(These are quotes from my Friends. If you would like yours included here, email me.)

Steve Schiewe's Favorite Quotes

"Once I Prayed"
by Helen McDowell

Once I prayed
(I knew not what I said)
"Show me myself, O Lord!"
Alas, I did not dread
The hideous sight
(Which now I shudder to behold)
Because I knew not self aright.

And I was led
In answer to my prayer,
As step by step, to see
My wretched heart laid bare;
Then I prayed,
"Stay, Lord, I cannot bear the sight!"
And pityingly His hand was stayed.

Now I pray
(I know the prayer is right),
"Show me Thyself, O Lord,
Be to my soul the Bright
And Morning Star
To shine upon the grave of self,
And lead my heart from earth afar!"


This is a quote from Richard Baxter, a 17th century Puritan. I have shared it with some of you, and thought you might like to have it to be humbled by as I have been. Those old dead Calvinists had a way with words.

"Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor, ignorant, ungodly neighbors. Alas, there is but a step between them and death and hell; many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost for ever. Have you hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace.... Dost thou live close by them, or meet them in the streets, or labor with them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?"


Cecile Ingram's Favorite Quotes

 

Fighting the Good Fight

 

Though for no other cause, yet for this; that posterity may know that I have not loosely through silence permitted these things to pass away as in a dream.

Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity

Richard Hooker

inspiration for public service

 

Osymandias

 

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Osymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretched far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

caution against self-importance in public service

 

"This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accus'd, they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day...."

King Henry V

Act IV, Scene III

William Shakespeare

 

But, if you voted for subsidies, or accepted checks, you have also voted for supervision. Who says A must also say B. Third, even if they were opposed on principle (as some are) to both subsidies and inspection, their position and reality have nothing in common because in hard fact, in battling the government, they are battling a mirage. It is only in the second instance that they are battling the government. What, if they grasp reality, they are really battling is the 40 horsepower tractor, the self-propelled combine, the mechanical corn picker, the hay drier and the 10-20-20 fertilizers which make possible those gigantic yields and that increased man-hour productivity whose abundance spells bankruptcy and crisis--or controls...

 

Escapism is laudable, perhaps the only truly honorable course for humane men--but only for them. Those who remain in the world, if they will not surrender on its terms, must maneuver within its terms. That is what conservatives must decide: how much to give in order to survive at all; how much to give in order not to give up the basic principles. And, of course, that results in a dance along a precipice. Many will drop over, and always, the cliff dancers will hear the screaming curses of those who fall, or be numbed by the sullen silence of those, nobler souls perhaps, who will not join the dance.

Witness

Whittaker Chambers

 

"What shall be said," I had written, for I was writing more and more, "of those who have destroyed the mind of a nation? ... I did not understand that the malady of the life around me from which I retreated into the woods, and the malady of the life of my family, from which I was about to retreat into the world, were different manifestations of the same malady -- the disorder that overtakes societies and families when a world has lost its soul. For it was not its mind that the life around me had lost, though I thought so as a boy and was to continue to think so for almost twenty years, but its way, because it had lost its soul."

Witness

Whittaker Chambers

 

"Suddenly, there closes around that communist a separating silence, and in that silence he hears screams. He hears them for the first time. For they do not merely reach his mind. They pierce beyond. They pierce to his soul. He says to himself: 'Those are not the screams of man in agony. Those are the screams of a soul in agony.' He hears them for the first time because a soul in extremity has communicated with that which alone can hear it -- another human soul."

Witness

Whittaker Chambers

 

I used to believe that there was a green stick, buried on the edge of a ravine in the old Zakoz forest... on which words were carved that would destroy all the evil in the hearts of men and bring them everything good.

Leo Tolstoy

The Green Stick

Malcolm Muggeridge

 

"Never give in. Never give in. Never give in, never, never, never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in, except to conviction, honor, and good sense."

Winston Churchill

to the students of Harrow, his boyhood school

 

"I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to these principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad - as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth - so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane - quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot."

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Chapter 27

Charlotte Bronte

 

"Every now and then when I worked in the Reagan White House, I would look up from my notes at a meeting and look at the faces around the table or, walking the halls, look into the offices and see the young men and women with their heads bent over a report, and think, We are the ones who will walk behind the caisson. Someday when we're older he will die, and there will be a great funeral with a flag-draped coffin and a riderless horse with the boots turned backward, and behind that the family and friends and behind them -- us. The television cameras high up near the plywood anchor booths hastily assembled on Pennsylvania Avenue will go to a wide shot, and Dan Rather will say, 'And there, the men and women who were the special assistants and the undersecretaries and perhaps a regular secretary or two, I hope. When you say Reagan Administration , you're talking about them.' ...and here we are gathered once again, like the end of Chariots of Fire, where one of the old running stars, bent and gray, turns to a friend at Harold Abraham's funeral and says, 'We did it, didn't we?' as the stern chords of 'Jerusalem' boom from the cathedral."

