Wednesday, November 19, 2008


1. “A jug fills drop by drop.”
2. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
3. “All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, We make our world.”
4. “All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”
5. “All things, oh priests, are on fire . . . The eye is on fire; forms are on fire; eye-consciousness is on fire; impressions received by the eye are on fire.”
6. “Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.”
7. “As a net is made up of a series of ties, so everything in this world is connected by a series of ties. If anyone thinks that this mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, he is mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of interconnected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibility in relation to other meshes.”
8. “As irrigators lead water where they want, as archers make their arrows straight, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their minds.”
9. “A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
10. “Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.”
11. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it - even if I have said it - unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
12. “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
13. ”Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
14. “Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”
15. “Do not speak harshly to any one; those who are spoken to will answer thee in the same way. Angry speech is painful: blows for blows will touch thee.”
16. “Don't chase after the past,Don't seek the future;The past is goneThe future hasn't come,But see clearly on the spotThat object which is now,While finding and living inA still, unmoving state of mind.”
17. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
18. “Everything changes, nothing remains without change.”
19. “Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death.”
20. “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.”
21. "Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds."
22. “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
23. "If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change."
24. "It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."
25. “It is wrong to think that misfortunes come from the east or from the west; they originate within one's own mind. Therefore, it is foolish to guard against misfortunes from the external world and leave the inner mind uncontrolled.”
26. “Go beyond this way or that way, to the farther shore where the world dissolves and everything becomes clear. Beyond this shore and the farther shore, beyond the beyond, where there is no beginning, no end, without fear, go.”
27. “Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else.”
28. “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
29. “Having enjoyed a sweet delicious taste,And having sometimes tasted what is bitter,Do not greedily enjoy the sweet taste,Do not feel aversion toward the bitter.When touched by pleasant contact, do not be enthralled,Do not tremble when touched by pain.Look evenly on both the pleasant and painful,Not drawn or repelled by anything.”
30. ”Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
31. "However many holy words you read, However many you speak, What good will they do you If you do not act upon them.
32. “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
33. “I gained nothing at all from Supreme Enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called Supreme Enlightenment.”
34. “In the sky there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and them believe them to be true.”
35. "It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways."
36. "It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."
37. “Just as a picture is drawn by an artist, surroundings are created by the activities of the mind.”
38. "Let us rise up and be thankful; for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."
39. “Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”
40. “Of all the worldly passions, lust is the most intense. All other worldly passions seem to follow in its train.”
41. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
42. “Rain falls, wind blows, plants bloom, leaves mature and are blown away; these phenomena are all interrelated with causes and conditions, are brought about by them, and disappear as the causes and conditions change.”
43. “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
44. “The point of the teachings is to control your own mind. Restrain your mind from greed, and you will keep your body right, your mind pure and your words faithful. Always thinking of the transiency of your life, you will be able to desist from greed and anger and will be able to avoid all evils.”
45. “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.”
46. “Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.”
47. “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”
48. "There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind."
49. “The stages of the Noble Path are: Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Behavior, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.”
50. “The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.”
51. "The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart."
52. “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
53. “The world, indeed, is like a dream and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage! Like the apparent distances in a picture, things have no reality in themselves, but they are like heat haze.”
54. "This Ayrian Eightfold Path, that is to say: Right view, right aim, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindfulness, right contemplation."
55. "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness is never decreased by being shared."
56. “Through zeal, knowledge is gotten; through lack of zeal, knowledge is lost; let a man who knows the double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow.”
57. “To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.”
58. “To him in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family.”
59. “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.”
60. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
61. “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”
62. ”Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”
63. "What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind."
64. "You cannot travel on the path until you become the path itself."
65. "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection."
66. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
67. "You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger."
68. “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

George Orwell

1. “Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.”
2. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
3. “All people who have reached the point of becoming nations tend to despise foreigners, but there is not much doubt that the English-speaking races are the worst offenders. One can see this from the fact that as soon as they become fully aware of any foreign race they invent an insulting nickname for it.”
4. “All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
5. “Big Brother is watching you.”
6. “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
7. “"Doublethink" means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
8. “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
9. “Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.”
10. ”For a creative writer possession of the "truth" is less important than emotional sincerity.”
11. ”He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.”
12. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
13. “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
14. “In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
15. ”i. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do. iii. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active. v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. vi. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
16. “Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.”
17. “On the whole human beings want to be good, but not to good and not quite all the time.”
18. ”Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.”
19. “Political designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
20. “Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
21. “The best books...are those that tell you what you know already.”
22. “The books one reads in childhood, and perhaps most of all the bad and good bad books, create in one's mind a sort of false map of the world, a series of fabulous countries into which one can retreat at odd moments throughout the rest of life, and which some cases can even survive a visit to the real countries which they are supposed to represent.”
23. "The choice before human beings is not between good and evil but between two evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world, that is evil; or you can overthrow them by war, which is also evil. Whatever you choose you will not come out of it with clean hands"
24. “The history of any nation follows an undulatory course. In the trough of the wave we find more or less complete anarchy; but the crest is not more or less complete Utopia, but only, at best, a tolerably humane, partially free and fairly just society that invariably carries within itself the seeds of its own decadence.”
25. “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
26. ”The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.”
27. “Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude toward one another, have varied from age to age; but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other. The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim -- for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives -- is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves, or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer. From the point of view of the law, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of the masters.”
28. "To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic..."
29. “To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle.”
30. "...Two and two are four . Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane."
31. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
32. “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homocidal maniac."
33. "What does it matter to be laughed at? The big public, in any case, usually doesn't see the joke, and if you state your principles clearly and stick to them, it's wonderful how people come around to you in the end."
34. ”Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

Meister Eckhart

1. ”A man has many skins in himself, covering the depths of his heart. Man knows so many things; he does not know himself. Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, just like an ox's or a bear's, so thick and hard, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself.”
2. "A man is what he loves"
3. “If you seek the kernel, then you must break the shell. An likewise, if you would know the reality of Nature, you must destroy the appearance, and the farther you go beyond the appearance, the nearer you will be to the essence.”
4. "In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity."
5. "No idea represents or signifies itself. It always points to something else, of which it is a symbol. And since man has no ideas, except those abstracted from external things through the sense, he cannot be blessed by an idea."
6. “Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.”
7. "The course of heaven is outside time -- and yet time comes from its movements."
8. "The eye by which I see God is the same as the eye by which God sees me. My eye and God's eye are one and the same--one in seeing, one is knowing, and one in loving."
9. "The mind never rests but must go on expecting and preparing for what is yet known and what is still concealed. Meanwhile, man cannot know what God is, even though he be ever so well of what God is not; and an intelligent person will reject that. As long as it has no reference point, the mind can only wait as matter waits for him. And matter can never find rest except in form; so, too, the mind can never find rest except in the essential truth which is locked up in it--the truth about everything. Essence alone satisfied and God keeps on withdrawing, farther and farther away, to arouse the mind's zeal and lure it to follow and finally grasp the true good that has no cause. Thus, contented with nothing, the mind clamors for the highest good of all."
10. "There is no such thing as a spiritual journey. If there were a spiritual journey, it would be only a quarter inch long, though many miles deep. You do not have to go away outside yourself to come into real conversation with your soul and with the mysteries of the spiritual world. The eternal is at home -- within you."
11. ”The soul is created in a place between Time and Eternity: with its highest powers it touches Eternity, with its lower Time.”
12. "To seek God by rituals is to get the ritual and lose God in the process, for he hides behind it. On the other hand, to seek God without artifice, is to take him as he is, and so doing, a person 'lives by the Son,' and is the Life itself."
13. ”What a cruel act to be untruthful. Earthqwuakes happen in the heart that hears sounds that are amiss.Havoc is created in the mind that can no longer trust someone once loved, and schisms devour alliances that helped support our life.Words can enrich and be as wonderful spices mixed into the days we imbibe with all our senses.There are fields in the soul -- lush organic meadows, though sounds and words that fall there can be, at time, a poison.A plague is spread by one who cannot tell the truth.”
14. “What a man takes in by contemplation, that he pours out in love.”
15. "You could not do better than to go where it is dark, that is, unconsciousness."
16. “The shell must be cracked apart if what is in it is to come out, for if you want the kernel you must break the shell. And therefore, if you want to discover nature's nakedness, you must destroy its symbols, and the farther you get in the nearer you come to its essence. When you come to the One that gathers all things up into itself, there your soul must stay.”

