to do his bidding. Twain, Innocents Abroad.

People with great power have terrible tempers and quick mood swings.
Power 30 Nurse: Great people’s tempers are terrible, always/ Having their own way, seldom checked,/ Dangerous they shift from mood to mood. Euripides, Medea.

Reason and morality are helpless against a great passion for power.
Power 421 Nietzsche: Against this passion for power, reason and morality are helpless; they are but weapons in its hands, dupes of its game. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche.

Power comes first and then the social class that wields it.
Power 515 Power first, or no leading class. Emerson, Manners.

Once powerful men in a cell with four walls and a toilet—the ultimate destination of people with a passion for power.
Power 81 Frank: Here are the would-be rulers of Germany—each in a cell like this, with four walls and a toilet, awaiting trial as ordinary criminals…proof of God’s amusement with men’s sacrilegious quest for power. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

People with a tradition of unlimited power become cruel and harsh; they know it, but they cannot control themselves.
Power 452 You may not have come across it, but I have seen how good men brought up in those traditions of unlimited power grow more irritable with the years, turn cruel and harsh, and although aware of it cannot control themselves…. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

The power behind leaders is the collective will of the masses.
Power 1411 Power is the collective will of the masses, transferred by their expressed or tacit consent to the chosen rulers. Tolstoi, War and Peace

Culture always involves power.
Power xiv Power has a way of accompanying culture…. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Power always thinks it has a greater vision than the weak.
Power xvii John Adams who said: “Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.” Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The arrogance of power was the sin that the Greeks hated most.
Power sin 172 The arrogance that springs from a consciousness of power was the sin Greeks had always hated most. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

JFK wanted to use both reason and power to achieve his vision of America and the world.
Power, Reason 107 In fact, he[Kennedy] was intensely committed to a vision of America and the world, and committed with equal intensity to the use of reason and power to achieve that vision. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quotes: Polls. Pony Express. Possessions. Posterity. Poverty.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The wording of questions can produce the answers that are wanted
Polls 120 [JFK on Polls]: The weight of their answers often varies with the wording of their questions. Sorenson, Kennedy

Pony Express
Impressions of the Pony Express in action.
Pony Express 575 …kept him at his utmost speed for ten miles, and then, as he came crashing up to the station where stood two men holding fast a fresh, impatient steed, the transfer of rider and mailbag was made in the twinkling of an eye, and away flew the eager pair and were out of sight before the spectator could get hardly the ghost of a look. Twain, Roughing It

More impressions of the Pony Express in action.
Pony Express 576 In a second or two it becomes a horse and rider, rising and falling, rising and falling—sweeping toward us nearer and nearer—growing more and more distant, more and more sharply defined—nearer and still nearer, and the flutter of the hoofs comes faintly to the ear—another instant a whoop and a hurrah from our upper deck, a wave of the rider’s hand, but no reply, and man and horse burst past our excited faces, and go winging away like a belated fragment of a storm! Twain, Roughing It

We may buy a house but we may soon find out that the house owns us.
Possessions 349 And when the farmer has got his house, he may not be the richer but the poorer for it, and it be the house that has got him. Thoreau, Walden.

My greatest asset was to want very little..
Possessions 377 For my greatest skill has been to want but little. Thoreau, Walden.

A man is rich according to the things he does not need.
Possessions 387 For a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. Thoreau, Walden.

In having more possessions, we enjoy the world less.
Possessions 285 They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

The mind that creates speaks to other minds centuries later.
Posterity 271 ...the kind of mind which, once having shaped an object of any sort, leaves an individual trace behind it which speaks to others across the barriers of time and language. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

The more a man belongs to posterity, the more he is alienated from his own generation.
Posterity 305 Schopenhauer: the more a man belongs to posterity—in other words, to humanity in general—so much the more is he an alien to his contemporaries. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

