Friday 26 January 2018

More quotations

'Theresa May rarely looks at ease around human beings. She approaches them hesitantly, anxiously, as if uncertain how they might react. She has the air of a small child, gingerly reaching out to pat a horse’s nose.' Michael Deacon in today's Daily Telegraph.

'Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervour.' Benjamin Disraeli

'To be preyed upon by those stronger than you is bad enough; but to allow your artists and children to be slaughtered and defiled by barely organized foreigners who could be kept out by simple acts of national self-respect is far more shameful.' Steve Sailer

'You cannot find peace by avoiding life.' Virginia Wolff

'Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.' Anton Chekhov


  1. I could tolerate socialism if its advocates were honest, and said that their purpose was to make us poor, by restricting our freedom, in order to enhance their own power. As things stand, I think they are very devils, and that their efforts to pose as anything but socialists are the devil’s work. But good often comes of evil, and the impoverished and yet ordered decay of a Rangoon or an Havana is something pretty to see. Well, I have yet to walk Havana, but the photographs are attractive.

    The challenge, to my mind, is how to achieve poverty, without any help from the socialists. And I think, once again, Adam Smith points the way. It is that the great majority of our fellows are, by disposition, neither industrious nor frugal. Left to their own devices, they will live in blackhouses and crofts. But they don’t want to die, so will plant their potatoes. Perhaps it should be the purpose of our political economy to let them, find their happiness in music and dance.

    For the rest, let us simply create obstacles to the accumulation of capital, by the withdrawal of “limited liability,” and the reinstatement of the usury laws.

    DAVID WARREN, Essays in Idleness

    1. Brilliant. At first I thought they were your words, Toma. What an interesting and eclectically read man you are.

    2. People told me I'd love Burma but Rangoon wasn't interesting. I found it the most interesting part of Burma in some ways and in some ways a sort of Asian Buddhist Havana.

    3. 'At first I thought they were your words'

      Noooo... I wish they were... no way...
      Let me tell you something: the few
      foulmouthed comments left around here represent about 99.99 pc of what I wrote in english my entire life...

    4. I don't understand you - I delete foul mouthed and spiteful remarks. And ones advocating violence or crime.

    5. I thought my rants were foulmouthed...
      Anyway, I don't write: I take dictation...

    6. Don't be foul mouthed. I am sometimes profane buy don't like profanity typed out on social media or blogs.

    7. 'From whom?'
      ...from me...
      (what did you think I'm gonna say, the Holy Spirit?)
      ...snippets of imaginary conversations...

  2. What I do is scribble...
    Writing... goes like this:

    I was infinitely struck, only the other day, by the saying of a large landed proprietor (a good man, who was doing all he could for his tenantry, and building new cottages for them), that the best he could do for them, under present conditions of wages, and the like, was, to give them good drainage and bare walls.

    "I am obliged," he said to me, "to give up all thought of anything artistic, and even then, I must lose a considerable sum on every cottage I build."

    Now, there is no end to the confused states of wrong and misery which that landlord's experience signifies. In the first place, no landlord has any business with building cottages for his people. Every peasant should be able to build his own cottage, — to build it to his mind; and to have a mind to build it too. In the second place, note the unhappy notion which has grown up in the modern English mind, that wholesome and necessary delight in what is pleasant to the eye, is artistic affectation...

    [I]f cottages are ever to be wisely built again, the peasant must enjoy his cottage, and be himself its artist, as a bird is. Shall cock-robins and yellow-hammers have wit enough to make themselves comfortable, and bullfinches peck a Gothic tracery out of dead clematis, — and your English yeoman be fitted by his landlord with four dead walls and a drainpipe? That is the result of your spending 300,000£ a year at Kensington in science and art, then?

    You have made beautiful machines, too, wherewith you save the peasant the trouble of ploughing and reaping, and threshing; and after being saved all that time and toil, and getting, one would think, leisure enough for his education, you have to lodge him also, as you drop a puppet into a deal box, and you lose money in doing it! and two hundred years ago, without steam, without electricity, almost without books, and altogether without help from "Cassell's Educator" or the morning newspapers, the Swiss shepherd could build himself a chalet, daintily carved, and with flourished inscriptions, and with red and blue and white ποικιλία [tapestries]; and the burgess of Strasburg could build himself a house like this I showed you, and a spire such as all men know; and keep a precious book or two in his public library, and praise God for all: while we, — what are we good for, but to damage the spire, knock down half the houses, and burn the library, — and declare there is no God but Chemistry?

    John Ruskin, "The Story of the Halcyon," The Eagle's Nest (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1893), pp. 219-221