Dan Brown

1. "And yet remarkable solutions to seemingly impossible problems often occur in these moments of clarity. It's what gurus call higher consciousness. Biologists call it
altered states. Psychologists call it super-sentience." He paused. "And Christians call it answered prayer… Sometimes, divine revelation simply means adjusting your brain to hear what your heart already knows."
2. “Certainly his faith spoke of miracles… bleeding palms, ascensions from the dead, imprints on shrouds… and yet, Martati's rational mind had always justified these accounts as part of the myth. They were simply the result of man's greatest weakness-his _need_ for proof. Miracles were nothing but stories we all clung to because we _wished_ they were true. And yet…”
3. “...coincidence was a concept he did not entirely trust. As someone who had spent his life exploring the hidden inter- connectivity of disparate emblems and ideologies, Langdon viewed the world as a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events. The connections may be invisible, he often preached to his symbology classes at Harvard, but they are always there, buried just beneath the surface.”
4. “Everyone loves a conspiracy.”
5. “... every faith in the world is based on fabrication. That is the definition of faith — acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.”
6. “Every religion describes God through metaphor, allegory, and exaggeration, from the early Egyptians through modern Sunday school. Metaphors are a way to help our minds process the unprocessible. The problems arise when we begin to believe literally in our own metaphors.”
7. "Good science fiction has its roots in good science."
8. “”… history is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books - books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’” He smiled. “By its very nature, history is always a one-sided account.””
9. "Religion is like language or dress. We gravitate toward the practices with which we were raised. In the end, though, we are all proclaiming the same thing. That life has meaning. That we are grateful for the power that created us."
10. “That's the Z-particle....Pure energy-no mass at all, It may well be the smallest building block in nature. Matter is nothing but trapped energy.”
11. “The next time you find yourself with a woman, look in your heart and see if you cannot approach sex as a mystical, spiritual act. Challenge yourself to find that spark of divinity that man can only achieve through union with the sacred feminine.”
12. “There are symbols hideen in places you would never imagined.”
13. ““These books can’t possibly compete with centuries of established history, especially when that history is endorsed by the ultimate bestseller of all time.” / Faulkman’s eyes went wide. “Don’t tell me Harry Potter is actually about the Holy Grail.””


Memories may escape the action of the will, may sleep a long time, but when stirred by the right influence, though that influence be light as a shadow, they flash into full stature and life with everything in place.

John Muir (1838-1914)

Never forget

Son, your chances are thin and few-
Won't you ponder, before you're set?
Shoot if you must, but hold in view
Women and elephants never forget.

Dorothy Parker 1893-1967, Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals

The comical

Hence it is true without exception that the more thoroughly and substantially a human being exists, the more he will discover the comical.

Soren Kierkegaard 1813-55


The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.

Johann W. von Goethe

The hardest thing

The hardest thing in the world to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write. Both take a lifetime to learn...

Ernest Hemingway

Moral law

Music is moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and a gaiety and life toeverything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, true and beautiful.

Plato 427-347 B.C


A person's things can be a kind of exterior morphology of their mind--like a snail's
shell, or something. I like to imagine what kind of person they were, from
what's in their pockets.

Lois McMaster Bujold (1949- )


There is nothing that makes its way more directly to thesoul than beauty.

Joseph Addison

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Arthur Miller

1. “An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted.”
2. "I dreamed I had a child, and even in the dream I saw it was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away. But it always crept on to my lap again, clutched at my clothes. Until I thought, if I could kiss it, whatever in it is my own, perhaps I could sleep. And I bent to its broken face, and it was horrible....but I kissed it. I think one must finally take one's life in one's arms."
3. "Like every writer, I am asked where my work originates, and if I knew I would go there more often to find more."
4. "Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."
5. "The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism."
6. "You specialize in something until one day you find it is specializing in you."
7. “What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data.”

Miguel de Unamuno

1. “Our greatest endeavor must be to make ourselves irreplaceable. . . .No one else can fill the gap that will be left when we die. For in fact each man is unique and irreplaceable; there cannot be any other I; each one of us - our soul, that is, not our life - is worth the whole Universe. . . .
2. And to act in such a way to make our annihilation an injustice, in such a way as to make our brothers, our sons, and our brothers sons, and their sons' sons, feel that we ought not to have died, is something within the reach of all.
3. All of us, each one of us, can and ought to give as much of himself as he possible can - nay, to give more than he can, to exceed himself, to go beyond himself, to make himself irreplaceable.”
4. "For it is the suffering flesh, it is suffering, it is death, that lovers perpetuate upon the earth. Love is at once the brother, son, and father of death, which is its sister, mother, and daughter. And thus it is that in the depth of love there is a depth"
5. “It is a grand and terrible thing that the hero should be the only one to see his heroism from the inside, to see into its very vitals, and that everyone else sees it only from the outside, in its external features. It is for this reason that the hero lives alone in the midst of men and that his solitude serves him as comforting company....he will be ready to bear with resignation the misfortune of having his neighbors judge him according to the general law and not the law of God.”
6. "Life is doubt, and faith without doubt is nothing but death."
7. "Man dies of cold, not of darkness."
8. “Perhaps the immense Milky Way which on clear nights we behold stretching across the heavens, this vast encircling ring in which our planetary system is itself but a molecule, is in turn but a cell in the Universe, in the Body of God.”
9. "Science is a cemetery of dead ideas."
10. “The best book on universal history, the most lasting and extensive and comprehensive and true, would be the one which succeeded in recounting, in all their liveliness and depth, the quarrels, intrigues, parochial plots, and gossip that occur in Carbajosa de la Sierra (a village of 300 souls) between the mayor and his wife, the school teacher and his mate, the town clerk and his girl friend on the one hand, and the priest and his housekeeper, Uncle Roque and Aunty Mezuca on the other, each side assisted by a chorus of both sexes. What else was the Trojan War, to which we owe the Iliad?”
11. “The devil is an angel too.”
12. “...the most comprehensive, the most all-encompassing formula for tolerance: if you want me to believe you, you believe me. The society of man is cemented with mutual credit. Your neighbor's vision is as true for him as your own vision is true for you.”
13. "The only way to give finality to the world is to give it consciousness."
14. “There is no true love save in suffering, and in this world we have to choose either love, which is suffering, or happiness. . . . Man is the more man-that is, the more divine-the greater his capacity for suffering, or rather, for anguish.”
15. “There is no tyranny in the world more hateful than that of ideas. Ideas bring ideophobia, and the consequence is that people begin to persecute their neighbors in the name of ideas. I loathe and detest all labels, and the only label that I could now tolerate would be that of ideoclast or idea-breaker.”
16. "The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found."
17. “Those who love me dearly--who are they?They are simply those who want me to be as they wish so they may love me. Love, love, terrible love, which leads us to seek in the beloved for the man we made of him. Who can love me as I am? You, you alone, my Lord, who create me continually out of love, for my very existence is the work of your eternal love. Reader, listen: though I do not know you, I love you so much that if I could hold you in my hands, I would open up your breast and in your heart's core I would make a wound and into it I would rub vinegar and salt, so that you might never again know peace but would live in continual anguish and endless longing. If I have not succeeded indisquieting you with this Quixote of mine it is because of my heavy-handedness, believe me, and because this dead paper on which I write neither shrieks, nor cries out, nor sighs, nor laments, and because language was not made for you and me to understand each other.”
18. "To fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be.
19. “True Science teaches, above all, to doubt, and to be ignorant.”
20. "We need God, not in order to understand the why, but in order to feel and sustain the ultimate wherefore, to give a meaning to the universe."
21. "When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid -- in which case all comment is superfluous -- or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem."

