Skip to main content

Posts

Page 56

Let not Men think there is no Truth but in the Sciences that they study, or the Books that they read. To prejudge other Mens Notions before we have looked into them, is not to shew their Darkness, but to put out our own Eyes. John Locke, Of the Conduct of the Understanding, 1706

Page 55

I say, Parker, I think this co-operative scheme is an uncommonly good one. It's much easier to work on someone else's job than one's own - gives one that delightful feelin' of interferin' and bossin' about, combined with the glorious sensation that another fellow is takin' all one's work off one's hands. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, what?  Dorothy L. Sayer, Whose Body? , 1923

Page 54

Do we not every day meet with people who fancy they are ill because they are unshaven, or because someone has thought they have looked poorly, and told them so? Dress has such influence upon men's minds that there are valetudinarians who think themselves in better health than usual when they have on a new coat and well-powdered wig. They deceive the public and themselves by their nicety about dress, until one finds some fine morning they have died in full fig, and their death startles everybody. Xavier de Maistre, A Journey Round My Room , 1794

Page 53

The People of the next Age shall know many Things unknown to us: Many are reserv'd for Ages then to come, when we shall be quite forgotten, no Memory of us remaining. The World would be a pitiful small Thing indeed, if it did not contain enough for the Enquiries of the whole World. Seneca, Naturales Quaestiones , circa AD 62 - 64

Page 52

Like all weddings it had left the strange feeling of futility, the slight sense of depression that comes to English people who have tried, from their strong sense of tradition, to be festive and sentimental and in high spirits too early in the day. The frame of mind supposed to be appropriate to an afternoon wedding can only be genuinely experienced by an Englishman at two o'clock in the morning. Hence the dreary failure of these exhibitions. Ada Leverson, Love's Shadow, 1908

Page 51

Who can begin conventional amiability the first thing in the morning? It is the hour of the savage instincts and natural tendencies; it is the triumph of the Disagreeable and the Cross. I am convinced that the Muses and the Graces never thought of having breakfast anywhere but in bed. Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth and her German Garden, 1898

Page 50

We, in the servants' hall, began this happy anniversary, as usual, by offering our little presents to Miss Rachel, with the regular speech delivered annually by me as the chief. I follow the plan adopted by the Queen in opening Parliament - namely, the plan of saying much the same thing regularly every year. Before it is delivered, my speech (like the Queen's) is looked for as eagerly as if nothing of the kind had ever been heard before. When it is delivered, and turns out not to be the novelty anticipated, though they grumble a little, they look forward hopefully to something newer next year. An easy people to govern, in the Parliament and in the Kitchen - that's the moral of it. Wilkie Collins. The Moonstone , 1868

Page 49

It was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and faun and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and azure and lemon and russet and grey and cream and crimson and silver and rose and purple and white and pink and orange and blue. The colours of Joseph's Amazing Technicolour Dream-Coat still haunting since circa 1976

Page 48

"Why are you looking like that?" asked Kyril. "I was wondering why people put ferrets in their trousers," said Aunt Irene. " Thanatos, " said Kyril. "An illustration of the death wish." "What I wish," said Aunt Irene, "is that you'd never read Freud. It's had a very leaden effect on your conversation." Alice Thomas Ellis, The 27th Kingdom , 1999

Page 47

Diana's breast, the cheeks of Flora, Are charming, friends, I do agree, But somehow what enchant me more are The small feet of Terpsichore. Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin , 1833

Page 46

"Everyone is the same in the sight of God," Nora said severely. "That must make things terribly boring for him." "Louise, if you are going to be flippant about something as serious as this, I shall never speak to you again!" "I won't be. I have a great many sides to my nature - it goes with being a serious actress - and you can't expect them all to be acceptable." ~ Teenage Philosophy: On God. And Acting ~ Elizabeth Jane Howard, The Light Years , 1990 

Page 45

Just cobwebs, these ideas were; unhappy cobwebs; the stuff that dreams are made on, thought old Mrs. Bott, putting down a card, who knew her Shakespeare even better than her Bible, and in her heart preferred it, because she didn't care about foreigners. Elizabeth von Arnim, Expiation , 1929

