QUOTES

QUOTES

On YORKSHIRE:
Letter to Gdn, Nov. 2013, fm Duncan Lister, Dewsbury: “As anyone lucky enough to be born in Yorkshire will proudly tell you, there are only three types of people: Yorkshire people; those who wish to be Yorkshire people; and those with no ambition at all.”

Dorothy Parker on SEX & RELATIONSHIPS:
“Take me or leave me or, as is the usual order of things, both.”

Woody Allen on LIFE & THAT:
“Mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and hopelessness; the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

On MIDDLE AGE:
Gdn 14.9.13, Jonathan Freedland on how you know you’ve turned 40 …
“According to Jackie Mason, it is when you bend down to tie your shoelaces and think ‘What else can I do while I am down here?’”

On DOGS:
Gdn Diary 11.4.8 picks up line fm Gordon Burn novel Born Yesterday …
The owner of a Jack Russell, dilly-dallying to check out some interesting smells, remarks that he is ‘reading his wee-mails’.

On COUNTRY LIFE:
Nice piece by Emma Beddington in Family section of Gdn 3.8.13 on growing up with parents who liked hiking holidays and finding herself becoming one: The Best Summer Ever.
In passing she quotes from a verdict on the country in Catherine O’Flynn’s novel What Is Lost: “Axe murderers. Gun owners. Hat wearers. Cows. It’s a terrible place. And you know what else? They don’t have shops. They have these things called Spars. They look like shops but they don’t sell anything except maybe some swede and packet of custard creams.”

On NEW LABOUR:
Andy Burnham, shadow health secretary and Labour MP for Leigh, Lancashire, reported in Gdn 10.3.13 saying: “We are the professional politician generation aren’t we? I was schooled in this, kind of, how do we make a press release today that embarrasses the opposition? That is the kind of politics everyone was doing and the kind of culture developed where you are scrabbling over a bit of centre ground with micro-policies designed to just create a couple of days’ headlines and create a feeling, but not change much.”

On PLASTIC BAGS AND PACKAGING:
Fair points made by James Preston of Little Thurlow in Teleg Letters 6.9.2013:
“Why is it the shopper who is to be forced to pay for plastic bags, when the shopper never wanted them in the first place?
“In the Seventies, our milk was delivered in bottles on an electric milk float. We rinsed our empty bottles, and the milkman picked them up as he left the next day’s milk. Beer was generally in bottles, as was lemonade.
“Fruit and veg were always sold in brown paper bags, as were bread and cakes from the baker’s, while meat and fish were wrapped in waxed paper. At the supermarket, we packed our groceries in the same boxes in which the supermarket had received its deliveries. And fish and chips were served in newspaper.
“In short, without any legislation, we were very green. Now, the retailers oblige us to buy an individual apple served on a polystyrene tray wrapped in clingfilm, and supermarkets deny me a cardboard box.
“It is not ‘society’ that has become less green. The retailers have forced this change upon us.”

Russell Brand on LOVE: “Being in love is like discovering a concealed ballroom in a house you have long inhabited.”

On MARRIAGE:
Telegraph letter, 24.8.13:
“I was at a wedding last week and on the back of the service sheet was a Xhosa proverb: ‘A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers.’”
To be worked on, but a quick Google turns up …
http://offbeatbride.com/2011/10/52-incredibly-romantic-and-not-too-cheesy-love-quotes

On POWERPOINT and duff MANAGEMENT:
Not sure where this comes from originally but I picked it up from John Lanchester, in The Guardian:
“All power corrupts but Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.”

On ECONOMICS:
From a Spectator columnist, quoting City wisdom: “Even famine tastes pretty good when you are still eating the cattle which have died of thirst.”

On DRINK and ALCOHOLISM:
Timothy Mo, quoted in Observer: “I have always preferred the old-fashioned term ‘drunkard’. Alcoholic makes it sound like an achievement, and alcoholism a branch of knowledge.”

On PRESS and PRINCESS DI :
from an obit of Linda Smith, recalling her comments on Di’s death …
“I’m not part of a tidal wave of grief and I resent being told I am … It’s not grief … it’s New Grief, Virtual Grief – grief but with most of the pain taken out.”