Agatha Christie

1. “Achievement brings its own anticlimax.”
2. "A court verdict is not always the ending."
3. ”An archeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.”
4. "Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions."
5. “Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.”
6. “Every murderer is probably someone's old friend.”
7. “Evil is not something superhuman, it's something less than human.”
8. "Good to get away from home sometimes. It gives you new ideas, and new things to think about."
9. “Hastings: "Poirot, I have been thinking." Poirot: "An admirable exercise, my friend. Continue it."”
10. ”I don't think necessity is the mother of invention - invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.”
11. “If I was born once again, I would like to be a woman - always!”
12. “If one chooses to look back over the yourney that has been one's life, is one entitled to ignore those memories that one dislikes? Or is that cowardice? I think, perhaps, one should take one brief look, and say: "Yes, this is a part of my life, but it's done with. It is a strand in the tapesary of my existence. I must recognise it because it is part of me. But there is no need to dwell upon it.”
13. "If one sticks too rigidly to one's principles, one would hardly see anybody."
14. "If the gray cells are not exercised, they grow the rust."
15. “I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about...It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you.”
16. “I have learnt that I am me, that I can do the things that, as one might put it, me can do, but I cannot do the things that me would like to do.”
17. ”I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
18. "I learned (what I suppose I really knew already) that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back--that the essence of life is going forward. Life is really an one way street, isn't it?"
19. “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
20. “I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come. And then - I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. One doesn't luckily have to bother about that.”
21. "I'm an old woman. Nothing makes sense anymore."
22. “In all the world there is nothing so curious and so interesting and so beautiful as truth.
23. "In the midst of death we are in life, Hastings...Murder, I have often noticed, is a great matchmaker."
24. "Intuition is like reading a word without having to spell it out."
25. “It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”
26. "Murder, I have often noticed, is a great matchmaker."
27. "My success, let me tell you, has been founded on the psychology--the eternal why of human behavior."
28. "No one," said Hercule Poirot, "is as clever as they think they are."
29. "One of the most frightening words there is...Love."
30. "Some of us, mon cher, see beauty in curious places."
31. “Sometimes been wildly, dispairingly, acutely misarable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just being alive is a grand thing.”
32. "The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes."
33. “The employment of the little gray cells is a mental pleasure. They and they only can be trusted to lead one through fog to the truth..."
34. ”The first sight of him did something to her, twisted her heart round so that it almost hurt. Absurd that a man--an ordinary, yes, a perfectly ordinary young man-- should be able to do that to one! That the mere look of him should set the world spinning, that his voice should make you want--just a little—to cry ... love surely should be a pleasurable emotion, not one that hurts you with its intensity.”
35. "The murder is the end. The story beings long before that --years before, sometimes-- with all the causes and events that bring certain peple to a certain place at a certain time on a certain a certain day. All converging towards a given spot...and then, the time comes --over the top! Zero hour."
36. "The people who do us most harm are the people who shield us from reality."
37. "There is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation! A human being, Hastings, cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him. Every time he will give himself away."
38. “The saddest thing in life and the hardest to live through, is the knowledge that there is someone you love very much whom you cannot save from suffering.”
39. "Things don't happen unless you make them! You call me a nitwit sometimes --but in my own way I'm quite clever. I make things happen. Sometimes I have to paln a long way beforehand."
40. "To care passionately for another human creature brings always more sorrow than joy, but one would not be without that experience."
41. “Trains are wonderful.... To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.”
42. "What it comes to in the end is that everybody, perhaps, is capable of murder."
43. “With method and logic one can accomplish anything.”

Shelley - Percy B. and Mary

English author, 1757 – 1851.

1. "His science was simply human and human science, I soon convinced myself, could never conquer nature's laws so far as to imprison the soul."
2. "I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquillise the mind as a steady purpose--a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye."
3. “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of voice, but out of chaos.”
4. “It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.”
5. “My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed -- my dearest pleasure when free.”
6. “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness.”
7. “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose -- a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”
8. “Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
9. "There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand . . . there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore. "
10. "The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember."
11. “We are tomorrow's past.”


1. “And many an ante-natal tomb
When butterflies dream of the life to come.”
2. ”And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
3. “And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea
If to the human mind's imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?”
4. ”Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?”
5. “As in the soft and sweet eclipse,
When soul meets soul on lover's lips.”
6. “Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality; it strikes at the root of all domestic happiness, and consigns more than half of the human race to misery.”
7. "Fear not for the future, weep not for the past."
8. “He gave man speech, and speech created thought, Which is the measure of the universe.”
9. “History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.”
10. “I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
when the winds are breathing low,
and the stars are shining bright.”
11. "If we reason, we would be understood; if we imagine, we would that the airy children of our brain were born anew within another s; if we feel, we would that another's nerves should vibrate to our own, that the beams of their eyes should kindle at once and mix and melt into our own, that lips of motionless ice should not reply to lips quivering and burning with the heart's best blood. This is Love."
12. “I love all waste and solitary places.”
13. “In an ocean of dreams without a sound.”
14. “I seem as in a trance, sublime and strange
To muse on my won separate fantasy.”
15. “I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.”
16. “Kiss me, so long but as a kiss my live;
And in my heartless breast and burning brain
That word, that kiss shall all thoughts else survive,
With food of saddest memory kept alive.”
17. “Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity."
18. "Lift not the painted veil which those who live call Life."
19. “Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing.”
20. "Man who man would be, must rule the empire of himself."
21. "Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.”
22. "Most wretched men
Are cradled into poetry by wrong:
They learn in suffering what they teach in song."
23. “Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odors, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.”
24. “ON a Poet's lips I slept,
Dreaming like a love-adept
In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses,
But feeds on the aerial kisses
Of shapes that haunt Thought's wildernesses.”
25. ”Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”
26. "Poetry is indeed something divine. It is at once the centre and circumference of knowledge; it is that which comprehends all science, and that to which all science must be referred. It is at the same time the root and blossom of all other systems of thought; it is that from which all spring, and that which adorns all; and that which, if blighted, denies the fruit and the seed, and withholds from the barren world the nourishment and the succession of the scions of the tree of life."
27. “Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.”
28. “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”
29. "Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame,
A mechanized automaton."
30. "Reason respects differences, and imagination the similitudes of things."
31. "She stood beside him like a rainbow braided."
32. “Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep -- that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber
Of those who wake and live.”
33. “Soul meets soul on lovers' lips.”
34. “Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate
With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
Of human thought or form,—where art thou gone?
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
Ask why the sunlight not for ever
Weaves rainbows o’er yon mountain-river,
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown,
Why fear and dream and death and birth
Cast on the daylight of this earth
Such gloom,—why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope?”
35. ”Tell me, Moon, thou pale and gray
Pilgrim of Heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of noght or day
Seekest thou repose now?”
36. “THE AWFUL shadow of some unseen Power
Floats though unseen among us,—visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,—
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,—
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,—
Like memory of music fled,—
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.”
37. “The beauty of the internal nature cannot be so far concealed by its accidental vesture, but that the spirit of its form shall communicate itself to the very disguise and indicate the shape it hides from the manner in which it is worn. A majestic form and graceful motions will express themselves through the most barbarous and tasteless costume.”
38. “The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow.”
39. “The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind . . . .”
40. “The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things, by a law divine,
In one another's being mingle--
Why not I with thine?”
41. “The past Hours weak and gray
With the spoil which their toil
Raked together
From the conquest but One could foil.”
42. “The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.”
43. “The world is weary of the past, oh, might it die or rest at last.”
44. "The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream."
45. “Think ye by gazing on each other's eyes
To multiply your lovely selves?”
46. "War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade."
47. “We look before and after,
and pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”
48. “Whatever may be his true and final destination, there is a spirit within him at enmity with nothingness and dissolution. This is the character of all life and being.”
49. “What is Love? It is that powerful attraction towards all that we conceive, or fear, or hope beyond ourselves.”
50. “When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even.”
51. “Worlds on worlds are rolling ever / From creation to decay, / Like the bubbles on a river / Sparkling, bursting, borne away. / But they are still immortal / Who, through birth's orient portal / And death's dark chasm hurrying to and fro, Clothe their unceasing flight / In the brief dust and light / Gathered around their chariots as they go; / New shapes they still may weave, / New Gods, new laws receive, / Bright or dim are they as the robes they last /On Death's bare ribs had cast.”

