Thoughts, Ideas, Observations

The Realists

What is become of the Princes of Germany?  Blown up.  Where are the Estates or the power of the people in France?  Blown up.  Where is that of the people of Aragon and the rest of the Spanish kingdoms?  Blown up.  Where is that of the Austrian princes in Switz?  Blown up....  Nor shall any man show a reason that will be holding in prudence why the people of England have blown up their king, but that their kings did not first blow up them.

--James Harrington, 1656

We believe by tradition so far as the gods are concerned, and see by experience so far as mankind is concerned, that, according to a law of nature, everyone inevitably exploits all the power at his disposal.


The Idealist

We shall go on to the end; we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we will never surrender.

--Winston Churchill

The Skeptic

"That year," said Betrand Cordier of Pamiers, "I came upon four men of Tarascon, including Arnaud de Savignan, on the other side of the bridge, in the territory of the parish of Quié.  They asked me, "What's new in Pamiers?"

"'They say that the Antichrist is born,' I answered.  'Everyone must put his soul in order; the end of the world is near.'

"To which Arnaud de Savignan replied: 'I don't believe it.  The world has neither beginning nor end....  Let's go to bed'"

--From the Inquisition Register of Jacques Fourier, in the year 1318

The Cynic

This is much like as at Beverly, late, when much of the people being at a bear-baiting, the church fell suddenly down at evensong time and overwhelmed some that then were in it.  A good fellow that after heard the tale told:  Lo, quod he, now may you see what it is to be at evensong when you should be at the bear-baiting.

--Thomas More, The Dialogue Concerning Tyndale

February 11, 2001

From the 
Commonplace Book

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

--L.P. Hartley


Commonplace Book
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