What I Saw at the Revolution

Peggy Noonan

 

Jabberwocky

 

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mom raths outgrabe.
 
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
the frumious Bandersnatch."
 
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tuntum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
 
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flare,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And wurbled as it came!
 
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
 
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Calloogh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
 
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
and the mome raths outgrabe.

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

 

" I loved America and I knew I'd give her the right leadership. I'm no intellectual or big theorist, but I know the few big things that if you get them right everything else falls into place. And look around -- was there anyone better? I'm sorry to be such an egotist, but was there? And don't forget it worked! It pretty much worked."

Ronald Reagan

What I Saw at the Revolution

Peggy Noonan

 

"A man can do what is his duty; and when he says ' I cannot,' he means, 'I will not.'"

Johann Fichte 1762

 

Nature of Man

 

Men constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.

Choruses from The Rock

T.S. Eliot

 

"I saw he was of the material from which nature hews her heroes - Christian and Pagan - her lawgivers, her statesmen, her conquerors: a steadfast bulwark for great interests to rest upon; but, at the fireside, too often cold cumbrous column, gloomy and out of place: This parlour is not his sphere," I reflected: "the Himalayan ridge, or Caffre bush, even the plague-cursed Guinea coast swamp, would suit him better. Well may he eschew the calm of domestic life; it is not his element: there his faculties stagnate - they cannot develop or appear to advantage. It is in scenes of strife and danger - where courage is proved, and energy exercised, and fortitude tasked - that he will speak and move, the leader and superior..."

Jane Eyre

Chapter 34

Charlotte Bronte

 

"When in Act IV, Scene vi, Glouchester says to King Lear, 'O, let me kiss that hand!' the King, persuaded of the ubiquity of human moral corruption, says 'Let me wipe it first, it smells of mortality.'"

The Great War and Modern Memory

Paul Fussell

 

Evil

 

It was the story of a train going along very fast and to the satisfaction of the passengers, racing through the small stations along the track without stopping. Their satisfaction, however turned to dismay, and then to panic fury, as it dawned on them that it was not going to stop at their stations either when it came to them. They raged and shouted and shook their fists, but all to no avail. The train went roaring on.

Chronicles of Wasted Time

Malcolm Muggeridge

 

Amusements

 

"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not some farcical aquatic ceremony. You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you. If I went around saying I was an emperor because some moistened bink lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away."

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Peasant

 

"There was also a planet entirely given over to ballpoint life forms. And it was to this planet that unattended ballpoints would make their way, slipping away quietly through wormholes in space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely ballpointoid lifestyle, responding to highly ballpoint-oriented stimuli, and generally leading the ballpoint equivalent of the good life."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

 

"(A Hooloovoo is a superintelligent shade of the color blue). All except the Hodoovoo were resplendent in their multicolored ceremonial lab coats; the Hooloovoo had been temporarily refracted into a free-standing prism for the occasion."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

 

Some of the more environmentally aware dinosaurs were worried about the consequences of an accident with the new Iridium enriched fusion reactor "If it goes off only the cockroaches and mammals will survive..." they said.

Derek Tearne

 

"Paris is a theme park," he once announced after a vacation, "although it's too expensive, and the park employees are unpleasant and sullen."

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

 

 

Friendship/Love/Family

 

"When a man is drunk with love he can't concentrate on drink -- all major emotions are greedy."

Cleopatra

 

"His heart remained buttoned up all through his life."

Christopher Robin Milne

of his father A.A. Milne

 

Kermit, when solemnly assessing his future at age five, spoke for all the children when he announced, "I'll just be a plain man with bunnies, like Father."

A Bully Father

TR's Letters to His Children

Kermit Roosevelt speaking about his father Theodore Roosevelt. "Bunnies" was the work TR used for his children.

 

"There are many kinds of success in life worth having," TR wrote. "It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor, or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions, but for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison."

A Bully Father

TR's Letters to His Children

 

If equal affection cannot be,

let the more loving one be me.

W.H. Auden

 

"Teach me to love and to forgive,

Exact my own defects to scan,

What others are, to feel and know

myself a Man."