Leave time and space

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!

Og Mandino

The road to hell

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Stephen King

A finger´s breadth

Most men are within a finger's breadth of being mad.

Diogenes the Cynic


Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.

James M. Barrie

Things are as they are.

Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.

Alan Watts


It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Contradictions have always existed in the soul of man. But it is only when we prefer analysis to silence that they become a constant and insoluble problem. We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them.

Thomas Merton

The soul

The soul is indestructible and its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set at night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere.

Johann W. von Goethe

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ursula K LeGuin

1. “And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet would I remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.”
2. “Anton Chekhov gave some advice about revising a story: first, he said, throw out the first three pages. As a young writer I figured that if anybody knew about short stories, it was Chekhov, so I tried taking his advice. I really hoped he was wrong, but of course he was right. It depends on the length of the story, naturally; if it's very short, you can only throw out the first three praragraphs. But there are few first drafts to which Chekhov's Razor doesn't apply. Starting a story, we all tend to circle around, explain a lot of stuff, set things up that don't need to be set up. Then we find our way and get going, and the story begins ... very often just about on page 3. In revision, as a rough rule, if the beginning can be cut, cut it. And if any passsage sticks out in some way, leaves the main trajectory, could possibly come out - take it out and see what the story looks like that way. Often a cut that seemed sure to leave a terrible hole joins up without a seam. It's as if the story, the work itself, has a shape it's trying to achieve, and will take that shape if you'll only clear away the verbiage.”
3. "As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope."
4. "A Woman is home caring for her children! even if she can't. Trapped in this well-built trap, A Woman blames her mother for luring her into it, while ensuring that her own daughter never gets out; she recoils from the idea of sisterhood and doesn't believe women have friends, because it probably means something unnatural, and anyhow, A Woman is afraid of women. She's a male construct, and she's afraid women will deconstruct her. She's afraid of everything, because she can't change. Thighs forever thin and shining hair and shining teeth and she's my Mom, too, all seven percent of her. And she never grows old."
5. “Crowding is what Keats meant when he told poets to "load every rift with ore." It's what we mean when we exhort ourselves to avoid flabby language and clichés, never to use ten vague words where two will do, always to seek the vivid phrase, the exact word. By crowding I mean also keeping the story full, always full of what's happening in it; keeping it moving, not slacking and wandering into irrelevancies; keeping it interconnected with itself, rich with echoes forward and backward. Vivid, exact, concrete, accurate, dense, rich: these adjectives describe a prose that is crowded with sensations, meanings, and implications. But leaping is just as important. What you leap over is what you leave out. And what you leave out is infinitely more than what you leave in. There's got to be white space around the word, silence around the voice. Listng is not describing. Only the relevant belongs. Some say God is in the details; some say the Devil is in the details. Both are correct. (…) Tactically speaking, I'd say go ahead and crowd in the first draft - put everything in. Then in revising decide what counts, what tells; and cut and recombine till what's left is what counts. Leap boldly.”
6. “Do not speak of what men deserve. For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.”
7. "He is far too intelligent to become really cerebral."
8. “I certainly wasn't happy. Happiness has to do with reason, and only reason earns it. What I was given was the thing you can't earn, and can't keep, and often don't even recognize at the time; I mean joy.”
9. “I do not care what comes after;I have seen the dragons on the winds of morning...”
10. “I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.”
11. "If we can get that realistic feminine morality working for us, if we can trust ourselves and so let women think and feel that an unwanted child or an oversize family is wrong -- not ethically wrong, not against the rules, but morally wrong, all wrong, wrong like a thalidomide birth, wrong like taking a wrong step that will break your neck -- if we can get feminine and human morality out from under the yoke of a dead ethic, then maybe we'll begin to get somewhere on the road that leads to survival."
12. “If you can see a thing whole, it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives.... But close up, a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful life is, is from the vantage point of death.”
13. "In innocence there is no strength against evil," said Sparrowhawk, a little wryly. "But there is strength in it for good."
14. “In so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void.”
15. “In the tale, in the telling, we are all one blood. Take the tale in your teeth, then, and bite till the blood runs, hoping it's not poison; and we will all come to the end together, and even to the beginning: living, as we do, in the middle.”
16. "It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kind of music."
17. “It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
18. "Legends of prediction are common throughout the whole Household of Man. Gods speak, spirits speak,
19. “Let's say you're writing the story from Della's point of view. You can say, "Della looked up into Rodney's adoring face," but you can't say, "Della raised her incredibly beautiful violet eyes to Rodney's adoring face." Why not? Because although Della may be aware she's incredibly beautiful and has violet eyes, that's not what Della sees when she looks up. That's what Rodney sees. And Della is the person whose mind you're in. Only Della's perceptions are perceptible. Rodney's aren't. And if Della really is thinking about the color of her own eyes, instead of how adorably adoring Rodney looks, you have to explain why: "She raised her eyes, knowing the effect their violet beauty would have on him." If this still seems mysterious, consider that the limited third person is very like the first person in some ways; and you know that when you write as "I" you can tell only what "I" see and know. - "I raised my incredibly beautiful violet eyes to Rodney's adoring face." I'm sure you see what you wouldn't write that.”
20. "Love just doesn't sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new."
21. “My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
22. “Our roots are in the dark; the earth is our country. Why did we look up for blessing -- instead of around, and down? What hope we have lies there. Not in the sky full of orbiting spy-eyes and weaponry, but in the earth we have looked down upon. Not from above, but from below. Not in the light that blinds, but in the dark that nourishes, where human beings grow human souls.”
23. “Public speaking is done in the public tongue, the national or tribal language; and the language of our tribe is the men's language. Of course women learn it. We're not dumb. If you can tell Margaret Thatcher from Ronald Reagan, or Indira Gandhi from General Somoza, by anything they say, tell me how. This is a man's world, so it talks a man's language.”
24. “Reason is a faculty far larger than mere objective force. When either the political or the scientific discourse announces itself as the voice of reason, it is playing God, and should be spanked and stood in the corner.”
25. “The children of the revolution are always ungrateful, and the revolution must be grateful that it is so.”
26. “The future has become uninhabitable. Such hopelessness can arise, I think, only from an inability to face the present, to live in the present, to live as a responsible being among other beings in this sacred world here and now, which is all we have, and all we need, to found our hope upon.”
27. “The important thing is not the finding, it is the seeking, it is the devotion with which one spins the wheel of prayer and scripture, discovering the truth little by little. If this machine gave you the truth immediately, you would not recognize it, because your heart would not have been purified by the long quest.”
28. "The lights were out there and it was illuminated only by starlight. The air was quite cold. A night-blooming flower from some unimaginable world had opened among the dark leaves and was sending out its perfume with patient, unavailing sweetness to attract some unimaginable moth trillions of miles away, in a garden on another world circling another star. The sunlights differ, but there is only one darkness."
29. “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.”
30. "The quality of the will to power is, precisely, growth. Achievement is its cancellation. To be, the will to power must increase with each fulfillment, making the fulfillment only a step to a further one. The vaster the power gained the vaster the appetite for more."
31. "There's a good deal in common between the mind's eye and the TV screen, and though the TV set has all too often been the boobtube, it could be, it can be, the box of dreams."
32. “The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
33. “The story - from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace - is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind, for the purpose of gaining understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”
34. “They say there is nothing new under any sun. But if each life is not new, each single life, then why are we born?”
35. “To me the ''female principle'' is, or at least historically has been, basically anarchic. It values order without constraint, rule by custom not by force. It has been the male who enforces order, who constructs power structures, who makes, enforces, and breaks laws.”
36. “To oppose something is to maintain it.”
37. "Translation is entirely mysterious. Increasingly I have felt that the art of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat... where in this metaphor they die and get canned and eaten in sandwiches."
38. "True myth may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is. You look at it and it vanishes. You look at the Blonde Hero--really look--and he turns into a gerbil. But you look at Apollo, and he looks back at you. The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago, and Apollo spoke to him. 'You must change your life,' he said. When the true myth rises into consciousness, that isalways its message. You must change your life."
39. "Virginity is now a mere preamble or waiting room to be got out of as soon as possible; it is without significance. Old age is similarly a waiting room, where you go after life's over and wait for cancer or a stroke. The years before and after the menstrual years are vestigial: the only meaningful condition left to women is that of fruitfulness."
40. "We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains."
41. “What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”
42. “When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”
43. ”When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
44. “You can't crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them.”
45. “You must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A Wizard's power of changing and summoning can shake a balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power ... To light a candle is to cast a shadow.”
46. "You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses othing, but does only and wholly what he must do."