Page 44

Fully figured with a penchant for forgetting to button the top button of her blouse, you could just tell that if Rosie couldn't romance her way to the top of the Empire State Building, she was prepared to climb it like King Kong. Amor Towles, Rules of Civility , 2011

Page 43

  "Men -", said Miss Williams, and stopped.  As a rich property owner says 'Bolsheviks' - as an earnest Communist says 'Capitalists!' - as a good housewife says 'Blackbeetles' - so did Miss Williams say 'Men!' Miss Williams to Monsieur Poirot Agatha Christie, Five Little Pigs,  1942

Page 42

INGREDIENTS LISTS: "C" Carbon Paper Crystal or Methyl Violet Base  300 parts Red Oil                                     600 parts Sesame Oil                            3500-4000 parts Carnauba Wax                       3500 parts Chalk, Billiard Calcium Carbonate, Precipitated    115 g. Gypsum, Calcined                            35 g. Pigment Powder (Blue, Green)        50 g. Borax Water                                       2% Crayon, Blackboard Calcium Carbonate, Precipitated     60 lb Kaolin Clay                                     40 lb Saponified Oleic Acid                       5 lb Caustic Soda                                   3/4 lb Corn Remedy Acetone                                 168 oz. Castor Oil                                 3 oz. Venice Turpentine                     6 oz. Celluloid                                  10 oz. Salicylic Acid                          40 oz. Ethylaminobenzoate                10 oz. Oil Soluble Chlorophyl, sufficient until dark g

Page 41

They tried to look as if they were listening, but they couldn't keep it up. Sitting silent, talk was collecting inside them. Talk is like love; the more it is suppressed, the more it must come out. It gathers force from hindrance. Dorothy Whipple, "Tea at the Rectory", 1945

Page 40

But there was a time - and the Peddars Way belongs to it - when a road, like fire and a roof, was one of the primitive blessings of life; and, more than that, a sign that men could combine in a common task and follow the same track to a journey's end. H. V. Morton, In Search of England, 1927

Page 39

There are three things no man but a fool lends, or, having lent, is not in the most hopeless state of mental crassitude if he ever hope to get back again. These three things are - Books, Umbrellas and Money.  Douglas Jerrold

Page 38

It may help to recall the bon mot I heard from a Russian physicist: 'Proofs in physics follow the standards of British justice and hold the accused innocent until proved guilty. Proofs in mathematics follow the standards of Stalinist justice and hold the accused guilty until proved innocent.' A footnote from T. W. Körner's The Pleasures of Counting,  1996

Page 37

  Coups neatly executed  Deserving cases preferred  Nothing sordid, vulgar or plebeian  Police no object! Mr. Albert Campion's business card

Page 35

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existance, and they think they have seen something. Søren Kierkegaard, 1843

Page 34

"And now for a more traditional waltz, where I would ask that you please take a partner and dance joyfully and enthusiastically around the carriage as we play." Buskers on the Tube at Sloane Square, circa 1993

Page 33

The first cup moistens my lips and throat; The second cup breaks my loneliness; The third cup searches my barren entrails but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration - all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores; At the fifth cup I am purified; The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves. Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither. "The Seven Cups of Tea", Lu Tong (795-835 AD)

Page 32

INGREDIENTS LISTS: "B" Bed Bug Exterminator Kerosene                 90 Clovel                       5 Cresol                       1 Pine Oil                    4 Bitter, English Benedictine Herb          10 gm. Gentian Root                 20 gm. Orange Peels                100 gm. Calamus Root                40 gm. Lesser Centaury             50 gm. Orris Root                      50 gm. Wormwood                    20 gm. Cinnamon                      10 gm. Alcohol 95%                600 ml. Liqueur Body               11.5 lit. Bleach, Laundry Chlorinated Lime           1 lb. Washing Soda                1.5 lb. Water                              1 gal. Blue, Laundry, Cheap Quality Ultramarine                   18 lb.   Kiln-Dried Blue Earth   20 lb. Terra Alba                     15 lb. Bicarbonate of Soda     45 lb. Glucose                        10 lb. Brandy, Cherry Alcohol 90%