Saturday, 9 March 2013

My wisdom

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I am stuffed with quotations like a goose, stuffed to make foie gras. Learning quotations is the best education a young man or woman can have. Of them all my favourite was said to George Borrow (whom I am ashamed that I have still not yet read) by a gypsy:


Life is sweet, brother, who would wish to die?

My second favourite is one of these four but I cannot decide which:

The sunlight on the garden 
Hardens and grows cold,  
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold, 
When all is told 
We cannot beg for pardon.
(Louis MacNeice)

It is not given to any man to see more than a fraction of a shadow of the Truth. (Stanley Baldwin)

Hatred of Catholicism is the only genuinely religious emotion the English ever experience. (Who said that?)

When I was a child I thought I hated the human race, but when I grew up I realised it was only children I couldn't stand. (Philip Larkin)

The last of these came into my head with the news that teachers in South Dakota are now legally allowed to carry guns at work. Capital punishment in schools sounds sensible to me.

Of course I love nice, reasonably intelligent children - it's brutal ones I cannot stand.  And the ones who are very middle aged (there are lots of them). But they can no longer harm me, so when they are not in restaurants or theatres they are charming.

20 comments:

  1. I like them all..."who said that"? I don't recall who but I think you do. So I suppose this is a quiz. Hilaire Belloc I think..Second quess,Evelyn Waugh. My favorite today is "In South Dakota teachers are now legally allowed to carry guns at work.Capital punishment in schools sounds sensible to me." P.V.E. Corporal punishment out.Capital punishment in.

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  2. I like the MacNeice one best.

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  3. I really do not know who said 'hatred of Catholicism is the only genuinely religious emotion the English ever experience' and the internet does not help. Does anybody know?

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  4. It sounds plausible but I don't know who was honest enough to say it.

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  5. Is the feeling one gets at evensong, even when one is an atheist, a religious feeling?

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  6. Just when we are safest, there's a sunset-touch,
    A fancy from a flower-bell, some one's death,
    A chorus-ending from Euripides,--
    And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears
    As old and new at once as nature's self,
    To rap and knock and enter in our soul,
    Take hands and dance there, a fantastic ring,

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  7. I regret that I never attended Evensong at Cambridge. I went to my first one last year at Canterbury Cathedral and though it was much dignified even beautiful I found it deeply depressing and not spiritual at all. I was also shocked to see my first ever women priests which seemed a travesty - but that was a completely
    separate issue.

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  8. I still wonder, is one of those moments when an atheist enjoys and finds solace in Evensong?

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  9. Yes Tancred. It is written in mans heart. But also I think Hilaire Belloc..?, was right in context.

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  10. I too like the Louis MacNeice.I like it really very much. Anyone who thinks he should,need take heed.

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  11. I am sure the Catholicism quip was neither Belloc nor Waugh - it does not sound like them and I never heard it attributed to them - the internet is silent.

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  12. I also thought of adding from Horace translated by Dryden:

    Not heaven itself upon the past has power
    But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

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  13. Women priests would be a dreadful shock. Thank Heaven I've only seen them in pictures. That is bad enough.

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  14. This "hatred of Catholicism" quote is really a bother. I do hope I or someone can find it. P.V.E. I might be wrong but really I think you quoted the quote some months ago. That is why I thought you knew who.

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  15. I repeat myself a lot. I have fallen into my anecdotage (Disraeli).

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  16. There is a story of a woman dean today in the paper and I must say I find the idea of women priests rather offensive as well as ridiculous - they bring to mind pantomimes. What fun it is to be reactionary. I was when I was nine or ten but one really grows into it as years pass.

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  17. I agree that it is fun. When my angers pass as they do quite quickly,I have good fun in contrarieness. Then someone, many ones are there again being ridiculous, outrageous,or even evil,then I erupt in anger and then fun again. What can you do?

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  18. Oh I meant reactionary. It sometimes seems contrariness because it is so often against what almost everyone, or so it seems, is for. Reactionary, Contrarian, Contrariary ...

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  19. Love this one below - so bloody true:

    When I was a child I thought I hated the human race, but when I grew up I realised it was only children I couldn't stand. (Philip Larkin)
    I for one never outgrew that dislike of children. They are like some apes: amusing but hard to discipline or ignore.
    Diana

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