You write for posterity when you have been turned down by publishers.
Posterity 141 George Ade: Posterity--what you write for after being turned down by publishers. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Poverty and wealth cannot coexist for long in a democracy.
Poverty 104 Jefferson: Widespread poverty and concentrated wealth cannot long endure side by side in a democracy. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Feeding people without changing their lifestyle will only result in their working less.
Poverty 171 Furtado: If you give them food and do nothing to change their way of life, they will only work less. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The poor of this generation have inherited their poverty and consider it a permanent condition.
Poverty 921 Galbraith had warned that the poor, unlike the ambitious immigrants of the nineties or the politically aggressive unemployed of the thirties, were now a demoralized and inarticulate minority who in many cases had inherited their poverty and accepted it as a permanent condition. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Samuel Johnson was so poor that he stopped attending lectures because his shoes were worn out and noticed by the other students.
Poverty 37 Mr. Bateman’s lectures were so excellent, that Johnson used to come and get them at second hand from Taylor, till his poverty being so extreme, that his shoes were worn out, and his feet appeared through them, he saw that this humiliating circumstance was perceived by the Christ-Church men, and he came no more. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Poverty and unemployment are different types of problems; those who were impoverished were not necessarily unemployed.
Poverty and Unemployment 920 Kennedy knew that unemployment and poverty were in part separate problems (indeed statistics showed that a majority of the unemployed were not below the poverty line and a majority of the poor were not unemployed…. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quotes: Point of View. Political Conventions. Politics.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Point of View
The long-term danger was not from communism but from ignorance, poverty and disease.
Point of view 501 JFK: The long-term danger…came not from communism but from ‘hunger, ignorance, poverty and disease: we must…keep those enemies the point of our attack, and make imaginative use of our scientific and technological capacity.’ Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Look at things as they are, not through labels.
Point of view 592 JFK: How can we look at things as they are, not through party labels, or through position labels, but as they are…. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

No two people see the same thing in the same way.
Point of view xii I am aware that the other participants in this story would tell parts of it in other ways, sometimes because their memory of what happened differs from mine and, perhaps in even more cases, because no two people ever see the same events in exactly the same light. Watson, The Double Helix.

Man’s mind expands from looking at the horizon and shrinks from looking through a microscope.
Point of view 609 Lydgate: …a man’s mind must be continually expanding and shrinking between the whole human horizon and the horizon of an object-glass. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Absence of a single day changed his view of the familiar scene.
Point of view 305 …no external change, but so sudden and important a change in the spectator of the familiar scene, that intervening space of a single day had operated on his consciousness like the lapse of years. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

Political Conventions
They rehearse being spontaneous.
Political conventions 81 Spontaneity is all right provided they can rehearse it first. Newman, Strictly Speaking.

It’s not power for the sake of possessing power, but using power to change perceptions.
Political goal 202 What is important is not power per se, but using power to alter national self-perceptions when the moment is right--using it, if necessary, to forge a new national identity, to help the country arrive at a more expansive sense of what is possible…must in part reflect what is best about America and in so doing give people hope. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

The goal of politics is to forge a unity in society.
Political leadership 85 The state is a plurality which must be made into a unity and a community by education. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Politicians have the choice of either persuading people or shooting them.
Politicians 56 Joyce Cary: But the politician is responsible for law, for physical security, and in a world of tumult, of perpetual conflict, he has the alternatives…of persuading people or shooting them. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Politics is torn between doing right and staying in office, between local and national interest, between private good and the general good.
Politics 100 JFK: Politics is a jungle...torn between doing right things and staying in office--between the local interest and the national interest--between the private good of the politician and the general good. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Politicians must give the impression that they are concerned about something other than the next election.
Politics 101 JFK: ...the impression [successful parliamentarian leaders] gave...that they had something in their minds besides the next election. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Politicians need to remember not to let their quarrels get too deep; they might need to work with the other person some time in the future.
Politics 101 JFK: politics you rarely had friends or foes, only colleagues, and that you should never get in so deep a quarrel as to lose all chance of conciliation; you might need to work with the other fellow later. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Being in politics means I get letters from jackasses like you who expect me to deliver on my promises the first day I am in office.
Politics 63 [John Steven McGroarty of California in 1934]: One of the countless drawbacks of being in Congress is that I am compelled to receive impertinent letters from a jackass like you in which you say I promised to have the Sierra Madre Mountains reforested and I have been in Congress two months and haven’t done it. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK did not ignore his supporters, but he constantly tried to work with his opponents.
Politics 84 Never forgetting his supporters, the Senator [Kennedy] constantly wooed his opponents. Sorenson, Kennedy

You’re sure only of your mother’s vote and that only if she is registered.
Politics 85 JFK: “No one’s vote can be delivered with the possible exception of your mother’s--and make sure she’s registered.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Declined to make the documents available to the public because they were of a strictly private nature.
Politics 19 …moved for “a copy of the recipe by which the paupers’ soup was prepared, together with any documents relating thereto” … [which] the overseer steadily resisted; he fortified himself by precedent, appealed to the established usage, and declined to produce the papers, on the ground of the injury that would be done to the public service if documents of a strictly private nature, passing between the master of the workhouse and the cook, were to be thus dragged to light on the motion of any individual member of the vestry. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