1. “Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.”
2. “Man is nothing but a breath and a shadow.”
3. “He is not a lover who does not love forever.”
4. “Love distills desire upon the eyes, love brings bewitching grace into the heart of those he would destroy. I pray that love may never come to me with murderous intent, in rhythms measureless and wild.”
5. “Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.”
6. "Love makes the time pass. Time makes love pass."
7. “Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.”
8. “Of mortals there is no one who is happy. If wealth flows in upon one, one may be perhaps luckier than one's neighbor, but still not happy.”
9. “Silence is true wisdom's best reply.”
10. "Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish."
11. “The best of seers is he who guesses well.”
12. “The good and the wise lead quiet lives.”
13. “There is the sky, which is all men's together.”
14. "This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."
15. "Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad."
16. “Time will reveal everything. It is a babbler, and speaks even when not asked.”
17. “We know the good, we apprehend it clearly, but we can't bring it to achievement.”
18. “Who dares not speak his free thoughts is a slave.”
19. “Whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.”
20. “Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor.”

Bertolt Brecht

1. "A man who strains himself on the stage is bound, if he is any good, to strain all the people sitting in the stalls." ‘
2. “ANDREA: Unhappy the land that has no heroes! . . . GALILEO: No, unhappy the land that needs heroes.”
3. "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it."
4. “Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.”
5. “Food comes first, then morals.”
6. "From the cradle to the coffin underwear comes first."
7. "In the dark time will there also be singing?" / Yes, there will be singing about the dark time."
8. "People remain what they are even if their faces fall apart."
9. “She's not so pretty anyone would want to ruin her.”
10. ”Sometimes it's more important to be human, than to have good taste.”
11. “Take note of what men of old concluded: / That what there is shall go to those who are good for it, / Children to the motherly, that they prosper, / Carts to good drivers, that they be driven well, / The valley to the waterers, that it yield fruit.”
12. “The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.”
13. “The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top aren't always defeats and victories for the fellows at the bottom.”
14. ”The finest plans have always been spoiled by the littleness of them that should carry them out. Even emperors can't do it all by themselves.”
15. ”The wickedness of the world is so great you have to run your legs off to avoid having them stolen from under you.”
16. "Today every invention is received with a cry of triumph which soon turns into a cry of fear."
17. "Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes."
18. ”War is like love, it always finds a way.”
19. “What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?”
20. “What's a joy to the one is a nightmare to the other.
That's how it is today, that's how it'll be forever.”
21. ”What is robbing a bank compared to founding one?”
22. ”Whenever there are great virtues, it's a sure sign something's wrong.”
23. “Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima's houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet
was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
Frederick the Greek triumphed in the Seven Years War.
Who triumphed with him?

Each page a victory
At whose expense the victory ball?
Every ten years a great man,
Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.
So many questions.”

Salvador Dali

1. ”At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.”
2. "Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid."
3. “Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.”
4. “I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality.”
5. "I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait."
6. “I do not take drugs, I am drugs.”
7. ”It is either easy or impossible.”
8. "Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them."
9. “Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality.”
10. “So little of what could happen does happen.”
11. ”The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.”
12. ”The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.”
13. “The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.”
14. ”There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.”
15. “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”
16. “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
17. "We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art."
18. ”What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust.”
19. “While we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another one.”


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit
the target.

Ashleigh Brilliant

Public opinion

A wise man makes his own decisions,
an ignorant man follows the public opinion.

Chinese Proverb

We live in deeds

We live in deeds, not years:
In thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

Philip James Bailey


You can cover a great deal of country in books.

Andrew Lang

One word

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.



A finished person is a boring person.

Anna Quindlen

Make voyages!

Make voyages! - Attempt them! - there's nothing else...

Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

This library

When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it.

Marie de Sevigne, O Magazine, December 2003

Take rest

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.


The ultimate seduction

It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.

Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
Ben Jonson (1573–1637)
To Celia

For when the wine is in, the wit is out.
Thomas Becon (1512–1567)
Catechism, 375

[Grapes are] the most noble and challenging of fruits.
Malcolm Dunn, Head Gardener to the 7th Viscount Powerscourt, c 1867
Quotes in 'Phylloxera' by Christy Campbell

The air is like a draught of wine.
The undertaker cleans his sign,
The Hull express goes off the line,
When it's raspberry time in Runcorn.
Noel Coward (1899-1973)
On With the Dance, 'Poor Little Rich Girl'

Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Othello, II. iii. (315)

You need not hang up the ivy branch over the wine that will sell.—Publius Syrius (c. 43 BC)
Maxim 968

Good wine needs no bush.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
As You Like It, Epilogue.

To happy convents, bosomed deep in vines,
Where slumber abbots, purple as their wines.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
The Dunciad, Bk iv. 30

A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Refreshing himself at the Piazza Coffee House as his Drury Lane theatre in went up in flames on 24th February 1809. Quoted in Thomas Moore, Memoirs of the Life of Sheridan, Vol. ii. Ch. 20 (His mistress, Lady Bessborough, said 'Sheridan is never sober for a moment'.)

This bread I break was once the oat,
This wine upon a foreign tree
Plunged in its fruit;
Man in the day or wind at night
Laid the crops low, broke the grape's joy.
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
This bread I break

After-dinner talk
Across the walnuts and the wine.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
The Miller's Daughter, 31

Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
Pour not by cups, but by the bellyful,
Pour out to all that wull.
Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599)
Epithalamion, 250

There's nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Macbeth, II. iii. (100)

Go, little book, and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore!
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
Underwoods, I. 1, 'Envoy'

Seamen three! what men be ye?
Gotham's three Wise Men we be.
Whither in your bowl so free?
To rake the moon from out the sea.
The bowl goes trim. The moon doth shine,
And our ballast is old wine.
T.L. Peacock (1785-1866)
Nightmare Abbey, Ch. 11, 'Three Men of Gotham'

Ah, wasteful woman, she who may
On her sweet self set her own price,
Knowing man cannot choose but pay,
How has she cheapened paradise;
How given for nought her priceless gift,
How spoiled the bread and spilled the wine,
Which, spent with due respective thrift,
Had made brutes men and men divine.
Coventry Patmore (1823-1896)
The Angel in the House, Bk i. 3, Prelude 3

A man not old, but mellow, like good wine,
Stephen Phillips (1845-1915)
Ulysses, III. ii

His element is so fine
Being sharpened by his death,
To drink from the wine-breath
While our gross palates drink from the whole wine.
W.B.Yeats (1865-1939)
All Souls' Night

Oh some are fond of Spanish wine, and some are fond of French.
John Masefield (1878-1967)
Captain Stratton's Fancy

Days of wine and roses laugh and run away,
Like a child at play.
Johnny Mercer (1909-1976)
Days of Wine and Roses

Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Lord Byron (1788–1824)
Don Juan, III. 86. 9

Go fetch to me a pint o' wine,
An' fill it in a silver tassie.
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
Go Fetch to me a Pint o' Wine

And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
'I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine'.
G.K. Chesterton(1874–1936)
Wine and Water

The wine they drink in Paradise
They make in Haute Lorraine.
G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)
A Cider Song

Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
John Keats (1795–1821)
Lines on the Mermaid Tavern

Wino Forever
Johnny Depp
(The tattoo once read 'Winona Forever'!)