Thomas Gray

1716

 

"I was prepared for the hot rain of tears; only I wanted them to be shed on my breast; now a senseless floor has received them, or your drenched handkerchief. But I err: you have not wept at all! I see a white cheek and a faded eye, but no trace of tears. I suppose, then, your heart has been weeping blood?"

Mr. Rochester

Jane Eyre

Chapter 27

Charlotte Bronte

 

"...Under other circumstances he would not have done so, for it brought with it notions of darkness and horror and the dim picture of a friend. Elishama did not want friends any more than Mr. Clay did. They were to him, people who suffered and perished - the word itself meant separation and loss, tears and blood dripped from it."

The Immortal Story

Isak Dinesen

 

Education

 

"Once you get past all the Mr. Vinsons, you're going to start getting closer and closer - that is, if you want to, and if you look for it and wait for it - to the kind of information that will be very, very dear to your heart. Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them - if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry."... "I'm not trying to tell you, " he said, "that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. it's not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they're brilliant and creative to begin with - which, unfortunately is rarely the case - tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And - most important- nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker. Do you follow me at all?"

The Catcher in the Rye

Mr. Antolini to Holden Caulfield

J. D. Salinger

 

"Something else an academic education will do for you. If you go along with it any considerable distance, it'll begin to five you an idea what size mind you have. What it'll find and, maybe, what it won't. After a while, you'll have an idea what kind of thoughts your particular size mind should be wearing. For one thing, it may save you an extraordinary amount of time trying on ideas that don't suit you, aren't becoming to you. You'll begin to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly."

The Catcher in the Rye

Mr. Antolini to Holden Caulfield

J. D. Salinger

 

"'Be a teacher.' Rich says, 'And if I'm a great teacher, who will know it?' More says, ' You, your students, God. Not a bad audience, that.'"

A Man for All Seasons

quoted by Bill Bennett in What I Saw at the Revolution

Peggy Noonan

 

 

Faith

 

"'Aslan a man!' said Mrs. Beaver sternly. "'Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the Wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion.'

'Ohh!' said Susan, 'I'd thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.'

 

'Then he isn't safe?' said Lucy. 'Safe?' said Mr. Beaver. 'Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'"

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis

 

"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attach the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.

 

These things and deeds are diametrically opposed; they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them; they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is - I repeat it - a difference; and it is a good, not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.

 

The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth - to let white-washed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinize and expose to rase the gilding, and show base metal under it - to penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics; but, hate as it will, it is indebted to him."

Note to the Second Edition

Currier Bell (Charlotte Bronte)

December 21, 1847

Jane Eyre

 

"For a long time afterward Anson believed that a protective God sometimes interfered in human affairs. But Dolly Karger, lying awake and staring at the ceiling, never again believed in anything at all."

The Rich Boy

F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

Other

 

"...like the good gone times when we still believed in summer hotels and the philosophies of popular songs."

Zelda Fitzgerald

 

...and those heroes, like Imperialists of all ages and all climes, alleged that the existence of ignorant hordes near their borders and elsewhere in the world not only caused them to have sleepless nights but seemed during the day to be contrary to their sense of the fitness of things. Besides, the climate and soil of the Rhone valley and the littoral, that mildness and that fertility, offered infinite promise for incomparable summer villas and pleasure settlements.

Provence

Ford Madox Ford

 

Rome, as is the case when civilized cities learn that the Barbarian is at the gates, at once went off into the throes of general elections, impeachments, executions and civil disturbances.

Provence

Ford Madox Ford

 

"The daffodils are beginning to bloom outside my window and the country is on the verge of chaos... Nothing will stop the daffodils from coming up in their complacent fashion one March after another; nature is profoundly reactionary... in its blind attachment to the status quo.

Hudson Review XXVI No. 2

Bernard Bergonzi

The Great War and Modern Memory

Paul Fussell

 

"It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare."

Edmund Burke

 

"But you decide you won't be at the mercy of nature. You decide you'll control nature, and from that moment on you're in deep trouble, because you can't do it. And you can't do it - and you never have - and you never will. Don't confuse things. you can make a boat, but you can't make the ocean. You can make an airplane, but you can't make the air. Your powers are much less than your dreams or reason would have you believe."

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

 

"...We live in a world of frightful givens. It is given that you will behave like this, given that you will care about that. No one thinks about the givens. Isn't it amazing? In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought."

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

 

 

"And that's how things are. A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there... And at the end of your life, your whole existence has that same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

 

""I think that that's unreasonable if the word reasonable has any existential reality.""

Lawer Brickman on arguing that the $2.3 billion in lawyers fees for the tobacco lawsuit was unreasonable.

 


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