On LIFE & POLITICS: “He who has been burned by a hot soup will blow at a bowl of yoghurt.” (Egyptian saying, quoted in The Spectator 2006)

On INTELLECTUALS: “An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.” (Aldous Huxley)

On CELEBRITY: “Being a celebrity is probably the closest to being a beautiful woman as you can get.” (Kevin Costner, 2006)

On LIFE and POLITICS: “In theory, theory and practice are much the same. In practice, they are not.” (Albert Einstein)

On COMMITTEES: Philip Collins, Times, 20.11.9: “There is an old line that no joke will ever survive a committee of six.”

On MARRIAGE . SEX . RELATIONSHIPS:
From The Daughter-in-Law, by D.H. Lawrence:
“Marriage is like a mousetrap. You soon come to end o t’cheese.”
Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran: “Let there be spaces in your togetherness. Stand together, yet not too near. For the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
J P O’Rourke: “A number of mechanical devices increase sexual arousal in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.”
W B Yeats: “I have seen more men destroyed by the desire to have a wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink or harlots.”
Zsa Zsa Gabor: “I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.”
Oscar Levant (musician, author, actor, 1906-1972), to Harpo Marx, after meeting Harpo’s fiancee: “She’s a lovely person. She deserves a good husband. Marry her before she finds one.”
Michel de Montaigne (French essayist, 1533-1592): “Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out.”
Socrates: “By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
Mae West: “Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.”
Anon: “Do not marry a person that you know that you can live with; only marry someone that you cannot live without.”

Quotes from Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, from interviews at:
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1952011,00.html
On INSANITY: “The funny thing about insane people is that it is kind of the opposite of being a celebrity. Nobody envies you.”
On SCIENCE: “Traditional scientific method has always been, at the very best, 20-20 hindsight. It’s good for seeing where you’ve been. It’s good for testing the truth of what you think you know. But it can’t tell you where you ought to go.”
and
“Why should a group of simple stable compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, struggle for billions of years to organise themselves into a professor of chemistry. What’s the motive?”
On the search for ENLIGHTENMENT: “The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”

Russell Brand on LOVE: “Being in love is like discovering a concealed ballroom in a house you have long inhabited.”

Jackie Mason on TURNING 40: “It is when you bend down to tie your shoelaces and think ‘What else can I do while I am down here?’”

On JUSTICE, novelist William Gaddis, in A Frolic Of His Own, had a judge say: “You get justice in the next world. In this one, you have the law.”
On REVOLUTION, letter in Sun. Tel. 5.5.13 fm Rev RC Paget, ex-Syria, quotes Arab proverb to explain support for Assad: “Better 40 years of tyranny than one night of anarchy.”

On RELIGION AND POLITICS, Review of book by Steve Jones, The Bible Retold As Science, says he quotes Napoleon: “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

On LIFE, Groucho Marx: “The secret of life is honest and fair dealing: if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

On LIFE, Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” (Mike Tyson, in The Australian, reported in The Week, 22.09.12)

On TERRORISM, The Observer of Sept. 3 06 ran Martin Amis’s attempt to empathise with one of the terrorists who drove planes into the World Trade Centre on Sept 11 01 – “The Last Days Of Muhammad Atta”.
At the heart of it was this observation: “Muhammad Atta was not religious; he was not even especially political. He had allied himself with the militants because jihad was, by many magnitudes, the most charismatic idea of his generation. To unite ferocity and rectitude in a single word: nothing could compete with that.”

On PHILOSOPHY: A Telegraph letter recalls TS Eliot’s story about being picked up by a taxi driver who told him: “The other evening, I picked up Bertrand Russell and I said ‘Well, Lord Russell, what’s it all about?’ – and do you know, he couldn’t tell me.”

The man asks: “What’s the curse?”
She says: “Mr Klopman.”