Wine buffs write and talk as though the food and wine will be in your mouth at the same time, that one is there to be poured over the other. This is bullshit. Gustatory enjoyment comes from food and wine and cigars of your liking. So far no one has said that a Monte Cristo is the only cigar to smoke after Armagnac, Romeo and Juliet after Calvados ... but the time may yet come.
Clement Freud
"...No-one Else Has Complained"

Bacchus we thank who gave us wine
Which warms the blood within our veins;
That nectar is itself divine.
The man who drinks not, yet attains
By godly grace to human rank
Would be an angel if he drank.
Pierre Motin
French drinking song

A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for, a daunting testimony to that peculiar nation's love of detail and organization.
Kingsley Amis
Everyday Drinking

When I find someone I respect writing about an edgy, nervous wine that dithered in the glass, I cringe. When I hear someone I don't respect talking about an austere, unforgiving wine, I turn a bit austere and unforgiving myself. When I come across stuff like that and remember about the figs and bananas, I want to snigger uneasily. You can call a wine red, and dry, and strong, and pleasant. After that, watch out....
Kingsley Amis
Everyday Drinking

Give me women, wine and snuff
Until I cry out 'hold, enough!'
You may do so san objection
Till the day of resurrection;
For bless my beard then aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.
John Keats
Women, Wine and Snuff

Oh, wherefore come ye forth in triumph from the north,
With your hands, and your feet, and your raiment all red?
And wherefore doth your rout send forth a joyous shout?
And whence be the grapes of the wine-press which ye tread?
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859)
The Battle of Naseby

These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.
Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)
The Dead

Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly.
W.E.P. French
(From the wine list of Commander's Palace in New Orleans, LA courtesy of John McDonald, Dallas, TX)

The wines that one best remembers are not necessarily the finest that one has ever tasted, and the highest quality may fail to delight so much as some far more humble beverage drunk in more favorable surroundings.
H. Warner Allen
(From the wine list of Commander's Palace in New Orleans, LA courtesy of John McDonald, Dallas, TX)

... the odour of Burgundy, and the smell of French sauces, and the sight of clean napkins and long loaves, knocked as a very welcome visitor at the door of our inner man.
Jerome K. Jerome
Three Men in a Boat

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
Jerome K. Jerome
Three Men in a Boat

The smell of wine, oh how much more delicate, cheerful, gratifying, celestial and delicious it is than that of oil.

The king sits in Dunfermline town
Drinking the blude-red wine.
Trad Ballad 'Sir Patrick Spens'

Wine gives great pleasure; and every pleasure is of itself a good. It is a good, unless counterbalanced by evil.
Samuel Johnson
Boswell's Life of Johnson

He said that few people had intellectual resources sufficient to forgo the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwise contrive how to fill the interval between dinner and supper.
Samuel Johnson
Boswell's Life of Johnson

I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn't know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret.
John Cleese (Basil Fawlty)
Fawlty Towers

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.
Ernest Hemingway
Death in the Afternoon

If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?
Cardinal Richeleu

Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babies, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts.
John Stuart Blackie

There is not the hundredth part of the wine consumed in this kingdom that there ought to be. Our foggy climate wants help.
Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey

Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after.
Lord Byron
Don Juan

Wine and wenches empty men's purses
English Proverb

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities
1 Timothy, 5:23

There is a devil in every berry of the grape.
The Koran

Wine gives us liberty, love takes it away.
Wine makes us princes, love makes us beggars.
The Country Life

Wine is the first weapon that devils use in attacking the young
St. Jerome

It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason.
Latin saying

A little saint best fits a little shrine,
A little prop best fits a little vine,
As my small cruse best fits my little wine.
Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
'A Ternary of Littles'

Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved.
Medieval German saying

Wine ... cheereth God and man.
Judges, 9:13

A man cannot make him laugh - but that's no marvel; he drinks no wine.
Henry IV Part 2

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
The Rubiyaiyat of Omar Khayyam
translated by Edward Fitzgerald

In vino veritas
Historia Naturalis

Wine is bottled poetry.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Poetry is devil's wine.
St. Augustine

Good wine ruins the purse; bad wine ruins the stomach
Spanish saying

I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)
She Stoops to Conquer, I

The best use of bad wine is to drive away poor relations.
French proverb

I beg you come tonight and dine
A welcome waits you and sound wine
The Roederer chilly to a charm
As Juno's breasts the claret warm ...
T.B. Aldrich

I like best the wine drunk at the cost of others.
Diogenes the Cynic

A sight of the label is worth 50 years experience.
Michael Broadbent
Wine Tasting

The wine seems to be very closed-in and seems to have entered a dumb stage. Sort of a Marcel Meursault.
Paul S. Winalski

Burgundy for kings, champagne for duchesses, claret for gentlemen.
Anon French Proverb

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
Ernest Dowson (1867–1900)
Vita Summa Brevi

He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.
Martin Luther, 1777

God made only water, but man made wine.
Vixtor Hugo, 1856

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.
Louis Pasteur

What though youth gave love and roses age still leaves us friends and wine.
Thomas Moore

Up to the age of forty eating is beneficial. After forty, drinking.
The Talmud, 200BC

Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771

The great evil of wine is that it first seizes the feet, it is a crafty wrestler.
Titus Maccius, 190 BC

Thou hast showed thy people hard things: Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
The Book of Psalms, 60:3

Wine that maketh glad the heart of man.
The Book of Psalms, 104:15

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.
The Proverbs, 20:1

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
The Proverbs, 31:6 - 7

A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
Ecclesiastes; or The Preacher, 10:19

How much better is thy love than wine!
The Song of Solomon, 4:10

Like the best wine . . . that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
The Song of Solomon, 7:9

They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 29:9

Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus, 9:10

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles.
The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, 9:17

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake.
The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, 5:23

The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken.
The Odyssey, bk. XIV, l. 463

Over the wine-dark sea.
Iliad, I. 350

Wine is a peep-hole on a man.
Alcaeus c. 625 - c. 575 B.C.
Fragment 104

Bring water, bring wine, boy! Bring flowering garlands to me! Yes, bring them, so that I may try a bout with love.
Anacreon c. 570 - c. 480 B.C.
Fragment 27

It is better to hide ignorance, but it is hard to do this when we relax over wine.
Heraclitus c. 540 - c. 480 B.C.
On the Universe, fragment 108

Mankind . . . possesses two supreme blessings. First of these is the goddess Demeter, or Earth whichever name you choose to call her by. It was she who gave to man his nourishment of grain. But after her there came the son of Semele, who matched her present by inventing liquid wine as his gift to man. For filled with that good gift, suffering mankind forgets its grief; from it comes sleep; with it oblivion of the troubles of the day. There is no other medicine for misery.
Euripides c. 485 - 406 B.C.
The Bacchae [c. 407 B.C.], l. 274

The Duke of Clarence . . . a prisoner in the Tower, was secretly put to death and drowned in a barrel of Malmesey wine.
Robert Fabyan (?–1513)
Chronicles, Pt II. 1477

When men drink, then they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends.
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.
Aristophanes c. 450 - 385 B.
Knights [424 B.C.], l. 92

You're walking by the tomb of Battiades,
Who knew well how to write poetry, and enjoy
Laughter at the right moment, over the wine.
Callimachus c. 300 - 240 B.C.
From The Greek Anthology [1973], PETER JAY, ed., no. 150, On Himself

