The chief value of history is a poetic value. History can tell us what the hopes and fears of people in the past, and their words and works. The curtain of cloud that hides the scenes of the past is broken here and there, and we can have magic glimpses into that lost world, which is as actual as our own. Forward we cannot see at all but backward we can see in part. In that strange relation of past and present, poetry is always inherent.
There was a doctor wearing a hearing aid in my village. When my daughter at the age of 2 met another man who was wearing a hearing aid, she said, “That man is a doctor.” That was because both men were wearing hearing aids. She was mistaken. But she would have been and was on the path to human knowledge which goes by way of the making and correcting ideas.
When I was young, the urge to be some place else was on me. I was assured by some mature people that maturity would cure this itch. Now I am fifty-eight but the urge to be somewhere is still on me. I fear the disease is incurable.
Just under three hundred years ago, the professor of mathematics at Cambridge decided that one of his pupils was a much better mathematician than he was. He resigned his chair, on condition that his pupil be immediately appointed. His pupil was Isaac Newton. We should play the part of that professor if we look around and see a better man.
Those aspects of human nature which are not human. The wolf is today what he was ages ago. While men are born with characteristics with wolves, they are domesticated, who transmit the arts by which they have been tamed and improve upon them.
The American educational system has grown up to meet the needs of the particular environment. The most distinctive feature of the system is its emphasis on education of the masses rather than on education of intellectuals. As a result, most children in the same community attend school together from kindergarten to high school.
Dixon ran into the street. A bus was coming slowly. He must get the bus. The bus was halted in mid-traffic for a moment. When he was half-way to the bus, the wheels of the bus began to turn. The gap between man and bus began to widen rapidly.
In an old man who has known human joys and sorrows, the fear of death lowers his dignity. The best way to overcome it is to make your interests wider and more impersonal, until the walls of the ego recede and your life becomes absorbed in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river. At first the river is small and gradually grows wider and at last becomes absorbed in the sea and loses its individual being.
I was lucky to have a heavy timber to hold on to. The current moved toward the shore. I wondered if I should take off my boots and clothes and try to swim ashore, but decided not to. I thought I would be in a bad position if I landed barefoot.
Wherever you decide to have your holiday, you can’t have it without getting there. The great trouble is ever getting trouble. People talk about the man with a motorcar being his own master, and not being a slave to time-table is the only reliable way of getting off on time.
The free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. I would fight for the freedom of the mind and I must fight against any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.
A human figure strode on through the rain, following the little path which skirted the shepherd’s cottage. It was nearly the time of full moon, and the sad wan light revealed the lonely pedestrian to be a man of slender frame. At rough guesses, he might have been about forty years of age and would have been five-feet-eight or nine.
It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, even remembered. But no less important than the brilliant few are the unknown many, who maintain the ancient values, whose triumph it is to pass them on to their sons.
My life has been spent in solitude and wandering. I have lived about as solitary a life as a modern man can have. The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.
The only environment the artist needs is peace, solitude, and pleasure. The writer doesn’t need economic freedom. The tools he needs are paper, tobacco, food, and whiskey. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death.
It takes all sorts to make a world. And to realize that it takes all sorts to make a world, one must have seen a number of the sorts with one’s own eyes. This conviction of man’s diversity must find its expression in the practice.
In no other country than England can one experience four seasons in the course of a single day! Day may beak as a balmy spring morning. At midday conditions may be really wintry with temperature down by about fifteen degrees. And for an hour or two before darkness falls, it will be summer. Whatever weather conditions they met abroad, they were able to adapt themselves to the given conditions, because they had already experienced something like them at home.
My teacher placed my hand under the spout and spelled into the other the word water. My whole attention was fixed upon the motion of her fingers. I then knew that w-a-t-e-r meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand.
I am now forty, the same age as Eliot was when, at the age of twenty, I first met him. He seemed to me then exactly as old as he does now. Perhaps we do not notice people who are older than ourselves getting older, but only our contemporaries or those who are younger. Perhaps living always a few years younger beyond his age has been part of his art of living and writing.
Curiosity is one of the lowest of the human faculties. Inquisitive people are nearly always have bad memories and are stupid at bottom. The man who begins to ask you how many brothers and sisters you have is never a sympathetic character and he will probably ask you the same question in a year’s time. It is difficult to be friends with such a man.
Of all the will for the ideal only a small part can be manifested in action. All the rest is destined to realize itself in unseen effect. The lot of the many is to have a soulless labor. Yet on one finds himself in the position of having no opportunity of giving himself for the good of fellow men. That everyone shall exert himself to practice true humanity towards his fellow men, on that depends the future of mankind.
(1)予防は治療にまさる Prevention is better than cure.
(3)飛び込む前に考えろ Look before you leap.
(2)不幸は単独ではやってこない Misfortunes never come single.
(7)降れば必ずどしゃ降り It never rains but it pours.
(4)歳月人を待たず Time and tide wait for no man.
(9)鉄は熱いうちに打て Strike the iron while it is hot.
(5)こぼれたミルクを見て泣いても始まらぬ It is no use crying over spilt milk.
(8)覆水盆にかえらず What is done cannot be undone.
(6)人は見かけによらぬもの Don’t judge of a man by his looks.
(10)輝くもの必ずしも金ならず All is not gold that glitters.
Man always has to choose between making the right use and wrong use of the discoveries of science. Science has lengthened life and deepened its quality. But the gifts of science can be misused. Vehicles facilitate business but they can strew the roads with dead and dying. This twofold aspect of the use to which science can be put is the dilemma confronted by men of science today.
Speech is so familiar a feature of daily life that we rarely pause to define it. But the process of acquiring speech is utterly different from the process of learning to walk. Speech is not an inherent, biological function. Speech is a historical heritage of the group, the product of long-continued social usage.
The building of the pyramids was a technological triumph. Many men died in the doing of it. Men were less important than God or the State or an idea. As long as men have been around, they have wanted power over another.