On EDUCATION & SKILLS: Albert Einstein via Huffington Post via The Week: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
On ANIMAL & HUMAN SKILLS & DARTS: Howard Jacobsen in Inde, via The Week, 12.1.13: “A cheetah can sprint, an antelope can hurdle, an otter can swim. But show me the animal that can hit a treble-20 three times running with three darts.”
Also
Letter in new scientist, 2.7.2008 by Eric Erickson, Durham, North Carolina, US:
“If nothing else, Christine Kenneally’s article ‘So you think you’re unique’ (24 May, p 28) demonstrates our unique ability to assume that we are unique, and that the others, to their credit, overlap us in some degree.
“But suppose that this inquiry had been undertaken by geese.
“They would find that although humans can swim, they are not nearly as accomplished as the paddling geese. Diving under the water to catch a meal in a beak is quite out of our range. As individuals, we cannot fly. We fail miserably on goose measures of uniqueness.
“Each species can only be judged with respect to its own niche and its own ability to survive. Most do quite well, thanks; they just have different goals, and have no need for our specialisations.”

On GOD: Billy Connolly, quoted in IoS via The Week, 12.1.13: “I’ve no idea if God exists. It seems unlikely to me, but then – does a trout know that I exist?”
On TEENAGERS: Guardian letter fm Dinah Hall, Lustleigh, Devon, quoted in The Week 12.1.13: “There’s nothing like teenage diaries for putting momentous historical events in perspective. This is my entry for 20 July 1969 -‘I went to arts centre (by myself!) in yellow cords and blouse. Ian was there but he didn’t speak to me. Got rhyme put in my handbag from someone who’s apparently got a crush on me. It’s Nicholas I think. UGH. Man landed on moon.’

On THE ENGLISH SEASIDE & ENGLISH DIFFIDENCE: Simon Hoggart, Gdn 12.1.13: “My colleague Michael White was pleased to notice, on a visit to Cromer, a resort struggling with hard times, that at the end of the pier the council had set in stone a remark made by the young Winston Churchill on a visit to the town: “I am not enjoying myself very much.”

On SEXUALITY & CLOTHES: Drag queen RuPaul, Gdn, via The Week 19.1.13: “Honey, we are born naked. The rest is drag.”

On ARISTOCRACY: Catherine Bennett in Gdn 28.6.8 demolished ANTONY ARMSTRONG-JONES and recalled his mum was known as Tugboat Annie, because she went from peer to peer.

On FESTIVALS: Teleg 7 mag, 29.6.8, Sandi Toksvig wrote of “the unique British sound of waxed rainwear trying to find the beat”.

VICTORIA PENDLETON on CYCLING: talking to Esquire mag, after 2012 Olympics: “I go round and round in circles on a big wooden bowl. I turn left for a living.”

PETE TOWNSHEND on SHIT STICKING: Gdn, Oct 2012, talking to Alexis Petridis about his kiddy-porn episode: “You can read the book and make a decision. And if you don’t read the book, you can do what normal assholes do, which is look at my big nose and think ‘He looks like a paedo’.”

On AGE: Douglas Adams: “Anything in the world when u r born is normal; anything invented before ur 35 is revolutionary; anything invented after ur 35 is unnatural and wrong.”

STURGEON’S LAW: 90 percent of everything is crap.
(Theodore Sturgeon, an American science fiction writer, said back in the 1950s that people who said 90 percent of sci-fi was awful were missing the point that so was 90 percent of ballet and opera. He later argued in one of his stories that the same rule applied to all human endeavour.)

On DEMOCRACY: Alasdair Palmer of the Sunday Telegraph reviewed a book called Setting The People Free, by Douglas Dunn (Atlantic), which is a sceptical history of the rise of capitalist democracy.
The reviewer quotes the author on rule by mass vote in Athens in the 5th century BC and sums up: “The citizens of Athens made a series of catastrophically bad choices. For the next 2,000 years, democracy was seen as an infallible recipe for anarchy, social dislocation and disaster.” (Sunday Telegraph, May 25, 2005)

On WOMEN: Joe Joseph, reviewing a programme on feminism, wrote in The Times: “When someone told Churchill that by the year 2100 women would rule the world, he replied: Still? “
Also …
“Ginger Rogers said she did everything Fred Astaire did only backwards, and in high heels.” (Times, June 8, 2005)

On HONOURS LISTS: Pat Rattigan of Chesterfield wrote to the Telegraph after the 2005 Queen’s Birthday Honours to say: “Once again, I have been overlooked … after nearly 30 years of speaking on and writing about the murdering quacks of the medico-pharma-mafia, the planet-killers of the petro-industrial complex, the spivs, half-wits and quarter-wits who have managed to slither into Westminster and the ignorant, lying, cowardly, corrupt, incompetent lackeys trying to pass themselves off as journalists. Where am I going wrong?”
(Telegraph, June 12, 2005)