It was a wine jar when the molding began:
as the wheel runs round why does it turn out a water pitcher?
Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus]
Epistles, bk. III (Ars Poetica) [c. 8 B.C.], l. 21

You need not hang up the ivy branch over the wine that will sell.
Publilius Syrus
Maxim 968

In vino veritas [In wine is truth].
Proverb quoted by PLATO,
Symposium 217 (also attributed to Pliny the Elder)

I intend to die in a tavern; let the wine be placed near my dying mouth, so that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, "God be merciful to this drinker!"
Walter Map [Mapes] c. 1140 - c. 1210
De Nugis Curialium

One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music; and, lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him.
Yoshida Kenko 1283 - 1350
Tsurezure - Gusa (Essays in Idleness) [c. 1340]

Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appears to be best in four things - old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626
Apothegms [1624], no. 97

I am falser than vows made in wine.
William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616
As You Like It [1599 - 1600], act III, sc. v, l. 73

O thou invisible spirit of wine! if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!
William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616
Othello [1604 - 1605], act II, sc. iii, l. 285

Had I but died an hour before this chance
I had liv'd a blessed time; for, from this instant,
There's nothing serious in mortality,
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616
Macbeth [1606], act II, sc. iii, l. 98

A cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in 't.
William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616
Coriolanus [1607 - 1608], act II, sc. i, l. 52

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I'll not look for wine.
Ben Jonson c. 1573 - 1637
The Forest [1616], To Celia, st. 1

I may not here omit those two main plagues and common dotages of human kind, wine and women, which have infatuated and besotted myriads of people; they go commonly together.
Robert Burton 1577 - 1640
The Anatomy of Melancholy [1621 - 1651], pt. I, sec. 2, member 3, subsec. 13

Is not old wine wholesomest, old pippins toothsomest, old wood burn brightest, old linen wash whitest? Old soldiers, sweethearts, are surest, and old lovers are soundest.
John Webster c. 1580 - c. 1625
Westward Hoe [1607], (in collaboration with DEKKER), act II, sc. ii

Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine.
Robert Herrick 1591 - 1674
Hesperides [1648], Ode for Ben Jonson

Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
Crush'd the sweet poison of misused wine.
John Milton 1608 - 1674
Comus [1634], l. 46

When night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
John Milton 1608 - 1674
Paradise Lost [1667], bk. I, l. 500

Thanks be to God, since my leaving drinking of wine, I do find myself much better, and do mind my business better, and do spend less money, and less time lost in idle company.
Samuel Pepys 1633 - 1703
Diary, January 26, 1662

If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink:
Good wine - a friend - or being dry -
Or lest we should be by and by -
Or any other reason why.
Henry Aldrich 1647 - 1710
Five Reasons for Drinking

Some of the most dreadful mischiefs that afflict mankind proceed from wine; it is the cause of disease, quarrels, sedition, idleness, aversion to labor, and every species of domestic disorder.
François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon 1651 - 1715
Télémaque [1699], bk. X

To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, and fill his snuffbox, is like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back.
Thomas [Tom] Brown 1663 - 1704
Laconics [1707]

I was going home two hours ago, but was met by Mr. Griffith, who has kept me ever since. . . . I will come within a pint of wine.
Sir Richard Steele 1672 - 1729
Letters to His Wife [Eleven at night, January 5, 1708]

From wine what sudden friendship springs!
John Gay 1685 - 1732
Fables, pt. II [1738], The Squire and His Cur

Fill ev'ry glass, for wine inspires us,
And fires us
With courage, love and joy.
Women and wine should life employ.
Is there ought else on earth desirous?
John Gay 1685 - 1732
The Beggar's Opera [1728], act II, sc. i, air 19

And we meet, with champagne and a chicken, at last.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 1689 - 1762
The Lover [1748]

Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
Samuel Johnson 1709 - 1784
From JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johnson [1791], April 7, 1779

Did you ever hear of Captain Wattle?
He was all for love, and a little for the bottle.
Charles Dibdin 1745 - 1814
Captain Wattle and Miss Roe

Who does not love wine, women, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.
Johann Heinrich Voss 1751 - 1826

What though youth gave love and roses,
Age still leaves us friends and wine.
Thomas Moore 1779 - 1852
National Airs [1815], Spring and Autumn, st. 1

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
John Keats 1795 - 1821
Poems [1820], Lines on the Mermaid Tavern

Knowledge enormous makes a God of me.
Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebellions,
Majesties, sovran voices, agonies,
Creations and destroyings, all at once
Pour into the wide hollows of my brain,
And deify me, as if some blithe wine
Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk,
And so become immortal.
John Keats 1795 - 1821
Poems [1820], Hyperion: A Fragment, bk. III, l. 113

Upon the first goblet he read this inscription, monkey wine; upon the second, lion wine; upon the third, sheep wine; upon the fourth, swine wine. These four inscriptions expressed the four descending degrees of drunkenness: the first, that which enlivens; the second, that which irritates; the third, that which stupefies; finally the last, that which brutalizes.
Victor Hugo 1802 - 1885
Les Misérables [1862], Cosette, bk. VI, ch. 9

I rather like bad wine . . . one gets so bored with good wine.
Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield 1804 - 1881
Sybil; or, The Two Nations [1845], bk. I, ch. 1

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
Edward FitzGerald 1809 - 1883
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, st. 12

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and - sans End!
Edward FitzGerald 1809 - 1883
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, st. 24

Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, match'd with mine,
Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809 - 1892
Locksley Hall [1842], l. 151

"It wasn't the wine," murmured Mr. Snodgrass, in a broken voice. "It was the salmon."
Charles Dickens 1812 - 1870
Pickwick Papers [1836-1837], ch. 8

For singing till his heaven fills,
'Tis love of earth that he instills,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
And he the wine which over flows
To lift us with him as he goes.
George Meredith 1828 - 1909
The Lark Ascending [1881], l. 65

I tasted - careless - then -
I did not know the Wine
Came once a World - Did you?
Oh, had you told me so -
This Thirst would blister - easier - now -
Emily Dickinson 1830 - 1886
No. 296 [c.1861], st. 3

When I demanded of my friend what viands he preferred,
He quoth: "A large cold bottle, and a small hot bird!"
Eugene Field 1850 - 1895
The Bottle and the Bird, st. 1

Let first the onion flourish there,
Rose among roots, the maiden-fair,
Wine-scented and poetic soul
Of the capacious salad bowl.
Robert Louis Stevenson 1850 - 1894
Underwoods [1887], Bk. I, In English. To a Gardener

I'm only a beer teetotaler, not a champagne teetotaler. I don't like beer.
George Bernard Shaw 1856 - 1950
Candida [1898], act III

To succeed you must add water to your wine, until there is no more wine.
Jules Renard 1864 - 1910

I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I have watched beside
And the lives ye led were mine.
Rudyard Kipling 1865 - 1936
Departmental Ditties [1886], Prelude, st. 1

I struck the board, and cried, No more:
I will abroad.
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free; free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.

Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
Before my tears did drown it;
Is the year only lost to me?
Have I no bays to crown it?
George Herbert 1593 - 1633
The Temple [1633], The Collar

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
William Butler Yeats 1865 - 1939
The Green Helmet and Other Poems [1910], A Drinking Song

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
Ernest Dowson 1867 - 1900
Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae [1896], st. 1

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine.
Ernest Dowson 1867 - 1900
Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae [1896], st. 4

They are not long, the days of wine and roses;
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
Ernest Dowson 1867 - 1900
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam [1896]

And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
"I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton 1874 - 1936
Wine and Water

How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.
Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 - 1957
Zorba the Greek [1946], ch. 7

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?
Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen] 1885 - 1962
Seven Gothic Tales [1934], The Dreamers

I get no kick from champagne.
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all,
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you.
Cole Albert Porter 1891 - 1964
Anything Goes [1934], I Get a Kick Out of You

It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.
James Thurber 1894 - 1961
Caption for cartoon in The New Yorker

There is a tavern in the town,
And there my true love sits him down,
And drinks his wine with laughter and with glee,
And never, never thinks of me.