They will discuss vigorously issues on which they finally break off communication exactly where they were when they began discussing, but convinced that they have had the better of the argument.
Politics 519 Upon these, and many other momentous questions which agitate the public mind in these desperate days, they [political gentlemen] will discourse with great vehemence and irritation for a considerable time together, both leaving off precisely where they began, and each thoroughly persuaded that he has got the better of the other. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Lincoln concentrated on where events seemed to be heading.
Politics 467 Swett threw his light on how Lincoln managed [political] campaigns by ignoring men and by ignoring all small causes, but by closely calculating the tendencies of events and the great forces which were producing logical results. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Understanding politics means understanding human nature.
Politics 505 Dana: [Lincoln] understood politics because he understood human nature. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Surrounded by people, including his political friends, who abused him and misrepresented his views, Lincoln still tried to do what was right.
Politics 625 Robert H. Newell, creator of Orpheus C. Kerr (Office Seeker) on Lincoln: Abused and misrepresented by his political foes, alternately cajoled and reproached by his other foes-—his political friends—he still pursues the honest tenor of the obvious right…. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Learning about individual people’s lives leads me to be wary of universal solutions.
Politics 37 It’s through the stories of people’s lives that I am moved and that I gain a hesitancy about universal solutions. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Bradley walked the beaches of the Jersey shore and asked people to tell him what was on their minds.
Politics 38 Walking town meeting: What’s on your mind? Anything you want me to know? Anything you want to ask me? Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Democrats must persuade people that America’s best days are ahead of them.
Politics 58 Above all, Democrats must give a ringing endorsement to the conviction that America’s best days lie ahead of it. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Using legislative procedures and rules to contain an opponent.
Politics 75 During his tenure, Robert Byrd used procedure as a tool to control the Senate...intimidated those who might otherwise have challenged him by subtly threatening them with a procedural onslaught--a point of order, a second-degree amendment, an amendment in the nature of a substitute, and amendment to the underlying text; a motion to proceed, to reconsider, to adjourn, to recess; a call for the regular order, a call for a resolution under the rule. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

A politician’s greatest strength could become his greatest weakness.
Politics 177 My wife has a theory about politicians…that a politician’s greatest strength often becomes his greatest weakness. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Although political defeat can be overcome, the emotional scars may be permanent.
Politics 207 Though [political] defeat can be overcome by another victory or by developing a new perspective or by going on to another profession, the character assaults and personal injuries of politics too often leave permanent scars. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

You can defeat an opponent by reducing his personality to a negative slogan.
Politics 207 …simplify [the political opponent’s] humanity until it is reduced to a negative slogan. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Political opponents reduce all you have done to a few perceived failures.
Politics 210 …a [political] opponent seeks to make all the hours, days, months, and years of commitment count for nothing, and a few perceived or drummed-up failures count for everything. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

RFK had become a truth-teller, and truth-tellers almost never win.
Politics 360 He [Robert Kennedy] might not have made it to the nomination...seemed different—more truth teller than politician, and truth tellers rarely win the political prize. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Politics tries to build the ideal social organization.
Politics xxviii Politics is the study of ideal social organization. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Politics is party strategy to achieve the spoils of office.
Politics 20 ...politics, which is the strategy of party and the lust for the spoils of office. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

In politics we assume that anyone who can garner votes can administer a government office.
Politics 21 Plato complains that whereas in simple matters--like shoemaking--we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

People use politics to magnify their own importance.
Politics 80 There is an invariable tendency among inferior men to magnify their own importance and puissance by organizing a [special-interest political] party. Mencken, Minority Report.

Almost all politicians are quickly forgotten.
Politics 149 The politician is the most transient of the world's great men[:] who knows who was Speaker of the House under Hayes? Mencken, Minority Report.

Ballot box revolutions produce as much excess as bullets.
Politics 151 It is sometimes overlooked that revolutions of the ballot often show just as much excess as those of the bullet. Mencken, Minority Report.

Party politics is manipulated for the gain of a few.
Politics 993 Is party the madness of many for the gain of the few? Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Wealth.

Politics is everywhere in life.
Politics 363 …another impressive demonstration of the universal fact that politics is life, everywhere in our time, that it is affected by everything and affects everything, even the hunger of a child. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The art of politics is making what is necessary possible.
Politics 465 “The art of politics consists in making the necessary possible.” Charles Maurras. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

If age were the guiding rule, many famous Americans who were under the age of 44 would not have been able to make their contributions to our society.
Politics age 172 JFK: And if age, not experience, is the standard...then a maturity test excluding “from positions of trust and command all those below the age of forty-four would have kept Jefferson from writing the Declaration of Independence, Washington from commanding the Continental Army, Madison from fathering the Constitution...and Christopher Columbus from even discovering America.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Using alliteration in nominating speeches.
Politics and alliteration 92 Another approach to nominating is the alliterative...Richard Nixon... one who had demonstrated courage in crisis from Caracas to the Kremlin. Newman, Strictly Speaking.