On CHOCOLATE: Catherine Bennett, Guardian, 8.9.06, reviewing a Fay Weldon book, What Makes Women Happy, challenged the “familiar factoids” that six women out of 10 prefer chocolate to sex and that chocolate is “addictive” … to women.
Bennett commented: “Although it would be disconcerting to hear a woman boast about being enslaved by her insatiable appetite for scotch eggs, say, or for gobstoppers, or proclaiming that she preferred bacon to sex, an immoderate interest in chocolate has, over the past few years, become a defining female quality. Chocoholics bashfully admit to their habit as if it were a lovable, tellingly vulnerable characteristic, not so different from a propensity for tears, or a reckless generosity towards beggars.”

On DRINK: Guardian, Sept 06, recorded that when Fay Weldon made a living as an advertising copywriter, she unsuccessfully proposed the slogan: “Vodka gets you drunker quicker.”
On SEX, ROYALS, MEN AND BREASTS: Victoria Coren mused, in the Observer of Aug. 20 06, about a picture of Prince Harry grabbing a girl’s breast …
“I have heard some women argue that this is a photo of sexual assault, but I disagree. There is nothing sexual in it. It is a picture of a toff grabbing a tit because it’s there, much like a rugby player would grab another man’s groin or a monkey would play with an old car tyre. Harry has seen something soft and funny and he wants to hold it. Harry is the sort of man who thinks of breasts as neither nurturing miracles nor erogenous zones, just hilarious novelties to be prodded and pointed at.”

REJECTION LETTERS: In the book reviews section of the Sunday Telegraph on Sept. 17 06, John Gibbens reported on The Second Post, an anthology of letters edited by Punch writer E.V. Lucas in 1910.
He said: “I was delighted to discover here the only rejection letter I ever enjoyed receiving, which I thought then was original. It purports to be from ‘a Chinese editor’, but I suspect the hand of Punch in it …
‘Were I to publish the treasure you sent me, the Emperor would order that it should be made the standard, and that none be published except such as equalled it. Knowing literature as I do, and that it would be impossible in ten thousand years to equal what you have done, I send your writing back.’

On POLITICIANS & BLAIR: Obit on Leo Blair recalls that when his son became PM, he wrote to congratulate him, but his signature, Your Beloved Pa, was hard to read and he got a letter back beginning “Dear Mr Pa”, thanking him for his suggestion but saying unfortunately it was not something No. 10 could take up and perhaps he should contact his local MP.

On NEWSPAPERS & JOURNALISM: Kierkegaard called newspapers “a dreadful, disproportionate means of communication”.

On RACING & GRAND NATIONAL: Laura Thompson, Teleg, 9/4/11: “The Epsom Derby … is the race against which throughbred excellence is measured. The Cheltenham Gold Club is a rigorous test of the top-class steeplechaser. But the Grand National is a freak event. It is run over an attritional distance with a giant field of 40 horses, the best of which carry absurd amounts of weight while the worst, poor darlings, are the equine equivalent of those people who run the London Marathon in a Nick Clegg mask and galoshes. It can be won by anybody.”

On RELIGION: Mike Rampling, Altrincham, in letter to Observer, Jan 11 -Religious fundamentalists are not how ty r becs ty r convinced ty r right, but becs ty r terrified ty r wrong.

RELIGION & FOOTBALL & CELTIC & RANGERS: Times, 26.4.11, Ross Anderson on growing up a Catholic supporter of Glasgow Rangers … “I’ve always thought that For we shall be mastered/By no Fenian bastard was a masterpiece of a rhyming couplet.
School was tough. Neither the staff nor the other boys could see the funny side.
Asked once to explain my contention that Rangers supporters had the better tunes, I pointed out that it was easier to sing “F*** the Pope than to sing “F*** the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.”

On CIVILISATION: Teleg says Bertrand Russell claimed tt to be truly civilised is to be able to fill yr leisure hours intelligently. “At present,” he lamented, “very few people hv reached this level.”

