Latest quotes, page 2
The mind's eye can nowhere find anything more dazzling nor more dark than in man; it can fix itself upon nothing which is more awful, more complex, more mysterious, or more infinite. There is one spectacle
grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul. To write the poem of the human conscience, were it only of a single man, were it only of the most infamous of men, would be to swallow up all epics in a superior and final epic.
I believe the great ones, Plato, Lao Tze, Buddha, Christ, Paul and the great Hebrew prophets are not remembered for negation or denial. Not that it is necessary to be remembered but there is one purpose in
writing I can see, beyond simply doing it interestingly. It is the duty of the writer to lift up, to extend, to encourage. If the written word has contributed anything at all to our developing species and our half developed culture, it is this: Great writing has been a staff to lean on, a mother to consult, a wisdom to pick up stumbling folly, a strength in weakness and a courage to support sick cowardice. And how any
negative or despairing approach can pretend to be literature I do not know. It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would milleniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth, and a few remnants of fossilized jaw bones, a few teeth in strata of limestone would be the only mark our species would have left on the earth.
Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.
Man is an animal, but a social animal. Society for its manifold blessings asks in exchange sacrifice and compromise. Concession is the world's walking gait. Fevers and hallucinations sweep over us, it is true; but be they permitted to infect the public body, slaughter shall result. Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading.
No one I know of has foreseen an America like the one we live in today. No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as "the worship of jackals by jackasses") could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U.S.A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon.
We have seen the mere distinction of colour made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man. What has been the source of those unjust
laws complained of among ourselves? Has it not been the real or supposed interest of the major number? Debtors have defrauded their creditors. The landed interest has borne hard on the mercantile interest. The Holders of one species of property have thrown a disproportion of taxes on the holders of another species. The lesson we are to draw from the whole is that where a majority are united by a common sentiment, and have an opportunity, the rights of the minor party become insecure.
Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
Better defence than shield or breastplate, is holy innocence to the naked breast.
A favor well bestowed is almost as great an honor to him who confers it as to him who receives it.