Polls emphasize candidates who are perceived to be ahead rather than their proposals.
Politics and polls 73 Polls...put...the emphasis in an election in the wrong place, on who is thought to be ahead, rather than on what the candidates propose and what their election might mean. Newman, Strictly Speaking.

Candidates should emphasize their proposals rather than try to adopt the ideas that the public wants to hear and that will get them elected.
Politics and polls 73 Politicians should be encouraged to stand for what they believe in, not try to smell out the exact mosaic of attitudes and positions that will appeal to the greatest number. Newman, Strictly Speaking.

When he was elected to the Presidency, JFK was surprised to learn that things were as bad as he had said they were.
Politics humor 329 JFK: “The only thing that surprised us when we got into office was that things were just as bad as we had been saying they were.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Catholic Boston in 1948 supported Baptist Harry Truman because of the man he was.
Politics religion 164 Catholic Boston, he [Kennedy] said, had in 1948 overwhelmingly supported Baptist Harry Truman “because of the man he is.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quotes: Plot. Poe. Poet. Poetry.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Man leaves, hero defends girl in his absence, he returns, allows the hero to marry her and gets him to a cloister for a life of peace.
Plot 16 The deeds of Wilibert of Waverley in the Holy Land, his long absence and perilous adventures, his supposed death, and his return in the evening when the betrothed of his heart had wedded the hero who had protected her from insult and oppression during his absence; the generosity with which the Crusader relinquished his claims, and sought in a neighboring cloister that peace which passeth not away…. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Origin of Pickwick: members of a shooting, fishing club get themselves into difficulties.
Plot xi Origin of the Pickwick Papers: …a notion…that a “Nimrod Club,” the members of which were to go out shooting, fishing, and so forth, and getting themselves into difficulties through their want of dexterity. Preface. Dickens, Pickwick.

Poe made real enemies out of people he had only imagined as enemies.
Poe 280 Poe: …a paranoid talent for creating real enemies out of previously imagined ones. Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

The poet consists of fog, mist, cloud, and moonshine.
Poet 437 …appeared to be a poet…his ordinary diet was fog, morning mist, and a slice of the densest cloud within his reach, sauced with moonshine, whenever he could get it. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

Only poets communicate heart to heart across the centuries.
Poet 41 Only the poet who writes speaks his message across the millennia to other hearts. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

While a farmer, Burns was no poet and while a poet, he was no farmer.
Poet 689 [Burns] was no poet while a farmer, and no farmer while a poet. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Poetry reminds men of their limitations.
Poetry 926 Kennedy: “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Poetry is the antidote to the narrowing of existence by power.
Poetry 926 Kennedy: “When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Poetry is about pretty birds and flowers.
Poetry 74 “Amory’s thinking about poetry, about the pretty birds and flowers….” Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

Poetry is useful in driving away love.
Poetry 44 I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Poetry causes us to speak to ourselves.
Poetry 49 ...the now dominant if more melancholy lesson of poetry: how to speak to ourselves. Bloom, Western Canon.

Poetry clarifies our view of life.
Poetry 100 Dante is neither the first nor the last great poet to insist that his invention was a clearing of sight. Bloom, Western Canon.

Poetry speaks to our intuition.
Poetry 198 Both critics [Johnson and Hazlitt] find in Milton a power that converts learning into intuition: the power of invention, which Johnson considered the essence of poetry. Bloom, Western Canon.

The power of poetry to suggest.
Poetry 205 Clearly this would suggest a general metaphor for poetry, where ‘all things suggest all things.’ Bloom, Western Canon.

Poem making is vain and unprofitable.
Poetry 63 …expressing contempt of the ‘vain and unprofitable art of poem-making…’ Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Poems about heroes, lovers and wars are the chief entertainment of highland firesides in winter.
Poetry 115 “The recitation,” she [Flora Mac-Ivor] said “of poems, recording the feats of heroes, the complaints of lovers, and the wars of contending tribes, forms the chief amusement of a winter fireside in the highlands.” Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

The poetic language of the highlands: love of the solitary and the barren.
Poetry 119 Flora: To speak in the poetical language of my country, the seat of the Celtic muse is in the midst of secret and solitary hill, and her voice in the murmur of the mountain stream; he who woos her must love the barren rock more than the fertile valley, and the solitude of the desert better than the festivity of the hall. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

My heart is in the highlands.
Poetry 153 My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,/ My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;/ A chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,/ My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Poetry of the gloomy and desponding school.
Poetry 537 The poetical young gentleman is fond of quoting passages from his favorite authors, who are all of the gloomy and desponding school. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Words that entrance by their trochaic lilt.
Poetry 136 The words “novelties and souvenirs” simply entranced her by their trochaic lilt. Nabokov, Lolita.