On HS2 & PROGRESS: Matthew Parris, Times, 29.1.13: Modern resistance to HS2 bears striking similarities to the last time anyone planned a massive increase in our speeds of terrestrial travel: the 19th-century switch from canals and horses, to railways. From that great leap, my researcher Matthew Shaw and I have amassed a treasury of poppycock ….
* “What can be more palpably absurd and ridiculous,” snorted an early 19th-century sage in the Quarterly Review, “than the prospect held out of locomotives travelling twice as fast as stage-coaches!”.
* “No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour,” said King William of Prussia, “when he can ride his horse there in one day for free.”
On POINTS OF VIEW: Guardian 12.1.13 did well with a story abt an Iranian take on the film Argo and had a sidebar on other possible alternative remakes, starting with Lincoln from the South’s point o view: “Get Lincoln! spins t tale o a rogue American president who pitches the nation into senseless civil war and tn swans off to catch a show at t theatre. Luckily, thr’s a happy endg.”
On THE OLYMPICS: Simon Barnes, chief sports writer, Inde 21.3.8: “At the Olympic Games, bullshit and beauty walk hand in hand.”
On TECHNOLOGY &PROGRESS: Fred Pearce in Teleg Mag, Feb 08: “One scientist I met recently reckoned t average household in Europe or N America hs so many devices and such a variety o food and clothg tt to produce t same lifestyle inRoman times wd hv required 6,000 slaves – cooks, maids, minstrels, ice-house keepers, woodcutters, nubile women w fans and many more.”
On AGE: “The first 40 yrs o life is txt, t rest is commentary,” attrib to Arthur Shcopenhauer by Gdn, accordg to T Week 2.2.8.
On POLITICS & OPPRESSION: “You have not converted a man because you have silenced him,” attrib to John Morley by Inde, accordg to T Week 2.2.8.
On WORK: Allegedly Catalan saying: “He who wants fish must get his arse wet.” with thanks to Sheena, Jan 08.
On SEX: Jack Nicholson on paying for sex, quoted by Victoria Coren in review of Diary of a Call Girl, obs 14.10.7: “You don’t pay them to fuck you; you pay them to leave.”
On the 80s & PORN & POLITICS & THATCHER: Peter York, Obs Mag, 14.10.7: “In the future, people will blame the 80s for all societal ills in the same way that people have previously blamed the 60s. The various Thatcherite Big Bangs – monetarism, deregulation, libertarianism – have been working their way through the culture ever since. Mrs Thatcher didn’t really understand the sociological forces she was unleashing; she didn’t grasp that deregulation would lead to a booming pornography industry, for instance.”

On PSYCHIATRY: Sep 23 07, Seven Mag, Sun Tel, Sandi Toksvig recalls story of American military employing psychiatrists to find best way of matching soldiers to different kinds of posting. In the end, they reported that the best way was to ask a man: “What kind of weather do you like – hot or cold?”

On RELIGION: Peter Thompson of Sheff Uni quotes Ernst Bloch in Gdn: “Only an atheist can be a good Christian and only a Christian can be a good atheist.”
(He means, I think, that you have to be there to really know the flaws in your own position.)

A TOAST: In gdn 28.12.9, Nancy Banks-Smith quotes the toast dug up for Victorian Farm Xmas: “A toast to them as we love and a toast to them as loves us and here’s to them who loves them who loves those who love those who love them that love us.”

On SEX & MARRIAGE: from Cadillac Jukebox, by James Lee Burke: “Some broads ain’t any different from men. They like to screw down and marry
up.”

On GETTING OLDER: from Cadillac Jukebox, by James Lee Burke: “In yr life, you end up back whr you started – maybe back wn you wr little. T difference is you understand it second time around. But it don’t do you no good.”

On POLITICS: Simon Hoggart once recalled an exchange involving an old mining MP called Bill Stone. Someone at t bar sd: “The trouble is, this place is full of cunts. Stone sd: “Thr’s plenty o cunts in t’country and ty deserve some representatn.”

On RADIO 4 listeners: Matthew Norman, 16.12.05, said: “Radio 4 listeners, it must be remembered, are not so much listeners as ty are terrorists … the Ultras o wt many o tm wd archly refer to as t wireless. Ty are screechg nutters who will stop at little to protect wt ty curiously believe to be tr own possessn. You need only lisen to Feedback for two minutes to sense t seething viciousness.”