Con pan y vino se anda el camino [With bread and wine you can walk your road].
Anonymous: Spanish Proverb

Wine gives courage and makes men more apt for passion.

A thousand cups of wine do not suffice when true friends meet, but half a sentence is too much when there is no meeting of minds.
Chinese proverb

Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.

"Hey Man, I'm drinking wine, eating cheese and catching some rays."
Donald Sutherland as Oddball
in "Kelly's Heros"

"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Robert Fripp

An old wine-bibber having been smashed in a railway collision, some wine was poured on his lips to revive him." Pauillac, 1873," he murmured and died.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914),
"The Devil's Dictionary", 1911

Hail, high Excess especially in wine,
To thee in worship do I bend the knee
Who preach abstemiousness unto me
My skull thy pulpit, as my paunch thy shrine.
Precept on precept, aye, and line on line,
Could ne'er persuade so sweetly to agree
With reason as thy touch, exact and free,
Upon my forehead and along my spine.
At thy command eschewing pleasure's cup,
With the hot grape I warm no more my wit;
When on thy stool of penitence I sit
I'm quite converted, for I can't get up.
Ungrateful he who afterward would falter
To make new sacrifices at thine altar!
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914),
"The Devil's Dictionary", 1911

Fill up, fill up, for wisdom cools
When e'er we let the wine rest.
Here's death to Prohibition's fools,
And every kind of vine-pest!
Jamrach Holobom

WINE, n.Fermented grape-juice known to the Women's Christian Union as "liquor," sometimes as "rum." Wine, madam, is God's next best gift to man.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914),
"The Devil's Dictionary", 1911

"Despair is vinegar from the wine of hope."
Austin O'Malley

"The giving of riches and honors to a wicked man is like giving strong wine to him that hath a fever."

"It is is better for pearls to pass through the lips of swine than good wine to pass through the lips of the indifferent"
Mark Luedtke

"In water one sees one's own face; But in wine, one beholds the heart of another."
An Old Frech proverb
courtesy of Bob Higgins

"Give me wine to wash me clean of the weather-stains of care."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Movie and TV Lines

The following were derived from, courtesy of Bob Ross:

"Why do you take aspirin with champagne?"
Ivan in Author! Author! (1982)

"Oh, champagne gives me a headache."
Alice in Author! Author! (1982)

"Ah. Fortune smiles. Another day of wine and roses. Or, in your case, beer and pizza!"
Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995)

"Oh, we could give it a try. I'll bring the wine, you bring your scarred psyche."
Chase in Batman Forever (1995)

"You know. Wine drinkers. Pea soup eaters. French Canadians!"
Highway Patrolman in Canadian Bacon (1994)

"Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!"
Alex in A Clockwork Orange (1971)

"Mr. Alexander: Try the wine!"
Alexander in A Clockwork Orange (1971)

"You’d be surprised how much fun you can have sober. When you get the hang of it."
Joe (Jack Lemmon) in Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

"I don't smoke, I only drink champagne when I'm lucky enough to get it, my hair is naturally natural, I live alone...and so do you."
Bunny Watson in Desk Set (1957)

"This is very old wine. I hope you will like it."
Count Dracula in Dracula (1931)

"I never drink wine."
Count Dracula in Dracula (1931)

"I'm drinking wine...and eating chicken! And it's good!"
Dracula in Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)

"Where do you keep your champagne? Near the furnace?"
Lord Rutledge in Dunston Checks In (1996)

"Hey Cool, don't drink that wine, it struck me blind!"
King Blues in Flip Out (1983)

"I can certainly see you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn't know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret."
Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) in Fawlty Towers

"All these weddings, all these years, all that blasted salmon and Champagne and here I am on my own wedding day, and I'm... eh... em... eh... still thinking."
Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

[Bond has just been surprised by the double agent, Grant.] "Red wine with fish. Well, that should have told me something."
Bond in From Russia with Love (1963)

"I like to drink wine more than I used to."
Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

"My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!"
Bond in Goldfinger (1964)

"It's the same things your whole life. 'Clean up your room!', 'Stand up straight!', 'Pick up your feet!', 'Take it like a man!', 'Be nice to your sister!', 'Don't mix beer and wine, ever!'. Oh yeah, 'Don't drive on the railroad track!'"
Phil Connors in Groundhog Day (1993)

"God knows what you've unleashed on the unsuspecting South. It'll be wine, women, and song all the way with Ringo when he gets the taste for it."
Norm in A Hard Day's Night (1964)

"I would think it means that she wishes you to dine with her. I'd take my own wine if I were you!"
Herod in "I, Claudius" (1976) (mini)

"Won't you join me in a glass of wine?"
Peggy in International House (1933)

"I'm drinking some wine, eating some cheese, and catching some rays, you know..."
Oddball in Kelly's Heroes (1970)

"If Plato is a fine red wine, then Aristotle is a dry martini."
Chet in Kicking and Screaming (1995)

"Dynamite? It's like wine, it only gets better with age."
Tracker Lewis Gates in Last of the Dogmen (1995)

"More Brandy wine? They were boiling it in Ireland before the snakes left!"
King Henry II in The Lion in Winter (1968)

"Sparkling Muscatel. One of the finest wines of Idaho."
Waiter in The Muppet Movie(1979)

"The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940. She was going out to get a bottle of wine. Two hours later, the Germans marched into France."
Sam Diamond in Murder by Death (1976)

"I was in love with a beautiful blonde once. She drove me to drink; that's the one thing I'm indebted to her for."
W. C. Fields in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

"During one of my treks through Afghanistan, we lost our corkscrew. We were compelled to live on food and water for several days."
Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C.Fields) in My Little Chickadee (1940)

"This is a red wine glass. Can I have my water in a water glass?"
The Griffin Mill in Player (1992)

"Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me..."
Vizzini in The Princess Bride (1987)

[A woman in taffeta is seen lighting candles for a formal dinner for two. She sits down at the table, lifts a wine glass and toasts an imaginary guest. Dining alone, in style, is used as a metaphor for loneliness and even madness.] Georgia Dullea.
Anonymous woman in Rear Window (1954)

"Hamlet's mother, she's the queen / Buys it in the final scene / Drinks a glass of funky wine / Now she's Satan's Valentine."
Soldiers chanting in Renaissance Man (1994)

"P.J. Pontiac: Lili, a sizzler at the Fol-de-Rol. A figure like champagne and a heart like the cork."
Pontiac in Scene of the Crime (1949)

"Champagne yes, philosophy no."
Kit Moresby in The Sheltering Sky (1990)

"The picnic was delicious, the wine was excellent, remind me to send the Cardinal a note."
Porthos in The Three Musketeers (1993)

Porthos in The Three Musketeers (1993)

[During a chase, in the Cardinal's own coach] Porthos: "For a chase, the Cardinal recommends his excellent '24 Cabernet." Porthos to D'Artagnan: "You can't have any, you're too young."
Porthos in the Three Musketeers

"I love waking up in the morning not knowing what I'm gonna do or who I'm gonna meet. Just yesterday I was sleeping under a bridge, and today I'm on the grandest liner in the world drinking champagne with you fine people. I'll have some more please."
Jack Dawson in Titanic (1997)

"I don't believe I've ever had French champagne before..."
Cassandra in Wayne's World (1992)

"Oh, actually all champagne is French, it's named after the region. Otherwise it's sparkling white wine. Americans of course don't recognize the convention so it becomes that thing of calling all of their sparkling white champagne, even though by definition they're not."
Benjamin Kane in Wayne's World (1992)

"I know I don't have his looks. I know I don't have his money. I know I don't have his connections, his knowledge of fine wines. I know sometimes when I eat I get this clicking sound in my jaw..."
Wayne Campbell in Wayne's World (1992)

"We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!"
Withnail in Withnail and I (1987)

"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"
Larson E. Whipsnade (W.C. Fields) You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

"Alcohol - the cause of and solution to all of life's problems"
Homer Simpson