People responded to Lincoln’s death by writing poems.
Poetry 890 An epidemic of verse seized thousands…sent their rhymed lines to the New York Herald, which publicly notified them that if it were all printed there would be no space for news, wherefore none at all would be printed. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

On the death of Lincoln, the Chicago Tribune suffered a “severe attack of poetry.”
Poetry 890 The Chicago Tribune editorially notified them [poetry writers] it suffered from the “severe attack of poetry,” that three days brought 160 pieces beginning either “Toll, toll, ye mourning bells” or “Mourn, mourn ye tolling bells.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

To RP Warren, poetry was vital to ideas and life.
Poetry 192 RP Warren: But most of all I got the feeling that poetry was a vital activity, that it related to ideas and to life. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

The poet’s job is to translate God’s (or the Fiend’s) poem into words.
Poetry 268 Babette Deutsch: But the poet’s job is, after all, to translate God’s poem (or is it the Fiend’s) into words. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

He perceived world and existence in terms of symbols but could not write poetry.
Poetry 688 It is remarkable that this man, who, by his perception of symbols, saw the poetic construction of things, and the primary relation of mind to matter, remained entirely devoid of the whole apparatus of poetic expression, which that perception creates. Emerson,
Representative Men: Swedenborg, or The Mystic.

We’re surprised when we read a poet who lived in a past world who expresses something that lies close to our own soul.
Poetry 58 There is some awe mixed with the joy of our surprise, when this poet, who lived in some past world, two or three hundred years ago, says that which lies close to my own soul, that which I also had well-nigh thought and said. Emerson, The American Scholar.

All men respond to poetry.
Poetry 102 All men are poets at heart. Emerson, Literary Ethics.

The highest minds never stop exploring the multiple meanings of things.
Poetry 447 But the highest minds of the world have never ceased to explore the double meaning, or, shall I say, the quadruple, or the centuple, or much more manifold meaning, of every sensuous fact. Emerson, The Poet.

When I read a poem and can’t understand it, is it my fault or the poet’s?
Poetry 37 John Irving: When I read the poems of someone my own age and can’t understand a single thing, is that supposed to be a failure of my education, or the poetry? Plimpton, ed. The Writer's Chapbook.

I don’t understand some of my own poetry.
Poetry 90 Carl Sandburg: I’ve written some poetry I don’t understand myself. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

People today are alienated from poetry.
Poetry 100 John Hall Wheelock: …we live in a world which is even more alienated from poetry than it used to be; most people don’t care or know anything about poetry. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

When you hear a poem rather than read it, you are missing so much.
Poetry 292 Philip Larkin: Hearing a poem, as opposed to reading it on the page means you miss so much—the shape, the punctuation, the italics, even how far you are from the end. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

What people miss when they listen to rather than read poetry.
Poetry 292 Philip Larkin: Reading [poetry] on the page means you can go your own pace, taking it in properly; hearing it means you’re dragged along at the speaker’s own rate, missing things, not taking it in, confusing “there” and “their” and things like that. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Listening to poetry is based on the false analogy with music, the score of which does not come alive until it is performed.
Poetry 292 Philip Larkin: In fact, I think poetry reading grew up on a false analogy with music: the text is the “score” that doesn’t “come to life” until it’s “performed”…false because people can read words whereas they can't read music. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

The poet is an artist, craftsman and teacher.
Poetry 400 Euripides on the poet’s characteristics: superlative artistry, craftsmanship and the skill of a talented teacher…. Aristophanes, Frogs.

He was in a poetical depression.
Poetry 26 Mr. Snodgrass appeared to labor under a poetical depression of spirits….. Dickens, Pickwick.

Poetry is an unnatural way of expressing oneself.
Poetry 452 Mr. Weller to Sam: ‘Poetry’s unnat’ral; no man ever talked poetry.’ Dickens, Pickwick.

The artist converts pain into poetry.
Poetry and Pain 1295 The intellect is a consoler which delights in detaching or putting an interval between a man and his fortune, and so converts the sufferer into a spectator, and his pain into poetry. Emerson, Uncollected Prose.

