The OF Blog: Sunday Quotage

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Quotage

Oh the sin of writing such words - words which are clear as crystal, , limpid and musical as bubbling springs, words which sparkle and glow like the poisoned diamonds of the Medicis!  Oh the wickedness, the hopeless damnation, of a soul who could fascinate and paralyze human creatures with such words - words understood by the ignorant and wise alike, words which are more precious than jewels, more soothing than music, more awful than death!

He that to honour only seeks to mount
And that his chiefest end doth count,
Let him behold the largeness of the skies
And on the strait earth cast his eyes;
He will despise the glory of his name,
Which cannot fill so small a frame.
Why do proud men scorn that their necks should bear
That yoke which every man must wear?
Though fame through many nations fly along
And should be blazed by every tongue,
And houses shine with our forefathers' stories
Yet Death contemns these stately glories,
And, summoning both rich and poor to die,
Makes the low equal with the high.
Who knows where faithful Fabrice' bones are pressed,
Where Brutus and strict Cato rest?
A slender fame consigns their titles vain
In some few letters to remain.
Because their famous names in books we read,
Come we by them to know the dead?
You dying, then, remembered are by none,
Nor any fame can make you known.
But if you think that life outstrippeth death,
Your names borne up with mortal breath,
When length of time takes this away likewise,
A second death shall you surprise.

Montenegro and the blue Adriatic melted into the October haze along that depressing Emankment that aped a riverbank, and sentences from the letter flashed before my eyes and stung me.  Picking it up and reading it through more carefully, I rang the bell and told Annie to find the blouses and pack them for the post, showing her finally the written description, and resenting the superior smile with which she at once interrupted.  "I know them, sir," and disappeared.

Harold March was the sort of man who knows everything about politics, and nothing about politicians.  He also knew a great deal about arts, letters, philosophy, and general culture; about almost everything, indeed, except the world he was living in.


At length did cross an Albatross:
Through the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

All teaching, and all intellectual learning, proceeds on the basis of previous knowledge, as will appear on an examination of all.  The Mathematical Sciences, and every other system, draw their conclusions in this method.  So too of reasonings, whether by syllogism, or induction:  for both teach through what is previously known, the former assuming the premisses as from wise men, the latter proving universals from the evidentness of the particulars.  In like manner too rhetoricians persuade, either through examples (which amounts to induction), or through enthymemes (which amount to syllogism).


He had made up a little hum that very morning, as he was doing his Stoutness Exercises in front of the glass:  Tra-la-la, tra-la-la, as he stretched up as high as he could go, and then Tra-la-la, tra-la-oh, help! - la, as he tried to reach his toes.  After breakfast he had said it over and over to himself until he had learnt it off by heart, and now he was humming it right through, properly.

Only one hint:  I read all of these for free on my phone's e-reader function.  I think at least one of these should be familiar and virtually all should be better known by people.

4 comments:

Daniel S said...

Yes, I finally know one.

The fifth one is Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

I read an extract of this just the other week for my Intro to Poetry class. I've seen you mention Coleridge's poem in another post. So you'd recommend reading the whole thing?

Larry said...

Yes. Coleridge is a wonderful poet and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" has been a favorite of mine since I was in high school.

Gerard said...

The last quote is of an alltime favourite of mine: Winnie the Pooh. Yesterday I read another chapter to my son and we both enjoyed it inmensely :)

Jason said...

The first two lines of "Ancient Mariner" always scared me a little. Especially the odd choice of the first word.

 
Add to Technorati Favorites