On STARLETS: John Preston, commenting on Celebrity Wrestling, recalled “that old Hollywood definition o a starlet as any woman under 30 not actively employed in a brothel”.
(It apparently comes fm Ben Hecht, the old Chicago newspaperman who wrote The Front Page._

On AGE . BEAUTY . WISDOM
T problem w beauty is tt it’s like being born rich and gettg poorer – Joan Collins.
La Rochefoucauld sd old men gave good advice to make up f not being able to set bad examples.
Native American saying: “Never judge a man til you have walked in his moccasins f a full moon.”

On BULLSHITTERS: Simon Hoggart ss when J.K. Galbraith ws US ambassador to India, he sent screeds o cables. A friend o Hoggart’s told him Kennedy never read a word o tm. Wn this friend asked what he shd do w tm, Kennedy sd: “Galbraith? If you gv him an enema you could get his remains in a matchbox.”

On LIFE . WORK: Indira Gandhi: “My grandfather told me thr wr two kinds o people: those who do t work and those who take credit. He told me to try to be in t first group – thr ws much less competition.”

On CLASS & HISTORY & SCIENCE & THE FUTURE: Bertrand Russell, writing in 1952, quoted in obs on nov 4 07: “I well remember the first crack in the imposing aristocratic facade. It was when Keir Hardie came to the House of Commons in a cloth hat instead of a top hat. When it was found that no thunderbolt struck him down for his impropriety, strange new doubts began to germinate in men’s minds. The flood of revolution was let loose.”
Also: “Things must either get much better or much worse. Man has survived hitherto because his ignorance and incompetence have made his folly ineffective. Now that science has shown us how to make folly effective, we must abandon folly or perish.”

On MARTYRDOM . TERRORISM: Chuck Palahniuk: “T only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage.”
On LIFE: Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden in Observer Music Mag profile, april 07: “Life is not a rehearsal. You have to get it while you can.”
On THE ROMANS: The quote from Life of Brian: “Apart fm t sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what hv t romans ever done f us?”
On COMMITTEES: . Marina Hyde, gdn 5/5/7, says American humorist Fred Allen said: “A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing but as a group decide nothing can be done.”
On MUSIC: Gdn letter quotes Louis Armstrong, asked if jazz was folk: “Man, it’s all folk music. I ain’t heard horses do it yet.”
On MUSIC: Steve Earle quotes Townes van Zandt: “It’s either the blues or it’s zippity doodah.”
On SONGWRITING: According to Gillian Reynolds, Telegraph 13.12.9, Johnny Mercer (Moon River, Jeepers Creepers) “made every line do that little trick Dave Frishberg once described as coming up to the edge of poetry and turning left.”
( Dave Frishberg is an American jazzman)

On FLIRTING: Britt Ekland, Obs Mag, 23/9/7: “I’ve never been a flirt. It’s rude. If I gave out the signals, you would always get the package.”
Great SIMPSONS QUOTES: http://blogzarro.com/?p=223/

On LIFE: Soren Kierkegaard, 1800s, said life has to be lived forwards but can only be understood backwards.

On RELIGION: Simon Hoggart in Gdn, Sept 8. 07, on launch of John Humphrys book, In God We Doubt: He reminded me of a joke I like: chap is desperate to find a parking space, so he prays to God, promising that he will give up drink, smoking and sex if he can get one. At that very moment a space appears. He calls up to God: “It’s all right, I’ve found one.”

La Rochefoucauld’s Maximes, 1600s:
On LOVE: “There is no disguise which can hide LOVE for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not.”
On WAR: “Fights would not last if one side only were wrong.”
On VIRTUE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS: “Our virtues are most frequently but vices in disguise …. It is not always from valor that men are valiant, or from chastity that women are chaste … If we had no faults, we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others …Those who know their minds do not necessarily know their hearts …Sincerity is an openness of heart that is found in very few people. What we usually see is only an artful disguise people put on to win the confidence of others.”
On TALK: “When not prompted by vanity, we say little.”
On MODESTY: “The refusal of praise is actually the wish to be praised twice.”

**

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