Our comprehension needs both poetry and science.
Poetry, science 221 Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quotes: Physicians. Pioneers. Places. Planning. Plato. Playing. Plays. Pleasure.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Physicians make healthy people sick so that they can have authority over both the sick and the well.
Physicians 239 Physicians are not content to have authority over sickness; they make health sick to prevent men from being able at any time to escape their authority. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

If a person is perfectly healthy, physicians use that condition to predict a coming sickness.
Physicians 239 Do they [physicians] not from a continual and perfect health derive an argument of some great sickness to ensue? Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Physicians and apothecaries afflict more people than diseases.
Physicians 240 I do not become upset at being without physician or apothecary, or any assistance, by which I see most men more afflicted than by the disease. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Physicians are lucky that people can see their successes and the earth hides their failures.
Physicians 242 But they [physicians] have this good fortune according to Nicocles, that the sun shines on their successes and the earth hides their failures. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Sleepy, sluggish stay-at-homes do not make good pioneers.
Pioneers 840 It was a splendid population [California]—for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths staid at home—you never find that sort of people among pioneers—you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. Twain, Roughing It

The very sound of the name of the place portends dire consequences.
Places 310 Mrs. Elton: One has not great hopes from Birmingham; I always say there is some thing direful in the sound. Austen, Emma

If I plan it and mention it to others, I seem to impose the action on myself; therefore, I seldom tell my plans to others.
Planning 465 Yes, even in actions wholly my own and free from others, if I state the plan, it seems to me that I prescribe it for myself, and that to give it to the knowledge of another is to impose it upon myself; it seems to me that I promise it when I mention it; therefore I seldom air my plans. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Plato ignores the ever-present process of change in life.
Plato 45 What Plato lacks above all, perhaps, is the Heraclitean sense of flux and change; he is too anxious to have the moving picture of this world become a fixed and still tableau…arranges men in classes like an entomologist classifying flies. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Plato exalts order at the expense of freedom of will.
Plato 45 [Plato]: …exalts order so dear to the scientific mind, and quite neglects that liberty which is the soul of art. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Plato’s topics continue to be debated by men of thought.
Plato 633 Out of Plato come all things that are still written and debated among men of thought. Emerson, Representative Men: Plato, or The Philosopher.

The Greeks played; the Romans watched others play.
Play 320 The Roman games played an important part in the life of the Romans, but, as has often been remarked, the Greeks played; the Romans watched others play. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

The nature of the play changes according to the nature of the audience and the quality of the performance.
Plays 323 H. Freedman: An over- or unsympathetic audience on an opening night, an “off” or unusually brilliant performance, and you will hardly recognize the play you have seen only a few days before. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Plays always seem one act too long.
Plays 266 John Updike: I’ve never much enjoyed going to plays myself; they always seem one act too long…. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Many buildings in the 18th century were built to give pleasure.
Pleasure 240 Many buildings of the eighteenth century were erected simply to give pleasure by people who believed that pleasure was important, and worth taking trouble about…. Clark, Civilization.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Quotes: Philadelphia. Philosophy.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

He didn’t see anyone he knew, just a bunch of tired looking Philadelphians.
Philadelphia 112 On the train for Princeton he saw no one he knew, only a crowd of fagged-looking Philadelphians. Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

The job of philosophers is to make ideas accessible, not to impose them on others. Philosophy 256 …made it clear that the business of the philosopher was to make ideas available and not to impose them on people. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Philosophy deals with problems that cannot be solved by science.
Philosophy xxvi [Philosophy] …dealing with problems not yet open to the method of science—problems like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, order and freedom, life and death. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Science analyzes, philosophy synthesizes.
Philosophy xxvi Science is analytical description, philosophy is synthetic interpretation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Science takes apart; philosophy puts together.
Philosophy xxvii [The philosopher] …tries to put together…that great universe-watch which the inquisitive scientist has analytically taken apart. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Philosophy begins when one doubts cherished beliefs, dogmas and axioms.
Philosophy 6 Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt—particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Philosophy asks, “What is man and what can he become?”
Philosophy 6 Philosophy: What is man? What can he become? Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Philosophy: think clearly and rule wisely.
Philosophy 29 ...philosophy means two think clearly, which is metaphysics; and to rule wisely, which is politics. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Philosophers need to be men of action, not merely men of thought.
Philosophy 33 his philosophers the training of life as well as the erudition of the of action rather than merely men of thought.... Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Philosophy is a quest for unity.
Philosophy 56 If philosophy is the quest for unity Aristotle deserves the high name that twenty centuries gave him…the Philosopher. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Philosophy is the search for universal unity that synthesizes contradictions.
Philosophy 150 Bruno: The object of to perceive unity in diversity, … to find the synthesis in which opposites and contradictions meet and merge; to rise to that highest knowledge of universal unity which is the intellectual equivalent of the love of God. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Philosophy synthesizes the fragmented results of science.
Philosophy 366 Spencer: The proper field and function of philosophy lies in the summation and unification of the results of science. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Philosophy persuades men to virtue without supernatural hopes and threats.
Philosophy 500 Santayana: The great problem of philosophy is to devise a means whereby men may be persuaded to virtue without the stimulus of supernatural hopes and fears. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

Philosophy is a clash of human temperaments.
Philosophy 514 W. James: The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, William James.

Philosophy is the clash between the tender-minded (religious) and the tough-minded (skeptical).
Philosophy 514 W. James: These temperaments which select and dictate philosophies may be divided into the tender-minded and the tough-minded[;] the tender-minded temperament is religious...likes to have definite and unchanging dogmas and a priori truths;...takes naturally to free will, idealism...and optimism...tough-minded temperament is materialistic, irreligious, empiricist (going only on “facts”)...fatalistic, pluralistic, pessimistic, skeptical. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, William James.

Philosophy is adjusting conflicting factors in life.
Philosophy 528 Dewey: A catholic and far-sighted theory of the adjustment of the conflicting factors of life is philosophy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Whatever happens, is good for us.
Philosophy 569 …whatever happens to us is for our good. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

The shape of snow crystals is not useful to its purpose.
Philosophy snow 18 No utilitarian philosophy explains a snow crystal.... Eiseley, The Immense Journey

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quotes: Persuasion.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Facts do not change our most cherished beliefs.
Persuasion 210 Proust: The facts of life do not penetrate to the sphere in which our beliefs are cherished. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Wanting atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs to persuade the world’s people that the Communists were not all-powerful and therefore submitting without resistance to the Communists.
Persuasion 449 One defense official made an impassioned case for the resumption of atmospheric testing in order to prevent the world from believing that the communists were gaining so commanding a lead that there was no point in resisting them…. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

She had to repeat her idea several times and in several different ways because the idea was new.
Persuasion 251 She [Emma] was obliged to repeat and explain it [to her father], before it was fully comprehended; and then being quite new, further representations were necessary to make it acceptable. Austen, Emma

The soul is not moved by literal information.
Persuasion 163 Spinoza: Sober and literal statements do not move the soul. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Arms do not conquer minds, only greatness of soul.
Persuasion 182 Spinoza: Minds are conquered not by arms but by greatness of soul. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Men who say believe as I do or God will damn you will soon say, believe as I do or I will kill you.
Persuasion 237 Voltaire: “The man who says to me, ‘Believe as I do, or God will damn you,’ will presently say, ‘Believe as I do, or I shall assassinate you.’” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire.

Logic never persuades the will of others, only self-interest.
Persuasion 312 Schopenhauer : Nothing is more provoking, when we are arguing against a man with reasons and explanations, and taking all pains to convince him, than to discover at last that he will not understand, that we have to do with his will…the uselessness of logic; no one ever convinced anybody by logic…to convince a man, you must appeal to his self-interest, his desires, his will. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

Persuasion 514 W. James: Logic and sermons never convince. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, William James.

Hitler's recipe for persuasion: conciliation and threats.
Persuasion 143 Hitler…mixed lukewarm conciliatory remarks with further threats. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

To persuade, you have to know when to stop.
Persuasion 401 But Jackson, as customary, did not know when to stop and damaged his own argument by summarizing. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

Admitting that we do not understand is a ploy to get people to agree with us about what we do understand.
Persuasion 235 There is a certain kind of subtle humility that springs from presumption, as, for example, when we confess our ignorance in many things and are so gracious as to acknowledge that there are in the works of nature some qualities and conditions that are imperceptible to us and of which our understanding cannot discover the means and causes [but] by this honest and conscientious declaration we hope to get people to believe us also in those that we say we do understand. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Examples and analogies do not persuade.
Persuasion 543 Every example is lame, and the comparison which is drawn from experience is always faulty and imperfect. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The tone of authority persuades as words do not.
Persuasion 412 ….persuaded, as children are, by the tone of authority. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Begin persuading by convincing the other that you are his sincere friend.
Persuasion 132 Lincoln: If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Friday, September 7, 2007

Quotes: Perspective.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

This creature had never seen a man; what am I destined not to see?
Perspective 3 The creature [fossil] had never lived to see a man, and I, what was I never going to see? Eiseley, The Immense Journey

Millions of people were dying across the world, but to them the most important event was that the team had been undefeated.
Perspective 139 People were dying by the hundreds of thousands from Manchuria to Shanghai, by the millions across the plains of Russia, but for Howard and Nancy and their friends the autumn of 1941 meant only that the team had gone undefeated…. Childers, Wings of Morning

When I came back, Turtle Creek was the same, but I had changed.
Perspective 120 When I had come back nothing much was different at Turtle Creek but I had changed. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

You see others with your own personality; if you have grandeur within, you see grandeur in those outside of you.
Perspective 1070 That only which we have within, can we see without…if there is grandeur in you, you will find grandeur in porters and sweeps. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Worship.

If the stars only appeared once in a thousand years, how would we look at them?
Perspective 9 If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance…. Emerson, Nature.

The minute shows us the whole.
Perspective 69 The near explains the far; the drop is a small ocean. Emerson, The American Scholar.

An atom represents the universe; a moment of time explains eternity.
Perspective 400 ...the universe is represented in an atom, eternity in a moment of time. Emerson, The Over-Soul.

One man’s justice, beauty and wisdom is another man’s injustice, ugliness and folly.
Perspective 410 One man’s justice is another man’s injustice; one man’s beauty, another’s ugliness; one man’s wisdom, another’s folly.... Emerson, Circles.

Our moods paint the outside world.
Perspective 473 Life is a train of moods…and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus. Emerson, Experience.

Just as a complex mechanism slowly moves the hands of time on a clock, so the complex mass of humanity resulted in the loss of the Battle of Austerlitz in the slow movement of time in history.
Perspective 298 Just as in the clock the result of the complex action of innumerable wheels and pulleys is merely the slow and regular movement of the hand marking the time, so the result of all the complex human activities of these 160,000 Russians and French—of all their passions, hopes, regrets, humiliations, sufferings, outbursts of pride, fear, and enthusiasm—was only the loss of the battle of Austerlitz…; that is to say a slow movement of the hand on the dial of human history. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Castro is a thorn, but he is not a dagger.
Perspective, Metaphor 236 Fulbright: The Castro regime is a thorn in the flesh; but it is not a dagger in the heart. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Quotes: Personality

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in boldface is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

We meet at meals and give others a new taste of our old personality.
Personality 430 We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are. Thoreau, Walden.

Memory gives us identity.
Personality 241 Voltaire: …for it is memory that makes your identity. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire.

The highest gift of heaven is perfect self-forgetfulness.
Personality 414 Besides, she had that final, that highest gift of heaven, a perfect self-forgetfulness. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

He never had Mother’s gift of seeing things as they were.
Personality 415 “…he never had mother’s…power o’ seein’ things just as they be.” Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

I like to see people happy making use of the world as it comes to them.
Personality 415 “I think it is well to see any one so happy an’ makin’ the most of life just as it falls to hand….” Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Her sorrow made her too lonely to live with others, but she was valiant enough to live with her own nature and the calms and passions of the sea and sky.
Personality 444 This plain anchorite had been one of those whom sorrow made too lonely to brave the sight of men, too timid to front the simple world she knew, yet valiant enough to live alone with her poor insistent human nature and the calms and passions of the sea and sky. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Each of their boats was as distinctive as their personalities and just as inexpressive.
Personality 473 Abel's boat and Jonathan Bowden's boat were as distinct and experienced personalities as the men themselves and as inexpressive. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

The personalities of the old fishermen seemed to be fixed on nature, not on the contrivances of man like politics or theology.
Personality 473 I often wondered a great deal about the inner life and thought of these self-contained old fishermen; their minds seemed to be fixed upon nature and the elements rather than upon any contrivances of man, like politics or theology. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Concentrating so much on catching fish makes old fishermen lose the gift of speech.
Personality 482 "I expect you had a kind of a dull session; he ain't the talkin' kind; dwellin' so much long o' fish seems to make 'em lose the gift o' speech." Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

With so many pushing and yearning, it’s nice to meet someone who has no envy and does not try to be what he is not.
Personality 3 In a country of pushers and yearners, what a joy to meet a man who envies no one and wants to be nothing that he is not. Mencken, Minority Report.

People are always trying to do extraordinary and unnecessary things.
Personality 343 New Yorker: there is something about people that compels them to do extraordinary and unnecessary things half the time. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

I’m surprised that he is ill, but I never did like him.
Personality 275 Celia: It is very shocking that Mr. Casaubon should be ill; but I never did like him. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

We are made up of so many fragments that at any time any fragment can play its own game.
Personality 114 We are all made up of fragments, so shapelessly and strangely assembled that every moment, every piece plays its own game. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Only you know if you are coward or cruel; others guess at you; they don’t see your nature, but your art.
Personality 289 There is only you who know if you are cowardly and cruel, or loyal and devout; others do not see you, they guess at you by uncertain conjectures; they see not so much your nature as your art. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I hate people that ignore the pleasures of life and concentrate only on its misfortunes.
Personality 322 I hate a surly and gloomy spirit that slides over all the pleasures of life and seizes and feeds upon its misfortunes. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Many people use taciturnity and a cold expression as a mark of wisdom and capacity.
Personality 425 To how many stupid souls in my time has a cold and taciturn mien served as a mark of wisdom and capacity. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Nothing is more serious in appearance and taciturn than an ass.
Personality 432 Is there anything so assured, resolute, disdainful, contemplative, grave and serious as an ass? Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Her brilliant personality seemed to leave a stain on the air.
Personality 831 It was if the vivid coloring of her character had left a brilliant stain upon the air. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.